It’s easy to find Union Square and the Golden Gate Bridge, but if you delve a little deeper, you’ll discover that San Fran is full of hidden gems. Of course you may want to first tick-off a ride on one of the city’s much-loved cable cars, a wander around Fisherman’s Wharf and a must-visit to Alcatraz. Then there's pop-up restaurants, local breweries, and enough museums and galleries to satisfy any culture vulture. When you leave the city behind youi can enjoy the slower pace of Lake Tahoe. Inhale the scent of pine trees, wander along sandy beaches and dip your toes in the lake - this huge natural playground is simply stunning. Yosemite is tough competition though. There’s something about its towering cliffs and breathtaking waterfalls that are so enduring.
Hills aside, San Francisco makes sightseeing pretty easy. Its waterfront strip lays out many must-sees, from Golden Gate Bridge to Pier 39, Alcatraz, and Ghirardelli Square. Its shop-till-you-drop centre connects Chinatown’s curio shops, Union Square’s boutiques, and Westfield’s big brands. And you’ll find Golden Gate Park and the Painted Ladies of Alamo Square linked by Haight-Asbury.
Fly daily from London Heathrow to San Francisco with Virgin Atlantic.
This may be a landmark-packed city but, if you find time to step outside San Fran, a quick trip across the Golden Gate Bridge takes you to the colossal redwoods of Muir Woods, the beauty of Stinson Beach, and the swanky yet sweet seaside community of Sausalito, with its postcard panoramas of San Francisco’s hills. Pick up your car hire from San Francisco before you head to Lake Tahoe.
Virtually circling the shoreline for 72 miles, but dipping inland to take in woods, lakeside towns, and other scenic spots, Lake Tahoe has probably the most beautiful ring-road in the world. Outside the loop, you’ve got some of America’s premier snow sport mountains, and inside, one of its finest water sport-ready lakes.
Playground for San Franciscans, Lake Tahoe has endless hiking, biking, water sports, skiing and snowboarding. When you’re not on the water or mountain, follow the lake’s Californian fringe north and you’ll run into the Emerald Bay, D.L. Bliss, and Sugar Pine Point state parks, before reaching Kings Beach State Recreation Area – each spot promising its own outdoorsy adventures.
America has got some of the most incredible sceneries in the world, and right at the top of that list (fighting for first place with the likes of the Grand Canyon and Mount Rushmore) is Yosemite National Park. Getaways to this incredible natural wonder aren’t just for ‘outdoorsy’ types – with a great choice of hotels, attractions, and things to do, Yosemite National Park holidays really do appeal to everyone.
Let’s get one thing cleared up before we go for a jaunt around this amazing spot – yes, you’ve heard it right, the entire park does sit slap-bang in the middle of a ma-hoossive volcano caldera. But fortunately, there’s no chance of it going pop any time soon. Instead, check out some of the active hot-spots for some amazing photos. Holidays to Yosemite put you back in touch with the great outdoors, so let’s have a whistle-stop tour of the best bits.
Fly home with Virgin Atlantic.