California dreamin’: City, coast and desert

Greater Palm Springs roadshow
Home » California dreamin’: City, coast and desert

Southern California, or SoCal for short, stretches from the metropolis of Los Angeles down along the Pacific Coast to San Diego and inland to the desert destination of Greater Palm Springs, making a perfect itinerary for a triangular road trip.

Offering the perfect combo of good food – influenced by migrants from all over the world – great wine and fabulous scenery, it’s not hard to see why it’s a favourite with road-trippers from the UK, SoCal’s biggest international market.

“You can go from the city to the desert in just 90 minutes,” said Visit Newport Beach President & CEO Gary Sherwin. “It’s perfect for a road trip.”

Since the pandemic the SoCal region has moved more upmarket with the opening of new luxury and even uber-luxury hotels. So, hire your clients a convertible, tell them to download their favourite playlist and they’ll be living the California dream in no time!

Suggest they start their trip in the city of West Hollywood, the centre of the entertainment industry and the place countless celebrities call home. With more stars per square mile than the Milky Way, this is the place to spot your heroes.

“You can tell your clients that they don’t need a hire car for this part of their holiday,” said West Hollywood Travel + Tourism Board President & CEO Tom Kiely. “We’ve got 300 bars, restaurants, nightclubs and a variety of shopping within a short distance and they can easily call an Uber or Lyft.”

Pendry West Hollywood rooftop pool

Accommodation in West Hollywood ranges from boutique to ultra-luxury. Check out the newest arrivals on the iconic Sunset Strip: the design-forward West Hollywood EDITION; the sustainable luxury 1 Hotel West Hollywood; and the sophisticated Pendry West Hollywood.

Head south towards San Diego and you’ll hit Newport Beach, just 20-minutes’ drive from Disneyland Resort. Famed for its harbour, where hundreds of private yachts drop anchor, its five-mile-long sandy beach and fabulous seafront restaurants, it’s a great place to relax.

Make sure clients have enough time to visit the Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve and Ecological Reserve known as ‘The Back Bay’ to locals. Boasting 1,000 acres of pristine wetlands, it is home to over 200 endangered species and 35,000 migratory birds.

Accommodation in Newport Beach ranges from B&Bs to five-stars. The recent renovation of the Hyatt Regency, including the addition of three pools, one for adults only, has taken things up a notch, and for those looking for luxe there’s also the Renaissance Newport Beach Hotel, the Marriott Hotel and Spa, Marriott Bayview and the Lido House, which has the only rooftop bar in Newport Beach, the Resort at Pelican Hill, boasting a 36-hole golf course, and the waterfront Balboa Bay Resort, one of the most unique hotels in Newport.

Corona del Mar

Head east and you reach Greater Palm Springs which encompasses nine cities – Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Indio and Coachella. It is the desert playground of the rich and famous and a favourite of the likes of Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley.

Just two hours’ drive from LA, Greater Palm Springs is famed for its mid-century architecture and continues to attract movies stars, including Leonardo DiCaprio, who bought the 1964 home of Big Band singer Dinah Shore and transformed it into a boutique hotel, 432 Hermosa, and reality TV celebs Kourtney Kardashian and Kris Jenner, who own homes in La Quinta.

Kimpton Rowan Palm Springs Hotel

Situated at the foot of the Santa Rosa Mountains, this upscale resort oasis offers lots of activities, including hiking with members of the native Agua Caliente tribe, mountain biking, riding the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, and soaking in the natural hot springs.

“Home rentals are popular in Palm Springs, but we’ve got accommodations to suit everyone from families to luxury,” said Visit Greater Springs President & CEO Scott White.

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