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    Pocket Guide: California

    You might think California is full of rich, glamorous and really, really ridiculously good-looking people. You’d be right, of course, and when you get here there’ll be one more! The US of A’s ‘Golden State’ will put you in a golden state of your own with theme parks, national parks, monuments and movie stars. California dreaming? More like California doing when you book one of our great California hotels.

    History

    Before Europeans arrived, California’s Native American people spoke around 100 different languages. Portuguese explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo led the Spanish empire to California’s shores in 1542 in a quest to find El Dorado, the mythical land of gold. What he found instead was the bay of the city now known as San Diego.

    California didn’t become part of U.S territory until 1847, when the Mexican-American War ended. When gold was discovered at Sutter’s Mill in 1848, it led to a flux of new settlers, and California became the 31st state in 1850.

    The cities

    Where better to start your California adventure than Los Angeles? Whether auditioning for the next James Cameron blockbuster or simply seeing the sights, the City of Angels is famous for Hollywood (and its massive sign), Universal Studios, the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Disneyland. Check out the Santa Monica Pier or Venice Beach, or bump into your favourite celeb on a walk around Runyon Canyon Park. With so many well-known things to do in L.A, you feel like you’re in a movie as soon as you arrive.

    Cali’s other superstar city is San Francisco! Home of the Golden Gate Bridge, the world’s most photographed bridge, Frisco is the place to visit Alcatraz Island (once home to a notorious prison), drop into Chinatown or an art museum, and to take a scenic tour of the city with a cable car ride along Hyde Street.

    Nature

    You can find some stunning sights in Yosemite National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site with 1,200 square miles of beauty. With the steepest cliff in North America (Half Dome), and waterfalls, valleys and meadows, Yosemite is the ideal place to picnic, hike or fish.

    Love wine? Then you’ll love one of the world’s best wine regions: Napa Valley, filled with scenic vineyards and hiking trails.

    Shopping and dining

    To see what California’s creative minds are capable of, check out some crafts and collectibles at Rose Bowl, the biggest flea market in LA with over 2,500 vendors. To shop like a celeb, head to Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. With malls and shopping districts throughout California, as well as boutiques, there’s something here for every shopper.

    As you might expect from Cali, the dining scene is diverse too, and you can tuck into a vegan meal at a hip cafe, treat yourself at a five-star-restaurant, and dine by the beach in L.A.

    Getting here

    Start your trip to California with one of our cheap flights to Los Angeles. Get around the state by hiring an RV or rental car, or catch public transport. Don’t forget to spend some time on a bicycle as well – this is California, after all. Sort your California accommodation with us for a real-life adventure in Tinseltown and beyond. Image Credit: respres under Creative Commons.
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    California Hotels
    California Hotels

    Hotels in Los Angeles

    Sheraton Gateway Hotel Los Angeles Airport - Los Angeles Hotels
    Rating: 3.5 Stars

    Sheraton Gateway Hotel Los Angeles Airport

    6101 W Century Blvd, Los Angeles - Map
     
     
    4.1 out of 5 (3,776 reviews)
    The Sheraton Gateway Hotel is just outside Los Angeles International Airport; downtown is 15 miles away, ocean beaches are 5 …More
    The Concourse Hotel at LAX - A Hyatt Affiliated Hotel - Los Angeles Hotels
    Rating: 3.5 Stars

    The Concourse Hotel at LAX - A Hyatt Affiliated Hotel

    6225 W Century Blvd, Los Angeles - Map
     
     
    "Great location, value for money"
    Stayed here one night because I was catching an early flight out of LAX the next day. Hotel is located practically next to the terminals, but rooms are very quiet. I was very pleasantly surprised at how nice the hotel was. Excellent facilities, friendly staff and the rooms were large and very clean. Enjoyed a very tasty burger in the coffee shop, highly recommended, especially if you have an early morning flight out of LAX.
    Traveller from O
    Located on the airport area's main boulevard, this hotel is 1 block from Los Angeles International Airport via complimentary …More
    The Westin Los Angeles Airport - Los Angeles Hotels
    Rating: 4.0 Stars

    The Westin Los Angeles Airport

    5400 W Century Blvd, Los Angeles - Map
     
     
    3.9 out of 5 (2,565 reviews)
    Located a short complimentary shuttle ride from the Los Angeles International Airport, The Westin Los Angeles Airport offers …More

    Hotels in San Francisco

    Parc 55 San Francisco, a Hilton Hotel - San Francisco Hotels
    Rating: 4.0 Stars

    Parc 55 San Francisco, a Hilton Hotel

    55 Cyril Magnin St, San Francisco - Map
     
     
    4.3 out of 5 (8,858 reviews)
    Just off Market Street, downtown San Francisco's major thoroughfare, this contemporary 32-story hotel is 1 block from San …More
    Hotel Nikko San Francisco - San Francisco Hotels
    Rating: 4.0 Stars

    Hotel Nikko San Francisco

    222 Mason St, San Francisco - Map
     
     
    4.3 out of 5 (4,504 reviews)
    The Asian-inspired Hotel Nikko San Francisco is located downtown, a 4-minute walk from Union Square and the designer shops of …More
    Park Central Hotel San Francisco - San Francisco Hotels
    Rating: 4.0 Stars

    Park Central Hotel San Francisco

    50 3rd St, San Francisco - Map
     
     
    4.3 out of 5 (5,673 reviews)
    Located in the heart of the South of Market district (SoMa), Park Central Hotel San Francisco (formerly Westin Market Street) …More

    Hotels in San Diego

    Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego - San Diego Hotels
    Rating: 4.0 Stars

    Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego

    1 Market Pl, San Diego - Map
     
     
    4.5 out of 5 (4,556 reviews)
    This expansive highrise hotel towers over San Diego Bay next to the Seaport Village retail complex, 1 block from the …More
    The Sofia Hotel - San Diego Hotels
    Rating: 3.5 Stars
    $300

    The Sofia Hotel

    150 W Broadway, San Diego - Map
     
     
    4.3 out of 5 (4,245 reviews)
    In the heart of downtown San Diego, this historic boutique hotel is 2 blocks from Horton Plaza, 4 blocks from the Gaslamp …More
    Town and Country Resort & Convention Center - San Diego Hotels
    Rating: 3.5 Stars
    $173

    Town and Country Resort & Convention Center

    500 Hotel Cir N, San Diego - Map
     
     
    3.4 out of 5 (1,743 reviews)
    Comprising 32 acres, this resort and conference center is next to the 27-hole Riverwalk Golf Club; Old Town, Balboa Park …More