California

United States of America
Orange County featuring street scenes, a small town or village and a house

The Golden State is almost its own country, packing in iconic sights, spectacular national parks and chilled-out coastal towns with friendly, welcoming locals.

The mid-1800s California gold rush brought many adventurers to the Pacific Ocean shores. Their descendants have established fascinating cities and structures in the midst of amazing natural beauty.

Visit Sacramento to see the art and architecture of the state capital. The California State Railroad Museum tells the important story of building the railroads that enabled development of the California region.

In the Sierra Nevada Mountains, visit Sequoia National Forest. See giant redwood trees, up to 300 feet (91 meters) tall and over 33 feet (10 meters) in diameter, hundreds or thousands of years old. Enjoy the spectacular landscape of granite monoliths, limestone caves and whitewater streams.

The mountains offer a range of choices for outdoor activities. Visit the Lake Tahoe area to hike, boat, fish and swim in the chilly aquamarine waters in the summer. In winter ski at Squaw, site of the 1960 Olympics, Northstar, Alpine Meadows and others, with excellent skiing and views over the lake. See sparkling granite cliffs and majestic waterfalls in Yosemite National Park.

Take a wine tour in Napa or Sonoma. Stop in the fertile agricultural area of the Central Valley to sample strawberries, olives, garlic and much of the nation’s fresh produce.

Like Tony Bennett, you might leave your heart in San Francisco. The views of the Golden Gate Bridge are unforgettable. Visit Chinatown, ride the trolley, climb the hills of the city, ferry to the former prison of Alcatraz and enjoy the exciting nightlife.

Moving south to Los Angeles, enjoy the many beaches on the Pacific Ocean. Watch seals, surfers and skaters. Go to Hollywood to see celebrities’ stars embedded in the sidewalk. Tour Universal Studios. Visit the original Disneyland® Resort in Anaheim, the La Brea Tarpits and the J. Paul Getty Museum.

Farther south, see even more California beaches in San Diego, along with the USS Midway Museum, a retired aircraft carrier. Visit Palms Springs for desert heat and world-famous golf. Cross the border to Tijuana for a Mexican holiday.

Popular cities in California

Los Angeles
Los Angeles
Known for Entertainment, Theatres and Sports
Relax on the beaches, be thrilled at the theme parks and experience culture in the museums and art galleries of this sprawling Southern California city.

Reasons to visit

  • Wiltern Theatre
  • Farmers Market
  • MacArthur Park
San Francisco which includes a bridge and a bay or harbour
San Francisco
Known for Chinatown, Theatres and Art
A city brimming with iconic imagery and sounds, with steep hills, the sound of streetcars rattling up and down them and the infamous Alcatraz island prison.

Reasons to visit

  • Oracle Park
  • Ferry Building
  • Mission Dolores Park
San Diego
San Diego
Known for Beach view, Sea and Ports
On the sun-drenched Pacific coast, this Southern California city provides great beaches, a famous zoo, historic sites and exciting nightlife.

Reasons to visit

  • Waterfront Park
  • Maritime Museum of San Diego
  • San Diego Convention Center
Sacramento featuring heritage architecture and an administrative building
Sacramento
Known for Historical, Sports and Theatres
Go gold panning, admire historic architecture and explore fascinating museums in the capital of California, a city constructed on the funds from boomtown fortunes.

Reasons to visit

  • Sacramento Zoo
  • California State Capitol
  • California State Railroad Museum
Oakland
Oakland
Known for Sports, Entertainment and Theatres
Discover Oakland’s fresh produce markets, historic architecture and intriguing blend of culinary styles as you explore the Bay area city.

Reasons to visit

  • Jack London Square
  • Fox Theater
  • Oakland Museum of California
Santa Barbara showing night scenes, theatre scenes and signage
Santa Barbara
Known for Beach view, Walking and Shopping
Known around the country as the American Riviera, this Californian city is centred around a hub of historic architecture, art galleries, wineries and idyllic beaches.

Reasons to visit

  • Santa Barbara County Courthouse