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What is tailor made? Customised itinerary | Every trip is unique | Flexible accommodation options | Designed to your budget

    Places visited:

  • San Francisco
  • Monterey
  • Pismo Beach
  • Los Angeles
  • 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.

Audley Travel specialist Tom

What our specialists say...

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.

We recommend this trip for:

  • San Francisco
  • Monterey
  • Pismo Beach
  • Los Angeles

Itinerary idea in detail

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Includes international flights from a choice of UK airports, including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Day 1 San Francisco

International outbound flight , 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.

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Day 2 San Francisco

San Francisco

Today you are booked on a tour of the legendary Alcatraz prison! The ferry to Alcatraz Island leaves from Fisherman's Wharf. After you arrive you will walk around the prison with your own personal headsets (with voice overs from real ex-inmates!) that tell you all about the fantastic history.

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Day 3 San Francisco

San Francisco

Another day to enjoy The City by the Bay. I would recommend cycling from Fisherman's Wharf across the Golden Gate Bridge today. Cycle across the bridge to the beautiful small town of Sausalito, have lunch there and catch the ferry across the bay back to Fisherman's Wharf.

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Day 4 Monterey

San Francisco , 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.

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Day 5 Monterey

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.

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Day 6 Pismo Beach

Monterey , Pismo Beach

Departing Monterey, drive around three hours south along the beautiful Pacific Coast Highway, past small villages and along cliff edges to Pismo Beach. Spend the afternoon at leisure strolling the beach area or relaxing by the pool.

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Day 7 Los Angeles

Pismo Beach , 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.

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Day 8 Los Angeles

Los Angeles

Today you can explore Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Santa Monica. Enjoy exploring the star's names on the Walk of Fame, do some shopping on Rodeo Drive or relax on the beautiful Santa Monica.

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Day 9 Los Angeles

Los Angeles

Today I have included tickets to go to Warner Brother Studios for the day! Enjoy seeing where the magic of Hollywood is created at the world's busiest movie studio!

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Day 10 International return flight

Los Angeles , International return flight

There's time this morning for some last-minute shopping and sightseeing before making your own way to the airport in time for your onward flight.

Day 11 International return flight

International return flight

Arrive home today to complete your journey.

Audley Travel specialist Tom

Contact a specialist

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. Your dedicated specialist will take the time to understand your preferences and build them into an itinerary to match, working to your budget. He or she will keep perfecting it until you’re completely happy and ready to book.

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When to go

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