Fly-Drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco


Duration: 13 nights

Price: From £7,100 per person in low season based on two adults travelling together and including all flights in economy class, accommodation, car hire and taxes

Enjoy the ultimate California luxury road trip, taking in its most spectacular destinations and hotels along the way. This memorable USA self-drive adventure sees you travelling along the Californian coast and making the most of the famous Highway One (and it’s famous for a reason), exploring iconic cities such as LA and San Francisco, discovering some heavenly hideaways and sampling fine wines in the Napa Valley.
Perfect forCouples and honeymooners looking for a knockout Californian holiday.
In the knowThe USA’s national parks are incredible - and on this trip it’s easy to add in a few days admiring the spectacular vistas in Yosemite and hiking around its granite cliffs and gushing waterfalls.

Best for

  • Couples
  • First-timers
  • Food & Wine
  • Landscapes & Scenery

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Itinerary details



Your California holiday begins in LA, and as soon as you touch down you’ll be seduced by the glitz and glamour of this living movie set. Drive along palm tree-lined avenues, see the famous Hollywood sign, shop on Rodeo Drive and head to Santa Monica to relax on the beach and stroll along the pier, drinking in its cool, laidback vibe. If you’re an arty type, don’t miss world-class museums and galleries - we particularly love the Getty Center, which has incredible views over LA as well as masterpieces by some of the world’s most famous artists. The stars love the Hotel Bel-Air, and so do we – luxuriate in its beautiful accommodation, gourmet cuisine and pretty gardens (this green oasis is a perfect retreat from the city), and after a day’s sightseeing around LA, enjoy a refreshing dip in the pool.
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After imbibing the unique LA spirit, pick up your car and head to Santa Barbara along Highway One, taking in the coastal views as you go. Santa Barbara, which has the Santa Ynez Mountains for a backdrop, is an enchanting spot, its attractive downtown dotted with Mediterranean stucco buildings that are a nod to the city’s Spanish colonial heritage: within, you’ll find buzzing bars, gourmet restaurants and tempting boutiques. Belmond El Encanto is an idyllic hideaway, nestled amongst lush green gardens high in the hills, guaranteeing beautiful views over Santa Barbara and the Pacific Ocean. Borrow one of the hotel’s electric bikes to explore downtown or head along the coast, or take the waterfront shuttle from the harbour to Stearns Wharf, taking in golden sand beaches, buzzing restaurants and colourful street artists.
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2 nightsBIG SUR

Hop back in the car again for another scenic drive to Big Sur and the Post Ranch Inn: with rugged mountains on one side and the never-ending ocean on the other (and a lack of civilisation – there’s not a shopping mall in sight), this is an idyllic Highway One destination, and has long attracted artists, writers and dreamers.   While you’re here, enjoy a day pass to the Esalen Institute, where you can have a relaxing soak in the clifftop hot springs, overlooking the sea. For a culture hit, browse the artworks in the inn’s own gallery, and visit the Henry Miller library – a fascinating archive of this celebrated writer’s works. Unsurprisingly, Big Sur has a panoramic coastline and some postcard perfect beaches: do some whale spotting from the inn’s elevated deck with the aid of an expert, and time your walk on Pfeiffer Beach with the panoramic sunset. At night, look at the stars in the vast night skies through the inn’s powerful telescopes.
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Your next stop is the Napa Valley, a justifiably acclaimed wine region of endless rows of vineyards, studded with boutique wineries whose grapes are blessed by the Californian sun. Tour the vineyards by bicycle, or get chauffeured around some of the area’s top wineries, leaving you free to enjoy the beautiful vintages on offer. The Napa Valley is also known for its food, and the exquisite cuisine is paired perfectly with the wines on the doorstep – just ask us for our top restaurant tips. Walk it all off and take a break from being behind the wheel with a scenic hike, or visit one of California’s most popular landmarks, the Old Faithful geyser.    At the idyllic Calistoga Ranch, luxuriate in style by the shores of Lake Lommel, and soak up the sun on your private terrace – with a glass of Napa wine from the ranch’s vineyard, of course…
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The charms of San Francisco are endless - the majestic Golden Gate Bridge, the trams snaking up and down the hills, with beautiful bay views from the top, the gourmet waterfront dining, the farmers’ markets where you can pick up a delicious lunch, the beautiful houses, and the cool 60s vibe that still pervades (there are plenty of places to indulge your inner hippie, including at the City Lights bookshop, the spiritual home of the Beats). Take in this colourful city from your exclusive and elegant hotel, The Battery, with its waterfront views and easy access to the sights. Swap your car for a ferry to visit the notorious Alcatraz prison or pretty Sausalito, with its attractive boutiques and lovely views over the San Francisco skyline, or for two feet to explore the beautiful green haven that is the Golden Gate Park, looking down over the famous bridge.
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Best time to go

Best time to travel

Good time to travel (but some limitations)

Travel is possible (but it’s not the best time)

Travel is not recommended

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Best time to go

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Hotels we've recommended for this trip

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