California is among the most visited states in America, due in large part to the dream factories of its megacities. Manifest Destiny and the gold rush paved the way for global titans Los Angeles and San Francisco. For many travelers the draw of a California luxury holiday is the magic of indomitable Hollywood.

Among the glitz and glamour of the Golden State you’ll find a history of innovation across many industries, from the origins of Disney to the birthplace of techie ingenuity in Silicon Valley. California laboratories are credited with pioneering such technologies as the transistor, the microchip, and the Internet. There’s no denying that the Pacific Coast is where the ideas of future become reality.

Yet beyond California’s booming metropolises is a beautiful landscape that is responsible for cultivating sun-drenched fruits and vegetables. This is where farm-to-table is the trend-setting standard and where 90-percent of the nation’s winemaking grapes are produced. While a visit to wine country is definitely a prerequisite on any California luxury holiday, the natural wonders along coastal Highway 1 are some of the most impressive and diverse in the world.

The seaside border of California features the somber cliffs of Big Sur and the “Serengeti of the Sea”, Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. This haven is the largest nationally-protected marine sanctuary in the United States. Though it may be a surprise to find a safari during your California luxury holiday, it is certainly rewarding. Migratory whales, seals, sea otters, and an endless parade of marine birds delight coastal visitors year-round. Early spring is famous for sightings of seal pups, blue whales and humpbacks arrive in May, and the resident sea lions at Fisherman’s Wharf are endlessly entertaining.

California boasts two unifying geologic and geographic assets: the vast Pacific Ocean waters and the towering mountains along its shores. In northern California, the Sierra Nevada Mountains host the pristine wilderness of Yosemite National Park and the Giant Sequoia forests. You can step back in time with your Ker & Downey guide and walk through Yosemite Valley for insight into its beauty, told through the eyes of the visionary 19th-century author and naturalist John Muir.

These are among the wonderful sights to see in the Golden State. If you are California dreaming, contact your Ker & Downey luxury travel consultant to begin your own private journey.