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Boasting more national parks than any other US state, California blends awe-inspiring natural landscapes with vibrant coastal cities. Take a road trip down the Pacific Coast to San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego or explore Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada. Enjoy the sun-kissed slopes of Napa Valley’s vineyards; and relax on the golden beaches of the “American Riviera”.

From the dramatic coastline of Big Sur to the breathtaking valleys of the Mojave desert, a journey through the Golden State offers unforgettable vistas of rugged beauty interspersed with glittering cities; all bathed in the radiant Californian sunshine.

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Route 101

Ribboning over 800 miles of the state’s coastline, the legendary Route 101 provides the ultimate Californian road-trip experience.

Traversing the Golden Gate Bridge to reach the unique city of San Francisco before passing through the whale-watching haven of Monterey Bay and ending in the palm-studded metropolis of Los Angeles, Route 101 takes you on an incredible journey through many of California’s most iconic destinations.

Continue on the historic route of El Camino Real following the Spanish missions to visit the laid-back city of San Diego.


  • Redwoods National Park - a UNESCO world heritage site recognised for its rare ecosystems and cultural significance.

  • San Francisco - the city by the bay combines the famous Golden Gate Bridge and Park, vintage streetcars and cable cars, and excellent seafood.

  • Monterey Bay - an ecological regeneration success story; humpback and blue whales have returned to the bay delighting visitors with magnificent sightings.

  • Santa Barbara - feted as the “American Riviera”, the city combines golden beaches, Mediterranean architecture, luxury boutiques, and high-end eateries set against the backdrop of the Santa Ynez Mountains.

  • Los Angeles County - the home of Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Malibu, and Santa Monica.

  • Orange County - including the surfing paradises of Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, and Laguna Beach.

  • San Diego - featuring the stunning Balboa Park and La Jolla Cove.

When to visit

September is an ideal time to visit the Californian coastal route; San Francisco enjoys an Indian Summer at this time and the vineyards of the nearby Napa Valley are at the height of their grape-crushing season. In early Autumn, the cities are slightly quieter than during the height of the Summer season and off the coast, whale sightings are still common.

Yosemite National Park

Located in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains, the Yosemite National Park comprises breathtaking waterfalls, crystal clear lakes and streams, ancient sequoia trees, and dramatic granite monoliths. Recognised as a UNESCO world heritage site for its unspoilt natural beauty, the Yosemite National Park supports a diverse range of wildlife - with over 400 species making their homes amongst the park’s iconic rock formations, open meadows, and ancient woodland groves. Marvel at the famous El Capitan peak, enjoy unforgettable vistas at Glacier Point and explore the enchanting Mariposa Grove.


  • El Capitan

  • Yosemite Falls

  • Glacier Point

  • Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias

  • Tunnel View

When to visit

May is an ideal time to visit Yosemite; at this time the park is quieter than during the height of the summer season and its wildflower meadows are at their most beautiful. 

The Beverly Hills Hotel, Los Angeles

Situated on Sunset Boulevard in the heart of Beverly Hills, the iconic hotel affectionately named the ‘Pink Palace’ has played host to some of Hollywood’s brightest stars. With the feted Polo Lounge serving as the epicentre of Los Angeles dining, The Beverly Hills Hotel is truly the perfect place to immerse yourself in LA culture.

With a variety of legendary bungalows, rooms and suites, The Beverly Hills Hotel provides a splendid hideaway in the heart of LA’s rich  Hollywood history.

Favourite Room

The legendary Bungalow 5 is the height of old-school glamour and was a favourite of Elizabeth Taylor. Featuring its own palm-tree lined patio, pool and Jacuzzi, Bungalow 5 offers an opulent escape in beautiful surroundings.

St. Regis Hotel, San Francisco

Located in the heart of the popular South of Market district of San Francisco, the St. Regis Hotel is a luxury Forbes five-star property that boasts spectacular views of downtown San Francisco. Offering impeccable fine dining focused on local seasonal produce, the hotel’s ‘Grill at the St. Regis’ is a wonderful place to enjoy delicious culinary delights.

With amenities including a 24-hour fitness centre, an indoor infinity pool, and an onsite spa, the St. Regis Hotel provides the ideal retreat in which to unwind after a day of exploring San Francisco’s iconic landmarks.

Favourite Room

The Presidential Suite is the most luxurious of all the accommodations at St. Regis. Featuring incredible panoramic city views, over 3000 square feet of living space and its own entertainment room, the suite affords guests the highest standard of accommodation San Francisco has to offer.

Rancho Valencia Resort, San Diego

Nestled in the picturesque and affluent community of Rancho Santa Fe, the Rancho Valencia Resort features charming Mediterranean-inspired architecture set within 45 acres of idyllic gardens and citrus groves.

Featuring a five-star spa and wellness centre offering a plethora of relaxing and revitalising treatments, the Rancho Valencia Resort provides a haven of tranquillity for those looking to escape the frenetic pace of modern life.

Favourite Rooms

The Olive Grove Suites offer 1000 square feet of sumptuously furnished living space and include a private patio and plunge pool making them the perfect location for relaxing in the Southern California sunshine.

Big Bear Lake 

For those seeking an active escape filled with outdoor pursuits, Big Bear Lake is an ideal choice. An all-season lake and mountain retreat, Big Bear offers a wide range of activities - including watersports, snowsports, and mountain biking - all in an idyllic setting.

Within driving distance from Newport Beach, this is the only location in California where you can ski on snow-capped peaks and surf in the Pacific Ocean on the same day!

Things to do

  • During winter, ski and snowboard on the slopes of Bear Mountain’s ski resort.

  • Hike, mountain bike or horse-ride through numerous forest trails.

  • Take to the lake! Kayak, paddleboard or wakeboard on the beautiful Big Bear Lake.

The tours featured throughout our website are intended to give you ideas for what's possible when you travel with us. Treat them simply as inspiration, because your trip will be created individually by one of our specialists to match your tastes.

Pacific Coast Road Trip

San Francisco, Monterey Bay, Big Sur, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and San Diego - 14 nights

  • Start your road trip in San Francisco taking in the Golden Gate Bridge and Park, ride on the city’s historic streetcars and cable cars, visit Fisherman’s Wharf, and take a boat tour out to Alcatraz Island.

  • Travel along the coast to Santa Cruz notable for its candy-coloured seafront and vintage boardwalk.

  • Head on to Monterey Bay, dubbed the “Serengeti of the Sea” for its incredible biodiversity and marvel at the humpback and blue whales, orcas, dolphins, and sea otters that all come to the bay to feed.

  • Continue your journey around the coast to take in the breathtaking rugged beauty of Big Sur. 

  • Visit the city of San Simeon, home to the famous Hearst Castle, and enjoy a walk on the pretty Moonstone Beach in the charming village of Cambria.

  • Take a short drive to Morro Bay - a great destination for year-round activities including kayaking, surfing, hiking, and biking.

  • Head on to Santa Barbara and enjoy its golden beaches, fine dining, and luxury boutiques.

  • From Santa Barbara, travel to the palm-studded county of Los Angeles - home to the fabulous beaches of Malibu, the entertainment capital of Hollywood, the luxurious Beverly Hills,  and the vibrant beachfront district of Santa Monica.

  • Continue your journey around the coast to Orange County - home to the world-famous Huntington, Laguna, and Newport Beaches.

  • Conclude your road trip to the city of San Diego and visit its beautiful Balboa Park. Enjoy swimming and scuba diving at La Jolla Cove and surf at the nearby Windansea Beach.

San Francisco & Napa Valley - 7 nights

  • Explore the City by the Bay - visit the spectacular Golden Gate Bridge and Park, take a ride on the city’s historic streetcars and cable cars, enjoy excellent seafood off Fisherman’s Wharf, visit the oldest Chinatown in North America, and take a boat ride over to Alcatraz Island.

  • Head to the beautiful Napa Valley - home to over 200 wineries. Take a hot air balloon ride and enjoy the incredible views over the valley, board the historic Napa Valley wine train, enjoy a gourmet lunch and wine tasting experience.

  • Head to the town of Calistoga and unwind in its rejuvenating hot springs and mud baths. Whilst there, visit the beautiful Tuscan-inspired castle winery - Castello di Amorosa.

  • Enjoy fine dining in the nearby towns of Yountville, feted as the culinary capital of the Napa Valley, and St Helena - a picturesque town with Michelin-starred restaurants and chic boutiques.   

Mountains, Lakes and Deserts Adventure 

Los Angeles, Joshua Tree National Park, Mojave Desert, Yosemite National Park, Lake Tahoe, and Sacramento - 14 nights

  • Start your adventure in Los Angeles - taking in the entertainment district of Hollywood, the luxurious Beverly Hills with its world-famous Rodeo Drive, and the vibrant beachfront at Santa Monica.

  • Head to the Joshua Tree National Park known for its characteristic flora and spectacular clear night skies which are perfect for stargazing.

  • Journey through the stunning Mojave Desert and drive through Death Valley.

  • Visit the Sequoia National Forest and see the magnificent General Sherman Tree - the world’s largest tree by volume.

  • Head to Yosemite National Park to see its iconic rock formations, such as El Capitan and Half Dome, and marvel at the epic Yosemite Falls.

  • Visit Lake Tahoe - the largest Alpine lake in North America. On its southern shore, you’ll find the beautiful Emerald Bay State Park and the fascinating Vikingsholm.

  • Conclude your journey in Sacramento - the state capital - and discover the Old Town with its Western saloons harking back to the days of the Californian gold rush.

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When to visit

May - September is a great time to visit for warmer weather.


High Season: June-August
Average Temperature: 23°C

Low Season: December-February
Average Temperature: 15°C


US Dollar

Travel Time

London → San Francisco 11 hour
London → Los Angeles 11 hour
London → San Diego 11 hour

Fly to San Francisco International Airport, LAX or San Diego International Airport.

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