• Day 1

    Outbound international flight to San Diego

    Stay: The US Grant (2 nights)

    Your Stay

    The US Grant, A Luxury Collection Hotel

    In the lively, historic downtown Gaslamp Quarter (an ideal base for city slickers), this meticulously restored national icon weaves its storied legacy into a palace of contemporary-yet-classic luxury.

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  • Day 2

    San Diego

    Taking a half-day guided tour of this Californian city will mean you get to see everything – but we particularly recommend visiting the Gaslamp Quarter: 16 blocks peppered with Victorian-style buildings that now house a variety of shops, galleries and trendy restaurants, as well as some of San Diego’s most popular nightlife venues.

  • Day 3

    San Diego to Los Angeles

    Drive Time: 2 hours, 5 minutes | Distance: 135 miles

    Heading north to LaLa Land, take a side visit to beautiful La Jolla, where classy shopping and sidewalk cafés abound; or if you’re taking the scenic route via Highway 1, the California surf capital of Huntington Beach.

    Stay: Montage Beverly Hills (3 nights)

    Your Stay

    The Maybourne Beverly Hills

    You can’t get much more Hollywood than this – from the gorgeous rooftop pool you have views of the iconic Hollywood sign, while across the street is Rodeo Drive’s shopping.

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  • Day 4

    Los Angeles

    ​Start your day in legendary Beverly Hills, where cars with tinted windows pull up to Chanel and the other super-luxe boutiques dotted along Rodeo Drive. In the afternoon continue east to Hollywood for a stroll along the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a visit to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre (though its official, less-memorable name is now the TCL Chinese Theatre). 

  • Day 5

    Los Angeles

    No trip to LA is complete without a trip to Anaheim to visit the original Disneyland or Universal Studios Hollywood. If you only have time for one though, Universal Studios with its movie-themed rides and back-lot tours is definitely the one we’d pick.​

  • Days 6-7

    Los Angeles to Santa Monica

    Drive Time: 30 minutes | Distance: 9 miles

    Today it’s just a short drive to Santa Monica, with its wide, uncrowded beach, signature pier topped with carnival rides and restaurants, and outstanding shopping at Third Street Promenade and fancy Santa Monica Place shopping centre (also great for rooftop dining with its views over the city and ocean).​

    Stay: Shutters on the Beach (2 nights)

    Your Stay

    Shutters on the Beach

    ‘Spot the A-lister’ is a game everyone can play at Shutters – it’s a favourite haunt of Hollywood’s finest: beautifully-designed in a New England style, cosy, relaxing and super-luxurious.

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  • Day 8

    Santa Monica to Santa Barbara

    Drive Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes | Distance: 84 miles

    Heading north, you’ll drive through Malibu and journey on to one of California’s prettiest cities, the super-romantic Santa Barbara.

    Stay: Belmond El Encanto (2 nights)

    Your Stay

    Belmond El Encanto

    Originally debuting in 1918, this iconic hotel, perched hillside in the exclusive American Riviera neighbourhood of Santa Barbara, instantly became a well-known retreat for creative types wanting a break from LA.

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  • Day 9

    Santa Barbara

    Take it from the movie stars who sneak away to Santa Barbara all the time – or just straight-up move there. Oprah, Brad, Ellen and many more A-listers have estates here – mainly down to the legendary Old World beauty that more than befits the city’s nickname, ‘The American Riviera’.​

  • Day 10

    Santa Barbara to Paso Robles

    Drive Time: 2 hours, 5 minutes | Distance: 127 miles

    Travelling from Santa Barbara to Paso Robles you can be assured that the scenery is simply stunning. The winery-lined backroads are a dream to drive, and if you’re taking the scenic route via Highway 1, stop at Jack Creek Farms on Highway 46, just 12 miles from Paso Robles, for an apple cider slush.​

    Stay: Hotel Cheval (2 nights)

  • Day 11

    Paso Robles

    With over 170 wineries and 40 varieties of wine, Paso Robles is still relatively unknown – even to the locals. In fact, we’d say it’s how Napa used to be: charming and unpretentious, but as California’s fastest-growing wine region, it’s likely to be like Napa in 10 years or so, so to see it at its best, be sure to see it soon. ​

  • Day 12

    Paso Robles to Carmel

    Drive Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes | Distance: 116 miles

    This drive is mainly over farmland, with little in the way of scenery, so we suggest leaving mid-morning, meaning you’ll arrive just in time for a long, languid lunch in the beautiful coastal town of Carmel-by-the-Sea. 

    Stay: Carmel Valley Ranch (2 nights)

    Your Stay

    Carmel Valley Ranch

    This is where California is stripped to its lovely bones. Away from the glitz and the traffic of the gleaming cities, it’s the great outdoors where you’ll find your thrills.

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  • Day 13


    Artsy Carmel-by-the-Sea (locals just call it Carmel) is a town that deftly straddles the balance point of rich history and new wealth. The Carmel Mission is one of the State’s most beautiful, and shady trails fan out from the site into the lush Mission Trail Nature Preserve. Stroll the white sands of Carmel Beach, or explore a mosaic of meadows, wave-battered bluffs, and wind-twisted trees at nearby Point Lobos State Reserve.​

  • Day 14

    Carmel to San Francisco

    Drive Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes | Distance: 140 miles

    Take a detour on your way to San Francisco and visit Santa Cruz – an ultra-mellow beach town with a decidedly split personality - both of which are very cool. First, there’s the family fun of the boardwalk – a yesteryear-style esplanade lined with classic coasters, arcade games, corn dogs and a historic carousel. Then there’s downtown Santa Cruz, where local college students browse for vintage and boho chic goodies, and relaxed restaurants focus on organic, local ingredients.​

    Stay: Fairmont San Francisco (3 nights)

    Your Stay

    Fairmont San Francisco

    It may be a San Francisco mainstay, but the Fairmont remains one step ahead of the rest thanks to unique highlights like the kitschy-but-fabulous Tonga Room and Hurricane Bar and home-harvested honey.

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  • Days 15-16

    San Francisco

    End your trip in one of the world’s great cities. For a novel way to visit “the City by the Bay” park your car and explore by foot, bike, and the unique public transportation. Pedal bikes across the Golden Gate Bridge and back, explore the lush Presidio, or head into Golden Gate Park to visit museums and row across a secret gem, Stow Lake. Continue along the flat Embarcadero to Fisherman’s Wharf and the Exploratorium science and learning museum.​

  • Day 17

    San Francisco to London

    ​Depart San Francisco on your international flight back to London Heathrow Airport.

Speak to someone who has been there

Caroline has been here. Find out more and begin to plan your trip by getting in touch directly. You can speak to Caroline by calling the number below or by sending a direct online enquiry.

01244 567 000

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Or get in touch 01244 567000