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California Explorer Fly Drive Holiday

19 nights

Experience the thrills of The Golden State on this breathtaking fly-drive holiday on which you will see all of what California has to offer.

Give yourselves time to relax on this leisurely fly-drive holiday through California. Start in iconic San Francisco before collecting your car and driving over the Golden Gate bridge into the wine producing area of Sonoma. From here it is up into the mountains for Lake Tahoe and Yosemite before returning to the coast to drive the Pacific Coastal Highway. Marvel at Big Sur, the aquarium in Monterey, the colourful cottages of Carmel and much more besides as you make your way south to Los Angeles.

The Breakdown

Here's a day-by-day guide to your itinerary. Feel free to ask us to add other days or ideas and excursions by adding them to your wishlist, so we can give you the best price.

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Day 1-4

San Francisco

San Francisco: so much to do and see it is hard to know where to start. Old favourites such as th...

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Day 4-6

San Francisco to Sonoma County

Time to collect your car and start the adventure by driving over the Golden Gate Bridge into the...

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Day 6-9

Sonoma County to Lake Tahoe

It is nearly 4 hours to your next stop at Lake Tahoe so you might want to consider stopping in Sa...

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Day 9-12

Lake Tahoe to Yosemite National Park

One of the many highlights of this holiday is bound to be Yosemite National Park. Renowned throug...

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Day 12-15

Yosemite National Park to Carmel

Time to say "goodbye" to the mountains and return to the coast. Yosemite to Monterey is a 3 - 4 h...

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Day 15-18

Carmel to Los Angeles

One of the best drives in the world today as you drive south, and it is important to do it from n...

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Day 1-4

San Francisco

San Francisco: so much to do and see it is hard to know where to start. Old favourites such as the cable cars and Alcatraz will always attract but there is also the new and enlarged Museum of Modern Art to be seen, Fisherman's Wharf to be marvelled at and possibly the best way of all is to take one of the myriad ferries that crisscross the bay. Where to stay in the city is always a big discussion point. Frontier America can offer some delightful boutique downtown hotels but it is also worth considering staying over the Golden Gate Bridge at Cavallo Point or at the Georgian Revival-style Inn at the Presidio also once an army barracks. Other ideas are listed on the accommodation tab above.

3 nights in San Francisco

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Day 4-6

San Francisco to Sonoma County

Time to collect your car and start the adventure by driving over the Golden Gate Bridge into the pretty community of Sausalito and on to Sonoma County. Sonoma and its neighbour Napa Valley produce much of California's renowned wine. Frontier America can arrange a wine-tasting tour for you allowing you to leave your car at your hotel - a wise precaution perhaps. Sonoma is full of surprises: do visit the Wildwood Farm where you will find 5 acres full of more than 200 Japanese maples, Swede's Feeds for an extraordinary collection of pots and sculptures, the Californian Missions Museum or Sonoma Valley Airport where you can take a ride in a 1942 open cockpit biplane, a Boeing Stearman, or a WWII Warhawk.

 

2 nights in Sonoma County

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Day 6-9

Sonoma County to Lake Tahoe

It is nearly 4 hours to your next stop at Lake Tahoe so you might want to consider stopping in Sacramento, the state capital for lunch en route. You could even have lunch aboard one of the river cruises. Lake Tahoe is huge - it takes about 40 minutes to drive from north to south, it also forms the state boundary between California and Nevada. The northern part is arguably the more beautiful, it is certainly quieter and where you stay will reflect your preference; there are beautiful properties in both. If you stay in South Lake Tahoe and fancy a flutter, it is very simple to cross the border. Wherever you stay, do be sure to visit the glorious Emerald Bay; the many ski resorts in the area offer all kinds of activities during the summer months including zip lines, gondola rides, mountain biking and of course just lovely leisurely walks.

 

3 nights in Lake Tahoe

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Day 9-12

Lake Tahoe to Yosemite National Park

One of the many highlights of this holiday is bound to be Yosemite National Park. Renowned throughout the world for its scenery, you will not be disappointed. You will be staggered by the sheer size of El Capitan which has attracted hard core climbers for decades; most of us will be happy to just stand and marvel. But this is just one of the many miraculous sights of the park. We have allowed three days but you might well want more by the time you have visited the Ansel Adams Gallery, hiked some of the paths and perhaps joined one of the Rangers for their very informative talks about the history and geology of the park.

 

3 nights in Yosemite National Park

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Day 12-15

Yosemite National Park to Carmel

Time to say "goodbye" to the mountains and return to the coast. Yosemite to Monterey is a 3 - 4 hour drive. Monterey is a an interesting town, known to many as the home of John Steinbeck. If you are a fan, do take the multi-sensory tour of the National Steinbeck Center, if not perhaps the aquarium is more to your taste. Whatever your tastes Monterey is an interesting old fishing and canning town and well worth spending two or three nights in the area be in it Monterey itself, Carmel just to the south or one of the ultra luxurious resorts on Big Sur. The Post Ranch Inn alone is worth the journey to California!

 

3 nights in Carmel

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Day 15-18

Carmel to Los Angeles

One of the best drives in the world today as you drive south, and it is important to do it from north to south to get the best views, along the Pacific Coast Highway towards Los Angeles. We suggest a break of journey in or around Santa Barbara which will also give you time to explore Hearst Castle. The holiday finishes in Los Angeles where you can choose to stay on the beach at Santa Monica, in Hollywood or in downtown LA. The choice, as always on a Frontier America holiday, is yours.

 

3 nights in Los Angeles

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The View

A selection of images representing the areas and places you will be visiting to give you a glimpse of what lies in store during your holiday.

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This is a selection of hotels for this itinerary. Some areas have many more choices; please use the search function above if you wish to find an alternative hotel.

Now we need to make the perfect holiday for you and give you a quotation.

 

Whether you would like to book this exact holiday or to tailor-make it to better suit you, please give one of our knowledgeable experts a call on 020 8776 8709 or send us an email.

 

Alternatively, take advantage of the Wishlist facility; simply add this itinerary, or any particular destinations or hotels to My Wishlist by clicking on the ADD TO WISHLIST buttons on all pages. To make it easier to save and change the details on your Wishlist at any time, why not register with us? You can also just send your completed Wishlist to us at any time; we will then contact you to discuss your holiday further and send you a detailed quotation.

 

We are here to make sure we tailor-make your holiday to suit your specific requirements and our friendly, knowledgeable staff are all ready to help.

 

Booking your holiday with us doesn't end when we send your confirmation out to you, either. Talk to us about adding excursions or room upgrades or even restaurant recommendations; we are here to offer advice all the way up to your departure date. Even when you have left the UK, we are still here to help. For example if your flight that we have booked is delayed or cancelled due to ash cloud, strike, etc, it is down to us to re-arrange your travel. We will do everything we can to make sure your holiday runs smoothly. And better still, we are fully bonded with ATOL and ABTA, so your money is completely protected.

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Tailor-making YOUR perfect holiday

Fully bespoke holidays across America

This suggested itinerary is our recommendation but can be tailored to match your wishes and needs

  • We can change everything from the hotels & tours to the durations & destinations
  • Just give us a call on 020 8776 8709 or Email us and we can help