What's New in California

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Summer 2019

What’s New in California showcases new openings and developments happening across the Golden State. Find inspiration for stories revolving around accommodations, arts and entertainment, culinary, family, major milestones, luxury, outdoor, shopping, spas, technology and tours, wellness and more. Dates listed are subject to change. Confirm with appropriate media contacts listed with each entry.

California Road Trip Republic

2019 marks the year of the California Road Trip, as Visit California declares the state to be the Road Trip Republic: the world’s preeminent destination for hitting the open road. In 1903 the first cross country road trip originated in California, and the California Road Trip has been a rite of passage ever since. Sitting at the nexus of freedom and discovery, road trips not only offer the opportunity for the best Instagrammable moments, but also the chance to connect with loved ones, take time away and experience the true sense of freedom that only setting out on the open road without an agenda can offer.

In addition to classic, “bucket list” trips, such as coastal Highway 1 and the terminus of historical Route 66, California offers travelers seemingly endless adventures. The state’s expansive coastline, ancient forests, rugged mountain ranges and vast deserts mean that there is something to fulfill everyone’s road trip dreams. To help travelers plan their next adventure, Visit California recently published “California Road Trips: 50 Life Changing Adventures.” Here is a sampling of the road trips featured:

Amazing Desert Oddities: A big part of any road trip is stumbling upon bizarre roadside attractions. That’s especially true in the California desert, the domain of both eccentrics and the occasional visionary. Here, travelers will happen upon Ricardo Breceda’s fantastical metal sculptures outside of Borrego Springs, Indio’s unique Shields Date Garden, the Noah Purifoy Desert Art Museum of Assemblage Art, and so much more.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Road Trip: Southern California has ushered in some of the most beloved sounds in music, and taking a three-day road trip is the perfect way to experience rock’s past and present firsthand. On this tune-themed drive, Highlights include the Songwriters Hall of Fame at the Grammy Museum, the iconic Sunset Strip, the legendary Pappy & Harriet’s in Pioneertown and Joshua Tree Inn, where country-rock innovator Gram Parsons spent his last night.

Craft Beer Trail: Southern California is a hotspot for craft beer, with more than 150 breweries in San Diego County alone. On a road trip from the pine-scented mountains outside San Diego to the ocean breezes of Orange County, craft beer lovers can enjoy everything from the hops-forward beers that have made the Alpine Beer Company famous to legendary spots like Stone Brewing on the “Hops Highway” of Route 78.

SoCal Stargazing Tour: Thanks to low humidity and a remote location, the California desert lends itself to jet-black nights and clear skies—the perfect conditions for admiring the heavens. Borrego Springs, California’s first designated International Dark Sky Community, has countless locations to stargaze either solo or with astronomy clubs. Meanwhile, at Sky’s the Limit Observatory and Nature Center just outside Joshua Tree National Park, amateur astronomers host an impromptu “star party” every Saturday night.

Undiscovered Wine Regions: While California wine is renowned worldwide, many of the state’s incredible wine regions are relatively undiscovered. This is a road trip for oenophiles, with stops at the beautiful San Pasqual Valley in San Diego, Rancho Cucamonga’s fifth-generation Joseph Filippi Winery & Vineyards, Triassic Vineyards in the Mojave Desert, the Madera Wine Trail outside Yosemite National Park, and dozens of boutique wineries in Amador County.

Ebbetts Pass National Scenic Byway: This is an idyllic drive for those who crave tight switchbacks, tiny hamlets and multiple alpine vistas. On this two-day adventure from Arnold to Markleeville, Calaveras Big Trees State Park, beautiful Lake Alpine and Grover Hot Springs State Park will delight travelers with their natural beauty. Perfect for wildflower viewing in the spring, camping in the fall, skiing at Mount Reba in the winter or catching a summer music concert, this is gorgeous road trip year-round.

Tech Tour: This two-day road trip will take you as close as you can get to today’s sharpest minds developing tomorrow’s earth-shattering technologies, featuring stops at the Exploratorium, Stanford University in Palo Alto, and the flagship Tesla showroom. Facebook Headquarters in the heart of Silicon Valley and the stunning Apple Park Visitor Center in Cupertino make for great photo opps.

Golden Chain Highway: This historic California route, also known as the Golden Chain Highway, is named after the intrepid prospectors who arrived to the area in 1849. Pan for treasure like a 49er, raft down lively rapids and explore historic towns with authentic Old West flair. Discover a new generation of pioneers who’ve struck gold with outstanding wineries, farm-to-table restaurants, inviting shops and charming B&Bs.

Siskiyou County Adventure: From underground cave exploration to whitewater rafting, this wild ride in California’s northern region is packed with big skies and plenty to explore. Take two or three days to drive from Tulelake to Forks of Salmon, making stops at Tule Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Lava Beds National Monument, Mount Shasta and the forested retreat known as Otter Bar Lodge.

“California Road Trips: 50 Life-Changing Adventures” is available for purchase for $12.99. It is available to order on Amazon in the U.S., Canada, UK, Germany, Italy and France, and at select newsstands, grocery stores and retailers throughout the United States including Barnes & Noble, Target and Walmart.

To get inspired for your next Golden State road trip, check out VisitCalifornia.com/Road-Trips or explore and share your own adventures using #RoadTripCalifornia on social media channels.