San Francisco & Los Angeles
Travel 01 Feb 2020 - 31 Mar 2020
Book by 31 Jan 2020
Saving £177 per person
- 3 nights Vertigo Hotel, San Francisco - Standard room
- 3 nights Best Western Plus Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles - Standard room
- 13 days fully inclusive car hire
- Flights to San Francisco and onwards to Los Angeles with Virgin Atlantic and Delta, accommodation throughout, and prepayable taxes.
- This holiday is 100% financially protected. ATOL protected 2713
Checking into the Hotel Vertigo is like stepping into a Hitchcock movie – literally. Back when it was the Empire, the hotel played a cameo role in Hitchcock’s classic, "Vertigo." These days, the film plays on a loop in the lobby, and the hotel’s baroque-modern sensibility represents a head-spinning union of old and new.
This relaxed hotel is just steps away from many of Hollywood's most famous attractions.
Flights to San Francisco and onwards to Los Angeles with Virgin Atlantic and Delta, accommodation throughout, and prepayable taxes.
Prices are per person based on 2 adults sharing (unless stated otherwise). Subject to availability, terms and conditions apply.
Beguiling San Francisco, with its myriad hills, spectacular bay and crimson bridge, is undeniably one of the world's great cities. Full of history, vibrant neighbourhoods, elegant Victorian homes, parks, beaches, museums and a whole host of entertainment options.
With towers soaring into the sky, its two mile span arcing across the San Francisco Bay, and all of it painted bright red-orange, the Golden Gate Bridge is, quite simply, amazing. It's pretty easy (and free) to walk across the bridge itself, or to explore the Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Centre, which offers a look at the bridge's history. Another option is to book a bike tour and enjoy the view as you cycle across this majestic landmark before reaching the charming town of Sausilito.
Sitting in San Francisco Bay itself is Alcatraz Island, home to the historic and notorious prison. Take the ferry from Fisherman's Wharf (be sure to book well in advance) and enjoy one of the excellent audio tours, which feature recorded comments from former inmates and offer a chilling and fascinating glimpse into life here. Walk around to take in views of the city, the Golden Gate Bridge and dramatic Bay Bridge.
Fisherman's Wharf is a popular waterfront tourist area known for its fishing boats, historic ships, seafood stalls, bakeries and souvenir shops. Stroll to Pier 39 for more seafood eateries, shops, street performers and the area's noisiest residents, a bellowing throng of sea lions. Other attractions in the vicinity include the National Maritime Museum, The Exploratorium, Aquarium of the Bay and Ferry Building Marketplace.
Downtown San Francisco is where you'll find the retail and cultural hub of the city, Union Square. This elegant square circled by tall palm trees boasts a large collection of luxury, department store and boutique shopping. Just south of the square, on Market Street, you'll find Westfield San Francisco Centre, the city's upmarket, indoor shopping centre. Also close by is San Francisco's Chinatown, with crowded pavements filled with Cantonese and Mandarin chatter, overflowing food stalls and mysterious-looking shops, it's the largest Chinatown outside of Asia.
Wrapping around the north end of the city, is The Presido, a 14,491 acre park with beaches, restaurants, hiking and mountain-biking trails. More green space can be found at Golden Gate Park, a classic city park with gardens, glades and quiet lakes. It's also home to the de Young Museum which showcases a world-class collection of art; the impressive California Academy of Sciences with its planetarium, aquarium, 4-storey rainforest and natural history museum; and the Japanese Tea Garden, which is always lovely, but especially so in spring.
If time allows, don't miss Lombard Street, often called the 'crookedest street in the world'; elegant Nob Hill area with its hotels and residences, Grace Cathedral and some of the best bay views; and Ghirardelli Square, a restored factory area surrounded by shops, galleries and restaurants. Of course, no visit to the city would be complete without a ride on one of the city's iconic cable cars - the Powell-Mason and Powell-Hyde offer the most scenic routes.
Just an hour northeast of San Francisco, city lights give way to the glorious vistas of the Napa Valley, where world class wines, Michelin-star dining, a vibrant arts community, miles of nature preserves and a spirit of wellness set a slower pace. With more than 500 wineries, it is the epicentre of wine production in the USA and with scenic beauty all around, visitors can experience the region in many ways: by train (the Napa Valley Wine Train), by hot air balloon, on a bike tour or a wine trolley.
Welcome to the bright lights and big city allure of California's largest city. A Sprawling place where A-list celebrities really do walk the pavements and where you'll discover the fun-filled theme parks of Disneyland and Universal Studios, the glitzy Beverly Hills shops, incredible museums and a selection of palm-fringed beaches.
Where better to experience Tinseltown glamour than at the elaborate TCL Chinese Theatre, which has been home to the most prominent red carpet movie premieres since 1927. Still a top place for premieres in Hollywood. Take a guided walking tour to peek behind the theatre's impressive golden doors and learn more about master showman Sid Grauman, the original owner. Outside is the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which runs for a mile along Hollywood Boulevard and where you'll find hundreds of movie star hand and footprints.
There's perhaps nowhere better to follow in the footsteps of silver-screen legends than Sunset Boulevard, a route rich in film lore that stretches from Downtown to glamourous Malibu. It includes Sunset Strip which was the setting for rock and roll decadence in the 70's and 80's but has recently undergone a chic renaissance, with luxury hotel towers and fine restaurants hidden behind ivy-clad walls.
Originally built as 'Hollywoodland' for a housing development, the sign was rebuilt as "Hollywood" in 1949 and has become a Los Angeles icon and synonymous with the city. The easiest way to catch a photo opportunity is from the Hollywood & Highland shopping complex, or alternatively from the multiple hiking trails on Mt Hollywood accessible from Griffith Park. This large park is also where you'll find the Griffith Observatory, one of LA's greatest cultural attractions, while LA's world class museums include the stunning Getty Centre in Brentwood and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art on Museum Row.
For the ultimate Hollywood experience, spend the day at Universal Studios Hollywood. This real working film studio also has an array of thrilling theme park rides and shows, along with shops, restaurants and cinemas at CityWalk. Further working television and film studios offering tours include Warner Bros Studios, Sony Pictures and Paramount Pictures. In neighbouring Anaheim is Disneyland Park, Walt Disney's original theme park, or in Buena Park you'll find Knott's Berry Farm, which features dozens of rides, shows and attractions.
Where better to peek into the land of the rich and famous than Beverly Hills. Opulent estates, lavish hotels, stretch limousines and of course, ritzy Rodeo Drive, which is a must, even if it's just for window shopping. At nearby Beverly and Canon Drives there's beautiful shops and the chance for some celebrity spotting, while at The Grove, you can eat, shop and catch a film. Alternatively, head for the LA Fashion District and Santee Alley, while for designer label bargains look no further than LA's Citadel Outlet Shopping Centre.
As you might expect, Los Angeles has one of the most dynamic dining scenes in the country, offering everything from street food to celebrity chef restaurants. Nightlife options are equally endless, whether you're in search of a quiet drink with someone special or dancing the night away with thousands of fellow party people.
Neighbouring Santa Monica is a dynamic oceanfront city, with a broad beach, lively pier and superb shopping on the pedestrianised Third Street Promenade. Equally inviting is sophisticated Newport Beach with its pristine beaches, luxury shopping, fine dining and watersport options. Southern California beach culture thrives in Huntington Beach, where you can cycle down an oceanfront path, stroll the landmark pier and, of course, surf. Long Beach is another lively coastal city with beaches and marinas along its waterfront and a busy dining and shopping scene – it's also the home of the permanently docked ocean liner Queen Mary.