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Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California West Coast, USA

Ultimate West Coast

Visit Seattle, Olympic NP, Oregon Coast, Portland, Crater Lake NP, Redwood NP, Sonoma & Napa Valley, San Francisco, Monterey Bay, Big Sur, Santa Barbara & LA.

Drive north to south along the entire West Coast of America

21 Nights from £2,399pp
i
‘from’ prices are based on off peak travel, 2 people sharing a standard car, economy flights and 2-3* Hotels. All trips are completely bespoke so just tell your expert any requirements you have.

Drive from Seattle to Los Angeles along our popular Ultimate West Coast America route. You’ll parallel the gorgeous Pacific Coast as you drive through the outstanding scenery of Washington, Oregon and California. The west coast of America offers astounding natural beauty, along with some of America’s most hip and trendy cities. Check out this three-week itinerary below to see why this West Coast holiday is a must-do for any keen road-tripper.

Key road trip highlights:

  • Enjoy four of the West Coast’s most iconic cities – Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
  • Explore three amazing National Parks and numerous stunning State Parks
  • Drive along two of America’s most thrilling roads – Route 101 and Highway 1.
  • Enjoy coastal driving in all three states – Washington, Oregon and California.
  • Option to add extra days to allow time to visit Orange County and San Diego.
  • What’s included? Direct flights with a premier carrier, accommodation, car rental and a personalised road trip pack.
Ultimate West Coast route with The American Road Trip Company

Our Favourite Hotels

We’ll suggest properties to match your preferred budget, be it low-cost, mid-range or high-end luxury that you’re looking for. We can also mix it up so you’ll experience a range of standards and experiences along your road trip.

View Crest Lodge, Redwood National Park, California

Hotel:

View Crest Lodge

Location:

Redwood National Park

Lake Crescent Lodge, in Olympic National Park

Hotel:

Lake Crescent Lodge

Location:

Olympic National Park

Inn at Cannon Beach, Oregon Coast. Pacific Northwest

Hotel:

Inn at Cannon Beach

Location:

Oregon Coast

Kimpton Alton, Fishermans Wharf, San Francisco 4 star hotel

Hotel:

Kimpton Alton

Location:

San Francisco

Intercontinental at the Clement, Monterey

Hotel:

Intercontinental at the Clement

Location:

Monterey

Argonaut Hotel, San Francisco

Hotel:

Argonaut Hotel

Location:

San Francisco

The Duniway Portland A Hilton Hotelin Portland, Oregon

Hotel:

The Duniway Portland

Location:

Portland

Carmel Valley Ranch, Big Sur

Hotel:

Carmel Valley Ranch

Location:

Carmel

Road Trip Itinerary

All of our American road trips can be tailored to meet your requirements. Do you have more or less than 21 days for your road trip? No problem, we can bolt on extra nights to allow more time to explore or shorten the number of destinations as required.

1

Start your road trip in Seattle, Washington

You’ll start your West Coast of America fly-drive in the Emerald City – Seattle. After you’ve checked into your chosen Seattle hotel, why not have dinner at one of Seattle’s excellent restaurants? We highly recommend the seafood joints found in and around Pike Place Market. Or perhaps you just need a cup of coffee to help you stay awake following your flight? Then head over to the first-ever Starbucks, which is also located in Pike Place.

Location:

Seattle, WA

Drive:

0 miles

Pikes Place Market, Seattle waterfront, Washington, Northwest Explorer USA
2

A full day to explore Seattle

Emerald City is one of the fastest-growing cities in North America, famous for its coffee, grunge music and an ever-growing tech sector. Sightseer highlights include the iconic Space Needle, historic Pioneer Square and the vast Museum of Flight.

Location:

Seattle, WA

Drive:

0 miles

The Space Needle in Seattle, Washington, USA
3

Begin the Ultimate West Coast road trip

The words rugged, craggy and remote come to mind when thinking of Olympic National Park. Situated in the far northwest of Washington State, Olympic is one of the wettest places you’ll ever visit. The unique climate makes this National Park an extraordinary and atmospheric place to explore. Visitors can discover wild Roosevelt Elk living amongst the moss-covered trees, alpine meadows and the waterfalls of the area.

Location:

Olympic NP

Drive:

105 miles

Olympic National Park, Washington USA
4

Explore one of America's best National Parks - Olympic NP

The west coast of America has many magnificent beaches, and Rialto Beach and Ruby Beach are two of the most magical. Sea stacks, black sand and colossal driftwood, are all battered by the mighty Pacific Ocean. Your personalised Road Trip Pack will show you how to find these beaches and many more places of outstanding natural beauty along this wild and wonderful coastline.

Location:

Olympic NP

Drive:

100 miles

Olympic National Park, Washington, Pacific Northwest USA - Beach
5

Cruise inland to Oregon's Capital... Portland

It’s time to remove your hiking boots and enjoy the second city on this 3-week itinerary. You’ll find plenty of trendy shops, cool cafes and hip restaurants on the streets of Portland. Plus, this is a Tax-Free shopping area, so if you intend to shop whilst you’re road-tripping, then this is a great place to do it. If shopping is not your thing, then Portland’s other highlights include a Japanese Garden, the Pittock Mansion and the Portland Art Museum.

Location:

Portland, OR

Drive:

185 miles

Portland, Oregon, USA
6

Portland or the Columbia River Gorge... you choose

Your second day in Portland can be spent exploring the city’s attractions or travelling along the awe-inspiring Columbia River Gorge. If the latter appeals, then head east on the super scenic Columbia River Highway to visit wonders like Multnomah Falls, Mount Hood and the Bonneville Dam.

Location:

Portland, OR

Drive:

0 miles

Mount Rainier, Washington, Pacific Northwest, USA
7

Head west to find Oregon's unspoilt coastline

Massive sandstone boulders look like they’ve been dropped from the heavens along this 360-mile stretch of coast. Rugged, wild and windswept – Oregon’s beauty is up with the best of them.

Location:

Cannon Beach, OR

Drive:

85 miles

Haystack Rock at Sunset at Cannon Beach, Olympic National Park, Pacific Northwest
8

Cruise south along Oregon's west coast

Drive south on the legendary Highway 101, this famous old road spans from Seattle in the north to Los Angeles in the south. Along with Highway 1, Route 101 will be your preferred road for most of this west coast road trip. The Oregon section of Highway 101 is less developed than certain parts of California. So relax and enjoy nature’s artistry at work as you cruise by mist-covered forests and vast sun-soaked beaches.

Location:

Oregon Coast

Drive:

160 miles

Sea Stacks, Oregon Coast, Pacific Northwest USA
9

Crater Lake - A volcano topped with a crystal clear lake

Crater Lake National Park has inspired people for hundreds of years. No place else on earth combines a deep, pure lake, so blue in colour; sheer surrounding cliffs, almost two thousand feet high; two picturesque islands; and a violent volcanic past. It’s a place of immeasurable beauty and a worthwhile detour away from the West Coast.

Location:

Crater Lake NP

Drive:

185 miles

Crater Lake, Oregon, Pacific Northwest USA
10

Leave Oregon for California's west coast

Today, you’ll start the California section of this road trip along the USA’s West Coast. First stop in the Golden State is the majestic Redwood National Park, located in the very north of California.

Location:

Redwood NP

Drive:

235 miles

Giant trees in Redwood National Park, California, USA
11

Enjoy tranquility in the West Coast's Redwoods

The most giant trees on the planet are found in Redwood National Park on America’s West Coast. Redwoods were once common throughout America, but sadly, they’re only found in Oregon and California now. These trees are enormous, up to 100m high and 11m in diameter. Spend the day walking amongst them and let your stresses melt away.

Location:

Redwood NP

Drive:

0 miles

Walking amongst the trees, Redwood National Park, California, USA
12

Continue south to Sonoma & Napa Valley

You don’t have to like wine to enjoy this beautiful area (but it helps). These two neighbouring valleys offer stunning scenery made up of perfectly manicured vineyards stretched across endless rolling hills. The scenery can be enjoyed by car, train or even by an early morning hot air balloon ride.

Location:

Sonoma Valley, CA

Drive:

240 miles

Vineyards in Napa Valley, California wine region, USA
13

Cross the Golden Gate Bridge to find San Fran

Spanning the headlands between Marin County and San Francisco. The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the world’s most beautiful structures, whether you walk, bike or drive across it. You can also gain stunning views of the Bay and San Francisco beyond by driving up Conzelman Road on the north side of the bridge. Once you hit town, you’ll spend three fun-filled days enjoying all that this West Coast city offers.

Location:

San Francisco, CA

Drive:

55 miles

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California, USA
14

A second day in America's favourite city - San Francisco

Once the famous morning fog lifts, one of America’s favourite cities will be revealed. Ride a cable car, climb the steep streets and get into the vibe that only San Francisco can offer. Packed with Victorian charm, remarkable restaurants, spectacular shopping and famous movie locations, this iconic city really has it all.

Location:

San Francisco, CA

Drive:

0 miles

Painted Ladies, San Francisco, California, USA
15

A third and final day in San Francisco

When visiting the West Coast of America, Alcatraz Island is often near the top of visitors’ to-do lists. Enjoy the unique experience of Alcatraz and take in some spectacular views of San Francisco, Angel Island and the Golden Gate Bridge as you ferry across the Bay to this former prison and iconic tourist destination. Once you’re back on the mainland, grab a meal in Fisherman’s Wharf before riding a cable car back to your hotel.

Location:

San Francisco, CA

Drive:

0 miles

Alcatraz Island in San Francisco, California, USA
16

Cruise down Highway 1 to Monterey & Carmel

Monterey was once California’s capital; today its best known for the world-class Monterey Bay Aquarium on Cannery Row. In years gone by, Monterey was most famous for its whaling and sardine industry, today, it focuses on marine education and preservation. Take a whale-watching to see whales migrating along the West Coast of America. Later, take 17-Mile-Drive to find Carmel, this scenic toll road takes people on a short tour past rugged beaches, millionaire homes and wind-blown cypress trees. Along the way, you’ll notice seals basking in the sun on coastal rocks and sea otters bobbing up and down in the waves.

Location:

Carmel, CA

Drive:

115 miles

Humpback Whale in Monterey Bay, California, USA
17

Explore pretty Carmel and wild Point Lobos

Point Lobos marks the start of the Big Sur coastal area, and such is the beauty of this reserve that it demands to be visited before you continue down the coast tomorrow. Seal lions give birth to pups on inaccessible beaches, sea otters frolic in the bays, and whales slowly migrate through the 750 underwater acres of the park. Pure beauty that can only be fully enjoyed through hiking the many short walks. After Point Lobos, head back to beautiful Carmel for lunch before spending the afternoon on one of the West Coast’s finest beaches.

Location:

Carmel, CA

Drive:

0 miles

Main Beach in Carmel by the Sea, California, USA
18

Drive through Big Sur on Highway 1

Big Sur is known as the best driving experience on the West Coast. Experience curvy roads, enchanting State Parks and stunning coastal vistas. At the end of this 100-mile scenic drive, you’ll find Hearst Castle perched upon “The Enchanted Hill”, which overlooks the Pacific Ocean. Hearst Castle is indeed the product of one man’s ambition, wealth and imagination – If time allows, consider popping in for a visit.

Location:

Big Sur, CA

Drive:

100 miles

The Big Sur, California Coast, USA
19

Charming Santa Barbara awaits

This affluent, sun-soaked town, built in a Mediterranean style, is one of the central coast’s finest destinations. Highlights include State Street’s shopping and restaurants, wine tasting in the Funk Zone and enjoying the city’s beaches.

Location:

Santa Barbara, CA

Drive:

125 miles

Old Mission in Santa Barbara, California, USA
20

Last stop - Los Angeles, California

Hollywood is synonymous with glitz and glamour, and although many of the studios have now moved on to other parts of town, it’s still fun to visit the home of the Oscars and walk Hollywood Boulevard looking for the handprints of your favourite movie stars. Just a short drive northeast lies the Griffith Observatory, perched high on a hill overlooking the urban sprawl of LA. This recently renovated landmark is well worth a visit. It’s also a great place to view the iconic Hollywood sign.

Location:

Los Angeles, CA

Drive:

90 miles

The Big Sur, California Coast, USA
21

Complete your road trip in Santa Monica, Los Angeles

The Santa Monica Pier brings your Ultimate West Coast holiday to a glorious end; Santa Monica’s beaches and old-fashioned pier are a worthy finishing point for any road trip. You can hire a bike, cruise the Venice Beach boardwalk, or shop your heart out on 3rd Street. Or, perhaps you’ll prefer to watch some of La La Land’s crazy characters play basketball or push weights while you enjoy a meal in one of the many eateries. Lastly, if you have a few extra days to spend away, then this trip can be extended to visit Orange County and San Diego. Alternatively, Palm Springs and Las Vegas could also be added to complete your Ultimate West Coast road trip.

Location:

Los Angeles, CA

Drive:

0 miles

Santa Monica pier in Los Angeles, California, USA

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Frequently Asked Questions

You’ll find answers to most of your questions right here. If you still need assistance, Feel free to get in touch, and we’ll be sure to get back to you promptly!

Can I Add Extra Nights To The Road Trips?

Not a problem. If you are lucky enough to have extra time to explore more places or add more rest days, then just let us know and we’ll adjust your trip to match your preferred timescale.

Must I Have Travel Insurance?

We strongly advise that you purchase travel insurance for your holiday to cover you against medical expenses, theft and other financial costs. Should you need to cancel before travelling, some insurance policies may pay out for any loss of funds that have been paid to us and which cannot be refunded under our cancellation policy.

Can I Do A One-Way Rental?

Many of our trips have a different end destination than the starting point, so this is not a problem. Please note a fee sometimes applies for one-way rentals between other regions or states, which will be paid to the supplier directly when collecting the vehicle. We’ll endeavour to inform you of this charge within your quote.

Am I Limited To Certain Hotels Or Chains?

No, far from it. We work with a range of properties from 3* to 5*, so we can adapt the trip to match most budgets. We have access to rooms in more than 800 hotels, motels, lodges and B&Bs across North America.

How Old Do I Need To Be?

The minimum age to rent a car is 21 in the United States or Canada, although, in addition, any drivers under 25 years of age will generally incur a surcharge.

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ARTCo customers can be confident that we only work with the very best service providers, such as Virgin Atlantic, British Airways and Alamo. Any payments made to us are fully protected via the government’s ATOL scheme (Flight packages) or Financial Failure Insurance (Non-Flight Packages).

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