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Which are the best holiday destinations in California?

California has it all – it is home to some of America’s best beaches, the glitz and glamour of Los Angeles, San Francisco’s wonderful character, San Diego’s incredible diversity, and the tech capital of the world, San Jose.

Yet venture away from these iconic cities and you’ll soon discover so much more. The backdrop, along with the climate, can dramatically change depending on which direction you drive. Chic coastal areas like Carmel are hard to resist, while vast deserts cover the landscape out to Palm Springs and beyond. As towering pines rise above Yosemite National Park, lush vineyards spread across the Napa Valley and Sierra Nevada’s snow-capped mountains provide the perfect setting for skiing in the Lake Tahoe region. Our destinations in California provide great places to start your journey.

The touring possibilities are endless

Our favourite Santa Monica beach hotels

Hotel Shangri-La

A landmark Art Deco hotel with brilliant ocean or city views, relax in the Jacuzzi or with a cocktail in the Penthouse Lounge. A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, the hotels location makes i ...

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Star rating 5 out of 5

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TripAdvisor rating 4.0 out of 5

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Our top things to do in California

Get the most out of your holiday and book your tickets in advance.

The VIP Experience at Universal Studios Hollywood
The VIP Experience at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Be treated like a movie star with the VIP Experience. Enjoy an extensive guided tour of Universal Studios Hollywood℠ and its motion picture studio. Your VIP guide will take you via exclusive VIP entrances, giving you access to areas of the studio that the general public never sees. You’ll be escorted to the park's most popular rides and attractions, where you’ll then enjoy time to explore the vast park on your own. Skip the queues at every attraction, get the best seats in the house for every show and enjoy a delicious gourmet lunch.

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Popular multi-centre holidays in California

Tour California’s sun-drenched coast and vibrant cities on a multi-centre holiday.

San Diego – Palm Springs – Los Angeles – San Francisco
San Diego – Palm Springs – Los Angeles – San Francisco.

San Diego offers the perfect blend of year-round sunshine, fabulous beaches and fantastic family attractions. Hire a car and drive out to the vibrant city of Palm Springs, before heading across to Los Angeles. While in LA, relax on the coast’s pristine sands or enjoy the multitude of water sports on offer. Spend a magical day out at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim or tour the homes of the stars in Beverly Hills. Continue to hilly San Francisco and see the basking sea lions at lively Pier 39.

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Why choose a British Airways vacation?

Plan and book your holiday with British Airways, online or by phone. Enjoy all these great benefits:

  • Combine and save - book your flight + hotel or flight + car rental together for the best deals
  • Choose from a wide range of hotels
  • 24-hour support helpline
  • Earn bonus Avios
  • Flexible payment