Explore California and Hawaii on this exciting family holiday to the States. Start in San Francisco where you can take in the multicultural city with your family, tucking into noodles in Chinatown and burritos in the Mission district. Next, you'll drive to Yosemite to soak up the natural beauty and hike between waterfalls and mountains.
You'll end your trip in Hawaii, for some tropical family beach time. Learn about the history and culture of Pearl Harbour, head over to Maui to relax, play on the golden sands and snorkel in the turquoise water. It's the perfect holiday to introduce your kids to the majestic outdoors!
This itinerary can be tailored to suit your requirements; please contact one of our consultants to start planning your dream trip.
Depart the UK from your chosen airport. On arrival in San Francisco, you’ll make your own way into the city, where you’ll check into your hotel for 3 nights.
San Francisco is an exciting city to explore with a family – the immigrant heritage of the city means you can be introducing your kids to dim sum in Chinatown at lunchtime and enjoying some Mexican food in the Mission District in the evening. We’ve included a trip to Alcatraz where your family will hear exciting tales of escape and learn about the history of the island prison. You’ll also be able to use the hop on hop off bus service to get around the city, allowing you to discover the restaurants and aquarium at Pier 39 in Fisherman’s Wharf before heading over to Union Square to fit in some shopping or even hiring bikes and cycling over the Golden Gate Bridge to explore the Marin Headlands with views back over towards the city. Your time here will go in a flash!
Today, you’ll collect your rental car and drive east towards the Sierra Nevada mountains, where Yosemite National Park lies. On arrival in El Portal, a small village just outside the park, you’ll check into your hotel for 3 nights.
You have 2 full days to explore the national park. You’ll start, as everyone does, in the Yosemite Valley, a gorge in the endless granite that shows off the famous Yosemite Falls as you drive towards El Capitan. At the end of the valley, you can take a steep but beautiful hike up to Vernal Falls, or if you’re feeling fit you can keep going until you reach Nevada Falls, each stunning waterfall cascading down the cliffs before you. For the best views, drive to Glacier Point where you can take a wonderful photo of the whole family with Half Dome in the background – the drive along here will take you past small, lush meadows where chipmunks scurry amongst the wildflowers.
On your second day, venture further away from the valley towards Tuolumne Meadows, where you can (carefully!) lookout for black bears in the surrounding hills. If you want to embark on a hike you could try a section of the Cloud’s Rest Trail – it’s a hard one if you’re attempting the full walk but a small section with kids is just right. If you just want to relax, why not take a picnic and spend the day at Tenaya Lake, one of the most scenic in the valley where you can swim in the clear water and wander along the rocky shoreline.
Today is your last day in California – you’ll drive back to San Francisco through the Sierra Nevada mountains, dropping your rental car at the airport in time to catch your flight to Hawaii. On arrival, you’ll be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel, where you’ll check-in for two nights.
The day is yours to explore Honolulu so why not start at Pearl Harbour, which is a good way to introduce your kids to the history of WWII outside of Europe. Pay your respects at the Arizona Memorial and learn about the tragedy at the visitor centre which will give you lots of insight into the events leading up to the attack. For the rest of the day you can just relax and play on the golden sands of Waikiki or, if you want something more adventurous, try a hike along the Diamond Head Trail. It is a massively rewarding hike and your whole family will love the 365-degree views when you reach the summit. From down on Waikiki Beach it can look like a challenging climb, but it actually only takes around an hour to reach the 760-foot summit.
This morning, you’ll be driven back to the airport in time for your short flight to Maui. On arrival, you’ll pick up your hire car and drive to your hotel, where you’ll check in for four nights.
You have three days to enjoy Maui – you might not even want to venture far from the beach but with so many to choose from its worth visiting a few! Makena Beach has beautiful golden sand with beautiful green water that laps at the beach while Mokapu Beach is perfect for children learning to snorkel, with calm waters and a relaxed vibe. Up on the north-west coast, Napili Bay has white sand and swaying palm trees – a quintessentially Hawaiian experience!
If you do want to get out and explore – driving the Hana Highway will give you fabulous views of the ocean and take you down to the Haleakala National Park, perfect for a day of adventure. The moonlike landscape of Haleakala is made from the lava flows and ash from the crater of the volcano and the varied scenery will expose you to barren cinder cones and lush cloud forest higher up the trailheads. It’s well worth a full day of hiking before exploring the Seven Sacred Pools in the corner of the park, where waterfalls trickle slowly into the sea.
Your family holiday to Yosemite National Park and Hawaii has come to an end! Today, you’ll return your car to the airport before catching your flight back to the UK. Aloha!
San Francisco sits on the edge of the Pacific Ocean giving it a changeable climate, where you can experience summer and winter in the same day. Coastal breezes keep the city cool and huge fog drifts can sweep over the Golden Gate Bridge during the summer meaning winter is usually more reliable with clear days and moderate temperatures. Yosemite has deep snowfall in the winter with many roads closed for the season while summer sees blue skies and lots of tourists. Visit before July if you want to see the waterfalls in their full glory from the snowmelt.
High Season in Hawaii is from December to April & June to August, winter is wetter but is a good time for whale watching and surfing. Prices around the Christmas, New Year and Easter holidays are the highest with October & November being the cheapest months to visit. May and September can be a good time to visit with crowds fewer and temperatures mild.
This itinerary is purely a suggestion and can be tailor-made to your requirements, so please contact us with your dates and requests, and we’ll put together a bespoke quotation for you.