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Classic Highway 1

Visit San Francisco, Monterey, Carmel, Big Sur, Cambria, Santa Barbara & Los Angeles

Highway 1 offers two of America’s very best cities, linked by one of the World’s most scenic drives.

This awe-inspiring road connects San Francisco to Los Angeles and once driven, you’ll understand just why Highway 1 deserves its worldwide reputation. Epic coastal views, superb State Parks, beautiful beaches and charming Californian towns can all be enjoyed along Highway 1.


Classic Highway 1 10 nights

This Highway 1 road trip can be tailored to meet your exact requirements. Want to add some additional days? No problem, we can bolt on extra nights to allow more time to explore or just relax at the end of the drive. Just let us know what you want when you request your quote.

Everyone simply must drive Highway 1


Hello San Francisco

Day 1

First stop - San Francisco

Fly direct to California, and then take a taxi from the airport to find your hotel in the cosmopolitan city of San Francisco. Enjoy an evening meal in one of the city's excellent restaurants before settling in for the night. You'll need to be ready and refreshed for two full days exploring this wonderful city by the Bay. There's no need for a car just yet, you'll pick up your wheels when you leave for Highway 1 on Day 4.

  • Key location: San Francisco, CA
  • San Francisco, CA

The Painted Ladies

Day 2

There's so much to see and do in San Francisco

San Francisco is packed with charming Victorian houses, famous movie locations, wealthy tech companies and popular tourist attractions. Ride a cable car, climb the streets or grab a cab to swing from one to the next. Chinatown is a popular place for dinner, as it's well located near to Union Square. If you have more expensive taste, then San Fran has more Michelin Star restaurants than New York. On a budget, then maybe visit the Ferry Building for some fresh and tasty take out treats.

  • Key location: San Francisco, CA
  • San Francisco, CA

Alcatraz Island

Day 3

Alcatraz and a whole lot more!

A second full day to explore San Francisco's must-see attractions like Coit Tower, Lombard Street, the Painted Ladies, and Union Square, to name just a few. Alcatraz is much for most visitors, and it's great to pair time there with a visit to Fisherman's Wharf and maybe a bike ride across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.

  • Key location: San Francisco, CA
  • San Francisco, CA

Monterey Bay

Day 4

Start your drive down Highway 1

Today you'll take Highway 1 out of San Francisco, and then follow it south to Monterey and Carmel. Once the capital of California, Monterey boomed off the back of yesteryears whaling and sardine industries. Today, it's best known for the world-class Monterey Bay Aquarium that presides on Cannery Row. The focus is now on marine education and preservation. Want to experience Monterey Bay first hand? Then take a boat trip out, in one of the World's best whale-watching spots. In the early evening, cruise along famous “17-Mile Drive” on your way to cute Carmel-by-the-Sea. As you take this short drive, you’ll pass by Pebble Beach, millionaire mansions and a beautiful rugged coastline.

  • Key location: Monterey, CA
  • Carmel, CA
  • 120 Miles

Gorgeous Carmel Beach

Day 5

Highway 1's prettiest small town - Carmel

Carmel-by-the-Sea has two world-class beaches backed by a gorgeous small town made up of beautiful homes, classy restaurants and quaint streets. To the north is the world famous Pebble Beach Golf Course and to the south is Big Sur starting with the wild and wonderful Point Lobos Reserve which can be enjoyed through the many short walks.

  • Key location: Carmel, CA
  • Carmel, CA

Bixby Bridge, Highway 1

Day 6

Big Sur - The drive of your life

Continue 100 miles south along Highway 1 to the southern tip of Big Sur. This is the most scenic and dramatic section of Highway 1 - Enjoy endless curves that pass by gorgeous State Parks and offer spectacular vista points overlooking the vast Pacific Ocean. Hearst Castle, near Cambria, perches on “The Enchanted Hill” and overlooks the ocean in the distance. This is an extraordinary home that hosted the world’s most famous and wealthy. Today Hearst Castle offers the chance to see fine antiques and art from around the world in an over the top setting.

  • Key location: Big Sur, CA
  • Cambria, CA
  • 100 Miles

Old Mission

Day 7

An essential Highway 1 stopover - Santa Barbara

A further 140 miles down Highway 1 is upmarket Santa Barbara. Today's drive passes through the lovely beach towns of Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo, as well as the Central Coast Wine Region. After a few hours, you'll reach the charming Mediterranean style town of Santa Barbara. Shop and dine on historic State Street, visit the Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens or simply enjoy the town's beautiful beaches. Your Road Trip Pack will detail everything this wonderful place has to offer.

  • Key location: Santa Barbara, CA
  • Santa Barbara, CA
  • 140 Miles

Santa Monica Pier

Day 8

Last stop! Your drive down Highway 1 is complete

As you enter the Los Angeles area, Highway 1 passes through the classic California beach towns of Malibu and Santa Monica. Santa Monica, with its “Baywatch” beaches and famous pier, is a worthy finish to your Highway 1 road trip. Enjoy the fun and games of the Pier, shop till you drop on 3rd Street Promenade and hire a bike to cruise along the boardwalk to Venice Beach.

  • Key location: LA's Beach Cities, CA
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • 85 Miles

Griffith Observatory

Day 9

The Iconic sights of Hollywood

Tinseltown is synonymous with glitz and glamour. Visit the home of the Oscars and walk Hollywood Boulevard looking for the handprints of your favourite movie stars. You may want to visit Griffith Observatory, perched high on a hill overlooking the City. You'll learn lots about our galaxy and beyond, plus it also offers great views of the iconic Hollywood sign. Universal Studios is not far from Hollywood also, let us know if you wish to spend a day here and we'll include tickets in your package.

  • Key location: Hollywood, CA
  • Los Angeles, CA

Rodeo Dr - Beverly Hills

Day 10

Enjoy your final full day in Los Angeles

You might want to just relax by the hotel pool on the final day of your Highway 1 holiday. Alternatively, you can head for Beverly Hills to try and find your favourite stars house or bump into them whilst shopping on Rodeo Drive. Tomorrow you’ll return to the UK, remembering all of Highway 1's many highlights as you fly home.

  • Key location: Beverly Hills, CA
  • Los Angeles, CA

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