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More than just a state, California has become synonymous with a sound, style and lifestyle all of its own. Its unique attributes make it the most visited state in the USA. And while the California clichés of sunny weather, golden beaches, palm trees and friendly locals ring true, there's so much more to the state than its Hollywood depictions. Yes, there are the beaches – Santa Monica, Newport and Malibu to name a few – but there are also deserts, notably Death Valley – the lowest, driest and hottest area in North America. You’ll also find snow-capped mountains in the Sierra Nevada, rolling wine regions in the north and giant sequoia trees in Yosemite National Park. And then there are the cities – the glamorous home of Hollywood in Los Angeles and the bohemian home of innovation in San Francisco. To experience it all, hire a car and hit the road; a California holiday is also the perfect place to begin that all-American road trip.

Popular Tailor-made California Holidays

From the palm-tree lined beaches of Los Angeles to the bohemian neighbourhoods of San Francisco and the magnificent greenery of Yosemite National Park, a holiday in California can encompass a fantastic range of locations and things to do. To ensure you experience the best of them, we’ve created a range of California holidays which include everything from flights to hand-picked hotels, car hire, day tours and experiences. Choose from our recommended itineraries or talk to one of our Experts about tailor making your own.

Where to Go in California

Stretching from the border of Mexico and 900 miles along the coast line north to Oregon, California promises everything from iconic cities to golden beaches, sprawling national parks and tranquil deserts within its remit. It’s even home to the happiest place on earth: Disneyland, Los Angeles! For an ideal California holiday, we recommend beginning in San Francisco or Los Angeles where you can hire a car and drive along the picturesque coastline before heading inland to Napa Valley, Yosemite National Park, Death Valley, Palm Springs or Lake Tahoe.

California Holiday Types

If there was one USA state made for a driving holiday, it would be California. Famous drives such as Route 66 and Highway 1 are located within the state, while the Big Sur is considered to be one of the best road trips in the country. In addition to fly-drive holidays, our Experts have also created itineraries to suit a range of interests.

California Holiday Ideas and Advice 

A Guide to Exploring San Diego, California

A Guide to Exploring San Diego, California

Known as the birthplace of California, San Diego may not be the Golden State’s most famous tourist destination, but it still...
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How to Spend a Long Weekend in Santa Monica

How to Spend a Long Weekend in Santa Monica

In a city famed for its beaches, pier, markets and art-filled streets, resident Evan Meyer – founder of the Beautify Earth...
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Things to Do in Los Angeles

Things to Do in Los Angeles

Movie famous, home to the Hollywood sign and just a stone’s throw from the iconic Santa Monica Pier, it’s easy to conjure up a...
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Exploring the Hidden Mountain Towns of Southern California

Exploring the Hidden Mountain Towns of Southern California

This summer I set off on the adventure of a lifetime, and spent three months hiking through the high desert and mountains of...
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More About California

Currency: US Dollar

Language: English

Vaccinations: Extra vaccinations are not required.

Getting there

Flight time: London to San Francisco, San Jose or Oakland flight time is 11 hours. London to San Diego or Los Angeles flight time is 11 hours 15 minutes.

Main Airports: Los Angeles International Airport, also known as LAX, and San Francisco International Airport.
Visas: British Citizens require an ESTA, which you can apply for online.

Top 3 Things to Do in California

  • Do an audio tour of Alcatraz Island in San Francisco
  • Visit Disneyland in Los Angeles
  • Go for a hike in Yosemite National Park

When to Go to California

California isn’t called the Golden State for nothing: this western USA destination is renowned for its accessibility and great year-round warm weather. But that’s not all, snow-seekers are at home here too, thanks to some of the best ski and snowboarding slopes in the country. When to go all comes down to what you want to see and do on your California holiday. For seasonal recommendations, check out our when to go to California guide.  

Why Book Your California Holiday with Flight Centre

We know California: The Golden State is one of our most popular USA holiday destinations. Our California holidays have been created by Experts who know the state and have visited multiple times. 

Local knowledge: Flight Centre has stores and offices throughout the USA, including California, giving us access to fantastic local knowledge. With a team on the ground in the US, we’ll not only ensure you have a fantastic experience, but also offer you insider information and tips that only locals will know.

Flexibility: We offer flexible deposits, the opportunity to pay the balance of your holiday just 10 weeks before departure and fixed change and cancellation fees.

Travel Butler and 24/7 Emergency Assistance Service: When you book a holiday to the USA from our range of tailor-made Journeys, you’ll also enjoy access to our inclusive Travel Butler concierge and 24/7 Emergency Assistance services.


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Why book with Flight Centre?

  • Widest choice of airfares in the UK
  • Save time and speak to a Travel Expert
  • Great value for money
  • ABTA and ATOL certified