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Yosemite National Park, Califiornia

California

Tailor-made California holidays

Introduction

Known as the Golden State, California’s variety makes it one of America’s most rewarding states to visit; there’s a lot more to it than stunning beaches and the glitz and glamour of Los Angeles. National parks range from misty redwood forests in the north to sweeping deserts in the south while the viticulture of Napa Valley sets the tone for a state obsessed with fine food and drink.

Best seen from that age-old tradition – the all-American road trip – California is home to some of America’s best known self drives, including the finish line of the iconic Route 66. After spotting celebrities in Los Angeles’ Hollywood Hills and Venice beach, head along Highway 1 to Big Sur. This twisting, cliff hugging 100-mile route of sea, mountains and rocky coves was described by novelist Robert Louis Stevenson as ‘the greatest meeting of land and sea in the world’. From here, head onwards to San ŸFrancisco, home to the emblematic Golden Gate Bridge, intriguing neighbourhoods such as Haight-Ashbury and sea views dominated by the former prison, Alcatraz. 

With palm trees and year-round sun, you’d be forgiven for spending all your time on the coast, but be sure to head inland too. Here you’ll find rolling farmlands, which produce most of the fresh produce America consumes, along with some of the most sought after wines in the world. You’ll also come across the gemstone lakes and subalpine wilderness of the World Heritage-listed Yosemite National Park, criss-crossed by hundreds of mountain trails.

Special offers in California

California Classic - USA West Coast

17-day tailor-made self-drive from £2,190 pp

Special
offer

– Save up to £335 pp
Book by: 30 June 2018

Discover the beauty of Yosemite National Park, austere Death Valley, the bright lights of Vegas, spectacular Grand Canyon and everything in between on this curated road trip.

Pacific Coast Highway Tour

12-day tailor-made self-drive from £1,610 pp

Special
offer

– Save up to £355 pp
Book by: 30 June 2018

A truly iconic USA fly-drive, the Pacific Coast Highway brings you between San Francisco and Los Angeles, calling into world-class vineyards, pretty coastal towns and sweeping golden beaches.

Southern California Self-Drive

12-day tailor-made self-drive from £1,700 pp

Special
offer

Last Minute offer – Save up to £250 pp
Book by: 30 June 2018

There's no better way to explore the USA than by car. The driving is easy with inexpensive fuel and excellent roads that link vibrant cities with wide-open spaces, spectacular countryside and breathtaking coastlines.

Highlights of Northern California

14-day tailor-made self-drive from £1,950 pp

Special
offer

– Save up to £460 pp
Book by: 30 June 2018

Northern California is a region of immense nature, world-leading wines and culture-packed cities, showcased in such icons as San Francisco, Sonoma and Yosemite National Park. Take in its headline acts on this fly-drive holiday.

See all offers

Top itineraries in California

California Classic - USA West Coast

17-day tailor-made self-drive from £2,190 pp

Special
offer

– Save up to £335 pp
Book by: 30 June 2018

Discover the beauty of Yosemite National Park, austere Death Valley, the bright lights of Vegas, spectacular Grand Canyon and everything in between on this curated road trip.

Pacific Coast Highway Tour

12-day tailor-made self-drive from £1,610 pp

Special
offer

– Save up to £355 pp
Book by: 30 June 2018

A truly iconic USA fly-drive, the Pacific Coast Highway brings you between San Francisco and Los Angeles, calling into world-class vineyards, pretty coastal towns and sweeping golden beaches.

Southern California Self-Drive

12-day tailor-made self-drive from £1,700 pp

Special
offer

Last Minute offer – Save up to £250 pp
Book by: 30 June 2018

There's no better way to explore the USA than by car. The driving is easy with inexpensive fuel and excellent roads that link vibrant cities with wide-open spaces, spectacular countryside and breathtaking coastlines.

Highlights of Northern California

14-day tailor-made self-drive from £1,950 pp

Special
offer

– Save up to £460 pp
Book by: 30 June 2018

Northern California is a region of immense nature, world-leading wines and culture-packed cities, showcased in such icons as San Francisco, Sonoma and Yosemite National Park. Take in its headline acts on this fly-drive holiday.

See all itinerary ideas

Top places to stay in California

Fairmont San Francisco

Grand & elegant hotel

One of the original luxury landmark hotels to be built atop Nob Hill, the Fairmont San Francisco delivers breathtaking views, superb personal service and oodles of old-world luxury.

The Argonaut, San Francisco

Contemporary hotel

This early 20th century red-brick and wood-beamed fruit cannery warehouse has been skilfully transformed into a boutique, nautically-themed hotel that offers a waterfront location, seafood specialities and complimentary wine tasting every evening at five.

Le Méridien Delfina, Santa Monica

Contemporary hotel

Watch scorching sunsets silhouette palm trees over one of the world’s most famous beaches as your accommodation is firmly planted among Santa Monica’s exclusive bars and restaurants, the haunts of LA’s rich and famous.

The Inn at Death Valley

Historic resort

With its gourmet, bistro-style restaurant, 18-hole golf course, spring-fed pools and a small spa, this historic inn is the ideal base from which to explore California's Death Valley.

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Where to go in California

The curious traveller could explore California for years and still discover new favourite spots. Glamorous Los Angeles, glowing desert sands and idyllic beaches tempt many south; head north to lose yourself in the vineyards of Napa Valley and Sonoma, and the vibrant creative scene of San Francisco.

Southern California

Southern California, or SoCal to locals, embodies the quintessential west coast lifestyle of sunshine, surf culture and beachside living. From the glamour of Los Angeles, to the Orange County highlights of Huntington Beach and Newport Beach ...

Northern California

From vibrant San Francisco to the stunning Yosemite National Park, Northern California hosts an eclectic mix of urban life and rural dwell. Embark on an epic road trip down the Pacific Coast Highway, hike through the Redwoods of Sonoma County or sit back and enjoy the wines of Napa Valley.

See all places

What to do in California

Explore California’s coastal surf, mountains, rolling vineyards and glittering cities on our range of luxury holidays designed to inspire the curious traveller.

Adventure holidays

Explore the John Muir woods, try your hand at surfing, immerse yourself in the urban jungle of Los Angeles, drive the Pacific Coast Highway… there is no shortage of stimulating holidays in California.

Food & Wine Holidays

Fresh, seasonal local cuisine is a highlight of any west coast holiday, as are world-class vintages experienced on a tour of California wine country. From citrus groves to seafood, Asian influences and some of the best tacos outside Mexico, there is plenty to satisfy any traveller’s tastebuds.

Self-drives

For a self-drive, California really is in a league of its own. Enjoy a classic road trip in Golden State sunshine, and travel at your own pace on a truly bespoke holiday.

Nature Holidays

There is possibly no more diverse region in the world than California, and our nature holidays immerse you in the vastness of Yosemite National Park, Lake Tahoe, the wine regions and more.

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When to go to California

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California, generally speaking, is known for its excellent weather. Hot summers and a lack of humidity make for a busy high season in coastal areas while deserts become stifling. Autumn is always a good choice as crowds die down and good weather prevails as, with winter, comes a sprinkling of rain and the deserts’ best weather.

See regional weather

California articles

  • Just back from: Northern California

    Wexas Travel’s Claire Benktander recently drove from San Francisco to the wine regions of Napa and Sonoma. Read her review for an insight into this spectacular road trip, taking in dramatic coastlines, redwood forests and vineyards, paired with, of course, world-class food and wine.

  • America's Best Literary Road Trips

    From Kerouac to Steinbeck, follow the routes of these classic authors for some inspiration on the USA's finest road trips.

  • California Dreaming

    Wexas USA specialist Patrick Griffin brings us off the beaten track of California to give his expert recommendations on the Golden State's wines and desert enclaves.

  • A holiday on Route 66

    With nearly 2,500 miles to choose from, we’ve put together the must-see stops along Route 66 – America’s original road trip. Along with the big-city highlights, there’s plenty of off-the-beaten-track intrigue, including national parks and forgotten railroad towns.

See all articles

Meet our California experts

Speak to a tailor-made specialist on 020 7590 0636

Meet the team

Why book with Wexas Travel?

At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

Contact one of our consultants on 020 7590 0636 to discuss how we can tailor your holiday.

Learn why Wexas is the leader in creating luxury holidays. What is tailor-made travel?

Expert advice & support

Visit us in our London office

Let our travel specialists curate the perfect holiday:

  • Inspirational ideas based on experience
  • Established for over 45 years
  • Tailor a holiday to your precise requirements
  • Personalised quotes and documentation
  • In-depth Wexas travel guides

Every step of the way

Every step of the way

Our services are with you from start to finish:

  • Dedicated personal consultants
  • Wexas Travel App
  • Free airport lounges on qualifying bookings
  • Care and guidance pre, post and during holiday
  • Full financial security: ABTA & ATOL protected