Stuffier locales on the map might learn a thing or two from the Golden State, which from top to bottom knows how to let its hair down.
“California offers a dizzying array of attractions and activities to fit every traveler’s idea of fun,” says Caroline Beteta, president and CEO of Visit California.
From theme parks like SeaWorld San Diego and Universal Studios Hollywood, to casino action at the likes of Thunder Valley Casino Resort, located east of Sacramento, and Pala Casino, Spa & Resort near San Diego, to ranch outings at Alisal Guest Ranch & Resort near Santa Barbara and Greenhorn Creek Guest Ranch in Quincy, California’s group-friendly options for enjoyable diversions are seemingly endless.
“Whether your idea of a fun trip involves outdoor recreation, shopping, cultural pursuits or following the stars in Hollywood, California has something for everyone,” Beteta says.
Following are six particularly fun destinations that represent the best of the state’s good times.
People travel from around the globe for a fun time in iconic San Francisco, where internationally recognized sights include the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, cable cars and Haight Street.
“More than 16 million visitors can’t be wrong,” says Kathryn Horton, vice president, convention services and events for the San Francisco Travel Association. “The classics still deliver good times and there are always new things to discover and enjoy, like the new SFJAZZ concert hall opening in January.”
The House of Air (www.houseofair.com) indoor trampoline park in the Presidio is another new attraction, where groups will find 8,000 square feet of trampolines for energized team-building outings.
“Meetings become unforgettable when they include bicycling across the Golden Gate Bridge, having lunch in Sausalito and returning to San Francisco by ferry,” Horton says, adding that planners may also inquire about walking tours like the one that goes behind the scenes at AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants.
Lake Tahoe is top among California’s natural fun zones, where groups pair business with exhilarating outdoor pursuits.
“Groups meeting here take advantage of what’s scenic and pristine as opposed to manmade,” says Jason Neary, director of conference sales at the North Lake Tahoe CVB.
With 300-plus days of sunshine each year, conditions are ideal for guided kayak adventures and zip lining during the spring and summer.