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California

  • From the rolling Pacific surf, verdant vineyards, vibrant coastal cities and magnificent redwoods of the north to southern California’s dreamy desert resorts, golden beaches and cosmopolitan cities, there’s so much to discover in California at any time of year. In fact, there’s so much to experience that you can’t see it all in one visit so be prepared for a need to return, time and time again.

    • Huntington Beach Pier

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    • Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

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    • Lifeguard On Venice Beach, Los Angeles

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    • Shopping Beverly Hills

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    • ZD Wines Vineyard, Napa Wine Region

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    • Hollywood Sign

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    • Santa Monica Pier

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    • Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego

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    • Laguna Beach

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    • Canoeing Along Lake Tahoe

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    Cosmopolitan cities and Quaint Towns

    San Francisco's iconic Golden Gate Bridge and the 1,000 acres of surrounding Golden Gate Park lead you into the cultural capital of California. Must-sees include Fisherman’s Wharf and Union Square and you won’t want to miss a cable-car ride up and down the city’s roller-coaster hills. Head south for historic Monterey, home to an outstanding aquarium, before taking the famed 17-Mile Drive and reaching charming Carmel, with its quaint antique stores, galleries and boutiques. Ocean front Santa Barbara will enchant you with its tiled terracotta roofs and white stucco buildings whilst the altogether more hip San Diego, home to Sea World, has a hint of Mexican flavour. Greater Los Angeles ticks all the boxes with some of the best beaches from Malibu and Santa Monica to Long Beach as well as glamorous Hollywood, Beverly Hills and the entertainment centre of Anaheim, where the original Disney theme park awaits.

    Wine tasting and Natural Wonders

    The climate of Napa Valley, Sonoma and Mendocino is the secret of California’s great wines. Discover your favourite vintage, as you taste your way around charming vineyards, staying in equally charming inns and hotels. Head for Lake Tahoe, the vast plains of Death Valley National Park or the Sierra Nevada Mountains for a generous slice of fresh air and solitude. Wonder at the sheer beauty of Yosemite, 1,165 square miles of untamed wilderness. We can’t think of a place with a more spectacular coastline than California. Take to the road or relax on an escorted tour.

    Resort living

    Cushioned between Joshua Tree National Park and the San Jacinto Mountains are the prestigious desert resorts of Palm Springs, La Quinta, Rancho Mirage, Indian Wells and Palm Desert. Quite apart from the year-round sunshine, there’s a wealth of recreational activities on the doorstep of these outstanding luxury retreats. Back on the coast, the typically Californian towns of Huntington Beach, Laguna Beach, Dana Point and Newport Beach are home to spectacular beachfront resorts, the perfect base from which to explore or simply soak up the sun in the lap of luxury.

    North Coast Grandeur

    Just a few hours drive North of the San Francisco Bay Area is one of America’s most alluring localities, the North Coast Region of California. You can’t fake the natural features of the North Coast. There’s no imitation for a towering and ancient Giant Redwood, a locally produced wine, fresh caught Dungeness crab or the thrill of a river rafting trip down a wild and scenic river. Approximately the size of Massachusetts, this region comprises 10,922 sq. miles/17,577 sq. km of rugged beaches, old growth forests, vineyards and farmland. Rugged cliff-side beaches are backed by forests of some of the most ancient trees in the world, opportunities for outdoor adventure exist around every bend and between the local restaurants, farms, breweries, and wineries there is a coastal taste experience to satisfy everyone.

     

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    • Top Tip 1

      Everyone should drive Highway 1 - the Pacific Coast Highway, but our tip is to do it from north to south. Whichever direction you take the scenery is stunning but you get a better view going south because you're on the ocean side of the road.

    • Top Tip 2

      Hearst Castle is a must-see stop as you drive along the coast, taking you back to the early days of Hollywood.

    • Top Tip 3

      Wine tasting tours are plentiful in Napa and Sonoma. Our favourites are Jordan's and Chalk Hill. Try the Library Tasting tour, a wine and cheese pairing at Jordan's and the Culinary Tour at Chalk Hill, a wine and food pairing prepared by Chef Didier. Both are exceptional experiences and amazing value.

    • Top Tip 4

      Visit the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. On Thursdays, from 6pm, enjoy music, cocktails and entertainment whist experiencing world class exhibits and star gazing on the living roof.

    • Top Tip 5

      San Francisco - where do you start? Visit North Beach for the cafe culture, take a tour to Alcatraz (we recommend you pre-book it), see Lombard Street, cycle across the Golden Gate Bridge, take a sightseeing tour of the city on a fire engine, shop in Union Square.

    • Top Tip 6

      For spectacular scenery, and to escape from the desert heat, take a ride on the Palm Spring Aerial Tramway. If you're in downtown Palm Springs on Thursdays, you'll enjoy VillageFest, offering live entertainment and an array of stalls selling food and gifts.

    • Top Tip 7

      Yosemite National Park is one of California's great natural wonders. Stay for a couple of nights and include a guided horseback ride for a tour with a difference.

    • Top Tip 8

      Follow the scenic 17-Mile Drive coastal route between Pebble Beach and Pacific Grove for stunning views of the Monterey Peninsula. There's a small fee to drive this route but it's worth it.

    • Top Tip 9

      Rent a bike or rollerblades and enjoy people watching along the boardwalk at Santa Monica and Venice Beach.

    • Top Tip 10

      When visiting Universal Studios Hollywood, book the VIP ticket which allows you to jump the queues and includes behind-the-scenes access.

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  • The Classic West

    Begins in Los Angeles, California and ends in San Diego, California

    16 Days / 15 Nights

    Departures: year round

    Add this Fly Drive to planner

    Your fly drive includes:

    • Round trip scheduled flights
    • Intermediate 4 door car hire, including insurances and satellite navigation
    • Accommodations as stated
    • Personalised Road Book
    • Arches National Park

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    • Beverly Hills

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    • Californian Coast

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    • San Diego

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    Day
    01

    Arrive Los Angeles

    Depart the UK on your chosen scheduled flight to Los Angeles. Upon arrival, collect your rental car and proceed to your hotel.

    Hotel: The Garland

    Day
    02

    Los Angeles

    Take the day to explore the many sights and sounds of the Los Angeles area. Downtown Los Angeles, Malibu, West Hollywood, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills and Marina del Rey - the list of possibilities is almost endless!

    Hotel: The Garland

    Day
    03
    Day
    04

    Las Vegas

    Today your journey will take you through the middle of the Mojave Desert to Las Vegas. En route, you may want to visit Calico Ghost Town.Viva Las Vegas! Try your luck in the casinos, relax by the pool, explore The ‘Strip’, shop or take in a breathtaking show. Whatever you desire, Las Vegas has it all - and more!.

    Hotel: Vdara Hotel & Spa

    230Mi/370Km

    Day
    05

    Bryce Canyon

    An early departure from Las Vegas takes you via the shore of Lake Mead and through Zion National Park to Bryce Canyon. Explore some of the earth's most colourful rocks, moulded into spires by years of erosion

    Hotel: Best Western Plus Bryce Canyon Grand

    240Mi/390Km

    Day
    06

    Lake Powell

    Having marvelled at the splendour of Bryce it’s now time to admire the spectacle of Lake Powell, a man-made lake created when the Glen Canyon Dam was built.

    Hotel: Lake Powell Resort

    160Mi/260Km

    Day
    07

    Grand Canyon

    Why not start the day with a boat trip on Lake Powell before taking your short drive to the awesome Grand Canyon? Hike to the canyon floor, take a birds' eye view by helicopter or venture out onto Skywalk, a glass walkway with amazing views into the canyon.

    Hotel: Yavapai Lodge

    90Mi/145Km

    Day
    08
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    Day
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    Scottsdale

    Head south through Oak Creek Canyon and the red rock area of Sedona to the Valley of the Sun – Scottsdale. Play golf, relax in the spa or by the pool, or perhaps go shopping. We suggest an early morning flight over the desert by hot air balloon, a memorable way to see the area's beauty.

    Hotel: Hyatt Regency Scottsdale

    240Mi/390Km

    Day
    11
    Day
    12

    Palm Springs

    Today’s journey will take you through the high desert areas to Palm Springs and the Palm Springs Desert Resort of Indian Wells, a sun-worshipper's paradise as well as a golfers oasis! Relax and enjoy the laid-back desert lifestyle. A choice of magnificent dining awaits. Make sure you visit the Aerial Tramway, El Paseo for upscale boutique shopping, take a jeep ride to explore the area's geological wonders and spend and evening in downtown Palm Springs.

    Hotel: Palm Mountain Resort & Spa

    285Mi/460Km

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    13
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    15

    San Diego

    Today you leave the desert behind and head for the beautiful Pacific Ocean and the southern California resort of San Diego. Relax and enjoy some California sunshine or visit San Diego Zoo, Sea World or the Old Town State Park. Play some golf or perhaps take to the water to see the city, be sure to spend some time on the beach. With golden sands and warm lapping waters, it's the perfect way to end truly memorable holiday.

    Hotel: Kona Kai Resort & Spa

    130Mi/210Km

    Day
    16

    Journey home

    Time for some last minute shopping or sightseeing before you return your rental car to the depot and check-in for your flight to the UK.

    Prices

    From £2409 per person based on twin occupancy of Standard rooms in low season. Other prices available on request.

    A one way drop off charge on the car hire is not included and payable locally.

    California's Pacific Coast

    Begins in San Francisco, California and ends San Diego, California

    15 Days / 14 Nights

    Departures: year round

    Add this Fly Drive to planner

    Your fly drive includes:

    • Round trip scheduled flights
    • Intermediate 4 door car hire, including insurances and satellite navigation
    • Accommodations as stated
    • Personalised Road Book
    • Huntington Beach

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    • San Francisco

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    • Hollywood

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    • Golden Gate Bridge

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    • Beverly Hills

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    Day
    01

    Arrive San Francisco

    Depart the UK on your chosen scheduled flight to San Francisco. Upon arrival, transfer independently to your hotel in Fishermans Wharf.

    Hotel: Hotel Zephyr

    Day
    02
    Day
    03

    San Francisco

    San Francisco is perhaps one of the most enchanting cities in the United States. From the crooked street in the world, Lombard Street, to Alcatraz and Fisherman’s Wharf; Union Square to the Cable Cars; Chinatown to the Golden Gate Bridge – the city is packed with things to see and do to suit everyone.

    Hotel: Hotel Zephyr

    Day
    04

    Carmel

    This morning collect your rental car in downtown before you head south to the beautiful coastal town of Carmel. Browse the charming tree lined streets and its quaint shops, galleries and restaurants.

    Hotel: La Playa Carmel

    85Mi/143Km

    Day
    05

    Carmel

    Enjoy a relaxing day in the Carmel area. Travel the ‘17 Mile Drive’ through Del Monte Forest to Cypress Point or sit and soak up the scenery from the beautiful grounds of your hotel.

    Hotel: La Playa Carmel

    Day
    06

    Pismo Beach

    The Pacific Coast Highway is one of the most spectacular scenic drives you’ll find, so today’s journey is guaranteed to create a lasting memory for you. En route, visit Hearst Castle at San Simeon, the grandiose estate of publisher William Randolph Hearst. Your hotel this evening is in the pretty seaside town of Pismo Beach.

    Hotel: Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa

    115Mi/185Km

    Day
    07

    Santa Barbara

    After a leisurely morning, continue south along Highway 1, to Santa Barbara, silhouetted against the Santa Ynez Mountains.

    Hotel: Hyatt Centric Santa Barbara

    80Mi/128Km

    Day
    08

    Santa Barbara

    You are sure to enjoy today. Relax in the surroundings of your beautiful hotel, explore the shops and restaurants of Santa Barbara, or enjoy a walk along the beach or Stearns Wharf Pier.

    Hotel: Hyatt Centric Santa Barbara

    Day
    09

    Los Angeles

    En route to Los Angeles, include a visit to the J Paul Getty Museum, featuring an extensive collection of art and sculpture. Your accommodation for the next two nights will be in the Hollywood area of Los Angeles.

    Hotel: The Garland

    84Mi/135Km

    Day
    10

    Los Angeles

    Your hotel is a short drive from world-famous Rodeo Drive, so take some time to ‘window shop’ where the rich and famous make their purchases. Include a visit to the new Walt Disney Concert Hall and Staples Centre, both in downtown Los Angeles.

    Hotel: The Garland

    Day
    11

    Huntington Beach

    Now it’s time to relax by the beach. From Los Angeles, a short drive will take you to ‘Surf City – California’, Huntington Beach. Your hotel is ideally located across the road from some of the best surfing California has to offer and a short stroll from its quaint Main Street.

    Hotel: Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa

    35Mi/56Km

    Day
    12

    Huntington Beach

    Take a day to pamper yourself in the hotel’s wonderful spa or relax by the pool. Wander along the beach and watch with amazement as the surfers ‘ride the waves’.

    Hotel: Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa

    Day
    13

    San Diego

    Allow plenty of time today to include stops at Newport Beach and Laguna as you journey south to San Diego, sitting at the southern tip of California.

    Hotel: Kona Kai Resort & Spa

    85Mi/137Km

    Day
    14

    San Diego

    San Diego has much to offer all visitors, young and old. Sea World and the San Diego Zoo are certainly worth a visit, or you may prefer to explore the Mission Bay or Coronado Bay area of the city, both offering fabulous beaches.

    Hotel: Kona Kai Resort & Spa

    Day
    15

    Journey home

    Today take the short drive back to Los Angeles, before returning your rental car and check-in for your flight to the UK.

    Prices

    From £2799 per person based on twin occupancy of Standard rooms in low season. Other prices available on request.

    Route 66

    Begins in Chicago, Illinois and ends in Los Angeles, California

    23 Days / 22 Nights

    Departures: year round

    Add this Fly Drive to planner

    Your fly drive includes:

    • Round trip scheduled flights
    • Intermediate 4 door car hire, including insurances and satellite navigation.
    • Accommodations as stated
    • Personalised Road Book

    One of the most renowned driving routes in the world, historic Route 66 spans across North America, from Chicago in the east to Los Angeles in the west. Covering over 2,000 miles, it takes three weeks or longer to complete the journey in its entirety so we have created three options to choose from: the entire journey (Chicago to Los Angeles); Chicago to Albuquerque or Oklahoma City to Los Angeles. The journeys shown are based on car rental, however motorbikes or motorhomes can be substituted should you prefer them.

    Alternative Durations

    Should you not have a full 23 days available to do the full length of Route 66, then we can offer shorter duration trips for you to enjoy 'the mother road'. Please see details below:

    Duration: 15 days / 14 nights 

    Starts Chicago and ends Albuquerque

    Or

    Starts Oklahoma City and ends Los Angeles 

    • Route 66 Museum

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    • Gas Station on Route 66

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    • Giant Bottle on Route 66

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    Day
    01
    Day
    02
    Day
    03

    Arrive Chicago

    Depart the UK on your chosen scheduled flight to Chicago. Upon arrival, collect your rental car and proceed to your hotel. Chicago is one of the most popular US cities and it’s easy to see why. A myriad of attractions and the fabled ‘Magnificent Mile’ of shopping keep its visitors entertained and the cultural mix provides for fabulous dining options too.

    Hotel: Palmer House, A Hilton Hotel

    Day
    04

    Springfield

    Make your way to Jackson Boulevard at Lake Shore Drive this morning, considered the official starting place of Route 66. Stop at the Route 66 Welcome Centre in Joliet, see a 28-foot-tall spaceman in Wilmington and have a bite to eat at the Cozy Dog Drive-In in Springfield before arriving at your hotel.

    Hotel: President Abraham Lincoln DoubleTree, Springfield

    202Mi/325Km

    Day
    05
    Day
    06

    St. Louis

    Have lunch at the Ariston Café in Litchfield, which is one of the oldest restaurants on Route 66. Stop at Henry’s Rabbit Ranch where a replica of a vintage gas station and displays of highway memorabilia can be found, and make a slight detour to walk across the old Chain of Rocks Bridge in Madison, the longest pedestrian bridge in the world.

    Hotel: St Louis Union Station DoubleTree

    96Mi/155Km

    Day
    07

    Springfield

    Leaving the Mississippi River behind today, you’ll travel through the picturesque Ozark Mountains towards the small city of Springfield, Missouri. A stop at the Meramec Caverns near Stanton is a must.

    Hotel: DoubleTree by HIlton Springfield

    289Mi/465Km

    Day
    08

    Tulsa

    You’ll cross three states today; you’ll leave Missouri, briefly drive through Kansas and arrive in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Along the way, stop at the ‘4 Women on The Route’ restored gas station in Galena, cross the Rainbow Curve Bridge in Baxter Springs, visit the Route 66 Packard Museum in Afton, see the world’s largest Totem Pole in Foyil and peruse the giant Blue Whale in Catoosa.

    Hotel: DoubleTree by Hilton, Tulsa

    113Mi/182Km

    Day
    09

    Oklahoma City

    It’s a short drive today past the Cherokee Outlet towards Oklahoma City. Walk around the Oklahoma City Zoo or botanical gardens and visit the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.

    Hotel: Sheraton Oklahoma Downtown

    107Mi/173Km

    Day
    10

    Amarillo

    Today’s drive brings you into the cowboy state of Texas. Stop en route at the entertaining Sand Hills Curiosity Shop in Erick, visit the U-Drop Inn in Shamrock, the Devil’s Rope Barbed Wire Museum in McLean, the leaning water tower in Groom and the VW Slug Bug Ranch in Conway, where five VW Beetles are buried nose-down in the ground.

    Hotel: Courtyard Amarillo Downtown

    260Mi/419Km

    Day
    11
    Day
    12

    Santa Fe

    Briefly taking the I-40 which replaced the old Route 66, you’ll witness ghost towns which were once thriving when Route 66 was a major highway. Stop at the Midpoint Café in Adrian, which marks the midpoint of the old Route 66, equidistantly 1139 miles from Los Angeles and Chicago. We have allowed a full day in Santa Fe, which is America’s oldest state capital, to relax and explore.

    Hotel: Inn & Spa at Loretto

    279Mi/449Km

    Day
    13
    Day
    14

    Albuquerque

    It’s a short but scenic journey to Albuquerque, so why not venture off the freeway along the Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway? You’ll enjoy breathtaking views from atop Sandia Crest, and pass through the mining towns of Los Cerrillos, Madrid and Golden. Albuquerque is the largest city in New Mexico and is full of exciting attractions such as the historic downtown and city zoo.

    Hotel: DoubleTree by Hilton Albuquerque

    61Mi/98Km

    Day
    15

    Gallup

    Enjoy a hearty breakfast at the 66 Diner on Central Avenue before getting back on the road. Stop at Grants, where some of the historic Route 66 motels and shops still exist, before arriving in the old railroad town of Gallup on the western edge of New Mexico. Visit the historic El Rancho Hotel and drive down motel row, which sparkles with vintage neon motel signs.

    Hotel: Hilton Garden Inn Gallup

    140Mi/226Km

    Day
    16
    Day
    17

    Flagstaff

    Crossing the border into Arizona, today’s drive promises some great sights. Stop at the Petrified Forest; the only National Park to contain a section of historic Route 66, pass through the ghost town of Two Guns, stop for a photo in Winslow and visit the Meteor Crater. In Flagstaff, we recommend you take time to explore the historic downtown area.

    Hotel: Little America Hotel, Flagstaff

    186Mi/299Km

    Day
    18

    Kingman

    Back on the road, you’ll enjoy stops in Williams, where the Grand Canyon Railroad takes passengers to the Grand Canyon, and Seligman, which is rich in Route 66 nostalgia including the famous Snow Cap Drive-In. Kingman is home to the Route 66 Museum, as well as many scenic walking trails.

    Hotel: Best Western Plus, A Wayfarer's Inn

    167Mi/269Km

    Day
    19

    Barstow

    Leaving Arizona behind, you cross the magnificent Mojave Desert en route towards California - which is the last state on the Route 66 journey. We suggest a stop at the small Wild West-style town of Oatman, where gift shops, saloon bars and live shows are sure to entertain, before crossing the Colorado River and arriving in California.

    Hotel: Best Western Plus Desert Villa Inn

    207Mi/333Km

    Day
    20
    Day
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    Day
    22

    Santa Monica

    There is plenty to see on the final stretch of Route 66. Stop at the Route 66 Museum in Victorville, see the Wigwam Motel and the McDonald’s Restaurant Museum in San Bernardino and enjoy a fresh orange juice at Bono’s Big Orange in Fontana. You’ll drive through West Hollywood and Beverly Hills before reaching Santa Monica Pier, the official end of Route 66! We have allowed a three night stay in Santa Monica for you to relax and enjoy the many attractions of Los Angeles.

    Hotel: Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows

    131Mi/211Km

    Day
    23

    Journey home

    Take the short drive to Los Angeles Airport, return your rental car and check-in for your flight back to the UK.

    13Mi/21Km

    Prices

    From £3092 per person based on twin occupancy of Standard rooms in low season. Other prices available on request.

    Alternative Durations

    Duration: 15 days / 14 nights 

    Starts Chicago and ends Albuquerque

    From £2165 per person based on twin occupancy of Standard rooms in low season. Other prices available on request.

    or

    Starts Oklahoma City and ends Los Angeles 

    From £2415 per person based on twin occupancy of Standard rooms in low season. Other prices available on request.

    One way drop off charge on car hire is not included in these prices and is payable locally.

    PLEASE NOTE: Due to the nature of the route involved and locations visited, some hotels featured are tourist class only. Should you wish to stay in higher graded properties please let us know and we will amend the route accordingly.

    Sample San Francisco & the Wine Region

    Begins in and ends in San Francisco, California

    8 Days / 7 Nights

    Departures: year round

    Add this Fly Drive to planner

    Your fly drive includes:

    • Round trip scheduled flights
    • Intermediate 4 door car hire, including insurances and satellite navigation
    • Accommodations as stated

     

    • Grapes

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    • Golden Gate Bridge

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    • ZD Wines Vineyard

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    Day
    01

    Arrive San Francisco

    Depart the UK on your chosen scheduled flight to San Francisco. Upon arrival, transfer independently to the Hotel Zelos, which is your accommodation for the next 4 nights.

    Hotel: Hotel Zelos

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    04

    San Francisco

    The next 3 days are at leisure to explore the 'city by the bay'. No trip to San Francisco is complete without a trip to Alcatraz, riding one of the trolley cars down the steep streets or seeing the sea lions down in the harbour at Fishermans Wharf. Your hotel in San Francisco is ideally located in Union Square, making it the perfect base for sightseeing and also shopping and dining.

    Hotel: Hotel Zelos

    Day
    05
    Day
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    Day
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    Napa Valley

    This morning you will collect your hire car from downtown San Francisco before driving out of the city and heading for the wine region of Napa Valley. Widely considered one of the best wine regions in the US, Napa boasts more than 400 wineries. During your stay in Napa, you will have chance to partake in wine tasting sessions at a variety of different wineries or maybe take a trip on the Napa Valley Wine Train. Your hotel in Napa, the River Terrace Inn, is located on banks of the Napa River and offers an idyllic setting for a relaxing stay.

    Hotel: River Terrace Inn

    46Mi/74Km

    Day
    08

    Journey Home

    Enjoy time for some last minute sightseeing or shopping before making your way to San Francisco Airport for your flight back to the UK.

    59Mi/95Km

    Prices

    From £1449 per person based on twin occupancy of Standard rooms in low season. Other prices available on request.

    West Coast Golden Triangle

    Begins in San Francisco and ends in Los Angeles

    10 Days / 9 Nights

    Departures year round

    Add this Fly Drive to planner

    Your fly drive includes:

    • Round trip scheduled flights
    • Accommodations as stated
    • Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

      /

    • Alamo Square, San Francisco

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    • Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills

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    • Hollywood Sign, Los Angeles

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    • Las Vegas Strip

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    • Las Vegas Welcome Sign

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    Day
    01

    Arrive San Francisco

    Depart the UK on your chosen scheduled flight to San Francisco. Upon arrival, transfer independently to the Handlery Union Square Hotel, where you will be staying for the next 3 nights.

    Hotel: Handlery Union Square Hotel

    Day
    02
    Day
    03

    San Francisco

    One of the most vibrant and cosmopolitan cities in the world, San Francisco has something to offer for every taste. The next two days are yours to explore the city and take in the many sights it has to offer. Take a ride on a famous cable car as they climb one of the 50 steep hills which make up San Francisco. Why not cycle across the iconic Golden Gate bridge and have lunch across the bay in one of the cafes in Sausalito, before taking the ferry back to San Francisco? Of course, no trip to San Francisco would be complete without a trip to Alcatraz.

    Hotel: Handlery Union Square Hotel

    Day
    04
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    Day
    06

    Las Vegas

    Today, you will head back to San Francisco International Airport for your flight down to Las Vegas. Upon arrival in Las Vegas, grab a taxi to The Cosmopolitan, which will be your accommodation for the next 3 nights. Las Vegas is truly a 'must see' destination offering a near perfect climate year round. Experience the shopping, dining and nightlife of the strip, or head down to Fremont Street and see the glitz and glamour of the past. Don't forget to pre book a helicopter trip out to the Grand Canyon, to give you a birds eye view of one of the most iconic sights in the world.

    Hotel: The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas

    Day
    07
    Day
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    Day
    09

    Los Angeles

    Leaving Las Vegas and taking the short flight to Los Angeles, you will spend the next 3 days experiencing the best of what Los Angeles has to offer. Head down to Hollywood to see the 'Walk of Fame' or the iconic Grauman's Chinese Theatre, where the imprints of celebrities adorn the floor outside. Beverly Hills offers you to take a stroll down the famous Rodeo Drive and maybe glimpse someone famous. No trip would be complete without a visit to Universal Studios Hollywood. Take a studio tour or spend the day on thrilling rides in the theme park.

    Hotel: The Garland

    Day
    10

    Journey Home

    Spend some time in the morning doing some last minute sightseeing or shopping before heading back to Los Angeles International Airport for your flight back to the UK.

    Prices

    From £1576 per person based on two sharing a standard room. Other prices available on request.

    Hawaiian Dream

    Begins in San Francisco, California and ends in Los Angeles, California

    15 Days / 14 Nights

    Departures: year round

    Add this Fly Drive to planner

    Your fly drive includes:

    • Round trip scheduled flights
    • Accommodation as stated
    • Hawaiian Beach

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    • Lei

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    • Surf Boards

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    • Waikiki Beach

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    • Hawaiian Hibiscus Flowers

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    • Polo Beach Maui

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    • Surfing in Maui

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    • Sea Turtles

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    • Golden Gate Bridge

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    • Alamo Square San Francisco

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    • Rodeo Drive , Beverly Hills

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    • Los Angeles Sunset

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    • Lifeguard on Santa Monica Beach

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    Day
    01

    Arrive San Francisco

    Depart the UK on your chosen scheduled flight to San Francisco. Upon arrival, transfer independently to the Handlery Union Square Hotel, which offers spectacular views of the city skyline and is conveniently located on San Francisco’s historic Union Square.

    Hotel: Handlery Union Square Hotel

    Day
    02
    Day
    03

    San Francisco

    There’s a myriad of attractions to enjoy in this enchanting city, but no visit to San Francisco is complete without a visit to Golden Gate Bridge. Walk across it, take a bike tour or even hop on a Segway, and enjoy bird’s eye views of the boats traversing far below. In addition, don’t miss visiting Fisherman’s Wharf, Lombard Street, Alcatraz and Market Street – where the biggest names in retail can be found. With over 50 hills in the city to climb, you will appreciate a ride on one of the famous cable cars, which connect the waterfront with downtown.

    Hotel: Handlery Union Square Hotel

    Day
    04

    Oahu

    Depart San Francisco on your chosen flight to Honolulu on Hawaii’s Oahu. Upon arrival, transfer to the Modern Honolulu, a wonderfully relaxing ocean front resort on Waikiki Beach which will be your base for the next four nights. For the rest of the day you may choose to enjoy a romantic walk along Waikiki Beach or just relax by the pool and make the most of the wonderful facilities at this great resort.

    Hotel: The Modern Honolulu

    Day
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    Day
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    07

    Oahu

    For the next three days immerse yourself in the Island’s sparkling beaches, hidden coves, famous attractions and dazzling nightlife. You may choose to head east from Waikiki through Kapi'olani Park and follow the road towards Hawaii's most recognizable landmark, Diamond Head. It has a couple of scenic overlooks where you can watch the surfers along the South Shore. For fantastic snorkelling we suggest a visit to Hanauma Bay and continuing past the Blow Hole and Sandy Beach to Makapu'u, providing a perfect place to enjoy sights of the real Hawaii. Of course, visiting Pearl Harbour should also be on your ‘to do’ list.

    Hotel: The Modern Honolulu

    Day
    08

    Maui

    Your short flight today takes you to the ‘Valley Island’ of Maui. Sweeping towards the old whaling town of Lahaina, you’ll have the opportunity to see Iao Needle and see the islands sugar cane fields. Although a designated National Historic Landmark, Lahaina has a great mix of historic treasures combined with modern day excitement including an eclectic mix of restaurants and evening nightlife.

    Hotel: Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa

    Day
    09
    Day
    10
    Day
    11

    Maui

    There's so much to see and do on Maui that you really do need to start early; perhaps even early enough to see the most glorious sunrise imaginable, which can be witnessed from atop Haleakala Crater. We also suggest heading north east to Hana. The world-renowned 'Road to Hana' is a destination in itself! Some of the most unforgettable scenery in the world can be found here, including Seven Pools. Kaanapali is another fabulous region of Maui with an abundance of restaurants and spectacular golf courses, all offering magnificent views across the warm Pacific waters.

    Hotel: Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa

    Day
    12

    Los Angeles

    Perhaps spend your last morning by the pool before making your way to the airport for your flight back to the mainland. The Garland, your hotel for the next three nights, is located in the close to Universal Studios and the Hollywood area. Don’t forget to glance north toward the Hollywood Hills to see the Hollywood Sign, clearly visible in the distance.

    Hotel: The Garland

    Day
    13
    Day
    14

    Los Angeles

    The next two days are yours to discover why ‘The City of Angels’ is such a popular destination. If shopping is your idea of bliss then Rodeo Drive and Melrose will not disappoint; with famous stores and boutiques frequently visited by Hollywood’s celebrity residents. Santa Monica is definitely worth a visit too. Wander down the famous pier, dine on fresh seafood and enjoy more fabulous shopping. For those seeking fun and thrills, both Universal Studios and Disneyland are close by. We also suggest a visit to the Getty Center containing centuries’ worth of art and design, all sitting in a stunning architectural setting.

    Hotel: The Garland

    Day
    15

    Jouney Home

    There may be time for some last minute sightseeing, before making the journey back to Los Angeles International Airport for your return flight to the UK.

    Prices

    From £3366 per person based on twin occupancy of Standard rooms in low season. Other prices available on request.

  • California's Gold Coast

    Begins in Los Angeles, California and ends in San Francisco, California

    12 Days / 11 Nights

    Departures: April, May, June, July, August, September and October

    Add this Escorted Tour to planner

    Your escorted tour includes:

    • Round trip scheduled flights with Virgin Atlantic / Delta Air Lines
    • Accommodation for 11 nights as specified
    • 11 breakfasts, 7 lunches & 6 dinners
    • Air-conditioned motorcoach transportation
    • Services of a Tauck Tour Director
    • Classic tour
    • Santa Barbara

      /

    • San Diego

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    • Yosemite National Park

      /

    • Hollywood Boulevard

      /

    • Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego

      /

    • California Gold Coast

      /

    • Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles

      /

    • Big Sur coast

      /

    • Scenic Carmel beach

      /

    Day
    01

    Arrive Los Angeles

    Depart the UK on your Virgin Atlantic / Delta Air Lines flight to Los Angeles. Upon arrival, transfer to the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. This evening, join your travelling companions for a welcome reception and dinner. 

    Hotel: Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills

    Day
    02

    Los Angeles

    Southern Californians have a legendary passion for cars and today you’ll begin exploring the dynamic city of Los Angeles with a tour of the historic automobiles, Hollywood cars, hot rods, and other extraordinary vehicles at the Petersen Automotive Museum. After lunch, explore downtown Los Angeles for a walking tour with visits to a historic Broadway theatre and the Bradbury Building, a 19th-century landmark with a magical Victorian courtyard featuring open cage elevators. Visit Grand Central Market, an iconic showcase for the diverse cuisines and cultures of Los Angeles. Take a ride on Angel’s Flight Railway and see some of the city’s most striking modern architecture, The Broad museum and Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall.

    Hotel: Four Seasons Los Angeles (Breakfast and lunch included)

    Day
    03

    Los Angeles

    Enjoy a tour through Beverly Hills, along Sunset Boulevard, and to the TCL Chinese Theatre movie palace on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, where you’ll see the handprints of many celebrities. Then you’re off to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum for a guided tour and lunch. The museum and grounds are spectacular, with sweeping views of the Simi Valley, the surrounding mountains, and the Pacific Ocean. View an Air Force One aircraft that flew seven presidents, a recreated Oval Office, an exhibit on the Berlin Wall featuring parts of the wall itself, and more. Drive north to Santa Barbara, on the “American Riviera,” where you’ll dine at your hotel.

    Hotel: Belmond El Encanto (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)

    Day
    04

    Santa Barbara

    Go on a guided tour of 18th-century Old Mission Santa Barbara, home to an active Franciscan parish for more than 200 years. Get a feel for the quiet beach community of Santa Barbara, long a celebrity hideaway, and visit the 1929 Courthouse, surrounded by lush gardens. Inside you’ll find murals depicting scenes of the city’s past, painted by a self-taught artist, whose illustrations appeared in the novels of Joseph Conrad and Jack London. The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is California’s oldest, and a guided tour reveals the diversity of the state’s native flora and vegetation. This evening you’ll have free time to enjoy your ocean-view resort or explore downtown Santa Barbara.

    Hotel: Belmond El Encanto (Breakfast and lunch included)

    Day
    05

    Central Coast and Morro Bay

    Get ready for scenic delights as you pass through rolling hills on this morning’s road trip along coastal Highway 101. Entering the Central California wine region, you’ll find microclimates where morning fog and ocean breezes encourage varieties such as pinot noir and chardonnay, and others where low-lying mountains are ideal for full-bodied reds – as you’ll learn on a vineyard tour and tasting.  Discover picturesque Solvang, a town with a distinctive Danish heritage, and enjoy lunch, a tour, and a tasting at Presqu’ile, a small family-owned winery. The evening is spent at The Cliffs Resort, a fabulous hotel overlooking the Pacific in Pismo Beach.

    Hotel: The Cliffs Resort (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)

    Day
    06

    Big Sur & Hearst Castle

    Drive along stunning Pacific Coast Highway 1 to San Simeon and Hearst Castle, a national and California Historical Landmark designed by revered California architect Julia Morgan. This elaborate estate created for newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst takes you back to the opulent era of the early 20th century; the castle was the inspiration for Xanadu, the over-the-top mansion in Orson Welles’ film Citizen Kane. After your guided tour, it’s nature’s opulence that will impress you as you continue along the Pacific Coast, hundreds of feet above crashing surf and remote, rocky beaches, to the Big Sur Coast. Your destination today is the coastal city of Monterey, where you’ll dine at your hotel on Monterey Bay.

    Hotel: InterContinental, The Clement Monterey (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)

    Day
    07

    Monterey & Carmel

    Today’s tour of the Monterey Peninsula takes in the beauty of Pacific Grove, famed 17-Mile Drive, and Pebble Beach before you arrive in Carmel-by-the-Sea, which has been named one of the “most romantic cities of the world". Enjoy free time to explore the town’s galleries and find an appealing spot for lunch, before heading off to the award-winning Monterey Bay Aquarium to discover the delights of marine life, from cuttlefish to whales.

    Hotel: InterContinental, The Clement Monterey (Breakfast included)

    Day
    08

    Yosemite National Park

    Agriculture takes center stage as you leave the coast and drive through the fertile farms, orchards, and vineyards of California’s Central Valley en route to Yosemite National Park. Abundant sunshine, superb soil, and year-round growing conditions make this region an important crop-basket for American households. Broccoli, chard, asparagus, pistachios, pomegranates, and many other varieties of produce grow here. After lunch in Merced, your route continues from the valley to the oak-lined roadways and Victorian towns of Gold Country. In 1848, news of this precious metal spread like wildfire, leading to explosive population growth. From men seeking their fortune in mining to the merchants, bankers, and women followed. At the Mariposa Museum & History Center, you’ll learn about the lives of the miners and others who shaped this area. Arrive at Yosemite National Park in the late afternoon, where you'll spend the next two nights at the historic Majestic Yosemite Hotel.

    Hotel: Majestic Yosemite Hotel (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)

    Day
    09

    Yosemite National Park

    Despite Yosemite Valley being only seven miles long and less than a mile wide, it hosts an array of national treasures within its sheer, high walls. World-famous cliffs like El Capitan and Half Dome, plunging waterfalls like Bridalveil Falls, wild meadows and the meandering Merced River, birds to delight any birdwatcher and much more. Get acquainted with the valley on a morning walk guided by a naturalist, then spend the rest of the day exploring Yosemite National Park as you please.

    Hotel: Majestic Yosemite Hotel (Breakfast included)

    Day
    10

    San Francisco

    On your way from Yosemite to San Francisco, visit Jamestown for lunch at the historic National Hotel built during the height of the Gold Rush. Arrive in San Francisco late this afternoon, with time to rest, relax, or explore the area surrounding Union Square. Your hotel is in a vibrant retail and cultural area in the heart of the city where you’ll discover a favourite city square where you will be entertained by musicians, artists, or performers. Sample a range of cuisines inspired by fresh ingredients at one of the recommended restaurants in this city.

    Hotel: The Westin St Francis (Breakfast and lunch included)

    Day
    11

    San Francisco

    A sightseeing tour takes you up and down San Francisco’s hills with views of San Francisco Bay as you see Chinatown and the Marina District, rows of Victorian gingerbread houses, and Coit Tower. Go for a walk along the Golden Gate Bridge and feel the breezes of the bay on a private catamaran cruise. Head to the salty atmosphere of Fisherman’s Wharf for free time for lunch and checking out its historic ships, sea lions, seafood stalls, and sourdough bread bakeries. This evening enjoy farewell festivities at a Chateau Montelena winemaker reception with tastings followed by a wine-paired chef’s dinner.

    Hotel: The Westin St Francis (Breakfast and dinner included)

    Day
    12

    Journey Home

    There may be time for some last minute shopping or sightseeing before your transfer to the airport to check-in for your flight back to the UK with Virgin.

    Prices

    From £4896 per person based on twin occupancy of Standard rooms in low season. Other prices available on request.

    Majestic California: San Francisco, Yosemite & the Pacific

    Begins in San Francisco, California and ends in Monterey, California

    8 Days / 7 Nights

    Departures: June, July and August

    Add this Escorted Tour to planner

    Your escorted tour includes:

    • Round trip scheduled flights
    • Accommodation for 7 nights as specified
    • 7 breakfasts, 4 lunches & 5 dinners
    • Air-conditioned motorcoach transportation
    • Services of a Tauck Tour Director
    • Family friendly
    • Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

      /

    • Giant Redwoods

      /

    • Streetcar in San Francisco

      /

    • Yosemite Valley

      /

    • Monterey Bay

      /

    Day
    01

    Arrive San Francisco

    Depart the UK on your chosen scheduled flight to San Francisco. Upon arrival, transfer to the JW Marriott San Francisco Union Square. This evening you’ll enjoy a welcome reception and dinner with your fellow travelling companions. 

    Hotel: JW Marriott San Francisco Union Square (Dinner included)

    Day
    02

    San Francisco

    This morning, enjoy a private catamaran cruise of San Francisco’s Bay area, taking you under the Golden Gate Bridge and past Alcatraz Island. Back on land, enjoy a guided visit to the Sourdough Bread Museum, followed by lunch at a local restaurant. This afternoon you'll embark on a sightseeing tour, taking you to some of the city’s most famous attractions including Nob Hill, Chinatown, Fisherman’s Wharf and Lombard Street. The rest of the day is yours at leisure to explore this iconic cit. Perhaps enjoy some shopping, take a trip over to Alcatraz Island or stroll around Fisherman’s Wharf.

    Hotel: JW Marriott San Francisco Union Square (Breakfast and lunch included)

    Day
    03

    Sierra National Forrest

    You’ll leave San Francisco behind this morning as you travel towards the Sierra Nevada. En route you’ll visit the Altamont Wind Farm, one of the earliest wind farms in the United States. Continuing on to Jamestown, you’ll enjoy lunch in a historic 1859 hotel. Tonight’s accommodation is a mountain resort just outside Yosemite National Park. Have dinner at leisure before embarking on an interpretive hike into the Sierra National Forest, using flashlights to light your trail. 

    Hotel: Tenaya Lodge At Yosemite (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)

    Day
    04

    Yosemite National Park

    Your day in Yosemite National Park begins with a privately guided visit to Glacier Point. Towering 3,200 feet above the valley floor, this impressive scenic overlook offers commanding panoramic views of Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, Yosemite's high country and the stunning High Sierra. After lunch at the lodge, you could put your rock-wall climbing to the test or try your hand at archery. This evening, have a go at panning for gold, just like the old prospectors. Later enjoy a BBQ dinner while being entertained by the Sugar Pine Singers. Board The Logger for a narrow-gauge rail excursion powered by a vintage Shay steam locomotive through Sierra National Forest and gather around the campfire for a sing-along during a stopover in the canyon.

    Hotel: Tenaya Lodge At Yosemite (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)

    Day
    05

    Yosemite National Park

    You'll learn about Yosemite National Park's history, geology, plant and animal life, and must-see attractions from park rangers during a two-hour open-air tram tour along the Yosemite Valley floor. See waterfalls such as Bridalveil, Horsetail and Ribbon Falls with their spectacular rock formations, nearly vertical granite cliffs, quiet pools and open meadows. The rest of the day is yours at leisure to explore the wonders of Yosemite National Park.

    Hotel: Tenaya Lodge At Yosemite (Breakfast and dinner included)

    Day
    06

    Monterey

    En route from Yosemite to the coast of the blue Pacific, stop in historic Mariposa, reminiscent of the Gold Rush era. Visit the Mariposa Museum & History Center, whose exhibits tell the stories of indigenous Miwuk Indians, Chinese immigrants who came to California seeking a better way of life and the oldest county courthouse west of the Rockies. Continue your California travel through the San Joaquin Valley where you'll see vineyards, nuts, citrus fruits and vegetables basking in the sun. After lunch, traverse the Coast Mountains to California's Pacific coast, winding your way along the Monterey Peninsula via the 17-Mile Drive to the renowned Pebble Beach golf course. Your family will spend the next two nights in seaside Monterey at InterContinental The Clement Monterey, ideally situated in historic Cannery Row next to the Monterey Bay Aquarium on Monterey Bay.

    Hotel: Intercontinental The Clement Monterey (Breakfast and lunch included)

    Day
    07

    Monterey

    Located on Fisherman’s Wharf, your hotel is ideally located to explore the pretty town of Monterey. This morning you can choose between a bicycle tour along the coast, a kayak adventure or a self-guided walking tour. During a visit to the Monterey Aquarium, you will learn all about marine life, with over 200 galleries and exhibits including giant octopuses, jellyfish, large green sea turtles, barracuda, sharks and coral reefs, as well as natural displays that showcase playful otters and endearing black-footed penguins. Tonight, enjoy a private farewell dinner with your fellow travelling companions.

    Hotel: Intercontinental The Clement Monterey (Breakfast and dinner included)

    Day
    08

    Journey Home

    There may be time for some last minute shopping or sightseeing before your transfer back to the airport for your flight back to the UK.

    Prices

    From £3642 per person sharing a standard room in low season. Prices for children over 12 years, alternative party sizes, separate rooms for children and other date seasons are all available on request.

    Yosemite and Sequoia: John Muir's California

    Begins and ends in San Francisco, California

    8 Days / 7 Nights

    Departures: May, June, July, August, September and October

    Add this Escorted Tour to planner

    Your escorted tour includes:

    • Roundtrip scheduled flights
    • Accommodation for 7 nights as specified
    • 7 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 5 dinners
    • Air-conditioned motorcoach transportation
    • Services of a Tauck Tour Director
    • Classic tour
    • Yosemite Valley

      /

    • The Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

      /

    • Sequoia National Park

      /

    • San Francisco Houses

      /

    • Yosemite National Park

      /

    Day
    01

    Arrive San Francisco

    Depart the UK on your chosen scheduled flight to San Francisco. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel The Westin St Francis, the elegant Grand Dame of Union Square, ideally located amidst the city's attractions. This evening, enjoy a welcome cocktail reception and dinner.

    Hotel: The Westin St Francis (Dinner included)

    Day
    02

    Muir Woods

    This morning you cross the city for a visit to the Presidio, a former Army base and now a National Historic Landmark rich with history; the base was home to the “Buffalo Soldiers,” the African-American cavalry troops who earned their fighting reputation in the Indian Wars, and were among the U.S. troops who served as the earliest caretakers of the national parks. From here, a short drive over the Golden Gate Bridge brings you under the green canopy of Muir Woods, a coastal redwood forest preserved as a national monument. These towering ancient trees, some 20 stories high, are among the last remnants of a fog-shrouded primeval forest that once blanketed the northern coast. Following lunch in the picturesque town of Sausalito, you hop aboard a ferry for the return trip to San Francisco. After docking at the historic Ferry Building terminal with its famous clock tower and arcade of shops and cafés, the remainder of the day is free for you to explore the sights.

    Hotel: The Westin St Francis (Breakfast and lunch included)

    Day
    03

    Sequoia National Park

    Before there was a National Park Service, the job of policing and protecting the national parks belonged to the U.S. Army. At Sequoia and Yosemite, the parks’ guardians were the Buffalo Soldiers, who rode out every spring from the Presidio, crossing 300 miles on horseback to the Sierra Nevada. Your route follows the Buffalo Soldiers’ path across the agricultural Central Valley. A stop for lunch is made in Fresno before making the 7,000-foot climb to Sequoia National Park. In the afternoon, an expert from the Sequoia Field Institute describes how John Muir found and documented the “Giant Forest” in 1875, offering a perfect introduction to the park. This evening at your lodge, a naturalist guides you through the spectacular constellations that fill the night skies.

    Hotel: Wuksachi Lodge (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)

    Day
    04

    Sequoia National Park

    Today begins with a privately guided walk among ancient Giant Sequoias soaring to the height of skyscrapers. Walking through the Giant Forest Grove you'll see the General Sherman Tree, estimated to be over 2,500 years old (and still growing) before strolling beautifully restored Round Meadow. Enjoy a private barbeque lunch before taking a tour of Sequoia National Park accompanied by a guide who will tell you stories of Muir, Charles Young and other park pioneers. Climb the steps to the top of Moro Rock for stunning views of the park and Great Western Divide. The rest of the day is yours to explore as you wish.

    Hotel: Wuksachi Lodge (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)

    Day
    05

    Yosemite National Park

    Today you leave Wuksachi Lodge and journey to Fresno and the south entrance to Yosemite National Park. Your Yosemite tour begins with a film by Ken Burns describing Muir’s passion for the Yosemite Valley, and his activism to preserve it for future generations. Lunch is at the Wawona Hotel, an inn that was once a stagecoach stop, where you’ll meet a National Park Service ranger for a private lecture on the unique history and legacy of Yosemite National Park. Next, visit Glacier Point for a stirring view of the Valley, overlooking Half Dome and a panorama of glacier-formed peaks. It was on this spot in 1903 that John Muir stood with Teddy Roosevelt during a private tour of the area and persuaded the President that Yosemite should be under federal protection as a National Park. This evening, settle into your room at The Majestic Yosemite Hotel, a historic masterpiece of stone, timber and soaring stained glass windows in the heart of Yosemite, and dine at leisure.

    Hotel: The Majestic Yosemite Hotel (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)

    Day
    06

    Yosemite National Park

    'Yosemite is the grandest of all the special temples of Nature I was ever permitted to enter' wrote Muir, who regarded such settings of awesome natural beauty as sacred places with restorative powers, 'where the galling harness of civilization drops off and wounds heal, ere we are aware'. Today you discover the park's power on a guided Yosemite tour in a special open-air vehicle. The afternoon is yours to enjoy the park at your own pace, with optional activities including biking, a hike over the footbridge at Vernal Falls, and a visit to the Yosemite Indian Cultural Museum and Village.

     

    Hotel: The Majestic Yosemite Hotel (Breakfast included)

    Day
    07

    San Francisco

    This morning you depart Yosemite for the return to San Francisco, first visiting the Mariposa Museum and then driving across the populous Central Valley with a stop for lunch. Filmed narratives by Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan weave together the past seven days of history and nature, with insights you won’t get anywhere else. One of the stories you'll hear relates to Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, a glacial valley that Muir fought unsuccessfully to save. In the 1920s, the federal government allowed its river to be dammed, turning the valley into a reservoir for the city of San Francisco - a campaign continues today to restore the valley to its original state. This afternoon you arrive at The Fairmont San Francisco, a Beaux Arts-style, premier hotel on Nob Hill, listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. In the evening, celebrate your journey with a farewell cocktail reception and dinner.

     

    Hotel: The Fairmont San Francisco (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)

    Day
    08

    Journey Home

    Spend your final morning in San Francisco, perhaps shopping for souvenirs before taking your transfer to the airport for your flight back to the UK.

    Prices

    From £4122 per person based on twin occupancy of standard rooms in low season. Other prices available on request.

    Yosemite and Tahoe

    Begins and ends in San Francisco, California

    8 Days / 7 Nights

    Departure: June to October

    Add this Escorted Tour to planner

    Your escorted tour includes:

    • Round trip scheduled flights
    • Accommodations as specified
    • 6 breakfasts and 3 lunches
    • Transportation in a custom-made vehicle
    • Tour leader and specialist guides
    • In-Depth tour
    • Yosemite National Park

      /

    • Golden Gate Bridge

      /

    • Yosemite National Park

      /

    • Lake Tahoe

      /

    • Mountain Biking in Lake Tahoe

      /

    Day
    01

    Arrival San Francisco

    Depart the UK on your chosen scheduled flight to San Francisco. Upon arrival, transfer independently to the Kimpton Buchanan Hotel and meet your fellow travelling companions at the welcome meeting and dinner this evening.

    Hotel: Kimpton Buchanan Hotel (Dinner included)

    Day
    02

    Monterey

    Make your way to Monterey this morning along California’s rugged central coast. The magnificent Monterey Peninsula has been called the greatest meeting of land, sea and sky and is recognised as an ideal place to spot whales. Walk along the Monterey Peninsula Recreation Trail, keeping your eyes peeled for harbour seals and otters in the sparkling Pacific Ocean. Later, venture out to sea on a spectacular whale watching tour. In the evening, discover the excellent nightlife and countless restaurants that Monterey has to offer.

    Hotel: Casa Munras Garden Hotel & Spa (Breakfast included)

    Day
    03

    Yosemite National Park

    Depart Monterey this morning on a beautiful scenic drive to Yosemite National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its rugged, towering peaks and magnificent waterfalls have been immortalised by countless photographers and you'll have the chance the recreate their best works upon arrival. Visit the gallery of Ansel Adams, one of the most famous of the park’s photographers, in the heart of the Yosemite Valley before setting off on a short hike to gain spectacular views of Vernal Falls and the babbling river below.

    Hotel: Rush Creek Lodge (Breakfast included)

    Day
    04

    Yosemite National Park

    Head back out on the trails this morning with a Yosemite Ranger who will lead you along the Upper Yosemite Falls trail. This is one of Yosemite's oldest and historic trails which leads to the top of North America’s tallest waterfall. Pass through oak woodlands before continuing above the tree line and on to exposed areas where you'll have unspoiled views of the Yosemite Valley, some of the most beautiful natural vistas on planet earth. At Columbia Rock, you’ll be rewarded by views of Half Dome and Sentinel Rock and upon reaching the top of the trail, discover Half Dome and Lost Arrow Spire up close, as well as panoramic views of the various peaks.

    Hotel: Rush Creek Lodge (Breakfast and dinner included)

    Day
    05

    Lake Tahoe

    Beautiful skies, clean air and the cobalt blue lake awaken the senses today at Lake Tahoe, the second deepest lake in the USA. Upon arrival, you’ll walk the Moraine Hiking Trail, a relatively flat trail through the forest and along the shore of the wonderful Fallen Leaf Lake. Cool down with a swim stop at the end of the one mile trek through the woods and explore the flora and fauna that the surrounding area has to offer.

    Hotel: Beach Retreat and Lodge at Tahoe (Breakfast )

    Day
    06

    Lake Tahoe

    Today you’ll explore off the beaten track and see panoramic views of the area. Alternatively, you'll have the option to explore by mountain bike or kayak to experience the lake at a different pace. The Mount Tallac Trail is a 9.6 mile trail along the mountains which ring Lake Tahoe. Mount Tallac offers unparalleled and uninterrupted views of the area, standing at 9,735ft above sea level at it's highest peak. This route traverses through lush forest, scenic ridgelines, small alpine lakes and meadows well-known for their beautiful wild flowers. You can also expect to catch a glimpse of the local wildlife with plenty of chipmunks and the occasional Black Bear.

    Hotel: Beach Retreat and Lodge at Tahoe (Breakfast and dinner included)

    Day
    07

    San Francisco

    Departing Lake Tahoe, you'll make your way towards the outskirts of San Francisco. Nestled on a beautiful harbour on the bay, Sausalito is undeniably picturesque. With houseboats lining the bay and beautiful views of San Francisco and Angel Island, it’s easy to see why Sausalito is favoured by the locals. Finish the day off with a leisurely stroll across the world famous Golden Gate Bridge. Your Grand American Adventures tour ends at 17:00. 

    Hotel: Kimpton Buchanan Hotel (Breakfast included )

    Day
    08

    Journey Home

    There'll be time for some last minute shopping or sightseeing before you transfer independently back to the airport for your flight home.

    Prices

    From £3411 per person based on twin occupancy of Standard rooms in low season. Other prices available on request. 

  • Disneyland Resort California

    Los Angeles

    Add this Experience/Explore to planner
    • Disneyland Resort

      /

    • Paradise Pier

      /

    No trip to Southern California would be complete without spending a day at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. See your favourite Disney films and characters come to life at two spectacular parks, Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park with a two day Hopper Ticket. From classic attractions including It’s a Small World and Pirates of the Caribbean to thrilling journeys such as the California Screamin’ rollercoaster, there is something for every visitor. Meet Mickey Mouse and Goofy, Cinderella and Buzz Lightyear and see spectacular shows. It’s clear that Walt Disney created timeless characters, which have been combined with some of today’s favourites resulting in this world of happiness and fun. When the sun sets, Disney remains bright and bustling, with magical fireworks, state-of-the-art shows, bars and restaurants keeping the magic alive into the evening.

    Prices

    From £203 per adult

    From £193 per child (3-9 years)

    Universal Studios Hollywood

    Los Angeles

    Add this Experience/Explore to planner
    • Universal Hollywood

      /

    • Movie action

      /

    • Simpsons Ride

      /

    • VIP tour

      /

    Universal Studios Hollywood puts you so close to the movie action that you can almost hear the cameras rolling. Built around a working movie studio, a thrilling theme park filled with great rides and state-of-the-art shows and the buzzing entertainment of CityWalk, Universal Studios Hollywood is the ultimate day out! Escape to Jurassic Park, take on Revenge of the Mummy, embark on a 3D Transformers ride and join The Simpsons on a virtual rollercoaster. The legendary Studio Tour takes you behind the scenes of some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters, and visits three amazing shows to provide an insight into the secrets used by the trade to bring small sets to the big screen.

    From magical spells to magical creatures, from dark villains to daring heroes, it’s all here at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™, now open at Universal Studios Hollywood™. Explore the mysteries of Hogwarts™ castle, visit the shops of Hogsmeade™, and sample fare from some of the wizarding world’s best-known establishments. Plus experience pulse-pounding rides and attractions that transport you into a world of magical thrills and excitement.

    In addition to standard park tickets, we can also offer the ultimate VIP experience. Ensuring you get the most out of your day at the park, these tickets include a personalised guided tour of the backlot sets which are not open to the general public (remember this is a working studio!), ultimate front of line access, gourmet lunch and valet parking.

    Prices

    One day ticket admission: From £89 per adult  From £84 per child (3-9 years)

    VIP Experience: From £313 per person

    Napa Valley Wine Train

    Napa Wine Region

    Add this Experience/Explore to planner
    • Napa Valley Vineyards

      /

    • Dining Car

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    • Napa Valley Wine Train

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    • Spring Journeys

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    • Gourmet Dining

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    • Viewing Platform

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    Board the Napa Valley Wine Train and sail through the picture-postcard setting of Northern California's Napa Valley region. This three hour excursion, starting and terminating at Napa Valley Station, follows the historic train line built in 1847 by Samuel Brannan. The 36 mile journey takes you through famous wine valleys to the quaint town of St Helena, then loops back to Napa Valley.

    The vintage carriages, built between 1915 and 1952, have been lavishly restored to their original decor of a bygone era to enhance the experience. Napa Valley Wine Train has a choice of two excursion options, Gourmet Express or Champagne Vista Dome, for either lunch or dinner.

    Guests choosing Gourmet Express travel in the Pullman Lounge Car, enjoy picture windows, rich polished woods and custom designed fabrics.

    The epitome of elegance, those choosing the Vista Dome are treated to perfect views of the manicured vineyards and unique California architecture through the elevated dome windows. Passengers dine at their lavishly appointed tables with fine velveteen chairs, reminiscent of the early 1920's.

    Prices

    From £131 Gourmet Express (Lunch or dinner)
    From £208 Vista Dome (Lunch or dinner)
    Per person, round trip.

    Muir Woods & Sonoma Wine Country Day Tour

    San Francisco

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    • Sonoma Vineyard

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    Leaving San Francisco via the Golden Gate Bridge you’ll pass through the beautiful Marin Headlands on your way to Muir Woods National Monument. There you’ll spend an hour strolling around some of the world’s tallest trees, the Coastal Redwood. Wandering along the misty paths there are plenty of photo opportunities! Continuing north you’ll enjoy a stop in the historic Sonoma Town Square, where you can enjoy lunch (not included) in one of the squares many restaurants or have a picnic under the grape vines. In the afternoon you’ll enjoy wine tasting in the Sonoma Valley Wine Country at a variety of California Wineries. (Muir Woods entrance fee is payable locally.)

    Duration: 10 hours

    Prices

    From £108 per person

    Napa & Sonoma Wine Country Day Tour

    San Francisco

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    • Napa Wine Tasting

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    Immerse yourself in California’s legendary Wine Country on this wonderful day trip to Napa and Sonoma. Leaving San Francisco you’ll make the incredibly picturesque drive over the Golden Gate Bridge and through the Marin Headlands into the beautiful Wine Country. Upon arrival in Sonoma you’ll embark on a 45 minute tram tour of the Benziger Family Winery, including the fermentation facilities and wine caves. You’ll hear about the art of winemaking following the process from the grape to the glass, before enjoying the fruits of these labours in the tasting room! Following a picnic lunch you’ll head out to other locations in Sonoma and Napa Valleys for more tasting and exploring.

    Duration: 10 Hours

    Prices

    From £113 per person

    San Francisco Segway Tour

    San Francisco

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    • San Francisco & Chinatown Segway Tour

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    Golden Gate Park Segway Tour

    Join America’s latest trend and hop aboard an energising Segway tour. A two-wheel self-balancing electric vehicle, a Segway gives a smooth journey to its riders. With a group of fellow Segway drivers and a professional tour guide providing narration via individual headsets, this exclusive tour around Golden Gate Park is a fabulous way to see the 1000 acres. Gliding across the roads and trails this fully narrated journey visits hidden locations and shares the history of this oasis from the city.

    Duration: 2 Hours

    Chinatown Segway Tour

    Enjoy San Francisco by night on this fully narrated Segway tour. Departing from the West end of Fisherman’s Wharf you’ll see fabulous views of the San Francisco skyline as you glide through the city on two wheels. Some of the highlights include Little Italy, Chinatown, the Embarcadero and San Francisco’s waterfront. Travelling with a professional tour guide and a group of fellow drivers you’ll be told fun facts and shown the hidden gems of the city.

    Duration: 2 Hours

    Wharf & Waterfront Segway Tour

    Embark on a Segway journey around the San Francisco Bay area, showcasing some of its best highlights and most memorable views. Visit Ghiradelli Square; home to the delicious chocolate, and tour Municiple Pier, Aquatic Park and Fish Alley. See the National Maritime Mueum and view the historic sailing ships at Hyde Street Pier before riding to North Beach and looping through Little Italy and Washington Square Park. This fun way of touring allows you to stop at anything of interest, ensuring you don’t miss a thing.

    Duration: 2 Hours

    Prices

    Golden Gate Park Segway Tour

    From £63 per person.

    Chinatown Segway Tour

    From £63 per person.

    Wharf & Waterfront Segway Tour

    From £63 per person.

    San Francisco Hop on Hop off Bus including Alcatraz

    San Francisco

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    • Alcatraz

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    No trip to San Francisco would be complete without a visit to infamous Alcatraz Island, the former prison home of some America’s most notorious criminals. This great value ticket combines the city-wide All Loop Double-Decker bus tour and return ferry tickets to ‘the Rock’ where you will enjoy an audio walking tour of the Prison.

    The All Loops ticket is valid for 72 hours and allows you to explore the city at your own pace - see San Francisco from the top of an authentic English Double Decker Bus and hop-off at any of the convenient stops around the city.

    Your ferry ticket for Alcatraz will be confirmed for the date you request at the time of booking, but the actual time will not be advised until you exchange your voucher in San Francisco. Most visits to Alcatraz are in the afternoon. The self-guided audio tour gives you the flexibility to stay on the island as long as you like.

    Prices

    From £102 per adult

    From £74 per child (5 to 11 years)

    Yosemite National Park Day Tour

    San Francisco

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    • Yosemite Falls

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    • Bear In Mariposa

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    Experience the magnificent wilderness of Yosemite National Park on this fabulous day trip from San Francisco. Witness spectacular views of Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz Island and the Golden Gate Bridge as you leave the city behind. You’ll travel through California’s Central Valley and pass through gold-rush towns before arriving at Yosemite. Once in the park you’ll embark on a 90 minute fully-guided coach tour, taking you to landmarks including El Capitan, Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, El Capitan Meadow and Yosemite Village. You’ll enjoy photograph stops to capture the amazing rock formations, expansive skylines and thundering waterfalls. You’ll then have three hours to explore the park at leisure, perhaps hike some of the trails, walk the base of Yosemite Falls and check out the visitor centre. You’ll regroup late afternoon to make your way back to San Francisco.

    Duration: 12 Hours

    Prices

    From £140 per person.

    If you’d like to spend more time in Yosemite, explore our range of hotels, some of which actually sit inside the National Park.

    L.A Movie Locations Tour

    Los Angeles

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    • LA Movie Locations Tour

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    Get front-row seats to the many neighbourhoods used to create the various moods and locations of Hollywood movies as you ride on a "one-of-a-kind" customised bus with stadium seating, skylight windows and a 65" HDTV screen showing movie clips related to each location. The tour covers the palaces and studios of Hollywood as well as its main street, Hollywood Boulevard, continuing to the modern skyscrapers and forward-thinking architecture of Downtown LA which allows the city to represent not only the LA of yesterday, today and tomorrow but also places such as New York and Tokyo.

    You will also have a chance to visit the interiors of two of the most spectacular movie locations in Los Angeles: the Bradbury Building, featured in The Artist and (500) Days of Summer; and Union Station, known for The Dark Knight Rises, Pearl Harbor and Blade Runner. Along Wilshire Corridor Boulevard, you will see the "backbone" of Los Angeles with buildings from the 1920s and 1930s as well as urban parks and ethic neighborhoods.

    Other locations included are: Angelino Heights, a residential neighborhood in the shadow of Downtown LA; Echo Park, a popular silent-movie location in the early days of Hollywood; Silverlake, home of many of the early movie studios, and now a popular bohemian neighborhood; Griffith Park (viewed from a distance), home to the iconic Hollywood Sign & landmark Griffith Observatory. Your expert tour guide will give you some exclusive behind-the-scenes insights. There are also multiple video segments featuring TCM host Ben Mankiewicz providing additional insights and a true insider's point of view.

    Duration: 4 Hours

    Prices

    From £47 per adult and £35 per child.

    San Diego Trolley Tours

    San Diego

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    • San Diego Trolley Tours

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    • San Diego Zoo

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    1 Day Tour

    See the Best First! Enjoy the twenty-five mile, fully narrated tour of San Diego and Coronado. You will be treated to gorgeous views of the Big Bay and city skyline from atop the 2-mile long Coronado Bridge. Travel through the historic Gaslamp Quarter, Old Town – the birthplace of California, the Embarcadero and Little Italy. You will also head to the island of Coronado – home to the fabulous and historic Hotel del Coronado as well as the Coronado Beach which is consistently on the list of top 10 beaches in the America. Now if that isn’t enough to make your day, you can also have a stop in Balboa Park – home to over 12 museums, free gardens, The Old Globe Theatre and the World Famous San Diego Zoo! Stay on board your trolley and enjoy the fascinating narrative, presenting a great overview of "America's Finest City".

    This 2-hour tour allows you to get off and on as often as you wish, spend as much time as you like at each stop and re-board another trolley when you are ready.

    San Diego SEAL Tours

    Experience San Diego as it was meant to be experienced, by land and by sea! The new "Hydra Terras" provide you with the unique ability to see America's Finest City on San Diego's only amphibious sightseeing tour. This 90-minute fully-narrated journey departs from either Harbor Drive located at Broadway Pier or Seaport Village. As you travel along the beautiful Big Bay by land, you will learn about the early fishing industry, the people as well as the history of this 14-mile long working bay. The tour on land takes you past the San Diego International Airport dedicated to aviator Charles Lindbergh, just one of the many people you will hear about on your tour. Then, you will splash down into San Diego Bay off Shelter Island, where you begin your water-tour segment of the journey. As the SEAL travels through the north end of the Big Bay, keep your eyes peeled for a chance encounter with a California Brown Pelican, the majestic Blue Heron, or perhaps a Sea Lion or two. Learn about the important role the military plays in San Diego. The Big Bay provides views of Point Loma, home to the Cabrillo National Monument, Naval Air Station North Island, the Point Loma Submarine Base, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Navy's marine mammal training center. 

    Ghosts and Gravestones Tour of San Diego

    Travel back in time and learn about the spirits of the notorious wild characters like Gunslingers and Gamblers who lived and died in San Diego. It is possible that their spirits live on in the dark recesses of the historic buildings and neighbourhoods. Your journey continues through Old Town, walking through El Campo Santo Cemetery and ending at the Whaley House courtyard, both sites of many reported paranormal occurrences. According to the Travel Channel's America's Most Haunted, the Whaley House is the number one most haunted house in the United States. Although we cannot state positively that the House is really haunted, the voluminous documentation of paranormal occurrences at the site makes a compelling case. But if there are ghosts at the Whaley House, who are they and why are they here? **Does not include admission to Whaley House**

     

    Prices

    1 Day Tour

    From £34 per adult and £21 per child (aged 6-12).

    San Diego SEAL Tours

    From £35 per adult and £21 per child (aged 6-12).

    Ghosts and Gravestones Tour of San Diego

    From £25 per person.

    San Andreas Fault Jeep Eco-Tour

    Palm Springs

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    • Red Jeep Eco-Tour

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    • San Andreas Fault Tour

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    On this awe-inspiring journey, you will be taken by classic Big Red Jeeps deep into the heart of the San Andreas Fault. Witness the tremendous forces of nature that have created amazing steep-walled canyons and some of the most twisted and tormented landscapes on earth. Take some time to explore an Old Mining Camp which is filled with antique mining equipment and displays, where you will also have the opportunity to tour a gold mine exhibit and pan for gold!

    A moderate to challenging hike can also be included as part of the itinerary if desired.

    Duration: 3 hours

    Prices

    From £113 per adult and £92 per child.

    San Diego Zoo Admission

    San Diego

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    • San Diego Zoo

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    Enjoy San Diego Zoo with this one-day ticket, including ‘skip the line’ admission, a 35- minute fully narrated Bus Tour, as well as free admission to the Children's Zoo, unlimited use of San Diego Zoo's Express Bus and unlimited use San Diego Zoo's Aerial Tram Ride. Located in Balboa Park, San Diego Zoo is home to over 4,000 rare and endangered animals from more than 800 different species.

    Prices

    From £43 per adult and £35 per child (Aged 3-11)

    Los Angeles & San Francisco Twin Centre

    Los Angeles & San Francisco, California

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    • Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

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    • Hollywood, L.A.

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    • The Garland, Outdoor Pool

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    • The Garland, Accommodation

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    • Handlery Union Square, Outdoor Pool

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    • Handlery Union Square, Accommodation

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    Enjoy two of California's most exciting cities! This twin centre holiday allows ample time for you to discover both Los Angeles and San Francisco and includes a domestic flight so there is no need for driving. This package includes:

    • Non-stop flights from Heathrow to Los Angeles, returning from San Francisco with Virgin Atlantic (UK connection flights also available)
    • Domestic flights from Los Angeles to San Francisco
    • 4 nights at The Garland, Los Angeles
    • 3 nights at Handlery Union Square, San Francisco
    Prices

    From £1249 per person, based on twin occupancy of standard rooms in low season.