A 12-night self-drive adventure which is perfect for families or couples. Explore America's stunning west coast from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Spend time hiking in Yosemite National Park before driving west to Monterey and Carmel and then hug the famous Highway 1 along the coast to Santa Barbara and on to Los Angeles.


  • Hiking in Yosemite National Park.
  • Driving along Highway 1 with incredible views of the California coast.
  • Adrenalin-fuelled sand buggy adventure on Pismo Beach.
  • Whale watching in Monterey.
per person

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North America Specialist


  1. Arrive
  2. Day 1 Day flight to San Francisco

    San Francisco - birthplace of Tom Hanks, home to movie moguls and the setting for some of the best car chases on the big screen. Surrounded by water and winelands, the city is a melting pot of cultures, a foodie heaven and boasts an eclectic art scene.

    Overnight: The Argonaut, Fisherman's Wharf

  3. Day 2 Exploring in San Francisco

    Spend the day exploring the city with hills so steep you walk on tip toe with so much to see and do. Head to Pier One, shop in Union Square, take the ferry to the island prison on Alcatraz. Ride a tram, wander around the market stalls by the Ferry Building and dine in Chinatown.

    Overnight: The Argonaut, Fisherman's Wharf

  4. Day 3 Drive to Yosemite National Park

    Head over Bay Bridge and drive just under 4 hours east to Yosemite. The landscape changes constantly and as you climb up to 6,000 feet the views are magnificent. Stop for lunch in Groveland, a sleepy 1950s town that takes you back in time. Arrive at Tenaya mid-afternoon and cool off in the pool or unwind in the superb Ascent Spa. Choose from rooms in the main hotel or for a little peace and quiet take a cottage in the woods. If you wish to be inside the park, then consider upgrading toThe Majestic.

    Overnight: Tenaya Lodge

  5. Day 4 Hiking in Yosemite National Park

    Drive 20 minutes to Mariposa Grove at the southernmost point of Yosemite National Park and home to some of the world's largest Giant Sequoia trees. Walk the easy trails through the trees before heading on to Yosemite Valley in the heart of the park. From here you can take numerous trails through the trees up into the mountains to see such highlights as Big Dome and Bridlevail Falls.

    Overnight: Tenaya Lodge

  6. Day 5 White Water Rafting & Cycling

    Just an hour from the lodge the Merced River tumbles and twists out of Yosemite and gradually mellows out into a family-friendly raftable 4 mile stretch of water. The grade II & III rapids are fun, but not terrifying and the flat stretches are great for cooling off. Spend the afternoon riding, or rent bicycles and explore the hills around the lodge before heading to the saloon for a well-earned cold beer and burger.

    Overnight: Tenaya Lodge

  7. Day 6 Drive to Carmel

    Head out after a hearty breakfast and drive west to the coast. Stopping en-route in Gilroy, reowned for its fruit orchards, the journey takes 3½ hours. Another great stop is Moss Landing for fried artichoke hearts and smoothies. Drive on to the picturesque seaside town of Carmel, famed for having Clint Eastwood as its mayor. Roam the grid network of streets crammed with quaint boutiques, delis and restaurants and finish with an evening stroll along the beach. Fr great wine tasting, you might like to consider upgrading to the Bernadus Lodge in Carmel Valley; or for an adult only hotel, onsider the Post Ranch Inn at Big Sur.

    Overnight: La Playa Carmel (Upgrade to Bernardus Lodge in Carmel Valley for great wine tasting or Post Ranch Inn at Big Sur for adults only)

  8. Day 7 Whale Watching in Monterey

    Monterey is just 10 minutes from Carmel and home to the world famous Aquarium which is well worth a visit. Kayak around the harbour amongst the sea otters and other marine life and enjoy a whale watching cruise. On your way back to Carmel be sure to do 17 Mile Drive which is one of the world's most scenic drives around the headland from Pacific Grove to Pebble Beach (the exclusive enclave where you'll see oversized mansions belonging to the richest of the rich).

    Overnight: La Playa Carmel

  9. Day 8 Drive Highway 1 to Santa Barbara

    Highway 1 hugs the coast from Carmel all the way to Santa Barbara - an incredible stretch of road with regular places to pull over to take photographs. Hear the waves crashing as the California coastline stretches out ahead of you. Stop in Big Sur for lunch (not for those with children) and sip a cold glass of local Chardonnay as you watch the California Condors and Red Tailed Hawks circle above you. Historians will enjoy Hearst Castle and those in search of an adrenalin rush can take to motorized buggies on the sand dunes at Pismo Beach. Arrive in Santa Barbara in time to freshen up before dinner. If you wish to be close to the beach, then consider the Four Seasons Biltmore or for downtown, The Canary.

    Overnight: Harbor View Inn

  10. Day 9 Beach & Watersports in Santa Barbara

    Santa Barbara is all about beach life and watersports with wine tasting thrown in. Shop for trinkets on the pier with great harbour views, paddle board, surf, cycle and walk. Known as the Galapagos of the USA, a boat trip to the Channel Islands should not be missed. The hotel has a pool and spa or you can head downtown for a vast array of clothes shops. Dine at Brophys in the marina and taste the best clam chowder in the state.

    Overnight: Harbor View Inn

  11. Day 10 Drive to Los Angeles

    The last stretch of the journey to Los Angeles continues along the coast to Ventura before you slide back into urban life. Cruise into Beverly Hills and see how the stars live in the attractive tree-lined streets with security gated mansions and sports cars everywhere you look. Arrive at the Beverly Hills Hotel, affectionately known as "The Pink Palace" and frequented over the years by the Hollywood set due to its timeless glamour and relaxed atmosphere. Alternatively, you ight like to stay at the Casa del Mar in Santa Monica if you'd like to be right on the beach.

    Overnight: Beverly Hills Hotel

  12. Day 11 - 13 Shopping, star gazing and beach life in LA

    Three full days to explore LA with highlights to include shopping in Rodeo Drive, Avenue of the Stars, Hollywood and we can arrange a "behind the scenes" VIP tour of Universal Studios. Your hotel has a great swimming pool and spa but if you want beach you can take the new metro line straight out to Santa Monica for fun in the surf and a hippy vibe in Venice Beach.

    Overnight: Beverly Hills Hotel

  13. Day 14 Depart

    Say goodbye to California as you drive out to the airport and take your flight home.

  14. Depart

Low £ 5,200 $ 7,273 € 6,186
Mid £ 6,760 $ 9,455 € 8,042
High £ 8,450 $ 11,819 € 10,053


  • Based on two people sharing a double/twin room throughout.
  • May and September are the most beautiful months to visit, avoiding the summer crowds.
  • Due to landslides in Big Sur in May 2017, part of Highway 1 is closed and unlikely to reopen until Summer 2018.


  • All accommodation as detailed in the itinerary.
  • Daily breakfast.
  • Private transfers throughout.
  • All sightseeing, entrance fees and guide services as detailed in the itinerary.
  • Internal flights where detailed in the itinerary.


  • International flights.
  • Meals not indicated in the itinerary.
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, drinks, gratuities (discretionary).
  • Entrance fees and excursions not specifically mentioned as included.
  • Travel insurance or visa fees.

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