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Visit California Hosts French Media FAMs

By Xavier Roque 06/30/2023

Visit California hosted French press groups for familiarization (FAM) trips for the first time since the pandemic started. Groups of French representatives and influencers set out on three different excursions in Northern California, Southern California and the Central Coast.

The first FAM trip took place in March and featured San Francisco, Muir Woods, Mendocino County and Sonoma County. Attendees included representatives from L’Obs, LA Voix du Nord, Gala and A/R Magazine, creating a great platform to reintroduce French media to California’s partners and products.

In San Francisco, the group stayed at The Clift Royal Sonesta Hotel, a great central location for their activities including touring Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf, exploring the city and farmer’s markets on both e-bikes from Blazing Saddles and San Francisco’s iconic streetcars, and enjoying meals and cocktails at Bar Sprezzatura, Scoma’s and the Blind Pig Speakeasy Lounge.

Their next stop was the Acqua Hotel in Mill Valley near Muir Woods to relax before excursions north to Pennyroyal Farm, Lemon Philo Market and Phillips Hills Winery for wine tasting. They then headed to the Noyo Harbor Inn, where they visited the Mendocino Trailheads State Park, Goldeneye Winery and Roderer Estate. They enjoyed a dinner at Trillium Cafe.

To finish off the trip in Healdsburg, the group departed from the Stavrand Hotel on an e-bike tour of the town before visiting the Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve and the Gary Farrell Vineyards and Winery.

The second FAM group—including representatives from Grazia.fr, L’Officiel.com, Nice Matin, Routard.com and Yonder—toured Los Angeles, Santa Monica and Palm Springs.

In Los Angeles, the group stayed at The Hollywood Roosevelt. where they were able to explore on tours of the Mt. Hollywood Trail at Sunset Ranch, the Warner Bros Studio and the Academy Museum. They wined and dined at Ka’teen, Gigi’s Maybourne Bar and Perk Cafe.

The group then headed to Santa Monica to check out the iconic Santa Monica Pier, take a bike tour of Venice Beach, and join a surf session with OFF ROADS. Finishing off the trip in Palm Springs, they participated in a Joshua Tree Alchemy experience and an interactive art experience with Superbloom, as well as a relaxing mineral soak at the Spa at Sec-he at Agua Caliente.

The third and most recent trip was the first ever to host a group of French influencers. Attending the trip were Vaimalama Chaves, Maeva Coucke, Laurent Maistret, and Laura of The Blonde Hills. After touring San Francisco, Monterey and Muir Woods, each of the influencers created plenty of coverage of the trip on their own social media accounts for their followers to be inspired to create their own California dreams.


A post shared by Laurent Maistret (@laurentmaistret)

In San Francisco, they stayed at The Line Hotel to explore Chinatown and Golden Gate Park. They enjoyed cocktails and food at Rise Over Run at The Line Hotel.

The group then headed to Big Sur and Monterey, where they enjoyed a guided tour of the coast and explored scenic spots including Vista Point, Hurricane Point and Rocky Creek Bridge. They engaged in exciting outdoor activities including exploring Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, whale watching and a wine tasting ATV tour at Holman Ranch. They rounded out the trip with a trek through Muir Woods and then headed back to San Francisco, where they “hit the road in a sidecar” and then returned to France from the San Francisco International Airport.

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