California – also known as the Golden State – is a jewel in America’s crown. With its diverse and stunning landscape, global cities and popular coastline, it has long been a favourite destination for travellers across the world. On the California Explorer you’ll get to sample some of the best this state has to offer. Starting in beautiful San Francisco, you’ll travel down the coast, hitting the likes of Yosemite National Park and Los Angeles, before finishing your trip in San Diego.

14 nights, From £1,248*

Price is a guide for this road trip package, including all your flights, hotels and car hire.

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Road Trip Itinerary

3 Nights – San Francisco
1 Nights – Napa Valley
1 Night – Lake Tahoe
2 Nights – Yosemite National Park
1 Nights – Pismo Beach
1 Night – Santa Barbara
2 Nights – Los Angeles
3 Nights – San Diego

✈ UK – San Francisco (3 nights): You’ll touch down, pick up your car and then have three nights in San Francisco to kick off your trip. Also known as ‘Shaky Town’, this city is famous for its painted ladies – Victorian and Edwardian homes painted in three or more colours – cable cars and, of course, the Golden Gate Bridge. As you walk the hilly streets of San Fran, you’ll sense a quaint nostalgia, which contrasts wonderfully with the newer parts of the city. The overall ambience is a quirky, eclectic one that makes it a perfect introduction to California. While you’re there, be sure to visit famous sites like Alcatraz Island and Golden Gate Park, as well as allowing some time to chill out in the funky restaurants and bars.

🚗 San Francisco – Napa Valley (1 night): From San Francisco you’ll head out to California’s famous wine region, Napa Valley. With its undulating hills of green and rustic-style villas, it can feel like you’re in a different world compared to the rest of the Golden State. Be sure to sample the local wares and tour one of the beautiful vineyards.

🚗 Napa Valley – Lake Tahoe (1 night): Your next stop is often referred to as ‘America’s best lake’, Lake Tahoe is one of the most picturesque areas of California. It’s also the perfect place to get active, with lots of hikes and watersports available, from swimming to windsurfing. During the winter, the mountains surrounding the lake are covered in snow, transforming the area into a popular skiing spot. There’s also plenty of nightlife to enjoy.

🚗 Lake Tahoe – Yosemite National Park (2 nights): Next on to Yosemite, set in the Sierra Nevada mountains, a striking mix of rocky mountains, green pastures and lakes. It’s famous for its sequoias – large, ancient trees that dominate the landscape. There is also the Tunnel View – a famous viewpoint over Yosemite Valley – and the 188-metre high Bridalveil Fall. When you’re not traversing the landscape, there are plenty of shops and restaurants in Yosemite Village to occupy yourself with. There’s also a museum for you to learn more about the area.

🚗 Yosemite – Pismo Beach (1 night): After your active time at Yosemite and Lake Tahoe, you’ll drive on to the picturesque coastal town of Pismo. This traditional beach community has plenty of sand dunes for relaxing strolls, restaurants for great food and miles of beach for sunbathing.

🚗 Pismo Beach – Santa Barbara (1 night): Driving down the stunning Pacific Highway, you’ll come to your next stop of Santa Barbara. This city is sure to give you a great taste of the Spanish colonial heritage of California. With red-tiled roofs on white stucco buildings, you can be forgiven for feeling like you’re in the Mediterranean. There’s also a range of great places to visit to learn about the local culture and history, including the Santa Barbara Presidio and the Mission Santa Barbara.

🚗 Santa Barbara – Los Angeles (2 nights): Your penultimate stop will be the iconic city of Los Angeles, where you can spend your time exploring Hollywood, the strip and the Walk of Fame. Griffith Park is also a must if you fancy a bit of a hike. As you’d expect of LA, there are plenty of restaurants and a great nightlife scene, meaning you can let your hair down for a few days. There’s also a huge healthy-living culture in the city, so be sure to sample some of the great things they have on offer.

🚗 Los Angeles – San Diego (3 nights): After LA you’ll travel on to your final stop and what a way to end your trip than in San Diego. This city has something for everyone, from famous landmarks to beaches and parks. If you love history, spend time in the Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, which is a state-protected area with Mexican and American heritage. You have to spend some time in Balboa Park, which houses San Diego Zoo, as well as large open spaces and gardens. For some down-time on the beach, take a trip to La Jolla Cove or the Torrey Pines State Beach.

✈ San Diego – UK: Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, so all that’s left is to drive to the airport, drop off your car and fly back to the UK.