Don’t be fooled by its perpetually fresh outlook and adventurous attitude: California is older than it seems. Coastal bluffs and snowy peaks were created over millennia of tectonic upheavals that threatened to shake California right off the continent. After 19th-century mining, logging and oil-drilling threatened the state’s natural splendours, California’s pioneering environmentalists rescued old-growth trees, reclaimed rivers and cleaned the beaches. Thanks to the leadership of Californian conservationist John Muir and his Sierra Club, California’s national and state parks continue to astound visitors today.
Without California, America’s menu would be drab and predictable: the Golden State produces most of the country’s fresh produce and kicks off nationwide food trends. Every time they sit down to eat, Californians take a stand on food issues: would you like that salad certified organic or spray-free, your toast with farm-to-table jam or urban-beehive honey, and your burger vegan or with humanely raised grass-fed meat? No matter what you order, it’s bound to be local and creative – and it had better be good. For a chaser, California produces over 90% of the nation’s wine-making grapes and has twice as many breweries as any other state. Whether you dream of carving a wave (maybe for the first time), relaxing at a wine country estate, taking a spin on an iconic theme park ride, or walking through soaring redwoods, you’ll find your perfect getaway in California.