From star spotting to sun soaking

It's generally easiest – and cheapest – to arrive in California through Los Angeles, city of Angels. It's easy to spend a day lazing about on Venice Beach, people-watching on the boardwalk, shopping up a storm on Rodeo Drive, tasting the array of world-class cuisine and treating you inner movie buff to a jaunt down the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

California: Street Lights on Rodeo DriveChandelier street lights on Rodeo Drive | by Flight Centre's Amanda Kendrick

Heading further east, the spectacle of Death Valley is hard to miss. The lowest, driest region on the North American continent is filled with canyons and mountains waiting to be explored. If lush greenery is more your style, consider the ancient Redwood-Douglas fir forests in the north-east of California, home to mammoth trees as tall as a 35-story skyscraper.

California: Redwood TreesGiant Redwood Trees

Northern California is also home to two major cities: Sacramento, the capital city, and San Francisco. There's nothing that says "California" more than going for an early morning stroll across the magnificent Golden Gate Bridge followed by an organic breakfast at one of the funky cafes hidden away in the San Francisco hills. Each corner you turn in California reveals another hidden gem, be it natural, cultural or historical – the Golden State certainly lives up to its name!

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