One of the drives of a lifetime is to jump into a soft top and head from San Francisco to Los Angeles via the fabled Pacific Coast Highway. This winding road hugs the sea cliffs of Big Sur and offers some wonderful view and sights to behold as you feel the wind in your hair and the Californian sun on your face. Start in wonderful San Francisco with a few days by the bay, visit coastal towns of Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea before crossing famous Bixby Creek Bridge. Take time out in Santa Barbara before the bright lights, big city of Los Angles. Here you can chose to follow the stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, relax on Santa Monica beach or get your thrills on the white knuckle rides of Universal Studios Hollywood. A truly memorable trip!
Our expert tour specialists can tailor this trip to exactly meet your needs. We make the suggestions but the decision is yours
Travel from the UK to San Francisco. Direct flight options are available from London and Manchester during the summer season or travel from regional departure points via US gateways. Upon arrival, we would recommend transferring via taxi to your hotel in the city centre and enjoying a first evening in the City by the Bay.
Take a full day exploring all that San Francisco has to offer, from the steep narrow streets of Nob Hill, to famous locations such as Fisherman’s Wharf and Union Square. A trip to San Francisco won’t be complete without seeing the iconic Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island; take cruise around the bay to see them both up close and personal!
Drive distance – 120 miles
Pick your car up in downtown San Francisco on the morning of day three and begin your journey south. Skirting the edge of San Francisco Bay, the route will take you through Silicon Valley allowing stop offs amongst the high-tech firms with Google and Apple amongst the companies based around the region. Head through the coastal hills and arrive on the Pacific Coast at Santa Cruz, a seaside town with lovely beaches and plenty of options to stop off for lunch or dinner. Continue around Monterey Bay and arrive in the town of Monterey with time to explore the evening entertainment.
Separated by just 4 miles across the Monterey Peninsula, Carmel and Monterey make a great location for exploring today. Monterey offers seafront walks, a famous aquarium and Cannery Row for you to explore before heading towards Carmel. The best route to take is via 17 Mile Drive, which follows the coast around the Peninsula, encircling Pebble Beach and its famous championship golf courses, before passing the well-known Lone Cypress and heading into Carmel-by-the-Sea. Offering a wonderful beach, a welcoming town and the famous Mission church, Carmel is not to be missed.
Drive distance – 229 miles
The biggest section of The Pacific Coast Highway - also known as California State Route 1 – that you will drive in one day, is a day full of amazing sites as nature will dazzle you in through the windscreen. Cross the famous Bixby Creek Bridge (and stop to take a few snaps as most people do!) as you enter Big Sur where the Santa Lucia Mountains rise from the Pacific Ocean giving some amazing view across the imposing sea cliffs. Winding along the coast as you head south, towns to stop over for a coffee or something to eat include Cambria, San Luis Obispo and Pismo Beach. Cutting inland, you will pass through the maybe less well-known wine regions of California but still producers of an excellent vintage around Solvang before ending the day back on the coast in beautiful Santa Barabara.
Take a day to enjoy Santa Barbara’s warm hospitality. Known as The American Riviera, Santa Barbara has a whole host of options to keep you busy and happy in the Southern California sun. With famous Red-tile roofs, it is a great town for exploring or heading down to the beach to dip your toe in the Pacific and you can head out into wine country and sample the locally grown reds and whites.
Drive distance – 90 miles
Continue your journey south on the final leg in to Los Angeles. A short drive today gives you the option of spending a little longer in Santa Barbara, taking a leisurely trip along the coast and visiting Oxnard and trendy Malibu, or heading to the City of Angels early to soak in the sun on Santa Monica beach or eagerly find your favourite celebrity on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood.
A full day to explore the sights and sounds of sprawling Los Angeles. From the beaches of Venice, Huntington and Newport to the thrill rides of Disneyland Park and Universal Studios Hollywood there is plenty to fill your time in LA. Check out the famous hand prints outside the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood and the Dolby Theatre too, home of the Oscars. For amazing views over the city, head to the Griffith Observatory to capture some great snaps. The options are wide open.
A final day in LA to relax in the city before heading over to the airport and dropping your car off and taking an overnight flight back to the UK.
'Nautical Boutique Experience, Fisherman's Wharf Location'
Enjoying a superb position in the heart of the fashionable, must-see Fisherman’s Wharf, Argonaut Hotel provides guests with a real taste of the sea and the region’s nautical heritage; from its generous seafaring-inspired rooms to its gourmet seafood restaurant there is no doubt that you are close to the sea and the fishing industry that the area was built on. This boutique property offers a relaxed and refined ambience that is full of character and nostalgia; combined with modern conveniences and dedicated thoughtful service this hotel makes a great place to stay in San Francisco
‘Monterey Luxury Hotel on the Historic Bay’
Overlooking Monterey Bay, next door to the world-renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium and in the heart of John Steinbeck's historic Cannery Row, the InterContinental the Clement Monterey offers magnificent panoramic coastal views, luxurious interior décor and the sights and sounds of the surf and sea. Relax in the ocean air and watch the sea otters frolic in the kelp forest while enjoying an after dinner drink on the large oceanfront patio. Large, luxury rooms offer the perfect sanctuary at night while the onsite restaurant and bar will thrill your taste buds and fill your eyes with stunning views. With its own spa, fitness centre and outdoor pool, it has all you need for a relaxing stay.
‘Chic Boutique Hotel on the American Riviera’
Fashionable and fun, Kimpton Canary Hotel, brings full-service to the heart of downtown Santa Barbara and puts a premium on personalized service and attention to detail, while indulging guests with stylish amenities and a host of activities, day or night. Interiors by designer Michael Smith whisk guests away to the islands off the coast of Spain. Spanish tiles and Moroccan-themed antique textiles, plus lush plants, bubbling fountains make a wonderful setting. It is all topped off with a rooftop pool and open air lounge offering stunning views and a wonderful restaurant offering amazing cuisine for enjoyment on street level or on the roof terrace.
The Hollywood Roosevelt is a boutique hotel designed by Yabu Pushelberg in the centre of the city. It features an Olympic sized outdoor heated pool inspired by David Hockney, five dining options including vintage bowling lanes and vintage American cuisine. Accommodation includes suites, pool and balcony rooms and feature hardwood flooring, vintage pieces and white furniture.
Eight nights accommodation as listed
Flights in economy
Convertible car hire including GPS
Meals unless otherwise stated
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We will use our destination expertise to plan an itinerary that will work for you – your personal specialist is happy to respond by phone, email or text. Your trip will be refined and reshaped until you love the way it looks, and it fits you perfectly!
We partner with only the finest hotels & resorts that we feel exemplify the Destinology experience. It’s these close relationships that help us to offer our clients that little bit more. We live luxury and we think you should too.