California has witnessed increased tourism for eight consecutive years, drawing millions of people from around the world to delight in all it has to offer. From the craft beer revolution to wine country, the coastline to the mountains, or high-end fashion and some of the nation’s best golf courses, the Golden State has something to offer everyone. Have you added this playground to your bucket list? If not, here’s a glimpse at what you’re missing...
Napa Valley earned its spot on the map following the 1976 Judgment of Paris, a blind taste test hosting some of France’s finest wines pitted against unknowns from California. When the scores were tallied, the fine French vintners were not crowned; rather, Chateau Montelena’s chardonnay and a cabernet sauvignon from Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars took the honors. The Judgment of Paris initiated the globalization of wine and solidified California’s Napa Valley as an influencer of wines around the world. Today, Napa Valley is home to over 400 wineries with grand estates and expansive tasting rooms.
Continuing with California wine country, Sonoma County offers a more intimate experience with smaller, premium wineries and farm to table dining. Home of legendary pinot noirs and culinary masterpieces, this is a place to slow down, mingle with locals and winemakers, experience harvest events and attend festivals and winery open houses. A short drive from San Francisco, this is a destination you don’t want to miss.
Visiting the hottest, driest area of North America may not be on the top of everyone’s to do list, but a visit to Dante’s View on a clear day (early in the morning of course) will reveal both the lowest (Badwater Basin) and highest (Mt. Whitney) points in the continental United States. Enjoy a round of golf at Furnace Creek Golf Course, the lowest course sitting at 214 feet below sea level.
Cypress Point Club in Pebble Beach has long been considered one of if not the top golf destinations in the world. Dubbed the “Sistine Chapel of golf” by former USGA President Sandy Tatum, Cypress Point was designed in 1928 by legendary golf course designer Alister MacKenzie and golf course architect Robert Hunter. Pebble Beach Golf Links, one of the most beautiful courses in the world has an extensive ocean backdrop with an incredible nine holes along the coastline. Pebble Beach Golf links is home to the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and is hosting its sixth US Open in 2019.
The Pacific Coast Highway
California State Route 1, more famously known as The Pacific Coast Highway is the iconic stretch of road that runs parallel with the Pacific Ocean through most of the state of California. Designated as an “All American Road” The Pacific Coast Highway runs through Los Angeles, San Francisco, Santa Monica, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, Monterey Bay, and The Big Sur. Taking a drive along the Pacific Coast Highway will yield an adventure in itself with stops to be made in iconic cities, beautiful beaches, and breathtaking natural landmarks. Celebrities! Fashion! Restaurants!
Los Angeles & San Francisco
California is synonymous with celebrity and high-end culture. Spend time in Hollywood with a stroll down The Hollywood Walk of Fame to pay tribute to film and entertainment icons like Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra before enjoying a new flick at the legendary Hollywood Grauman’s Chinese Theater. Over in Beverly Hills on the famous Rodeo Drive you’ll find high end boutiques from Michael Kors, Tom Ford, Versace, and Saint Laurent to be ahead of the fashion curve. World renowned dining can be found all over California, including five-star Zagat rated fare from Trois Mec in Los Angeles, Atelier Crenn in San Francisco, and Baume in Palo Alto. Come to California hungry to both look and eat good!
San Diego has long been known for having some of the best weather in the world and one of the most beautiful golf courses in the world, Torrey Pines. But did you know that San Diego is the 'craft beer capital of the world'? There are hundreds of craft breweries to be found in San Diego. In fact, three of those breweries; Stone, Green Flash, and Karl Strauss rank among the top craft breweries in the world based on sales volume. San Diego Breweries have made famous the “San Diego Pale Ale” which is a specialty Double India Pale Ale. So why not grab a flight of beers after your round?
California is a special place. There is a vast playground of attractions to be found in The Golden State. Beaches, national monuments, wine country, high end fashion and dining, and of course world class golf can be found in California. Don’t just be “California Dreaming,” make a California vacation a reality with Elite Golf Experiences signature California golf tours.