Through Urban and Wild California with SwissGear

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SwissGear 6297 Collection

When Travel HappensSwissGear 6297

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Only a week earlier, you were frenziedly scouring online retailers, searching for the right suitcase to lug along your adventure. Something spacious and sound yet compact and light. Then, you stumbled upon SWISSGEAR 6297 hardside spinner luggage collection that promised carefree travel and 1.5” of additional space to store those Californian souvenirs collected along the way. You picked the 24-inch case, the mid-sized 19-inch and 28-inch options.

It proved easy to load. Folded under secure straps, your jeans and shirts filled one compartment, while your smaller belongings rested in the mesh zip panel.

After effortlessly rolling the SWISSGEAR 6297 through the airport – thanks to its four 360-degree spinner wheels – followed by several hours in the clouds, there you were – at the beach in San Clemente, hankering for a brunch.

You head to La Galette, a charming French café that serves a blend of sweet and savory delicacies. But you have no time to spare. The next stop is over 30 miles away – up north and into the ocean.

You take the ferry at Dana Point and, after an hour of splendid views, disembark to the Santa Catalina Island, California’s sole island resort. It is a rocky, mountainous isle that is mostly uninhabited. In Avalon, the island’s only incorporated city, you opt for an afternoon of sunbathing and diving. At dusk, the monumental Art-Deco Catalina Casino, Avalon’s largest architectural attraction, catches your fancy. Despite its name, it comprises only a movie theater and a ballroom - no gambling facility. If you are to spin the slots, your best bet would be LA, where you are headed to anyway.

The next day, you schlep your SWISSGEAR 6297 back to mainland California, eager to explore Los Angeles. You do all the touristy stuff: skip around the stars along the Hollywood Walk of Fame; take selfies with the Hollywood sign in the backdrop; gawk at paintings by Monet and Van Gogh at the Getty Center and stroll its gardens; and scream your lungs out on the Disney roller coasters.

Then, you venture off the high-traffic LA locales and set off on a cuisine bash with Los Angeles Urban Adventures. In four hours of succulent dishes, you tread through Korean barbecue joints, Vietnamese restaurants and Thai spirit houses among other hidden-gem eateries that carry foreign flavors and cultures.

After the urban mayhem of Los Angeles, you yearn for a quiet reprieve. You drive north to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, where 900 miles of hiking trails meander through majestic forests of giant redwoods, pure gorges, mountain lakes and granite summits. There is one particular inhabitant of this rugged area you are thrilled to see – the 3,000-year old General Sherman sequoia. With a diameter of almost 40ft, and a height almost as tall as the Statue of Liberty, it is the largest known single-stem tree on the planet.

Back to the coast, you continue your expedition into the California wilderness by trekking Big Sur, a majestic stretch of coastline along Highway No. 1 that links the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Lucia Mountains. You settle at the unpretentious Big Sur Lodge in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, where you enjoy ample opportunities to hike and sunbathe.

Eventually, your trip – a whirlwind of car rides and hotel stays that have failed to faze your SWISSGEAR luggage – takes you past San Francisco’s famed Golden Gate Bridge to Napa, the wine capital of California. There, you hop on the vintage Napa Valley Wine Train that chugs along rolling hills of vineyards and stops at celebrated wineries, where you wander through vast wine cellars and sip on full-bodied reds and fruity whites.

As the vino soothes your palate, your mind spins with the fresh memories that filled the previous days. It has been the perfect trip – a blend of California’s celebrated venues and its secluded wonders, its must-try entertainments and little-known delights, its big-city allure and wild enchantment.