The Golden Gate Bridge, Hollywood Hills, El Capitan, Bixby Bridge… California is peppered with sights and landmarks familiar to us from films and TV shows. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to see them for yourself, taking to the wheel on a classic USA road trip. Our specialists have driven the routes themselves and can help you do just that, shaping your journey around what you want to see and do. However, they’ll also suggest less-obvious places to explore and ways to experience them that help you connect more deeply with the Golden State.
You could visit Yosemite National Park, where we’ll arrange for you to hike with a professional mountain ranger who’ll tailor the route to your interests. You might wind around Big Sur’s wave-lashed coastline on a Pacific Coast Highway road trip before ending in LA. But, instead of staying in the city, we can base you in the suburb of Santa Monica, where you could learn to surf, enjoy sunrise yoga sessions on the beach, or join a local guide on an e-bike ride along the waterfront. If the idea of touring Alcatraz has captured your imagination, how about visiting at night for added atmosphere?
Our specialists have also explored quieter corners of California, and can plan a trip that lets you linger longer in each place to really get to know the state’s true character. Heading north, you could tour vineyards, sip wine, and dine on Michelin-starred cuisine in Sonoma County, take an art walk in Napa Valley, or wander among dizzyingly high redwoods that have stood for centuries.
Further inland, relax on the southern shore of Lake Tahoe, where you can paddle a kayak on the sea-like blue waters and hike or bike among pine-carpeted mountains. There’s also Greater Palm Springs, an area of cacti-studded desert, soothing natural springs, and nine oasis-like cities with blossoming art scenes.
Our trip ideas for exploring California
From the Pacific Coast Highway to vineyard-coated valleys, California is road-trip heaven — but where you go and what you do is yours alone to decide. Our itineraries are designed to give you a taste of what your adventure could look like.
Coastal California self-drive tourUSAView this tour
Northern California self-drive tourUSAView this tour
California exploredUSAView this tour
Where to stay in California
Whether you prefer intimate, family-run B&Bs, plush, all-frills resorts with ocean views, or a remote retreat deep in a redwood forest, we’ll match you with the best California stays from our carefully curated collection.
Redwoods in Yosemite operates over 130 cabins, surrounded by forest and located inside of Yosemite National Park. These cabins are perfect for families or those who want to cater for themselves and want an authentic cabin experience.
Located in the heart of California wine country, Farmhouse Inn offers a luxurious and genuinely local experience for those looking to immerse themselves in the Sonoma Valley.
La Quinta Resort and Club
La Quinta Resort & Club is a traditional hideaway, which has been welcoming guests with its unique style of hacienda-inspired warmth since 1926.
Suggested activities for California
The experiences you have in California are what bring your trip to life. We work with the best local guides who’ll show you the state in a new light, whether you’re pedalling an e-bike along Santa Monica’s oceanfront or hiking along lesser-known trails in Yosemite.
Electric Bicycle Tour of Santa Monica and Venice Beach
This guided tour takes you through the highlights of both Santa Monica and Venice Beach by electric bike.
Private 1960s Cadillac Tour
Take in the sites of Sunset Boulevard, Beverly Hills and Venice Beach in a 1960s Cadillac on this privately-guided tour in Los Angeles.
Universal Studios VIP Experience Tour
With this VIP tour, you will be treated like a star from the moment you arrive at Universal Studios.