California for Grown-up Travellers


Photo credit: KateMonkey via photopin cc

The US state of California is famous the world over. Whether it’s Hollywood films, the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, the Baywatch beaches of Malibu or Yosemite National Park, California is home to some famous names. It is a big state with plenty to explore for nature lovers, culture buffs, wine tasters, beach bums and city slickers. For all types of Californian adventure, this super-state has got it covered. It’s not just kids that get a great deal in California, it’s a place for grown ups too with a winning combination of sophistication and good old fashioned fun. Here are some ideas to whet the appetite…

Napa Valley

Definitely one for the grown ups, a tour around the wineries of the scenic Napa Valley is highly recommended. With over 400 wineries in the region, there’s a lot to go at. With fine wines there must be good food, and many upscale restaurants in the area offer quality gastronomic menus. For re-charging the batteries the mud baths and spa at Calistoga are famous. Alternatively, work up a thirst for some more wine tasting with cycling or golf at one of the valley’s ten courses.

The big cities

We’ve seen the steep, winding streets of San Francisco on movie screens for years. This beautiful city on the Pacific Ocean has a liberal, laid-back reputation and a rich cultural seam running through it. For art, architecture and music San Francisco scores highly. Famous attractions include Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge and the largest Chinatown in America.

Los Angeles is an enormous city famous for Hollywood, Griffith Park and the Getty Center. It’s possible to spend weeks seeing it all, but focus on the best bits such as Sunset Boulevard, the Museum of Contemporary Art and wild and wacky Venice Beach

Knott’s Berry Farm

Not far from the city of Los Angeles, Knott’s Berry Farm charms with a combination of nerve tingling roller-coaster rides and white-knuckle amusements. Alongside live entertainment shows and more sedate attractions like stagecoaches and steam trains, this well run, popular park is a top California attraction. With famously delicious fried chicken served daily and a popular market place for retail enjoyment, this amusement park appeals to all ages from one to a hundred.

The great outdoors

Escaping the cities and heading for the great outdoors is easy in California. At beautiful Lake Tahoe there are water sports in summer and snow sports in winter. Yosemite National Park in central eastern California is loved for its majestic waterfalls, granite cliffs and giant sequoias. The unique landscape of Death Valley in the Mojave Desert is not to be missed and for the ultimate contrast visit the Redwood National Park with its towering arboreal specimens

Palm Springs

This California town was famously adored by the Hollywood rat pack and today golf courses and casinos are on hand to keep visitors busy. Located far out in the desert, this hot dry place has a sedate feel that keeps visitors coming back. Be sure to check out the Aerial Tramway, hike the Indian Canyons and view the exhibits at Palm Springs Art Museum.

California isn’t just a kid’s paradise. Why not pack the suitcase and get over here for some good old-fashioned, grown up fun?

Andy Higgs
Andy Higgs

I know what it's like to go from being a crazy backpacker without a care in the world, via being a vaguely sensible parent to being an adventurer once more. In other words, evolving into a Grown-up Traveller.

Like everyone else, I love to travel, have visited a lot of countries and all that but my big thing is Africa.

I also own and run The Grown-up Travel Company as a travel designer creating personalised African itineraries for experienced adventurers

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