Itinerary in brief:
- 3 nights in Santa Monica
- 3 nights in Santa Barbara
Day 1: Arrival in Los Angeles
On arrival in Los Angeles you’ll make your own way to your hotel in Santa Monica where you will check in for 3 nights.
Day 2 & 3: Santa Monica
You’ll be based in Santa Monica so make sure you explore this oceanfront city first; from the iconic pier where you can ride the Ferris wheel for clear views down the coast to Malibu. Explore the streets full of trendy coffee shops and modern galleries before heading to the beach to relax on the sands. Why not hire a bike and cycle down the Venice boardwalk past quirky shops and street performers, arriving at Muscle Beach where you can watch the body builders training?
If you have time, the glitz and glamour of Hollywood isn’t far away – make sure you check out the Walk of Fame and Universal Studios. In the late afternoon we’ve included a hike of the Hollywood Hills, so you’ll have a lovely opportunity to watch the sun set over the city from the hilltop Griffith Observatory.
Day 4: Drive to Santa Barbara
This morning, collect your hire car and drive up the coast to Santa Barbara. It’s a wonderfully scenic drive through Malibu up the Pacific Coast Highway – 2 hours later you’ll have arrived in Santa Barbara, where you’ll check into your hotel for 3 nights.
Day 5 & 6: Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara is a laid-back beach city where celebrities escape the busy city of Los Angeles to relax in the sunshine. It’s full of Spanish architecture with boutique shops and open air restaurants dotted along State Street in the middle of town. Spend the day shopping or on the beach, enjoying the views from the long pier before eating a delicious bowl of seafood in the balmy evening air.
If you want to be more active, why not take a day tour to the Channel Islands National Park? Located just offshore, the scattered islands have miles of hiking trails, clear blue waters to kayak through and lots of wildlife to discover, from the endemic island fox to rockpools full of anemones and crabs.
Day 7: Departure
Today is your final day in California – enjoy one last walk along the pier before driving back to Los Angeles Airport to return your hire car and catch your onwards flight.