California in Depth
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Some of the highlights included are:
- Tour the infamous island prison of Alcatraz in San Francisco
- Catch a glimpse of your favourite star in Hollywood
- Hike the trails around Mammoth Lakes in the Sierra Nevada Mountains
- Admire the dramatic scenery in Yosemite National Park
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- International flights
- 15 nights in 4-5* hotels & hand-picked accommodation
- 13 days' car hire
- Bay in a day tour with Alcatraz
- Hollywood stars homes & city tour
- Hotel to airport transfer
Need to know
- Arrives: San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
- Time difference: GMT-8
- Visa requirements: British passport holders require an electronic travel authorisation (ESTA), available online
- Language: English
- Currency: US dollar (USD)
- Flying time from UK: around 11 hours direct
- Plug type: 2 flat pins
- Voltage: 120V
Fly from UK to San Francisco
You’ll cross the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, explore Golden Gate Park and take the ferry across to Alcatraz Island to view the famous prison, which once incarcerated notorious gangster Al Capone. Perhaps explore the different neighbourhoods, each with a distinct character, and don’t forget to ride one of the famous cable cars, which run up and down the hills between Market Street and Fisherman’s Wharf.
4* Pier 2620 Hotel Fisherman’s Wharf
Bay in a Day Tour with Alcatraz
If you’re here in winter, skiing and snowshoeing are the main activities, while in summer it’s all about hiking, fishing, mountain biking and horse riding.
4* Westin Monache Resort
One of America’s favourite national parks, Yosemite is a photographer’s dream. Everywhere you look you’ll be greeted with dramatic scenes – cliffs covered in wildflowers, deep valleys and giant sequoia forests. Come in spring for fresh growth, summer for hikes, autumn for golden leaves and winter for a beautiful dusting of snow. Just don’t forget your camera!
4* Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite
But there’s more to the place than just the marine life – Cannery Row was John Steinbeck’s inspiration for his depression-era novel, and today it’s lined with romantic hotels and tempting seafood restaurants - a great place for a stroll. And while you’re here, why not take a day trip to the beaches of Santa Cruz or the cute cottages and quirky shops of Carmel by the Sea.
4* Intercontinental the Clement
If you’re lucky enough to be travelling between October and March, do not miss the swarms of migrating bright orange monarch butterflies found in the eucalyptus groves. From Pismo Beach, it’s an easy drive to Paso Robles, where you can sample the fine local wines, and San Luis Obispo, home to the bizarre Bubblegum Alley, made up of 2 million pieces of chewed gum.
3* Seacrest Oceanfront Hotel
Affluent but not flashy, youthful but not loud, Mediterranean yet oh so American, this pretty seaside town is the icing on the central coast of California’s cake. Terracotta roofs and white stucco walls provide a picture-postcard backdrop for the local cafés that serve fresh seafood and juicy burgers. Oh, and California’s best wines. Enjoy.
4* Harbor View Inn
The wild waves of the Pacific Ocean offer great surfing opportunities, but the more sedate can chill out and watch the sunset over a plate of seafood, and there are a number of museums located along the foreshore. Try the Orange County Museum of Art and the Newport Harbor Nautical Museum. Don’t miss taking the ferry to Balboa Island to explore the 1920s-built shops and restaurants, or to walk the 1.5-mile car-free promenade around the island.
4* Hyatt Regency Newport Beach
Head to the harbour where the USS Midway Museum sits ensconced in a giant aircraft carrier, then grab an ice-cream at the Embarcadero waterfront. Go on safari at San Diego Zoo, a family-friendly gem, housing more than 3,000 animals from 800 species.
4.5* Palomar San Diego
Explore the diverse neighbourhoods from glitzy Bel Air to arty Venice Beach, and dive into the smorgasbord of international cuisine you might expect from such a cosmopolitan city. While you’re here, you’ll join a Hollywood Stars Homes & City Tour, taking you to the mansions belonging to your favourite actors.
4* The Garland
Hollywood Stars Homes & City Tour