Ultimate California Coast

United States of America
13 nights private tour from $20,400

Stretches of long sandy beach, farm-fresh foods, local wines, a rugged and captivating coastline full of wildlife, iconic cities, and Hollywood glamour, is all to be enjoyed on this spectacular trip to one of the world’s most fabulous regions of natural beauty. Explore San Francisco and Los Angeles with a private guide, sail under Golden Gate Bridge, horse ride along the beach, enjoy a whale watching trip and soak up the Orange County vibe in Laguna Beach, on this fabulous West Coast adventure.

Ultimate California Coast
At a glance
  • Take a private guided tour of San Francisco, customised to your interests, before enjoying the chance to sail under the Golden Gate Bridge and learn about life as an inmate on the prison island of Alcatraz. 

  • Savour the fresh foods and wines of the Sonoma Valley, meeting the producers, sampling their wares, and learning more about their craft. 

  • Explore the Monterey coastline on land and sea with an exciting whale watching trip in a Zodiac boat and a relaxing horse ride along the beach, before a chance to relax in laidback Santa Barbara. 

  • Dive into the glamour and varied neighbourhoods of Los Angeles and enjoy a tailormade guided tour to maximise your time in this exciting city. 

Journey highlights
  • Take a private guided tour of San Francisco, customised to your interests, before enjoying the chance to sail under the Golden Gate Bridge and learn about life as an inmate on the prison island of Alcatraz. 

  • Savour the fresh foods and wines of the Sonoma Valley, meeting the producers, sampling their wares, and learning more about their craft. 

  • Explore the Monterey coastline on land and sea with an exciting whale watching trip in a Zodiac boat and a relaxing horse ride along the beach, before a chance to relax in laidback Santa Barbara. 

  • Dive into the glamour and varied neighbourhoods of Los Angeles and enjoy a tailormade guided tour to maximise your time in this exciting city. 

  • Ultimate itinerary:A harmonious blend of authenticity and superlative luxury, our Ultimate Journeys are designed for the discerning traveller, providing unparalleled insider access and exclusive luxury private experiences
Our tailor made journeys include:
  • Your dedicated Travel Consultant who will take care of arrangements
  • Private international airport transfers in destination
  • Your own private, English-speaking local guides
  • Unique experiences, hand-picked by our Journeys team
  • Entrance to must-see local sites
  • Dedicated 24/7 team providing in-country support and guidance
  • Complimentary access to My Scott Dunn – industry-leading travel app providing pre-departure information and in-journey support

When to visit

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San Francisco is a year-round destination but has a cool maritime climate. In the summer, the city’s famous fog rolls in mornings and evenings, creating a misty chill in the air. Spring sees the end of the rainy season, and the city’s pretty-in-pink cherry blossom trees dot the landscape. In Autumn Indian Summer comes to San Francisco, bringing warm, dry days with plenty of sunshine. The very best time of year is August to October when temperatures are at their highest and days are often sunny.

Itinerary

Day 1-4

San Francisco

After a good night’s sleep and a chance to acclimatise, get set to discover the highlights of San Francisco on a full day tour of the city with a personal guide and driver. With so much to experience, your guide will tailor the day to your specific requests and interests, allowing you to see both the iconic sites and hidden gems. Marvel at the famous hills, iconic cable cars, colourful Victorian houses, and the glorious Golden Gate Bridge, as your informative guide brings the city to life with the history, culture, and stories of this beautiful metropolis. A city of fascinating neighbourhoods, this is a chance to see and learn about the oldest Chinatown in North America; walk the streets of the former hippy enclave of Haight Ashbury; stroll through the city’s famed LBGT community in Castro and explore the rich Italian heritage of North Beach and Washington Square.  
Other highlights include the impressive views from Nob Hill, where the silver and railroad barons built their mansions; a chance to meet the resident sea lions of Fisherman’s Wharf and to walk down the famously crooked Lombard Street. Declared one of the Wonders of the Modern-Day World, relish the thrill of walking across the Golden Gate Bridge, before relaxing in Golden Gate Park, where you can ride a rowing boat or carousel, see great art, and explore the lush green spaces. 
 
The following day, jump aboard the city’s only America’s Cup racing yacht for a sailing adventure. Your captain will introduce the vessel and its history before it’s your turn to assist the crew in skippering the boat. The 2.5-hour cruise provides wonderful views of the city, Alcatraz and Sausalito and even takes you under the Golden Gate Bridge, for a view that few get to admire. 
 
After a chance to relax, it’s back on the water for a 15-minute ferry ride for an evening tour of Alcatraz, without the crowds. Allow around three hours for the self-guided audio tour to really explore this former prison island and its history.  
Accommodation: The St. Regis San Francisco ( 3 nights )
Day 4-6

Sonoma

Food and wine lovers will savour the following two days, which offer a chance to explore the food and wine of Sonoma Valley. After collecting your car, head north to Point Reyes for an insider foodie experience visiting local farms, against a breath-taking backdrop of crashing waves, rocky headlands, and expansive beaches. Led by your knowledgeable guide, your tour begins at a renowned creamery, where you will sample freshly baked pastries and award-winning cheeses. 
After lunch of either grass-fed burgers produced at a local cattle ranch, local seafood or a delicious plant-based option, there’s the chance to taste Champagne-style mead made from fermented honey. The last stop of the day is an oyster farm where you can dive into the world of aquaculture. And if oysters aren’t to your taste, cleanse your palate with a selection of cheese from the dairy farm, before heading back to the hotel. 
 
The following day offers a tasting adventure, visiting three wineries in the Sonoma Valley. Brief us on your personal taste, so the day can be crafted to suit you. Amid the rolling vineyards and pastoral views, it’s easy to immerse yourself in the beauty of this famous wine making region. Throughout the day you will not only enjoy wine tasting but also get to meet the producers, who will talk you through the wine-making process. Lunch is a delicious deli-style picnic at one of the most scenic wineries, with views of redwood trees and the valley. 
Accommodation: Farmhouse Inn ( 2 nights )
Day 6-8

Monterey and Carmel

Travelling back to the coast, the next two days are a chance to soak up the magnificent coastline of Monterey Bay. Spend the morning whale watching from a Zodiac boat on an exhilarating ocean safari in 'whale park'. This 3-4-hour boat tour leaves from Moss Landing, where the deep canyon waters attract an abundance of marine life throughout the year.  
 
A playground for humpbacks, orcas and blue whales, the sight of these magnificent creatures breaching, lobtailing and surging through the pounding surf is unforgettable. Keep your eyes peeled for pods of dolphins, also known to frequent these waters.  
 
The following day you take to the saddle, for a 60-minute ride across Carmel Valley, described as the ‘greatest meeting of land and water in the world.’ Soak up the sight of rolling green hills set between imposing mountains and the vast blue plains of the Pacific Ocean - on a clear day you can see coastline stretching from Santa Cruz to Monterey. The mesmerising beauty of this coastal region is ideal to explore on horseback and riders are carefully matched with the most suitable four-legged companion for their equestrian ability. Before returning to the stables, you will even get a chance to dismount, stretch your legs and dip your toes in the ocean. 
Accommodation: Carmel Valley Ranch ( 2 nights )
Day 8-10

Santa Barbara

Take the opportunity to indulge in some fine Californian living next, with two nights in the attractive city of Santa Barbara. Known as the American Riviera, the city enjoys a privileged location between the Santa Ynez Mountains and Pacific Ocean. With a Mediterranean climate, Spanish heritage architecture, established food and wine scene and ample opportunity to kick back, this is the quintessential haven for California dreaming. During your stay, there’s the opportunity to enjoy a half-day sightseeing tour of this glorious city, which includes a gourmet picnic lunch and urban wine tasting experience.  

Accommodation: Hotel Californian ( 2 nights )
Day 10-12

Los Angeles

Heading south along the coast, the City of Angels, Los Angeles is waiting to be discovered. Soak up the vibe, explore the shops, bars, and cafes of Santa Monica before heading to the iconic pier and beach. Hire skates, a bike or board and cruise the prom marvelling at the muscle men and surfers of Venice Beach. Or spend the day indulging in the natural beauty of Malibu while you drink up the rays. 
 
For a more structured exploration, there’s a full day tour with a driver/guide to enjoy. This will be tailored to your specific interests, so do let your guide know what you’d most like to see and explore. There’s glitzy shopping on Rodeo Drive, local farmer’s markets, the Hollywood Hills and famous sign, the Walk of Fame, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and West Hollywood’s Sunset Strip. Whether your passion is food, infamous hotels, celebrity haunts, nightclubs, designer shops or the beach, Los Angeles will not disappoint. 
Accommodation: Pendry West Hollywood ( 2 nights )
Day 12-14

Laguna Beach

Before heading home, there’s a chance to unwind in the pretty southern coastal city of Laguna Beach. Known for its beaches, coves and art galleries, Laguna is the epitome of the Orange County lifestyle. This is a great place to chill, with excellent restaurants and bars, artisan cafes and shopping and superb beaches, Laguna is a treat. 

Accommodation: Montage Laguna Beach ( 2 nights )
We design each itinerary around you, so this suggested itinerary is a starting point that we can tweak or transform into something completely bespoke to you.
Call us on 858 523 9000 to start planning your holiday.

Experiences included in this itinerary


Your Hotels


When to visit

  • J
  • F
  • M
  • A
  • M
  • J
  • J
  • A
  • S
  • O
  • N
  • D
Best time to visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit

San Francisco is a year-round destination but has a cool maritime climate. In the summer, the city’s famous fog rolls in mornings and evenings, creating a misty chill in the air. Spring sees the end of the rainy season, and the city’s pretty-in-pink cherry blossom trees dot the landscape. In Autumn Indian Summer comes to San Francisco, bringing warm, dry days with plenty of sunshine. The very best time of year is August to October when temperatures are at their highest and days are often sunny.

Ultimate California Coast
Ultimate California Coast

We design each itinerary around you, so this suggested itineraryis a starting point that we can tweak or transform into something completely bespoke to you. Call us on 858 523 9000 to start planning your holiday.

Plan your trip

Why Scott Dunn?

At Scott Dunn, we live and breathe travel. An insatiable appetite to discover the world runs through everything we do. We relish the planning and revel in the detail. We know it’s the smallest touches that make the biggest difference, and we stop at nothing to make every trip not only exceptional but totally unique.

  • Every itinerary is crafted from scratch, based around exactly what’s important to you
  • Packed full of unique experiences, hand-picked by our journeys team
  • Expert local guides enrich your experience in every destination
  • Your own dedicated Travel Specialist who will take care of every detail of your trip
  • We have a 24/7 team providing in-country support and guidance
  • We offer flexibility and financial protection to give you total peace of mind

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