Like almost all our tours, this is a small group trip. The vehicle used generally has between nine and 14 seats. Our guides are skilled in the geology, customs, traditions, history and people of the areas through which you travel – feel free to ask all and any questions!
Rather than taking the bus, which travels on an Interstate well away from the ocean and the sights, this tour offers a route mostly along the picturesque Pacific Coast Highway, also known as Highway 1.
Starting off at San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf we make our way to the legendary Pacific Coast Highway at Monterey, and twist and turn over the steep cliffs with sheer drops down to the ocean below. You get to check out the endless beaches and waves of southern California, and see the surf lifestyle for which the region is so well known.
Please look at the exact route on our various maps on this page.
We'll have a reasonably early start this morning as we depart from the Fisherman's Wharf area and head south. Leaving the city behind we will make our way through the suburbs towards Monterey where we will see the ocean again.
The next stretch of road is amongst the most spectacular in North America. We are on the Pacific Coast Highway - also known as Highway 1 or the PCH - and the road twists and turns along cliffs high above the ocean, with never ending views of the sea and beaches. Please note that people who get motion sick may find that this makes the tour unsuitable for them.
The endless ocean views are really wonderful, and there will be frequent photographic opportunities, as well as time for you to get out, stretch your legs, and drink in the beautiful vistas.
Amongst the stops on the way is the Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. The short trail provides an opportunity to stretch your legs as you stroll down towards a beautiful cove, highlighted by a unique waterfall that actually plummets onto the beach.
Our route takes us past the turn off to the legendary Hearst Castle, which was owned by one of the USA's wealthiest families. You may get a glimpse of it far away on a hill.
Your stay on the PCH ends for a short while after the picturesque seaside community of Morro Bay, which is a quaint little spot surrounded by seaside scenery. Detouring inland briefly, we pass through the small towns of San Luis Ibispo and Santa Maria, before getting to Santa Barbara.
We are now really in Southern California, or SoCal, as the locals call it, home to the laid back, surf lifestyle for which the region is so famous.
The Pacific Ocean is on our right with its endless beaches. You may see surfers or windsurfers out enjoying a wave, or even surfers holding onto small parachutes to coast in and out of the breakers.
There is another short detour inland to bypass the small community of Oxnard. Fruits and vegetables are in abundance in the surrounding fields - please feel free to ask your guide to stop at one of the road side stands if you want to buy something. The ocean is only left behind for a short time, we promise, as the vehicle makes its way past the Point Mugu Naval Air Station.
There are some massive rocks next to the sea at Point Mugu, and we will stop there to take some photos.
We will pass several quaint piers along the way, and, if the surf is up, you should continue to see the locals out riding the waves. The road stays close to the golden beaches and blue sea, as you continue to enjoy never ending vistas of southern California's surf lifestyle.
Before too long you will be in Malibu, which is known for its celebrity inhabitants and large ocean side mansions.
The last stretch of road as we travel between Malibu and Santa Monica is pretty cool, with all sorts of people on the boardwalks. The small amusement park at Santa Monica Pier comes into view as we climb the small incline up to the town itself.
The tour ends in downtown Santa Monica. Please take a look at the map to see the exact area. The vehicle will drop off in Santa Monica at the hotels (no private addresses) of the first four groups who book. We will also drop off at any hotel that we have booked for you.
This tour is subject to a $1.00 per person fuel surcharge.
The days and dates this tour runs can be seen at the calendar at the top right of this page.
There are frequent stops along the way, to admire the views and take photographs.
Part of the route goes along twisting, turning roads. This may be a problem if you suffer from motion sickness.
Pick ups in San Francisco: If we have booked your hotel we will pick you up there. If not, we pick up within an approximate two mile radius from Pier 39 at Fisherman's Wharf. Because of time constraints we can only pick up at these hotels if you are one of the first three sets of people to book the tour. If not, you will need to get to one of those hotels. We will let you know the closest property once you have made your booking.
Drop offs take place in Santa Monica as detailed above.
No meals are included. There are many places along the route to buy meals. We suggest you eat breakfast prior to joining the tour.
No lodging is included. We can, however, make your hotel bookings for you once the tour has been booked.
The price includes the services of a guide/driver and transportation.
A driver's gratuity is excluded, but is expected in the USA for services well delivered. We suggest $10 to $20 per person.
Vehicles are mini buses or executive vans, which are vans with individual, high back, reclining seats.
The tour itinerary may change at our discretion without notice.
Portions of this tour may be subcontracted to other reputable vendors. This will in no way affect your comfort or safety.
A minimum of five people may be required for a tour to depart. That is not five in your group, but a total of five. You may also need to book several weeks out to ensure availability.
Once you have ordered this tour please wait for your email confirmation before making any air or hotel bookings.
Be careful about making any show or air bookings for the night this tour gets into Los Angeles. We are not responsible for delays.
Please note that road problems, factors beyond our control, snow or other bad weather may result in tour itineraries being changed without notice, or even tours being canceled. Should a cancellation occur the only amount we will refund is the cost of the tour.
Payment And Cancellation Details: CANCELLATIONS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED FOR THIS TOUR. Changes will also not be accepted, and refunds will not be given. Please consider purchasing trip insurance as our cancellation policy is strictly enforced. The payment schedule is as follows: Half of the total will be charged any time from when you make the booking. The other half will be charged 30 or fewer days from the tour date, at our discretion.