Itinerary Highlights

  • Take an eerie self-guided tour through the former high-security prison of Alcatraz where notorious criminals such as Mickey Cohen and Al Capone were once detained
  • Stroll through the quaint seaside village of Carmel-by-the-Sea with its boutiques, galleries, pavement cafes
  • Allocate a full day to enjoy the spectacular Big Sur coastal drive stopping at attractions such as Elephant Seal colony at Piedras Blancas and Hearst Castle at San Simeon
  • Enjoy upscale accommodation and facilities at some of our favourite hand-picked Californian hotels
  • Best time to travel April - October

What's Included

  • Accommodation Throughout
  • Car Hire
  • GPS Device
  • International Flights
11 nights from £4,999 per person

Ricky

Travel Specialist

I'm here to tailor-make your perfect North America holiday. Give me a call and I'll use my expertise to create your personalised experience.

Explore California's coastline on this flexible fly-drive holiday. Tour San Francisco on the city's Hop On Hop Off bus network taking in most of the major sights of this fascinating and vibrant city. Take the ferry across to Alcatraz for the self-guided tour of the prison cells and dining hall, learning what it was like to work or be a prisoner on 'The Rock'.

Take the road south to the quaint town of Carmel-By-The-Sea, bursting with character and offering a vast range of boutiques, eateries and pubs. Drive along one of America's most scenic coastal highways, the Big Sur, stopping at the many viewpoints and observing elephant seals at Piedras Blancas.

Explore the Mediterranean-style seaside resort of Santa Barbara, Stole along the seafront and the pier, visit the charming shops of State Street. Santa Monica is Los Angeles premier beach destination, famous for Santa Monica Pier where Route 66 ends/starts. Shop til you drop on 3rd Street Promenade and watch fitness fanatics work out at Santa Monica's Original Muscle Beach, a feature of the beach since the 1930's.

Continue south along California's coastline to San Diego, taking time to stop at seaside towns such as Laguna, San Clemente, Carlsbad and La Jolla.

 

Itinerary

Arrive in the hilly city of San Francisco with its famous bay and Golden Gate Bridge. Transfer to your downtown hotel and the rest of the day is at your leisure.
San Francisco is a fascinating city, with many trendy suburbs, superb city-centre shopping, one of the largest Chinatown's outside of Asia and a beautiful harbour. To help get your bearings, take the Hop On Hop Off bus tour that allows you to travel to the city's most popular sights and get off and explore for as long as you wish. Take the ferry to Alcatraz for a self-guided tour of this eerie island.
San Francisco is famous for its tram or cable car network, purchase a One Day Visitor Passport and explore the city at your leisure. Start the day at the San Francisco Cable Car Museum containing historical and educational exhibits. Take a cab to Mission District, one of the city's trendiest neighbourhoods with street-side cafe's, chocolate factory, boutiques, cocktail bars and eateries.
In the morning drive to Monterey where you can head out on a whale-watching excursion and visit the impressive aquarium. Continue to the quaint seaside town of Carmel, with its pavement cafes and trendy boutiques, this is a popular destination for wealthy Californians.
Carmel-by-the-Sea is known for its quaint cottages, galleries and historic Carmel Mission as well as white sandy beaches and impressive choice of independent restaurants. Carmel Valley is one of the finest wine growing regions in California with several wine tasting rooms for you to explore and sample some of the areas fine Cabernet Sauvignons and Merlots the area is famed for.
We suggest an early start to make the most of this dramatic drive. On the way down to Santa Barbara, stop off at Hearst Castle in San Simeon to take a self-guided tour of this attraction. There are several opportunities for you to stop roadside and take in the spectacular coastal vistas. Be sure to stop at the Elephant Seal colony at Piedras Blancas Beach and stop at Pismo Beach for a Dune Buggy adventure in the sand dunes.
Santa Barbara, located only 100 miles outside of Los Angeles, is a perfect spot to enjoy the beaches, wineries, shopping, museums and Mexican restaurants of the area. Visit the Santa Barbara Mission and County Courthouse to see the architecture that the city has to offer. This is a great destination to learn to surf or take in a show in the Historic Theatre District.
Staying at   Hotel Californian
The final destination on this fly-drive holiday is Santa Monica, an ideal location from which to explore Los Angeles and the surrounding attractions. There are pedestrian-only shopping streets where you can pick up last-minute gifts, a long stretch of beach - home to the famous Muscle Beach, a lively pier with a Ferris wheel and an interesting art gallery, the Bergamot Station. Nearby attractions are Malibu, Venice Beach, Marina del Rey and Beverly Hills.
Enjoy a full day exploring Los Angeles at your leisure, whether that’s spending time with Disney characters at Disneyland® Anaheim or taking a back-stage tour of the movies at Universal Studios Hollywood. Stroll down Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, famed for its exclusive fashion boutiques or take in the panoramic views over Los Angeles from the Griffin Observatory.
Drive south to San Diego, you can take the Interstate 5 or opt to leave the motorway at points and stop off at beachside towns such as Newport Beach, Laguna Beach and Dana Point. Stop at San Clemente for a stroll along the impressive wooden pier and then continue to the charming seaside town of Carlsbad for lunch followed by a stroll along the picturesque La Jolla coastal walk and Jolla Cove.
A full day to explore San Diego. Enjoy shopping and the endless dining options in the downtown area of Gaslamp Quarter, visit the impressive Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum followed by lunch on the waterfront at Seaport Village. A must see is Balboa Park, a 1,400 acre site of gardens, historical buildings and museums such as the Museum of Natural History and San Diego Museum of Art.
Staying at   The US Grant
Fly home from San Diego Airport.

Ricky

Travel Specialist

Not sure where to stay in North America? I'm here to help. Give me a call and I'll share my first-hand insights to find your perfect spot.

Would you like to speak to an North America expert?

Contact our Travel Specialists for a bespoke quote or some first-hand knowledge.

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Monday - Friday: 9am - 7:30pm

Saturday: 9am - 5pm

Sunday: 10am - 4pm 

11 nights from £4,999 per person

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