Duration: 11 nights self-drive tour
Price from: £1449pp
San Francisco 3 nights
Monterey 1 night
Central Coast 1 night
Los Angeles 2 nights
Las Vegas 2 nights
San Diego 2 nights
Day 1: Fly to San Francisco. On arrival collect your car and drive to your hotel.
Day 2 San Francisco: Explore this fascinating city at your leisure. Charming neighbourhoods greet you at every turn in this great city. Not to be missed are Fisherman’s Wharf, the soaring Golden Gate Bridge, Union Square, Chinatown and of course, Alcatraz which looms large in the middle of the bay and houses the infamous prison.
Day 3 San Francisco: While you may prefer to continue exploring the city, we do recommend taking the day to explore the rolling hills of California’s Wine Country. It’s just about an hour’s drive to famed wineries of Napa Valley, many of which offer tours and tastings.
Day 4 San Francisco/Monterey: Drive south to Monterey where you can stroll along Fisherman’s Wharf and Cannery Row, visit the aquarium or watch the playful otters frolic in the sea kelp. The 17 Mile Drive toll road along the Peninsula Coast from Pacific Grove to Carmel boasts magnificent seaside scenery. If time allows visit Carmel Mission, which was founded in 1770 (126 miles).
Day 5 Monterey/Central Coast: One of the most scenic drives of your journey today takes you along the California coast through the Big Sur peninsula to San Simeon. Make time to visit Hearst Castle or to take a hike along one of the many trails near Pfeiffer State Beach (246 miles).
Day 6 Central Coast/Los Angeles: Drive down the coast to Solvang, a unique town founded by Danish immigrants. It’s surrounded by local wineries and famous for its bakeries and speciality shops. Drive onwards passing Malibu and Santa Monica to Los Angeles (208 miles).
Day 7 Los Angeles: A full day to explore. For thrills and spills head to Universal Studios, Disneyland or Knotts Berry Farm. You may prefer to see the sights of Hollywood, enjoy some window shopping along exclusive Rodeo Drive or perhaps take a stroll along Santa Monica pier.
Day 8 Los Angeles/Las Vegas: Drive east through the Mojave Desert and the ghost town of Calico en route to the glittering entertainment capital of the world, Las Vegas. Once an oasis on the route to California, Las Vegas began as a Mormon settlement and boomed fleetingly during the silver rush. Today, there’s 24 hour gambling and incredible resorts along The Strip, fabulous entertainment, great shopping and world-class dining (280 miles).
Day 9 Las Vegas: Continue soaking up the sights and sounds of Vegas or perhaps head to nearby Hoover Dam. Another option is to take a day trip by helicopter to the truly awesome Grand Canyon, a natural wonder which really has to be seen to be believed.
Day 10 Las Vegas/San Diego: Drive south past Lake Elsinore to the picturesque town of Temecula. Enjoy famed rolling hills and vineyards on your way to San Diego, popular for its year-round sparkling weather and relaxed living (336 miles).
Day 11 San Diego: A full day to discover some of San Diego’s attractions such as Balboa Park, Old Town, magnificent Coronado Beach, the San Diego Zoo and the historic Gaslamp Quarter. There’s also the beaches of upmarket La Jolla where you can hire a kayak and paddle out to see the sea lions.
Day 12 San Diego/Los Angeles: Drive north to Los Angeles where you return your car at the airport and your tour concludes with your onward journey (121 miles).
Accommodation: In 3* hotels. Higher grade hotels are available at a supplement.
Meals: Room only.
Tour price: The price shown is based on the best value travel dates in low season and includes international flights to San Francisco and from Los Angeles, 12 days fully inclusive compact 4 door car hire and 11 nights accommodation.
Why not tour by Motorhome?
Golden California is also available with a motorhome rather than a car. The price shown includes return international flights, one pre-night in San Francisco and a C19 motorhome for 11 days.
11 night self-drive motorhome tour from £1199pp