california

A world of diverse landscapes, Hollywood glam and iconic attractions

The golden state

The ultimate playground and long-time much loved destination for Kiwis.
From the glittering allure of Los Angeles to the misty charm of San Francisco, California promises a captivating adventure. Explore picture-perfect beaches, stand amidst towering national treasures like Yosemite and Redwood National Parks, and savour the internationally acclaimed joy of Napa Valley in your glass - a sensory delight for the adventurous soul.

Start your adventure in the City of Angels, where Hollywood's glamour will enchant you, and theme parks reignite a childlike spark. Cycle along the Marvin Braude Bike Trail, and soak up the laid-back vibes of Santa Monica and Venice Beach. Then, head south to San Diego, the birthplace of California, or cruise north on the scenic Pacific Coast Highway, pausing at coastal gems like Santa Barbara and Monterey, until the unmistakable allure of San Francisco beckons.

Outdoor enthusiasts, rejoice! Yosemite's natural wonders await your exploration, Napa Valley's vineyards beckon with delectable delights, and the tranquillity of Lake Tahoe will embrace you. And for any sports fanatics out there - with 18 professional sports franchises to choose from, California is your playground.

Ready for your California Dreamin' to become a reality? Reach out to Travel USA today - your Golden State adventure is calling.
Santa Monica LA

Things to see & do

Browse through our recommended selection of things to see and do in California. Many of these are included in our suggested itineraries, however, if there is
anything you see that particularly takes your interest, please let us know and we will include it in your holiday package or put you in touch with the right people.

Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco, California

Cross the legendary Golden Gate Bridge, an international symbol and architectural marvel. It stands as a global icon striking poses for cameras worldwide since 1937. This structural masterpiece links San Francisco to the scenic Marin County and charming Sausalito, offering not just a drive but a cinematic journey through iconic landscapes.

Disneyland Park

Anaheim, California

Step into the enchanting world of Disneyland Park. Walt Disney’s magical masterpiece, the "Happiest Place On Earth", has enchanted Kiwi travellers since 1955. Fantasyland, Adventureland, and Tomorrowland just to name a few - each a wonderland in itself, filled with heart-pounding rides, timeless attractions, and all your beloved Disney characters. A magical portal to joy - especially when seen through the wide-eyed wonder of your kids!

Fighter Jet Experience

Los Angeles, California

Get ready for the ride of a lifetime with the Fighter Jet Experience. Brace yourself for an adrenaline-pumping, high-speed adventure aboard the Aero L-39 Albatros, straight out of the movies. Guided by a skilled pilot, buckle up for thrilling aerobatic manoeuvres and even take control of the aircraft. A once-in-a-lifetime, hair-raising journey above the stunning Californian landscape. Don't just dream it, fly it - contact Travel USA to snag your seat. This is no simulation; this is the real deal!

Play Pebble Beach

Pebble Beach, California

Swing into action at Pebble Beach. Nestled along the breathtaking Pacific coastline, this legendary golf course is a masterpiece, consistently crowned the #1 public golf course in the US. It’s a mere 15-minute drive from Monterey and a must on every golfer's bucket list. Let Travel USA help you check this off -– it's time to tee up in style!

Universal Studios Hollywood

Los Angeles, California

Dive headfirst into the "reel" world at Universal Studios Hollywood. A full-blown cinematic extravaganza where visitors can enjoy rides inspired by blockbuster films, backstage passes to sets and soundstages, and live shows that bring your favourite characters to life. Calling all movie buffs - this is your golden ticket to an unforgettable experience, no matter your age!

Experience live sport

California

Experience live sport - the American way! Catch the adrenaline, the cheers, and the thrill of a live game - because experiencing sports the American way is an absolute must! In California, there are a whopping 18 pro teams covering NFL, soccer, ice hockey, basketball, and a healthy diet of baseball. Chat with Travel USA to score your tickets and we'll look to lock in your seats before you even pack your bags!

SeaWorld San Diego

San Diego, California

Dive into the aquatic wonderland of SeaWorld San Diego. Prepare yourself for fascinating live animal shows, heart-pounding rides, and up-close encounters with dolphins, sea lions, and orcas at this globally acclaimed marine theme park. Plunge into a sea of adventure with aquariums and water attractions that are sure to make a splash!

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite, California

Unveil the wonders of Yosemite National Park. One of America’s most popular national parks boasting some of the best views and hiking trails in the country - a breathtaking wilderness of cascading waterfalls, towering granite cliffs, and giant sequoia trees. Explore iconic landmarks like Half Dome, El Capitan, one of the world’s premier rock-climbing destinations, and the mighty Yosemite Falls, one of the tallest in the country. 

Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica, California

Stroll along the legendary Santa Monica Pier - where the vibes are as iconic as the views! Reaching out over the Pacific Ocean, the pier is a hotbed of attractions from the renowned Ferris Wheel at Pacific Park to arcade games and roller coasters. A regular go-to spot for both locals and visitors - come soak in the sun, sea, and smiles!

3-star Michelin dining

California

California boasts six culinary gems adorned with this prestigious honour, scattered from San Diego and San Francisco to the vineyard-rich valleys of the north. Don't miss the widely acclaimed Japanese inspired SingleThread Restaurant, Farm and Inn nestled in the Sonoma Valley, just 90 minutes north of San Francisco. Contact Travel USA for more delectable details, including how you can combine an exquisite dining experience with an overnight stay in one of their five luxurious guest rooms.

Disney California Adventure Park

Anaheim, California

Take a magical escapade at Disney California Adventure Park. Situated next door to Disneyland Park, this is where Disney's storytelling takes a fresh, thrilling spin. Explore Avengers Campus, enjoy Pixar Pier's family-friendly rides, and buckle up for an adrenaline-packed Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: BREAKOUT! Your Park-Hopper adventure is calling – let the enchantment begin!

Apple Park

Cupertino, California

Visit the heart of Apple Inc. Nestled on the outskirts of San Jose, just an hour from San Francisco, Apple Inc.'s HQ, aptly named 'Apple Park,' boasts the iconic circular main building known as the "Spaceship." While the HQ is a no-go, Apple enthusiasts can swing by the Apple Park Visitors Centre, dive into the Apple Store, bask in rooftop terrace views, and catch a sneak peek at the architectural wonder of Apple Park.

Six Flags Magic Mountain

Valencia, California

The “Thrill Capital of the World”, a 260-acre thrill-seekers' haven, boasts 20 world-class roller coasters -the most of any theme park on the planet - and over 100 family-friendly rides and attractions. Featuring its latest addition, WONDER WOMAN™ Flight of Courage, the world's tallest and longest single-rail coaster, and Bugs Bunny World, one of Southern California's largest children's areas. Excitement for all - but brace yourself - some of the rides are not for the faint-hearted!

Grammy Museum

Los Angeles, California

Move to the rhythm at the GRAMMY Museum. A must-visit destination for music enthusiasts spotlighting the GRAMMY Awards and its legendary winners. Honouring the history and cultural vibes of tunes with captivating exhibits, interactive displays, and music evolution memorabilia, this museum grooves through the soul of sound.

Knott's Berry Farm

Buena Park, California

Saddle up for a taste of the Wild West at Knott's Berry Farm. Only 15 minutes from Anaheim, this lively theme park is a rollercoaster of excitement with thrilling rides, captivating shows, and themed wonders. Get a taste of the Old West in Ghost Town or bring the kids to revel in the charm of Camp Snoopy. For the ultimate day out, pair it with dinner at Medieval Times or Pirates Dinner Adventure. Yeehah for a wild ride and a feast of fun!

Amoeba Music

Hollywood & San Francisco, California

Add to your record collection at Amoeba Music, one of the world's largest independent record stores - a true haven for music enthusiasts with locations in Hollywood, Berkeley, and San Francisco. The Hollywood store in particular, is a paradise for vinyl lovers, stacked with a massive selection of new and used vinyl records and much, much more. For a 'real groovy' experience, Amoeba Music is the place to be!

San Diego Zoo Safari Park

San Diego, California

Embark on a wild adventure at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Wildlife wonderland where animals roam freely in sprawling, natural habitats. With elephants, lions, cheetahs, giraffes, African rhinos and gorillas, the cast is diverse. Take a guided safari, stroll through aviaries, get schooled on wildlife conservation, or take a flightline safari on two zip lines soaring 2/3 mile above the incredible wildlife below.

Griffith Observatory

Los Angeles, California

Soak up the stunning panorama from Griffith Observatory. Perched on the slopes of Mount Hollywood this hotspot is a cosmic playground. Dive into exhibits on astronomy and space, gaze at celestial wonders through telescopes, and relish breathtaking views of Los Angeles and the iconic Hollywood sign - a celestial spectacle with a side of Hollywood glam!

Napa & Sonoma Valley

Napa & Sonoma, California

Embark on a grape-soaked adventure in the Valleys. Less than 80 km from San Francisco lies the Napa and Sonoma Valley wine regions. Napa, the larger of the two, is a glam haven of scenic vineyards and posh wineries whereas Sonoma boasts a more laid-back vibe, offering a boutique-style charm. Here’s cheers to unforgettable grape escapes!

California Academy of Sciences

San Francisco, California

Experience it all at the California Academy of Sciences. This is not your run-of-the-mill science museum - it's an innovative blend of the Kimball Natural History Museum, Steinhart Aquarium, Morrison Planetarium, and Osher Rainforest, all neatly assembled under the one living roof. Think of it as more than just a suggestion - highly recommended! 

USS Midway Museum

San Diego, California

Journey through naval aviation history at the USS Midway Museum. This floating marvel, nestled on the aircraft carrier USS Midway, invites you to dive into the vibrant life of naval aviation. With over 30 meticulously restored aircraft, from fighter jets to helicopters, spread across nearly 10 acres of captivating exhibits and displays, it's a voyage through the skies and seas like no other.

Alcatraz Island

San Francisco, California

Escape to Alcatraz Island - the notorious former federal prison, smack in the heart of San Francisco Bay, that once caged the likes of Al Capone. Now, it's a hotspot for visitors and history buffs. Dive into the prison's intriguing past, epic escape attempts, and the stories of its infamous inmates. Pre-booking is the key to unlocking this adventure!

Musso & Frank Grill

Los Angeles, California

Get a taste of Hollywood history at the legendary Musso & Frank Grill. This iconic Hollywood eatery, born in 1919, exudes classic Hollywood charm. A much-loved haunt for many decades, it's a magnet for celebrities, writers, and movie insiders. Get ready for a taste of Hollywood history with classic American cuisine and signature cocktails. Contact Travel USA for more details.

Citadel Outlets

Los Angeles, California

LA's premier outlet mall with over 130 discounted designer and brand-name stores. Ask us about our LA VIP Shopping Day package, featuring return transfers or valet parking, a VIP Savings Passport and access to the Citadel Outlets VIP lounge. Or for those with a late-night flight you can opt for our 'Shop Until You Drop Off ... at LAX' transfer option which includes a shopping stop enroute. Citadel welcomes Kiwi shoppers with their digital Savings Passport - click below to sign up.

Citadel Savings Passport

Hollywood Walk of Fame

Los Angeles, California

Find your favourite ‘stars’ at the Hollywood Walk of Fame as you take a star-studded stroll through Hollywood history! Famous Hollywood landmark and home to more than 2,700 brass stars embedded in the sidewalks of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street. Each star pays homage to a trailblazer from the entertainment industry, and the lineup is always evolving - with an average of two new stars added every month. 

Dodger Stadium Tour

Los Angeles, California

Step up to the plate at the legendary Dodger Stadium - the beating heart of Major League Baseball and the proud home of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Whether you're looking for a game day experience or, on non-game days, a 90-minute tour taking you down to the field and through the team's Trophy gallery, chat with Travel USA. It’s where baseball dreams come to life!

Cycle to Venice Beach

Santa Monica, California

Pedal your way from Santa Monica to vibrant Venice Beach. Journey to the heart of LA's beachy bliss! A mere 15-20 minutes along the scenic bike path reveals this eclectic neighbourhood, complete with the legendary Muscle Beach. Dive into Venice's famous boardwalk, soak up its laid-back vibe, and embrace the lively beachside scene.

Ronald Reagan’s Presidential Library & Museum

Simi Valley, California

Delve into the legacy of the 40th President at his museum, a treasure trove of artefacts, exhibits, and documents from his impactful life and presidency. Immerse yourself in interactive displays, step into a full-scale replica of the Oval Office, and catch a glimpse of the actual Air Force One aircraft used during his rule. 

San Diego Zoo

San Diego, California

Explore the world-famous San Diego Zoo. World-renowned zoo and a haven for over 3,500 animals representing more than 650 species. Beyond the enclosures, it's on a mission to ignite a passion for wildlife and the environment, making it a hub for education, research, and animal welfare. Get ready for a zoo experience that's more than meets the eye!

Redwood National Park

Crescent City, California

Stand amongst the giants at Redwood National ParkMarvel at nature's skyscrapers - the awe-inspiring California Coast redwoods. Towering over 90 meters high, these ancient giants create a unique forest canopy. In a diverse tapestry of ecosystems, from mighty rivers to coastal stretches, these towering trees, alongside spruce and ferns, form a living mosaic, beckoning awe and reverence from those who venture into their sanctuary. 

LEGOLAND California

Carlsbad, California

Have a brick-tastic adventure at LEGOLAND California. Family-friendly theme park that pays homage to the beloved LEGO bricks. Guests can enjoy LEGO-themed rides, shows, and interactive marvels and be sure not to miss the fascinating Miniland USA - a cityscape crafted entirely from LEGO bricks. Let the building block bonanza begin! 

Santa Monica Beach Picnic

Santa Monica, California

Enjoy a seaside picnic on Santa Monica Beach. A beachside picnic tailored just for you, where everything you need for a special occasion is served up against the backdrop of sun, sand, and waves. Plus, spice it up with some exciting add-ons from other fellow Santa Monica businesses. Contact Travel USA for more details.

Anaheim Packing District

Anaheim, California

Experience a culinary adventure in the Anaheim Packing District. This hip, one-of-a-kind food hall has made a historic citrus packing facility its home. Experience a diverse culinary adventure with gourmet food stalls and artisanal vendors, making it a hot spot for both visitors and locals craving an eclectic dining experience. 

Catalina Island

Catalina Island, California

Embark on a ferry adventure to Catalina Island. Island paradise just a breezy one-hour ride from SoCal's mainland, known for its crystal-clear waters and Mediterranean allure. Spend the day exploring Avalon's charming shops, delightful restaurants, and the iconic Casino building. For the adventurous, you can try kayaking, snorkelling, hiking, or even zip-lining.

Visit Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe, California

Enjoy the all-season playground of Lake Tahoe. Embraced by the stunning Sierra Nevada Mountains this nature lover's haven attracts visitors to soak up the outdoors with hiking trails, biking adventures and exhilarating water sports. And when winter rolls around, it transforms into a winter wonderland, inviting visitors to carve through its snowy slopes on skis or snowboard. The lake's clarity and the scenic beauty of its surroundings make Lake Tahoe a much sought-after destination.

Yosemite square stunning shot of El Capitan from the road

interested in finding out more?

Contact us today for expert travel advice and personalised trip planning assistance.
San Francisco Bridge at sunset on the clear night

not quite what you're looking for?

Our packages and featured 'things to see and do' have been created to excite, inspire and inform Kiwi travellers about what we recommend they do when travelling to the USA. All of these can be personalised to your individual needs and preferences. Contact us to discuss your requirements so we can work together to create the perfect adventure for you.
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