Around California

Away from California’s two most iconic cities, there are a number of other gems just waiting to be explored. The wonderful southern California city of San Diego and desert oasis Palm Springs are both within two hours drive of Los Angeles, making them a great addition to a multi-centre holiday.

Dotted along the scenic Californian coastline, the beautiful seaside towns of Santa BarbaraMonterey and Santa Cruz provide a welcome haven for holidaymakers. With soft white sand beaches and a laidback vibe throughout, these towns offer the perfect backdrop for a relaxing beach getaway.

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Discover California

On California’s south coast, beautiful San Diego is a lively, modern city that boasts over 70 miles of pristine beaches, beautiful parks and world class attractions.  Two hours inland from San Diego, the fabulous sun drenched town of Palm Springs is an oasis bordered by the Colorado Desert. This laidback town is home to stylish resorts, fine restaurants, high-end shops and plenty of outdoor activities including some of the best golf courses in the US.

To the North of Los Angeles along scenic Highway 1, Santa Barbara is a laidback surf town boasting beautiful beaches and Spanish inspired architecture.  Further up the coast, California’s original capital, Monterey is known as the sardine capital of the western hemisphere. The city’s old sardine factories have now been converted in to boutique shops and wonderful restaurants that offer sumptuous seafood.

One hour south of San Francisco, Santa Cruz is the quintessential California beach town. Home to 29 miles of white sand beaches, this picturesque town provides a haven for watersports enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers.

Things to do in California

  • Wander the the lively Gaslamp Quarter in Downtown San Diego
  • Visit popular Balboa Park, home to the famous San Diego Zoo
  • Play golf at one of Palm Springs’ award-winning courses
  • Wander the high-end boutiques in Palm Springs
  • Try the seafood at Monterey’s wonderful restaurants
  • Enjoy Santa Barbara’s Spanish inspired architecture
  • Relax on the miles and miles of beautiful Californian beaches

Getting There

By Road – Los Angeles to San Diego 120 miles; San Diego to Palm Springs 134 miles; Los Angeles to Santa Barbara 95 miles;  Santa Barbara to Monterey 235 miles; Monterey to Santa Cruz 44 miles; Santa Cruz to San Francisco 73 miles.

By Air – Direct flights to Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco from the UK and most major cities.

Getting Around

As with most American states, travelling around California is best done by hiring a car, hitting the open road and driving yourself between the cities. For those who don’t wish to drive, there are regular buses and flights between the major cities. In the major gateway cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego, you will find plenty of convenient public transport options in the form of buses, trains and taxis.

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