California encapsulates the American Dream – the Golden State, a buzzing food and wine scene, natural wonders and every imaginable type of culture. We bring you the ultimate Californian adventure, where a day’s drive can take you from the ocean via vineyards and orchards to snow-capped mountains… but it’s not all go, we’ve factored in plenty of downtime too.
San Fran – the city is bursting with fresh, seasonal and imaginative cuisine – and there’s plenty of fabulous local produce at the not-to-be-missed Ferry Building down on the waterfront.
Napa & Sonoma – where Napa is all about the big name wines, Sonoma is all about smaller boutique wineries along with exciting farm-to-fork restaurants. French Laundry is the place to eat – book well in advance.
Yosemite – less about the food here but definitely about the mind blowing scenery in this granite peaked valley. Get away from the crowds and kayak along the Merced River as the vast walls of granite tower above you… keep your eyes peeled for black bears!
Carmel/Monterey/Big Sur – back to the coast for the start of world renowned Highway 1 (now partially open since bridge has been repaired, with full access along entire coast due in summer 2018) If budget permits, check into Post Ranch Inn – Big Sur’s piece de resistance for sheer wow factor – or at the very least enjoy lunch at their cliff-hugging Sierra Mar restaurant. For something new, try glamping over the road from Post Ranch at Alila Ventana’s brand new luxury tent retreat.
Santa Barbara – the location for road trip movie, Sideways, the Santa Ynez Valley wineries outside Santa Barbara are even more off the radar compared to the boutique vineyards in Sonoma – and the wine is world-class. Dining in Santa Barbara is all about locally grown and in-season. The ‘Funk Zone’ is the heart of the city’s culinary creativity with dozens of exciting restaurants alongside wine-tasting rooms and craft breweries. We love The Lark in particular – and their famous Brussel sprouts are top of our list!
Santa Monica – brimming with farmers markets and restaurants packed with locals enjoying the good life, Santa Monica packs a culinary punch. Avoid the tourist traps in Third Street Promenade and the Pier, and instead head to the cool cafes along Abbot Kinney Boulevard or the oh-so-hip restaurants along Montana Avenue… we love R+D Kitchen for people-watching whilst munching their delicious crispy chicken sandwich washed down with a glass of something local.