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How to live the Californian lifestyle

California is one of the USA’s most famous states. It’s home to iconic San Francisco and Los Angeles, Napa Valley, Sierra Nevada mountains and Yosemite National Park. Sunny California is also famed for the enviable Californian lifestyle. Californians are perceived as active, outdoorsy, health-conscious and liberal, leading the way for the latest social trends in technology. Before your trip to the Golden State, take a look at our tips and experiences for living like a ‘Cali’ local.

Explore the San Francisco streets (at your own pace)

California has a history of being a lifestyle pioneer. In fact, it was the colourful streets of San Francisco that gave birth to the hippie movement and the subsequent Summer of Love back in the 60s. Use your free time in San Fran to explore the historic sites of Haight Ashbury, taking pitstops in the hipster cafes and craft beer pubs.

Alternatively, rent bikes and cycle across the Golden Gate Bridge to the pretty harbourside town of Sausalito. Hike up the steep streets to enjoy views of San Francisco from the other side of the bay, and snap pics of the colourful houseboats while treating your sweet tooth to some local saltwater taffy.

Embrace the diverse streets of San Francisco on the Western Discoverer or the Northern California.

Eat organic, with farm-to-table dining

California is the USA’s most organic state. Not only do Californians love to embrace an organic diet, but Californian farmers are responsible for a large majority of the organic produce sold in America.

To get an authentic insight into the industry, visit Salinas Valley to learn about fruit and vegetable production from a Local Specialist, or head to Earthbound Organic Farms in Carmel Valley to take a tour and try out the local produce.

For a real taste of California’s organic lifestyle, experience a ‘farm-to-table’ dinner in Monterey, when you visit the Happy Girl Kitchen Co. Learn from your expert hosts as they prepare your dinner and share their knowledge and love of organic food.

Find the above organic experiences on the Coastal California and Yosemite National Park and the Northern California trips. 

Get on board the local wine train

As well as organic, Californians love to keep it local with their wines. To live like a ‘Cali’ local, take a tour of California’s wine country and try out the local varieties on offer.

Create, taste and bottle your own combination of Carignane, Petite Sirah, and Zinfandel on a local family-run winery in Sonoma. Or head down to Napa to get on board the Napa Valley Wine Train for a unique wine-tasting experience.

Discover California’s wine country on the Northern California or Coastal California with Yosemite National Park.

Get soulful in California’s National Parks

When it comes to all-round well-being, California’s enormous National Parks can feed your body, mind and soul. As well as exercising your legs in the rugged National Parks, take a moment to reflect on your surroundings and take a long deep breath of fresh air. It’s not just the sheer expanse of California’s National Parks that give you a new perspective, but the enormity and beauty of the natural vistas that are around you.

Feel dwarfed by the “Land of Giants” as you walk through the Sequoia National Park, before spending the night stargazing with a naturalist as they take you on a journey through the night sky.

When visiting Yosemite, stay overnight inside the park, allowing more peace and quiet for your short stroll to Yosemite Falls. In Mammoth Lakes,

head up into the mountains for a relaxing two-night stay. Take in the beauty of the Devils Postpile before an afternoon to spend at your leisure, taking pause, practicing yoga or meditating on the borders of the serene mountain lakes. It’s these experiences in California’s National Parks that truly connect us to the soul of the destination.

Feed your mind in the National Parks on our California’s Great National Parks trip.

Get active in LA

Los Angeles may be famous for the star-spotting and glamorous lifestyle portrayed in the movies, but L.A. dwellers are also extremely active. Californians love to get out into the great outdoors on a hike or bike ride, and L.A. has it all covered.

Rent bikes and take a leisurely ride along palm-lined Venice Beach, part of the larger 17-mile bike path from Santa Monica to Redondo Beach. For one of L.A.’s best hiking trails, head out to Runyon Canyon, right behind the Hollywood Hills. Use a free afternoon to get your blood pumping on the trail and be rewarded with spectacular views over L.A. at sunset.

Get out and about in L.A. on the Western Discoverer or the Coastal California with Yosemite National Park.

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