Roadtrip from Santa Monica to San Diego


Duration: 11 nights

Price: From £2,800 per person in low season based on two adults travelling together and including all flights in economy class, accommodation, car hire and taxes

This luxury self-drive holiday to southern California takes in some of the very best that the Sunshine State has to offer. Beginning on the sandy shores of Santa Monica, you can explore the cinematic landscapes of the Hollywood hills before heading inland to the desert and Palm Springs. From there, it’s on to the photogenic coastline of chic Laguna Beach, before finishing up laid back San Diego, home to beaches, culture, and the best weather in America.
Perfect forFamilies and younger couples looking to explore southern California on their own terms.
In the knowSpending some time on a Wyoming ranch – we love the scenic Goosewing Ranch – before heading to south California for the ultimate Wild West, city and beach combination.

Best for

  • Beach
  • Couples
  • Family-friendly
  • First-timers

All Exsus Travel holidays are tailor-made

All itineraries on our website are designed as a starting point. Tell us your budget/wishlist/preferred length of stay and we'll help you select the best hotels and experiences, so your holiday is totally personalised.

Call 020 7337 9010 or Make an enquiry

Itinerary details

santa monica sunset shutterstock_156377387_400_230


Flying in to LAX, you’ll collect your car and begin your southern California adventure in sizzling Santa Monica, a beachfront city located 25 minutes from downtown Los Angeles. Head down to the Pier to delight in some old-fashioned fairground fun at Pacific Park, where you'll find amusements, rides and indulgent sweet treats. While away an afternoon reclined on the white sands of Santa Monica beach, or wander around the streets and parks to discover the city's vibrant arts scene. The iconic sights and attractions of LA are all within easy reach from here, too. Your quintessentially Californian home here will be Hotel Oceana, set on Ocean Avenue, just moments from the Pacific shores.
Read More


Departing Santa Monica after three nights, you’ll drive for two hours into the desert to the next stop on your Californian adventure, Palm Springs. The playground of the Rat Pack in the ‘50s and ‘60s, Palm Springs retains its retro charms and has more in common with Hollywood than with its rustic neighbours like Joshua Tree. Indeed, Palm Springs’ glitz and glamour draw celebrities from the Hills every weekend, but this desert city’s good for much more than just celeb spotting. The Palm Springs Art Museum is dedicated to American art from the last one hundred years, and includes works by the likes of Millard Sheets and Nicolai Fechin. The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, meanwhile, is the largest rotating tramway in the world, and affords magnificent views of the desert as it climbs two and a half miles into the San Jacinto Mountains. Your home for two nights in Palm Springs is The Parker, a quirky design hotel with wild, beautiful gardens.
Read More


The next stop on your Californian adventure is Laguna Beach, around one and a half hours’ drive back to the coast from Palm Springs. With beautiful coastal scenery, a photogenic populace to match, serene parks and plenty of culture – not forgetting, of course, fantastic beaches – Laguna Beach is classic coastal California. Main Beach is best for swimming, volleyball and surfing, while Heisler Park offers beautiful views of the ocean and rugged coastline. Laguna Art Museum is the only collection in the state devoted purely to Californian art, and tells the story of Laguna’s rich artistic history alongside contemporary artworks. Your hotel, Surf and Sand Resort, lives up to its name by sitting right on the beach, and delivers the ultimate Laguna experience with excellent food and bars and water sports opportunities.
Read More

3 nightsSAN DIEGO

The final stop on your journey is San Diego, a little over an hour down the coast from Laguna. Laid back and home to great beaches and outdoor activities, San Diegans enjoy some of the best weather in the country, and their hometown is known as ‘America’s Finest City’ for good reason. Old Town San Diego Historic Park tell the story of the area’s Spanish colonial history through restored buildings like the historic La Casa de Estudillo, complete with period furniture, and the Maritime Museum includes submarines and tall ships like the vast Star of India. Your hotel in San Diego is the oceanfront Hotel Del Coronado, located on upmarket Coronado Island. San Diego Zoo is just 15 minutes away, while a 25 minute drive will bring you to La Jolla, a beautiful, high-end seafront village home to an outpost of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego which contains pieces by Andy Warhol and Francis Bacon. After three nights in San Diego, your southern California holiday reaches its end, and you’ll drive to LAX for your onward flight.
Read More

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

Hotel locations for this itinerary

Hotels we've recommended for this trip

More itineraries in USA


call us on 020 7337 9010 to start planning your perfect trip

Make an enquiry

© 2022 Exsus Travel. Experts in luxury tailor-made holidays.

Exsus Travel Limited t/a Exsus Travel. Registered in England and Wales at this address: 1 Burwood Place, London, W2 2UT. Company No. 3385363. VAT No. 719-221840.

Book with confidence.
All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to:
We are a member of ABTA (ABTA No. Y6561) which means you have the benefit of ABTA’s assistance and Code of Conduct. For package holidays that do not include flights we provide financial protection for you money by way of a bond held by ABTA. We provide financial protection for your money.

International Passenger Protection (IPP)

All passengers booking with Exsus Travel Ltd are fully protected for the initial deposit and subsequently the balance of all monies received by us, including repatriation costs and arrangements, arising from cancellation or curtailment of your single service travel arrangements due to the insolvency of Exsus Travel Ltd

Exsus Travel Ltd has taken out an insurance provided by International Passenger Protection Ltd (IPP) with Liberty Mutual Insurance Europe SE (LMIE) trading as Liberty Specialty Markets, a member of the Liberty Mutual Insurance Group. LMIE's registered office: 5-7 rue Leon Laval, L-3372, Leudelange, Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Registered Number B232280 (Registre de Commerce et des Sociétés). LMIE is a European public limited liability company and is supervised by the Commissariat aux Assurances and licensed by the Luxembourg Minister of Finance as an insurance and reinsurance company. This insurance is only valid for passengers who book and pay directly with/to Exsus Travel Ltd

In the event of our insolvency please make contact as soon as practically possible giving full details of what has happened quoting the name of your Travel Operator:

IPP Claims at Sedgwick
Telephone: +44 (0)345 266 1872
or online at