For those short on time, this self-drive tour combines two of the USA's greatest cities, San Francisco and Los Angeles, with some of the West Coast's most dramatic ocean scenery as you drive along the iconic Pacific Coast Highway. Explore some of California’s main highlights, taking a tour of Alcatraz, learning about what goes on behind the scenes of a film set at Universal Studios and spotting whales off the coast of Monterey. Sample some of the region’s finest wines in Santa Barbara and tuck into fresh seafood on San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf.
Tour Alcatraz and cycle across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
Go whale watching in Monterey, looking out for orca and humpback whales.
Drive along the Pacific Coast Highway with its dramatic views of the rugged coastline and the ocean.
Relax on the soft sands of Pismo Beach.
Enjoy the sparkle and glamour of Hollywood and Beverly Hills in Los Angeles.
Contact a specialist
Treat this trip purely as a starting point for your own tour to California. Your specialist will ask you what you want and then shape your itinerary to match.
- Your trip will be unique
- We work to your interests and budget
- Advice from first-hand expertise
- San Francisco
- Pismo Beach
- Los Angeles
Itinerary idea in detailOpen all Close all
Includes international flights from Ireland.
Day 1 San Francisco
International outbound flight , San Francisco
Today you begin your journey by boarding your international outbound flight to San Francisco. Today you begin your journey by boarding your international outbound flight to San Francisco. On arrival in San Francisco make your own way to your downtown hotel. The remainder of the day is free to relax after your flight. You could begin to explore the city, perhaps taking a stroll in Golden Gate Park or exploring the brightly decorated streets of Chinatown.
Day 2 San Francisco
Day 3 San Francisco
Day 4 Monterey
Make your own way to your nearest car hire depot, where your car will be ready to collect. All insurances, road maps and a sat-nav are included. Your first drive of the trip is a simple two hour journey out of the city suburbs along the Pacific Coast Highway, through the undulating Santa Cruz Mountains and along the coastal highway to Monterey. The remainder of the day is free to explore the town at leisure; we can particularly recommend the scenic coastal drive around 17 Mile Drive, which passes through the pretty town of Carmel with its gated mansions and boutique shops.
Day 5 Monterey
Today you'll make your own way to the marina where you'll embark on an exciting three hour small group whale watching expedition. The area becomes a feeding ground for blue whales, Risso’s dolphins, humpback whales, northern right whale dolphins and orcas. The rest of the day is yours to explore Monterey - you could visit the aquarium, which has a big focus on marine conservation and features interactive exhibits about the area's marine life, or you could browse the shops, galleries and restaurants of historic Cannery Row.
Day 6 Pismo Beach
Day 7 Los Angeles
Complete your journey with a three hour drive south to Los Angeles. En route, visit the beautiful Spanish mission town of Santa Barbara and sample wines at one of the vineyards that dot the area. Continue to Los Angeles, where you'll drop your car off at the depot, before making your own way to your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to start exploring the city - you could pay a visit to the Griffith Observatory in the Hollywood Hills for views over the city and its famous Hollywood sign.
Day 8 Los Angeles
Day 9 Los Angeles
Day 10 International return flight
Los Angeles , International return flight
Day 11 International return flight
International return flight
Arrive home today to complete your journey.
Get in touch with our specialist and we'll plan your perfect holiday
The specialist who designs your trip to California will have explored the country many times and, in some cases, lived there. Their first-hand knowledge gives us the belief that no other travel company can match our expertise in helping you plan your trip.Request a quote Watch our tailor-made process ›
When to go
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