California has so much to offer and so much more than you expect. Spanish explorers, gold rush pioneers, aspiring film-stars and tourists have all flocked to the sunshine state and come across such diversity that no other US state can offer.
California is one of the few places where locals can boast that they ski in the morning and can be surfing as well on the same day. From the cosmopoltian cities to the outstanding vineyards from scenic national parks to the world famous theme parks from the Pacific Ocean to the deserts California offers them all.
Whether you are looking for culture, recreation, adventure or entertainment you can find it all in California. Contact us for your own personal family itinerary for the holiday that will be talked about for years to come.
‘At-a-Glance’ Illustrative Itinerary
DAY 1: Arrive in San Francisco and transfer to your hotel by either a pre-booked shared van shuttle service or a taxi that is available from outside the airport terminal.
DAY 2 & 3 : San Francisco, dominated by the Golden Gate Bridge and views of Alcatraz Island, is a city full of surprises, ranked as one of the great cities in the world there are so many things to do. Ride the historic cable cars chugging through the neighbourhoods, explore the waterfront market place of Fisherman's Wharf, walk about China Town and take a Bay Cruise. Please note that you need to book a visit to Alcatraz well in advance.
One of the great family trips out is to cycle over to Sausalito and come back to the city by ferry.
DAY 4: After collecting your hire car from a local pick-up location in the city you will embark on a scenic drive that will take around three to four hours, not accounting for stops along the way to take in the views.
Yosemite's southern entrance take you through some of Yosemite's most iconic sights - Mariposa Grove of the Giant Sequoias, Tunnel View and Glacier Point. As you drive to Yosemite you will discover a region of fun and recreation, food and wine, history and beauty.
DAY 5 & 6: Yosemite National Park is famous for its granite cliffs and waterfalls and outstanding natural attractions are to be found in every vista - have your camera ready!
Explore on a hike of any level either on your own or guided. Enjoy the scenery on horseback or a mule riding tour. Follow the trails to Vernal Fall, Nevada Falls or Bridalveil Falls. See the General Sherman Tree, the largest in the world. Go swimming in the pool at your hotel. Leave the car parked and travel around the park using the free shuttle service.
DAY 7: After a late breakfast pack up the car and exit the park to drive back to the coast at Carmel or Monterey, south of San Francisco that will take around three and half hours. Here you will join the Highway One, that goes all the way to Los Angeles and is regarded as one of the most iconic trips in the world.
The Monterey Peninsular includes Pacific Grove, Carmel by the Sea and the famous Pebble Beach for any budding golfers in the family, as well as Big Sur. The spectacular 23 mile coastal drive south of Carmel provides some of the most stunning scenic oceanfront views as cliffs lead down to expansive beaches and the Pacific Ocean
DAY 8 & 9: Stroll around Monterey's Fisherman's Wharf and Cannery Row and explore the quaint shops. Visit Monterey Aquarium for a truly magnificent window on local marine life and sea otter conservation. A must-do is the iconic 17 mile drive with its 'Lone Cypress' standing proudly on a rocky crag above the ocean and Bird Rock. Walk the trails at Point Lobos State Reserve and take in the amazing scenery and views.
DAY 10: Leave Monterey to the south and drive down the Pacific Coast Highway, known as Highway One, that runs from Carmel to Santa Barbara. Allow yourselves plenty of time to do this as there are many viewing spots along the way. Take a night at San Simeon to break the journey and visit Hearst Castle, a majestic and opulent hilltop mansion.
DAY 11: Today you will continue on down Highway One to Los Angeles but before leaving take sometime in the morning to visit the shoreline and see the sea-lions basking on the rocks. Boardwalks and viewing areas make this an easy and fun activity for the children. Stop in Santa Barbara on the way through for some lunch.
Continue onto Los Angeles, the City of Angels.
DAY 12 - 14: Days at leisure. You can take a many as you like, given there is so much to do. Take a walk up the famous Hollywood Boulevard, viewing all the celebrity stars on the ground. Visit Griffith Park and Observatory, the best place for seeing the iconic Hollywood sign. Enjoy a bike ride along the famous beach and bike trail. Go behind the scenes at Universal Studios and discover how movies are made using real sets. Enjoy the world famous theme parks for a fabulous day out where everyone can be a kid again.
DAY 15: Start early to make our way down to San Diego, about two and half hours so that on arrival you can immediately enjoy your final destination, California's second largest city renowned for its idyllic climate, pristine beaches and top attractions - so much to do for children, finding the time will be difficult!
On arrival visit the USS Midway Museum and real navy aircraft carrier. With numerous exhibits and activities, including a flight simulator, this is an outing for the whole family.
DAY 16 & 17: San Diego has so much to discover and a range of activities suited to all ages. Spend the day at Sea World; visit the historical Old Town and have lunch in a Mexican restaurant; stroll around the world-famous San Diego Zoo and then explore the delightful Balboa Park; take a trolley tour from Old Town to the Gaslamp District or take your final days on the beautiful Coronado Beach, famous for its white sands and unique character.
DAY 18: Drive to San Diego for your international flight home.