California: The Best Family Itinerary...Ever!

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Best time to go: May to September

15 Nights | from £8,990pp

Holiday type: Tailor-made

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  • Help sail an America's Cup Yacht around San Francisco harbour
  • Get up close and personal with dolphins and sea lions on Catalina Island
  • Visit a giant redwood forest, home to 800 year old trees
  • Take a golf lesson at one of the most difficult courses in the country and learn the arts of stand up paddle boarding and surfing
  • Experience Universal Studios behind the scenes as a VIP

Day 1 UK / San Francisco
A member of the A&K team will meet you as you arrive in San Francisco and drive you to your hotel for the next three nights, The St. Regis San Francisco.  Your San Francisco adventure starts with a self-guided, nighttime tour to the infamous Alcatraz, one of the most legendary prisons worldwide! After Alcatraz make your way back to your hotel by foot or by taxi (paid direct).
The St. Regis San Francisco 

Day 2 San Francisco City Tour by bike
Meet your guide in the morning for a half day tour by bike of San Francisco's many idiosyncratic neighbourhoods. Cycle over the iconic Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito to enjoy a leisurely lunch. This afternoon your drier will take you to Mill Valley for a seaplane tour above the Golden Gate Bridge. Soar along the rugged coast line for sweeping views of the bridge and a unique perspective of the city's dramatic skyline. Return to Sausalito, where your driver will be waiting to bring you back to your hotel.
The St. Regis San Francisco | Meals: Breakfast 

Day 3 America's Cup Yacht Sail and San Francisco
Make your way down to the marina for an afternoon aboard San Francisco's only America's Cup racing yacht. You'll be helping the crew to raise the huge, 200m² mainsail and the jib sail after leaving the marina, and then you're off! You'll rotate through the different roles on the yacht, giving you the chance to try your hand at the helm or on the grinders. Your route takes you under the Golden Gate Bridge, past Alcatraz Island and other nearby San Francisco landmarks. Back on dry land, get lost in the bustling and fascinating city of San Francisco with your expert local guide leading the way. This evening is at your leisure to enjoy one of the many fine restaurants in town.
The St. Regis San Francisco | Meals: Breakfast

Day 4 San Francisco to Yosemite National Park
It’s time to hit the road: pick up your hire car and head east towards Yosemite National Park, best known for its waterfalls and stunning natural beauty. Your home for the next two nights is the charming Tenaya Lodge, and once you've settled in, the rest of the day is yours to relax in your surroundings or get out and about to explore the Park.
Tenaya Lodge | Meals: Breakfast 

Day 5 Yosemite National Park
Meet your nature guide in the morning for an action-packed tour of Yosemite National Park. You'll visit the major highlights including Glacier Point, Tunnel View, El Capitan, Half Dome, Bridal Veil Falls and Swinging Bridge.
Tenaya Lodge | Meals: Breakfast 

Day 6 Yosemite National Park to Carmel
It's time to leave Yosemite and head back to the California to coast to Carmel, and your next hotel, Carmel Valley Ranch. Here you can enjoy a private nature walk through the hotel's expansive grounds, including 200 hectares of forest at the base of the Santa Lucia Mountains.
Carmel Valley Ranch | Meals: Breakfast 

Day 7 Carmel and the Monterey Peninsula
After breakfast, set off to the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium on the pacific shoreline, for a private behind the scenes tour. After lunch, explore the marine life of the coast by eco-raft. This smaller, open vessel means you are closer to the water, all the better for viewing the humpback whales, orcas, blue whales, dolphins, seabirds and seals that call the area home and the beautiful coastline of Monterey Bay, Point Lobos or Elkorn Slough.
Carmel Valley Ranch | Meals: Breakfast 

Day 8 Carmel to Santa Barbara
After breakfast, head south to Santa Barbara along the iconic Route 1, known as the Pacific Coast Highway, as it follows the spectacular Pacific coastline in a series of looping curves and stunning bridges. Spend the night in charismatic Santa Barbara at Belmond El Encanto.
Belmond El Encanto | Meals: Breakfast 

Day 9 Santa Barbara 
Today enjoy a relaxing day of kayaking along the Santa Barbara waterfront. First you will board a group ferry over to the Channel Island. Keep an eye out spotted often are migrating whales and pods of dolphins! Once on the water, paddle a glorious three miles along the coast surrounded by beautiful kelp forests and rugged cliffs. If you fancy exploring the waters a bit more put on your snorkeling gear to explore the kelp beds of Scorpion Anchorage. This evening is at your leisure.
Belmond El Encanto | Meals: Breakfast 

Day 10 Los Angeles – Santa Monica
It’s then time to head south towards Los Angeles, where you will stay in Santa Monica for the next three nights. This afternoon, explore the city with your own private guide to visit the most popular LA sights: the Hollywood Sign (hear the true story of why it was built), a walking tour of the Hollywood Bowl, Hancock Park, with its stately mansions and art deco apartments built for the stars of Hollywood’s heyday. 
Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows | Meals: Breakfast 

Day 11 Los Angeles - Santa  Monica
After a hearty breakfast, head to today’s activity in Mother’s Beach for a fun paddleboarding lesson. After this lovely and leisurely paddle, spend the next two hours biking along the world famous Venice beach boardwalk. Pass colourful shops, and even more colourful local characters, along a gorgeous stretch of beach. 
Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows | Meals: Breakfast 

Day 12 Universal Studios Hollywood
Today you'll be treated like an A-lister with a VIP experience at Universal Studios Hollywood. You'll explore Universal's award-winning sound department and prop warehouse followed by lunch in a private dining room, cooked by Universal's executive chef. Afterwards visit Universal's theme park, accompanied by a VIP guide who will escort you to the best seats in the house and front of the line access to all rides and attractions.
Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows | Meals: Breakfast 

Day 13 Los Angeles - Laguna Beach
With paddleboarding lessons already mastered, you'll have the chance to spend the morning with a surfing pro, learning the art of becoming a Californian surfer. The rest of the day is yours to relax and explore.
Montage Laguna Beach | Meals: Breakfast

Day 14 Catalina Island
A fitting finale to your holiday a full day at your leisure. Spend the time at the beach or in one of many diverse galleries in the area. Wander in and out of Laguna’s natural coves, the scenery is spectacular.  Dine in one of the many fine restaurants for your final evening in California.
Montage Laguna Beach | Meals: Breakfast

Day 15 Los Angeles to UK
Drive the short distance to the airport where you'll leave your hire car and board your flight back to the UK.
Meals: Breakfast


At A&K all of our journeys are individually tailored to suit your needs and timescale. As a guide, this 15 day suggested holiday will cost from £8,990 per adult and £8,310 per child, including international flights and SUV rental.  

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Meet the North America Team

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Our North America team are experts in designing the perfect holiday in the USA and Canada to suit your personal needs, interests and budget.3

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Useful info


Best time to be there

At 38 times the size of the UK, there is always a part of the country having great weather. The peak season is from June to September.

Fly to

British Airways fly to all the major cities in the States.

Flying time

7-12 hours

Time difference

From -5 to -10 hours behind GMT


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