Bixby Creek Bridge on Pacific Coast Highway, California
Lombard Street, San Francisco, California
Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
Yosemite National Park
Las Vegas, Nevada
Santa Monica Pier, California
Hollywood, Los Angeles

California Horizons

9 day Self Drive - from £945

With flights from £1415

Explore the scenic Pacific Coast of California on an adventurous self drive where you’ll discover San Francisco, Yosemite National Park, Las Vegas, and L.A.


  • Travel along the spectacular Pacific Coast of California
  • Meander through awe-inspiring Yosemite National Park
  • Wonder at the bright lights of Las Vegas
  • Explore the ‘City by the Bay’ San Francisco
  • Discover the sights and sounds of glamorous Los Angeles and Beverly Hills
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Your Itinerary

Day 1 - Welcome to Los Angeles

Collect your car at Los Angeles Airport and make your way into the city of Angels. Take a stroll along the Hollywood Walk of Fame, visit Mann’s Chinese Theatre or take a drive through Beverly Hills to gaze upon the exclusive homes in the most famous neighbourhood in the United States. Your California adventure starts right now!

Standard: Embassy Suites LAX South or similar
Budget: Best Western Plus South Bay or similar

Day 2 - Santa Maria (160 miles)

Enjoy views of the beautiful Pacific Coast as you drive north towards the gem that is Santa Barbara. Stop here for pristine beaches, a stroll through the Botanic Gardens or to hike a scenic nature trail in Los Padres National Forest. Look out for the fresh seafood found in the many restaurants on Stearn’s Wharf, it’s to die for. Carry on up the road to spend the night in the beachfront community of Santa Maria.

Standard: Radisson Hotel Santa Maria or similar
Budget: Historic Santa Maria Inn or similar

Day 3 - San Francisco (293 miles)

Depart Santa Maria this morning for the luxurious drive further up the Pacific Coast towards Monterey. After being swept away by the stunning Pacific coast views, spend the afternoon enjoying this artisan city. Before you leave, consider taking the famously scenic 17-Mile drive up the coast stopping at renowned Pebble Beach on the way. At some point, you’ll have to pull yourself away from this natural beauty, but don’t worry, the next stop is equally as good, it’s the ‘City by the Bay’, San Francisco.

Standard: Carlton Hotel or similar
Budget: Cova Hotel or similar

Day 4 - San Francisco

Enjoy touring the city by cable car, visit the dramatic curves of Lombard Street and seek out the best views of Alcatraz and The Golden Gate Bridge, or for a change of pace, consider a visit to Muir Woods National Monument. In the evening make your way to Chinatown to explore its bustling streets, exotic ingredients and to try the wonderful native food.

Standard: Carlton Hotel or similar
Budget: Cova Hotel or similar

OPTIONAL EXPERIENCE – Alcatraz Cruise and Tour
Alcatraz and history go hand in hand. Once home to some of America’s most notorious criminals, the federal penitentiary that operated here from 1934 to 1963 brought a dark mystique to the Rock. The presence of infamous inmates like Al ‘Scarface’ Capone and the ‘Birdman’ Robert Stroud helped to establish the island’s notoriety. To this day, Alcatraz is best known as one of the world’s most legendary prisons. Many people, though, are unaware of the wealth of other stories to be learned on the island. Alcatraz is now home to rare flowers and plants, marine wildlife, and thousands of roosting and nesting seabirds.

Day 5 - Fresno (274 miles)

Leaving the city life behind, 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. Photo opportunities are 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.

Standard: Best Western Village Inn or similar
Budget: Best Western Plus Town & Country or similar

OPTIONAL EXPERIENCE – 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 6 - Las Vegas (395 miles)

From the outrageous live shows to the excitement of casinos, it’s time to visit the city that never sleeps, next stop, Vegas! Stroll down ‘the strip’ to visit the famous Caesars Palace, MGM Grand and The Venetian, and make sure you get a good spot outside the Bellagio to watch the majestic fountains dance.

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

Day 7 - Los Angeles (271 miles)

Swap the bright lights of Las Vegas for the glitz and glamour of Los Angeles. Drive back towards the coast to visit the city of Angels. Take a behind the scenes look at movie making at visit Universal Studios, visit Santa Monica Pier or make your way to the Griffith Observatory for a panoramic view of the Hollywood Hills and the famous Hollywood sign.

Standard: Hollywood Hotel or similar
Budget: Dunes Inn Sunset or similar

Day 8 - Los Angeles

Spend some more time exploring the sights and sounds of L.A, 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 to get a glimpse at the most famous neighbourhood in the United States.

Standard: Hollywood Hotel or similar
Budget: Dunes Inn Sunset or similar

Day 9 - Farewell from Los Angeles (21 miles)

Choose to stay longer in L.A. by adding a city stay or depart at leisure and return the car to Los Angeles Airport for your flight home or onward to your next destination.

9 day Self Drive - from £945

With flights from £1415


  • Add extra nights in San Francisco, Las Vegas, L.A. or any location en route
  • Pre-book a Movie Stars Homes Tour or Alcatraz Tour
  • Stay in budget accommodation from £695
  • 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 Horizons 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
  • 8 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 holidays in the USA…

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For advice or to start planning your holiday

talk to an America Expert on 0333 234 0922