Like they’ve curated all the best bits of any city – and thrown in a whole bunch of exciting extras – San Francisco does everything for everyone. Beaches? It’s got them. Exciting architecture? Check out the skyline from Alamo Square. Shopping? Buy high-end in Union Square or hippy chic in Haight-Ashbury. Landmarks? Er … Golden Gate Bridge. It’s got it all.
Fly daily from London Heathrow to San Francisco with Virgin Atlantic.
Despite its hills, bike is king here – and there’s nothing quite like cycling over Golden Gate Bridge, or curving your way down Lombard Street, or peddling your way past Pier 39 as you bike the Embarcadero. Still not convinced? There’s always cable cars instead, whipping you from Union Square towards Fisherman’s Wharf in no time.
Its name doesn’t lie – and it’s not just the mountain that’s mammoth here; the attractions come in gargantuan portions too. Its southern California address means Mammoth Mountain gets plenty of sunshine, but the winter sports come as thick and fast as the snow, with skiing (downhill and cross-country), snowboarding, snowmobiling, and other exhilarating action.
This may be California’s highest ski resort, but you can leave the skis behind and ride snow tubes down the slopes at Woolly’s Tube Park. Or swap the chairlifts for a gondola, scaling to the peak (11,000 foot high) for views just as thrilling as the snow sports. Or travel in luxury by snowcat, going off-piste on a scenic journey.
Fly home overnight from San Francisco to Heathrow with Virgin Atlantic.