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Visit California

California is one of the most evocative places on earth, synonymous with new life, fresh opportunity, golden days and magical holidays. So great is its allure that one out of every eight Americans now chooses to live there!

Theme parks

The Golden State has long been a favourite for children of all ages – thanks in no small part to the granddaddy of theme parks, the orginal Disneyland Resort. Southern California is also home to Universal Studios, a theme park filled with exciting film related rides and other attractions, among many other family-friendly theme parks.

Outdoor Activities

Skiers can get their fix at Lake Tahoe and Mammoth which are accessible from San Francisco and Los Angeles respectively. Lake Tahoe’s awesome views, across the lake in one direction and towards the desert in the other, provide a great setting with great runs for all standards of skier. Mammoth, set amid craggy scenery and recommended by snowboarders for its great terrain, offers great conditions right through to the end of the season in June. From the big waves in the north to the surf cities of the south there are places to surf year round in California. Malibu may be the birth place of the surf star and the modern surf lifestyle, but Huntington Beach, known as Surf City USA, is home to the International Surfing Museum.

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Driving

You can’t beat California for spectacular scenic drives, with the Pacific Coast Highway 1 from San Francisco to LA being one of the most recognised coastal drives in the world. The drive takes in the stunning Central Coast areas of Monterey, Big Sur, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara.

Wine

Napa is California’s most famous wine growing region and is home to some 400 wineries. Located to the north-east of San Francisco, it produces world-renowned Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Napa’s friendly rival is Sonoma where the wine trails are generally less crowded, but the wine no less worthy. Due to unique micro-climates it is a haven for some of the best Pinot Noir and Chardonnay produced in the state.

Nature

California is home to 30 national parks and more than 270 state parks, encompassing everything from volcanoes and towering mountains to gleaming deserts and Pacific islands. Just off California’s Central Coast, the Channel Islands National Park consist of five islands that are home to more than 2,000 species of plants and animals, 145 of which are not found anywhere else in the world. The Joshua Tree National Park is midway between LA and the Arizona border. The cooler Mojave Desert area is home to the distinctive trees that gave their name to the park, and a U2 album!
However, for some four million people each year the place to head is Yosemite National Park, which is particularly magical in the spring when the melting snow creates tumultuous waterfalls that cascade down the stone cliffs.