Day 1: London – Los Angeles
Your Californian experience begins as soon as you arrive on the same day flight into Los Angeles, the gateway into southern California. Home to the stars of Hollywood, sun-kissed beaches, unrivalled shopping and the theme park entertainment of Universal Studios and nearby Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, you will never be bored in LA. Stay 2 nights at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel (or similar).
Day 2: Los Angeles
With so much on offer in Los Angeles, it will be difficult to cram it all in! Visit sunny Santa Monica and enjoy funfair action on the pier, or hire bikes and cycle down the boardwalk to Venice Beach, along with all the other locals. Spend the afternoon behind the scenes at Universal Studios Hollywood or shop with the stars along Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. In the evening, head to the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood and party until dawn at one of the famous hotel rooftop bars, or for a quieter experience; why not visit the stunning hilltop Getty Villa that affords fabulous views over the city.
Day 3: Los Angeles – Palm Springs (approx. 125 miles)
After the hectic pace of LA, time to move on to the laidback lifestyle of Palm Springs, picking up your Alamo car rental on route to this desert wonderland. A perfect place for relaxation, shopping or for getting active and exploring the outdoors. Stay 4 nights at the Palm Mountain Resort & Spa (or similar).
Day 4-6: Palm Springs
Spend your time indulging in luxury spa treatments, amazing golf courses or simply relaxing by the pool. Desert Springs Premium Outlets is likely to tempt the most reluctant of shoppers with great prices on designer brands; and check out the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway featuring the world’s largest rotating tramcar, for the ultimate views of the Desert Valley. Well recommended, is a day trip to the beautifully eerie Joshua Tree National Park where the Sonoran and Mojave deserts meet. Hike the higher Mojave portion of the desert, home to a forest of Joshua Tree as well as unique rock formations called Inselbergs which are protected.
Day 7: Palm Springs – San Diego (approx. 100 miles)
Travel to San Diego – a city blessed with year round good weather and a wealth of attractions. On the way, why not stop at the Anza–Borrego State Park is the largest state park in California. It boasts miles of hiking trails; the park features wildflowers, palm groves, cacti and sweeping vistas. Then head onto San Diego, home to SeaWorld, San Diego Zoo and a great deal more besides. Stay 3 nights at the Kona Kai Resort & Spa (or similar).
Day 8-9: San Diego
Offering sparkling bays and pristine beaches, California’s second largest city is a fun place to be for people of all ages. Children will love Legoland, SeaWorld or the San Diego Zoo. There’s also plenty of shoreline for surfers or alternatively enjoy breathtaking harbour cruise. Take a trip to Little Italy and explore the streets of this lively neighbourhood with its authentic cafes. Catch a ride to Balboa Park, one of the largest urban cultural parks in the world which is full of museums, performing arts and architecture to discover. And don’t forget the Gaslamp Quarter or Old Town to find the best nightlife San Diego has to offer.
Day 10: San Diego – Laguna Beach (approx. 73 miles)
Your California adventure nears its end, as you take a leisurely drive north along the coast of sunny O.C. to Laguna Beach where you will spend your final days in this laid-back surf town. Stay 2 nights at Holiday Inn Laguna Beach (or similar).
Day 11: Laguna Beach
With an ideal location midway between San Diego and Los Angeles, Laguna Beach is home to some of the most beautiful beaches of the Golden State. Explore the seven miles of picturesque Pacific coastline where you’ll find 20 pristine, sandy beaches and coves that makes Laguna Beach a mecca for surfers from all over the world. Laguna is also home to world-class artists, festivals and art events, as well as boutique shopping and one-of-a-kind shopping and boutiques. With over 70 dining experiences possible, your taste buds can go on a culinary adventure you won’t soon forget.
Day 12: Laguna Beach – Los Angeles (approx. 60 miles) - London
After a whirlwind California tour, you can either plan to extend your stay, otherwise it’s time to wave goodbye to the Golden State as you drop off the rental car at Los Angeles Airport and board the overnight flight returning to London.