Known as ‘The Golden State’ due to the 19th-century gold rush, California offers a celebrated coastline, sun-kissed beaches, dazzling cities and jaw-dropping parklands. Entry is usually via San Francisco or Los Angeles, with the coastal drive along the Pacific a particularly popular route. In the north, you’ll find towering redwood forests to explore, while golden sands and a relaxed lifestyle typify the south. Go hiking in the breathtaking Yosemite National Park, sample word-class wines in Sonoma and Napa Valley, cycle across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, and see the imprints of Hollywood greats along Los Angeles’ Walk of Fame.
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The latest from Compass - our online travel magazine
"This was a fabulous trip from beginning to end with charming and attentive local guides throughout and wonderful accommodation. The dawn balloon ride over Bagan was particularly magical as was the opportunity to get very close to the fishermen on Inle Lake – a photographer's dream!
Mr Peter Bradbrook"
"The whole holiday was a superb experience and now a fantastic memory. We are currently planning our next trip and without a shadow of a doubt it will be with Cox & Kings again.
"We enjoyed every single minute of our holiday, which was one of the best we have ever had.
Mr V, Leicestershire"
"The terracotta army was outstanding . All the main sights – the Great Wall, panda reservation, the Three Gorges and Guilin were up to expectations.
Mr Simon Moffat"
"Standing in the Registan in Samarkand and marvelling at some of the most jaw-dropping and imposing Islamic architecture I've ever seen against a clear as crystal blue sky.
Ms Wendy Proctor"
"The birdwatching at Ambua and Karawari was world class. They have Joseph and Stephen at Ambua, and Chris at Karawari, who are THE experts in PNG, and are mentioned in the new bird book.
Mr Anthony Ray"
"As a couple in our sixties, the trek was an experience of a lifetime. We would like to express our sincere thanks to our fantastic guide Prem - his local knowledge and his enthusiasm simply made the holiday perfect. Thank you very much for an extremely enjoyable holiday.
"All your arrangements worked well and we had a wonderful few days in Istanbul.
"Words could not describe the elation and incredible time we spent in India and Bhutan. No one could ever cap that. Thank you so much for all your efforts.
"We cannot fault any part of the holiday, everything ran as smoothly as it could. The accomodation and the tour guide were excellent and we would dearly love to travel with Cox & Kings again. One of the many highlights were the hotels which were stunning, as well as the trip in Ha Long Bay and the attention to detail. Many thanks for the room upgrades and little extras we received in recognition of our wedding anniversary.
Mr and Mrs Keith"
"Walking down the Siq and seeing the Treasury opening in front of us. Then climbing all 900 steps to the Monastery.
Miss Margaret Sturmey"
"Our guide Abdul really made our holiday. He brought Egypt to life for us.
Mr Christopher Doel"
"Bukhara: walking into the Kalyon mosque and seeing the huge tiled facades, the minaret and turquoise domes all set in the immense courtyard, in which we heard that Genghis Khan murdered the entire young male population of the city in the 13th century. Historic, tragic and beautiful all at once.
Miss Miranda Dawkins"
"The Taj Mahal was fantastic, the people in India were overwhelming, they made me feel very humble.
Mr David Bonham"