A classic American fly-drive along the iconic California State Route 1
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- Let soaring cliffs and rolling vineyards guide you south California's Pacific Coast Highway
- Explore two of America's city greats – Los Angeles and San Francisco
- Drive between pristine beaches and pretty coastal towns
- Stop for seafood on Santa Barbara's famous pier
- Watch sea lions bask on the shoreline in Monterey and Cambria
- 3 Nights San Francisco
- 2 Nights Monterey
- 2 Nights Pismo Beach
- 1 Night Santa Barbara
- 2 Nights Santa Monica
Beach | City | Food & wine | Natural world | Self-drive
Also known as California Highway 1, the Pacific Coast Highway is America’s dream drive, and one of our most popular fly-drive itineraries in the USA. You'll travel south from San Francisco's Golden Gate icon to Los Angeles, passing through mile upon mile of spectacular mountain and ocean scenery, skirting acclaimed vineyards, stopping to explore historic buildings and relaxing on beautiful gold-sands beaches and in peaceful seaside towns. As with all of our North America fly-drives, we offer you complete flexibility to add or remove destinations, reduce or increase the number of nights and change your accommodation or car hire to suit. Contact our North America specialists to discuss your plans.
Day by day itinerary
With included VIP airport lounge access, you'll enjoy a relaxing start to your trip before your direct flight to San Francisco. Beginning your adventure in one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities, you'll have two full days to explore its eclectic mix of suburbs, from trendy Nob Hill to lively Chinatown to bustling Fisherman’s Wharf, a waterfront hub where seafood restaurants overlook a fishing boat-filled harbour and colonies of sunbathing sea lions. Head north and you'll find towering redwood forests while in the bay, picturesque islands afford wonderful views back across Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge.
Stay: Abri Hotel (Standard) The Argonaut, San Francisco (Superior)
Collect your hire car and depart San Francisco, driving south for a two-night stay at Monterey. Cruising along the interstate, you'll be accompanied by views of wooded hills and sparkling lakes as you head to the coast. The next day, embark on a stunning journey along the 17-Mile Drive before visiting Pebble Beach and fashionable Carmel, a place of mansions, golf courses and no little natural beauty. Then, return to Monterey for an overnight stay, perhaps heading to the docks to spot harbour seals basking on the rocks before tucking into a delicious seafood dinner, fresh from the sea.
Stay: Hilton Garden Inn Monterey (Standard) InterContinental The Clement Monterey (Superior)
Despite the Mud Creek landslide affecting a portion of road top the south of Big Sur, it's still possible to head across Pfeiffer Bridge to take in the views of the route's most spectacular section. You'll then return north to take the scenic inland route to Pismo Beach before an optional short hop north to take in Hearst Castle – the estate of publisher William Randolph Hearst – and the sea lions at Cambria before returning to Pismo in time for sun set.
Stay: Seacrest Ocean Front Hotel, Pismo Beach (Standard) Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa, Pismo Beach (Superior)
Before heading south, perhaps call into San Luis Obispo where winding backroads and ocean views frame some of region's most prestigious wine estates. Then, after an hour-and-forty-minute drive south, you'll arrive at Santa Barbara where you'll spend the night. This evening, be sure to head out to the town's famous pier for dinner at the Santa Barbara Shellfish Company; the steamed crab and lobster tacos are both highlights, best washed down with a glass of local wine.
Stay: Kimpton Goodland, Santa Barbara (Standard) Canary Hotel, Santa Barbara (Superior)
Continue on past Malibu's sprawling mansions to drop off your hire car at Los Angeles Airport before making your way to Santa Monica. While it's a great base for exploring Los Angeles, this laid-back beachfront city is a highlight in its own right, home to a golden beach, historic pier and probably America’s best weekend Farmers’ Market.
Stay: Best Western Gateway Santa Monica (Standard) Le Méridien Delfina, Santa Monica (Superior)
Depart Los Angeles
On your last day, enjoy some time to yourself before making your way to Los Angeles International Airport. Board your overnight flight to the UK, arriving the next day. Alternatively, consider an extension, perhaps to Palm Springs or to sunny San Diego.
Arrive in the UK
After your overnight flight, arrive back in London on day 12 and return home.
Any element of this itinerary can be adjusted to suit your needs. Just contact us to find out more.
Save up to £355 pp.
Book by: 31 March 2018
from £1,545 pp. incl. flights
from £2,910 pp. incl. flights
- Complimentary UK airport lounge access
- Flight from the UK to San Francisco
- Flight from Los Angeles to the UK
- 6 days Economy car hire including personalised road book
- 10 nights in a mixture of 3* (Standard) & 4* (Superior) accommodation on a room only basis
Terms & Conditions
Prices are per person based on two people sharing a twin/double room; prices are subject to availability and possible change; normal booking conditions apply.
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