9 Days in Southern California
A nine-day luxury road trip around Southern California (so-called SoCal) with all the bells and whistles. Visit movie studios and architectural gems and see whales in their natural habitat. All while staying in the lap of luxury.
Itinerary at a Glance:
- Tour the City of Angels (Los Angeles) with a local guide
- Enjoy an adventurous visit to the San Andreas fault
- Search out whales off San Diego
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Day 1: Arrive in Los Angeles
Once you have arrived in Los Angeles and collected your luggage, one of our team on the ground will meet you for a private transfer to your West Hollywood hotel, about half an hour away.
Day 2: City of Angels
After a leisurely breakfast enjoy a full-day tour of the city by electric bike.
With a local guide, you will take in all the highlights - from tourist hotspots in Beverly Hills to locals' favourite haunts - covering about 30 miles (hence the e-bikes). Lunch will be at a hip restaurant on the sand at Venice Beach - home to the infamous Muscle Beach - before cycling along the canals which gave the neighbourhood its name. Your tour will end with a visit to the iconic Culver City, home to the movie studios that made LA they city it is today.
- Movie studio tour
Day 3: Palm Springs
After a late breakfast this morning, collect your hire car (or even opt to get it delivered to you for a super A-list start to the day).
Keys in hand, you will make your way to Palm Springs, two hours from Los Angeles in the middle of the California desert. We will provide you with detailed driving instructions, as well as a few suggestions for places to stop for lunch - after all, we're not sure if a Stateside-road trip really counts if there isn't at least one American diner burger-and-milkshake meal along the way. Once you arrive at your hotel we recommend getting out and exploring America's (or at least Hollywood's) most famous spa town before dinner.
Day 4: Grand Designs
Palm Springs is known to architecture buffs as the home of some of the best examples of mid-century modern architecture in America, designed by the likes of Frank Lloyd Wright and Charles Dubois.
This morning your design-expert and Palm Springs architecture aficionado guide will meet you at your hotel for a private tour of some of the best architecture and design in the city, including access to the interiors of some private homes.
This afternoon, you will make your own way to the Palm Springs Arial Tramway. Here, you will ride up and across the sheer cliffs of Chino Canyon. Once at the top, we recommend spending some time exploring the hiking trails, before making your way back down and to the San Andreas fault zone. You will explore the geological nooks and crannies, which have shaped the area for millennia, in an open 4x4 and with the help of an expert guide.
Day 5: Newport Beach
This morning you will make the two-hour drive to Newport Beach, on the coast south of Los Angeles.
Once you have arrived and settled into your hotel - perhaps playing a game of golf and having some lunch in the restaurant - you will make your way down to the harbour. Here, you will set off in your electric boat before spending the afternoon cruising around the harbour. Make sure you stock up on a delicious smorgasbord of snacks to take on board, or hold out and grab bites to eat later on a waterfront bar crawl.
Day 6: Whale Watching
This morning you will make your way to the meeting point for your whale watching excursion.
After you have boarded your RIB inflatable dinghy boat, you will head out to where the whales are known to spend their time, in the company of an expert guide. Depending on the time of year, you will be able to spot blue, fin, humpback, grey or minke whales - maybe even all of them if you're really lucky.
Day 7: San Diego
After breakfast this morning you will make your way south to San Diego, an hour and a half along the coast.
Your hotel is on a spit of land in San Diego Bay, so we recommend spending the rest of the day soaking up some sunshine on the beach - we'll make sure we give you a list of our favourites with your final documents.
Day 8: Torrey Pines Hike
This morning we recommend heading to Torrey Pines State Reserve bright and early for a hike - we will arrange permits for you - through the forest and along the beaches on well-marked trails.
Later today, we recommend visiting the USS Midway Museum, a maritime museum aboard the eponymous aircraft carrier, where you will learn about the history of this vast ship, once home to 4,000 sailors.
- Surf lesson
Day 9: Home Time
Spend today relaxing on the beach before heading to the airport in good time for your flight home.
George, Abigail and Ollie are our experts for this itinerary and as seasoned travellers they have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.