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Pacific Coast Highway Family Road Trip

Live the Californian dream on this 2 week road trip. Explore San Francisco, before heading off down the Pacific Coast to enjoy the beaches. Your holiday ends in Los Angeles, where you can enjoy the fun & thrills of the theme parks.

Tailor-made Classic 2 weeks

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…We were really happy with the service we got from Tourdust which can be best described as friendly, efficient and expert.....

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Itinerary

Overview

  • Explore San Francisco
  • Walk amongst Giant & Ancient Redwoods
  • Hit the surf in the Pacific Ocean
  • Find the perfect Pinot Noir in California's winelands
  • Indulge your inner child at California's theme parks
The Pacific Coastal Highway has to be one of the most iconic driving routes of them all and this holiday takes in the highlights over a relaxing 2 weeks. Your holiday begins in San Francisco, a city blessed with an idyllic setting and an independent vibe. While here, you can cycle the Golden Gate Bridge, enjoy the street artists at Fisherman's Wharf and visit Alcatraz; where Al Capone was incarcerated.

Leaving the city behind you, you then pick up a hire car and drive south to Santa Cruz; the original home of surfing. Here you can learn to surf, walk amongst the Giant Redwood trees and promenade on the wharf, not to mention go on the Big Dipper, Santa Cruz's famous roller coaster. Within easy driving distance, you also have the wild Big Sur and giant aquarium at Monterery.

Continuing your journey south, your next base is Pismo Beach, halfway between LA & San Francisco. Here you can further hone your surfing skills, with kayaking and stand up paddle boarding also on offer. The sandy beach is also perfect for sun bathing, if you prefer a slower pace of life. In the vicinity, you have Hearst Castle and Central California's wine country, not to mention some of the best seafood you've ever eaten!

Your final stop of the road trip is Los Angeles where you will be based in a family friendly hotel which is in the perfect location for visiting the local theme parks. Whether it's Disney, Knott's Berry Farm or Hollywood Universal Studios, there is plenty to keep the whole family entertained.

Day-by-day

Brief Itinerary
Day 1 Arrive San Francisco
Day 2 San Francisco
Day 3 San Francisco
Day 4 Santa Cruz
Day 5 Santa Cruz
Day 6 Santa Cruz
Day 7 Pismo Beach
Day 8 Pismo Beach
Day 9 Pismo Beach
Day 10 Drive to Los Angeles
Day 11 Los Angeles
Day 12 Los Angeles
Day 13 Los Angeles
Day 14 Depart

Itinerary in Full
Day 1 Arrive San Francisco
On arrival collect your hire car and drive to your hotel.

Day 2 San Francisco
Today you are at leisure in San Francisco. You might want to catch a cable car up to Fisherman's Wharf and wander down to pier 39 to see the sealions. In the afternoon, you might want to go for a ferry ride in the bay. If you want to visit Alcatraz, make sure you have booked in advance.

Day 3 San Francisco
Today is another day at leisure in San Francisco. Today you might want to hire bikes and cycle across the Golden Gate Bridge. If you have the energy, we suggest cycling all the way to Sausalito, where you can enjoy a relaxing lunch with fabulous views of San Francisco across the water.

Day 4 Santa Cruz
Drive to Santa Cruz. Located on the Pacific Ocean, this town is the spiritual home of Californian surfing. With a beach right across the road from your hotel, you can rent body boards or simply lie back and catch some rays. Later in the afternoon, you can wander down to the Boardwalk where you can ride on roller coasters to your heart's content.

Day 5 Santa Cruz
Today is a free day in Santa Cruz. We suggest that you catch the train up to Henry Cowell State Park to marvel at the giant and ancient Redwood trees. Later in the afternoon, we suggest you wander down the wharf to spot the resident sealions resting in the shade.

Day 6 Santa Cruz
Today we suggest you explore more of the beaches that the area has to offer. You could drive south down to Big Sur, stopping off at Monterey's famous aquarium along the way. At Big Sur, seek out one of the secluded and wild beaches and enjoy the roar of the ocean!

Day 7 Pismo Beach
Today sees you driving south to the San Luis Obisbo Bay where your base will be Pismo Beach. Here, you can book surf lessons, go kayaking, try stand up paddle boarding or simply chill on the beach.

Day 8 Pismo Beach
You might be too busy hitting the surf today, but if you wanted to do more exploring, then you could go north to Hearst Castle, an example of 1920's decadence. We recommend you go early to avoid the crowds.

Day 9 Pismo Beach
If you are a wine lover, you might want to head inland today to Santa Barbara Wine Country. There are numerous vineyards around where you can taste that local speciality, Pinot Noir. There are several local companies offering a shuttle service, so you don't need to worry about driving.

Day 10 Drive to Los Angeles
Today you will head south to sunny Los Angeles, where you will be based in a family friendly hotel in Anaheim; the perfect location for exploring the local theme parks. There is a shuttle from your hotel to Disneyland and Disney Adventure Park and you are also in easy driving distance of Knott's Berry Farm and Hollywood Universal Studios.

Day 11 Los Angeles
Day at leisure

Day 12 Los Angeles
Day at leisure

Day 13 Los Angeles
Day at leisure

Day 14 Depart
Today is your departure day. You will need to leave your car at the rental returns and make sure you leave plenty of time to check in for your flight.

Accommodation


Guide price is based on recommended accommodations. Alternative accommodations and upgrades are available. Please get in touch or click on 'alternatives' below for alternatives and upgrade options.

Our rating

7/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

- Good value hotel
- Union Square Location
- Modern rooms
- Swimming Pool

Our rating

9/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- Superb Value
- Laid-back accommodation
- Excellent family suites

Our rating

7/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- Oceanfront hotel
- Family Friendly
- Direct Beach Access

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- Excellent family suites
- Close to Disneyland

Details

Getting there

This holiday begins in San Francisco and ends in Los Angeles. Both of these destinations are serviced by direct flights from the UK with Virgin Atlantic and British Airways. In the peak season, flights will cost approx £1,100 but there may be better prices available during the sales.

Price includes

The price is based on a family of 4 sleeping in one room together (one double plus either one double or two singles for the children).

When is best?

This holiday is available all year round, but best in the summer months. The weather is warmer in the summer, but the Central Coast & San Francisco areas can become shrouded in fog, especially in the mornings and evenings.

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 611 reviews

(4.94/5)

  • Service rating : Competitive pricing and very good friendly customer service. Dossier provided to us that had all the arrangements, dates, vouchers, directions etc.All very well organised.
    My only minor quibble would be that a road map was provided but the scale made it fairly useless as it covered half of the US.
    Product : Pretty much everything went smoothly and hotels were great choices in nice locations, facilitating an excellent " once in a lifetime" holiday.
    In particular - the views from the patio area in the Pismo beach hotel were incredible. We sat and watched whales and dolphins with our evening drinks!
    SF hotel was in a great location with outdoor pool. LA Hotel was of a high standard and close enough to Disney
    There was only one issue in Santa Cruz where we were booked in a poolside room surrounded by a very large and boisterous extended family party who had block booked all the surrounding rooms and were drinking pretty hard all day, appropriating our patio furniture etc. The hotel owner moved us on request and without fuss to a (nicer) room with a sea view away from the party so it worked out just fine, but i think the hotel should consider the impact on other guests of taking these type of mass bookings and how they locate other guests.The party informed me they had been coming to the same Hotel for 10+ years to have their gathering.If another room had not been available it would have certainly severely impacted that part of the holiday. Appreciate that Tourdust could not have foreseen this situation - but felt it important to give this feedback.I have not let this impact my rating as we ended up having a lovely time in Santa Cruz in our new room.

    Ben feefo reviewer verified review for Pacific Coast Highway Family Road Trip on 14 August 2015

  • Everything worked perfectly! We all found our trekking experience to be the best part of our adventures in Morocco. We were particularly pleased with our guide, Hussain; he did a brilliant job. He is thoughtful, knowledgable, and sweet. He represents you well.

    MissingJacob Moffat reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Comfort Treks on 09 March 2017

  • Thanks for organising an excellent holiday for us. It's my first time using Tourdust and I've been really impressed and will certainly be recommending you to friends and family. You provided an excellent level of service all the way through, and the bespoke nature of the trip was fantastic whilst being really good value for money.
    Key highlights:
    - Le Kasbah de Toubkal blew us away - one not to miss!
    - The trek was amazing and my kids loved it. The camping was really fun, the food was excellent, and I'd particularly call out our guide Rashid who was fantastic show especially with my kids.
    - Riad Adore was outstanding - far exceeding my expectations - it was beautiful and we were very well looked after
    - Le Doux Tour was luxurious and a nice relaxing way to end the holiday.
    - Logistics were great and our main driver Mustapha was brilliant

    If there was one build / thing I would change, it's a very small one but some candles / lanterns to use in the evening whilst camping would have made it easier to stay outside for a bit longer.

    MissingMark Dilley reviewing Boutique Marrakech & Atlas Mountains on 07 June 2016

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Call 855 686 7694 9am and 6pm GMT Monday to Friday

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Alternative Itineraries

Our itineraries are carefully designed by our experienced travel designers based on years of experience and customer feedback. For a custom itinerary tailored to you, please enquire giving as much detail as possible on your brief.

Visit theme parks in LA, then explore Yosemite before ending your holiday in San Francisco.

Tailor-made Classic 2 weeks

Families from $1,276 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for a family of four (two adults + two children under 12).

Flights are typically an additional $1,474 per person economy class from London

A family road trip taking in some of Western USA's biggest hitters: The Grand Canyon, Death Valley, Yosemite & San Francisco.

Tailor-made Classic 2 weeks

Families from $1,368 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for a family of four (two adults + two children under 12).

Flights are typically an additional $1,382 per person economy class from London

Cycle the Golden Gate Bridge, raft the Colorado River, see the Grand Canyon & enjoy the bright lights of Las Vegas.

Tailor-made Classic 2 weeks

Families from $1,502 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for a family of four (two adults + two children under 12).

Flights are typically an additional $1,304 per person economy class from London

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