We can’t ever turn up an opportunity to travel to California. It’s one of the prettiest and most naturally diverse states in the country, welcoming more than 250 million visitors per year. As the holidays are upon us, we had our top editor Ashley, who lives in Orange County, hunt down some amazing mostly local products for you and your friends to love. Here are some of the best gifts you can give you the California local (or lover) in your life!
California Wildflowers Art Print
Stationary company Rifle Paper Co. has a variety of art prints that are perfect gifts for California lovers of all ages. While the Los Angeles, San Francisco and Yosemite paintings might catch your eye, easily the most captivating option is the California Wildflowers art print. The bright white paper showcases the outline of the state of California illustrated with pink, blue and yellow wildflowers. This print looks stunning on the wall and is a great way to showcase love for the Golden State.
Retail: $24.00 and up
Parks Project Yosemite Mod Dome Tank
Whether you’re venturing through California or just dreaming of doing so, this Yosemite racerback tank is the perfect way to represent one of the best parks in the state. Known for its meadows, waterfalls and especially Half Dome—depicted on the tank—this shirt gives you the chance to soak up some sunshine no matter where you are. But by purchasing this shirt, either for yourself or as a gift this holiday season, you won’t just be showcasing Yosemite but helping it too. Parks Project partners with more than 30 different conservancies across the country to support land within our nation’s parks.
Planning a trip to California means prepping for endless sunshine, warm weather and beautiful places in which to relax. Kick back and enjoy the Golden State with a Beach Glass. These innovative acrylic cups come in useful no matter where you roam. On San Diego beaches, they slide into the sand for a hands-free way to enjoy a seaside cocktail. In the coastal redwood forests of Central California, you can enjoy a beer with your campfire dinner by pressing the stake your cup straight down into the dirt. Even in the wintertime, when you’re skiing Lake Tahoe, you can stop to relax on the snow without having to hold your drink.
JBL Clip 2
Despite having some pretty sizable cities, California is known for its epic natural experiences. Whether you’re lounging at the beach, hiking through the redwoods or simply floating in the pool to beat the summertime heat, the JBL Clip 2 is the ideal way to add a soundtrack to your California vacation. With waterproof technology, you don’t have to worry about the speaker getting wet and the Bluetooth capability ensures your devices won’t need to be near the water either. A built-in carabineer means you can clip it on your backpack and enjoy your tunes wherever you go.
SIP Temecula Wine Tasting Passport
Planning a trip to California means looking for the best beaches, hippest restaurants and most unique museums. But if you head away from the coast and into Temecula’s wine country, you’ll find a whole different world to explore. The region offers more than 40 wineries on over 1,000 acres of vineyards. One of the best ways to sample the flavors of the area is the SIP Temecula Wine Tasting Passport, which boasts wine tasting flights at five wineries of your choice.
Vibram Trek Ascent Shoes
For those planning an outdoor adventure in California, Vibram’s Trek Ascent shoes are a great gift. These minimalist shoes are designed for walking or running in all off-road conditions, from mountain and forest trails to sandy oceanside paths. While you won’t feel like you are barefoot, you’ll still find that the shoe’s flexibility gives your feet the freedom to move naturally while the sole provides grip and traction. While they’re not waterproof, they provide ventilation so your soles can breathe as you wander. I absolutely love the color of the new purple-hued Nightshade shoes as well; it adds a fun flair to a standard hiking outfit.
S’well Traveler Bottle
Travelers hitting the trails, beaches or even city sidewalks in California need S’well’s new Traveler bottle. As the name implies, these high-quality bottles are designed with wanderers in mind. The shape gives you the perfect grip while the wide mouth makes it easy to drink as well as to add ice cubes, stir up your drink or refill the bottle on the go. While it comes in a variety of solid and marble colors, adventurers will especially love the Meadow, Oasis and Summit styles, which feature images of a sunny field, a cactus-filled desert paradise or a snowy mountaintop.
Retail: $30.00 and up
Homesick California SoCal Candle
Those that are missing California can get the scent of it in their own homes with Homesick Candle’s California SoCal Candle. This is an ideal present for anyone who once lived in the state or dreams of their past vacations. The scent perfectly captures Southern California, with a blend of tropical lemon and orange mixed with sea breeze and aloe. But the beauty doesn’t stop there—Homesick Candles also tossed in some of the region’s finest floral scents, with roses, carnations and jasmine a part of the mix. A Northern California counterpart is reminiscent of the region’s bold wines and redwood forests. The clean smell of either will have you planning your next trip to California in no time.
Wine lovers will simply not be able to get enough of this unique product, that doubles as both an aerator and a chilling agent. A visit to California’s Napa Valley or Temecula wine region in the south means you’re sure to pick up a few bottles to enjoy back at your hotel. Give them the right treatment with the Corkcicle Air. All you have to do is open up the wine bottle and insert the pre-frozen metal icicle. It will keep your white wines chilled and offers an aerator on top through which you can pour without having to remove the product.
Travel Yoga Mat by Manuka
It feels like Californians invested western yoga practice, which has only gotten more popular over he years. If your’re visiting CA and want to bring your yoga to the beach, you’ll need a lightweight and packable mat that can withstand sand and sweat. Manduka is royalty in the yoga world and the perfect, sustainable brand to consider when investing in a mat for you or a loved one. They have a wide range of options, but the eKO SuperLite is ideal for travel. Eco-friendly, foldable and weighing only a couple of pounds, it won’t take up much room in your carry-on.
Cambiami Interchangeable T-Strap Sandals
When venturing to California, a nice pair of sandals is definitely at the top of the packing list. While it’s easy to just bring along one neutral pair, it’s tempting to throw in a few more to match different outfits. However, with Cambiami’s Interchangeable T-Strap Sandals, you’ll have everything you need with only one pair. When you purchase them, you’ll select a sole; choose from white, black, tan or champagne. Then, select as many straps as you’d like—they’re interchangeable so you’ll only have to pack one sole, but can bring along as many colored straps as you desire, saving tons of room in your suitcase. Stroll along the California boardwalks with hot pink patent leather straps, pewter metallic suede straps or leopard print pony hair straps. There are also sets you can purchase that come with one sole and three different colored straps, like the pictured Sweetheart set.
Retail: $48.00 for sole; $25.00 and up for straps; $128.00 for set
Tesalate Beach Towel
Another must-have for any California trip is a great beach towel, and it doesn’t get much better than Australia-based Tesalate. These impressive towels have an ultra-absorbent microfiber material that can hold up to a liter of water, but also dries quickly. On top of that, the material is designed in a way that sand doesn’t stick—so you won’t be bringing the beach back to your hotel and dirtying up your car along the way. Best of all, these towels fold up perfectly to fit in the accompanying travel bag so they won’t take up much space in your suitcase. Did I mention the designs are gorgeous?
“111 Places in Los Angeles That You Must Not Miss”
Not your average guidebook, “111 Places in Los Angeles That You Must Not Miss” is a great way to plan your next vacation to Southern California. Written by Laurel Moglen and Julia Posey, the book was crafted not just with tourists in mind; it also provides some unique and unusual suggestions for places that even locals may not have visited. With more than 100 colorful photos inside, it’s a comprehensive way to look for activities upon visiting Los Angeles.
doTERRA Deep Blue Rub
A good sunscreen is important to keep you skin safe and protected from the California sun, but a nice gift for those visiting the Golden State might also be this therapeutic Deep Blue Rub. Crafted with doTERRA’s Deep Blue essential oil blend of things like ylang ylang, peppermint, blue chamomile and osmanthus, the cooling and soothing sensation stemming from the oils is perfect for sunburns earned on a Hollywood sign hike, a day at the Santa Monica Pier or event a trip to Disneyland. The formula will leave your skin soft and soothed without that greasy feeling that many lotions provide, and is perfect for a massage post-exploring.
California is the perfect place for sundresses, but with the humidity and all of the walking travelers are apt to do, it’s easy for your thighs to find some discomfort without the added material offered by pants or leggings. But there’s a solution, and a cute one at that. Bandelettes thigh bands are the perfect way to prevent summertime chafing, allowing you to still fill your vacation with adorable summery outfits without experiencing that irritating pain. Bandelettes have small strips of rubber that hold them in place so they won’t slide around and they come in a variety of lacy colors and patterns as well as solid bands.
Let’s Find Tote Bag
From the campgrounds and the beaches to the museums and themeparks, a tote bag is almost required for a California adventure. Those venturing to the state should consider the Let’s Find Tote Bag by Airportag. Featuring the phrase, “Let’s find some beautiful place to get lost,” the muted colors are perfect for any season and the brand’s airplane logo adds an extra bit of style for wanderlusting travelers. The hand-sewn bag is lightweight but has durable straps to hold everything you need as you wander around for the day. Grab the standard 13” x 13” tote, or opt for a bigger size to get the added adjustable straps and inside zipper pocket.
Fujifilm FinePix XP120
Every California vacation requires a good camera. While a DSLR is always going to capture the highest quality images, technology has come a long way; there are plenty of point and shoot cameras that will capture your vacation snapshots perfectly. One such camera is the Fujifilm FinePix XP120. Small and light, this camera can easily be slipped into a carry-on, purse or even a pocket without much trouble. But what makes it really ideal for traveling through the great state of California is its durability and versatility. Shock, water, dust and freeze proof, you can take it anywhere—from snorkeling along the Southern California coastline to mountain biking in the Sierra Nevadas to sledding down the snow-covered slopes in Lake Tahoe, you won’t miss a moment of your trip.
Patagonia Refugio Backpack
While California isn’t typically thought of as a rugged atmosphere, the beachside paths, mountain trails and desert parks are all places you might need a backpack. Make sure to cover all your bases with a backpack like Patagonia’s Refugio Backpack 28L. The pack has enough space for travelers, but isn’t too large for everyday use. Keep your small items in the thin stash pocket in the front and organize the rest of your gear in the two main compartments, which are ideal for things like extra layers of clothing, maps and guide books. There are also padded compartments for laptops and tablets, and two stretchable water bottle holders on the side of the pack. Plus the entire thing is made out of 100% recycled polyester and guarantees fair labor practices and environmental responsibility in its creation.
Tart Wax Candlemaking Kit
Those that can’t make it to California anytime soon can daydream while making tarts for their wax warmers this holiday season. While California Candle Supply offers scents like Holiday Spice, Red Red Berries and Pumpkin Pie, lovers of the Golden State can instead opt for the Ocean Breeze, Sunny Beaches or Walk in the Woods fragrances to be reminded of California’s vast nature. The Tart Wax Candlemaking Kit is the perfect gift because it contains everything you’ll need to create nine trays of wax tarts: a pouring pitcher, a thermometer, six tart blocks, three dye chips, the plastic molds and three fragrances of your choice.