Tre epici viaggi in auto in California

Mark Ellwood

Title photography by Patrik Giardino/Getty Images

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Rendi perfetta la tua avventura in California: aggiungi un noleggio auto, personalizza il viaggio e parti per una fantastica esperienza on the road. Lo scrittore del posto Mark Ellwood suggerisce i suoi tre percorsi preferiti.

Il triangolo della California del Nord

Ideale per… gli esploratori amanti della natura


Itinerario: San Francisco – Lake Tahoe – Yosemite (8 notti)

San Francisco

Begin in the city by the Bay – San Francisco for three nights. Remember to pack a pair of comfy shoes to tackle the notoriously undulating hills, or hop on one of the three remaining cable car lines to scale the steepest slopes. The least-crowded is the California Street car, which easily rides high to Nob Hill with spectacular views. Stroll down to Alamo Park to see the so-called Painted Ladies – they’re superb examples of San Francisco’s gingerbread house-like Victorian dwellings.

Indulge in some outdoorsy pursuits in Golden Gate Park, where the winding paths and landscape studded with copses make ideal terrain for jogging or biking. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, hit the foodie mecca of the Ferry Building Marketplace, an erstwhile commuter terminal repurposed as a gourmet mall – try one of the many creative flavours of ice cream served at Humphry Slocombe.

Where to stay: Take a break at the cool and quirky Hotel Argonaut, set along Fisherman’s Wharf in San Fran. Rest easy at this four-star waterfront retreat, before getting back on the road.

Raggiungi le scenografiche 72 miglia di sponde del lago Tahoe, la zona è bella in qualunque periodo dell'anno.

Lake Tahoe

Hire a car and make tracks north west to Lake Tahoe for a two-night stay. The sat-nav might try to take you across the Oakland Bay Bridge, but be sure to drive across the majestic Golden Gate Bridge, and hairpin back as soon as you reach the other side – the viewing area there is the best vantage point for snaps of both bridge and city. Arrive at the scenic 72-mile shoreline of Lake Tahoe, it’s beautiful whatever time of year you visit.

Come summertime, cruise along to find an epic picnic spot. Check out the glistening Emerald State Park and grab a paddleboard, or glide across the turquoise waters by kayak. Whether you want to go on a couple’s hike or make a splash in the lake with the family – adventure awaits everyone. Looking to rejuvenate? Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for Taste of Tahoe events along the south.

In wintertime, discover powder-pillow skiing in the Squaw Valley and mesmerising resorts beyond. Discover this premier ski destination, with an abundance of snow-covered resorts surrounding the largest alpine lake in the US. Soak up the laid-back mountain lifestyle, hire a pair of skis or hop on a snowboard. In spring, join the WinterWonderGrass festival in North Tahoe, bursting with music and great beer.

Where to stay: Choose the beautiful lakefront Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, in the north of Lake Tahoe. Savour a lavish sanctuary for the perfect year-round stay. Or venture to the south of Lake Tahoe and stay at Harveys Lake Tahoe, surrounded by enchanting scenery – brilliant for both summer fun and winter ski, with the Heavenly Ski Resort on your doorstep.

  • Scopri il vostro lato avventuroso a lago Tahoe. ©Jupiterimages.
  • Attraversamento di uno dei più famosi ponti del mondo © Easyturn / Getty Images
  • Goditi viste mozzafiato dalle alture del Yosemite. ©Donald Barnec / EyeEm

    Touch the sun

    Fai una passeggiata nel Yosemite National Park quando la luce è dorata per ammirare la natura al suo meglio.

    Prenota il tuo volo


Finish off your California road trip with a three-night visit to Yosemite, the Lincoln-endorsed green space that forms the anchor of America’s century-old national park network. Discover the gold rush of Tuolumne County, a year-round destination bursting with character and just a 1 hour and 45-minute drive to the iconic Valley Floor and El Capitan – explore the best of Yosemite from here.

The best spots for jaw-dropping snaps? Glacier Point, at the top of an almost 980m cliff and Tunnel View, offering a great vista across almost the entire park. There are 750 miles of trails to hike here – try the Mist Trail, a 7-mile horseshoe that takes in the Vernal Falls – particularly noteworthy each spring when the melting snow recharges them and creates spectacular downspouts.

Where to stay: A pretty place to rest your head, Rush Creek Lodge offers a surreal base in Tuolumne. The hotel’s beautiful wood cabin features will put you in the mood for Yosemite exploration. Return from your adventures for a splash in the pool, before tucking into an American-style dinner.

Il momento migliore per andarci

La primavera è sinonimo di rinnovamento a Yosemite mentre la neve intorno a Tahoe comincia a sciogliersi. L'autunno è la stagione ideale per ammirare il fogliame, i mercati degli agricoltori e la vendemmia.

La classica costa californiana

Ideale per… gli amanti del relax in spiaggia

Itinerario: San Francisco – Monterey – Santa Barbara – Los Angeles – Huntington Beach – San Diego (16 notti)

San Francisco – Monterey

Start in San Francisco for three nights (as above), then take your hire car south along Highway 1 – it’s best tackled in this direction, as you’ll enjoy more vertiginous views of the ocean from the roadway. Hit the former fishing town of Monterey for one night.

Where to stay: Stop for the night at the InterContinental The Clement Monterey to soak up magnificent coastal views right in the heart of John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row.

  • Contempla il panorama e immergiti in rilassanti giornate in spiaggia. ©SumikoPhoto

    Le spiagge della California

    Calpesta la sabbia dorata di Huntington Beach, sia che voglia fare surf o prendere il sole, questo luogo è una tappa del tuo viaggio on the road imperdibile.

    Prenoti voli e hotel

Santa Barbara

Mentre si dirige verso la costa, faccia una pausa per ammirare il Bixby Creek Bridge sulla costa Big Sur, un ponte lungo 110m che presenta un'unica campata di cemento armato, una bellissima opera creata nel periodo dell'agenzia Work Projects Administration. In alternativa, visiti il parco Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, una breve camminata di 10 minuti dal parcheggio le consentirà di raggiungere un punto di osservazione delle Cascate McWay.

The best man-made attraction here, of course, is the architectural sugar rush of Hearst Castle, the celeb-studded retreat of the late publishing magnate (and model for Citizen Kane) William Randolph Hearst. Like a millionaire magpie, he filled it with luxuries snapped up from across the world, although the elegant minimalism of the Neptune Pool seems almost more impressive. A few miles away, a small slice of sand offers a perch for a colony of seals in autumn and early winter. Park nearby and clamber down the trails for views of the blubbery animals frolicking in the chilly water.

Nella zona, anche l'offerta per la degustazione di vini è ampia: prenda una mappa per fare il giro dei vigneti nell'area dei rossi, Paso Robles oppure vada a Santa Barbara (una notte), dove potrà fare una visita di un giorno della regione del vino.

Where to stay: Bed down for the night at the wharf-front Harbor View Inn, and be sure to take a morning stroll on the beach before you journey onwards.

Los Angeles - Huntington Beach

Continue your journey with a trip to exciting Los Angeles and stay six nights – for suggestions on what to do, see the West Coast Highlight route below.

Cruise your way over to surfer’s paradise Huntington Beach and stay for a night or two. Take a break in Surf City USA, hit the waves and soak up the laid-back beach lifestyle. Visit over summer and catch the US Open of Surfing. Keep your eyes peeled for beach concerts, festivals, parades and more, all in this lively beachside town.

Dove soggiornare: prenota il cinque stelle Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach e rilassati sotto le palme a bordo piscina. Fai un tuffo nell'oceano e accaparrati un posto intorno al fuoco per arrostire s'more e guardare il tramonto.

Il momento migliore per andarci

Late summer when the fog and haze that can linger over the coast during the summer months is starting to ease but temperatures are still ideal for lazy beach days.

Cominci a pianificare il suo viaggio

Posti da non perdere sulla West Coast

Ideale per… gli amanti della cultura

Il viaggio: Los Angeles – Palm Springs – San Diego (10 notti)

  • Dia libero sfogo alla sua passione per il surf sulle spiagge di San Diego © Getty

    Libero sfogo al surf!

    Il famoso brano dei Beach Boys "Surfin’ USA" parla di 15 diversi punti per il surf incluso il Del Mar nella Contea di San Diego.

    Prenota un a vacanza Fly & Drive a San Diego
  • Drink in spectacular mountain scenery on the wide open road © tobiasjo
  • Assista a uno spettacolo presso il Walt Disney Concert Hall di LA © Harley Rouda / Alamy Stock Photo

    Nota perfetta

    Free, self-guided audio tours of the concert hall are available most days between 10am and 2pm and take approximately an hour.

    Prenota un a vacanza Fly & Drive a Los Angeles

Los Angeles

When it comes to places to stay, Los Angeles will spoil you for choice. Start by exploring some of the emerging corners of the city (four nights), especially Downtown, which is becoming the de facto arts district. Billionaire collector Eli Broad custom-commissioned a namesake temple, The Broad, to house his astonishing contemporary art collection. It's located next to Frank Gehry’s signature crumpled stainless steel Walt Disney Concert Hall, home to the LA Philharmonic.

The nearby Dorothy Chandler Pavilion might technically be home to the LA Opera, but it’s best known as the longtime, former home of the Oscars. For views across the city, scale the free 27th-floor observation deck at City Hall, or jump on the hop-on hop-off open top bus tour to catch a glimpse of the major sights from a privileged view.

Dove soggiornare:Soggiorna in una delle numerose residenze di fama mondiale, come The Beverly Hilton o Hollywood Roosevelt. In alternativa, prova il lussuoso hotel sul lungomare, Viceroy Santa Monica, una scelta easy prima partire per le tue esplorazioni.

Palm Springs

Head inland to Palm Springs for two nights and soak up the quirks of the Sinatra-era resort town that still oozes retro-glamour. Palm Canyon Drive is the main drag, and the best shopping strip, especially on Thursday nights when late-opening VillageFest takes place – pick up some mid-century-inspired swimwear from Trina Turk. Don’t miss the local delicacy, a date shake – which nods to the vast date plantations nearby – from Palm Springs Fudge & Chocolates.

Se ti piace stare all'aperto, opta per una gita al Joshua Tree National Park, nel Deserto del Mojave,che prende il nome dalla robusta yucca, molto comune da quelle parti (e amata dagli U2). Per i panorami migliori, vai all'alba o al tramonto, quando il parco è inondato da un'irreale luce rossa e le temperature sono leggermente meno proibitive. Se hai tempo, scopri di più e  soffermati a Greater Palm Springs: esplora le comunità artistiche e spirituali di Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Indio e Coachella.

Dove soggiornare: Lasca i bagagli al Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa prima di andare alla scoperta della città. O avventurati un po' oltre nella meravigliosa oasi del Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort & Spa.

San Diego

End the trip by soaking up the surf and sun in San Diego for four nights. Take a stroll through the Gaslamp Quarter, bursting with theatres, galleries and museums, as well as a thriving nightlife – you have to make a pitstop here. Foodies can eat their way through town – chow down on as many tacos as you can, from some of the country’s best taco joints. Lucha Libre is renowned for its gloriously garish decor and tantalising fish tacos.

La spiaggia migliore è, sicuramente, l'ampia striscia di splendente sabbia bianca nota come Coronado Island, un'enclave che risale agli anni 1880. Crogiolati sulle spiagge mozzafiato, pedala sulle stupende piste ciclabili e scegli tra un'ampia varietà di attività acquatiche; una delle più amate: un giro in catamarano nell'oceano color zaffiro, prima di una cena al centro città e con sfondo del tramonto.

Where to stay: When in San Diego, the Paradise Point Resort & Spa is a tranquil retreat after days of adventure. Kicking it on Coronado Island? The five-star Hotel del Coronado is a perfect beachfront choice. Opt for brunch at the Crown Room on a Sunday if you want to elbow-rub with the local elite.


Il momento migliore per andarci

Verso la primavera inoltrata le temperature sono moderate e le consentono di camminare, giocare a golf e visitare la zona desertica.

Risparmi denaro: prenota volo e noleggio auto per la California insieme