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Pacific Coast Highway in Luxury
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Drive the wild coastal road of the Pacific Coast Highway, stopping off at such sun-drenched cities as San Francisco, Santa Barbara and Santa Monica, where it’s wide golden beaches and top notch dining galore. And don’t forget the Napa Valley where you can sip on a cool glass of wine and tuck into a gourmet dinner overlooking the vineyards.
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Your Example Itinerary
Fly from the UK to San Francisco.
Take a wander up and down the 43 hills of San Francisco and admire the glistening expanse of San Francisco Bay below, famously crossed by the 2.7 kilometre long Golden Gate Bridge. Perhaps take a boat out into the bay to the infamous island of Alcatraz, housing the penitentiary that once incarcerated Al Capone. In the city itself, parks and galleries galore will keep you entertained, and be sure to test out the legendary nightlife, cocktail in hand.
Spend long lazy evenings gazing out over the rolling green hills and sun-drenched vineyards of the Napa Valley with a chilled glass of sauvignon. With over 400 cellar doors, the region is the perfect spot for wine fanatics to indulge their passions. For something extra special, tuck into some tasty gourmet food and sip on a cool glass or two on the Napa Valley Wine Train, a scenic 36 mile loop through the valley from Napa to St Helena and back.
Step into your favourite fairy story in the quaint Californian village of Carmel, filled with pretty stone cottages, artisan bakeries and European style churches. Carmel, or Carmel-by-the-Sea to give it its proper name, offers pretty ocean views and white beaches, as well as a smattering of art galleries. And it’s all about the food in the numerous restaurants and cafes. Find the perfect souvenir in the many gift shops, taste the local wine or, for something more active, head to nearby Point Lobos State Reserve whose rocky shores are filled with nature and hiking trails.
Feel the wind in your hair and gaze upon the wild and rugged coastline of Big Sur, watch the waves crash against the rocks and explore the vast wilderness of this breath-taking area. Stretching for 90 miles along the Californian Pacific Coast, Big Sur is actually a region rather than a town. It’s a real outdoorsy place with several parks and forests, all great for hiking. Popular stops along the road include the impressive Bixby Bridge, the Point Sur Lighthouse and the spectacular McWay Falls.
Laze on the wide beaches of Santa Barbara and enjoy the outdoor life in this sunny city, filled with art and history museums, gardens and pretty views. Attracting day-trippers from LA to its more relaxed vibe, Santa Barbara’s mild and sunny climate brings visitors to its beaches, wineries, shopping and dining scene. Check out the Old Mission, a Santa Barbara icon founded in the 18th century by the Franciscans. Food tours, hiking, surfing and kayaking are other popular pursuits, as is feasting on fresh local seafood and juicy burgers.
Desirable and affluent, Santa Monica is found at the end of the legendary Route 66. A town dotted with over 40 pieces of public street art, it’s a creative place with a fabulous beach. Watch the sun set over the golden sands and wander down to the famous pier, where the Ferris wheel is a classic city icon. The pier can keep you entertained for days, with several arcades, a funfair and an aquarium as well as numerous bars, restaurants and concert venues.
Chic yet casual, laid-back San Diego offers miles of glorious coastline, plenty of museums and sunny gardens. The weather here is great, so grab an ice cream and go people watching on the ocean front boardwalk, soak up the scenery, or browse the surfing and swimwear shops. Head down to leafy Balboa park full to the brim with museums, arts centres, gardens, restaurants and walking trails and of course the truly excellent San Diego zoo, home to 800 different species and 3000 individual animals in a landscaped setting that tries to be as true to their natural habitat as possible.
Depart San Diego and return to the UK
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