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Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip

One of the most iconic road trips in the world has to be Highway One in California, otherwise known as the Pacific Coast Highway. Explore San Francisco before heading south, passing wind swept beaches & coastal towns before a dose of glamour in LA.

Tailor-made 10 days

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for two people sharing.

Flights are typically an additional $1,008 per person economy class from London

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  • Enjoy the urban life in hip San Francisco
  • Hit the surf in the Pacific Ocean
  • Feel the sea spray in your hair on Big Sur's wind-swept beaches
  • Find the perfect Pinot Noir in California's winelands
  • Soak up the sun on California's best beaches
One of the most scenic road trips of them all, California State Route 1, or the Pacific Coast Highway, takes in some of the most stunning scenery in the world. This road trip takes in the stretch of road between San Francisco and Los Angeles, incorporating two of California's best cities alongside some stunning coast line. Your holiday begins in San Francisco, where you are spoilt for choice for activities. Choose between exploring Alcatraz, cycling the Golden Gate Bridge, people watching in Fisherman's Wharf or sipping wine or a craft beer in one of San Francisco's many wine bars. If wine tasting is your thing, then we can arrange a day tour out to the Napa & Sonoma valleys where you can visit a selection of boutique wineries.

Leaving the city behind, the first stop along the way of your road trip is Santa Cruz; a coastal town with attitude. There are many options here to entertain you, from learning to surf, going on the rides on the Boardwalk to walking amongst the giant redwoods in Henry Cowell Redwood State Park.

Further south, your route passes through Monterey, before reaching the jewel in this holiday's crown; Big Sur. With fantastic views, wild and wind swept beaches, lie back and feel the sea salt in your hair. Your next base is Pismo Beach. If you're visiting in the winter months, you might see the whale migrations. In the spring and summer months, you can surf, relax or use this as a base to visit the nearby wineries or the opulent Hearts Castle.

Your last stop on the route is LA. Passing through Santa Barbara, you are then based in the coastal suburb of Santa Monica. From here, you can rollerblade or cycle along the beach path, or perhaps go on the tourist trail in Hollywood.


Please note, this trip is entirely customisable. We can extend this trip to 2 weeks, or add an extension to Las Vegas if required. Please contact us for details.

Brief Itinerary
Day 1 Arrive San Francisco
Day 2 San Francisco
Day 3 San Francisco - Optional Wine Tour
Day 4 Santa Cruz
Day 5 Santa Cruz
Day 6 Pismo Beach
Day 7 Pismo Beach
Day 8 Drive to Los Angeles
Day 9 Los Angeles
Day 10 Depart

Itinerary in Full
Day 1 Arrive San Francisco
You will be picked up at the airport and transferred 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. 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. If you want to visit Alcatraz, make sure you have booked in advance.

Day 3 San Francisco - Optional Wine Tour
Today you have the option to go on a wine tour. You will be picked up from your hotel in the morning and transferred in a small minibus, which can carry a maximum of 13 people. During the tour, you will visit 4 - 6 boutique wineries in the Napa and/or Sonoma Valleys. You will be visiting a mix of smaller and larger wineries and will also have a chance to request stops along the way.

Day 4 Santa Cruz
This morning you will pick up your hire car and 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 Big Sur
Today sees you driving south passing through Monterey before hitting the coastal road and Big Sur. Leave early so that you have plenty of time for lots of spots and to take photos. Your day ends at the San Luis Obisbo Bay where your base will be Pismo Beach.

Day 7 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. 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. If you are staying on a Thursday night, be sure to drive to nearby San Luis Obispo for their famous farmers night market.

Day 8 Drive to Los Angeles
Today you will head south to sunny Los Angeles, where you will be based at the Beachside location of Santa Monica. We recommend stopping off for lunch in Santa Barbara along the way.

Day 9 Los Angeles
Today you might want to rent rollerblades or bikes and explore the promenade next to the beach. Alternatively, you could drive into Hollywood and spot celebrities on the walk of fame.

Day 10 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.


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


Price guide

Price rating 4

- Union Square location
- Outdoor swimming pool
- Fitness Centre
- Excellent mid-range option

Our rating


Price guide

Price rating 4

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

Our rating


Price guide

Price rating 3

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

Our rating


Price guide

Price rating 4

- Smart, chic hotel
- Direct Beach Access
- Private Balcony

Our rating


Price guide

Price rating 3

- Oceanfront hotel
- Family Friendly
- Direct Beach Access

Our rating


Price guide

Price rating 4

- Art deco, historic hotel
- Great location

Our rating


Price guide

Price rating 5

- luxurious option
- 2 pools
- chic & spohisticated decor


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. From November to March, flights will cost from £670, April - June, these prices increase to from £770 and then in the peak season they jump to £1,100, but there may be better prices available during the sales. It is often cheaper to fly mid-week, rather than at the weekend. Please get in touch for a quote.

When is best?

This holiday is available all year round, but if you are travelling without children, we recommend avoiding July & August due to the increased flight prices. 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. Our favourite times for this holiday are April - June.


For the latest travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth office check

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 494 reviews


  • Everything was fab, I especially loved Tuningi such a special place and my son got to see his favourite animal the cheetah (after a bit of time hunting about on foot!). Mauritius is lovely we saw quite a bit of the island in the end.

    MissingLaura L reviewing South Africa Safari and Mauritius on 12 December 2018

  • We had a wonderful trip to Morocco. What a fascinating country. Thank you so much for all of your help making things smooth and less stressful!

    Here are a few things we wanted to pass on:

    Dar Housnia was absolutely delightful. It was like an entire wing of a house to ourselves with perfect Moroccan decor. The private area where we ate was so cute, the riad staff so accommodating. I loved waking in the cozy space with our family and hearing both call to prayer as well as roosters. Just perfect.

    I was a little unclear how to ask what time we were being picked up etc, but your office promptly replied to my emails - even on weekends- when we had these questions about transport times. Once, we met our guide in Imlil these details we not problematic as our guide “Abraham” totally took care of us. Abraham was awesome. You should definitely request him again in the future. He was young (29)and energetic. He had a ton of hiking experience in Imlil as he was from there. He also seemed to know everything else about morocco, the desert, the culture, etc, etc. He was approachable, kind, patient, great with our kids and answered SO MANY of our questions.

    The hike was lovely - after rain the day prior in Marrakech - there was snow in the mountains. It was gorgeous. We may have been up for a longer hike up Mt Taboukel if I had known this was a realistic option for families ( I thought from reading that it was too technical for us). Yet not sure we had enough days for all these things always since getting in the desert was a priority.

    The mountain house, Dar adar, was just as described… very basic. The wifi was broken (which was a nice break when you have pre-teens addicted to phones, plus my husband called no wifi an amenity to not be available by email for his work!)). There was no heat and the fireplace helped a tad - but was so very cold in the rooms. My husband loved the rustic space, I may have gone up one step in niceness of mountain accommodation if I had to do it over again. Yet, meeting the other families in this Dar Adar (including another Tourdust family from England) made this house very memorable.

    We were then joined by our driver for the next several days, Jamal. What a fun guy and a perfect driver. He could joke with my kids, he had a fun smile, and he had worked with Abraham before so they were a great team. The drive to desert was long as I knew it would be. It was nice to have the stop on way there near Ait Ben Haddu. The drive back from desert was long. It was more near 10 hours of driving (plus 1 hour at lunch = 11 hours) but I wouldn’t have made any different choices.

    The luxury desert camp was far and away the highlight of our trip. The tents were adorable, I was sufficiently warm even at night inside the tent. We loved the camel riding, the ATV vehicles at a nearby camp, sunsets on the dunes, music around the camp fire, meals with others at the camp and more.

    The last night was at Riad Jona. This was so very very lovely. The food was amazing - such a good idea to eat here after our long drive back to Marrakech. They had a small dining pool plus a hot tub which was delightful. It was almost more of a boutique hotel as it had several rooms.

    MissingGwyneth R reviewing Luxury Family Desert Holiday on 11 December 2018

  • The trip was amazing everything was better than we could have imagined.
    There was a moment climbing the mount Kenya where my wife accused me of tricking her into doing this (half kidding) as some of the nights got pretty cold, but we were dressed well and the sunrise at the peak was astonishing.
    Safari was spectacular, Ben who was our main guide and driver was awesome! We saw everything excepts rhinos which were more of a hope than a reality. We also were able to watch a rock python eat a Thompson gazel live. It was one of the most interesting and unsettling things I have ever seen.
    Just overall, so many moments that make you think wow or I can't believe I am here. Thank you for your help in getting everything set up. I don't believe I could have booked the trip without your help and guidance. It was an amazing way to start our marriage and truly the trip of a lifetime!

    MissingWilliam K reviewing 11 Day Mount Kenya Trek and Masai Mara Safari Combined on 29 October 2018

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Speak to a specialist

Our customers agree - a conversation with an expert makes for a better trip. Call us now or request a call back out of hours.

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

Or weekday evenings or Saturdays


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.

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'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 $1,439 per person economy class from London


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