Home 5 Itineraries 5 Pacific Coast Highway Expedition

Pacific Coast Highway Expedition

14 Days

5 Cities

9 Experiences


Active | Road Trip

Travel Itinerary

Day 1
San Francisco

Pick up car at airport

Hotel Drisco ★★★★ (3 nights)

Rest of the day at leisure to explore San Francisco

Discover the charm of San Francisco by climbing its hills, riding the iconic cable cars, and admiring its colorful houses. Don’t miss crossing the Golden Gate Bridge and exploring legendary landmarks like Alcatraz and Lombard Street. Enjoy breathtaking city views while sipping cocktails at top-floor lounges like those in the Sir Francis Drake or InterContinental Mark Hopkins hotels.

Day 2

San Francisco tour by car

Discover the diverse neighborhoods of San Francisco on a guided tour, including North Beach, Lombard Street, The Marina, Chinatown (try the pork buns!), Pacific Heights, Coit Tower, The Palace of Fine Arts, and The Golden Gate Bridge, among other recommendations from your knowledgeable guide. Take a trip to the city’s vibrant culture and iconic landmarks, and gain insights and recommendations from your guide.

Nightfall Alcatraz tickets

Day 3

Sausalito and Redwood State Natural Reserve guided tour

Explore the majestic Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve, home to Coastal Redwoods taller, bigger, and older than those in Muir Woods. Afterward, enjoy a meal break in the charming town of Guerneville. Continue to the scenic Northern California coast for breathtaking ocean views and iconic rock formations. Visit Bodega Bay for coastal souvenirs and stop in the town of Bodega, famous for Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds,” to snap photos at the movie’s iconic schoolhouse. Conclude your journey in Sausalito, with the option to stay and return at your leisure via ferry.

Dinner reservation at The Cliff House

Day 4

Drive to Yosemite (about 3h30mins)

Enjoy your car ride to explore the surroundings

Head to El Portal, located in the heart of the Sierra Nevada, just a few kilometers from Yosemite Park, accessible within a 4-hour drive. Journey along scenic Route 140, passing through towns like Merced, where you can explore attractions such as the Castle Air Museum, featuring a fine collection of planes.

The Ahwahnee (3 nights)

Day 5

Days at leisure to explore the park and hike on own

Explore the UNESCO-listed national park showcasing alpine landscapes, granite domes, lakes, and giant sequoia forests. Keep an eye out for brown bears, the park’s emblem, as you journey along the Tioga Road scenic route.

Day 6

Yosemite guided tour by car

Explore Yosemite’s little-known areas. Journey through Altamont Pass wind farm, Central Valley, and Sierra Nevada, spotting lakes, hidden gems, and historic gold mining towns along the way. Explore Yosemite Valley’s wonders, with an optional hike to giant sequoias, and marvel at Cathedral Rocks, Half Dome, and El Capitan’s unique geology. Wander through picturesque meadows along the Merced River, encountering breathtaking landscapes and much more.

Day 7
Monterey / Carmel

Drive to Monterey (about 3h30mins)

Enjoy your car ride to explore the surroundings

You leave behind pine forests and rock domes to reach the Pacific west coast. The scenic route 140, cradled by the Merced river, passes through small western towns like Mariposa. The agricultural towns are then linked up to Monterey Bay.

Bernardus Lodge & Spa ★★★★★ (2 nights)

Day 8

Kayaking in Monterey Bay

Between Santa Cruz and Monterey, the bay shelters a marine reserve inhabited by sea otters, seals, sea birds, fish, and turtles. Visiting this reserve aboard a kayak and approaching marine mammals and other species living in the surrounding area, also discover superb panoramas of the port, the famous aquarium, and the famous « Cannery Row».

Day 9
Santa Barbara

Drive to Santa Barbara (about 4hrs)

Pismo Beach Buggy riding tour

Experience the thrill of exploring the Oceano dunes from behind the wheel of a buggy. Receive initial instructions on vehicle handling before embarking on a two-hour adventure along the Pacific coast’s public beach. Get ready for an exhilarating experience in the stunning coastal scenery.

The Ritz Carlton Bacara ★★★★★ (2 nights)

Day 10

Rest of the day at leisure to explore Sant Barbara

Placed on a coastal ledge, on the hills between the Pacific Ocean and the mountains, the mission founded by the Spanish at the end of the 18th century has become a peaceful resort, the Californian Riviera. Its whitewashed stucco houses with red-tiled roofs and its palm-fringed beaches give the city a Mediterranean atmosphere. Santa Barbara always seems on vacation.

Dinner reservation at Boathouse Hendry’s Beach

Day 11
Santa Monica

Drive to Santa Monica (about 1h45mins)

Enjoy your car ride to visit the surroundings

Take a scenic 1-hour drive along Highway 1 to Malibu. Visit The Getty Villa Malibu, modeled after the Villa dei Papiri in Herculaneum. Enjoy lunch at Paradise Cove Restaurant, then head to Santa Monica to experience its iconic palm-lined avenues and sunset views from your hotel terrace.

Shangri-La Santa Monica ★★★★ (3 nights)

Rest of the afternoon at leisure

Day 12

Classic car tour of Los Angeles

Experience the essence of Los Angeles through the Classic Car Tour, a must-do while in L.A. Explore the diverse neighborhoods, from Hollywood to Beverly Hills, in a convertible 1970s classic American car. Immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant energy and tantalizing aromas, capturing the soul of L.A. and its residents from every angle.

Surf Lesson in Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach is a charming coastal city in Los Angeles County, renowned for its sandy beaches, scenic pier, and vibrant beach culture. Get excited about surfing with a lesson on one of those iconic beaches with this all-inclusive 1.5-hour package. Dive into the world of surfing and catch your first wave under expert guidance, ideal for vacationers seeking an unforgettable experience.

Day 13

Universal Studio tickets

Day 14

Drop off car at airport

Fly home