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Self Drive California Coast

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Overview

This 11-night self drive tour begins in San Francisco in Northern California and end in San Diego in Southern California with a stay of 3 nights in each of these great cities. Between those cities we take along the Pacific Coast Highway where you stay for one night the cities of Monterey, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and two nights in Los Angeles. Don’t miss the other communities along the way such as Carmel where you can visit Clint Eastwood’s Hog’s Breath Inn for lunch, San Simeon to visit Hearst Castle the former home of William Randolph Hearst, Solvang in the wine producing Santa Ynez Valley and south of LA, the village of San Juan Capistrano where if you happen to be there on March 19th your can experience the miracle of the ‘Swallows’ of Capistrano as they return to build their nests in the ‘Old Mission’ of Capistrano.
 

Details

Day 1

Arrive San Francisco

Arrive in San Francisco. Transfer independently to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure, we suggest a stroll around the Union Square area and dinner at one of the superb local restaurants.
Hotel: San Francisco Carlton
 

Day 2-3

San Francisco

A few years ago San Francisco was riding high on the wealth of the dot com explosion. And it showed in outrageously high-priced hotels, restaurants and real estate. When the bubble burst, the city was forced to adjust. In fact, now is a great time to visit the somewhat humbler, but just as fabulous, cultural mecca of the Left Coast. Hotels and restaurants have lowered their prices, making it easier to enjoy a weekend here. One of the best things about San Francisco is that you can be in a museum in the morning and on a mountain in the afternoon. Mind-expanding cultural
attractions exist alongside invigorating outdoor activities. Gaze at the work of Jackson Pollock at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in the morning and then head to Muir Woods to peer up at gigantic redwoods in the afternoon. From the hippie haunts of Haight-Ashbury to the colourful Victorian architecture of the predominantly gay Castro District, and from Japantown to Chinatown.
Hotel: San Francisco Carlton
 

Day 4

Drive to Monterey (approx 120 miles)

Pick up your rental car and head south along the Pacific Coast Highway to Monterey where you spend 2 nights. Monterey County highlights everything that’s best about California. From Monterey’s seaside restaurants to the Salinas Valley’s hillside vineyards, from Big Sur’s redwood groves to Pebble Beach’s perfectly groomed golf courses, from Salinas’ old-fashioned rodeo to Carmel-by-the-Sea’s elite music and art festivals, Monterey has a feast of fun just waiting to be sampled.
Monterey offers iconic California experiences. Experience the top road trip in the United States as you wind along the breathtaking Big Sur coastline on Highway One. Sip handcrafted wines at tucked-away tasting rooms where the winemaker might just be the person pouring. Take a surfing lesson and catch a glimpse of a barefoot beach wedding as you ride your board to shore. Play 18 holes at legendary golf courses, or just hang out at the 19th hole and watch the pros practice.
Hotel: Travelodge Downtown

 

Day 5

Drive to San Luis Obispo (approx 140 miles)

A stopover in this charming and scenic town situated halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles and nestled in the Santa Lucia Mountain Range, can be whatever you want it to be: a relaxing break or a buzz of activity. For serenity, pack lunch and head north or south to have a picnic at one of the dozens of picturesque wineries. Head west for great beaches, perfect for a leisurely swim. For a dose of history, visit the birthplace and heart of this quaint town: the beautiful adobe-brick Mission San Luis Obispo. Children will revel in the plentiful fun activities, such as the Charles Paddock Zoo, the Morro Bay Aquarium and the Children’s Museum. For a laugh or a gasp, visit the outrageously decorated Madonna Inn, where nothing in the garish décor is consistent except for an abundance of the colour pink. All are welcome for a peek inside the lobby’s men’s room for more interior design surprises.
Hotel: Best Western Royal Oak
 

Day 6

Drive to Santa Barbara (approx 100 miles)

Continue south today to Santa Barbara where you stay for one night. For a stay on the Pacific Coast, it’s hard to top Santa Barbara. The pristine city’s perfect climate gives rise to a number of natural attractions worth investigating. Stroll through the Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens to view breathtaking flora or hike a scenic nature trail in Los Padres National Forest. Each beach has its own vibe: East Beach attracts the young and hip, while fishing and whale-watching beckon a mixed crowd to Arroyo Burro. Indoor enthusiasts will enjoy touring the fine collection at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art or exploring the old Mission. For a fresh and delicious seafood dinner, you can’t beat the restaurants on Stearn’s Wharf.
Hotel: Sandpiper Lodge

 

Day 7

Drive to Los Angeles (approx 95 miles)

Today you head to ‘The City of Angels’ Los Angeles. Modern myth has it that these days everyone in Los Angeles has written a screenplay, is writing a screenplay or is just visiting. For those in the latter category we offer a road map of ideas to help make a trip to this ultra-hip, ultra-happening haven easy, fun and exciting. While LA will always be associated with movies and movie stars, it is also a culturally vibrant city that boasts a range of interesting attractions from prestigious art museums and galleries to fabulous theatre, both well-known productions and smaller fringe shows. Art enthusiasts will be stunned by the extensive collections at the J. Paul Getty Centre and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Visit the La Brea Tar Pits on Museum Row, and then investigate the trendy shops on Melrose Avenue. Families will not want to miss the zoo or the action at Universal Studios Hollywood. Of course, no trip to LA would be complete without a stop at the Venice Beach Boardwalk or a visit to Mann’s Chinese Theatre and the Walk of Fame.
Hotel: Wilshire Hotel

 

Day 8

Los Angeles

You now have another two days to explore this exciting city. Today we suggest you visit the Downtown Area including Olveras Street, Chinatown, Downtown Shopping, Museums, Bunker Hill / Angels Walk, Performing Arts Centre of Los Angeles, walking tours downtown LA, and more.. Santa Monica including Third Street Promenade and Venice Beach. Hollywood including Hollywood Blvd , TV Studios and Show Tickets, Universal Studios, Universal CityWalk, The Grove, Original Farmers Market, and others. Don’t miss Beverly Hills. It is said to form a "Platinum Triangle" with adjacent neighbourhoods Bel Air and Holmby Hills, as all three areas are regarded as the most affluent within Los Angeles. Beverly Hills is where you’ll find perhaps one of most well-known streets in the world: Rodeo Drive - a haven for anyone who has a passion for fashion. As seen in Pretty Woman, these short three blocks are concentrated with an overwhelming array of designer labels.
Hotel: Wilshire Hotel
 

Day 9

Drive to San Diego (approx 120 miles)
San Diego’s year-round benign climate would probably be enough to lure some people, but add to that its historic attractions, the Balboa Park complex (including museums and the world-famous San Diego Zoo), San Diego hotels, beaches, Sea World and its proximity to Tijuana create an almost irresistible combination.
Hotel: Holiday Inn Downtown
 

Day 10-11

San Diego
Elegant and sunny San Diego is truly a city with something for everyone. In town, a whole day or more could be spent in Balboa Park playing golf, touring the world-famous San Diego Zoo or visiting a museum. Just outside town, Torrey Pines State Reserve offers a somewhat wilder terrain where visitors can view rare birds and the stately trees from which the park takes its name. Children and their parents will be delighted with the city’s wide range of family-oriented activities. From SeaWorld to the historic Gaslamp Quarter, there are events and exhibits to satisfy even the most hard-to-please. San Diego boasts an array of fine and trendy restaurants covering a melting pot of cuisines, world-class shopping and hotels from lavish to budget.
Hotel: Holiday Inn Downtown
 

Day 12

Depart San Diego

Today you return you rental to car to the airport and head back home with many memories to last a lifetime.
 

What's Included

  • Flights from Ireland to San Francisco
  • 11 nights hotel accommodation
  • 7 days car rental including tax and insurance
  • Return flights from San Diego to Ireland

 

The weather information shown below refers to the first stop on the tour, call us and speak to one of our travel experts for the most up-to-date forecasts and weather details for your tour.

TODAY 12ºC
WED 11ºC
THU 13ºC
FRI 16ºC
SAT 14ºC
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average Temperature (Celsius) Average Rainfall (Inches)
14ºC
16ºC
20ºC
21ºC
26ºC
30ºC
32ºC
32ºC
30ºC
26ºC
19ºC
14ºC
3
4
2
1
1
0
0
1
0
1
2
4

Average Temperature (Celsius) Average Rainfall (Inches)

Jan
14ºC
3
Feb
16ºC
4
Mar
20ºC
2
Apr
21ºC
1
May
26ºC
1
Jun
30ºC
0
Jul
32ºC
0
Aug
32ºC
1
Sep
30ºC
0
Oct
26ºC
1
Nov
19ºC
2
Dec
14ºC
4

Book today

Talk to our travel experts for more information and to book or tailor-make your holiday.

01342 3317989am - 9pm Mon - Sun

Business & First Class01342 310 587

Brendan White

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