9 Days/8 Nights – Gateway: San Francisco

1 & 2: San Francisco, CA

Welcome to wonderful San Francisco, pick up your car and start exploring or proceed to your hotel.

Visit Fisherman’s Wharf and enjoy local fare. Take a trip to Alcatraz Island; see the world-famous sea lions at Pier 39, and the Aquarium. Perhaps take a cruise on San Francisco Bay with magnificent views of Golden Gate Bridge. Spend time in Golden Gate Park and ride the famous cable cars.

2 Nights San Francisco

3: Monterey, CA (126 mi/201 km)

South along the California Coast to the beautiful, scenic Monterey Peninsular. Stop in Pescadero and visit the Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Continue to Monterey and visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium which houses unique exhibits about the area, one of the richest marine habitats in the world. Then visit Cannery Row, made famous by author John Steinbeck, with its many shops and restaurants.

1 night Monterey, CA.

4: Santa Barbara, CA (210 mi/350 km)

Perhaps begin the day with the stunning 17-Mile Drive, offering spectacular views of the rugged California coast, including Point Joe, Fanshell Beach and the famous Lone Cypress. Continue south to San Simeon and perhaps visit the magnificent Hearst Castle, then to Solvang where Denmark has been recreated with charming buildings and windmills. You will also be charmed by Santa Barbara’s many Spanish-Moorish Revival buildings lining cobbled streets.

1 night Santa Barbara, CA.

5 & 6: To Los Angeles, CA (128 mi/212 km)

Start your day with a visit to the famous Santa Barbara Mission, Stearns Wharf, and the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, which houses 65 acres of native plants. Then on to glamorous Los Angeles. Drive through Hollywood and Beverly Hills. See Mann’s Chinese Theatre and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Perhaps take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Kodak Theatre.

Consider visiting Universal Studios, the world’s largest movie studio and theme park. Or visit the seaside town of Santa Monica where the Third Street Promenade is a local favorite, featuring a mix of dining, shopping, and street performances.

2 nights Los Angeles, CA

7 & 8: To San Diego, CA (120 mi/200 km)

Today drive south to San Diego. Along the way perhaps stop at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. You may also want to visit the mission in San Juan Capistrano or Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside. Once in San Diego, consider a dinner cruise on the bay. The following entire day is yours to enjoy what San Diego has to offer. Perhaps visit Balboa Park, home of the San Diego Zoo, or visit the San Diego Wild Animal Park. You may also want to visit SeaWorld to see Shamu or ride the journey to Atlantis!

2 nights San Diego, CA

9: To Los Angeles and Home (120 mi/200 km)

Return your car at the airport prior to departure.

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