Plan your break in this coastal beauty of a state with the TravelSupermarket guide to California holidays…
Surf dudes, movie stars, tech billionaires… forget everything you think you know about California and its people and prepare to fall in love with one of the most engaging, gorgeous, diverse and sun-drenched states of America.
California is located on the southwest coast of the USA, where the unforgiving mountains of the Old Wild West give way to glorious beaches and the warm waves of the Pacific Ocean.
There are countless reasons to visit. The sights, sounds and celebrities of busy Los Angeles, the almighty peaks of Yosemite National Park, the sizzling Spanish flavours of laidback San Diego, the scorched land of Death Valley… You can also take a break in Monterey, where rugged coastal adventures introduce visitors to Steinbeck Country, or savour a stay among the vines of Wine Country in Northern California. Go Danish in Solvang. Get romantic in Santa Barbara. Be pampered in Palm Springs. Phew! If you are in the market for an exciting holiday, California might just be the dream ticket.
From the hot party scene of San Francisco to the ice-cold slopes around Lake Tahoe, California has the ability to bewitch almost every kind of holidaymaker. Couples, families or groups of friends of all ages - if you can’t find a holiday experience to make you smile in California, you are not looking hard enough.
Take the hassle out of booking your ideal California holiday by using the search tool on TravelSupermarket. We compare a range of fantastic package deals so that you can simply browse and book. When you’ve secured your low-cost holiday, use our price-comparison knowhow to find cheap rates on a range of travel extras, including car hire in California – a must if you hope to see the best bits of the sensational Golden State.
Find out what the weather might be doing during your stay with our brief climate guide to California…
California is a large state where climate conditions vary greatly from coast to mountain and from south to north.
In Los Angeles, areas such as Hollywood, Santa Monica and Venice Beach bask in sunshine for much of the year, with average daytime lows of 20C in winter and highs of 30C in July and August.
San Francisco is much cooler than this, with highs that hover around 20C in summer and temperatures in the low teens during winter. The famed fog of the San Francisco Bay Area can suddenly sweep in on a warm day and send the mercury plummeting, so it’s wise to carry an extra layer of clothing during holidays in San Francisco.
Winter snow can force the closure of Californian mountain passes, so plan road trips carefully if you plan to veer away from the coast during the coldest months.
Cheap holidays to California are available throughout the year thanks to the diverse holiday experiences on offer. From a sun-soaked break in San Diego in June, to a trip to the slopes of ski resort Heavenly in January, use TravelSupermarket to find your bargain holiday.
California knows how to party - and you are invited to join in at any of these annual events…
Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival; April: Just Coachella to its friends, this much loved music event runs for three days and nights in Indio, about 30 minutes by road from Palm Springs and on the edge of the Joshua Tree National Park. Expect performances from the greats of the music biz.
San Francisco Pride Parade; June: You’ve visited Alcatraz, photographed the Golden Gate Bridge and seen the sea lions on Pier 39, so stake your place along the parade route of this famed lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender event to see a rainbow-themed party on the city streets. There is live music on the main stage when the parades end.
Independence Day; July 4: Be anywhere in California on “July Fourth” to help the locals celebrate gaining independence from Great Britain. Your accent won’t be held against you on this day devoted to making friends, playing sports, barbecuing, dancing at concerts and watching fireworks. San Francisco and San Diego are among the best places to see major displays of pyrotechnic wizardry after night falls.
There is no end to the ways in which you can have a great time in California. Here are just a few ideas to get you started…
Kids and teens: There are theme parks galore in Southern California. You’ve got the original dose of Disney magic in Anaheim’s Disneyland, plus Universal Studios Hollywood, Knott’s Berry Farm and Six Flags Magic Mountain around Los Angeles, while San Diego is home to SeaWorld, Legoland and historic Belmont Park.
Grown-up families: California feels like it was made for road trips. Highway One, or the Pacific Coast Highway, ranks up there among the world’s best drives. From the dramatic ocean vistas and elephant seals of Big Sur to the surf hangouts of San Diego, this is one thrilling ride.
Active types: Sunny beaches might spring to mind when you think of holidays in California, but the state also does a roaring trade in ski holidays. Resorts around Lake Tahoe, such as Heavenly and Mammoth Mountain, are perfect places to get the adrenaline flowing when the snow arrives.