Think of California, and its iconic landmarks immediately jump to mind: The famous Hollywood sign poised high above Los Angeles, the iconic Golden Gate Bridge defining the San Francisco skyline, San Diego’s museum-filled Balboa Park. Indeed, these are the state’s star cities, each bursting with its own local flavour and vibe. The palm-lined avenues of LA, where the who’s who of the silver screen rub shoulders with the surfer clans of Venice Beach.
The USA’s West Coast is a place of sunshine-drenched beaches, stunning national parks and some of the finest road trips in the world. California is rightly called the Golden State, a place where the stars choose to live, the sun always dazzles, and a place that wholly embraces the laid-back lifestyle. Think of California, and its iconic landmarks immediately jump to mind: The famous Hollywood sign poised high above Los Angeles, the iconic Golden Gate Bridge defining the San Francisco skyline, San Diego’s museum-filled Balboa Park. Indeed, these are the state’s star cities, each bursting with its own local flavour and vibe. The palm-lined avenues of LA, where the who’s who of the silver screen rub shoulders with the surfer clans of Venice Beach. California is Silicon Valley and brewery-filled San Diego, but it is also a place of glorious redwood forests, home to the tallest and some of the most ancient trees in the world. Drive on the Pacific coast Highway, indulge in a Michelin-star meal, or go wine tasting with the experts - California is a treta for all your senses.
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Straddling the California-Nevada border and encircled by towering peaks, the massive Lake Tahoe is an outdoor lover’s paradise. In summer, the mountain trails are filled with hikers and cycles whizz along lakeside paved bike trails. The meadows are filled with wildflowers and the water is busy with sailboats and paddle boards. You can rent a kayak, picnic by the shores, or just relax and take in the beautiful natural sights.
In the absence of light pollution from cities, the night skies in the remote Joshua Tree Park are very dark, and extremely conducive to star gazing. During the New Moon phase, zillions of stars are visible in the night sky, offering a truly spectacular experience to visitors. Spot constellations, planets, and stars on a guided night time tour.
Beverly Hills’ most iconic retail street is lined with exclusive designer stores and fashion houses. Pick out one-of-a-kind accessories in the boutiques, peruse fresh-off-the-runway dresses, check out coveted designer capsule collections and bespoke pieces in unparalleled luxury - this is a VIP shopping experience like no other.
With more than 250 wineries spread across this corner of the USA, Sonoma County has rightly earned its reputation as prime wine country. Delicate Pinot Noir, zesty Chardonnay and robust Cabernet Sauvignon flourish in these fertile soils, offering visitors a range of tasting options when they tour the vineyards.
With three Michelin stars, The French Laundry offers a sublime dining experience with a fantastic tasting menu, changing seasonal dishes, as well as Chef Keller’s signature “oysters and pearls”. Tables at the star chef’s restaurant fill up months in advance, so ensure you snag a spot well in time.
Over the years, Coachella has grown into an iconic cultural celebration with fantastic food, eye-popping art installations, and stars showing up in their best desert boho outfits. Of course, music is still a major highlight, and artistes of all genres make the event a feast for the eyes as well as the ears. The festival atmosphere endures at events across the Greater Palm Springs area, with legendary pool parties and DJ nights.
Complex history and glorious architecture are on display everywhere in this diverse country. Wander through the lantern-strung alleys of Hoi An, taking in the wooden-fronted merchant houses and sampling delicious banh mi. In Ho Chi Minh City, museums preserve the legacy of past wars and wide boulevards recall the French Colonial period. Come with us to Vietnam, a dazzling treat for all your senses where the pho is plentiful and the streets never sleep.
South Africa has much on offer for the culture enthusiast as well, whether it’s the vibrant city life of Cape Town or the laid-back vibe of coastal hamlets along the Garden Route. The country’s history is tumultuous, and museums in Johannesburg and other cities preserve much of this legacy. We’ll take you from the great outdoors to the finest offerings of city life here in South Africa.
Medieval cities like Fez and Marrakech burst with flavour, from the maze of curio-filled medinas to charming old-world cafes with fragrant mint tea. Magnificent palaces and mosques, adorned with Arabic calligraphy and imposing studded doorways stand in sharp contrast to the sleek beach clubs and fast-paced life of Casablanca, among Morocco’s most modern cities. Come with us to Morocco, and we’ll take you on an epic adventure here in North Africa’s last frontier.