08 April 2020
If you dream of one day experiencing California and seeing all that the amazing state has to offer, there’s no better way than to take to the road for an unforgettable road trip.
From the hustle and bustle of LA to the phenomenal natural wonder of Yosemite national park, this itinerary will show you the best of the west at any time of year.
Touch down at Los Angeles International Airport and make your way to your hotel.
Today pick up your wheels and head south to Anaheim, Orange County’s headquarters for fun. Spend the day at the iconic Disneyland Resort; visit the nation’s oldest theme park, Knott’s Berry Farm; or one of Anaheim’s many other fun-filled attractions before continuing east to Greater Palm Springs. This ultimate desert playground nestled at the base of the majestic San Jacinto Mountains offers the perfect blend of outdoor entertainment and casual relaxation.
Suggested hotel - Best Western Sunset Plaza (LA)
- Palm Mountain Resort (Palm Springs)
DRIVING DISTANCE: 147 miles
Spend the morning walking along palm tree lined streets, or exploring countless shops, art galleries and museums before setting out east through the Coachella Valley to Phoenix and Scottsdale. With Phoenix’s skyscraper-filled skyline set against the backdrop of Camelback Mountain and Scottsdale’s Old West charm, you’re guaranteed to enjoy this uniquely Southwestern playground.
Suggested hotel - The Scott Resort & Spa
DRIVING DISTANCE: 267 miles
Head north to Grand Canyon National Park, a natural wonder that you simply have to see to believe. Stop at one of the numerous overlooks, walk part of the Rim Trail or along the historic Hermit Road, visit a Photo Hot Spot, or climb to the top of a stone Watchtower for panoramic views that extend over 100 miles on clear days.
Suggested hotel - Grand Canyon Plaza
DRIVING DISTANCE: 230 miles
Leave the grandeur of the Canyon behind as you head west to Hoover Dam. Considered the largest single public works project in the history of the U.S., Hoover Dam straddles the mighty Colorado River. Continue to Las Vegas, Nevada, a city that needs no introduction.
DRIVING DISTANCE: 276 miles
Suggested hotel - The Bellagio
Enjoy a full day Las Vegas style. Walk the famous Strip, place a bet at one of the many casinos, dine at world-class restaurants, catch the latest must-see show, shop designer boutiques, ride a roller coaster… the list goes on.
This morning capture a photograph at the Welcome to Las Vegas sign before your journey takes you west to, Death Valley National Park. Here, the Mojave is at its most magnificent in this rugged, severe, sublime section of California. Enhance your desert experience with a stop at Zabriskie Point offering spectacular views of the wildly eroded and vibrantly coloured badlands. Don’t miss the opportunity this evening for some of the best stargazing in the world.
Suggested hotel - The Inn at Death Valley
DRIVING DISTANCE: 139 miles
Travel north into the High Sierra where Tioga Pass, the highest drivable road in California, leads you into Yosemite National Park. Best known for its impressive waterfalls, grand meadows, and spectacular rock formations, Yosemite was one of the first wilderness parks in the United States. Delve into the depths of the park with a hike to a waterfall or learn about the wonders of the park during a ranger-guided stroll. Explore a giant sequoia grove and meet the largest trees on earth or spend an evening under the stars.
DRIVING DISTANCE: 326 miles
Suggested hotel - Yosemite View Lodge
Leave the wonder of Yosemite behind as you journey west through Gold Rush-era attractions, California’s State Capitol, Sacramento, and on to Napa Valley. The world-renowned wine region is an excellent place to indulge in delicious food and sample exquisite wines in the bucolic setting of rolling hills and unending vineyards.
DRIVING DISTANCE: 195 miles
Suggested hotel - The Westin Verasa Napa
Today you're off to San Francisco. Considered one of the greatest cities in the world, San Francisco offers one-of-a-kind sights and experiences to suit your every need.
Spend a full day exploring the beloved neighbourhoods of the City by the Bay including: Fisherman’s Wharf, Chinatown, Union Square, Nob Hill, the Embarcadero/ Financial District, and Golden Gate Park. For a truly unique experience, walk along the railings of the Golden Gate Bridge or take a ride on an iconic Cable Car.
DRIVING DISTANCE: 69 miles
Suggested hotel - The Handley Union Square
This morning head south to Monterey along Highway 1 through stunning Santa Cruz County and take in breathtaking views of the Pacific coastline. Experience the sights, sounds and smells of Monterey at Old Fisherman’s Wharf downtown and explore Cannery Row’s historic waterfront district. Visit the quaint town of Carmel, and enjoy an exhilarating trip along 17-Mile Drive from Pacific Grove to Pebble Beach.
DRIVING DISTANCE: 130 miles
Suggested hotel - Intercontinental the Clement
Continue south along central California’s scenic Pacific Coast Highway. This twisting, cliff-hugging route takes you through Big Sur where mountains plunge into the Pacific Ocean. Farther south, the landscape mellows to oak-studded hills as the road passes Hearst Castle and ends in Morro Bay. A short distance inland is the heart of the Central Coast, San Luis Obispo. From here, continue south to Ventura passing through Pismo Beach, inland agricultural valleys of rolling countryside, and Santa Barbara, often described as the American Riviera. Located along the southern-most part of California’s Central Coast, Ventura is a classic beach town in a spectacular setting.
DRIVING DISTANCE: 280 miles
Suggested hotel - Harbor View Inn
Today, travel further south through Oxnard, yet another beautiful stretch of coast in Malibu, before arriving in LA's beach city, Santa Monica, home to the iconic pier and some of the best views of the Pacific Ocean. Here, enjoy fresh food at one of over 400 restaurants, sourced from Santa Monica’s own farmer’s markets; explore the array of boutiques on Third Street Promenade, and spend your last night by the beach in a city that epitomises the laidback California lifestyle.
DRIVING DISTANCE: 70 miles
Suggested hotel - Shore Hotel
Return your rental car at Los Angeles International Airport prior to your departure.
If this California itinerary has inspired some ideas for your own, contact your Travel Counsellor and together you can build the road trip that's right for you.