California Calling – Destination Special

Travel Diaries Cover
Date Published: 07/11/2023
Duration: 49:36
Season: 10

Today we are heading to a sun-soaked slice of heaven. The place I chose as my all time favourite destination when I answered my own travel diaries here on the podcast. The Golden State. It is of course, California.


I have been so excited to work on this episode for you, bringing to life a destination so close to my heart – so close in fact, that I even got married on one of its many golden sand beaches.

The reason I love California so much is that it’s a paradise of possibilities, a promise of endless adventure, that truly caters to every traveller. From the dramatic coastlines of Big Sur, where the waves dance with the rugged cliffs, to the sun-kissed beaches of Santa Monica and the iconic Santa Cruz boardwalk, this state offers a buffet of coastal delights.


Speaking of buffets, don’t even get me started on the food. California is a culinary playground where flavours from around the world collide. From food truck gems in Los Angeles to Michelin-starred eateries in San Francisco, your taste buds will embark on a journey of their own. Not forgetting that it’s home to some of the most famous and beautiful wine country in the world.


And how about the great outdoors? California is a nature lover’s dream come true. Yosemite National Park, with its colossal granite cliffs and lush forests, will make you feel like you’ve stepped into a postcard. There’s the historic redwood forests of Northern California. And for the adrenaline junkies, Lake Tahoe offers year-round thrills, from skiing in the winter to kayaking in the summer.


Whether you’re chasing dreams in LA, hiking in the Sierra Nevada, or sipping on cabernet in wine country, California is a place where every moment feels like a movie scene, and you’re the star.


Speaking of stars, today we are joined by a star-studded lineup of some of my favourite guests across the last 10 seasons, who have chosen California as part of their travel diaries. They’ll be taking us on the ultimate California road trip – a trip of a lifetime you can do in two or three weeks, that everyone should be adding to their travel bucket list.


Destination Recap:


Holly Rubenstein

California Road Trip –

Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Montecito


Poppy Delevingne – Chateau Marmont Hotel, Hollywood, LA


Sir Trevor McDonald – Shutters on the Beach Hotel, Santa Monica


Ed Gamble – Madonna Inn, San Luis Obispo


Jon Ronson – Pacific Highway Route 1, Hearst Castle, Los Angeles


Brian Chesky – Walt Disney Museum, San Francisco


Michel Roux Jr – Pacific Highway Drive, Wine Region, San Francisco, Spago Restaurant, Chez Panisse, Berkeley


Gregory Porter – Yosemite National Park


Chef Nancy Silverton

  • Los Angeles
  • Anajack Thai, Sherman Oaks
  • Kato, Los Angeles
  • Downtown Los Angeles
  • Baroo, Los Angeles
  • Ojai
  • Ojai Valley Inn, Ojai
  • Solvang
  • The Watts Towers, Los Angeles
  • Olvera Street, Los Angeles
  • Yosemite National Park
  • Palm Springs
  • San Francisco
  • Berkeley
  • San Juan Capistrano
  • Chez Panisse, Berkeley
  • San Ysidro Ranch, Santa Barbara
  • Ferry Plaza, San Francisco Embarcadero
  • Buvette, San Francisco
  • Blue Bottle, San Francisco
  • Farmer’s Market, San Francisco
  • Boonville Hotel & Restaurant, Mendocino County


To discover more about California head to


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