0161 492 1387

carrier /Search

USA & Canada / California

Luxury Travel: All-time Favourites

Francisca Kellett, Travel Editor at Tatler Magazine

First memories have a lot to answer for. My earliest is from San Francisco, tottering over the Golden Gate Bridge, terrifically pleased at the wind, the height, the sea, the rusty-redness of it all. That memory has never left me. It draws me back again and again. But San Fran and all its fog-blurred up-and-down gorgeousness is just a small slice of the Californian pie. There are the corduroy vineyards of Napa and Sonoma. There’s salt-washed, ocean-lashed Big Sur; the epic peaks of Yosemite and the moss-green giants of the redwood forests; the surfers, the hippies, the farmers, the Hollywood starlets. There’s nowhere else like it and I can’t wait to get back.

Dramatic coastlines, glamorous cities and some of the world’s most celebrated vineyards and wineries; experience it all on a California road trip of a lifetime. From the palm-lined streets of Laguna Beach to the secluded bays of Catalina Island, California is certainly cherished for its sandy beaches. However, this isn’t all that The Golden State has to offer. A touring country par-excellence, California’s diverse landscapes are made for exhilarating road trips and leisurely fly drives; there’s no greater sense of freedom than cruising along the Pacific Coast Highway in a four-wheel convertible, taking in the ocean views. Further inland, quainter treasures are waiting to be discovered. Nestled amongst the fragrant vineyards and olive groves of Sonoma County and The Napa Valley are luxury ranches, fine dining experiences and vintage wine tours aplenty; the French Laundry in Yountville is revered for its delectable blend of French-American cuisine. For scenic wonders of a different kind, experience a day trip to one of California’s dramatic national parks; join a serene twilight walk through the wild flower-dotted meadows and contorta pines of Yosemite National Park or hike amongst the world’s largest trees in the rugged foothills of Sequoia National Park. Northward bound, the pristine waters of Lake Tahoe glisten beneath the snow-capped mountain peaks – perfect for a romantic boat ride or bike trail to relish the views. Beyond the great outdoors, a multitude of pulsating cities and luxury 5 star hotels await your arrival. Famed for its pastel-hued Victorian houses and colourful flare, San Francisco is a place of unique charms and infectious energy; shopping at Union Square and photographing Alamo Square and Lombard Street is a must. For outright glamour, Los Angeles gets the biggest press; immerse yourself in star-studded culture in Beverly Hills and at the Hollywood Walk of Fame on your luxury California holiday.

Read more

California Essentials

Approx. Flight Times London to San Francisco/Los Angeles: 11 hours. London to San Diego: 11 hours 30 minutes
Time Difference GMT -8 Hours
  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec

California Hotels & Itineraries

Introducing some of the best 5 star resorts in California.

{{filteredHotels.length}} results


{{formatTitle(key)}}     ({{selectedTags[key].length}} selected)

Best experiences in California

  • Take a break from your California fly drive with an historical pit stop at the Hearst Castle estate; this National Historical Landmark sits upon 'The Enchanted Hill' and is renowned for its elaborative architecture, legendary art displays and scenic hilltop views
  • Visit the sophisticated Newport Beach area for a spot of pampering; indulge in a luxury spa treatment or take advantage of the championship golf courses
  • Experience San Diego city and La Jolla Cove, from postcard-ready ocean sunsets to the vast array of wildlife in their free-roaming enclosures at San Diego Zoo Safari Park
  • Savour speciality wine and local cheeses upon a guided Napa Valley wine tour of Castello di Amorosa, a 13th Century Tuscan castle and winery set amongst the flourishing vineyards in Calistoga
  • Visit the infamous Alcatraz Island for a tour of the federal penitentiary, which overlooks San Francisco Bay and The Golden Gate Bridge

When is the best time to visit California?

Summer in California is hot and dry with cool evenings, whilst winter tends to be milder with a little rain between January and March. Winters in San Francisco can be chilly and foggy, whilst Los Angeles can be smoggy in the summer months. On Lake Tahoe, expect cold and snowy winters, and although summer days can be warm, the evenings can still be chilly. To guarantee the best prices for your luxury family holiday, we recommend booking at least a year in advance for the following summer holidays.

Why Carrier / You've found The ONE


The ONE for Knowledge

Our team travel extensively, getting under the skin of every destination and hotel that we feature while building key connections and relationships along the way. In-depth knowledge of a destination is only part of what is required to curate a couture holiday experience; we also get to know you and what matters to you, meaning you receive genuine recommendations and a truly individual travel experience, and our Carrier Masterclasses ensure our travel experts are the best in the industry at tailoring bespoke and unique holidays. DESTINATIONS LINK

Read more

The ONE to Trust

Carrier has been tailoring holidays worldwide for over 35 years and has firmly established its reputation as one of the leaders in the luxury holiday market. We have been voted ‘Favourite Tour Operator’ by the readers of Condé Nast Traveller magazine more times than any other company in the past decade, and have been featured in The Sunday Times Travel Magazine’s Top 10 Tour Operators for 2016. Carrier has also won several national travel industry accolades, including ‘Luxury Tour Operator of the Year’ from TTG Luxury and Advantage Travel Centres.

The ONE of a Kind

Why settle for ordinary when you can have extraordinary? The best suites in some of the world’s plushest hotels, the first choice of flight seats, attention to detail, no restrictions or limitations - how luxury holidays should be. Your holiday desires are well taken care of, whether you wish to learn new life skills while training with a Bodyism expert, or uncovering centuries-old bushmen secrets in Botswana with expert safari guides. Children can follow the life of a panda keeper one day and cook dinner with a Beijing housewife the next. Carrier can make it happen.

What would you like to do next?...

Live chat

Chat online with one of our Travel Experts now.

Start conversation

Make an enquiry

Complete our short online enquiry and one of our experts will be in touch.

Get in touch

Free download

Download our current brochure for all your travel inspiration needs.

Take me there

You May Also Like