Journey from north to south through the Golden State, travelling through the Central Valley and along the coast to sun-kissed Southern California.
Suggested route & duration
14 nights San Francisco to San Diego
San Francisco: 3 nights
Sacramento: 1 night
Monterey: 1 night
Santa Barbara: 1 night
Los Angeles: 2 nights
Palm Springs: 2 nights
San Diego: 4 nights
About this independent tour
SELF DRIVE California Dreaming is a recommended self-drive itinerary including 15 days car hire, accommodation for 14 nights in 3- and 4-star hotels and a personalised documentation pack.
SAN FRANCISCO Due to its charming architecture, bohemian vibe and narrow streets, the ‘City by the Bay’ often feels more like a European city than an American one; however, the laid-back vibe and focus on the outdoors and healthy living is pure California. You’ll need to plan your days carefully if you’re going to experience all the city has to offer. There are the major sights such as Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge and Fisherman’s Wharf, the eclectic neighbourhoods that are a joy to explore on foot, and of course, the parks and waterfront where you can spend hours just watching the world go by.
THE PACIFIC HIGHWAY There’s really only one way you’ll want to journey from San Francisco to Los Angeles, and that’s the Pacific Coast Highway, also known as Route 1. Regularly touted as one of the world’s best drives, following this iconic route is an absolute joy. You’ll be forgiven for taking your time, stopping multiple times just to take in the incredible ocean views. The entire route is pretty spectacular, however particular highlights include the region of Big Sur, the McWay Falls which tumble down into an inaccessible cove, and the Spanish-esque city of Santa Barbara.
LOS ANGELES Land of the rich and the famous, Los Angeles is full of wide palm-lined boulevards, boutiques and restaurants. You can pack a lot into your time here – perhaps spend the morning in Hollywood, seeking your favourite stars of the stage and screen on the Walk of Fame and then head to the coast in the afternoon to soak up the typical Californian lifestyle.
PALM SPRINGS This oasis city has long been a choice of A-listers seeking a break from Los Angeles, and therefore there’s a certain air of exclusivity about the place. You can shop in high-end boutiques, tee off at one of the many golf courses, laze in hot springs or at a spa, or just cool off in the pool of your chosen resort.
SAN DIEGO A year-round warm climate, Pacific Coast beaches and SoCal lifestyle come together in the city of San Diego. Highlights here include the 70 miles of beautiful coastline, the expansive Balboa Park and the USS Midway Museum.
Tailor your tour
This itinerary is completely flexible, so you can choose your own itinerary, duration and accommodation, add excursions, and extend your holiday.