California from the eyes of a local

We have interviewed Kevin, our California Itinerary Planner, to learn about some of the hidden gems that await travellers in this popular state of the United States. He was born and grew up in San Francisco, the tech capital of the world, which, it turns out, offers quite a lot more than that. Here’s what we learned talking to him.

What makes California an attractive destination for travellers?

It’s a liveable place. It makes for only a couple of hours drive to see anything, and I think that’s a beautiful thing. We have mountains, we have flatlands, we have deserts, we have coastal views, we have foggy coastal views. It’s an extremely diverse culture… You can get whatever kind of food you want, whatever kind of culture you want.

California foggy coastal view

Foggy Coastal View

What’s that one thing you would highlight about the region?

The coastal views. If you drive around the coast, you are probably going to drive about 16 hours, and every section you go will be completely different than the last. We have everything. It’s such a big place to have whatever you want to see… We have warm beaches, we have those tropical little paradise kinds of places.

And what is San Francisco like?

San Francisco is a beautifully strange place. You really have all walks of life here. You have the new Facebook employees. You have all these start-ups: Twitter, Facebook, Google, Apple. You have all these people appear from all over the country and all over the world. And then you also have really strange people… You can find a guy walking down the street with a Santa Claus hat on, and that’s it. You have every direction of people. But everybody works together, everybody binds. You might be completely different from that person, but there’s a culture, there’s a heart for San Francisco that everybody shares. And it’s a very cosmopolitan city. We have the biggest Philippino community outside of the Philippines, just on the border of San Francisco. We also have one of the biggest Afghanistan communities, and huge Polynesian and Persian communities.

Has the tech world changed the city in some way?

I really think San Francisco has always been kind of similar to how it is now. But with the people that come here, it just grows that much more and just builds up. You can make good money here, and that helps bring people.

What are those precious hidden gems you are keen for travellers to know about?

Lake Tahoe, near the border with Nevada, is an incredible view. Giant mountains surround it. It’s actually well known by winter Olympians because it’s a training spot for them, but it’s not very well known outside of California. It’s only a four-hour drive from San Francisco, a really beautiful place with friendly people, and a lot of nature. There’s hiking everywhere. And it has its own little hidden gems like Eagle Rock, with some of the most spectacular views of Lake Tahoe.

Lake Tahoe California

Lake Tahoe

We also have the biggest almond plantations. People bring their bees from all over to help pollinate them; they’re so big that they’re difficult to pollinate. The trees are in bloom from mid-February through March and they’re a magnificent view.

Do you have something else to add or to suggest to visitors?

For people wanting to see California, they should think about a specific thing that they want to see, because you can see little things like architecture. You can see architecture anywhere you go. But California is so big that you would need a lot of time to see it all, so it’s probably best to focus on some specifics on a first visit to the region, and then build up from there.

If you are keen to visit California, TailorGo’s local Itinerary Planner Kevin S., born and bred in the country, can design a personalised travel plan for you based on your interests.

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