Los Angeles and San Francisco are great options for an American city break – but which one should you choose?
Opt for the former and you will find that Los Angeles – also referred to as the City of Angels – has much to offer. If you’re looking to rest, relax and unwind while on holiday, LA would be a great place to visit, not least because it is home to a wide range of health centres and day spas that you are sure to enjoy spending time at.
For example, the Luxe Spa at the Luxe Hotel on Sunset Boulevard is the perfect place to visit for a spot of pampering. Here, you will be able to sign up for a range of packages, many of which combine body and skin treatments with yoga.
You can take your pick from Swedish, aromatherapy or upper body massages, or go for body wraps like the herbal seaweed detox mud wrap – ideal if you think your skin is in need of re-mineralising and toning.
If you’re new to the area, you will also find that LA is home to a lot of gardens and parks. Exposition Park on Exposition Boulevard is one highlight that includes a 7.5-acre rose garden – which harbours a staggering 15,793 rose bushes.
You can also head to the California African American Museum, the California Science Center and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum while in this part of the city.
The Natural History Museum of LA County can also be found in this park. There is a variety of exhibitions on display, such as those in the new Dinosaur Hall, which is home to more than 300 real fossils and 20 complete dinosaurs.
In addition, the Butterfly Pavilion could be worth a visit and you will find more than 55 butterfly and moth species here. Keep a lookout for the monarch, California dogface and mourning cloak species, as well as other more exotic types that have been brought to the centre from around the US.
If you decide to head to San Francisco over LA, you won’t be disappointed, as this sunny city by the sea is home to a vast array of wonderful boutiques, renowned wholefood restaurants and late-night clubs, as well as a beautiful waterfront that boasts refurbished piers, gift shops, bistros and a huge number of bars.
Of course, you are sure to be looking for somewhere to eat while on holiday and you will find that San Francisco is a wonderful place for eager gastronomes to visit.
There are a lot of good-quality restaurants for you to investigate and you might have a great time if you head to Greens, Boulevard or Foreign Cinema – venues that are well known for their fresh, ingredient-driven menus. You might also want to check out the trendy neighbourhoods of Mission District and Noe Valley.
These quarters are home to Range, Delfina and Incanto, as well as Coi and Ame. These last two in particular are well known for their eclectic cuisine, with their fare firmly rooted in Asian and western traditions.
You are also sure to want to go sightseeing while in San Francisco, and your first port of call should perhaps be the Golden Gate Park – which is even bigger than New York’s Central Park.
Once here, you will find both the California Academy of Sciences and the Dutch Windmill. The latter was built back in 1902 and was originally intended to power the park’s irrigation.
You might also enjoy checking out the Beach Chalet, which is home to some amazing floor-to-ceiling frescos and lots of mosaics depicting Californian geography and history.
A great way of getting to know the city could be by taking to the air. You can book a trip on the San Francisco Champagne Seaplane Flight – a 35-minute journey that really is a very luxurious way to see what the metropolis has to offer.
You will be flown over Pier 39, the North Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and Downtown San Francisco – all the while sipping on a flute of champagne.
Those looking for nighttime entertainment might enjoy heading to The Parlor on Leavenworth Street.
This has been decorated in the style of the early 1900s but has also been fitted out with every mod con imaginable. There are high-definition TVs, private televisions in special booths and a wonderful bar with a number of the finest rare liquors to be found in the world on offer.