AmeriCan & Worldwide Travel

01892 779900

California Dreamin’

Want to sit on the dock of the bay, wiggle your toes in the sand, be bronzed by the sun and sip a cool drink while watching a spectacular sunset? Experience the glamour and glitz of Hollywood and Sunset Boulevard? Welcome to Southern California, where visitors have been chasing dreams since Juan Cabrillo arrived in 1542. The water is blue, the sun is out, the gardens are lush and – unlike the experience of the early explorers, your accommodations are unique and luxurious. Get ready for a journey that lets you laze your way through Southern California, while staying in the best and finest along the way. Contrast the tropical environment of Coronado Island with the desert of Ojai and coastal La Jolla with desert Palm Springs. Treat yourself to the spa, luscious dinners, plenty of surf and sand and everything in between. Enjoy - surf's up, sun's out, life's flowing!

PLEASE NOTE: If this particular tour is too short for you or alternatively, you have other stops in mind we can tailor a different length holiday or route to suit your requirements. Please call one of our friendly and experienced consultants on (01892) 779900 for more advice or email us with your itinerary and we will be happy to assist in helping to plan your trip.

Not looking to drive so far? Why not let us suggest some alternative interesting routes with less mileage?  There are NO One Way drop fees on car hire in California so you really can start and end your tour just about anywhere!

 

 

Itinerary

1

Los Angeles/Santa Monica

15 miles

Most visitors arriving in LA stay somewhere in the city their first evening. We think instead of doing that, you should go straight up to Santa Monica and start relaxing on the beach where Cabrillo began his California journey. You can pretty much count on sun, since the area enjoys 340 days of sunshine a year and a constant gentle ocean breeze. You can count on pristine, as the city of Santa Monica cleans and rakes the sand daily. Have a cool drink and hit the boardwalk. Tomorrow's plenty of time for exploring.

Attractions in Los Angeles abound! Driving to get to them in Los Angeles is a way of life – and a glamorous one at that. So roll down the windows and head out on one of the fabulous scenic drives around the city. Cruise the Sunset Strip; check out the entertainment hot spots on Hollywood Boulevard, or journey through the city's historic, cultural and architectural roots along Wilshire Boulevard. Los Angeles is a city of suburbs that includes Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and Anaheim, stretching east into the California desert. Enjoy classic boardwalk fun on the historic Santa Monica Pier, visit "the Mouse" at Disneyland, window shop on Rodeo Drive, and take in any number of LA's fabulous museums and attractions. The view from the Getty Center, sitting high above the city, is as spectacular as the art collection inside.

4

Laguna Beach

62 miles

If you thought the beach at Santa Monica was grand, you're going to love Laguna Beach. At seven miles long, there is twice as much bright white sand. Home to mansions and quaint cottages lining the bluffs above sandy coves, visitors have flocked to Laguna Beach has enticed visitors for over 100 years to paint, scuba dive and enjoy the natural beauty. An unknown actor, Harrison Ford, appeared on stage at the Laguna Playhouse in 1965.

Besides the beach, mostly the town itself is the main attraction. Now well known as an artist's colony, the Downtown Village has more than 100 art galleries and plays host to several major art shows every summer. Elsewhere in the village, gracious tree-lined streets are lined with quaint shops, sidewalk cafes, chatty pubs and espresso bars. Bluff top walkways and a tram system create a wonderful pedestrian scale environment unlike any other in Southern California.

5

La Jolla/San Diego

73 miles

More great beaches and seacoast await further down the coast, this time set against a dramatic seacoast town that began as a pottery works. Having discovered the perfect clay deposit, a family of potters established the first artist's workshop producing handmade tiles and pottery. That shop has grown into a wildly successful arts festival, world class boutiques and other great art locations. The main beach attractions are enhanced by the Birch Aquarium, Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the Scripps Research Pier. Try one of the seasonally scheduled Full Moon Pier Walks that explore the nocturnal habits of marine life. The Movie Ride takes you through a computer generated marine life visual adventure complete with surround-sound. Try Black's Beach for a long walk and Torrey Pines State Beach for beautiful sandstone cliffs.

A "suburb" of La Jolla, San Diego is a must see. The main attraction, Balboa Park, was originally built for the World's Fair. Purchase a Passport to Balboa Park for admission to the San Diego Zoo and thirteen additional attractions including the Japanese Friendship Garden, Mingei International Museum, Museum of Photographic Arts, Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, San Diego Air and Space Museum, SDAI Museum of the Living Artist, San Diego Automotive Museum, Museum of San Diego History, San Diego Model Railroad Museum, San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego Museum of Man, San Diego Natural History Museum, and the San Diego Hall of Champions. Whew!

You'll also want to visit Old Town, where a fully narrated sightseeing trolley tour makes ten stops along the way. If you want to see more of San Diego, we suggest following the Sea Gull signs along the 59-Mile Scenic Drive. The drive is beautiful and provides a great introduction to the area as a whole.

It can be driven in about three hours - but only if you don't make many stops! The scenic drive is marked by blue and yellow signs, illustrated with a white seagull, posted every quarter-mile along the route. At the end of the drive, we suggest visiting the Gaslamp Quarter for dinner and a stroll.

8

Coronado

19 miles

One of the world's most distinctive bridges takes you to Coronado Island, so close, yet so far away. Everything in Coronado is small scale, except "The Del." The mile long Main Street was recently given the "Great American Main Street" award. Tree-lined side streets are lined with historically preserved architecture ranging from Victorians to haciendas. In contrast, the Hotel Del Coronado is a massive Victorian masterpiece built in 1888 and the only beachfront property on the island. Dinner there is a must and tours of the property are available. A 90 minute walking tour of Coronado departs from the Glorietta Bay Inn while a Coronado Heritage Tour departs from the lobby of the Museum of History and Art. The Gondola Company Tour cruises through canals and waterways of the Coronado Cays in Venetian style, guided by a gondolier. If you have your passport handy, Coronado is only 15 minutes from Mexico.

9

Palm Springs

147 miles

Palm Springs is a true oasis in the California desert. For a great view of the city, ride the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. The rotating cars offer a breathtakingly journey to the mountaintop. Once on top, there are many miles of hiking trails, including a one mile nature walk through picturesque Long Valley, located just behind the Tram's Mountain Station. And of course, visit the Palm "Springs."

Joshua Tree National Park, an immense reserve of 800,000 acres is a must see in Palm Springs. Until you understand the special nature of the geography, the Park can seem unwelcoming, even brutal during the heat. Yet, in fact, it is delicate and extremely fragile. The land forms are shaped by strong winds, sudden torrents of rain, and climatic extremes. Rainfall is sparse and unpredictable. Streambeds are usually dry and waterholes few.

11

Ojai

192 miles

Ojai village starred as Shangri-La in the 1939 film The Lost Horizon, so you know it must be good! The town is surrounded by peaks that give off a glow in the evening light known as "the pink moment." There's only really one place to stay here, the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa, which recently received a $90 million facelift. A full slate of activities such as golf, tennis and hiking mean you can be as active as you like. 24 hiking paths criss-cross the Ojai Valley and the Shelf Road Trail offers dramatic valley views. Or, just kick back and enjoy the beautiful resort and the quaint historic town that surrounds it.

12

Santa Barbara

42 miles

Known as "The American Riviera," the beautiful coastal town of Santa Barbara, nestled against the Santa Inez Mountains, has the sophistication of a city with the feel of a small community. Its fascinating history includes its founding by the famous Jesuit priest Father Junipero Serro in 1782 as one of a series of missions along the California coast. The Mission has been a working church since 1794 and is well worth a visit. The earthquake of 1925 forced a stricter building code that resulted in the lovely Spanish-Moorish architecture that draws visitors to downtown Santa Barbara today. Shopping becomes a sensory experience as you meander down cobbled streets and paseos into fragrant courtyards lined with unique boutiques and galleries. Complete your visit by basking in the Southern California sun on East Beach, one of the best beaches in the country, or touring Santa Barbara's wine country, made famous in the movie Sideways.

15

Los Angeles

95 miles

Back in LA, catch a glimpse of anything you missed at the beginning of the trip before heading home, relaxed and refreshed from a week and a half of California Dreamin.'

What's included?

  • Direct return flights from London(Please ask about other departure airports)
  • 14 nights hotel accommodation and room tax
  • Fully insured compact car hire
  • A detailed travel pack containing driving instructions and maps

How to book

Daily Departures Year Round 

Our low season standard hotel price starts from £1359.00 per person based on 2 people sharing a room (Supplements or reductions for other room types available on request).

We can also offer this itinerary in a wide range of other accommodation types, including superior hotels, character properties and small inns.

Please call us on (01892) 779900 or email info@awwt.co.uk stating your travel dates, and preferred standard of accommodation for a detailed & competitively priced quotation.