Some cities are just enduringly endearing – and that’s San Francisco. Its quirks will just make you smile more: the barking sea lions of Pier 39, the impossibly steep hills (which seem to only ever go up), Lombard Street’s crazy crooked twists, the mindboggling dramas behind Alcatraz, the chaos of its cable cars – it’s all entertainingly eccentric.
Fly daily from London Heathrow to San Francisco with Virgin Atlantic.
San Francisco might be full of excitement, but there’s plenty of peace too. There are the beaches by Ghirardelli Square. The waterfront park of Crissy Field. The rose gardens of Golden Gate Park. And day trips over the bridge to enjoy the calm of Muir Woods, seasidey Sausalito, and Point Reyes National Seashore. Stay 4 nights at the Sheraton Fishermans Warf. Find out more about this hotel >>
Dramatically dwarfed by nature’s super-sized skyscrapers, from El Capitan to Half Dome, Yosemite Village’s smattering of lodge-like buildings is more base camp than star attraction (although the Ansel Adams Gallery’s well worth a view). Most of your time will be spent with your neck-craned staring up at mountains and waterfalls, or eyes-strained gazing at infinite views.
As The States demands, this national park does things on a whopping scale. There’s the stature of its monarchs, Half Dome and El Capitan. The thunderous soundtrack of Bridalveil and Yosemite Falls. The vastness of views from Glacier Point, Tunnel View and Olmsted Point. The loftiness of Tuolumne Grove’s sequoias. And its boundless beauty, remoteness and peace. Stay 3 nights at Yosemite Cedar Lodge.Find out more about this hotel >>
Fly home overnight from San Francisco to Heathrow with Virgin Atlantic.