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California Coast and Las Vegas

California Golden Coast and Las Vegas

California Golden Coast and Las Vegas

2019 from £1,935pp
14 night fly drive includes flights, car and superior hotels.
2020 ‘Early Bird’ prices from £1999 

Available for travel anytime of year, this fly drive tour is designed with sunshine in mind! In Santa Barbara they have over 300 days of sunshine a year. Enjoy San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas with the option for a Grand Canyon flight.

Travel period 2019 & 2020: Year round

Day 1 Arrive San Francisco

Non-stop flights from the UK, with free or discounted add-on flights from regional airports. The journey time from London is 11 hours.

On arrival we recommend that you do not collect your car as you will be tired and will only pay high fees to park the vehicle during your 3 days in the city. Either take a convenient metred cab from the airport terminal or we can arrange a shuttle transfer for you for a small fee. If you do prefer to collect your vehicle upon arrival into San Francisco, this can be done for an additional cost.

Hotel – Hotel Zetta San Francisco


Day 2 San Francisco

Morning

This morning we suggest you take a city tour – especially if this is your first time to this fabulous city as it will allow you to get your bearings.

Afternoon

Enjoy a quick 10-minute ferry ride to the centre of the San Francisco harbour to the infamous former prison island – Alcatraz. The visit includes a taped tour of the prison (once home to such famous criminals as gangster Al Capone and Machine Gun Kelly”). Note: We strongly suggest that you pre-book this very popular Alcatraz tour which in our opinion is not to be missed – let us know at time of booking. Do book early to avoid disappointment!

Evening

Seafood dinner at one of many restaurants along the waterfront or at one of the trendy restaurants in the SoMa (South of Market) area! After dinner, enjoy a musical show, an American Conservatory Theatre performance or a comedy club, and a nightcap in one of the many rooftop cocktail lounges.

Hotel – Hotel Zetta San Francisco


Day 3 San Francisco

Morning

Take a tour to Muir Woods, a forest of giant California redwood trees – some of the biggest trees in the world. On the way back, stop for lunch and shopping in the beautiful little town of Sausalito. Return to San Francisco by ferry or by bus; or take a walking tour of Chinatown with a dim sum lunch.

Afternoon

Free afternoon to shop! Explore Union Square’s department stores, small boutiques and art galleries; visit the neighbourhood shopping areas South of Market or Union Street; take a five-minute walk from downtown to the Embarcadero Centre, a three-level, four-building complex of 150 shops. Shop at the many complexes in the Fisherman’s Wharf area such as PIER 39, Ghirardelli Square and The Cannery and enjoy the musicians and street performers. Take a jeep tour of the area, or rent a bike and ride across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito and ferry back to San Francisco.

Evening

San Francisco has over 3,000 restaurants! Take your choice: For instance, an authentic Chinese banquet in Chinatown – the largest Asian settlement outside of mainland China, an elaborate Korean barbecue or an Italian feast in The City’s Italian section, called “North Beach” or how about a dinner cruise on San Francisco Bay. Enjoy dinner and dancing to a live band as you cruise past The City’s famous skyline at sunset.

PLEASE NOTE:

San Francisco is one of our favourite cities in the whole of North America and we would not recommend you spending any less than 3 nights in the city if this is your first visit. None of the tours or attractions mentioned in our suggested itinerary are included in your tour price, however, we would be very happy to make these arrangements on your behalf (subject to availability). In particular, as we have mentioned above, your visit to Alcatraz – as the ferry to the island can often be booked up days, or even weeks, in advance during the height of the season.

There are numerous festivals going on throughout the year in San Francisco, art, film and dance festivals and this is in addition to a packed sport scene, which includes the world famous San Francisco 49’ers. We are happy to help our customers with purchasing tickets and advising on events taking place during your stay, please ask for details.

Hotel – Hotel Zetta San Francisco


Day 4 San Francisco – Monterey
100 miles

We suggest returning to the airport to collect your rental vehicle. There is a greater choice of cars and the number of rental agents reduces the chance of long waiting lines. You will be heading south once you have your car anyway, so this makes sense.

Monterey is a 2-hour drive from San Francisco, so we suggest with so much to see and do in the Monterey / Carmel area that you head straight there.

Before heading int Monterey or Carmel, why not take the famous 17-Mile Drive at Pebble Beach where some of the most iconic California coastline pictures where taken. The cost is $10-$11, enter the gates and follow the red-dotted line to arrive at an enchanting world full of dramatic coastal cliffs, snow-white beaches, mystical forests and iconic golf courses. Discover one of the most scenic drives in the world as you meet the inspiring Lone Cypress, ponder the giant trees at Crocker Grove, digest the untouched beauty at Fanshell Beach, behold the power of the Restless Sea at Point Joe, stroll the boardwalk above the beach at Spanish Bay, and much, much more.

Our choice of hotel puts you right in the centre of quaint Monterey, so this afternoon would be perfect to park the car door the bags at the hotel and explore Monterey on foot. You are only blocks away from scenic Monterey Bay, historic Cannery Row, Old Fisherman’s Wharf, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Get to know the peninsula and explore its local eateries, scenic coastal trails, and unique shops.

Hotel – Wave Street Inn


Day 5 Monterey

A full day to explore the Monterey Peninsula, Pacific Grove and Carmel area. Enjoy exciting Bay adventures like whale-watching and kayaking.

A visit to the world-renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium is a must, it’s psychedelic jellies and bat-ray petting tanks amongst a whole host of species coupled with its story of the seas outside and the impressive conservation work, make it a real experience for families and couples alike. Step outside and find yourself among hotels, shops, and restaurants filling former fish-packing plants along Cannery Row, made famous by local author John Steinbeck. Rent bikes to follow the coast south around the peninsula to Pacific Grove, Asilomar State Beach, and the sea-and-spray beauty (and gazillion-dollar homes and celebrated Pebble Beach golf courses) along the 17-Mile Drive.

On Monterey Peninsula’s south side, explore artsy Carmel-by-the-Sea (locals just call it Carmel), 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 lush Mission Trail Nature Preserve. Stroll the white sands of dog-friendly Carmel Beach, or explore a mosaic of meadows, wave-battered bluffs, and wind-twisted trees at nearby Point Lobos State Reserve. Venture into Carmel Valley for bright sun if (when) the foghorn starts blowing. Then come back to Carmel’s main village, with gallery-lined streets, cosy gastropubs, and even cosier inns.

Hotel – Wave Street Inn


Day 6 Monterey – San Simeon
94 miles

Start at sunrise for an opportunity to travel the famous and spectacular Highway 1 winding through countless state parks and picturesque small towns south along the California coast. Though the route looks short we suggest an early start to accommodate the curvy roads and multiple stops, however we have purposefully designed the itinerary so that you do not have a long distance to cover today. Leaving Monterey, the stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway leading through Big Sur is one of the most famous roads in America, carved into cliffs where 1000-meter-high redwood covered mountains plunge down into the sea. Continue south to San Simeon, where you have the option to visit Hearst Castle and view the Elephant Seals that can be seen on the beaches just north of San Simeon. Peak season for the seals is December to March but you are pretty much guaranteed to see some on the beaches year round – it is a unique sight! Continue Along

Hotel – Cavalier Inn


Day 7 – San Simeon – Santa Barbara
135 miles

If you did not have time yesterday you can head up to Hearst Castle this morning if you wish, it’s right on the doorstep of your oceanfront Inn, it’s worth going for the hilltop view if nothing else!

Once you are done continue along the Pacific Coast Highway, gradually the scenery changes as you start to experience more of the dry heat of Southern California. San Luis Obispo, Morro Bay, Pismo Beach are all worth lunch or coffee stops before you reach Solvang.

The city was founded in 1911 by Danish immigrants who wanted to create their own colony. A Danish speaking school was built three years later and their idea of creating a mini-Denmark went a step further in the 1940s when one of the town’s developers built his home in the style of his homeland. The Danish Village concept grew and, now, much of the city looks as though it’s been picked up from cold Copenhagen and dropped into sunny California. There is a great atmosphere in Solvang and whilst it does feel like something straight out of Disneyworld its quite unique and worth a stop.

Worth noting that if you are interested in wine this area is awash with wineries you can visit.

Re-join the coastal road and head for Santa Barbara, known as the American Riviera, where golden hillsides cascade into seas and the red tile roofs give way to abundantly sunny skies.

Hotel – Best Western Plus Peppertree Inn


Day 8 Santa Barbara

Take the day to explore. Conde Nast Traveler magazine’s 2018 Reader’s Choice Awards placed Santa Barbara on the list of “Best Small Cities in the U.S.” so you are in for a great day whatever you decided to do, especially given they enjoy over 300 days a year of sunshine.

Renting a bike in Santa Barbara is great fun. Cruising along the boardwalk at the beach, riding along State Street and down some of the ever so quaint side streets is a wonderful way to spend a morning.

Take some time to explore the Pier too where Pelicans take the place of the ice cream pinching seagulls found in our British seaside resorts. There are lovely places to eat on the pier and when you are done explore State street with its vast array of shops and restaurants.

Once again for those interested in California wine this region is great for a visit to a winery with over 200 in the area, made famous by the 2004 film Sideways which celebrated the regions signature wine, the Pinot Noir

Hotel – Best Western Plus Peppertree Inn


Day 9 – Santa Barbara – Los Angeles
100 miles

As you head toward Los Angeles you’ll pass Camarillo about 40 miles south of Santa Barbara. If you haven’t finished your shopping the Camarillo Premium Outlets mall featured over 160 stored with many famous brands. A fun and scenic way to enter Los Angeles is from Highway 1 through Malibu Beach and Santa Monica where you’ll quickly understand why these beaches are so popular!

Greater Los Angeles is enormous, towns within a city so it is important to understand what your interests are with Los Angeles and we can suggest where to stay that is close, For the purpose of this itinerary we have chosen The Portofino Hotel & Marina, giving you a nice view across the water and evenly about 45 minutes’ drive from places like Hollywood or Disneyland.

Hotel – The Portofino Hotel & Marina, Redondo Beach.


Day 10 – Los Angeles

Los Angeles is really a jumble of many towns – 95 municipalities in fact, with as many unique personalities. Today there are many sightseeing opportunities including Hollywood with famous Grauman’s Theatre home to the famous hand and foot prints of the stars. From Grauman’s Theatre you can easily book a sightseeing tour of movie star homes with a lively and informative guide who’ll point out the famous homes and where the stars may be seen around town! Or you can visit Universal Studios for a behind the scenes look at movie making.

Perhaps in the afternoon if you have time visit the original ‘farmers market’. The Farmers Market is an area of food stalls, sit-down eateries, prepared food vendors, and produce markets. First opened in July 1934, it is also a historic Los Angeles landmark and I’d highly recommend stopping here for lunch or a snack. Thanks to LA’s ethnic diversity you can taste food from all over the world here.

Hotel – The Portofino Hotel & Marina, Redondo Beach.


Day 11 – Los Angeles

So many things to see and do and so little time.. but here are just a few ideas for your 2nd day in Los Angeles.

The Miracle Mile is a stretch on Wilshire Blvd, home to four major Los Angeles museums: LA County Museum of Art, La Brea Tar Pits (Page Museum), Craft and Folk Art Museum, and Petersen’s Auto Museum. Add a bit of culture to your L.A. visit by stopping at the Miracle Mile.

The J. Paul Getty Museum, commonly referred to as The Getty, is an art museum housed on two campuses: the Getty Center and the Getty Villa. The Getty Center is in the Brentwood neighbourhood of Los Angeles and is the primary location of the museum. The collection features Western art from the Middle Ages to the present. Its estimated 1.3 million visitors annually make it one of the most visited museums in the United States. The museum’s second location, the Getty Villa, is in the Pacific Palisades neighbourhood and displays art from ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria.

Griffith Park is a large municipal park. It has been referred to as the Central Park of Los Angeles but is much larger, more untamed, and rugged than its New York City counterpart. It holds the Griffiths Observatory where visitors can look through telescopes, explore exhibits, see live shows in the Samuel Oschin Planetarium, and enjoy spectacular views of Los Angeles and the Hollywood Sign.

Venice Beach and it’s famous boardwalk is well known around the world for its funky and offbeat vibe. This 2.5 kilometre boardwalk has a bike path, skateboard ramps, restaurants, sunglasses, and plenty of tourists. Venice beach is famous for muscle beach, where body builders strut and invariably get mentioned in LA guides… On the west side of the “walk” are hundreds of street vendors and performers. You can see everything from break-dancing to broken glass walking. The Westside offers unique arts and crafts and on the Eastside you find the store fronts of the boardwalk. Here you will find every sort of t-shirt under the sun plus tattoo and piercing stores, skate and surf shops, medical marijuana dispensaries and more. This is all in addition to the large selection of restaurants, juice spots and bars.

Hotel – The Portofino Hotel & Marina, Redondo Beach.


Day 12 – Los Angeles – Las Vegas
284 miles

Start early today, head East across Los Angeles picking up Interstate 15 which will take you into the desert and all the way to the bright lights of Las Vegas. Long but straightforward drive that will take around 4.5 hours.

If you have time and just before you reach Las Vegas, take a detour East to the impressive Hoover Dam.

You will be treated to views of the largest man-made reservoir in the United States, Lake Mead. Formed from the Colorado River by the construction of Hoover Dam.  Take a tour inside Hoover Dam where you will see and learn about the massive electric producing generators. Learn about the incredible effort that was required to construct this massive concrete structure and its significance to this area of the United States.

Explore the Visitors Center, the museum, and view a short film on the dam’s construction. After, stroll along the observation deck across from the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, an engineering marvel in its own right. Take advantage of the amazing photo opportunities that abound at this modern American landmark. You’ll even have the unique opportunity to stand with one foot in Nevada and the other in Arizona. Once your time at the dam has come to an end, head for the world famous Las Vegas Strip.

Hotel – Vdara Hotel & Spa


Day 13 – Las Vegas

Suggested Activities:

A full day to enjoy the sights and attractions of this most exciting city.

During you day be sure to catch the Volcano Fountain eruption every 15 minutes, the fountain show on the lake at Bellagio, also every 15 minutes, take a gondola ride at the Venetian, take a ride up to the observation deck on the Eiffel Tower at the Paris Hotel, take the Big Shot ride atop the Stratosphere Tower, Bungy jump at Circus Circus Hotel, visit the amazing Fremont Street experience, or if shopping is important to you there are two Premium Outlet Stores within 3 miles of the strip – both offer amazing prices for the latest designer brands.

As your day nears an end choose from the endless choices of places to eat before finishing the night off at one of the world class shows that entertain nightly across the city that never sleeps.

Hotel – Vdara Hotel & Spa


Day 14 – Las Vegas

Today is you last day, so why not finish in style with a flight to see one of the seven wonders of the natural world, the Grand Canyon.

We have a variety of options with both helicopter and fixed wing flights. This can be arranged with hotel pick-up and return options and coach transportation from the Grand Canyon airport to the rim leaving the day for you to walk and explore the various look-out points. Alternatively, there are options to just fly over the Grand Canyon without landing. Prices for fixed wind aeroplane flights with the day at the South Rim start from £309 per person.

If you prefer to spend more time in Las Vegas here are a few options you might like to consider.

The Mob Museum
Within the safe confines of Downtown’s Mob Museum, of course. Set in a former courthouse that hosted part of the Kefauver Hearings, this brilliant museum chronicles organized crime around the globe and in Las Vegas—where the Mob really used to run the joint—as well as law enforcement’s efforts to combat it. Exhibits include a vintage electric chair and a piece of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre wall. A multimillion-dollar renovation will add a hands-on crime lab and firearm training experience in 2018.

Caesars Palace
With one foot in the past and one in the future, the 50-year-old Caesars Palace remains an icon of Sin City decadence. Caesars is one of the last old-school properties remaining, and few Las Vegas casinos can match it in atmosphere. But before you hit the table games, poker room or baccarat pit, mug up on the subject. The Gamblers General Store in Downtown Vegas has a library of “how to” gaming books as well as gifts. If poker’s your game, head to the Bellagio, where you might see some of the world’s top players in action, or Downtown’s legendary Golden Nugget, where you can match your skills with anonymous, grizzled veterans who look like they.

Surely your last evening should be topped off with a Las Vegas show. Acrobats, divas, magicians, jokesters, showgirls and puppets. There are so many shows in Las Vegas that you can’t possibly take them all in, but there’s not a doubt you will find something that will blow you away.

Hotel – Vdara Hotel & Spa


Day 15 – Departure Las Vegas

Today you return your rental ca to the airport for your flight home. Non-stop flights do not leave until the evening so you have most of the day to do as you please in the Las Vegas area.

Map

Itinerary Summary

Location Nights
San Francisco 3
Monterey 2
San Simeon 1
Santa Barbara 2
Los Angeles 3
Las Vegas 3

Pricing – from £1,935pp

Based on low season travel for 2 people

Factors affecting price:
Availability – early booking, best prices
Seasonal variations
Weekend travel/hotel stays
Special events/conferences
Varying available room types

For all of the above reasons, please speak to our experienced team who can offer relevant advice on seasonal variations and create a personalised itinerary and costing for your specific dates.

Offers

Free GPS On Car Rental

Enjoy free GPS on your California & Las Vegas fly drive. Other operators will charge hundreds of dollars for GPS – with Complete North America you pay nothing!

British Airways Seat Sale

Call now for further discounts of up to £100 when seat sale fares are available.

Flight Upgrades

Reduced premium cabin travel available.

Prices from
Premium/World Traveller Plus: £249 each way
Business/Club Class: £1,249 each way

Call us on 01159 610590 for availability and details.

Why Book With C.N.A?

  • No one-way car rental drop off fee.
  • All holidays ATOL protected.
  • Tailored itinerary to suit you.
  • Choice of airlines & departure points.
  • Deals on flight upgrades.
  • Low booking deposit.
  • Detailed & personalised travel pack – your personally prepared ring-bound travel itinerary booklet is prepared individually.

Complete North America documents

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There is no substitute for first hand experience and David has visited California several times.

Call today to discuss your California holiday plans: 0115 9610593


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