An Endless Summer In California

17 January 2017

There’s so much to see and do in California; from the bright lights of Los Angeles’ Hollywood to the tech hub of San Francisco, it’s a diverse landscape to traverse. Arguably California’s biggest drawcard is how you can drive from a chilled-out surfer town like Huntington Beach to a desert haven like Palm Springs in just over a couple of hours.

Another perk is being able to chase an endless summer. When the days start to get cooler in Australia, you can hop over to Cali just as the Northern Hemisphere is just starting to heat up and keep the summer fun rolling on. For Flight Centre Mona Vale Travel Expert Thomas MacDonald, California was the perfect escape for an endless summer. 

Huntington Beach is a popular surf beach year round for its mild climate and decent waves. (Image: Getty)

Where did you go in California?

We did a three-day California adventure hosted by Visit California. We travelled to the desert oasis of Palm Springs and the surfing mecca of Huntington Beach, which I loved. It has a great, relaxed atmosphere, a huge beach and amazing sunsets.

What was the highlight of your trip?

Exploring such vastly different locations and landscapes within such a short drive. With the desert of Palm Springs, the beaches of Orange County and the magic of Disneyland all within a couple of hours’ drive of each other, Cali offers something for everyone.

Palm Springs isn't just an oasis in the desert, it's a mecca for mid century furniture and design. (Image: Getty)

Best meal you had?

S’mores on Huntington Beach! For anyone uninitiated with this delicious treat, it consists of marshmallows roasted on an open fire with chocolate sandwiched between two graham crackers.

Best activity you did?

Testing our skills driving a range of M Series BMWs around the purpose-built BMW performance centre in Thermal, California.

Sunset at Huntington Beach is the perfect spot for selfies, says Thomas. (Image: Getty)

Where was the best spot to take a selfie?

Huntington Beach at sunset.

Something you learnt on the trip that you didn’t already know?

The city of Palm Springs started as a getaway for famous Hollywood actors in the mid-20th century. The Hollywood studios allowed them to take short breaks from filming, but only two hours away in case filming resumed. Palm Springs is exactly two hours inland and as such, grew into a hangout for the rich and famous.

Palm Springs was originally a haven for the rich and famous to escape Tinsel Town, hence it's grown as luxury oasis today. (Image: Getty)

California in five words:

Relaxation, adventure, celebrity, unique, sunset.


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Sam Aldenton

Sam Aldenton is a travel writer, digital content creator (read: takes photos/videos with her iphone and sometimes a real camera) and former retail and youth trend forecaster. When she's not off discovering the world’s best pizza (an obsession picked up from her 4-years in New York), she makes her home in Brisbane, Australia. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram at @samaaldenton.