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California Coastal Cool
This eight day holidaymakes California Dreamin' a reality. Iconic Highway 1 - also known as The Pacific Coast Highway - hugs the rugged California Coast and is considered one of the world's most scenic drives. From the glitz of Hollywood to chic Santa Barbara; romantic Carmel and the urban delights of San Francisco, this is a holiday that will have something for everyone.
All you need to do is sit back, relax and let the stunning coastal scenery unfold in front of you on this California Cool fly-drive.
Price per person includes:
Flights from the UK into Los Angeles and home from San Francisco, California
4 x 4 or convertible car hire
7 nights accommodation including The Queen Mary, beach locations and groovy 'Frisco hotels.
A personalised road book with travel tips and day to day driving itinerary with local area information
Prices are based on off-season travel. This holiday can be tailor-made, call the team of USA experts at Bon Voyage to discuss your ideal California Coast fly-drive holiday.
Cruising the Pacific Coast Highway
A stay on the historic Queen Mary docked at Long Beach
Whale watching and wildlife plus miles of wonderful beaches and scenic backdrops
Wineries, Hearst Castle and Big Sur Region
Iconic Highway 1, The Pacific Coast Highway
Monterey Peninsula and award winning golf courses
Lively Santa Barbara, Pismo Beach, Clint Eastwood's Carmel and pretty Sausalito
San Francisco, The Beautiful City on the Bay, Alcatraz and Chinatown
Bon Voyage UK Chauffeur Service Start in style and put the finishing touches to a memorable holiday with our Chauffeur Drive Service. Your smart, uniformed driver will meet you at your door and whisk you to and from the airport terminal so you are guaranteed a stress-free and relaxing journey. You’ll travel in a showroom condition Mercedes E Class for two people or a roomy Viano for families or groups up to six.
Your Bon Voyage travel consultant has all the details, so just mention if you'd like this option included in your holiday quote.
Day 1-2 : Los Angeles and the beaches
Your Pacific Coast Highway adventure begins. Long Beach is a great starting point – the RMS Queen Mary has been in residence for over 40 years and you can either stay a night or take a tour of this art deco treasure. Hermosa and Redondo Beaches are full of cool dudes and a fun place to watch the surfers try and catch a wave. About 15 miles north is Venice Beach – possibly the most vibrant and eclectic city in the US. Park the car and strap on a pair of rollerblades, or simply sit back and watch the bladers, skateboarders, volleyball players and weight lifters.
Surely you’ve worked up an appetite now and no better place for alfresco dining then Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade. A pedestrian area full of shops and restaurants – another great place to relax and become one with the beach community. If you are travelling on a Saturday or Sunday, treat yourself to brunch at Shutters on the Beach. Delicious food, outstanding scenery and maybe a movie star or two. Speaking of movie stars, another 15 miles down the road is Malibu, famous for movie star residents and great surfing beaches.
Day 3 : Santa Barbara
Distance: 75 miles
Leave behind the surfer mentality for somewhere a bit more refined and sophisticated - Santa Barbara. With the Santa Ynez Mountains in one direction and the Pacific Ocean in the other it is hard to imagine a prettier city. Spanish colonial architecture, tasteful boutiques and more seafood than you can ever eat top it off. This is where celebrities come when they want to leave their fame behind. And the wine is fine. The fact is, this wine country is uncrowded and sophisticated without being pretentious. And, if a spot of retail therapy is on the agenda, La Cumbre Plaza is an open air delight with many Santa Barbara exclusive stores.
Day 4 : San Luis Obispo
Distance: 105 miles
Approximately 1 hour north of Santa Barbara is the Danish village of Solvang one of California's most charming cities. Further north, nestled in lush hills stretching for miles along California's Central Coast, Santa Maria Valley's fertile land has a long, rich history - this is John Steinbeck country. Guadalupe, a retro 50’s border town, will transport you to another time. Further north, San Luis Obispo is the midway point between LA and San Fran and the ideal stop for the night.
Day 5 : Big Sur
Distance: 105 miles
San Simeon and Hearst Castle was once home to William Randolph Hearst, the American newspaper magnate of the late 1800’s. His 165-room Moorish castle is an architectural fantasy of unbridled excess. After Hearst died, family fortunes declined and they gave Hearst Castle to the state. Today. the Park Service preserves Hearst Castle as a State Historical Monument and you can enjoy a glimpse into the Hearst's opulent lifestyle.
North of San Simeon you’ll find Piedras Blancas famous for its protected colonies of elephant seals who claim the secluded beach as their own. Now for the main event – 70 miles of the most breathtaking stretch of Highway anywhere in the world. Spot blue and humpback whales in the summer or grey whales in winter and drive over Bixby Creek Bridge, important historically because it introduced automobile travel to Big Sur, connecting the remote coastal towns to each other. It is now time to park the car. Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is yours to explore. Hike among the redwoods and look for one of the few waterfalls that plunge directly into the ocean.
Day 6 : Monterey Peninsula/Santa Cruz
Distance: 75 miles
The Monterey Peninsula is best done at a leisurely pace with your first stop being Carmel. Famous for electing Clint Eastwood as mayor, this town can best be described as chocolate box sweet. Clint Eastwood still lives in Carmel and runs the Mission Ranch. The restaurant offers a Sunday brunch that is fabulous or you can enjoy the piano bar nightly. The peninsula drive, also referred to as the 17 mile drive, takes you past the private residential area of Pebble Beach and on to Monterey. An hour further brings you to Santa Cruz a real Californian mix of surfers, hippies, artists and new-age freaks. The bustling downtown is a great place to hang out and be one with the California beach vibe.
Day 7 : San Francisco
Distance: 80 miles
It’s not over yet and this bit of Highway is every bit as gorgeous as Big Sur. Rolling hills, country towns, windswept beaches and giant trees make for a landscape you won’t see often. Take Highway 84 up into the Santa Cruz mountains and drive through the redwoods. San Francisco is on the horizon and your stop for the night.
Day 8 : San Francisco
It's time to head back to the UK, unless we can persuade you to stay longer? This holiday is perfect for adding on Hawaii or continuing along the California coast into Oregon and Washington State.
A Bon Voyage holiday is tailored to your exact wishes, so please call or email us to discuss your California dream holiday.
This is the third time i have used Bon Voyage. Their experience and advice on the USA is second to none. They are competitive but also creative, so a tailor made trip is just that. Would highly recommend.