Things to do in Los Angeles in the Spring

By United States /

Los Angeles in spring is unlike any other time of year. March to May is one of the best periods of the year to visit, as the weather remains warm and pleasant and the City of Angels isn’t overwhelmed by crowds. It’s also a great time if you enjoy the buzz of being at the centre of all the hype and activity.

If you need a way to get around Los Angeles just visit DriveNow’s website to search for a bargain car hire deal from Los Angeles Airport. 

Once you’re ready to go, check out these five main attractions around the area.


Disneyland is every child’s dream destination! You simply can’t miss a visit to this iconic resort, which is world-famous for its magical theme park adventure, glamour and effects. Not only are there rides for the children, but the big kids will get a thrill too! Race through the desert with Radiator Springs Racers or go on the daring Grizzly River Run. With two Disney themed parks in the complex, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to magical rides.

Disneyland parade for LA Lakers, LA

Yosemite National Park

Nature lovers will adore the dramatic peaks and valleys that enchant every visitor who explores this region. Walk along pristine rivers and visit waterfalls. If you’re the adventurous type then you may hike or climb to the top of the mountains. In the springtime watch the flowers bloom and region come alive with animals of all kinds.

Yosemite National Park

Hollywood Walk of Fame

This attraction consistently rates as one of the top traveller experiences for Los Angeles. Hollywood Boulevard is lined with more than 2,500 stars along 18 blocks. Musicians, actors, directors … there’s no shortage of them! Here you’ll also find many tourists searching for their idol’s name along the sidewalk to have a photo taken.

Hollywood Walk of Fame

Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival

Join in for one of California’s greatest celebrations of Asian traditions. More than 200,000 people flock to the Cherry Blossom Festival every year, to witness the beautiful colours throughout San Francisco’s Japantown. Dazzling cherry blossoms are on full display and so are cultural performances, martial arts and food stalls.

National California Cherry Blossom Festival

Whale Watching off Newport

Go whale watching in Newport Bay. Trips depart daily and these magnificent creatures travel through these waters year-round. From December to April is the best time to see the Grey Whale migration, when hundreds of whales appear in the harbor. Then the warmer waters from May to November attract blue whales, finback whales and dolphins.

Whale watching


Pick up your campervan rental and explore one of these top destinations

By Australia / Las Vegas / New Zealand / North Island / Northern Territory / United States /

At any given time, DriveNow has an extensive list of bargain campervan rental deals. As the company continues to expand its influence worldwide, we’re able to offer more great motorhome and campervan rental deals than ever before.

The latest development includes DriveNow becoming the new sales and operational partner for motorhome and campervan rental company, Camper Travel. Essentially, DriveNow will handle and process all of Camper Travel’s bookings.

This means you can comfortably book and pick up your campervan rental from one of these destinations and trust that DriveNow has it covered. While you’re travelling in one of our most destination countries, we suggest you enjoy one of these road trips.

Australia – Kakadu National Park

Kakadu is a fantastic place for travellers to head with their campervans. This world-class national park boasts an abundance of wildlife, pristine wetlands, protected Aboriginal art sites and spectacular waterfalls. There’s little wonder why it has earned itself a spot on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. You’ll find it to be very camper-friendly, with many camping areas scattered throughout the park and close to natural attractions.

New Zealand – North Island

You could easily spend weeks traversing the natural wonders of New Zealand’s gorgeous North Island. Many people who are travelling to New Zealand overlook the North Island for the South. But this amazing part of the world treats your to active volcanoes, top quality wineries and sandy beaches. Pick up your rental in Auckland, explore the city and make sure you add to your itinerary places like Rotorua, the Bay of Plenty and Hobbiton (also known as ‘the Shire’ on the Lord of the Rings). Thrill-seekers may even decide to add death-defying activities like skydiving to their list at Taupo.

Don’t forget there are plenty of fantastic car rental deals available through DriveNow. Choose one and explore a place like North America.

USA – Las Vegas to Grand Canyon

If you’re up for an epic drive, say about 1,500 km, then we say look no further than a Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon road trip. From exploring the bright lights of Sin City to hiking through the desert wildnerness, this type of trip will allow you to explore something different at every turn. Witness the crazy rock formations at Valley of Fire State Park. Jump on board a boat to see the beautiful Lake Mead. Of course, take the Historic Route 66 to arrive at the Grand Canyon’s south rim, where the hiking tours begin!


DriveNow’s new rental vehicle excess insurance giving you more choice

By Australia / Christchurch / Great Ocean Road / New Zealand / United States / Victoria /

Rental vehicle excess insurance is a great option for many people who are choosing a self-drive holiday. Driving holidays are becoming more and more popular both in Australia and overseas. That’s why DriveNow has partnered with Hiccup Insurance to give customers the option of taking out affordable new product for rental vehicle excess insurance.

It’s for anyone who is hiring a car in Australia, and also Australians who are travelling overseas.

Check out some of the rental vehicle excess insurance deals that you can pre-purchase. There’s also the options of buying excess reduction when you arrive to pick up your car! Or you can stick to the standard insurance policy and not take out additional cover.

There’s an option for everybody, so check out these destinations where we recommend a self-drive holiday!

New Zealand – Christchurch to Te Anau

The best to see New Zealand’s most impressive terrains is to drive. Pick up your hire vehicle in Christchurch. After a day of sightseeing around the city, make your way to Franz Josef for your first stop. Spend a night or two here so you can trek the famous glacier of the same name. Your next stop includes a visit of Mt Cook village, where spectacular views await. Continue onto Queenstown, which is the South Island’s adventure playground. Whether you want to relax and admire pristine views or do something as daring as skydiving, Queenstown has it all. After a few nights you can head to the famous Milford Sound, where you can visit waterfalls, go trekking and admire wildlife. Next stop is Te Anau, where you can explore the surrounding nature by walks and even see the incredible glowworm caves!

Australia – Great Ocean Road

After picking up your rental vehicle in Melbourne, head west to explore one of the world’s most scenic coastal drives. Make Lorne your first stop. From here you can explore the surf beaches at nearby Apollo Bay and Torquay. You can also visit the spectacular Sheok Falls in the Great Otway National Park. Head along the Shipwreck Coast to visit famous sights such as the Twelve Apostles. There are limestome formations like Loch Ard Gorge and the Bay of Islands which are also worth a visit. End in Warrnambool with a history lesson at places like the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum. Throughout this entire trip you can visit scenic towns and lookouts along the way.

USA – Route 66

The good old Route 66 is the USA’s most famous self-drive itinerary, the quintessential American road trip. It often ranks at the top of travellers’ must-do lists. Driving from Chicago to LA will take four days, but there are many stopovers you’ll want to make for at least a day or two. Some of these towns include Holbrook, Arizona where you should spend a night in a tepee. While in Arizona most people also detour to spend a few days exploring the magnificent Grand Canyon. Other great sights to see include Cadillac Ranch in Texas, Santa Monica Pier in California and the Galena Historic District.


Dallas activities you must experience in Texas

By Texas / United States /

There are plenty of Dallas activities suitable for all travellers. This city continues to amaze millions of tourists every year. The stadiums, the museums, the food portions in the restaurants – everything is so big! If you’re heading to the deep south, make sure you find yourself a great car hire deal before checking out some of the best Dallas activities on offer.

Join a JKF history tour

One of the must-do Dallas activities is a history tour that’s all about one of US history’s most famous presidents, John F Kennedy. Dealey Plaza is perhaps the most famous site, as it’s where he was shot dead in 1963. There are other significant sites as well, such as the theatre where assassin Lee Harvey Oswald fled to after the shooting. Hire a local guide who can fill you in on the grim but fascinating history.

Dig in with a food tour

Explore some of the most trendy restaurants and bars that Dallas has to offer. The Dallas Uptown Food Tour is one of the stand outs. It takes you to the trendy West Village, before you venture on foot to off-the-beaten-path eateries. Other tours take you to chocolatiers, wineries or popular eateries that serve up a traditional Texas BBQ. It’s just a matter of hopping online and seeing what type of food tour suits your taste buds!

Saddle up at Texas Horse Park

This will probably be one of the best Dallas activities for travelling families. You’ll find yourself in the heart of the Great Trinity Forest where people of all ages can get a taste of Texas ranching. Learn the basics of  horse riding on more than 300 acres of natural forest landscape. The great thing about this destination too is that it’s only minutes from Downtown Dallas.

See the Dallas Cowboys in action

In Dallas, footy isn’t just a game or entertainment. It’s almost a religion within itself. If you want a true Dallas experience, then make sure you visit the city during footy season to catch hometown heroes the Dallas Cowboys in action. The team’s home ground, the AT&T Stadium, is just a 20 minute drive from the city centre. It’s a modern jewel with one of the world’s largest scoreboards and luxurious suites.


5 awesome activities in Orlando and surrounds

By United States /

Orlando is one of the United State’s most exciting destinations. The city’s claim to fame is its fantasy-like theme parks, like Walt Disney World. But there’s more than meets this eye in this busy part of Florida.

We’ve put together a list of five top activities for you and the family on your next trip to Orlando. All you have to do is find a cheap car hire deal at Orlando Airport and get moving!

Universal Orlando

Go on a family adventure unlike no other. There are thrilling rides, world-class restaurants and other entertainment for everyone. Hogwarts fans can explore the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, which treats you to a world of magic. Jurassic Park nuts can choose to face terrifying drops and a 50-foot T-Rex.


The Alligator Capital of the World is proudly known as “Orlando’s best half day attraction”. The 45-hectare park has exciting rides and gator-themed entertainment. But it also gives you a good look at Florida’s natural tropical wetlands. Seeing the park’s four rare white alligators up close is on the top of the list for most visitors.

Kennedy Space Centre

Learn about the great lives of American astronauts – the ones who returned home and those who didn’t. The centre honours and remembers space heroes while recounting the perils of America’s early space missions. The displays feature a 4D multisensory theatre experience. You can also take a look at the high-tech simulators and learn to pilot the space shuttle!

Orlando Eye

The Orlando Eye is the perfect vantage point from which you can admire the city skyline. The 120-metre high observation wheel treats you to panoramic views of Central Florida. During the 23 minutes that you’re on the ride, you can also spot theme parks, lakes and beautiful natural landscapes. It’s a great experience for tourists of all ages who aren’t too scared of heights.

Ripley’s Believe It or Not

At first glance, this “Odditorium” appears as if it’s falling into a sinkhole! Everything about the Ripley’s Believe It or Not Centre is designed to challenge, thrill and intrigue. You’ll find a range of artifacts and displays on everything wacky or strange. You’ll need about an hour and a half to guide yourself through the interactive exhibits at a comfortable pace.


Californian dreaming on the road to Sonoma County

By California / United States /

SO you’ve flown into San Francisco, picked up your California car rental and not sure where to go? We say “not far at all” if you underline the words “Sonoma County” on your itinerary. We’ve tapped into the Sonoma County Tourism latest news to give you the lowdown on what makes it special, so read on.

Sonoma County

Located in Northern California just a 50km drive north of San Francisco, Sonoma County offers a blend of incredible scenery, urban sophistication, agriculture, small-town charm, outdoor adventure, and, of course, the food and wine that make this region famous. Sonoma County boasts more than 425 wineries, 100-plus organic farms, and 80km of stunning Pacific Ocean coastline.

Whether your goal is to savor food and wine pairings at renowned wineries, explore the more than 50 miles of spectacular Pacific coastline, picnic under towering redwood trees, shop unique local galleries and boutiques, or discover other Sonoma County delights, here are a few things you might want to know before visiting Sonoma Wine Country.

What to pack

Sonoma County’s moderate temperatures rarely dip below freezing, even in winter. The county typically gets about 25 to 30 inches of annual rainfall, mainly from November through April.

However, microclimates are part of what make Sonoma County such a great place to grow wine grapes, and some areas of the county can be much cooler, warmer, or windier than others. When the inland areas heat up in the summer, the coastal regions can remain cool. The weather can be changeable, and a chilly, foggy summer morning anywhere in the county can heat up to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (or more) by 2pm.

It’s best to wear layers. Jeans, khakis or shorts, T-shirts, comfortable walking shoes, a sweater, and a medium-weight jacket are good for daytime sightseeing. Wine Country casual — like business casual, but with the laid-back, country feeling of a vineyard — is typical for evenings out.

Getting to Sonoma County

For those flying into other airports, Sonoma County is about 75 miles north of either San Francisco International (SFO) or Oakland International (OAK) airports, or about 120 miles west of Sacramento International (SMF). When traveling by car from San Francisco (and points south of there), cross the Golden Gate Bridge and head north on Highway 101. From Sacramento, go west on US-80, then west on Highway 12/121. From Seattle/Portland, go south on Highway 101 or US Interstate 5.

Visit a winery or ten

Home to more than 425 award-winning wineries, Sonoma County barrels a varietal for nearly every palate. Taste by region or varietal, tour vineyards, barrel rooms, and wine caves. Savor delicious food-and-wine pairings, or learn how to blend wine. “Sparkling” isn’t just about wine in Sonoma County. The area’s artisan breweries, cider houses and distilleries offer tours as well. Be as active or as laid back as you wish, Sonoma County has a winery experience that’s right for you.

Get outdoors

Stroll through ancient redwoods; or soar through the forest on a zip line. Hike remote trails through more than 60 state and regional nature parks. Paddle a canoe through various rivers, lakes, and even an ocean. Cycle backroads easy enough for a beginner or challenging enough for the pro cyclists who compete in Amgen Tour of California or the Gran Fondo. Golfers can tee off at one of 20-plus stunning courses. Go horseback riding, take a ride in a hot-air balloon, observe wildlife, or simply sit back and enjoy the sounds of nature.

Explore the coast

The stunning drive along Highway 1 unveils the rugged cliffs, pristine sand beaches, stunning vistas, whale watching, and small towns nestled along more than 50 miles of coastline. The area is dramatic, yet approachable. Trails and beaches beg travelers to stop and explore on foot. State and regional parks dot the coastline, tempting with hiking, beaches, fishing, camping, water sports, and horseback riding. Or simply relax at a beach for the day, enjoy a romantic picnic, or go all-out on a camping trip. While the coast is beautiful to explore at any time, be aware that the weather can turn windy or foggy any time of year, so always bring along a windbreaker and cap.

For a free visitors guide or information on hotels, wineries, events, spas, attractions, and dining in Sonoma County, visit or call +1-707-522-5800.


Unforgettable Chicago restaurants while on the road in the US

By United States /

Chicago’s foodie scene is full of twists and surprises. Just when you think you’ve seen it all, the Windy City treats you to another set of incredible Chicago restaurants to choose from.

Pick up a great Chicago Airport car hire deal and then choose from one of these five amazing Chicago restaurants for your next meal.


Alinea (pictured) consistently rates at the top of food reviewers’ lists. It’s held the title of Best Restaurant in America a number of times. Many people also know Alinea for its innovative approach to modern cuisine. The venue features three distinct experiences. The Alinea Kitchen Table is the most intimate setting, giving your small group a private area to sample different flavours. There’s also The Gallery, which offers a multi-sensory 16 to 18-course menu. The Salon provides a 10-14 course tasting menu that’s sure to leave you more than satisfied

Bavette’s Bar and Boeuf

This amazing venue is a bit of a detour from what you’d consider your traditional steakhouse. It also serves as proof that you can enjoy top quality steakhouse meals in a dazzling venue. Bavette creates the perfect balance of French fine dining in a fun atmosphere. You’ll pick up a delicious ribeyes, seafood towers along with scrumptious homemade deserts. Then just add in some Jazz music, chandeliers and award-winning international wines and you have yourself a winner!

The Purple Pig

A top notch Mediterranean feast awaits at the Purple Pig. It’s one of the best Chicago restaurants you’ll come across. Rising Star Chef 2014 Jimmy Bannos Jn. is on the team, bringing years of knowledge handed down to him as a fourth generation restaurateur. Why not relax and order a glass of Greek Santorini, milk braised pork shoulder or a house made veal Mortadella sausage? Anything on this impressive menu will go down easily. It can be hard to find a set at this venue, although it’s well worth the wait.


Chef Sarah Grueneberg blends traditional Italian cuisine with influences from around the world. The Texan-born talent proudly creates food that is “soulfull, surprising and filled with storytelling.” She draws on her international travels to offer pasta, kraut, Japanese yellowtail and grilled Texas redfish all on the same menu! You’re spoiled with choice at Monteverde and the combinations are surprising. Not to mention, there’s an interesting story behind each and every dish.


New York events: the 6 big ticket events you can’t miss

By New York / United States /

Most people know of New York as the city of love. People travel from all over the world to begin their adventures in the Big Apple. But it’s also worth nothing New York events are so spectacular that you’ll probably come across a festival no matter what time of year you visit.

Hire a car from JFK Airport and start ticking off these New York events.

(Here’s a tip, plan parking for your New York events in NYC in advance!)

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Thanksgiving is the most important holiday of the year. In Manhattan, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade has been tradition for nearly a century. Millions of people pack the streets to watch famous singers, Broadway performers, floats and marching bands.

The US Open

It’s the country’s biggest tennis tournament and as far as New York events go, it’s should be high on your list. The Grand Slam event sees the world’s best players converge on New York between August and September. At the same time you’ll also find the globe’s maddest tennis fans.

New Year’s Eve at Times Square

There’s nothing like NYE, when people all over the world come together to celebrate the same thing; a fresh beginning. Why not celebrate it at one of America’s most iconic sites? There are dazzling lights, music and an incredible atmosphere as the crowd waits for the clock to strike midnight.

NYC Marathon

It’s not like other marathons. Nearly 50,000 people begin their run at Staten Island and cross the finish line in Central Park. No other marathon takes you past so many iconic attractions, with millions tuning in to watch runners take over New York.

Rockefeller Centre Tree Lighting

This is a worldwide symbol of the beginning of the Christmas holidays. Be among the thousands of people who watch the a mammoth Christmas tree be lit in late November. Live performances at Rockefeller Plaza follow, while the glorious tree remains on display until early January.

Rochester International Jazz Festival

Every June sees people from all walks of life come together, unified by their love for jazz. Drive five and a half hours north west of NYC to see the city’s main road transform into “Jazz Street”. Some truly amazing talent make this festival an incredible event.



New York dreaming – 5 famous attractions in the Big Apple

By New York /

New York City is one of America’s greatest cities. It’s at the top of nearly every traveller’s list. Whether you’re searching for love in the Big Apple, moving there to follow your dreams or simply stopping by for a quick tour of the city, NYC is an amazing experience for everyone who ventures there.

When you land in New York, hire a car from JFK airport and make your way to these famous attractions.

Times Square

It’s one of New York City’s most iconic attractions (main image, picture: JoeBuglewicz). No trip to the city is complete unless you’ve immersed yourself into the hustle and bustle of Times Square. About 330,000 people walk through Times Square every single day. It’s big, the flashing neon lights are bright and the experience is priceless. Costumed characters and musicians also help bring this area to life during the day and night. You can visit Times Square at any time, although the billboards look best when they’re photographed at night.


About 13 million people pay a visit to Broadway to see one of its world class shows. There are 40 Broadway theatres, with most of these located between 41st and 52nd Street and Sixth to Eighth Avenue. See some of the modern takes on the classic theatre productions that have been around for decades. There are plenty of megamusicals with talent from all over the world gracing the stages of Broadway. These curtain raisers are well worth the time and chances are that one production won’t be enough to satisfy you!

Statue of Liberty

Lady Liberty is synonymous with New York. She’s stood proudly with her torch in the city’s harbor since 1886, when the French giften the marvellous 92 metre tall statue to the United States. It forever stands as a symbol of freedom and the Great American dream to migrants who arrived in New York over the years seeking a new beginning. Learn about the statue’s history during a visit to the site. Climb to the top of the statue where  you can also admire panoramic views of the city’s gorgeous skyline.

Empire State Building

The Empire State Building is the city’s tallest skyscraper. The 102-storey building towers above the rest of the city. Admire the Empire State Building’s distinct architecture from a distance but did you know you can also gain entry to the top? The Observation Deck is open to the public every day between 8am right through until 2 o’clock in the morning. The timing makes it convenient for you, whether you want to visit in the early morning, watch the sun set over the city or watch lights take over the city at night.

Central Park

Any big city is bound to be more concrete buildings than green spaces. But one of the most interesting features of the Big Apple is Central Park. Millions of people flock to this beautiful, green space every year. There’s 840 acres to explore, making it perfect for a picnic in summer. You can also spot lots of wildlife in Spring when the animals come out to explore. In the cooler months, the park transforms into a winter wonderland with snowmen and an outdoor ice skating rink.



Chicago: 5 great ways to play in the Windy City

By United States /

Chicago, nicknamed the ‘Windy City’, has so much to offer its visitors. There are outdoor activities, historical attractions and food and shopping tours to keep you occupied.

Hire a car from Chicago Airport and discover these five great ways to play.

Bike and Brew Tour
Explore Chicago’s unique breweries with a scenic bike ride along the city’s famous Lakefront Trail. Sample food and some of the best beer as you visit the Chinatown and Pilsen neighbourhoods. Your local guide teaches you about Chicago’s beer scene and its long brewing history. This ride is not only educational, but it’s also a lot of fun.

Navy Pier
Chicago’s famous Navy Pier has a long and fascinating history. It opened to the public in 1916 as a dock for freights and a public event venue. In World War Two, the site transformed into a Navy training centre. Today the ‘People’s Pier’ is a great entertainment venue and vantage point to admire the city’s skyline. Some of the main attractions include the 4000 square feet of tunnel inside the Amazing Chicago’s Funhouse Maze. There’s also theme park rides, a children’s museum and a large, lush botanical garden.

Chicago Crime Tours
The Windy City has been home to some of America’s most famous criminals and gangsters. Explore this underworld with a sightseeing tour. An experienced guide takes you to the sites of some of the most horrific crimes from the 19th century through to recent times. Learn about the devastating St Valentine’s Day Massacre, The Untouchables or The Chicago Mob. This tour will keep you on the edge.

1893 World’s Fair Walking Tour
The Chicago World’s Far was originally held to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the New World. Today, the very site where it was held has become one of the city’s key attractions. A walking tour takes you back in time as you learn about entertaining and unusual facts about the event. Delve into the games, food, drink, architecture and entertainment that brought the city to life.

Tall Ship Windy
The Windy City is home to is very own Tall Ship Windy. The majestic 148-foot vessel represents the Golden Age of Sail. Jump onboard for a sailing adventure and prepare to be mesmerised by its character and charm. You can even join in with raising the sail and relaying orders. Prepare to be inspired as you admire the city skyline while learning a thing or two about sailing.



5 Great Ways To Discover The Napa Valley

By California / United States /

So you’ve left your heart in San Francisco after jumping in a car rental and wondering which direction to head? The answer is obvious, especially for those who don’t mind a tipple or two – head for Napa Valley and park your wheels at these five hotspots to continue some serious Californian dreaming. And it’s not all about the wine, as you’ll discover.

One … Napa Valley Wine Train

It’s time to journey back in time as you discover the Napa Valley in the comfort of a train with all the trimmings. The Napa Valley Wine Train, echoing the days of yesteryear when train travel was the luxurious way to experience a journey, is not only a charming mode of transport but also a restaurant on the tracks. With 100-year-old railcars and a 150-year-old rail corridor, the Wine Train retains railroading traditions that are disappearing on the American landscape, all within the stunning setting of Napa Valley and its treasured wineries. More:

Two … Lavender Inn

Lavender, a Four Sisters Inn, is a touch of Provence in the Napa Valley and is renowned for its cosy, homely accommodation offering in a setting that blends a little bit of the old with a little bit of the new. Gorgeous guestrooms features a fireplace, a king-sized bed heaped with pillows and many feature large brilliantly painted bathrooms with double sinks and contemporary benchtops. The good news? You can leave your Napa Valley car rental at home as there are superb wineries within walking distance including Hope & Grace, Somerston, Hestan Vineyards and Cornerstone Cellars. More:

Three … The Hess Collection Winery

Not just a mere winery, this one’s a museum as well, so you get the wine-art combo treatment located on the volcanic slopes of Mt Veeder. Hess Wines are legendary in these parts, the Cab Sav a favourite for many, and while there’s opportunities to do the cheese and wine pairing experience or straight up tastings, it’s essential you visit the contemporary art museum featuring works from the private collection of proprietor Donald Hess. It’s open daily and FREE. Self-guided iPod audio tours are available, too. More:

Four … Safari West

There’s plenty of reason to go wild in the Napa Valley, just ask the resident animals at this place, a 400-acre wildlife sanctuary. Safari West offers guided, open-air jeep tours daily. It’s an attraction with a real point of difference and a great place to take the family or wander through and talk to the animals. More:

Five … Napa Valley Bike Tours

Leave your car behind and spin your wheels on a bike tour of the Napa Valley. Join one of the company’s Guided Bike Tours, hosted by someone in the know, or go Self-Guided or Rent Bikes with the assistance of customised route maps and expert advice from the locals. This month (September 2016) is a chance to experience the new 12km stretch of the Napa Valley Vine Trail, connecting Napa to Yountville, offering a beautiful and relaxing bike ride with all the sights. More:





Grab a van in San Fran and hit the road

By United States /

San Fran is a wonderful place to visit. It’s an even better destination to hire a campervan and head out for a day trip to one of these hotspots.

Santa Cruz
With 46 kilometres of stunning coastline, Santa Cruz Country is the place to be if you want to experience some of California’s greatest beaches. Just under two hours from San Fran you can go surfing, play some beach volleyball, or just simply kick back and relax in the sun. There are also plenty of great beachside cafes and restaurants.

Big Sur (pictured)
Keep driving a bit further, for about another hour, and you’ll come to the tiny seaside town of Big Sur. This particular road trip is all about the journey. Highway 1 winds along the rugged coastline, offering spectacular views of cliffs towering over the ocean for as far as you can see.

Lake Tahoe
Just a four hours’ drive inland from San Francisco is the beautiful Lake Tahoe. It’s where California and Nevada meet. The large freshwater lake offers stunning scenery of beaches, pristine water and snow-capped mountains in the background. Some of the popular activities here include canoeing and fishing.

Yosemite National Park
The views of grand mountains, deep valleys and cascading waterfalls have made Yosemite National Park one of the most popular adventure playgrounds for thrill-seekers from across the world. There are plenty of hiking trails to explore. Rock climbing, camping and bird watching are other popular activities here.

Anderson Valley

Head north to Anderson Valley for incredible scenery of green rolling hills. It’s also the perfect destination if you’re looking for an authentic wine-tasting experience. The valley is known for its Pinot Noir, and some of the best places to stop include Goldeneye Lula Cellars and Phillips Hill. The best thing about Anderson Valley is you won’t find as many tourists as Napa and Sonoma.

Gold Country
Journey to the heart of California’s Gold Country. Drive two and a half hours northeast of San Fran and you’ll find the historic town of Grass Valley. Base yourself here to explore nearby attractions such as the Empire Mine State Historic Park. There, you can discover the history of the state’s once-richest gold mine.

Drive about two hours south of San Francisco off Highway 101 to explore California’s newest national park. The Pinnacles is heaven for any adventure-seeker. It has several hikes, including the High Peaks Trail, which offer panoramic views of rock formations and vast grasslands. There are also ancient caves waiting to be explored.

Half Moon Bay
Just under an hour from San Francisco, Half Moon Bay is a convenient and leisurely drive. Locals say it’s the perfect place to be if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Browse some local shops or art galleries, or perhaps ride a horse on the beach as part of a guided tour. Whatever you choose to do, it should be relaxing.