California travel guides

California spotlight

From Beach Digs to Spa Villas - A Guide to Lodging in Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz is a storied destination, enviably positioned between mountains and the sea. Its lodging options cater to the visitor interested in enjoying its climate, outdoor pursuits, eclectic dining, and vibrant arts scene. Whether you stay in a vintage motel or an exclusive enclave, you'll find knowledgeable locals and proprietors - even other guests - who will help curate a worthwhile experience.

View full guide

California travel guides

Where to Stay in Yosemite National Park - From Tents to Resort Hotels

Staying in a national park won't limit you to tent or RV camping. Yosemite's campgrounds have semi-permanent platform tents, as well as cozy cabins. You'll find hotels with accommodation ranging from kid-friendly bunk beds, to luxurious suites with panoramic balcony views. You can also rent cottages. Towns surrounding the park offer an even broader range of options.

From Convenience to Elegance - Where to Stay During your Anaheim Vacation

Most of Anaheim’s hotel scene is within a 1-mile radius of Disneyland® Resort and the adjacent Anaheim Convention Center. Venture outside the city, and you'll find even more hotels to choose from, mostly located near Orange County’s other hubs for business and pleasure. You can get to Anaheim from a few of these areas via the Anaheim Resort Transit shuttle.

Where to Stay in San Jose - Villa Hotels, Cozy Bed-and-Breakfasts, and Nearby Cities

Staying in San Jose leaves you in the center of the action. But you can also sleep in one of several cities nearby, like Mountain View, where eco-friendly innovations and technology collide at Google's massive state-of-the-art headquarters. Or you can opt for Cupertino, a quieter destination where you'll be able to enjoy Northern California's natural beauty only 15-minutes from the big city.

Eclectic Island Escapes - Where to Stay for Your Coronado Getaway

There are essentially 2 sections of town you’ll be looking at if you plan to stay at a hotel in Coronado. Because of the compact nature of Coronado, you'll be near the water regardless of which section you choose. The downtown neighborhood places you near famed Coronado Central Beach. Ferry Landing, on the other hand, puts you close to the San Diego-Coronado Bridge and ferries to the mainland.

Where to Stay in Santa Monica - Seaside and Downtown Retreats

From spa hotels to upscale boutiques, Santa Monica's stylish stays lie mostly along the mile-long coastline, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. A few blocks from the sand and the city's famous pier, downtown Santa Monica accommodation is less glam but closer to shopping, dining, and nightlife. For the traveler on a budget, more modestly-priced hotels are located farther inland.

Where to Stay in Long Beach - Hotels for Every Taste and Budget

Long Beach, a city by the sea, has accommodation to suit everyone. From budget-friendly motels to 4-star hotels that are practically destinations in themselves, it's all here. If you're a beachgoer, head to the shore. Into indie shops and restaurants? Check out the East Village. If vintage is your thing, try 4th Street.

Shopping in Santa Cruz - Local Art, Outdoor Gear, Farm-Fresh Foods, and Unique Antiques

Santa Cruz is a mecca for artists, outdoor enthusiasts-turned-business-owners, and other individualists inspired by its oceanfront setting. Commerce in Santa Cruz isn't just about selling you something: It's more a transaction between an artist or craftsperson who cares deeply about what they've created and who wants you to enjoy it thoroughly. Be prepared: Your Santa Cruz mementos might become your all-time travel favorites.

To the Beach and Beyond - What to See and Do in Santa Cruz

To experience the best of this Central Coast surf town, you'll need to accept its own sunny terms. Slow down. Step outdoors and set off to explore its famous beaches, waterfront attractions, and world-class music events. Most important, open yourself to meeting your fellow travelers - and there will be many - from itinerant surfers to families from abroad. By day's end, the casual, kindly atmosphere will have soaked in like sunlight itself.

Mountain Vistas and Shining Sea - Santa Cruz Captures California's Iconic Ideals

Santa Cruz, on California's Central Coast, is both beach town and mountain village. Though it's known for world-class surf, acclaimed artists, and one of the nation's grandest seaside amusement parks, the city still feels off the beaten path. You're as likely to find yourself latte-to-latte with a famous athlete as to hear the next generation of jazz greats riff beach-side. Relax, and you'll fit right in.

Your Essential Guide to Big Sur - Jewel of California's Golden Coast

Juxtaposed between the cobalt Pacific Ocean and the verdant Santa Lucia Mountains, California's Big Sur region treats visitors to some of America's most magnificent scenery. Expect dramatic terrain, magical vistas, and wildly rugged shores. Come for the views, wildlife, and spirit of adventure - as so many writers, soul-searchers, and nature-lovers have before.

Yosemite National Park - Trails, Granite Giants, and Waterfalls

Yosemite receives 3.7 million visitors per year without really feeling crowded. While Yosemite is above all a national park, luring rock climbers and hikers to its 600 miles of trails, there are facilities for cycling, horseback riding, water sports, skiing and even golf.

A Guide to Yosemite - The King of American National Parks

Yosemite National Park encompasses massive granite mountains, hundreds of waterfalls, 1,600 miles of rushing streams, meadows, and 3 groves of giant sequoia trees. It is easy to feel humble in Yosemite Valley when standing at the base of 4,800-foot-high Half Dome, or at the summit. First-time visitors may find these views familiar, from classic paintings by Thomas Ayres, and the legendary photographs of Ansel Adams.

From Disney® Magic to High-End Luxury - A Look at Anaheim Shopping

Anaheim shopping is definitely diverse. The city itself is an ideal spot for picking up souvenirs, particularly if you want to bring a piece of Disneyland® Resort home. The rest of Orange County will treat you to some of Southern California’s most sophisticated shopping experiences. The OC is also home to clusters of unique districts and retail centers offering a more relaxed, bohemian ambiance.

Mouse Ears and Craft Beers - What to See and Do in Anaheim

Disneyland® Resort is undeniably Anaheim's biggest claim to travel fame, but vacationers building an agenda around the sprawling theme park will quickly discover plenty of other must-see activities in the area. From frolicking in the surf at a local beach to examining the legacy of a U.S. President, Anaheim is packed with options for making your vacation unforgettable.

Where to Shop in San Jose - Specialty Boutiques, Imported Japanese Gifts and Handmade Handicrafts

San Jose is one of those cities that seems to have a little something for everyone, including first-class shopping to satisfy your urge for retail therapy. You can peruse imported Japanese gifts, like home ware and handmade crafts, in Japantown, or go boutique-shopping for something extra special at Santana Row. IBISS is a local secret, where you'll find funky, stylish clothing and fashion accessories.

What to See and Do in San Jose - Landmarks, Museums and a Flea Market

San Jose is a vivacious city that enjoys showing off its assets, whether for its place in the world of technology and innovation, embracing world cultures, or appreciating the finer things in life. Known as the “Capital of Silicon Valley,” the city is chock full of things to do, including several museums, lush public gardens, and colorful markets.

A City Guide to San Jose - Discovering Downtown, Walking Willow Glen, and Shopping in Japantown

A city known for its affluence and influence in the world of technology, San Jose is an exciting place to visit year round. Downtown is the place to be for easy access to the city's museums, art galleries, and hip cafés, while Little Saigon has some of the best Vietnamese food you'll find anywhere. Japantown is the hub for truly authentic Japanese food, clothing, and handicrafts.

Shopping in Coronado - From Surf Shops and Souvenirs to Designer Fashions

Coronado’s dual nature as a laid-back seaside community and a playground for luxury is well represented by its eclectic shopping scene. If you stick to the main street, you’ll find independent upscale boutiques, casual places to buy trinkets, surf and beach clothing shops, and virtually no chain stores. Gravitate toward the hotels, and you’ll encounter stores specializing in designer fashions and high-end beach couture.

What to See and Do on Coronado Island - Beaches and Beyond

Whether you're in the mood to lounge on the beach, learn how to surf, pedal along a seaside trail, or indulge in a shopping spree, Coronado has you covered. To experience the island's cultural side, you can visit historical landmarks, stroll through a museum, and take in a play. Tours by foot, ferry, boat, or bike will introduce you to the island within an hour.

Exploring Coronado Island - Beaches, Cafés, and Culture in the Crown City

Located just across the bay from downtown San Diego, the seaside village of Coronado (“the crowned one” in Spanish) includes some of the best beaches in the US. For most visitors, the sunshine, surf, and sand are the main attractions. But there's lots more to entice you: the legendary Hotel del Coronado, scenic bike trails, browse-worthy shops, and a tempting array of restaurants.

Shopping, Stars, and Gardens - A Visitor’s Guide to Beverly Hills

When you think of Beverly Hills, chances are scenes of glitzy shops and glamorous people spring to mind. This manicured city offers plenty of places to pick up the latest fashions and attractions that pay tribute to Tinseltown’s history. You’ll also enjoy close proximity to Los Angeles, which features top sights including the star-lined streets of Hollywood and the Pacific Coast Highway’s busy beaches.

Shop Santa Monica - Designer Chic, Vintage Vogue, and Farm-Fresh Foods

Santa Monica's gorgeous coastline may be its primary draw, but it also lures visitors with its vast array of shopping options. Alfresco malls allow you to soak up the sun as you drop some cash, while elegant boutiques and cool vintage shops will lend your wardrobe an enviable dash of California cool. Hungry for fresh treats? Foodies will flip for the city's various local farmers markets.

What to See and Do in Santa Monica - Beaches, Rides, and Fresh Eats

Sun, surf, and sand are likely the first things to pop into your head when you think about Santa Monica. And it's true: The spectacular coastline, with about 3 miles of beachfront, is the star attraction of this quintessential Southern California city. But oceanfront bike rides, amusement park thrills, world-class restaurants, and farm-fresh markets are also a big part of Santa Monica's appeal.

Exploring Santa Monica - A Guide to L.A.'s Laid-back Neighbor

Year-round warm weather greets visitors who flock to Santa Monica for its outdoor recreation and cultural scene. Backed by mountains and sandstone cliffs, more than 3 miles of coastline with calm Pacific waters are a top draw. But a wander beyond the beach reveals stroll-friendly city streets lined with dining, shopping, and entertainment options that entice sightseers from across the globe.

Where to Shop in Long Beach - From Local Merchants to Malls

At this busy beachfront city, you're never far from a little retail therapy. Long Beach's diverse neighborhoods are home to equally diverse retailers ranging from funky local spots to big shopping malls packed with big-name retailers. Whether you're in the market for the latest beach fashions or retro-cool vintage clothing, you'll find it here.

What to See and Do in Long Beach - The Shore and More

Long Beach is the perfect blend of old-school California beach town and eclectic, buzzing metropolis. Thanks to its harbor-side location, cultural diversity, and generally sunny weather, Long Beach and its surrounding area provide a wide variety of things to see and explore all year round. Sure, there's the beach, but there's so much more.

City Guide to Long Beach - The Warm Beach Town Getaway with a Cool Urban Edge

A short ride from Los Angeles’s LAX airport, Long Beach wraps a vibrant, cutting-edge city and a quaint coastal town into a bountiful beachside experience. Where else can you find whale-watching tours, buzzing nightlife, a world-class aquarium, museums of Latin American and Pacific Island art, sandy shores, and a famous retired ocean liner? And that’s just the start.

Santa Cruz Nightlife Heats Up With Live Music, Comedy, Movies, and More

Known as a laid-back, friendly tour stop for artists traveling to the Bay Area, Santa Cruz is spangled with intimate nightclubs, music venues, and theaters from West Cliff to Aptos. Refreshing ocean breezes in the evenings invite you to stroll from venue to venue, or linger in conversation under the stars.

Family-Friendly Santa Cruz - Tide Pools, Surf Schools, and Fun Beyond the Beach

With temperatures generally around 70 degrees F (21 C) year-round, Santa Cruz naturally inspires kid-friendly activities outdoors. Younger children enjoy tide pools along the county's 29 miles of coastline, while older kids love the challenge of water-sports lessons. Many museums and walking tours in town are free, so you can stack the itinerary with arts and culture and still have pocket money for ice cream.

Creativity Capital - Arts and Culture in Santa Cruz

With one of the highest concentrations of resident artists in the country, Santa Cruz teems with creative culture. From theatrical productions to artisan showcases to original artwork mounted on the traffic signal cabinets, you'll discover the city's creative spirit across town year-round. Come see a beloved musical, watch an artist at work, and snap a selfie next to a public art installation.

Family-Friendly Yosemite - A Kid's Outdoor Paradise

Yosemite National Park is a child's dream, with kid-friendly tours and organized activities year-round. Besides the many planned events, there are plenty of other age-appropriate opportunities for kids that will get them close to nature, and challenge their outdoor skills.

From Fireworks to Craft Beer and Stand-Up - Anaheim Nightlife

Anaheim's nocturnal fireworks aren’t limited to the ones lighting up the sky over Disneyland® Resort. There are plenty of different ways to have a good time after the sun goes down, from indulging in a local craft beer to laughing the night away. No matter where you spend your evening, you’ll head back to your hotel room with a smile on your face.

From Theme Parks to Nature Parks - Exploring Anaheim as a Family

Modern-day Anaheim was built around its status as a family-friendly destination. You and your children will have plenty of reasons to leave your hotel and embrace whatever magic the day has in store. Along with the city's famous theme parks, you'll also find other spots that cultivate their own sense of adventure and wonder.

San Jose's Nightlife and Entertainment - Improv Comedy, Upscale Pool Halls, and Sophisticated Bars

Most of the city's best nightlife can be found in downtown San Jose. Improvised comedy is a popular choice, with 2 venues offering different styles. Lively bars, lounges, and clubs are plentiful, and cater to eclectic musical tastes, from pop to new wave. Upscale billiards clubs provide a good time in a chilled-out atmosphere.

Family Friendly Fun in San Jose - Science Museums, Children's Theater and Fun in the Water

San Jose is a hot spot for exciting activities the whole family will love, from outdoor fun like paintball, to a planetarium and observatory for space enthusiasts, and Northern California's biggest water park. For fans of live performance, Children's Musical Theater San Jose is a wonderful choice for kids and adults alike, thanks to a talented team of youth performers who put together world-class productions.

San Jose's Arts and Culture - Modern Art, Exciting Museums, and Concerts

Known for its ties to technology, San Jose also takes pride in celebrating culture, history, and great works of art. The city hails local art in sophisticated galleries, where the public is welcome to view exhibits and converse with the artists themselves. Downtown is the place to check out live concerts and Broadway shows, and Winchester Mystery House is a historical landmark that's truly one-of-a-kind.

Come Out and Play the Coronado Way - Entertaining the Kids on the Island

Coronado’s compact space is loaded with intriguing kid-friendly activities that will keep your children engaged for hours - mostly outdoors in the sunshine. You can expect to see a lot of fun things built around the city’s ideal weather and sandy shoreline. And, of course, many of these activities are great for burning off a little extra energy.

From Happy Hours to Club Culture - Nightlife in Santa Monica

Santa Monica may sleep earlier than its Hollywood neighbor, but it still parties after sundown. Happy hours are found in nearly every corner of the city, from beachfront cafés and swanky wine bars, to neighborhood taverns and upscale lounges. Those with stamina can enjoy live music joints and dance clubs pumping into the wee hours.

Family Friendly Attractions in Santa Monica

Fun and seaside sun await families visiting Santa Monica, where soft sands meet calm ocean waters. But beyond the oceanfront lie activities for all ages, from playgrounds for tots to a theme park that satisfies both teens and parents. Educational entertainment is found at a kid-friendly aviation museum and at an aquarium, while shopping options aimed at adults also have attractions for little ones.

Santa Monica's Lively Arts and Culture Scene - Galleries, Theater, and International Film Festival

Although Santa Monica's reputation hinges on its 3.5-mile stretch of dazzling coastline, the city also offers plenty of interesting cultural diversions when you want to step away from the beach for a bit. Contemporary art has found a home in Santa Monica's myriad galleries, while both classic and experimental theater and film productions have cemented this city as a breeding ground for emerging talent.

Long Beach Nightlife - Wine, Beer, and Endless Entertainment

Long Beach has plenty of fun to offer by day, but that's just the beginning. When the sun goes down, the bar scene revs up. Or try something a little different: Join the lively crowd at a dueling piano show or experience some Spanish culture, then cap off your evening with a moonlit stroll by the waterfront.

Finding Family Fun in Long Beach, California

If you're traveling with kids to Long Beach, the beaches are probably the main attraction. But Long Beach is much more than sand and sun. The city offers plenty of activities that encourage kids to explore and learn, all while getting out that extra energy. From museums to harbor tours, family attractions in Long Beach are fun for everyone.

Long Beach, California - Arts and Culture in a Seaside City

While the Queen Mary, the aquarium, and the beaches might be on top of your must-do list, Long Beach also offers a wealth of cultural attractions worth exploring. So, why not step away from the beach for a bit and dip your toes into the city’s lively arts scene?

Where to Eat - Santa Cruz for Fresh Ingredients and Seaside Flavors

The Santa Cruz area grows both amazing ingredients - including premium wine grapes and juicy berries - and a perennial crop of talented foodsmiths. Across town, morning to night, you'll find these artisans hard at work to present the region's freshest produce, seafood, baked goods, and beverages with flair.

Theme Parks and Beyond - A Guide to Dining in Anaheim

Anaheim’s massive sprawl is home to an eclectic dining scene, ranging from fancy restaurants to casual family-friendly joints. The bulk of the city’s eateries can be found between Disneyland® Resort and its 2 sports stadiums. A similar range of dining choices can also be found in the neighborhoods of adjacent cities, like downtown Fullerton or downtown Brea.

Where to Eat in San Jose - Street Food Festivals, Delicious Vegetarian, and Fine Japanese Dining

The city embraces a plethora of world cuisines, so foodies will be delighted by what San Jose has in store, including excellent vegetarian options. Close ties with Japan mean there's plenty of fresh sushi, udon noodles, and teriyaki dishes. In Little Saigon, you'll find authentic Vietnamese banh ma sandwiches and rich pho soups. And it wouldn't be California without a great selection of Mexican food.

Seaside Eats and Treats - Where to Dine in Coronado

Coronado’s dining scene is an engaging mix of upscale and casual venues. The restaurants near either of its shores tend to provide diners with dramatic coastal views and an elegant yet approachable ambience. But you'll also find plenty of casual joints that are perfectly suited for a low-key nosh after a day on the beach.

Fresh, Local, and Artisan - Santa Monica's Eats and Treats

Santa Monica's seaside positioning plays a large part in its cuisine, and its beachy attitude inspires a health-minded philosophy. Fresh local fish and organic produce are popular menu items, while the famous Sunday Main Street Farmers Market is a tasty draw. It's not all kale and sprouts, however. There's a weekly gathering of food trucks serving up hearty American and Mexican favorites, along with European specialties.

Seafood and Beyond - What and Where to Eat in Long Beach

Long Beach has a diverse culture with Latin, Asian, and Caribbean populations, and they all influence its dining scene. Beyond all-American favorites like burgers and fries, you'll find inspired California cuisine, classic Cambodian dishes, and even Peruvian fare. Venture into the city's eclectic neighborhoods and experience a culinary adventure all your own.

Travel Tips for Experiencing the Best of Santa Cruz

Locals attest that Santa Cruz is enjoyable year-round, thanks to its mild Mediterranean climate and its prime location between the mountains and sea. A diverse population makes this city home, from well-heeled escapees from major metropolises to world-class surfers living out of their trucks above the surf breaks. Amid this creative, outdoorsy bunch, you'll enjoy ocean-fresh food, seaside fun, and lots of live music.

Know Before You Go - Travel Tips for a Magical Anaheim Vacation

The allure of Disneyland® transformed Anaheim from a sleepy farm community to an international destination. However, those who visit the city for its legendary amusement park will find even more worth exploring in the rest of Orange County. Famously dubbed “the OC,” the area is home to sparkling beaches, high-end shopping centers with exclusive stores, and international cuisines.

Insider Travel Tips for Lively and Progressive San Jose

Sunny and warm in both climate and culture, San Jose is the heart of exciting Silicon Valley. The city's status in the world of technology draws people from around the globe, which is reflected in its cultural diversity, including a large population of South Asian, Japanese, and Vietnamese residents. As such, it has plethora of restaurants serving delicious and authentic world cuisine.

Good to Know - Tips to Get the Most from Your Coronado Vacation

Coronado’s mix of pristine beachfront and sunny weather has been attracting vacationers for over a century. Many visitors combine a Coronado getaway with some time in San Diego, easily accessed via a short ferry ride or a drive across the soaring San Diego-Coronado Bridge. And while Coronado is just minutes from a major metropolis, its devotion to being on “island time” makes it feel much farther away.

Top Travel Tips For Navigating Santa Monica Like A Local

Developed as a seaside retreat in the early 20th century, Santa Monica has grown into one of America's most desirable destinations. Its warm, sunny weather, easygoing vibe, and beachside location draws a cross section of inhabitants from affluent professionals and families to surfers and students. The city is known for its constellation of activities like biking and surfing, as well as cultural outposts, upscale shops, and a respected film festival.

Long Beach Travel Tips - What to Know Before You Go

Long Beach sits on 5.5 miles of Pacific Ocean beachfront. Located 23 miles south of downtown Los Angeles, it's within relatively easy reach of the big city, but it still has the feel of a coastal California town. While the beach might be the main draw, it's just the beginning of what the city has to offer.

48 hours in San Francisco - fit the Bridge, the Bay and the burritos into one weekend

While the Bay Area region includes an enormous area of land and several cities, San Francisco itself is one of the most compact cities in America, making it perfect for a short visit, with plenty of scope to hop across the Bay to other places too. Here’s the best way to squeeze everything into 48 hours in the city.

Gay San Francisco Travel Guide

San Francisco’s historic Castro neighbourhood was hotbed to much of America’s gay rights movement in the 1970s Harvey Milk era, and remains one of the world’s most iconic gay villages. Today, The Castro hosts a plethora of gay bars and clubs, restaurants, the GLBT History Museum, the historic Castro Theatre, and a plethora of cultural activities.

48 hours in Los Angeles - see the stars, the sign and the studios in just one weekend

Los Angeles is enormous. It isn’t really a city so much as several cities stuck together. This means that without careful planning, you can spend most of your time driving from place to place. Follow this itinerary to avoid that, and see the best parts of the city in a weekend.

Where to Stay in Monterey – a neighborhood guide

Monterey is a delightfully compact city, and extremely easy to navigate by foot. With a wealth of centrally-located hotels to choose from, you’re guaranteed a hassle-free, rejuvenating stay, wherever you decide to bed down. Culture vultures won't be able to resist the allure of the historic center, while honeymooners will be seduced by the romantic tranquility of Monterey Bay. Families meanwhile, will be delighted by the exuberance and energy of fun-filled Cannery Row.

Monterey Shopping Guide – where and what to shop and buy

Yes, there's the whale watching and gorgeously craggy shoreline, but Monterey isn't just about sightseeing. Shopping is also an essential component of any visit. With its long-standing reputation as a haven for artists, Monterey County is packed to bursting with galleries and art shops, while Downtown Monterey offers an eclectic range of independent establishments, from eccentric gift shops to treasure-packed antique centers. Of course, high street names can be found here too.

What to See and Do in Monterey – a guide to notable landmarks and attractions

The stunning, historical coastal city of Monterey is one of California’s most vibrant getaways. With a spectacularly rugged coastline, an array of glistening sandy beaches, a thriving arts scene, and an abundance of first-rate restaurants and shopping experiences, you’ll be enthralled. Take a surfing lesson, play a round of golf on a pristine course, or sample prize-winning local wines in sumptuous surroundings – it's all part of the appeal.

Where to Stay in Palm Springs – a neighborhood guide

Palm Springs has several picturesque neighborhoods, from upmarket areas with designer boutiques and fine dining, to family-friendly residential areas with local charm and kid-friendly attractions. Surrounded by mountains, Palm Springs has spectacular views wherever you decide to stay, and you can choose from central locations with small town charm, or rural retreats with golf courses and hiking trails nearby. It’s no wonder it's been a favorite holiday destination since Hollywood's golden age.

Palm Springs Shopping Guide – where and what to shop and buy

Shopping is a serious business in Palm Springs, with a huge variety of modern malls, boutique-laden streets, and outdoor plazas in a relatively small area. The upmarket reputation that the city has gained over the years means that you'll find lots of world class designers, and there's also a tendency to embrace up and coming talent, with lots of local artists creating their own brands.

What to See and Do in Palm Springs – a guide to notable attractions and landmarks

Droves of visitors come to Palm Springs for its natural beauty and outdoor attractions from mountains to canyons. It's also a major destination for golf, with several lush green courses to choose from, with world-class facilities. The town also has a rich history, from being a time-honored spot for recuperation, to a place for the stars of Hollywood to relax, and you'll find many historic homes and buildings to explore.

A Palm Springs City Guide – canyons, culture, and leisurely breaks in a favorite getaway spot

Palm Spring has long been an escape for the rich and famous thanks to its sleek resorts, as well as exclusive leisure facilities such as world-class golf clubs. The town's location in the Coachella Valley means it's ideal for hiking, with plenty of rocky terrain to explore, and there's a charming Downtown area which offers an exciting array of events throughout the year. Students, families, and retirees alike will relish this time-honored American holiday spot.

Where to Stay in Santa Barbara – a neighborhood guide

The sunny city of Santa Barbara has a Spanish influence – think white buildings with colorful ceramic tiles and red roofs – and the Mediterranean vibe extends to the celebrated sandy beaches. As you'd expect from such a popular location, Santa Barbara offers a wide choice of hotels for visitors, whether you are seeking a chic city break or will be spending most of your time by the coast, and there's accommodation to suit all budgets.

Santa Barbara Shopping Guide – where and what to shop and buy

Shopping enthusiasts will be in paradise when visiting Santa Barbara, and whether you're a lover of high end designer labels, or prefer to browse bohemian boutiques for that unique find, all sorts of styles are catered for in this diverse city. The natural beauty of the area, coupled with the warm temperature, means that outdoor shopping is generally favored over giant malls, so take your time and enjoy the serene atmosphere Santa Barbara offers.

What to See and Do in Santa Barbara – a guide to notable attractions and landmarks

Santa Barbara has a wealth of attractions – just ambling around enjoying the Mediterranean architecture is enjoyable in itself, and there are also stimulating museums of art and science. The city is also a popular family vacation spot, and there's plenty of outdoor space for kids to run around in the sunshine. Whether it's a stroll down one of the scenic roads, or a drive in the open countryside, there's always something to keep you engrossed.

A Santa Barbara City Guide – perfect white beaches, artistic attractions, and a touch of Mediterranean flair

Set on a long, sandy stretch of beach, with palm trees and clear seas, Santa Barbara is a vacation paradise that attracts surfers, sun seekers, and wine lovers. Often nicknamed the American Riviera, the city has a distinctly European atmosphere, with a busy cultural calendar and red-roofed Spanish-style architecture. There's even a warm Mediterranean climate that makes it ideal for growing grapes, and a rolling landscape of lush green valleys full of wineries.

San Francisco Shopping Guide - where and what to shop and buy

Whatever your shopping desires, San Francisco has it covered. With its range of vast, glitzy malls - containing some of the flashiest designer names - there’s enough to keep even the most persistent shopper satisfied. But San Francisco’s retail scene really comes alive in its sprawling streets. Pop-up vintage clothing boutiques, old school record stores, and warehouse-sized bookshops are speckled throughout the city, providing abundant opportunities to splurge.

A San Francisco City Guide - cool culture, hip hangouts, and iconic attractions in bustling bohemian metropolis

San Francisco resonates with a cool, quirky, and vibrant culture. From the Latin-influenced eateries and weird stores of the historic Mission area, to the ultra-trendy Haight and affluent paradise of Pacific Heights, there’s an area suited for everyone. Visit the museums and art galleries in the centre, and stop by the iconic Golden Gate Bridge for spectacular views across the glistening bay waters. Meanwhile, the city's green spaces are perfect for chilling out in.

Where to Eat in Monterey – a food and dining guide

With its enviable coastal location, year-round growing season, abundance of sea life, and world-renowned vineyards, Monterey is a veritable paradise for lovers of food and drink. As you might expect, local seafood features prominently on many menus – indulge in buttery lobster rolls, steaming clam chowder, or freshly shucked oysters. There’s also an abundance of markets, wineries, and craft breweries, ensuring that delicious taste sensations lurk around every corner.

Where to Eat in Palm Springs – a food and dining guide

Palm Springs is full of gastronomic delights, and its reputation as an upmarket vacation spot means that you'll be treated to a wide variety of dining destinations. There are raucous party hang outs with cocktails and live entertainment, and steakhouses with beef raised in the surrounding areas. However, there are also many casual places to eat, from bakeries and stylish cafés to fast food and laid back American dining.

Where to Eat in Santa Barbara – a food and dining guide

Its position close to the sea, and enviably proximity to fields and groves of fruit and vegetables, means that Santa Barbara's restaurants are obsessed with fresh ingredients. The exclusive location means that you'll find plenty of fine dining hotspots where a celebrity sighting is an everyday occurrence. However, there are also plenty of casual and cozy restaurants where you can enjoy good food for comfortably small price tags.

Where to Eat in San Francisco – a food and dining guide

It almost goes without saying that San Francisco’s diverse neighborhoods have created a melting pot of gastronomic wonders. They range from strong Latin influences to rustic Neapolitan cooking, and everything in between. With a strong focus on locally produced organic fruits and vegetables, there’s plenty of good eats for the eco-savvy vegetarian. But San Francisco isn’t afraid to cook old school, and there’s plenty of classic American diners to enjoy.

Where to stay in Los Angeles – a neighborhood guide

Like the city’s restaurants, shops and inhabitants, places to stay in Los Angeles are far from predictable and certainly not uniform. Whether you are looking for all out glamour and sophistication, panoramic beach views, a locally-run bed and breakfast or a lively family resort, L.A. can deliver. With attractions spread all over this buzzing city it’s worth considering what you want to be closest to before making your decision, especially if you don’t have access to a car.

Los Angeles shopping guide – where to go and what to buy

Los Angeles truly is a shopper’s paradise – absolutely stuffed with flashy malls, retail boulevards and quirky independent stores. International fashion takes the upper hand here, from the most outrageous designs to sleek modern elegance. The legendary Rodeo Drive, portrayed in so many movies, is the obvious shopper’s magnet – but if you venture beach-ward you’ll also find more affordable shopping havens, in the hipster hangout of Abbot Kinney or Long Beach’s Retro Row.

Where to eat in Los Angeles – a food and dining guide

The ‘City of Angels’ is renowned for its multicultural flavors and Californian spin on the classics. With a penchant for embracing ethnic dishes and traditional American classics you can go from sushi to Thai green curry and Peking duck to southern fried chicken in the blink of an eye. Health food fanatics will also be in their element as organic farm produce is easy to come by and specialist diets are catered for with ease.

What to see and do in Los Angeles – a guide to notable attractions and activities

A stay in L.A. will never be dull. Whether you crave the bright lights of Hollywood, the great outdoors of Pasadena, the designer boutiques of Rodeo Drive or the sandy expanses of Santa Monica and Venice Beach, you’ll find the L.A. magic scattered wherever you look. Getting around is easier if you hire a car; with a set of wheels you can explore beyond the well-trodden tourist trail and get under the skin of this sunshine city.

A city guide to Los Angeles – bright lights, beaches, sunshine and stars

Los Angeles is truly a global city that has become famous the world over for its bright lights, big names and a mixing pot of hopes and dreams. Aside from the allure of Hollywood and its thriving film and music industry, Los Angeles is also a mecca for shoppers, foodies, beach-lovers and fitness fans.

An Alcatraz travel guide – the picturesque island with a dark past

Whether you’re an amateur sleuth or a wildlife watcher, everyone will get a kick out of an Alcatraz holiday. A 15-minute boat ride from a range of hotels near Alcatraz, the intimidating prison island hides tales of life behind bars, and is home to rare birds and flowers.

Top 10 wine regions in the world

Whether you are wine tasting in a rural vineyard or grand wine cellars, you’ll know where to book your next hotel with this guide to the top 10 wine regions in the world.

Top 10 family things to do in San Diego

Book a San Diego hotel for a vacation and see killer whales, miniature trains and endangered species. Flying kites or just relaxing on a cruise around the harbor is a fun way to enjoy a vacation with your family in San Diego.

Top 10 active things to do in San Diego

With beaches, mountains and canyons surrounding it, San Diego is an ideal destination for visitors looking for an active vacation. Get outside of your San Diego hotel and let the ocean wind tousle your hair as you surf, sail or bike in the warm California sun.

How to take better holiday photos

Whether you’re away for a family beach holiday or a long-haul trek around the world, make sure you have great memories of your trip with our tips on how to take better holiday photos.

Top 10 culinary things to do in California Wine Country

Whether it’s sampling hearty cabernet sauvignons in Napa Valley tasting rooms or shopping for fresh peaches at farmers markets, there’s plenty to please food-lovers in Wine Country. Book a California Wine Country hotel and follow this guide to the top 10 culinary things to do in California Wine Country.

Summer vacations in San Diego

On a summer vacation in San Diego enjoy a burrito by the beach, the excitement of a baseball game or a taxi ride on the water. Book a summer hotel in San Diego and get ready to learn all about surfers, livestock and wild animals.

Spring vacations in San Francisco

On a spring vacation in San Francisco, you'll enjoy mild weather, jazz, art and festive celebrations. Parks and streets will be bustling with locals and visitors enjoying seasonal events. Reserve a spring hotel in San Francisco to enjoy the city by the bay.

Top 10 drives in the world

Whether it’s to be a dizzying Alpine pass or an epic Pacific road trip, this guide to the top 10 drives in the world will help you choose the right hotel.

Top 10 romantic things to do in San Francisco

One of the most romantic cities in the world, a San Francisco hotel is the ideal place to stay for a couple’s retreat. Create lasting memories with sunset cruises, romantic strolls or an evening cocktail surrounded by a gorgeous city.

Fall vacations in San Francisco

On a fall vacation in San Francisco, you’ll enjoy sunny days, mild nights, colorful festivals and seasonal music. The markets and restaurants are brimming with harvest goodies from the Central Valley. Book a fall hotel in San Francisco and enjoy the best weather the Bay Area has all year.

Top 10 hotels in San Francisco

Family-friendly digs and cute boutiques, places for serious business or luxurious spas – get the most out of your trip with this guide to the top 10 hotels in San Francisco.

Top 10 free things to do in Los Angeles

Concerts, movies, sights and shopping, reserve a Los Angeles hotel and you can see it all. And if you know where to look, you can get all that and more for free.

An Alcatraz travel guide – the picturesque island with a dark past

Whether you’re an amateur sleuth or a wildlife watcher, everyone will get a kick out of an Alcatraz holiday. A 15-minute boat ride from a range of hotels near Alcatraz, the intimidating prison island hides tales of life behind bars, and is home to rare birds and flowers.

Where to stay in San Francisco - a travel guide to San Francisco's neighborhoods

Choosing where to stay is key to getting your San Francisco vacation off to a good start. Use this guide to help you decide the best neighborhood for choosing your San Francisco hotel.

Summer vacations in Los Angeles

Summer vacations in Los Angeles are all about blue skies, expansive beaches, garden walks and outdoor concerts. Book a summer hotel in Los Angeles and enjoy the warm weather and leisurely pace of southern California.

A San Diego travel guide – sunny days, wild animals and plenty of surf and sand

The hardest part of a San Diego city break is deciding what to do. This Southern California beach town is well known for its expansive beaches and laid-back surf culture, but there's plenty more to do off the sand. Book a San Diego Hotel and enjoy the culture and flavors of this border city.

Where to stay in San Diego – a travel guide to San Diego's neighborhoods

A San Diego vacation can be relaxing or very invigorating, depending on where you stay. This guide should help you choose the San Diego hotel right for you.

Short getaways in San Francisco – two days of shopping, culture and delicious eats

A short getaway in San Francisco is just enough to whet your appetite. Use this itinerary as a starting point to explore the best of the city with a few nights in a San Francisco hotel.

Short breaks in San Diego – a bit of art, animals, history and a lot of ocean

A short getaway in San Diego is just enough to get your toes wet. Our itinerary should help you get the most from just a few nights in a San Diego hotel.

Where to stay in Los Angeles - a travel guide to Los Angeles's neighborhoods

Find the Los Angeles hotel that’s right for you in one of Los Angeles’ varied neighborhoods. Use this guide to choose where to stay on your Los Angeles city break.

A California Wine Country travel guide – winery visits and home-grown cuisine

Take a vacation in California Wine Country and enjoy personalized wine tastings, dinners of farm-fresh, local produce and scenic drives through the lush, green landscape. Book a hotel in California Wine Country and indulge all of your senses.

A Monterey Bay travel guide – maritime culture, picturesque towns and a bounty of seafood

Whether spotting whales off the coast, hiking through lush canyons or indulging in a seafood medley, a unique experience unfolds on a Monterey Bay vacation. Book a Monterey Bay hotel and discover its intoxicating treasures.

A California travel guide – ski, surf, beaches and mountains in the Golden State

Get behind the wheel and cruise from glamorous LA to laid-back San Francisco with the sparkling Pacific coastline at your shoulder. Or spend a California vacation exploring dramatic deserts and ancient forests.

An Anaheim travel guide – Disneyland, the Old West and nightly fireworks

An Anaheim vacation lets you explore the amusements and rides at Disneyland, California Adventure and Knott's Berry Farm. Book an Anaheim hotel and visit the home of Mickey Mouse.

Top 10 hotels in Los Angeles

Choose a beachside retreat, a romantic suite under the city lights, or a designer boutique from this guide to the top 10 hotels in Los Angeles.

Top 10 journeys in San Francisco

From cable car rides to boat trips to an abandoned prison, book a San Francisco hotel and see the city in a new light on one of these top 10 San Francisco journeys.

Top 10 TV and movie moments in Los Angeles

Spot celebrities and tour movie studios in the entertainment capital of the world. Shop, dine and relax in a Los Angeles hotel with an insider view of Hollywood.

Short getaways in Los Angeles – beaches, boutiques, art and architecture

It’s impossible to see everything on a short getaway in Los Angeles, but you can squeeze in some fantastic experiences with a few nights in a Los Angeles hotel. Here’s an itinerary to help.

A Los Angeles travel guide – Hollywood, beaches and 330 days of sunshine

A Los Angeles vacation is a chance to get away from it all. Book a Los Angeles hotel and explore miles of beaches, rub elbows with celebrities, and sample global cuisines.

Palm Springs Travel Tips

Set in the picturesque Coachella Valley, Palm Springs has long been a hideaway for the rich and famous, with spectacular mountain views and sunshine all year round. It’s known as a party spot, but it’s also rich in arts and culture, with festivals and events hosted throughout the area. And you can really make the most of the epic landscape thanks to the biking and hiking trails on offer.

Los Angeles Travel Tips

The City of Angels is heaven on earth for shoppers, celeb spotters, and big dreamers, so grab some shades and strut your stuff under the Californian sun. Whether you want to surf the crests of crashing waves, lie back on golden beaches, or splash the cash along the city’s glittering shopping streets, Los Angeles is a city that ceaselessly excites. And don’t be fooled by the reputation for superficiality - if you want to dig a little deeper, you’ll find a city that’s alive with culture and creativity.

Nightlife & Entertainment in Palm Springs

Once the sun goes down over the desert, Palm Springs comes to life, with the majority of nightlife venues being casual and laid back. Expect beer and dancing rather than pretentious celebrity joints, although there are some more upmarket venues for special, sleek occasions.

Family Friendly Attractions in Palm Springs

Thanks to the year-round Californian sunshine and laid back atmosphere, Palm Springs is an ideal holiday spot for the whole clan. There's plenty of open desert space that's ideal for hiking and exploration, and a variety of attractions designed for younger visitors. If the sunshine gets too much, head for calm, indoor spaces such as museums and galleries which often run events or tours suitable for their youngest guests.

Arts and Culture in Palm Springs

Palm Springs isn’t just about the nightlife, the partying, and high-end lifestyle. The natural beauty of the desert landscape has long inspired artists and writers who have taken up residence here, and there’s a thriving creative scene which anyone hungry for a bit of culture can sink their teeth into.

Nightlife & Entertainment in Los Angeles

Get set for a party with the Hollywood elite, as you dive into Los Angeles’s legendary nightlife. Whether you’re heading out for a glitzy mega-club in a stretch limousine, or hanging out in a lively bar offering endless rows of craft beers and Californian wines, LA’s nightlife is sure to leave you seeing stars.

Family Friendly Attractions in Los Angeles

Blast off for an interstellar adventure, throw your hands in the air on some of the world’s most fearsome roller coasters, and touch perfectly preserved fossils – you can do it all on the ultimate family vacation in Los Angeles. With top class entertainment, sunny beaches, and family-friendly food, LA will bring out the big kid in anyone.

Arts and Culture in Los Angeles

Home to the Hollywood dream factory, and with one out of every six of its residents working in the creative industries, it's hardly a surprise that Los Angeles is a city that drips with culture. Get inspired for yourself by visiting the city’s history-steeped theaters, museums, and music venues.

A San Francisco Pride travel guide - a colorful parade and flamboyant parties.

Take to the streets and wave rainbow flags in support of the Bay Area’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. The San Francisco Pride is a two-day celebration showcasing a parade and festival with live music, vendors and parties. Hotels in San Francisco during Pride go quickly, so book in advance.

Search for California hotels