The lowdown: Just 65 kilometres south of big city Los Angeles, surf-obsessed Huntington Beach is the place in California to catch waves (its nickname is ‘Surf City USA’). Every summer, the US Open of Surfing competition brings pro surfers and hundreds of thousands of spectators to Huntington for nine days of sun, sea, sand… and world-class shredding.
Stay at: You can’t beat staying on the beachfront at Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa.
Fly to: Los Angeles
Because of its exceptional beauty, they call autumn the ‘Golden Season’ at Yosemite National Park, when the flaming colours of autumn trees burn across Yosemite Valley.
The lowdown: Move over Napa, neighbouring county Sonoma is winning over wine lovers with its laid-back, hipster vibe. Plus, one of California’s hottest restaurants, Single Thread recently opened, helmed by a chef who previously worked at Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck. Explore all Sonoma’s farms and vineyards have to offer at the annual Sonoma Wine Country Weekend, held over the last gasp of summer (Labor Day).
Stay at: Healdsburg is the centre of Sonoma cool, and where you’ll find the romantic Farmhouse Inn.