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.
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. The tour twists and turns its way over the steep cliffs towering over the Pacific Ocean far below, before cutting inland to Monterey and on to San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf.
Please check out the exact route on our various maps on this page.
We pick up in downtown Santa Monica. Please take a look at the map to see the exact area. The vehicle will pick up in Santa Monica at the hotels (no private addresses) of the first four groups who book. We will also pick you up at any hotel that we have booked for you.
If you are not staying at one of those, or you are not one of the first four groups to book, you will need to get to one of those locations. We will let you know where they are after booking.
Once we have all our guests we drop down from Santa Monica to the Pacific Coast Highway below, which, as the name suggests, follows the Pacific Ocean for hundreds of miles. The vehicle will make its way north, along the golden beaches and blue seas.
You should start to see some of the surf and beach related activities for which the region is so famous.
Soon you will be in Malibu, which is known for its celebrity inhabitants and large ocean side mansions. The road stays close to the sea as you continue to enjoy never ending vistas of southern California's surf lifestyle.
We will pass several quaint piers, and, if the surf is up, you may even see some of the locals out on their boards!
After stopping at Point Mugu to take pictures of the giant rock and ocean break, the road detours inland for a short while.
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. 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.
It won't be long before we meet up with the ocean once more, and enjoy spectacular views of the beaches and oceans again as we make our way towards Santa Barbara.
The road returns inland for a short distance, as you pass through Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo, before meeting up with the ocean again at Morro Bay.
Morro Bay is a quaint little town, surrounded by picturesque seaside scenery. It is also a short drive away from 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.
For many the stretch from Hearst Castle to Monterey is the most spectacular part of the trip. The road twists and turns along cliffs above the ocean. Please note that people who get motion sick may find that this makes the tour unsuitable for them.
The never ending ocean views are really wonderful, and there will once again be frequent photographic opportunities.
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 drops down onto the beach.
There's nothing we can say about San Francisco that has not already been said, so we won't! Suffice to say that we leave the coast behind as we start to make our way from Monterey into the outlying San Francisco suburbs, before arriving at Fisherman's Wharf.
We drop off on the Embarcadero at Fisherman's Wharf, in the vicinity of Pier 39. If we book your San Francisco lodging for you we will take you directly to that hotel. We will, in addition, drop off at the hotels of the first three sets of people who book, if their hotels are within 1 1/2 miles of the above location, as shown on Google maps.
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.
Part of the route goes along twisting, turning roads. This may be a problem if you suffer from motion sickness.
Pick ups take place in Santa Monica as detailed above.
Drop offs take place in the San Francisco Fisherman's Wharf area 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. Factors that may cause a change include, but are not limited to, the weather, vendors, traffic and road conditions.
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 San Francisco. 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.