California Shows Its Quirky Colours

with Martha Chapman

California was front and centre in Toronto this week

Monterey County’s Jessica Keener joined the “artistes”

Andrew Powell of The Gate and Lauren Lynch of Beverly Hills’ CVB show off their work

It’s a well-known fact that California is home to some of the most fun, eccentric and colourful people on the planet. So how better to celebrate that than at a painting session, fuelled by inspiration, lobster rolls and wine at a funky downtown loft-space?

That’s what a group of us were treated to on Monday night. Luckily the artwork came with instruction and encouragement (and not just the liquid kind!) as we learned from 13 Californian hosts what’s new, what’s different and what’s quirky about California.

The state – with a population greater than all of Canada – is so diverse that it’s divided into 12 distinct regions including LA, San Francisco, San Diego, the North Coast and so on.

Asking for insights into what makes their corner of this vast state special (or what they’d recommend for a truly eccentric “Left Coast” way to see it), I gleaned the following:

In Hollywood, be sure to check out the new Walford Astoria featuring panoramic views of downtown (and the odd celebrity spotting).

The best time to visit Hollywood? Spring or fall:  summer is high season (read: highly expensive, I was assured) and winter is award season and hotel rooms are gone, gone, gone.

Clients love the beach? Send them to San Diego, home to over 100 kilometres of ‘em. 

Into surfing? Send them to Huntington Beach in Orange County: it’s Surf City USA. 

It’s no secret that California is the perfect destination for the foodie client. Our hosts recommended a visit to North Park in San Francisco, full of hipster bars, restos and micro breweries. Or in Palm Springs, they can head to The Nest for dancing, a piano bar, and A-one people watching.

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