14 Day Californian Fly Drive • View Itinerary
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Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California
Alcatraz Island, San Francisco
Lombard Street, San Francisco
Yosemite National Park, California
Sunrise through the Redwoods, Sequoia National Park, California
Palm Springs, California
San Diego State University, San Diego
Torrey Pines State Beach, San Diego, California
Santa Monica, California
Sunset at Santa Monica Pier, California
Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
Santa Barbara, California, America
Bixby Creek Bridge, Big Sur
Hyde Street Cable Car, San Francisco

California Dreaming

14 day Fly Drive – from £1645

With flights from £2245

Experience the best of California on this unforgettable two week fly drive through its vibrant cities, stunning coastline, and awe-inspiring National Parks.

Highlights:
  • Enjoy the highlights of Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego
  • Visit the trendy coastal towns of Santa Monica and Santa Barbara
  • Marvel at the beauty of Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
  • Embrace the laid-back lifestyle of Palm Springs
  • Discover breathtaking drives along the Californian coastline

Your Itinerary

Expand All

You can customise your California fly drive by adding extra nights, activities or destinations. Just let us know what you would like to do.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California

Day 1 – Welcome to San Francisco

Arrive into San Francisco International airport, collect your bags and transfer to your hotel. Home of the…

Arrive into San Francisco International airport, collect your bags and transfer to your hotel.

Home of the majestic Wine Country and the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco is well-known for its historic cable cars and bustling Union Square. Enjoy your first evening along the colourful waterfront.

    Riu Plaza Fisherman’s Wharf or similar

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California
Alcatraz Island, San Francisco

Day 2 – San Francisco

Today, you are free to discover the many sights and sounds of San Francisco. Perhaps take…

Today, you are free to discover the many sights and sounds of San Francisco. Perhaps take a cable car ride from Fisherman’s Wharf to Union Square, or visit the famous Alcatraz Island.

This evening, dine in one of San Francisco’s many distinctive neighbourhoods, from Chinatown to the very Italian flavoured North Beach, each offers its own distinctive culture and cuisine.

Optional Experience – San Francisco Hop on Hop off Bus Tour
See San Francisco from the top of an authentic English Double Decker Bus! This is a fully narrated sightseeing tour. Enjoy the city lights and skyline on the Night Loop.

Optional Experience – Alcatraz Island Tour
Welcome to Alcatraz; once home to some of America’s most notorious criminals. Delve into the island’s remarkable history on this essential tour.

    Riu Plaza Fisherman’s Wharf or similar

Alcatraz Island, San Francisco
Lombard Street, San Francisco

Day 3 – San Francisco

San Francisco still has so much to offer. Perhaps spend some time in Golden Gate Park,…

San Francisco still has so much to offer. Perhaps spend some time in Golden Gate Park, or wander to Lombard Street, known as the “Crookedest Street in the world”.

For the more energetic why not join a guided cycle tour across the famous Golden Gate Bridge? For a more relaxed activity you can visit the sea lions along the wharf or get tickets to watch one of the many sporting teams based in the city.

Optional Experience – Bike the Golden Gate Bridge
Follow as your guide takes you along San Francisco’s wonderful waterfront and across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito.

Optional Experience – Bay Dinner Cruise
Jump onboard for an evening of dinner and entertainment whilst you admire stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz

    Riu Plaza Fisherman’s Wharf

Lombard Street, San Francisco
Yosemite National Park, California

Day 4 – Yosemite National Park

Gaze upon the mist over the Golden Gate Bridge before collecting your car and departing the…

Gaze upon the mist over the Golden Gate Bridge before collecting your car and departing the bustle of San Francisco. Head towards the natural beauty that is Yosemite National Park.

Take your time and enjoy the meandering drive into the park, the views get better with every turn. There are photo opportunities aplenty as you drive through Yosemite. Capture the iconic Sequoia trees, granite cliffs of El Capitan and Half Dome, and the iconic vista of towering Bridalveil Fall from Tunnel View.

    San Francisco > Yosemite National Park | 165 miles

    Tenaya Lodge or similar

Yosemite National Park, California
Sunrise through the Redwoods, Sequoia National Park, California

Day 5 – Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

Take in the morning sunshine in Yosemite National Park before making your way to Sequoia and…

Take in the morning sunshine in Yosemite National Park before making your way to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

These twin parks hold monuments to nature’s size, beauty, and diversity. Immense mountains, rugged foothills, deep canyons, vast caverns and the world’s largest trees all reside here making it a unique place.

Spectacular views can be seen from Moro Rock, guided cavern tours are available, and the visitor centre contains much information about the park history and seasonal activities.

    Yosemite > Sequoia | 140 miles

    Wuksachi Lodge or similar

Sunrise through the Redwoods, Sequoia National Park, California
Palm Springs, California

Day 6 – Palm Springs

Bypass Greater Los Angeles on your way south by crossing the San Bernardino Valley on the…

Bypass Greater Los Angeles on your way south by crossing the San Bernardino Valley on the way to the trendy resorts of Palm Springs.

Palm Springs is among Southern California’s most prized destinations and serves as the gateway to Joshua Tree National Park. It also well-known for hosting world-class music and film festivals.

Choose to ride the scenic aerial tramway to the summit of Mount San Jacinto, for panoramic views from the 6000ft peak. Take a trip into the Joshua Tree National Park to witness the convergence of the Mojave & Colorado deserts that create natural sand carved monuments, innovative flora and fauna and unspoilt dark night skies, perfect for stargazing.

For those seeking more activity Greater Palm Springs opens up opportunities for hiking, horse riding, a round of golf and off-road driving. Alternatively for those wishing to stay local, there are plenty of museums, galleries, cafes and restaurants in Palm Springs from which to sit, people watch and search for celebrities.

    Sequoia National Park > Palm Springs | 310 miles

    Renaissance Palm Springs or similar

Palm Springs, California
San Diego State University, San Diego

Day 7 – San Diego

From Palm Springs head back to the coast, through the mountains to arrive in San Diego…

From Palm Springs head back to the coast, through the mountains to arrive in San Diego in the afternoon.

From the Salton Sea, traverse the stunning desert landscapes of the Anza-Borrego State Park and up into the mountains.

The town of Julian is rooted in the 1870’s gold rush and retains some of the historic shop fronts and historic buildings from that era. Surrounded by orchards the town of Julian is now synonymous with apple pie and cider.

As the mountains flatten out to the coastal lowlands, descend onto the freeway and continue into San Diego.

    Palm Springs > San Diego | 182 miles

    Kona Kai Resort or similar

San Diego State University, San Diego
Torrey Pines State Beach, San Diego, California

Day 8 – San Diego

The compact city of San Diego is home to SeaWorld® Adventure Park and the San…

The compact city of San Diego is home to SeaWorld® Adventure Park and the San Diego Zoo. These world-class attractions feature a variety of spectacular sights and activities. A variety of animal-themed shows are featured here and it’s even possible to take a behind the scenes tour.

Choose to take a walk along the spectacular sands of Ocean and Mission Beach, or cross the uniquely curved Coronado Bridge to access the island beyond the city. Alternatively you can explore the gardens and trails of Bilboa Park, or wander the historic Old Town. Don’t forget to try some authentic Mexican cuisine.

Optional Experience – San Diego Old Town Trolley
See the best of San Diego while touring at your own pace on a traditional orange and green trolley-bus.

    Kona Kai Resort or similar

Torrey Pines State Beach, San Diego, California
Santa Monica, California

Day 9 – Laguna Beach

Hug the Pacific Coast as you leave San Diego following the signs to Los Angeles on…

Hug the Pacific Coast as you leave San Diego following the signs to Los Angeles on Highway 5.

At Capistrano Beach join the iconic Highway 1, for you first taste of the Pacific Coast Highway. Be sure to spend some time at Laguna Beach and Alison Beach for some rest and some refreshments by the sand.

You could also make a stop somewhere along the huge Huntington Beach that extends towards Long Beach and the beginning of the Los Angeles surburbs.

Continue on Highway 1 to Santa Monica, where you hotel is waiting.

    San Diego > Santa Monica | 135 miles

    Le Meridien Delfina or similar

Santa Monica, California
Sunset at Santa Monica Pier, California

Day 10 – Santa Monica

Los Angeles by the sea, Santa Monica is a seaside town most famous for its pier…

Los Angeles by the sea, Santa Monica is a seaside town most famous for its pier and the fact that it is the end of the historic Route 66.

Santa Monica is very walkable, so spend a day out of the car exploring on foot. Wander down to the soft golden sands and walk along the paved promenade, watching the fitness followers and families at play. Walk out onto the historic pier where a variety of amusements and rollercoasters dominate the skyline.

The town itself has a central pedestrian promenade lined by a mixture of traditional and surf-style shops. This area also plays host to a great farmers market that brings local farmers together with a variety of fresh produce.

In the evening you can choose to dine at one of the elegant beachfront hotels and brasseries or head for something more artisan along Main Street.

    Le Meridien Delfina or similar

Sunset at Santa Monica Pier, California
Hollywood, Los Angeles, California

Day 11 – Visit Hollywood, Los Angeles

The train links Santa Monica with Downtown Los Angeles so if you want to explore the…

The train links Santa Monica with Downtown Los Angeles so if you want to explore the city independently this is a simple way to avoid the traffic. Alternatively, join a sightseeing bus tour to take in the Hollywood studios and the Walk of Fame.

You could choose to go behind the scenes of Paramount Studios or enjoy the fun at Universal Studios also in Hollywood. For the full theme park experience drive to Anaheim to enjoy the rides at Disneyland.

Optional Experience – Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour
A fun, informative and easy way to explore the wonders of Los Angeles. Stopping by all of the major sights and attractions. Your pass will be valid for 24 hours.

    Le Meridien Delfina or similar

Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
Santa Barbara, California, America

Day 12 – Santa Barbara

Rejoin Highway 1 once again and depart Santa Monica. Soon you will leave the city behind…

Rejoin Highway 1 once again and depart Santa Monica. Soon you will leave the city behind and find yourself hugging the coast, with the Santa Monica Mountains rising inland.

You may like to stop at the town of Malibu on your drive up to Santa Barbara. Malibu is well known for its celebrity homes and its surf beach.

Continue up the coast past Oxnard to Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara is a seaside gem. The city’s white-washed buildings and red-tiled roofs reflect its Spanish colonial history, whilst its designer boutique shops and gourmet restaurants more reflect the aspirations of current residents.

    Santa Monica > Santa Barbara | 90 miles

    Mar Monte Hotel or similar

Santa Barbara, California, America
Bixby Creek Bridge, Big Sur

Day 13 – Monterey

Continue your picturesque drive up the Pacific Coast toward Monterey. You may choose to break your…

Continue your picturesque drive up the Pacific Coast toward Monterey. You may choose to break your journey at Pismo Beach before undertaking one of the most photographed coastlines in California; Big Sur. This stretch of cliff-lined coast offers spectacular views along the winding road.

After being swept away by the stunning views, spend the late afternoon enjoying the artisan city of Monterey. Monterey Bay is a fantastic place to view whales and boat tours are offered locally.

Optional Experience – Monterey Whale Watching
Join Discovery Whale Watch for an inspiring and educational experience with amazing marine wildlife in Monterey Bay.

    Santa Barbara > Monterey | 250 miles

    Abrego Hotel or similar

Bixby Creek Bridge, Big Sur
Hyde Street Cable Car, San Francisco

Day 14 – Farewell California

Consider taking the famously scenic “17-Mile Drive” around the coast, stopping at renowned Pebble Beach…

Consider taking the famously scenic “17-Mile Drive” around the coast, stopping at renowned Pebble Beach on the way to enjoy the sights of lavish mansions and the beautiful coast.

Afterwards, continue northwards to return to San Francisco International Airport where you will return your car and check-in for your flight home.

    Monterey > San Francisco | 106 miles
Hyde Street Cable Car, San Francisco

Your Itinerary

You can customise your California fly drive by adding extra nights, activities or destinations. Just let us know what you would like to do.

Day 1

|

Welcome to San Francisco

Arrive into San Francisco International airport, collect your bags and transfer to your hotel.

Home of the majestic Wine Country and the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco is well-known for its historic cable cars and bustling Union Square. Enjoy your first evening along the colourful waterfront.

    Riu Plaza Fisherman’s Wharf or similar

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California

Day 2

|

San Francisco

Today, you are free to discover the many sights and sounds of San Francisco. Perhaps take a cable car ride from Fisherman’s Wharf to Union Square, or visit the famous Alcatraz Island.

This evening, dine in one of San Francisco’s many distinctive neighbourhoods, from Chinatown to the very Italian flavoured North Beach, each offers its own distinctive culture and cuisine.

Optional Experience – San Francisco Hop on Hop off Bus Tour
See San Francisco from the top of an authentic English Double Decker Bus! This is a fully narrated sightseeing tour. Enjoy the city lights and skyline on the Night Loop.

Optional Experience – Alcatraz Island Tour
Welcome to Alcatraz; once home to some of America’s most notorious criminals. Delve into the island’s remarkable history on this essential tour.

    Riu Plaza Fisherman’s Wharf or similar

Alcatraz Island, San Francisco

Day 3

|

San Francisco

San Francisco still has so much to offer. Perhaps spend some time in Golden Gate Park, or wander to Lombard Street, known as the “Crookedest Street in the world”.

For the more energetic why not join a guided cycle tour across the famous Golden Gate Bridge? For a more relaxed activity you can visit the sea lions along the wharf or get tickets to watch one of the many sporting teams based in the city.

Optional Experience – Bike the Golden Gate Bridge
Follow as your guide takes you along San Francisco’s wonderful waterfront and across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito.

Optional Experience – Bay Dinner Cruise
Jump onboard for an evening of dinner and entertainment whilst you admire stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz

    Riu Plaza Fisherman’s Wharf

Lombard Street, San Francisco

Day 4

|

Yosemite National Park

Gaze upon the mist over the Golden Gate Bridge before collecting your car and departing the bustle of San Francisco. Head towards the natural beauty that is Yosemite National Park.

Take your time and enjoy the meandering drive into the park, the views get better with every turn. There are photo opportunities aplenty as you drive through Yosemite. Capture the iconic Sequoia trees, granite cliffs of El Capitan and Half Dome, and the iconic vista of towering Bridalveil Fall from Tunnel View.

    San Francisco > Yosemite National Park | 165 miles

    Tenaya Lodge or similar

Yosemite National Park, California

Day 5

|

Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

Take in the morning sunshine in Yosemite National Park before making your way to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

These twin parks hold monuments to nature’s size, beauty, and diversity. Immense mountains, rugged foothills, deep canyons, vast caverns and the world’s largest trees all reside here making it a unique place.

Spectacular views can be seen from Moro Rock, guided cavern tours are available, and the visitor centre contains much information about the park history and seasonal activities.

    Yosemite > Sequoia | 140 miles

    Wuksachi Lodge or similar

Sunrise through the Redwoods, Sequoia National Park, California

Day 6

|

Palm Springs

Bypass Greater Los Angeles on your way south by crossing the San Bernardino Valley on the way to the trendy resorts of Palm Springs.

Palm Springs is among Southern California’s most prized destinations and serves as the gateway to Joshua Tree National Park. It also well-known for hosting world-class music and film festivals.

Choose to ride the scenic aerial tramway to the summit of Mount San Jacinto, for panoramic views from the 6000ft peak. Take a trip into the Joshua Tree National Park to witness the convergence of the Mojave & Colorado deserts that create natural sand carved monuments, innovative flora and fauna and unspoilt dark night skies, perfect for stargazing.

For those seeking more activity Greater Palm Springs opens up opportunities for hiking, horse riding, a round of golf and off-road driving. Alternatively for those wishing to stay local, there are plenty of museums, galleries, cafes and restaurants in Palm Springs from which to sit, people watch and search for celebrities.

    Sequoia National Park > Palm Springs | 310 miles

    Renaissance Palm Springs or similar

Palm Springs, California

Day 7

|

San Diego

From Palm Springs head back to the coast, through the mountains to arrive in San Diego in the afternoon.

From the Salton Sea, traverse the stunning desert landscapes of the Anza-Borrego State Park and up into the mountains.

The town of Julian is rooted in the 1870’s gold rush and retains some of the historic shop fronts and historic buildings from that era. Surrounded by orchards the town of Julian is now synonymous with apple pie and cider.

As the mountains flatten out to the coastal lowlands, descend onto the freeway and continue into San Diego.

    Palm Springs > San Diego | 182 miles

    Kona Kai Resort or similar

San Diego State University, San Diego

Day 8

|

San Diego

The compact city of San Diego is home to SeaWorld® Adventure Park and the San Diego Zoo. These world-class attractions feature a variety of spectacular sights and activities. A variety of animal-themed shows are featured here and it’s even possible to take a behind the scenes tour.

Choose to take a walk along the spectacular sands of Ocean and Mission Beach, or cross the uniquely curved Coronado Bridge to access the island beyond the city. Alternatively you can explore the gardens and trails of Bilboa Park, or wander the historic Old Town. Don’t forget to try some authentic Mexican cuisine.

Optional Experience – San Diego Old Town Trolley
See the best of San Diego while touring at your own pace on a traditional orange and green trolley-bus.

    Kona Kai Resort or similar

Torrey Pines State Beach, San Diego, California

Day 9

|

Laguna Beach

Hug the Pacific Coast as you leave San Diego following the signs to Los Angeles on Highway 5.

At Capistrano Beach join the iconic Highway 1, for you first taste of the Pacific Coast Highway. Be sure to spend some time at Laguna Beach and Alison Beach for some rest and some refreshments by the sand.

You could also make a stop somewhere along the huge Huntington Beach that extends towards Long Beach and the beginning of the Los Angeles surburbs.

Continue on Highway 1 to Santa Monica, where you hotel is waiting.

    San Diego > Santa Monica | 135 miles

    Le Meridien Delfina or similar

Santa Monica, California

Day 10

|

Santa Monica

Los Angeles by the sea, Santa Monica is a seaside town most famous for its pier and the fact that it is the end of the historic Route 66.

Santa Monica is very walkable, so spend a day out of the car exploring on foot. Wander down to the soft golden sands and walk along the paved promenade, watching the fitness followers and families at play. Walk out onto the historic pier where a variety of amusements and rollercoasters dominate the skyline.

The town itself has a central pedestrian promenade lined by a mixture of traditional and surf-style shops. This area also plays host to a great farmers market that brings local farmers together with a variety of fresh produce.

In the evening you can choose to dine at one of the elegant beachfront hotels and brasseries or head for something more artisan along Main Street.

    Le Meridien Delfina or similar

Sunset at Santa Monica Pier, California

Day 11

|

Visit Hollywood, Los Angeles

The train links Santa Monica with Downtown Los Angeles so if you want to explore the city independently this is a simple way to avoid the traffic. Alternatively, join a sightseeing bus tour to take in the Hollywood studios and the Walk of Fame.

You could choose to go behind the scenes of Paramount Studios or enjoy the fun at Universal Studios also in Hollywood. For the full theme park experience drive to Anaheim to enjoy the rides at Disneyland.

Optional Experience – Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour
A fun, informative and easy way to explore the wonders of Los Angeles. Stopping by all of the major sights and attractions. Your pass will be valid for 24 hours.

    Le Meridien Delfina or similar

Hollywood, Los Angeles, California

Day 12

|

Santa Barbara

Rejoin Highway 1 once again and depart Santa Monica. Soon you will leave the city behind and find yourself hugging the coast, with the Santa Monica Mountains rising inland.

You may like to stop at the town of Malibu on your drive up to Santa Barbara. Malibu is well known for its celebrity homes and its surf beach.

Continue up the coast past Oxnard to Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara is a seaside gem. The city’s white-washed buildings and red-tiled roofs reflect its Spanish colonial history, whilst its designer boutique shops and gourmet restaurants more reflect the aspirations of current residents.

    Santa Monica > Santa Barbara | 90 miles

    Mar Monte Hotel or similar

Santa Barbara, California, America

Day 13

|

Monterey

Continue your picturesque drive up the Pacific Coast toward Monterey. You may choose to break your journey at Pismo Beach before undertaking one of the most photographed coastlines in California; Big Sur. This stretch of cliff-lined coast offers spectacular views along the winding road.

After being swept away by the stunning views, spend the late afternoon enjoying the artisan city of Monterey. Monterey Bay is a fantastic place to view whales and boat tours are offered locally.

Optional Experience – Monterey Whale Watching
Join Discovery Whale Watch for an inspiring and educational experience with amazing marine wildlife in Monterey Bay.

    Santa Barbara > Monterey | 250 miles

    Abrego Hotel or similar

Bixby Creek Bridge, Big Sur

Day 14

|

Farewell California

Consider taking the famously scenic “17-Mile Drive” around the coast, stopping at renowned Pebble Beach on the way to enjoy the sights of lavish mansions and the beautiful coast.

Afterwards, continue northwards to return to San Francisco International Airport where you will return your car and check-in for your flight home.

    Monterey > San Francisco | 106 miles
Hyde Street Cable Car, San Francisco

This Self Drive Includes

13 nights hotel accommodation
14 days car hire, with unlimited mileage

Flights & More

Ask your FREEDOM Consultant to include Economy, Premium or Business Class flights for a complete ABTA and ATOL protected package.

They can also add extra nights and experiences in places you choose, to create the exact holiday you are looking for. Popular options include:

  • Adding extra nights in Yosemite, Palm Springs and San Diego
  • Upgrading to an SUV, 4×4 or electric vehicle

Next Step

Please get in touch with our America Experts to start planning your holiday. You’ll have a single point of contact from your first enquiry through booking.

California Dreaming

14 day Fly Drive – from £1645

With flights from £2245

Price is per person, based on two people sharing a double or twin room and includes pre-booked accommodation, air-conditioned car and unlimited mileage. Hotels specified are subject to availability and may be substituted by one of a similar or higher standard.

Map

California Dreaming, Fly Drive Holiday, Route Map