This was held at he Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington which is in a lovely convenient location next to Kensington Gardens and close to shopping, Royal Albert Hall, The Museums, The Roof Gardens and many of London’s Embassies and Consulates. The closest station is Kensington High Street and it is seved by many buses.
This was an all day event with morning sessions mainly in the north of California, a buffet lunch break and more sessions in the afternoon and then some lovely prizes including hotel stays and an educational as well as books and smaller prizes for a few lucky winners
We were presented with a really useful guide with all the contacts we need and a quiz sheet so that we could listen to all the presenters and make notes about each of the areas and hotels that were represeented
San Francisco is a fascinating and unique city. It is also extremely hilly so most of the popular tourist hotels are concentrated around San Francisco Bay which is generally a safe and flat area. Pier 39 is full of shops and restaurants and Alcatraz Tours are very popular. California Academy of Sciences is in San Francisco and a not to be missed attraction. There is a 3-storey rainforest featuring the worlds deeepest coral reef in a tank, There is a penguin encloosure and an undulating green roof with wildflowers that attract butterflies. North of San Francisco are the vineyards of Napa and Sonoma Valley. Napa is 40 miles long
California Central Coast is often missed by the visitor but there are many reasons to stay. 350 miles of gorgeous coastline including the resorts of Santa Barbara, Carmal, Monterey and Santa Cruz. There are also the misskions of San Luis Opispo and the amazing Hearst Castle
When thinking of California it is easy to only think of sunshine, beaches and Hollywood but California has a completely contrasting facet in the mountains of California High Sierra. This does include the well known ski resorts of Mammoth and Lake Tahoe, which is incidentally the largest alpine lake in North America. All these areas are beautiful in the summer too. The area has vast national Parks including Yosemite, King’s Canyon and Sequoia. The tiny capital of Sacramento in in the heart of Gold Rush Country and as well as panning for gold, there are many otheractivities, such as canoeing and horse riding. Shasta Cascade is another almost forgotten area with stunning scenery
Los Angeles isn’t really a huge city, more a collection of very different suburbs, each with their own unique character and style, including Hollywood, West Hollywood, Beverley Hills, Santa Monica and Venice beach
Hollywood is most famous for the sign and the movie industry
Anaheim is famous for being the home of the original Disneyland, still smaller than its counterpart in Florida but it is different. The Matterhorn in the middle is unique to California. A Disneyland Express shuttle operagtes from Los Angeles. Additional attractions are Knotts Berry Farm featuring Snoopy, the original Universal Studios and the relatively new Legoland. Orange County features several lovely beaches too, Huntingdon, Newport and Laguna.
Beverly Hills is a famous suburb of Los Angeles and almost a town in its own right. There are the distinctive road signs everywhere and a tourist trolley which runs from June to September and at weekends only for the rest of the year. Beverley Hills boasts more 4-5* hotels than anywhere else in America outside New York. More information on www.lovebeverleyhills.com
Palm Springs is a convenient stopping point for visitors driving to Las Vegas and it is very famous for its golf courses
San Diego is a pretty town on the Mexican border. It has 70 miles of coastline and now has direct flights to the UK with British Airways, much easier that going through LA. The main attraction apart from its beautiful beaches is Seaworld which has opened several new rides
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