A South California Self-Drive Journey

9 Nights Tour

Surf to Sand: A Southern California Self-Drive Adventure

Exploring the Vibrant Cities of Los Angeles, San Diego, and Palm Springs, with flights, rental car and more.

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Embark on a self-drive adventure that seamlessly blends outdoor exploration with rejuvenating wellness experiences amidst the stunning landscapes of Southern California. Delve into the eclectic neighbourhoods and iconic attractions of Los Angeles, where vibrant city life meets serene coastal beauty. Traverse the sun-kissed beaches and immerse yourself in the outdoor charm of San Diego, indulging in beachside strolls and delectable Southern California cuisine. Finally, find serenity in the desert oasis of Palm Springs, where mineral hot springs and luxurious spa treatments await amidst the tranquil desert landscape.

Tour Highlights:
- Wander through the charming beach towns of Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Marina del Rey, and Venice, where you can indulge in shopping, dining, and basking in the warm California sun.
- Step into the glitz and glamour of the entertainment industry with a visit to one of LA's renowned movie studios, offering an insider's look at Hollywood magic.
- Immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of LA culture by exploring a myriad of museums scattered across the city, from the illustrious Getty Center to the contemporary marvels housed within The Broad.
- Embark on a thrilling kayak adventure in La Jolla, San Diego, where you can paddle alongside playful sea lions and soak in the coastal splendour.
- Dive into the rich history of San Diego by wandering through the cobbled streets of Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, where the city's Spanish colonial past comes to life.
- Experience the allure of San Diego's iconic Coronado Beach, renowned for its pristine sands and the storied elegance of the historic Hotel del Coronado.
- Ascend to new heights aboard the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, treating yourself to breathtaking views as you journey to the summit of Mount San Jacinto.
- Explore the rugged beauty of Mount San Jacinto State Park, traversing its scenic trails and immersing yourself in the refreshing mountain air.
- Uncover the artistic heart of Palm Springs as you meander through its downtown streets, discovering eclectic art galleries and chic boutiques nestled amidst the desert landscape.

Day 1: Arrival 
Touch down at Los Angeles International Airport and pick up your rental car, marking the beginning of your exciting journey. Waste no time in immersing yourself in the quintessential California experience by heading straight to Manhattan Beach. Feel the warmth of the sun on your skin as you sink your toes into the soft sand and listen to the soothing rhythm of the waves. Whether you're into beach volleyball, cycling along the picturesque 22-mile (35 km) bike path known as 'The Strand', or simply lounging by the ocean with a good book, Manhattan Beach offers a perfect escape. As the day draws to a close, make your way to the vibrant neighbourhood of Venice Beach, where the eclectic energy of Abbott Kinney Blvd awaits. Meander through this bohemian enclave, adorned with trendy boutiques, cosy cafes, and captivating street art that begs to be captured for your Instagram feed. End your day with a mesmerising sunset over the Pacific Ocean, followed by a delightful dinner at one of the many sustainable farm-to-table restaurants lining the waterfront.

Day 2: Hollywood Glamour 
Indulge your inner cinephile with a day dedicated to exploring the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. Begin your journey with a visit to Warner Bros. Studios Tour, where you'll get an exclusive behind-the-scenes glimpse into the making of your favourite movies and TV shows. Alternatively, immerse yourself in the magical world of Universal Studios Hollywood, where thrilling rides and captivating attractions await. Afterwards, treat your taste buds to a sensory adventure at the Original Farmers Market, a beloved LA landmark boasting a tantalising array of gourmet delights from local vendors. As the afternoon unfolds, take a leisurely stroll through the Miracle Mile district, where a diverse culinary scene and chic boutiques await at every turn.

Day 3: City Views & Art in LA
Rise and shine for a morning hike in Griffith Park, where panoramic views of the iconic Hollywood Sign and sprawling cityscape await. Take a moment to soak in the breathtaking vistas before venturing to the Getty Center, a cultural oasis nestled amidst lush gardens and striking architecture. Lose yourself in a world of art and culture as you explore the museum's impressive collection, featuring masterpieces by renowned artists from around the globe. Next, venture downtown to The Broad, where contemporary art takes centre stage in a stunning architectural marvel. As evening descends upon the city, ascend to a rooftop perch in Downtown LA and toast to another day of adventure with a refreshing cocktail. Conclude your day with a delectable dinner at a chic restaurant in the vibrant Arts District, where creativity and culinary innovation collide.

Day 4: Coastal Drive to San Diego 
Embark on an unforgettable journey from Los Angeles to San Diego, tracing the scenic route along the Pacific Coast Highway. As you wind your way southward, be sure to make a pit stop at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, where dramatic cliffs and pristine beaches await exploration. Continue your coastal odyssey to La Jolla, a picturesque seaside community renowned for its rugged coastline and vibrant marine life. Here, you can embark on a kayaking adventure alongside playful sea lions or simply bask in the beauty of your surroundings with a leisurely picnic lunch overlooking the azure waters of the Pacific. Finally, arrive in San Diego, where the charming ambience of Balboa Park beckons with its lush gardens, enchanting trails, and world-class museums awaiting your discovery.

Day 5: San Diego Highlights
After a great brunch in Little Italy, continue your day with a visit to the USS Midway Museum, exploring a historic aircraft carrier and learning about naval history. Next, visit Seaport Village, browse shops, and enjoy lunch on the Embarcadero with bay views. Take a harbour cruise for a unique perspective of the city's skyline. Spend the afternoon exploring Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, immersing in the city's Spanish colonial past. Wrap up your day with fish tacos or a California burrito for dinner at a Mexican restaurant.

Day 6: Beach Day in San Diego
Kick off your day with a visit to the iconic Coronado Beach, renowned for its glistening sands and the historic Hotel del Coronado. Take a leisurely stroll along the charming boardwalk, soaking in the panoramic views of the coastline. Next, make your way to Liberty Station, a vibrant hub of activity where the Liberty Public Market Food Hall awaits with a diverse array of culinary delights to satisfy every palate. After lunch, journey to the Cabrillo National Monument and ascend to the Old Point Loma Lighthouse for a breathtaking vista overlooking San Diego. Then, venture to Sunset Cliffs for a serene coastal walk amidst dramatic cliffs and crashing waves. Continue your exploration with a bike ride along the lively Mission Beach boardwalk, soaking in the lively atmosphere. As the day draws to a close, unwind at Pacific Beach, where you can savour a spectacular sunset while indulging in refreshing cocktails at a waterfront bar.

Day 7: Road Trip to Palm Springs 
Today embark on a scenic road trip from San Diego to Palm Springs! Drive through picturesque landscapes, stopping at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park for a desert hike. Take a tour through Galleta Meadows, home to over 130 steel welded sculptures prowling the desert landscape. Continue the journey, passing the Salton Sea, California’s largest lake, formed in 1905 due to a breach in irrigation canals on the Colorado River. Arriving in Greater Palm Springs, plan a stop in the City of Palm Desert to visit El Paseo, the desert’s Rodeo Drive. This area overflows with unique boutiques selling everything from high-end fashion to savoury cooking spices.

Day 8: Nature and Art in Palm Springs
Rise early for a sunrise hike at Indian Canyons, for wildlife spotting and immersing yourself in the desert's tranquillity. Afterwards, enjoy a healthy breakfast at a local café. Head to the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway for breathtaking views as you ascend 8,500 feet to Mount San Jacinto State Park. Explore the park's trails, taking in the fresh mountain air. Enjoy a picnic lunch surrounded by nature. Return to town taking a stroll through the unique art galleries and boutique stores before enjoying a farm-to-table dining experience savouring locally sourced ingredients.

Day 9: Wellness Day in Palm Springs
Start the day with a rejuvenating yoga class, followed by a nutritious breakfast at your hotel. Afterwards, strap into one of the iconic red Jeeps with Desert Adventures as you explore the labyrinth of geological cuts and canyons of the San Andreas Fault Zone. For lunch, enjoy fresh, organic cuisine at a wellness-focused restaurant. In the afternoon, discover what makes Palm Springs the mecca for midcentury modern architecture with a guided tour. Before indulging in dinner, experience the healing waters at The Spa at Séche, inside the new Agua Caliente Cultural Museum. For over 12,000 years, these legendary waters have dwelled in an ancient aquifer deep underground. (Tours & admission fees are not included)

Day 10: Departure 
Check out of the hotel and drive back to Los Angeles. End your journey at the Los Angeles airport and return the rental car.

Tour Includes:
- Three nights at the Luxe Sunset Boulevard Hotel (or similar), Los Angeles 
- Three nights at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina (or similar), San Diego
- Three nights at the Margaritaville Resort Palm Springs Hotel (or similar), Palm Springs 
- Optional Harbour Cruise in San Diego
- Optional Aerial Tramway Admission Ticket in Palm Springs
- Optional San Andreas Fault Jeep Tour from Palm Desert 
- Optional South Palm Springs Architecture, History and Bike Tour
- One piece of hand luggage and one piece of hold luggage per person
- Car hire included throughout 
- Direct Flights from London Heathrow to Los Angeles Airport 

 

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