So that’s it, decorations are down, all the yummy Christmas food has gone, and now we have to slog through the dark days in January and get back to our respective schools, jobs and lives.

It’s no surprise then that January is the month when so many of us start looking forward to the summer holidays and dreaming of long hot days in faraway locations. So where are you planning to go this year?   

One of the possible spots on my list is California. I have relatives over there and fond memories of an idyllic month spent there at the end of my university gap year, before I started my career many years ago. My husband has visited the States more than once too and we would really love to take the children over there. Here are some of the reasons why I would like to revisit California

San Francisco 

I didn’t get to San Francisco on my last trip and it’s one of my biggest regrets. I covered the coast between Los Angeles and San Diego, and completely missed the more northern delights of this amazing state.

No trip to San Francisco is complete without spending at least a few hours at Fisherman’s Wharf. Not only can you explore some of the museums and historic sites in this neighbourhood, but you can also watch the boats come in and dine on some of the seafood caught that same day.

Chinatown is another popular spot to visit. If you see only one thing in San Francisco, make it Golden Gate Park. You can see the bridge of the same name that stretches across the water and wander through the park before taking in a pro game. 

Golden Gate bridge


Outdoor enthusiasts often pick Carlsbad as the best vacation destination in California. It’s home to South Carlsbad State Beach, which boasts one of the best swimming beaches in the area.

Though this beach gets some large waves, tourists of all ages can safely swim here. During the growing season, you should visit The Flower Fields and see the flowers blooming. Carlsbad has its own branch of LEGOLAND, which builders of all ages will love too. 

Rancho Mirage 

The cities of Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage are so close together that many people refer to the two as the same region. Palm Springs was once the ultimate hot spot for the rich and famous, and many celebrities still head here every year.

Sunnylands is a historic mansion that you can tour on your trip, but you should check out the Greater Palm Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau too. This center puts on special events every month. Two good places to stay in this area include the Westin Mission Hills timeshare resort and the Westin Desert Willow timeshare resort.

Los Angeles 

Los Angeles is so close to Hollywood that you can spend a day or more exploring La-La Land before heading back to your timeshare or hotel. The Hollywood Walk of Fame stretches for blocks and features some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry. You can also see the hand and footprints left behind by some of your favorite stars in the concrete.

Los Angeles is also popular with travelers who love theme parks because of its close proximity to Universal Studios Hollywood and Disneyland. 

Lake Tahoe 

The Squaw Valley Ski Resort ranks as one of the top destinations for skiers and winter sports lovers in the world. Located in Lake Tahoe, this resort and other attractions look just the same as they did when Olympic athletes competed here years ago. Outdoor enthusiasts may want to check out the Northstar California Resort and Emerald Bay State Park, both of which offers year-round activities.

With all of these amazing places to visit it’s hard to pick the ideal destination for our California trip. But the thinking and the dreaming will help me get through the depths of a British Winter.

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