Postcards of California

Multi-Centre Fly-Drive Experience

Trip Highlights

Explore the hilly streets of San Francisco on foot or by historic cable car
Hike Yosemite's trails and see waterfalls tumble from towering monoliths
Savour the magnificent scenery of 17-Mile Drive between Monterey and Carmel
Be wowed by spectacular Big Sur and enjoy Santa Barbara's Mediterranean feel
See glitzy Los Angeles neighbourhood Hollywood or quirky Venice Beach

Your Trip Includes

FREE airport to hotel transfer on arrival
FREE tank of fuel

Itinerary in detail

Day 1: San Francisco
On arrival in San Francisco, make your way to your centrally located hotel, where the rest of the day is yours to settle in and have a wander around.
Day 2: San Francisco
Today is free to discover some of San Francisco’s highlights. Browse the markets of Fisherman’s Wharf, walk the hilly streets or hop on a cable car and visit Chinatown, the Japan Centre and Embarcadero, looking out for the island of Alcatraz as it glares back at you across the Bay. You can also take a boat trip out into the Bay, cruising underneath Golden Gate Bridge or stopping off to tour Alcatraz.
Day 3: San Francisco – Yosemite
Head inland from the City by the Bay to Yosemite. Best known for its impressive waterfalls, grand meadows, and spectacular rock formations, Yosemite National Park was one of the first wilderness parks in the United States.
Day 4: Yosemite
Get outside today and delve into the depths of the park. Walk to a waterfall or learn about the wonders of the park during a ranger-guided stroll. Explore a giant sequoia grove and with approximately 800 miles of trails, Yosemite is also a great place to hike.
Day 5: Yosemite – Monterey/Carmel
Today, head back to the coast from Yosemite and drive south to Monterey, with its own Fisherman’s Wharf and historic Cannery Row as well as its world-famous aquarium. Then take the famed 17-Mile Drive to Carmel, or Carmel-by-the-Sea to give it its official name, marvelling at the magnificent coastline before visiting Carmel’s 18th-century Spanish mission. Walk laid-back Carmel's cobbled streets, browse its many stores and take your pick from charming eateries serving up freshly-cooked local, regional and international cuisine. You won't find any fast-food chain restaurants in Carmel.
Day 6: Monterey/Carmel – Highway 1 – Central Coast
Continue south along the spectacular Highway 1 coastline, through the Big Sur peninsula with its 1,000-foot-high sea cliffs and on to San Simeon, where you should make time to visit Hearst Castle. Just a few miles before that, stop off to see huge, lumbering elephant seals sunning themselves on the beach at the Piedras Blancas elephant seal rookery.
Day 7: Central Coast – Pacific Coast Highway – Santa Barbara – Malibu – Los Angeles
Make sure you take in some of the gems along the California Central Coast, such as Morro Bay with a towering rock guarding the entrance to its harbour that shelters sea otters and sea lions, San Luis Obispo for the Spanish mission in the heart of downtown, and Pismo Beach, where you can drive buggies over towering sand dunes and where you can see migrating monarch butterflies in a eucalyptus-filled grove from late October to late February. Further south on the Pacific Coast Highway lies Santa Barbara, a delightful coastal city with a Mediterranean feel, another Spanish mission and a harbour with restaurants where you can dine looking out over the forest of masts. Before reaching Los Angeles, stop off at Malibu, where its famous beach is overlooked by seaside homes of the rich and famous and Santa Monica, where Route 66 ends on its pier.
Day 8: Los Angeles
Before dropping off your rental car for your flight home, there's time to visit glitzy Hollywood and see the stars and handprints of celebrities on its Walk of Fame, or maybe a stroll along the vibrant boardwalk of quirky Venice Beach to watch body builders pump iron at Muscle Beach.
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