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CALIFORNIA is best for...

Movie lovers

Rub shoulders with off-duty A-listers in Hollywood.

Theme park fans

Make childhood dreams come true in California’s epic theme parks.

Road trippers

Drive the picturesque Pacific Coast Highway for a real all-American road trip.

Fast Facts

Language: The main language spoken in the USA is English.

Currency: The currency used in the USA is the American Dollar ($).

Local time: California is 8 hours behind GMT/UK time.

Fly to: Each city has its own airport - Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), San Francisco International Airport (SFO), and San Diego International Airport (SAN).

Flight time from UK: 11.5 hours.

Tourist Information: Further California tourist information can be found here.

Visa & Health: Before you travel click here for recommendations and advice on visas and health for your holiday to the USA.

Weather & Climate

Temperatures: 18-32°C in July.

Best time to visit California: In the summer, when you’re guaranteed warmth and sunshine.

California’s weather is generally mild and sunny all year round. It’s warmer in southern California, and doesn’t rain much. The temperatures vary in the region, from 8°C in San Francisco and 15°C in LA and San Diego in the winter, to 18°C (San Francisco) and 32°C (LA and San Diego) in the summer.

Getting Around

By bus/metro: Buses and metros run in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

By tram/train: San Francisco has quaint streetcars; explore downtown San Diego on its bright red trolley.

By taxi: San Diego and San Francisco run metered taxis; remember the 15-20% tip.

By hire car: Hire a car for road trips and days out.

By horse-drawn carriage: Carriages and pedicabs are a great way to see San Diego’s seafront.

Events

Film festivals On the must-see list are the Palm Springs International Film Festival in January, and September’s SoCal Independent Film Festival, in Orange County’s Huntington Beach.

Music and arts The ultra-cool Coachella Music & Arts Festival takes place in April. Look out for the Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach from July-August, where clever performers and artists recreate artworks with staging, makeup and costume.

Sports Petrol-heads make their way to Fontana for the NASCAR Sprint Cup races in September. If you love your snow sports, head to Lake Tahoe for the U.S. Freestyle Championships at the end of March.

Holidays in California

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From Lake Tahoe’s snow-capped peaks in the north to the shimmering sands of Malibu in the south, the Golden State of California is a cosmopolitan world all of its own. Where else could you hug Mickey Mouse and spot A-list celebrities, or snowboard and sunbathe? No wonder it’s so popular – the third biggest state in the USA, it offers an endless range of possibilities, and has a laid-back attitude that’s as sunny as its weather.

Set on a peninsula on California’s north-west coast, the famously hilly San Francisco has a distinctive ‘village’ feel. There’s a vibrant social and theatre scene here, and foodies should head to the wineries of Sonoma and Napa Valleys. In southern California is the glamorous Los Angeles, home of red carpets and golden sands – think Laguna Beach and the iconic Malibu Beach (which inspired Baywatch). Further south of LA is sunny San Diego, which borders Mexico. Delight the kids with nature theme parks such as SeaWorld and San Diego Zoo, and enjoy its lively cultural hub Balboa Park.

San Francisco

From San Francisco’s hotels it’s easy to explore this vibrant and unpretentious city on foot, or by quaint cable car. Hop aboard the ferry to Alcatraz, aka ‘The Rock’, to see its infamous prison-turned-nature reserve; shop and hang out in the popular Pier 39 leisure complex.

Los Angeles

Nicknamed ‘La La Land’, this is the ultimate place for stargazers. Stroll from your Los Angeles hotel to the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard; enjoy a tour around Universal Studios HollywoodSM, the world’s biggest working film studio. At Griffith Observatory you can see stars of the celestial kind.

San Diego

The 8th largest city in the USA and oldest in California, San Diego is great for families and day trips. The popular Balboa Park is the USA’s biggest cultural park, and home to arts venues, museums and San Diego Zoo; kids will love its Discovery Playground and Skyfari Aerial Tram.



Recommended offers in California

Suggested holiday

The Classical West - California, Nevada and Arizona  

3 Stars
Corona beach

14 nights 

  • Flights LON/LOS/LON
  • Car Hire
  • 1 night - Los Angeles
  • 1 night - Palm Springs
  • 1 night - Scottsdale
  • 1 night - Grand Canyon
  • 1 night - Lake Powell
  • 1 night - Zion
  • 2 nights - Las Vegas
  • 1 night - Death Valley
  • 1 night - Yosemite
  • 2 nights - San Francisco
  • 1 night - California Coast
Thomas Cook

Stay from £1,429

Call to book:
0844 871 6650

Suggested holiday

Pacific Coast

4 Stars

14 nights 

  • Flights LON/SFO-LAX/LON
  • Car Hire
  • 4 night - Holiday Inn Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco
  • 2 nights - Hilton Garden Inn, Monterey
  • 2 nights - Best Western Plus Shore Cliff Lodge, Pismo Beach
  • 2 nights - Best Western Plus Pepper Tree Inn Santa Barbara
  • 4 nights - The Georgian Hotel, Santa Monica
Thomas Cook

Stay from £1,916

Call to book:
0844 871 6650

Suggested holiday

San Francisco & Wine Region

4 Stars
Sherwood Dreams

7 nights 

  • Flights LON/SFO/LON
  • Car Hire
  • 3 nights - Serrano, San Francisco
  • 2 nights - Silverado Resort & Spa, Napa Valley
  • 2 nights - Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, Sonoma
    Full day to Yosemite - excursion
Thomas Cook

Stay from £1,475

Call to book:
0844 871 6650

Suggested holiday

California City & Beach

3 Stars
Angelno

13 nights 

  • Flights LON/LAX-SAN/LON
  • Car Hire
  • 2 nights - Hotel Angelno, Los Angeles
  • 3 nights - Hyatt Regency Long Beach
  • 2 nights - Riviera Palm Springs Resort & Spa
  • 3 nights - Best Western Plus Laguna Brisa Spa Hotel, Laguna Beach
  • 3 nights - Hilton San Diego Resort & Spa
Airtours

Stay from £1,859

Call to book:
0844 871 6650

Suggested holiday

Anaheim & San Diego

3 Stars
Fontainbleu Miami Beach

7 nights 

  • Flights LON/LAX-SAN/LON
    Car Hire
    4 nights - Red Lion Hotel Anaheim
    3 nights - Handlery Hotel San Diego
    Southern California CityPASS
    SeaWorld San Diego Ticket
Airtours

Stay from £1,534

Call to book:
0844 871 6650

Suggested holiday

Pacific Coast

3 Stars
Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort

9 nights 

  • Flights LON/SEA-LAX/LON
  • Car Hire
  • 1 night - Seattle
  • 1 night - Portland
  • 1 night - Redwood National Park
  • 1 night - Mendocino
  • 2 nights - San Francisco
  • 1 night - Monterey area
  • 1 night - San Simeon/Pismo Beach area
  • 2 nights - Los Angeles
Airtours

Stay from £1,415

Call to book:
0844 871 6650

Suggested holiday

Coastal California by Rail

3 Stars
Universal's Cabana Bay Beach Resort

13 nights 

  • Flights LON/SFO-SAN/LON
  • 4 nights - San Francisco
  • 3 nights - Los Angeles
  • 2 nights - Anaheim
  • 1 night - San Diego
  • Also includes: Private Transfer San Francisco, AMTRAK train between each city, Muir Woods and Sausalito tour
  • Monterey & Carmel tour and Los Angeles tour
Airtours

Stay from £1,485

Call to book:
0844 871 6650


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