Sharp end of the stick
The weird and the wild live in California, from bohemian artistry and organic hipsters to edgy tech businesses developing ‘the next big thing’. Silicon Valley alone is home to thousands of start-ups and an unknowable quantity of plotters and schemers writing scripts and assembling technology in basements and spare rooms. Hollywood isn’t the only business with stories to tell here; there are California dreamers in every cafe, on every corner.
Weird and wonderful
Coastal California is the star of the show. Road trip from Sacramento to San Diego on the Pacific Coast Highway, call in at San Fran and L.A. and stop to take in the purple sands of Pfeiffer Beach and the vistas of the ocean and mountains that plunge into it. There are literally hundreds of surfing spots along The Bay and up and down the ocean front, a cache of marine life, including year round whale watching opportunities and a line of coastal vineyards caressed by ocean breezes.
When to go
California has a Mediterranean climate; hot and dry summers, cold and wet winters and temperate spring and autumn conditions perfect for exploring the outdoors. The Sierra Nevada Mountain ranges and the Pacific Ocean wield great influence on weather conditions; high elevation creates sub-arctic extremes in Yosemite National Park and blankets of summer fog drift in from the cold ocean to smother San Diego in the early morning.
Peak season is June to August, temperatures average at 22 degrees Celsius. It’s the most expensive time to visit when temperatures are consistently hot, sometimes toppling over 30 degrees Celsius in July. It’s busier in major cities, beaches and in Lake Tahoe and Yosemite. Like much of America’s west coast, it’s good to be in California year round – there’s snow sports in the winter, the wine crush in the autumn and good hiking in the spring.
That said, be mindful of local conditions at your time of holiday. For instance, summer fogs can mar a beach break holiday so late spring or early autumn is more advisable when the intense heat isn’t at its fiercest. If the great outdoors is your thing, temperatures in Yosemite in the winter consistently fall below freezing and this makes for spectacular waterfalls in the thaw that plunge off granite precipices into lush valleys.
Airports and airlines
We scan 230,973 flights, conducting your search on a regional basis enables you to see a wider range of options than say searching by city. Our prices are as seen (scroll up to see the most popular routes and destinations). Some useful information:
- The most popular airlines are: British Airways, Air France and KLM
- The most popular airports are: Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO) and San Diego (SAN)
- December is the cheapest time to fly to California
The cost of your flight depends on departure and return dates, popular times to fly and on your choice of airline. There are 39 airports to choose from in California, performing your search by state enables you to choose the best priced point of entry.