Staying in California

Southern delights in Los Angeles

California's sunny south is where the action is – hear the whoosh of the Matterhorn at the original Disneyland, the whir of the paparazzi combing Hollywood's boulevards and the applause as Shamu makes his big splash at SeaWorld San Diego.

You are spoiled for choice when it comes to Los Angeles hotels. Sleep like the stars in Beverly Hills at the likes of the Hilton or Crowne Plaza, with tonnes of choices around Santa Monica Boulevard, Sunset Boulevard and Rodeo Drive. If you're just in LA for a quick trip, consider staying near LAX at the Radisson, Marriott or Four Points Sheraton.

Stay by the bay in San Francisco

The colourful, cultural San Francisco constantly ranks high on travel wish lists. Beyond the sloping streets and Golden Gate, the wider San Francisco Bay area also encompasses Silicon Valley's San Jose and the well-known wine region Napa Valley.

If you're planning a stay around the Bay area, San Fran hosts a wide array of accommodation – especially within the Union Square, Chinatown and Fisherman's Wharf precincts – with major chains such as the 5-star Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton and the Marriott in tow. If San Jose is more your scene, the Downtown district presents offerings from the Hilton, Sheraton, Fairmont and more.

Back to nature on the West Coast

The sprawling length of California totals about 14 hours of driving time. It makes sense, then, that the state is gifted with incredibly diverse scenery, from world-class ski slopes in the North to the beautiful Big Sur hanging off the Central Coast cliffs and cactus-covered desert edging its way towards Nevada and Arizona.

Make the most of this great, open land by staying somewhere like Fresno, the "Gateway to Yosemite", where a comfy inn isn't hard to come by, or forget the madness of Mardi Gras with Palm Springs offering a great alternative, home to some of the best gay and lesbian resorts around!

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