Surf Board on the Santa Monica sea
Surf Board on the Santa Monica sea
Beautiful beaches of Santa Monica
Beautiful beaches of Santa Monica

Enjoy Santa Monica and the Beaches of Southern California

10 nights from £1,999 per person Including Flights


The charms of California are wide ranging but we think the beaches take a lot of beating. We’ve created this itinerary for those who want to have a relaxing holiday enjoying the best of southern California’s beaches. We’ve started in Santa Monica, a place that typifies the real attraction of this region. A wide sandy beach to enjoy, a retro pier for that real Americana experience and fantastic shopping and eating opportunities. Then it’s onto Santa Barbara on the stretch of coast widely regarded as the American Riviera, then head back south on Route 101 to Huntington Beach known for its surf beaches. You’ll end in “America’s Finest City” San Diego with its miles and miles of white sand beaches.

This itinerary is for 10 nights but we can adapt it to suit you. And if you fancy exploring further afield, such as driving over to the desert oasis playground of Palm Springs or north into the winelands of central California then just let us know. (TM)

I spent a wonderful Sunday strolling around Santa Monica, through Pallisades Park overlooking the ocean and then onto the pier for the obligatory selfie by the “Route 66 End of the Trail” sign & enjoying the retro amusements. Then we walked along the beautiful sandy beach until the shops of Santa Monica Place beckoned – a lovely outdoor mall with plenty of places to stop for  coffee, ice-cream or glass of Californian white”.
Kathryn, Programme Director American Sky


  • Enjoy the beaches, restaurants and shops of vibrant Santa Monica
  • Experience the charms of Santa Barbara, with its Spanish inspired architecture and vineyards as far as the eye can see
  • Hang out in the surfing resort of Huntington Beach – either people watch or try it out yourself
  • Explore the myriad beaches of San Diego, 30 of them offering something for everyone – families, surfers, wildlife-spotters, people-watchers and more

Itinerary Overview

Fly into Los Angeles and either return from San Diego or Los Angeles

Santa Monica 3 nights – Santa Barbara 2 nights – Huntington Beach 2 nights – San Diego 3 nights

Our holidays include
  • Flights & taxes
  • Accommodation
  • Checked baggage
  • ATOL protection
  • In resort assistance & 24 hour contact centre
Why Book with American Sky?
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  • Choice of airlines and the option to switch
  • A friendly, family run business with a wealth of experience.
  • Great deals on offer for multiple destinations
  • Low deposits
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Day 1

Fly to Los Angeles

Arrive in Los Angeles and transfer independently to your hotel in Santa Monica for a three night stay

Hotel suggestion: Le Meridien Delfina Santa Monica

Days 2 to 3

Santa Monica

A couple of days to simply relax on the gorgeous Santa Monica beach. Why don’t you head out early to bag a prime spot, and then late afternoon you can freshen up and then head out for a stroll along the pier before enjoying dinner in one of the many eateries.

Hotel suggestion: Le Meridien Delfina Santa Monica

Day 4

Santa Monica – Santa Barbara (92 miles)

Pick up your hire car and head north on iconic the iconic Pacific highway - Route 101. You’ve got a wide choice of hotels and you might opt to stay near the Mediterranean-style white stucco buildings with red-tile roofs of downtown, but as this is a beach-focussed itinerary we’ve suggested an oceanfront hotel. You’ll be spoilt for places to eat and drink, and Santa Barbara has some particularly great wineries from the local vineyards. We’ve booked you in for two nights, but if you’re a fan of California wine…you might want to extend your stay to be able to tour some of the superb vineyards.

Hotel suggestion: Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort

Day 5

Santa Barbara

You’re probably going to want to spend the day on East Beach, and who can blame you. If you can drag yourself away from the beach mid afternoon, you’ll have time to visit The Old Mission, a beautiful historic landmark where you can enjoy ocean views from the lovely landscaped gardens. Then head back down to the oceanfront to enjoy dinner and a few drinks on the appealing Stearns Wharf.

Hotel suggestion: Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort

Day 6

Santa Barbara – Huntington Beach (131 miles)

You’re going to head back south along the 101 and then continue onto Huntington Beach. It will be around a three hour drive so you could get there in time for lunch and then head straight out to the wide sandy beach to enjoy the surf.

Hotel suggestion: Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach

Day 7

Huntington Beach

The keen surfers among you will want to try out the famous surf on Huntington Beach, others might want to rent a bike for a ride along the wide promenade of this charming seaside resort. Or just sit back and soak up the sunshine on the sands. There’s lots of restaurants, cafes and bars so you won’t go hungry or thirsty this evening.

Hotel suggestion: Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach

Day 8

Huntington Beach – San Diego (93 miles)

It’s just a short drive down coastal route 5 to San Diego, the final destination of your holiday, so you could explore Newport Beach and Laguna Beach on the way. Wine lovers could take a detour inland to Temecula the centre of Temecula Valley Wine Country, where you will find a quaint Old Town and lovely places for a spot of lunch and a place to sample the local wines. Then continue to your hotel in San Diego to check-in for three nights.

Hotel suggestion: Catamaran Resort

Days 9 & 10

San Diego

If you really are a beach lover, then you’ll need to book some more nights in San Diego to be able to explore all 30 of the beaches in and around this captivating city. Alternatively you could go on a whale-watching cruise, visit the USS Midway, enjoy kayaking or spot sea-lions and seals on a harbour tour. There are foodie tours, Segway tours, bike tours and trolley tours. You’re not going to be bored in San Diego!

Hotel suggestion: Catamaran Resort

Day 11

San Diego – Los Angeles Airport (124 miles)

Time to return home, so drive back to LAX, drop off your car and catch your flight home.

  • Return flights to Los Angeles
  • 7 days car hire with fully inclusive insurance
  • 10 nights accommodation as described above or similar
  • Electronic Roadbook

What’s not included

  • Car hire drop off fees and parking
  • Entrance fees and charges for activities

Oceana Santa Monica

Santa Monica

Steps from the beach in the heart of vibrant Santa Monica, Oceana is a friendly haven of color, comfort and opulence.

Le Meridien Delfina Santa Monica

Santa Monica

A Santa Monica beach hotel offering luxury amenities and fine dining. A modern take on the classic beach hotel, the Sheraton Delfina Santa Monica provides a stylish and unique setting that’s perfect for a fun-filled Southern California holiday or relaxing beach getaway.

Shutters on the Beach

Santa Monica

Shutters on the Beach is the leading lady of the Pacific Coast, evoking a sense of comfortable luxury, yet it’s located just minutes from the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles.


Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort

Santa Barbara

Set in a beautiful ocean front location, 20 minutes from Santa Barbara airport and a half-mile from downtown. Every room has a patio and balcony offering views of the resort gardens, Santa Ynez Mountains or Pacific Ocean.

Kimpton Canary Hotel

Santa Barbara

Located in a charming neighbourhood of Santa Barbara, the Kimpton Canary Hotel is surrounded by red-tiled roofs, palm trees and lanes brimming with boutiques and cafes. There are beautiful views from the pretty pool deck, decorated with hand-painted tiles and elegant wrought iron.

Harbor View Inn of Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara

This family-friendly beach hotel is very centrally located in Santa Barbara, across from the white sands of West Beach and the historic Stearn's Wharf. Whether you are planning a romantic retreat or family holiday, the Harbour View Inn is a great place to stay.

Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa

San Diego

The Catamaran Resort Hotel and Spa offers casual elegance in a tropical paradise, with acres of exotic trees and plants bordered by a white sand beach at the edge of Mission Bay.

Rancho Bernardo Inn Golf Resort & Spa

San Diego

A unique 4 diamond Golf & Spa Resort experience with warm, attentive service. All rooms are oversized, feature a patio or balcony and a wonderful view. Surroundings are lush and tranquil and world-class recreation and fine dining await.

Hotel del Coronado


A beachfront resort located across the bay from downtown San Diego, the iconic Hotel Del Coronado is perfect for fun-loving families and couples looking for their romantic retreat. You can choose from the newly renovated rooms in the Victorian building and The Cabanas area surrounding the glistening new pool. Enjoy a contemporary feel in the Ocean Towers or choose a suite in the luxurious Beach Village.

Loews Coronado Bay


This is an elegant, family-friendly luxury resort overlooking the San Diego coastline. It is located on the exclusive Coronado Island, across from Silver Strand State Beach. Downtown San Diego is just a short hop from the hotel.

Holly Reid
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