When travelers think of bucket list California experiences, their minds may go to the beachy sands, bustling cities, rustic vineyards or anywhere in between. The Golden State has plenty to to keep travelers entertained, and below, we’ve rounded up where you can find some of the most quintessential and bucket list California experiences.
Fairmont Century Plaza
Los Angeles, CA
Once the famed and celebrity-adored Century Plaza Hotel, the Fairmont Century Plaza has long been a history, luxury property in Los Angeles proper. Set in Century City, Fairmont Century Plaza sits adjacent to Beverly Hills and just a short drive to Santa Monica, Pacific Palisades and Santa Monica beaches, making it the perfect jumping off point to explore the sprawling city. Following a $2.5 billion renovation, the property has been completely reimagined with 400 expansive guest rooms each featuring private terraces; the 14,000-square-foot Forbes Five-Star Fairmont Spa Century Plaza with ultimate glamour packages such as the Lights, Camera, Century Plaza!; Lumière – a French-inspired Brasserie; a rooftop pool with 360 degree views of LA; and more. Home to many of the acclaimed award shows such as Critics Choice, Fairmont Century Plaza is the place to see and be seen in LA.
Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach
Huntington Beach, CA
A sprawling, Spanish-inspired resort that sits on Southern California’s golden sands of Surf City USA, Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach is a sun-soaked escape for families looking for the quintessential oceanside vacation. Boasting direct beach access via pedestrian sky bridge (the only hotel in Huntington Beach with this feature) and a selection of beachy activities to connect and disconnect – from the Pacific Waters Spa, private mermaid swim classes, beachfront s’mores, bike rentals along the iconic Huntington Beach Pier, and more – the resort is the picturesque destination for bucket list California experiences. New this year, guests can elevate their cabana rental with bottle service, cold beer buckets, s’mores kits and pool toys. Come sunset, enjoy Dive in movies every Friday night at Slyders, where kiddos can splash in the colorful pool and roast marshmallows poolside under the stars while seeing their favorite flick.
Solage, Auberge Resorts Collection
Napa Valley, CA
From tasting small-production wines amidst world-class art, taking in a dynamic cocktail scene or cycling down miles of winding country roads and dense oak trees, Solage, Auberge Resorts Collection is all about the unique pleasures of Napa Valley. The luxury hotel offers numerous bucket list experiences, including soaring high above the valley in a hot air balloon. Launch just after dawn when the winds are at their calmest and the temperatures are at their coolest for an unforgettable ride high up in the air to watch the sunrise. We might wind our way near the dramatic Mayacamas Mountains, soar over the famous vineyards of Napa Valley, or neighboring Sonoma Valley or Lake County (dependent on weather).
Stanly Ranch, Auberge Resorts Collection
Napa Valley, CA
A new Napa Valley hotel in the heart of wine country, Stanly Ranch, Auberge Resorts Collection offers the quintessential Napa experience with an elevated twist. Guests are invited to engage in unforgettable California experiences, including a Helicopter Tasting with Donum Estate. Guests will depart from Napa airport and get a birds eye view of the Napa Valley on a 15 minute helicopter ride to Donum Estate. Then, they will land directly in the vineyards and begin your journey with a wine tasting and pairing of chefs’ inventive bites. After the tasting, depart on a private art walk to take in the properties extensive collection of contemporary art featuring more than 50 pieces of monumental, museum rival works.
The Peninsula Beverly Hills
Beverly Hills, CA
The Peninsula Beverly Hills is the definition of luxury in Los Angeles. From the iconic Afternoon Tea, to the results-driven spa, this property offers numerous California classic experiences. What is living in Los Angeles though, without access to a luxury car? The Peninsula Beverly Hills has made staying in a suite even suiter with offering a complimentary use of a BMW for the length of a guests’ stay when booking one of the elegant hotel suites. While Beverly Hills has so much to offer, having a car gives you the freedom to see even more of Southern California, whether it is driving up the Pacific Coast Highway to Malibu, or continuing on, past Santa Barbara, to Santa Ynez wine country.