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: It’s late August, and you’re out on a patio in Napa Valley, sharing a bottle of wine from a local vineyard. It’s sunny. You can hear the soft clunk of a nearby Bocce game in its final, dramatic throes. It’s blissfully peaceful. The glitzy Napa valley and the more spread out and laid back Sonoma valley next door are the perfect summer retreat. Visit over the Labor Day holiday for the Taste of Sonoma festival.
Stay at: On a hairpin bend in the sinuous Napa Valley River, the idyllic River Terrace Inn has lovely patio overlooking the water.
Fly to: San Francisco and hire a car.