Ultimate California

26 days

Indicative cost incl. flights:


3-4 star & low season


4-5 star & mid-high season

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Day 1
Today you take your flight from the UK and arrive in dazzling Las Vegas!
Day 2
Embark on an exhilarating Grand Canyon helicopter adventure today. Make sure you take your camera as you will be flown over Lake Las Vegas, Mead Lake, the Hoover Dam and Fortification Hill before landing in the canyon itself for a champagne brunch.
Day 3
Luxury spas, wellness and relaxation reign here, as well as the bright lights of the casinos, world-class restaurants and night clubs - you will be spoilt for choice on how to spend your day.
Day 4
Pick up your hire car today and make your way into the vast landscapes of Death Valley, one of the hottest places on earth. Settle into your hotel for the afternoon, which really does resemble an Oasis in the middle of the desert!
Day 5
Explore Death Valley National Park on your own or with a guided jeep tour. Today you will really get under the skin of this National Park, taking in Badwater Basin, Devil's Golf Course, Dante's View, salt flats and spires.
Day 6
Spend this morning enjoying the facilities at your hotel or exploring more of Death Valley, before heading to Bakersfield. We would recommend sampling a traditional Basque style meal tonight with some live 'Bakersfield Sound' music.
Day 7
Your next stop is the staggeringly beautiful Sequoia National Park, famous for its giant Sequoia Trees, in particular the General Sherman tree. Whilst here you could also visit Moro Rock, Crystal Cave and Kings Canyon, which is adjacent to the park.
Day 8
Drive through the Tunnel Tree today as you make your way north to stunning Yosemite National Park, set in the heart of California's Sierra Nevada Mountains. Get your hiking boots on and wander amongst the beautiful pines forests and along some of the park’s enchanting walking trails.
Day 9
Ride the park shuttle today and jump off at some of the stops to experience the highlights of Yosemite, including Yosemite Falls, Tunnel View, El Capitan, Half Dome, Mirror Lake and Tuolumne Meadows.
Day 10
Continue your journey today and arrive in the stunning Sonoma Valley. Relax after your long drive with a glass or two of the local award-winning wine.
Day 11
Enjoy a fantastic wine tour today, led by a highly personable guide. Sample the produce and learn the fascinating history of four boutique wineries. This evening, you may wish to dine in one of the region’s fabulous Michelin Star restaurants.
Day 12
Drive south today and over the phenomenal Golden Gate Bridge in to San Francisco. This afternoon can be spent exploring Fisherman's Wharf, sampling dim sum in Chinatown or Napoli style pizza in Little Italy, getting lost among the street art of Haight Ashbury, or shopping in Union Square.
Day 13
Take a boat trip over to Alcatraz Island and step back in time and experience this legendary landmark that was once a civil war fort, a military prison and one of the most notorious federal penitentiaries in US history.
Day 14
Take a ferry over to the pretty town of Sausalito or enjoy a cycling tour over the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. Whilst across the bay, you may wish to take the opportunity to visit Muir Woods and see some of the last remaining Redwood Trees outside of the National Park on this coastline.
Day 15
Your drive today will take you to the coast and the quaint little town of Carmel by the Sea. With a gorgeous white sandy beach, a myriad art galleries and boutique shops, and a relaxing vibe - what's not to love?
Day 16
Visit the historic Carmel Mission, spot sea lions at Point Lobos State Reserve or take the scenic ’17 Mile Drive’ to explore the region. Alternatively, try out your sea legs and head out on a whale watching or fishing trip today!
Day 17
Meander your way south today and stop first at Big Sur for terrific ocean views and then at San Simeon to visit the famous Hearst Castle. Your next stop will be the vintage beach town of Pismo.
Day 18
You could treat yourself to a little rest and relaxation today on the gorgeous Pismo Beach or visit the fantastic nearby Paso Robles wine region. Alternatively, enjoy activities such as kayaking, whale watching or ATV tours.
Day 19
Visit Monarch Butterfly Grove before heading further south along the coastal highway to the beautiful city of Santa Barbara.
Day 20
Food tours, the urban wine trail, fabulous shopping and exhilarating water sports are all great ways to spend your time in Santa Barbara.
Day 21
Your drive today takes you to the mighty metropolis of Los Angeles. Highlights of this city include shopping on Rodeo Drive, finding your favourite star along the Hollywood Walk of Fame, hiking the hills, visiting stars’ homes in and around Beverley Hills, wandering around working TV and film studios and watching the weird and wonderful sights at Venice Beach boardwalk.
Day 22
You have a fun-filled day ahead spent at Universal Studios or Disneyland. We can organise a variety of different tickets to suit everyone's time and budget here - just let us know what you’d prefer!
Day 23
Drive through famous Orange County to your last stop of the trip, the amazing city of San Diego. En route, stop and visit the surfing capital of Newport Beach and watch the incredible surfers ride 'The Wedge'!
Day 24
Take the Old Town Trolley Tour to see all the highlights of this fantastic city, with sights that include the unmissable USS Midway, Gaslamp Quarter, Balboa Park and the Old Town Historic Park.
Day 25
No trip to San Diego is complete without visiting the zoo and its more famous resident giant pandas.
Day 26
A final morning to explore before returning your hire car and taking your evening flight home.

Everything we do is tailor-made; our itineraries are just suggestions to give you an idea of what is possible. Please contact us so we can tailor the perfect holiday exclusively for you.

If you have a bit more time and can travel for longer, the Ultimate California itinerary showcases the very best this beautiful state has to offer. Cities, desert, national parks, wine regions and stunning coastline are all on the agenda with this fully comprehensive road trip. Take your time, relax, and explore the diverse flora and fauna of the incredible national parks – Death Valley, Yosemite and Sequoia. Chill out and enjoy the warm sand between your toes on the fabulous beaches of Carmel, Pismo, Santa Barbara and San Diego. Indulge on a wine tasting tour in the Sonoma Valley, get your adrenaline pumping with amazing outdoor activities along the way and keep your family and friends back home happy with a spot of souvenir shopping in the dazzling cities of Las Vegas, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

3 nights Las Vegas – 2 nights Death Valley – 1 night Bakersfield – 1 night Sequoia National Park – 2 nights Yosemite National Park – 2 nights Sonoma Valley – 3 nights San Francisco – 2 nights Carmel by the Sea – 2 nights Pismo Beach – 2 nights Santa Barbara – 3 nights Los Angeles – 3 nights San Diego

Where you'll go

What you'll do

Where you'll stay

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