West Coast Golden Triangle Road Trip 

800 miles of wonder

Get to know San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas on a sensationally scenic road trip, including pitstops in handsome Monterey and star-studded Santa Barbara.

This trip links some of the USA’s best West Coast cities on a road trip along the famous Pacific Coast Highway before heading inland and finishing with the high rollers in Las Vegas. It’s a trip of contrasts, where you’ll compare the creative energy of San Francisco with the glamour of LA and get to see why Monterey and Santa Barbara are such coveted spots in California. A desert drive to Las Vegas provides the ultimate finale to an unforgettable adventure.

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San Francisco, Monterey, Highway 1, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, Las Vegas

Recommended itinerary

San Francisco

Golden Gate City

Spend some time in Golden Gate Park, visiting the brilliant museums like the California Academy of Science and the de Young Museum, or bike across the bridge for fabulous city views and a look over to Alcatraz. Perhaps you’d rather visit the infamous prison island in person or prefer to spend your day strolling along the waterfront, visiting the sea lions at Pier 39, or picking up artisanal treats in the market at the Ferry Building.


California’s Central Coast

Collect your hire car and drive south to gorgeous Monterey. Ignore the sat nav and take the coast-clinging Highway 1, routing past Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz. There’s plenty waiting for you when you arrive in this sought-after pocket of California. This area is home to the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium on Cannery Row, the scenic 17-mile drive around Pebble Beach, and fabulous bistros and wine cellars in oh-so-charming Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Drive Highway 1

The Pacific Coast Highway

The drive from Monterey to Santa Barbara takes you on a coastal road through the epic scenery of Big Sur. You’ll want to stop along the way to get photos of the iconic Bixby Creek Bridge and park up to take the short hike to McWay Falls, an 80-foot waterfall.

Santa Barbara

The American Riviera

With its Spanish-style architecture and beautiful beaches with a mountain backdrop, this Californian beach town has an upscale feel. Hop aboard one of the red and gold open-air trolleys at Stearns Wharf for a narrated town tour, then find an al fresco restaurant for dinner to soak up the town’s feel-good energy at dusk.

Los Angeles

Glitz and glamour

Depending on where you want to stay in LA, it’s generally not far from Santa Barbara – around 90 miles away. Perhaps you’ll put down roots in Hollywood to hit the famous sights, although you could continue south through the city instead, searching out the surf-chic lifestyle of Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, or Laguna Beach.

Las Vegas

Out with a bang

As you drive across California through the Mojave Desert, the bright lights of Vegas await across the state border in Nevada. Spend a few days in this larger-than-life desert city, contrasting the marvel of the man-made strip with the extraordinary natural beauty of the Grand Canyon.