• a large body of water

California Holidays

From San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge and the beautiful beaches of San Luis Obispo County to the dramatic cliffs of Yosemite National Park, California holidays are an adventure waiting to happen. There’s a lot of natural beauty here, as well as vibrant cities nestled along the coast, and the magic of Universal Studios Hollywood.

Whether you see yourself wandering sunny vineyards and sipping on delicious wine, hiking rugged mountains, or feeling the warm West Coast sun on your skin as you watch the surf roll in, your California holiday will be a welcome journey.

Considered the Jewel of the Sierra Nevada, Lake Tahoe’s aquamarine waters are waiting to be discovered. Head south and visit the breath-taking and rugged terrain of Yosemite National Park. Further south still, you’ll find Death Valley National Park’s surreal landscape, from its imposing sand dunes to the expanses of its low lying salt flats.

California Holidays - Witness the West Coast

With rolling waves, golden sand and waterside cities, there are few places that are quite as renowned as California’s West Coast. Drive the Pacific Coast Highway and find yourself travelling a road that sits between mountains on one side and a rugged and wild coastline on the other in the Big Sur region. Visit the coast’s dynamic cities, like Los Angeles, San Francisco and Santa Cruz. Wander quaint seaside towns that pair stunning Pacific Ocean vistas with eateries and boutiques and a small town feel.

The best way to explore this breath-taking coast is undoubtedly by road, so why not hire a car and set out on a self drive Postcards of California tour? Starting from San Francisco, make your way to Los Angeles and discover a whole world of beauty in between.

Destination Highlights
  • Drive along the Pacific Coast Highway 1 that runs along California’s coast, and soak up the endless ocean vistas
  • Discover nine incredible national parks, from the world-renowned Yosemite, to the wild beaches of Point Reyes National Seashore
  • Sip your way around California’s stunning wine regions
  • Explore more than 1,100 miles of breathtaking coastline

Our favourite hotels

Whether you are planning a family holiday in California or an adventurous California multi centre holiday, let us help you find the perfect accommodation. Browse our favourite places to stay in California - we are here to help you find the perfect hotel.

Unique Post Ranch Inn

Post Ranch Inn

Pacific Coast Highway

H&J Rating
Post Ranch Inn
The Lodge at Pebble Beach

The Lodge At Pebble Beach

Pacific Coast Highway

H&J Rating
The Lodge At Pebble Beach
Auberge du Soleil

Auberge Du Soleil

Napa Valley

H&J Rating
Auberge Du Soleil
a view of a body of water with a city in the background

The Resort at Pelican Hill

Newport Beach

H&J Rating

Guide Price

 €2,269  pp

The Resort at Pelican Hill

Time Zone

GMT -8 hours

Flight Time

Approx. 11 hours; indirect flights from Ireland are available

Currency

USD - US Dollar

Visa Information

Ensure you have a valid ESTA prior to travel

Language

English

Health Information

No special vaccinations are required for travel to California

California is a state filled with sunshine and adventure. Beautiful coastline with hidden beaches, rustic coves and wide, golden sand beaches, nine National Parks and vibrant cities; with countless activities and incredible landscapes, California is here to be explored.

  • Kayaking on Lake Tahoe

    Awesome Activities

    Learn to surf in 'Surf City' Huntington beach, paddleboard or kayak across the glistening waters of Lake Tahoe, explore National Parks and hug a Redwood tree, ride a cable car in San Francisco, sip wine while riding through the rolling hills aboard a train, go behind the scenes at Universal Studios Hollywood™ ... shall we go on?

  • Wine Tasting

    Taste your way around the Wine Regions

    Explore the lesser crowded north coast of Mendocino, cycle through the vineyards of Sonoma, ride the Napa Valley wine train and taste wines from the southern part of the state where the rolling hills meet the desert.

  • Ferris wheel on Santa Monica Pier

    Theme Parks of California

    From the adrenaline rush of a roller coaster to a beachfront carousel, there are theme parks for all ages in California; where will you choose?

  • Sunset on the beach

    Explore more than 1100 miles of coastline

    What comes to mind when you think of California are the golden sandy beaches, but there are also hidden coves, dramatic cliffs and quaint seaside towns to enjoy.

  • Redwood trees

    National Parks

    With nine great National Parks California has the most and if there was a competition to find an iconic image of the parks of America, the giant redwood tree would be a serious contender.

  • a man smiling for the camera

    Rozario

    Destination Specialist

    "If you are planning on driving along the Pacific Highway 1, we would recommend you travel from north to south for some of the best views."

  • Jessica, Destination Manager

    Jessica

    Destination Manager

    "California’s coast is absolutely beautiful, but don’t forget to explore the rest of the state. You don’t want to miss inland California’s national parks and the beautiful mountainous landscapes"

Festivals and events are wonderful to include during your California holidays, offering a glimpse into the country’s authentic culture and traditions.

  • BNP Paribas Open

    Each March, the Indian Wells Tennis Garden plays host to the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament. Unfolding over a week each March, the tournament sees some of the biggest names in tennis compete for the title of BNP Paribas champion. 

     

  • California Artisan Cheese Festival

    The perfect festival if you’re a cheese lover, the California Artisan Cheese Festival is held in Santa Rosa over a weekend each March. Boasting experts cheesemongers to guide you through, the festival will give you the chance to sample delicious and rare artisan cheeses, and learn about the process of cheesemaking through interactive seminars.

  • Hoes Down Harvest Festival

    In celebration of the end of the harvest season, the Full Belly Farm in Capay Valley brings together many of the area’s small organic farms for the Hoes Down Harvest Festival. The festival runs annually on the first weekend of each October. Get a taste of rural life in California as you indulge in delicious locally-grown produce. Learn about the various aspects of farming during the festival’s many workshops, and have a dance to the local country music.

Get a flavour of the local culture through your palate during your California holiday. Here are a few of our favourite Californian dishes.

  • California cuisine

    More of a philosophy than a particular dish, the term California cuisine refers to an approach to cooking food. It’s ingredient-driven cooking, rather than recipe-driven. Just like farm to table food, California cuisine focuses on using fresh and sustainable ingredients that are produced in California and prepared simply with the less-is-more flavour philosophy.

  • Cal-Mex food

    California’s Mexican influence is evident in menus across the state. From the West Coast’s fish tacos to the French fry-filled california burrito, Cal-Mex food can be found across the state, but is most popular in southern California.

  • Sourdough bread

    Made popular by San Francisco’s gold miners in the mid 1800s, sourdough bread became a favourite in this region. The city’s local bacteria lends to the bread’s unique taste, which is why San Francisco’s sourdough is particularly celebrated. 

  • Fresh seafood

    With a coastline that spans 1,100 miles, it’s little wonder that California’s fresh seafood is some of the best. Along the coast, you’ll find no shortage of eateries serving up delicious dishes, such as clam chowder, Dungeness crab and the Italian-American stew of cioppino.

Our California destinations

McWay Falls, Big Sur

California

Pacific Coast Highway

Pacific Coast Highway
Griffith Observatory

California

Los Angeles

Los Angeles
Yosemite National Park

California

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park
Downtown Palm Springs

California

Palm Springs

Palm Springs
Downtown skyline

California

San Diego

San Diego
Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

California

San Francisco

San Francisco
Kayaking on Lake Tahoe

California

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe
Redwood trees

California

Northern California

Northern California
a sign hanging from a tree

California

Sequoia National Park

Sequoia National Park
Badwater Springs at sunrise Death Valley National Park

California

Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park

Types of California holidays

Yosemite National Park

California Multi Centre Holidays

Multi Centre Holidays
Cruising down the Pacific Coast Highway 1

Self Drive California

Self Drive California
Driving the Pacific Coast Highway 1

Self Drive Central California Coast

Self Drive Central California Coast

Frequently Asked Questions

Flights from the UK to California take a minimum of 10 hours and 55 minutes. There are currently direct flights from London airports to Los Angeles with Air New Zealand, United Airlines, Delta, Virgin Atlantic, American Airlines, British Airways and Norwegian. There are direct flights to San Francisco International Airport with United Airlines, American Airlines, Delta, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. You can also fly direct to San Jose and San DIego with British Airways or Oakland with Norwegian and British Airways.

You can easily drive from California to Las Vegas – it takes around five hours from Los Angeles, while a flight takes just over an hour. Or why not book an escorted tour such as Wings Over the West which is the ultimate Western USA tour, taking you on a fantastic journey from Las Vegas to visit Yosemite National Park, San Francisco, Central California Coast and Los Angeles.

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