Enjoy a 3 night city stay in the beautiful city of San Francisco before commencing on one of the most iconic scenic highways in the USA, PCH101.
Driving south to San Diego you will be amazed at the unobstructed coastal scenery along the route. Enjoying an overnight in Monterey where you will be amazed at the natural beauty of the area with its historic Fisherman’s Wharf and Cannery Row. Take in the views that sweep along the Pacific Coast heading further south to Santa Barbara with its Mission history and world class wines before arriving in the beautiful beach town of San Diego. Then leaving California for the bright lights and delights of Las Vegas to live it up a little before heading home.
San Francisco-The most scenic and bucolic view of San Francisco is from the Marin Headlands, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
San Diego-Visit the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista for a free tour of the 150-acre facility, including training fields and tracks, athlete dorms and the Otay Lake Reservoir. Tours are offered from the Copley Visitor Center at 11:00 am on Saturday.
San Francisco to Monterey (122 MILES)
Monterey to Santa Barbara (235 MILES)
Santa Barbara to San Diego (237 MILES)
San Diego to Las Vegas (331 MILES)
Day 1-3 San Francisco
San Francisco, a gem of a city in northern California that is home to a little bit of everything. Whether you are a first time visitor or a long time local, San Francisco welcomes all. Get your bearings by taking a city bus tour. Browse the quirky shops and restaurants at Pier 39 Fisherman’s Wharf or ride the historic cable cars to Union Square. No visit would be complete without a trip out to Alcatraz, book early to avoid disappointment. Cycle over the cities most iconic landmark, the Golden Gate Bridge where the view are incredible before taking a ferry back from the picturesque village of Sausalito.
San Francisco – 3 nights
Day 4 San Francisco to Monterey (122 MILES)
It’s about a 1½ - 3 hour drive to Monterey. Our recommendation is to take the scenic route which will route through Half Moon Bay and into Santa Cruz. Don’t miss the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium which is a great attraction for all the family. For dinner there are some great restaurant right there on the pier. The Fish Hopper is amazing if you like any seafood or steaks.
Monterey – 1night
Day 5 Monterey to Santa Barbara (235 MILES)
We would suggest a VERY EARLY morning start. You could consider having breakfast in Carmel. You don’t want to miss this very quaint and cute coastal town. It’s worth an hour or two walking around the local area and on the beach. Get on the road no later than 10 o’clock so that you can take your time along the route to Big Sur. Big Sur is a national park but mainly it’s a stretch of coastline through the central coast of California. You will really appreciate the views when driving down the coast en route to San Simeon/Cambria, it is simply breath taking! There are many great places to stop for lunch but for an iconic Big Sur experience, dine at Nepenthe which you really cannot miss. Diners eat at long tables where all seats face out towards the coast and there is a great gallery here that sells lots of local crafts if you are looking for gifts or souvenirs.
Santa Barbara – 2 nights
Day 6 Santa Barbara
You will find great shopping on State Street and LOADS OF IT!! The Mexican food is amazing and the margaritas are strong!!!!!! For dinner on one of your nights, make sure you dine at Brophy Bros in the harbour. It has the best fresh seafood and the offers an amazing view of the beach and mountains. Make the most of its Great Happy Hour!! A Great breakfast spot is Sambos on the Beach! And to get a overview of the area we would definitely recommend doing the trolley tour of Santa Barbara. It is really interesting and fun!!! It also takes in a stop at the Santa Barbara mission one of the most historic in this area and so beautiful. You can also enjoy the amazing rose gardens located there too.
Day 8-9 Santa Barbara to San Diego (237 MILES)
San Diego is a beautiful beach town and bigger than you might expect. It is spread out and each locality has something different to offer. It enjoys beautiful weather year round which enables you to enjoy great outdoor activities and time on the Beach.
We would recommend spending some time in the downtown area which is very walkable. Walk around Seaport Village for a while and then take a water taxi to Coronado Island. Dine at “Peohes” that has the most amazing views especially around sunset when you can see the skyline across the water with a beautiful backdrop of the hills.
In the Gas Lamp district you can find some great cafes, bars and shopping. San Diego has great attractions for everyone, spend time at SeaWorld or Balboa Park. Surf on its pristine beaches or enjoy a day out in Belmont Park its beachfront amusement park.
San Diego – 2 nights
Day 10 -11 San Diego to Las Vegas (331 MILES)
We recommend an early start today as the drive to Las Vegas will be between 5 – 6 hours. You can take the road that will bring you through Palm Springs which would be a good stop off point to stretch your legs and get a bite to eat. When you arrive in Las Vegas it and if time permits you may consider dropping off your car at the airport on arrival. You won’t need a car to get around Las Vegas as taxis are very affordable and the strip is very walkable. There are boundless things to do in Las Vegas but top of our list would be to take in a show or concert as it is now home to some big names in Music. There are also lots of sporting events that are all year round. While there it is only a 45 minute helicopter ride away is to see the Grand Canyon. We would recommend that you book this in advance especially if you are only staying a couple of nights.
Las Vegas – 2 nights