If you’re looking to splurge, you’ve come to the right place.
California is the land of gold, and not just in the northern territory. There are high-end itineraries to be found everywhere—where will you go first?
1. City of Angels
Every hotel in Los Angeles has some kind of storied history of celebrity heartbreak and redemption, making them automatic high-end destinations. Chateau Marmont, for example, is extremely famous for its no-picture policy, its bungalows with private pools, and the hordes of paparazzi waiting to see who comes outside. But the hotel itself is more historic than lavish. Sunset Tower Hotel, on the other hand, has earned its place as the perennial host of Vanity Fair’s Oscar after party. Its restaurants, Tower Bar and The Terrace, are fantastic.
2. Central Coast
The Central Coast is a land of transition, the long link between fast-paced Southern California and the retreats of the foggy North. But more than that, the Pacific Coast Highway that forges this path is an itinerary in itself, one of the world’s premier road trips.
Start in Santa Barbara and take a nice long look at your last view of Southern California. The Biltmore comes with access to Coral Casino, while The Bacara Resort and Spa is a good way to spend your final days in the sun. The Pacific Coast Highway winds up the coast through Big Sur, also known as one of the most beautiful coastlines in America.
3. Wine Country
While San Francisco is always worth a visit, the wine fields of Napa Valley are the calm retreat from the hustle of city life. It’s a chance to focus less on the sights and sounds around you and more on the smells and tastes.
Napa Valley is a land of rolling rainbow hills, dotted by wineries and small towns, each and every one of them offering something new. It’s easy enough to tour—there are only a few roads that cut through the area (the 29, the 12, the 101), so visiting is just a matter of choosing a route and driving until you find a viewpoint or pull-off worth stepping on the brakes for.