California itself is such a large state and has something to attract everyone from all walks of life so is definitely a must if you get the chance!
I was lucky enough to visit Santa Barbara, Santa Monica and Venice Beach – there’s such a huge contrast between all three although they are within 2 hours of each other.
Santa Barbara – This was our first stop. We flew direct from Heathrow with BA/AA into LAX (Los Angeles) with around a 2 hour transfer to the city.
When we arrived, I knew straight away why a lot of the celebrities visited here to ‘chill’ and get away from the hustle and bustle of LA/Hollywood. It has a very relaxed atmosphere with a stunning harbour and beach with shops dotted along.
Santa Barbara is very eco-friendly with a strong focus on their eco system and marine life. It is so lovely to go out into the ocean in search of dolphins and whales and we were lucky enough to see them up close which was absolutely amazing!
Santa Barbara sits on a hillside, so a lot of their properties are higher up with amazing views of the sea. There are a couple of hotels that sit at the bottom of the hill on the beachfront, one being the Hilton Santa Barbara, which is a fantastic option if you want to be in the thick of it all but they also have some stunning properties in the hills, The Belmont & Ritz Carlton which are very popular with the more elite that want a luxury break away in peace and tranquillity.
Santa Barbara has a nice climate all year round rarely falling below 20c, it is warmer September-October time and this is their peak season.