Make your California dreams a reality with this classic self-drive itinerary between eclectic San Francisco and dazzling Los Angeles.
Cruise through picture-perfect coastal towns and soak up the rugged scenery as you hug the Pacific Coast Highway, making frequent stops to take in the spectacular marine life, wineries and dramatic landscapes.
Some of the highlights included are:
- Iconic Alcatraz & Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco
- The Pacific Coast Highway’s invigorating wild & craggy scenery
- View marine wildlife in charming Monterey
- Shop in up-scale Beverley Hills & star-spot in Hollywood
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- International flights
- 7 nights in 4-5* hotels & hand-picked local gems
- 7 days car hire
- Bridge 2 Bridge Cruise in San Francisco
- Hollywood CityPASS
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
- A one-way fee applies for the car hire in this Journey in the months of July & August; please ask us for details
Fly from UK to San Francisco
This laid-back city is brimming with culture and diversity; climb its many hills for fabulous views of the city’s varied architecture and the glittering expanse of San Francisco Bay below. Walk or cycle across Golden Gate Bridge, 1.6 miles of Art Deco construction and one of the wonders of the modern world. Back in town, head for Union Square where you can stop for cocktails, dine in style, hit the shops or just watch the world go by over a coffee. For something more distinctive watch the sea lions frolic on Pier 39, or take a ferry over to legendary Alcatraz, home to the now-abandoned maximum-security prison where Al Capone was once incarcerated.
Today your America road trip really kicks off as you pick up your car and drive to the seaside town of Monterey on the central coast of California, where the beautiful coastline offers exhilarating kayaking, surfing and scuba diving trips. Or, for the more sedate, perhaps a round of golf or just a relaxing afternoon lounging on the beach. Monterey’s renowned aquarium is well worth a visit – here you can observe the twice-daily penguin feedings and delight at the adorable sea otters.
Drive along the spectacularly rugged Big Sur coastline to San Simeon, a small coastal town on the Pacific Coast. On arrival, head for the dream-like Hearst Castle, a fantasy 20th-century mansion that is just outside town and tops most people’s to-do lists. San Simeon is also your gateway to some of California's finest vineyards and wineries, not to mention the ocean: spot migrating grey whales and California sea otters here.
Soak up the laid-back atmosphere in affluent Santa Barbara. Come for fine wines, warm sunshine and the fresh Pacific air, and don’t forget to try the wide assortment of artisanal produce on offer. The blue sky, sun and whitewashed houses combine to give a Mediterranean feel, so take a stroll around town and indulge in a fine wine or two while overlooking the glorious bordering mountains and rolling hills.
Seek out Hollywood royalty as you arrive in glittering Los Angeles, a city like no other. Head for the palm-lined streets and soak up the vibrancy of the LA lifestyle as you rub shoulders with the stars in glamorous Tinseltown, or check out the exclusive fashion stores in Rodeo Drive. Hit the theme parks and ride the rollercoasters or pose with the sun-kissed on the beach, dreaming of your name in lights. Outside town, the many hiking and biking trails may tempt you. With glamorous bars and restaurants serving every cuisine under the sun, LA is a great spot to indulge at the end of a fabulous trip.
Depart Los Angeles and return to the UK
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