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Yosemite National Park

Exodus Edits: 5 Highlights of California

California is vast and varied. You’ve got the easy, breezy, beachy vibes of SoCal. The sophisticated wine regions of the north. The dramatic landscapes of Yosemite. Coastal bluffs and dewy forests. Mountain peaks and deep blue lakes. You can ski (on snow in winter, on the water in summer), go gaga for movie-making magic in LA, or see how the ultimate Californian lifestyle is epitomised in OC.

If it sounds hard to know where to start, we’ve got your back. But because choosing just five highlights of the Golden State is nigh-on impossible, we’ve lined up your top five in Northern California for starters:

1. The Golden Gate Bridge

The crowning glory of San Francisco is undoubtedly the Golden Gate Bridge. Although it’s more rust-red than gold, it still seems to glow when the sun comes out (although a layer of the notorious San Francisco fog can be just as atmospheric). For the full effect, admire from a distance at the Marin Headlands, Crissy Field, or on a visit to the eerie island prison of Alcatraz. But there’s nothing quite like taking to two wheels and cycling across the bridge to Sausalito on the other side of the Bay.

Golden Gate Bridge

 

2. The neighbourhood of Haight-Ashbury 

The ornate Victorian buildings of San Francisco’s Haight- Ashbury neighbourhood brim with history. But, however pretty the architecture, it’s the people that made this place special. A mix of hippies dominated this neighbourhood in the Summer of Love, and their presence is still felt, along with today’s counter-culture hipsters and young artists. Spend a while wandering and admiring the psychedelic murals and the Painted Ladies houses. And while its most raucous days are in the past, there’s still a great night out to be had.

The neighbourhood of Haight- Ashbury

 

3. Yosemite National Park

Yosemite is deserving of its very own trip. But if push comes to shove, there are a few unmissable sights on a day trip. Not least Mariposa Grove, a giant sequoia forest of over 500 trees that makes you feel like Alice when she’s sipped the ‘Drink Me’ potion. Then there’s the aptly named Panorama Trail, an 8.5-mile route bagging views of Half Dome and across the Yosemite Valley. The perfect introduction to the majestic beauty of this region.

Giant Sequoias

 

4. Lake Tahoe

A vast expanse of blue, the sheer colour of Lake Tahoe is enough to tempt you to come closer. Paddleboarding is a great way to glide over the azure surface and catch the mountain views. And when you’ve wobbled and balanced for long enough, stop at a brewery that crafts its beer with pure Lake Tahoe H2o.

Lake Tahoe

 

5. Napa Valley

Napa Valley is a sensory overload with vineyard-clad, rolling landscapes dotted with estates serving tasters of exquisite wines. A fancy food scene has emerged from stealth mode and

vies to steal wine’s crown, but there’s room here for anything fresh, local, or quality. Sip the blanc de blanc at Schramsberg winery, or head downtown to a tasting room to sip on secret Pinot Noirs presented with a platter of bar bites.

Wine Tasting in Napa Valley

 

Ready for the good news? Give us one week of your time, and we’ll show you these highlights in a barnstorming Sequoias & SUP in California trip.

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