Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California
Los Angeles at Sunset
Venice Beach, Los Angeles
Monterey, California
Yosemite National Park
Las Vegas, Nevada
San Diego, California

California Dreaming

14 day Fly Drive - from £1539

With flights from £1989

Experience the best of California on this 14 day fly drive combining exciting cities, beautiful beaches and spectacular national parks.


  • Spot the names of famous stars on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame
  • Watch the sun go down over the Golden Gate Bridge
  • Discover Yosemite’s shimmering falls and ancient sequoia trees
  • Enjoy a night out in buzzing Las Vegas
  • Relax on Santa Monica’s beautiful beaches
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Your Itinerary

Day 1 - Welcome to Los Angeles

Arrive at Los Angeles Airport, collect your hire car and proceed to your hotel in Hollywood. Los Angeles is the entertainment capital of the United States, home to famous movie stars and the infamous landmark, the Hollywood sign, it is a city brimming with culture and happenings. This big metropolis has many regions with distinct flavours and communities.

Standard: Hollywood Hotel or similar
Budget:  Best Western Plus Dragon Gate or similar

Day 2 - Los Angeles

Today, explore the City of Angels. Visit the glitz and glamour of Hollywood; take a stroll along the Walk of Fame and see the names of celebrities commemorated in pink stars along the sidewalk, visit Mann’s Chinese Theatre, the best-preserved of the movie palaces from Hollywood’s golden era, and take a drive through Beverly Hills, the most famous neighbourhood in the United States. If movie making is what you fancy, visit Universal Studios, you can tour the sets and cast yourself in the thrilling rides, shows and attractions that bring the movies to life. In the evening, enjoy Universal City Walk, filled with restaurants and nightclubs.

Standard: Hollywood Hotel or similar
Budget:  Best Western Plus Dragon Gate or similar

Day 3 - Santa Barbara (89 miles)

Depart Los Angeles this morning and drive up the coast toward Santa Barbara. On the beautiful Pacific Coast, Santa Barbara is a gem, here you can stroll through the Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens, embark on a scenic nature trail in Los Padres National Forest or simply head for one of the soft sand beaches. When it’s time to dine, fresh seafood can be found in the restaurants on Stearn’s Wharf.

Standard: Harbor View Inn or similar
Budget: Sandpiper Lodge or similar

Day 4 - Monterey (241 miles)

Continue the luxurious drive up the Pacific Coast toward Monterey. Consider taking the famously scenic 17-Mile drive up the coast. Discover Nature’s treasures as you pass through the serene majesty of Del Monte Forest and for a gourmet picnic lunch, visit Pebble Beach Market adjacent to The Lodge at Pebble Beach. Best picnic spots are between Point Joe and Seal Rock and you’ll find picnic tables at many stops. After being swept away by the stunning Pacific coast views, spend the afternoon enjoying Monterey.

Standard: Monterey Tides, a JDV Hotel or similar
Budget: Red Lion Hotel Monterey or similar

Day 5 - San Francisco (115 miles)

Home of majestic Wine Country and the Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco is the next stop on this self-drive adventure. Rows of elegant houses, the famous cable cars, clusters of ethnic neighbourhoods, and the colourful waterfront all add to the distinctive international flavour of the city. Today, you are free to enjoy one of the many sights and sounds of San Francisco.

Standard: Holiday Inn Express, Fisherman’s Wharf or similar
Budget: Whitcomb Hotel or similar

Day 6 - San Francisco

There is more time today to continue exploring San Francisco’s many sights; take a cable car ride from Fisherman’s Wharf, visit the famous Alcatraz Island or spend some time in Golden Gate Park. 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.

Standard: Holiday Inn Express, Fisherman’s Wharf or similar
Budget: Whitcomb Hotel or similar

OPTIONAL EXPERIENCES – Golden Gate Bike tour

After a proper bike fitting the tour begins along the San Francisco waterfront past Aquatic Park, Fort Mason, the Marina, and the Presidio, through Crissy Field and to Fort Point. Riders cross the Golden Gate Bridge on wide bike path, then through the Vista Point to Old Fort Baker. The tour ends in Sausalito where riders can enjoy the shops, the many art galleries, and the delicious food. You then have the option to keep the bike until closing hours enjoying an additional adventure ‘biking the bay’!

Day 7 - Yosemite National Park (165 miles)

Leave the hustle of San Francisco behind, and head to the striking beauty of Yosemite National Park. Gaze upon the parks iconic sequoia trees, granite cliffs of El Capitan and Half Dome and the iconic vista of towering Bridalveil Fall from Tunnel View.

Standard: Yosemite View Lodge or similar
Budget: Cedar Lodge or similar

OPTIONAL EXPERIENCES – Yosemite Valley Floor Tour

On this two-hour tour, Rangers introduce some of Yosemite’s most famous sightseeing points in Yosemite Valley and describe the history, geology, plant and animal life of the region. This year-round Yosemite Valley Floor tour provides a fuller knowledge and enjoyment of the park. Open-air trams operate from late Spring through early Fall. Late October through April, ride in an enclosed and heated motor coach with large windows allowing unimpeded views of Yosemite’s famous sights. Bring your camera along for postcard-perfect pictures.

Day 8 - Bakersfield (311 miles)

Take a drive through Yosemite before leaving the park towards Bakersfield. On route enjoy a visit to the 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. Continue to Bakersfield for an overnight stay.

Standard: Hampton Inn & Suites North or similar
Budget: Quality Inn & Suites Bakersfield or similar

Day 9 - Las Vegas (387 miles)

Today is a long day so an early start is a good idea. Drive toward Nevada through Death Valley National Park, here you will find raw and barren earth as carved by the elements. The visitor centre is located at Furnace Creek and will be a good starting point for seeing the park. You will be reaching Las Vegas in the evening, it’s ok though, this is a city that never sleeps! For a taste of this spectacular city, simply take a stroll down Las Vegas Boulevard, also known as ‘the strip’.

Standard: Gold Coast Hotel or similar
Budget: Mardi Gras Hotel & Casino or similar

Day 10 - Las Vegas

Today you have the choice to explore this electric city, or you might choose to take a helicopter tour to the Grand Canyon for a glimpse at one of the great natural wonders of the world. In Vegas, each hotel and casino has a distinctly different theme and all offer wondrous displays. For a different side of Vegas, visit Fremont Street, this historic street features shops, restaurants and the oldest casinos in Vegas.

Standard: Gold Coast Hotel or similar
Budget: Mardi Gras Hotel & Casino or similar

Day 11 - San Diego (333 miles)

Drive away from the glitz of Las Vegas this morning toward the lovely town of San Diego 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.

Standard: Handlery Hotel & Resort or similar
Budget: Comfort Inn San Diego Harbour or similar

OPTIONAL EXPERIENCE – San Diego Old Town Trolley
Come along with San Diego’s best tour conductors as they combine colourful anecdotes, humorous stories and well researched historical information into a fast-moving two-hour narrative that’s both entertaining and educational. Tour at your own pace! Old Town Trolley Tours allow you to get off at any of our convenient stops situated close to all popular attractions, shops and restaurants. When you’re ready, just re-board the Old Town Trolley and it’s on with the tour. See and Visit… Old Town State Park, Seaport Village, Horton Plaza, Hotel Del Coronado, San Diego Zoo, Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego Museum of Art, Natural History Museum, Aerospace Museum, Lindbergh Field, Naval Station San Diego, Balboa Park, El Prado, Heritage Park, Star of India, Whaley House… and much, much more!

Day 12 - Santa Monica (134 miles)

Before you leave San Diego, you may want to visit Old Town San Diego State Historic Park for a taste of history and tradition. Even today, life moves slowest in this part of San Diego, where the hustle and bustle balances with history and fiestas. Visitors are offered a glimpse into yesteryear, as converging cultures transformed San Diego from a Mexican pueblo (small Town) to an American settlement. Continue on when you’re ready to Santa Monica where you will enjoy a two-night stay.

Standard: Wyndham Santa Monica or similar
Budget: Comfort Inn Santa Monica – West Los Angeles or similar

Day 13 - Santa Monica

Both a seaside town and bustling city, Santa Monica has activities for both young and old, from beach games and bike paths to art galleries and nightclubs. Santa Monica’s cultural offerings run the gamut, with over 75 museums and art galleries within the walkable 8.3 square mile city limits. Swimming, surfing, volleyball, skating and biking are among the favourite beach-side pastimes of this area. In the evening, countless dining experiences are available; Santa Monica is the reputed birthplace of ‘California’ and ‘fusion’ cuisine which is marked by an artistic blending of culinary styles and the freshest of organic ingredients. 

Standard: Wyndham Santa Monica or similar
Budget: Comfort Inn Santa Monica – West Los Angeles or similar

Day 14 - Farewell from Santa Monica (12 miles)

Depart Santa Monica at your leisure to drop off your hire car and make your way to the airport for your flight home or onwards to the next destination.

14 day Fly Drive - from £1539

With flights from £1989


  • Add extra nights in San Francisco, Las Vegas, or any location en route
  • Pre-book an Alcatraz Tour
  • Stay in budget accommodation from £1229
  • Choose to fly Economy, Premium, Business or First Class

Budget hotels and motels are still comfortable but come with fewer frills than our standard options.

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Price is per person, based on 2 sharing a double or twin room and includes pre-booked accommodation, air-conditioned car and unlimited mileage. One-way fees charged locally. Hotels specified are subject to availability and may be substituted by one of a similar or higher standard. Itineraries may vary for tours departing from 1st April 2022 onwards.

California Dreaming Map


Enjoy independent touring at its very best. Book our self drives as they are or add extra days in the places you choose. Normally available in both directions.

Your self drive includes:

  • Well planned, easy to follow route
  • Travel guide and maps
  • 13 nights pre-booked hotel accommodation
  • A choice of standard or budget hotels
  • Modern air-conditioned car
  • Unlimited mileage
  • Roadside assistance
  • Car upgrades available upon request

See more self drives in the USA…

See all holidays in California and the West…

For advice or to start planning your holiday

talk to an America Expert on 0333 234 0922