Top 3 Must-See Attractions in California

 

California is the most populated state in the US, and it is for good reason that thousands of visitors flock to what is charmingly referred to as the ‘Golden State’ each year. The state grew quickly in the 1850s following the Gold Rush, and celebrity residents have further grown interest in the region year to year. From 90210 to The Hills, the Hollywood sign to Keeping up with the Kardashians, California has undeniably become a shining icon of popular culture.

A wonderful destination for road-trippers, family holidays, romantic getaways and explorers, you can expect to enjoy temperatures in the high 20s and plenty of sunshine year round. Detailing the amazing experiences in California could be endless, so we’ve picked a few of the must-see attractions for your trip of a lifetime.

 

Disneyland

Built under the supervision of Walt Disney himself, Disneyland California has been a firm family favourite since its opening in 1955. Disneyland, and Disney California Adventure Park will delight film fans with rides including Peter Pan’s Flight, Space Mountain and ‘Incredicoaster’. Shows range from Mickey’s PhilharMagic to Frozen Live, so there is something for everyone for all ages. Head to the new attraction, ‘Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge’ for a mesmerising journey that is out of this world – California Disneyland is the only Disney park in the world to have the ride. A one-day park hopper ticket starts at $179.

LEGOLAND

 

LEGOLAND is located around 45 minutes north of San Diego, and is another amazing family spot that the kids are sure to love. Full of rides, attractions and experiences including the Lego City: Deep Sea Adventure and a Sea Life Aquarium, this is one not to be missed on your California trip. Enjoy a day trip to remember, with shows, events, amazing classic America dining options, and many boutiques to explore. One-day passes start from $89.99 online, and there are VIP Experiences that are individually priced if you’re celebrating a special occasion.

Hollywood Boulevard

 

Hollywood Boulevard, located in Los Angeles, is sure to leave you with stars in your eyes. Home to shops, museums, and the iconic Hollywood Walk of Fame, there is not an A-list celebrity that hasn’t stopped by to wave at on looking adoring fans. The Walk of Fame has more than 2,600 five-pointed brass stars to celebrate the leading names in entertainment from film to music to theatre. To see some of these famous faces, head to Madame Tussauds Hollywood to see life-like figures of stars including Arnold Schwarzenegger and Leonardo DiCaprio, or the Dolby Theatre to see a dazzling musical performance.

Shopping at Simon Shopping Destinations

 

One of the top things to do in California is most definitely shopping! Simon Shopping Destinations has a number of amazing properties in southern California including Desert Hills Premium Outlets in Palm Springs, which offers designer labels at incredible prices with up to 65% off every day. This is California’s largest collection of luxury outlets, set amongst swaying palm trees and mountain ranges, where you’ll certainly leave with some jaw-dropping bargains.

 

For those headed to the laid back city of San Diego, Fashion Valley is a must-do day trip with more than 200 designer and name-brand stores, including Louis Vuitton, Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo, and Bloomingdale’s. Enjoy incredible dining following your shopping, as the property is home to range of internationally inspired eateries to suit any taste buds. Options include Korean dishes at bibigo kitchen, Mexican fare at Blanco Tacos + Tequila, Italian specials at North Italian and classic American dishes at 59th & Lex.

 

The Outlets at Orange meanwhile, is located less than an hours’ drive from Los Angeles (as well as a ten-minute taxi ride from the Disneyland Resort). This property is home to more than 120 stores, including the Banana Republic Factory Store, H&M, Hollister, and a Nike Factory Outlet. With irresistible deals in all outlets, visitors might want to bring along empty cases to fit in their new purchases!

Heading to the States and planning to shop?

INSPIRED? YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Top 5 Things to Do in San Diego

 

Named by some as the ‘birthplace of California’, San Diego is a must-see destination on any Californian itinerary. Located a couple of hours drive south of Los Angeles, the city encompasses coastal, mountainous and desert beauty. Most are familiar with the world-famous San Diego Zoo, but there is much more to explore with amazing shopping, beaches, and other experiences that will entertain couples, friends and families. The temperature is reliably warm, with August and September the hottest months for sun lovers. Here is a guide to the top 5 things to do in San Diego.

Home to leopards, elephants, lions, giraffes, grizzly bears and the rare red panda, the San Diego Zoo is located in Balboa Park, on the doorstep of the city centre. The zoo was voted #1 Zoo in the World at the 2018 Trip Advisor’s Travellers’ Choice Awards and here guests can enjoy the Botanical Tours, Kangaroo Bus, the Skyfari Aerial Tram and various wildlife shows. The zoo, which works with more than 380 global partners and 200 scientists, breeds and cares for endangered species through conservation and research. Adult tickets are $56, whilst a child’s ticket (aged 3-11 years old) costs $46. The San Diego Zoo is open from 9am-9pm and further information can be found on the website.

Aquatica San Diego

Aquatica is the perfect day for family fun with a range of rides, slides, pools and rivers. The park is an easy car journey from the centre of San Diego, so there’s no danger of little ones getting too tiredbefore they arrive. Opening hours vary, but the park is typically open 10am-5pm. Single tickets start at $47.99 but there are weekday offers, and multi-buy tickets available on their website.

Beaches of San Diego

 

As a coastal hotspot, San Diego boasts stunning beaches including Black Beach, Cardiff By Sea, La Joma Reefs, Mission Bay and Torrey Pines. Benefitting from white sands, rugged clifftops, and impressive waves, there are activities for everyone such as snorkelling, scuba diving and biking along boardwalks.

Shopping

Of course shopping must also be on the itinerary! San Diego is conveniently located near to some wonderful shopping destinations, including Las Americas Premium Outlets ®, Fashion Valley and Carlsbad Premium Outlets®.

 

Las Americas Premium Outlets® is 20 minutes south of downtown San Diego, an easy journey from the city. Here guests will find an Armani Outlet, DKNY, Calvin Klein, Lacoste, kate spade new york and Sunglass Hut to explore and enjoy up to 65% off every day. Grab a Starbucks or a Wetzel’s Pretzel to fuel a day of shopping.

 

Fashion Valley meanwhile, is Southern California’s most luxurious destination. Decorated by living succulent walls, gorgeous palm trees and iconic fountains, this is a premier shopping experience not to be missed. There are more than 200 stores here, including internationally loved fashion houses like Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Rolex, Saint Laurent and Salvatore Ferragamo. Finish the day with a wonderful fine-dining experience at Zodiac Restaurant at Neiman Marcus, which offers an innovative menu selection. To entertain the little ones, a new version of Pokemon Go called Harry Potter: Wizards Unite™ (based on film series), has launched at the property.

 

Located right on the coast, just moments from North Ponto Beach is Carlsbad Premium Outlets®. This destination is 30 minutes north of San Diego’s centre, so perfect for a combined shopping and beach day. With the flower-filled courtyards, fountains and elegant Tuscan-style architecture, it’s a wonderful place to spend a day exploring. From beauty essentials at bareMinerals, to classic denim at Levi’s, to sportswear at Under Armour, the property has stores that will delight every shopper. Parents will revel in the great prices at the Disney outlet, whilst fashion fans should head straight to Coach, the True Religion outlet, and Tommy Hilfiger to get amazing deals on the latest trends.

Dine alfresco

 

 

If you’re visiting San Diego in the summer months, make the most of the sunshine with an alfresco dinner and drinks. The luxury lifestyle TOWER23 Hotel has a wonderful restaurant, JRDN, with clean, light interiors and colourful cocktails overlooking Pacific Beach. Alternatively, right at the heart of the city is The Pool House at Pendry San Diego, a rooftop lounge with dramatic city views located above Gaslamp’s famed 5th Avenue. Here you’ll find light bites and decadent cocktails in a relaxed venue where guests can relax from day to night. Being relatively close to the Mexican border, San Diego is also famed for its authentic Mexican cuisine. The bustling restaurants tend to be informal with flavoursome menus, and Puesto (La Jolla) and Tocaya Organica have wonderfully colourful dishes that will leave the taste buds tingling.

Heading to the States and planning to shop?

INSPIRED? YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Top 10 Things to Do in Palm Springs

 

Stirring the imagination with scenery of long boulevards, glamorous boutiques and swaying trees with a mountainous backdrop, Palm Springs has stylish hotels, golf courses and a wonderfully laid-back vibe. Here are the top things to do in Palm Springs according to the season.

Spring – Golf, Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, Coachella

 

In springtime, make the most of the warm weather with a round of golf, an activity for which Palm Springs is famous. There are a number of courses and dedicated resorts set within the dramatic landscape of Palm Springs and its surrounding areas including Desert Willow Golf Resort, Escena Golf Club, Indian Wells Golf Club and Indian Canyons Golf Resort. Alternatively, view the sprawling landscape from the world’s largest rotating tramcar journey with breath-taking views over Chino Canyon, and the pristine wilderness of the Mt. San Jacinto State Park. Tickets are $25.95 for adults, with discounts for seniors and children. Another thing Palm Springs is known for is its close proximity to the globally admired Coachella Festival. The festival takes place in Indio, which is located just half an hour from the city centre, so it’s the perfect place to tag onto the holiday before or after the event.

 

Summer – Hiking, Bike Riding, Horse-riding

 

Greater Palm Springs, surrounding the city, has plenty of wonderful outdoor activities for those wanting to stay fit and active on their holiday. The views are impressive and the top hikes include the Andreas Canyon Trail at Indian Canyons, Araby Trail and Big Morongo Canyon Preserve. If you would like a guide, Palm Springs Hiking Tours start at around $75. There are also a range of bike routes for those who’d like to explore the region on wheels. Palm Springs has a useful map to show visitors the range of options for cycling paths. Whichever route you go, you are guaranteed great views and good times. Big Wheels Tours offers guided experiences if you would like a helping hand to navigate. If horse-riding is your thing, there are some great companies here who will show you the area with beautiful rides past the streams of the Indian Canyons. Smoke Tree Stables are a great choice since they offer custom-designed packages, picnic lunches and a western cookout with entertainment.

 

Autumn – Joshua Tree National Park, Palm Springs Art Museum

 

Joshua Tree National Park is one of the top places to visit and is just a short drive east from Palm Springs. The quieter months outside of peak summer time are just as appealing with walking and camping as great experiences for visitors. There’s a wonderful array of nature and wildlife to be seen on hikes through this vast desert park, and overnighters will be able to stargaze in autumn, as the ‘Great Square of Pegasus’ star formation appears in the north-eastern sky at dusk.

For those more artistically swayed, Palm Springs itself is known for its wonderful architecture and design, so head to the Palm Springs Art Museum where there are exhibitions and events for the culturally curious. Opening times are from 10am-5pm but the venue is closed on Wednesdays.

Winter – Spa

 

Warm up in the cooler months with a visit to one of the relaxing spas. The Desert Hot Springs Spa Hotel is a particular standout location, offering mineral spring whirlpools, as well as an extensive list of spa beauty treatments. For an extra special experience, the L’Horizon offers a unique boutique-hotel experience just minutes from downtown Palm Springs, offering a luxurious spa and wellness programme.

All year round – Shopping at Desert Hills Premium Outlets

 

Desert Hills Premium Outlets has the largest collection of luxury retailers in California and offers a wonderful year-round shopping experience. Easily located just 20 minutes west of the city (or around an hour from Los Angeles) this outdoor shopping centre has 180 designer shops for guests to enjoy. For luxury shopping at a great price, there’s Burberry, Armani, Roberto Cavalli and Tom Ford. The property is also home to the only Mont Blanc and Alexander McQueen outlet on the West Coast.

Heading to the States and planning to shop?

INSPIRED? YOU MAY ALSO LIKE