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Cruise America - Southern California Highlights
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Explore Southern California under your own steam with a little help from Cruise America and their fleet of spacious motorhomes. Put pedal to the medal down Highway 1, stopping off in San Simeon, Monterey, Carmel and San Francisco – to name a few. There’s plenty of time to get out from behind the wheel on this epic journey too, especially when hiking around the majestic Yosemite National Park.
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Your Example Itinerary
Fly from the UK to Los Angeles
Tick off all the Los Angeles sights: the Hollywood Walk of Fame at Grauman's Chinese Theatre, window shopping on Rodeo Drive and embracing your inner child at Disneyland or Universal Studios.
4* Garland Hotel
Heading north along the Pacific coastline, you’ll cruise towards San Simeon, a pretty town famed for the billionaire-built Hearst Castle – a dramatic National Historic Landmark that dates back to 1865. Perhaps take the time to discover the wonder and grandeur of its opulent social rooms on a 60-minute Grand Rooms Tour. Or why not head to the beach? The silica here is wild, beautiful and, at points, populated by elephant seals. The Piedras Blancas Rookery is the best place to witness these unusual creatures in their natural, beachside habitat.
Set a course for the City by the Bay, maybe stopping off at the postcard-worthy towns of Carmel and Monterey en route. Park up at your campsite, just 15 miles from the city, and catch the bus to the centre. We recommend hiring a bike and cycling over the Golden Gate Bridge, riding the historic cable cars, picking up some shopping in Union Square, dining in Fisherman’s Wharf and touring Alcatraz Island (but book your tickets at least a month in advance). If you liked the elephant seals in San Simeon, then you’ll love the lively sea lions at Pier 39.
Yosemite National Park
Now to head inland. Just three hours from San Francisco you’ll find the mighty Yosemite, one of the USA’s first national parks and also one of the most popular. Take a hike along the Mist Trail to Vernal and Nevada Falls, gaze upon the reflections of Mirror Lake, or soak up the vistas from Tunnel View and Glacier Point – you’ll quickly see why four million people flock here every year.
Kings Canyon, Death Valley & Sequoia National Parks
Diverting south, you’ll admire the scenery of three more national parks. It’s hard not to be impressed by the towering mountains and deep canyons of Kings Canyon and Sequoia, not to mention the world’s largest trees, nestled in a giant sequoia grove. Both parks are also packed with wildlife; keep your eyes peeled for American black bears and bighorn sheep. Death Valley couldn’t be more different – expect arid desertscapes, cracked salt flats and scientist-defying rocks at The Racetrack.
Continue through the Sierra Nevada and the comparatively flatter Mojave Desert, before stopping off in the town of Barstow for the night. Here you can get some retail therapy in either of the two outlet malls, or check out some local culture – we highly recommend the Barstow Route 66 Mother Road Museum and the Mojave River Valley Museum.
Get back to beachside living at San Diego’s Campland on the Bay. When you’re not unwinding, sinking your toes into the sand, head for some of the city’s best sights. Spy more than 650 different species at the San Diego Zoo, stroll along the waterfront and explore the 1,200 acres of gardens and open green spaces at Balboa Park.
Spend the last day of your Cruise America adventure in Newport Beach – a place of surf, sun, sea and sand. In fact, it’s often regarded as one of the best places to surf in the world, so grab your board and get ready to catch a wave or two. If you prefer a more sedentary style, perhaps hit the shops, indulge in a spa treatment or stay for one of the region’s many events: we particularly love the Newport Beach Film Festival held in April/May.
Return to Los Angeles and fly back to the UK.
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