Itinerary Highlights

  • Enjoy an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour, express access to theme park rides and shows with your VIP Universal Studios Hollywood tickets
  • Learn to surf in Santa Barbara or take a paddle board tour around the harbour
  • Stop off at Piedras Blancas and watch the comical antics of the resident elephant seal colony
  • Spend a day touring San Francisco on the Hop-On Hop-Off bus and take the ferry across to Alcatraz for a self-guided tour
  • Best time to travel April - October

What's Included

  • Accommodation Throughout
  • Car Hire
  • GPS Device
  • International Flights
8 nights from £5,279 per person


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.

The Central California Coast is the perfect choice for an action-packed family holiday. Our flexible California Coast Family Adventure takes in the best this well-travelled route has to offer. Stay sea-side at Santa Monica and stroll along the promenade watching street entertainers and on to the famous Santa Monica Pier. Spend a day at Universal Studios Hollywood, a real working film studio where you can go back stage and watch how movies and television productions are created. Be stunned at elaborate stage and stunts shows and get your heart pumping on movie-themed thrill rides.

For a calmer and more sedate experience, sit back and enjoy the relaxed Mediterranean scene at Santa Barbara, with historic missions, fabulous beaches and quaint tree-lined shopping streets. While here learn to surf. The famous Big Sur coastal drive starts for real at Pismo Beach, before starting the scenic drive, spend time racing around the dunes and beach in a dune buggy.

The Big Sur on California's rugged central coast offers one of the world's most dramatic coastal drives. there are many opportunities to stop and take in the breath-taking vistas and unique experiences such as Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery. At family focused Carmel Valley Ranch you are free to enjoy the amenities, there is time to take a horseback ride across the meadows and redwood forests as well as become a bee-keeper at the resorts bee-hives.

Get aboard a unique low water sea vessel for a small group whale watching cruise, get up-close to sea otter, sea lions and dolphins and watch whales breach in the distance. In San Francisco hop on and off wherever you wish on the famous Big Bus Tour, travel across the Golden Gate Bridge and walk cell-lined corridors of the former high-security prison of Alcatraz.



Sit back and relax and enjoy the on board entertainment during your flight from the UK to Los Angeles. On arrival collect your rental vehicle and take the short drive to Santa Monica. Check in to your hotel and take a wander to the famous Santa Monica Pier, the endpoint of Route 66. Ride the Santa Monica Pier Ferris Wheel or stroll up to Third Street Promenade, a pedestrian only parade of shops, cafes and restaurants.
With your 'Universal Studios VIP Experience' you get priority access to each attraction and priority seating at each of the shows. You will be guided around Universal Studios and gain exclusive access to award-winning movie sets and explore areas not open to the general public. Get your adrenaline pumping on thrilling theme park rides and watch breath-taking stunt shows.
Affectionately known as the American Riviera, this charming Mediterranean inspired seaside town is less than a two hour drive north of Los Angeles and offers a wonderfully relaxed ambiance. This family friendly resort offers wonderful beaches including Butterfly Beach where celebrities often hang out, or for the more active family there are mountain bike and hiking trails and sailing trips out to the Channel Islands National Park.
Book surfing lessons with a local company and join your instructor at Leadbetter Beach near Santa Barbara Marina to learn to surf, a fun family activity. You will learn to stand up on your board, balance and ride the perfect wave. Once you are ready paddle out with your instructor and put the skills you have just learned in to practice and surf back to shore. Alternatively book a stand-up paddle boarding tour of the harbour or visit the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum and peruse the exhibits. Purchase a day pass for the Trolley Bus Tour that will transport you to some of Santa Barbara's highlights.
Stop off at Pismo Beach and book a dune buggy adventure through the sand dunes of Pismo Beach. Continue along California's Central Coast on the famous scenic highway, The Big Sur. Stop off at Piedras Blancas where Elephant Seals laze on the beach year-round. The scenery along this coastal drive is spectacular so make sure you leave a good few hours to explore and stop off to enjoy the breath-taking vistas.
You may choose to just lay back and enjoy the range of family facilities at Carmel Valley Ranch or get out and explore one of the most charming and quaintest seaside towns in California, Carmel-by-the-Sea. A wonderful experience at Carmel Valley Ranch is experiencing bee-keeping. For dinner we recommend you drive in to the charming town of Carmel-by-the-Sea and dine at one of the quaint restaurants or Hog's Breath Pub.
Staying at   Carmel Valley Ranch
Continue your self-drive adventure to San Francisco. Along the way stop off in the Monterey area for an exhilarating whale watching adventure, allowing you to see migrating whales and the abundance of marine life. Different times of year brings in different mammals but you can almost always see whales, sea otters and dolphins. You will arrive in to San Francisco late afternoon, so check in to your hotel and explore.
The perfect way to get your bearings of San Francisco is on the Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour. There are 20 points where you can stop off along the whole route. From Fisherman's Wharf you will take the short boat journey across the harbour to 'The Rock'. Explore the infamous former federal prison of Alcatraz on a self-guided tour. In the evening we recommend you visit the Mission District, a residential area where the main street is lined with unique boutiques and funky eateries.
The last day of your Family California Adventure, trundle up and down the hilly streets on a tram (cable car) or pick up some last minute shopping down on Market Street or one of the Outlet Malls on the outskirts of the city before dropping your rental vehicle off at the airport for your flight home or onward destination.


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.

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Monday - Friday: 9am - 7:30pm

Saturday: 9am - 5pm

Sunday: 10am - 4pm 

8 nights from £5,279 per person

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