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"California, here we come!" The song's been running through your head for weeks, and now you're finally living the dream. You've screamed and squealed your way around the Anaheim theme parks, learned to surf at iconic Huntington Beach, applauded clever sea mammals in San Diego and teed off at one of Palm Springs' world class golf courses. You spent yesterday playing "spot the movie star" on the Sunset Strip, and tomorrow you'll be pretending to be one as you stroll along Malibu's Zuma Beach in your oversize sunglasses. It's been the holiday of a lifetime, but you know that the West Coast still has so much more to offer.

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San Diego, San Francisco, Los Angeles: three great cities, each with their own unique appeals. You could easily spend a week in each one, but it's only when you get beyond the cities that you realise just how vast and geographically diverse this region is. The towering Sierra Nevada mountains and eerie Death Valley are at opposite ends of the spectrum, but you've also got the dramatic Pacific Coast, the fabulous wine regions of Sonoma and Napa and some seriously impressive National Parks. And that's just California - it's just a five hour drive from LA to the man-made wonder that is Las Vegas, which is a great base to see one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the world: the Grand Canyon. Not forgetting north of California, the 'Beaver State' of Oregon and the 'Evergreen State' of Washington with a diversity of landscape from the picturesque Pacific coastline to the arid deserts east of the Cascade Range. But it's one thing to run through the near-endless list of highlights: far better that you start planning another visit.

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