Family adventure in California

This family road-trip around California is a great way to discover the main attractions the Golden State has to offer, from natural landscapes to buzzing cities.

Day 1: Arrival into Los Angeles

Upon arrival at Los Angeles International Airport, you will pick up your rental at the airport and check into the Beverly Hills Hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure.

Stay: Beverly Hills Hotel

Day 2: Beach side and Hollywood

Your morning is all about experiencing California’s outdoor sun culture and beaches. Start off with a paddleboard guided lesson in Marina Del Ray then hop on a bike with your guide and explore the famous Venice beach canals. Stop by the boardwalk and the Muscle Beach, made famous by the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger. Have lunch at the iconic Shutters on the Beach Restaurant and even ride the Ferris Wheel.

In the afternoon you will experience the glamour of Hollywood’s past and present. Visit the Hollywood Sign, enjoy view of the city from high in the Hollywood Hills, trace the steps of nominees and winners at the Kodak Theater (home of the Academy Awards), visit Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, with its exotic architecture and movie star handprint, Melrose Avenue, the Sunset Strip, and the celebrity estates of Beverly Hills and Bel-Air.

Stay: Beverly Hills Hotel

Day 3: Private tour of Universal Studios

Today is your day for an insider’s look at all things Hollywood. Start the day with a VIP tour of Universal Studios. Tour the movie industry’s busiest sets in a special trolley, where you can disembark to explore areas not open to the general public. Visit actual sound stages where blockbuster movies and TV shows are filmed. Explore Universal’s award-winning sound department and enormous prop warehouse. Savour a gourmet lunch in our private VIP dining room, prepared by Universal’s very own executive chef. Afterwards, you have the choice to visit Universal’s theme park, including unprecedented service as our VIP guide escorts you to the best seats in the house with front of line access to all rides and attractions.

Enjoy valet parking and VIP entry and exit to the Park. The afternoon is on your own to continue exploring, going for a short hike through one of the beautiful canyons where you may even see celebrities hiking.

Stay: Beverly Hills Hotel

Day 4: Day at leisure

Your last day at Los Angeles is at leisure

Stay: Beverly Hills Hotel

Day 5: Los Angeles to Santa Barbara

In the morning, depart for your trip to Santa Barbara up the California coast and check into Orient Express El Encanto Hotel.

The rest of the day is yours to relax, walk through the charming streets of Santa Barbara or even go to the very lovely sea-side zoo. Often called the “Riviera of America”, Santa Barbara delivers the good life amid sun-splashed stucco and red-tile roofs under swaying palms. And a pitch-perfect climate and lush surroundings doesn’t hurt.

Stay: Orient Express El Encanto Hotel

Day 6: Santa Barbara to Carmel

In the morning, take a fantastic whale-watching cruise from the Santa Barbara harbour. Over 27 species of whales, dolphins and porpoises come to the channel each year to feed, mate and frolic… which makes Santa Barbara one of the best year round whale watching areas in the world.

After your cruise, travel directly up to the Carmel Valley. Arrive in Carmel in the late afternoon/evening and check into Carmel Valley Ranch.

Stay: Carmel Valley Ranch

Day 7: Day at leisure in Carmel

They day is at leisure. We suggest a hike in Garland Park of Pfeiffer State Park, sure to delight.

Stay: Carmel Valley Ranch

Day 8: Carmel to Kings Canyon National Park

In the morning, start your four-hour drive to Kings Canyon National Park. A perfect destination for true adventure seekers who crave endless trails, rushing streams and gargantuan rock formations. The backcountry exploring and climbing at Kings Canyon are all superb and, best of all, you will be able to survey giant as, caves and a superb driving road at your own leisure. Kings Canyon National Park preserves a huge unspoilt and beautiful area of the central

Sierra Nevada Mountains, containing several deep glaciated canyons, countless lakes, pools, meadows and waterfalls, and over 20 peaks that exceed 13,000 feet. Once in the park, you will park and hike one mile to check into your unique luxury tented camp, Sequoia High Sierra Camp.

Stay: Sequoia High Sierra Camp

Day 9: Sequoia High Sierra Camp

Spend the day in the park selecting from several activity options: hiking, fly fishing, photography, star gazing, horseback riding

Enjoy gourmet meals prepared by the camp’s gourmet chef and end the evening with a magnificent campfire!

Stay: Sequoia High Sierra Camp

Day 10: Kings Canyon to Yosemite National Park

In the morning, depart Kings Canyon and drive toward Yosemite National Park (4 hour drive), checking into the Ahwanee hotel. In the afternoon, choose from the following activities:

  • Bike tour of Yosemite Valley and its watering holes
  • Tunnel View tour – most famous views of Yosemite Valley
  • Visit El Capitan Meadows and its great view of Cathedral Rocks
  • Sentinel Bridge, famous for its views of both Half Dome reflected in the Merced River.
  • Sunset photography lessons

Stay: Ahwanee Hotel

Day 11: Yosemite National Park

Full day trip to the High Country, where you will visit less explored regions of Yosemite with an expert naturalist guide.

Stay: Ahwanee Hotel

Day 12: Yosemite National Park to Lake Tahoe 

Depart Yosemite in the morning, en route to Lake Tahoe (approximately 5-hour drive).

Arrive in Lake Tahoe in the afternoon and check into the Ritz Carlton. The afternoon is yours for visiting the beach on the lake, playing mini-golf or simply relaxing.

Stay: Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe

Day 13: Enjoying Lake Tahoe

The day will be spent enjoying the numerous activities Lake Tahoe has to offer: boat or jet-ski on the crystal-clear blue water of the lake, hiking, fishing, stand up paddle boarding, golfing

Stay: Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe

Day 14: Lake Tahoe to San Francisco

Depart Lake Tahoe and head to Coloma, California (2 hour drive), your starting point to your half-day rafting trip on the South Fork of the American River. This is one of the best white-water rivers in California mingling major rapids and calm, relaxing waters.

After your day on the river, continue onward to San Francis, and your next accommodation, the St. Regis Hotel.

Stay: St Regis San Francisco

Day 15: Guided tour of San Francisco

Today, guided by a local expert, you will have a unique insider’s adventure into San Francisco. Part urban adventure, part urban trek, you will traverse enchanted gardens, glorious rooftop views, secret stairways, and some of the city’s coolest neighbourhoods. You will ride the cable car through the urban canyons of the Financial District, experience the hustle and bustle of the real Chinatown, hike to the only accessible Diego Rivera Mural in the city, see first-hand the process of chocolate making at Ghiradelli Square before trekking through Aquatic Park to Fort Mason. Finally you will explore the history, culture and art of the Mission District.

Stay: St Regis San Francisco

Day 16: Guided tour of San Francisco

For your last full day, we recommend exploring some of San Francisco’s amazing parks and outdoor areas: 11 miles hiking trail around the Presidio, watching the sea lions go about their day at Pier 39 next to Fisherman’s Wharf, admiring the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco from Fort Barry…

In the evening, make your way to Alcatraz, for a unique night tour of the infamous prison.

Stay: St Regis San Francisco

Day 17: Departure

Depart San Francisco for international flight home

Itinerary

Duration Description Overnight
Day 1: Arrival into Los Angeles Beverly Hills Hotel
Day 2: Beach side and Hollywood Beverly Hills Hotel
Day 3: Private tour of Universal Studios Beverly Hills Hotel
Day 4: Day at leisure Beverly Hills Hotel
Day 5: Los Angeles to Santa Barbara Orient Express El Encanto Hotel
Day 6: Santa Barbara to Carmel Carmel Valley Ranch
Day 7: Day at leisure in Carmel Carmel Valley Ranch
Day 8: Carmel to Kings Canyon National Park Sequoia High Sierra Camp
Day 9: Sequoia High Sierra Camp Sequoia High Sierra Camp
Day 10: Kings Canyon to Yosemite National Park Ahwanee Hotel
Day 11: Yosemite National Park Ahwanee Hotel
Day 12: Yosemite National Park to Lake Tahoe  Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe
Day 13: Enjoying Lake Tahoe Ritz-Carlton Lake Tahoe
Day 14: Lake Tahoe to San Francisco St Regis San Francisco
Day 15: Guided tour of San Francisco St Regis San Francisco
Day 16: Guided tour of San Francisco St Regis San Francisco
Day 17: Departure

Map

Los Angeles Santa Barbara Carmel Kings Canyon National Park Yosemite National Park Lake Tahoe San Francisco