America’s Sunshine States
18 Day Self Drive - from £1,615
Visit the brightest places on the West and East coasts. Travel from L.A up the Pacific Coast to San Francisco; see Yosemite and Las Vegas before flying to Florida and the Beaches on the Gold Coast and Gulf of Mexico.
- Los Angeles and Santa Barbara
- San Francisco and Monterey
- Las Vegas Strip
- Miami Beach
- Orlando’s Theme Parks
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Your Self Drive Adventure
Day 1: Arrive Los Angeles
Arrive in Los Angeles, collect your car and make your way to the hotel for check-in. Home to famous movie stars and infamous landmarks, Los Angeles is the entertainment capital of the United States. Only here can you take a stroll along the Walk of Fame and see the names of celebrities commemorated in pink stars along the sidewalk.
Hotels: (Standard) Holiday Inn Express & Suites LAX Hawthorne or similar (1 Night)
(Budget) Best Western Plus South Bay LAX or similar (1 Night)
Day 2: Santa Maria (via Santa Barbara) (170 miles)
Leaving Los Angeles behind, drive north toward Santa Barbara on the beautiful Pacific Coast. The pristine city’s climate gives rise to a number of natural attractions, including a number of soft sand beaches, Botanic Gardens and the picturesque Los Padres National Forest. After some time in Santa Barbara, it’s on to Santa Maria for an overnight stay.
Hotels: (Standard) Cambria Pines Lodge or similar (1 Night)
(Budget) Silver Surf Motel or similar (1 Night)
OPTIONAL EXPERIENCE - Hollywood Trolley Tour
This is the best way to see it all! Ride in an open-air trolley, “perfect for picture taking” during this fully narrated tour of historic Hollywood movie, TV and radio landmarks such as Paramount Studios, Capitol Records, KTLA Channels, CBS, FOX, Warner Bros., Pantages Theater, Nickelodeon and Paladium, as well as the filming locations of L.A. Confidential, Twins, Pretty Woman and more. Plenty of photo opportunities are available as this tour takes you to the Hollywood Bowl, The Hollywood Sign and all of Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.
Day 3: San Francisco (290 miles)
After being swept away by the stunning Pacific coast views, spend the afternoon enjoying Monterey; here you’ll find many of the early American Colonial buildings still stand. Head towards the area known as Cannery Row and explore the old sardine factories that have been converted into quaint restaurants and boutique shops. When leaving Monterey, consider taking the scenic and famous 17-Mile drive and enjoy the sight of luxury mansions along the coastline.
Hotels: (Standard) Cova Hotel or similar (2 nights)
(Budget) Best Western Plus Americania or similar (2 nights)
Day 4: San Francisco
Today you are free to enjoy the many sights and sounds of San Francisco. Take a cable car ride from Fisherman’s Wharf, visit Alcatraz, or spend a day in popular Golden Gate Park, make sure you keep an eye out for the resident buffalo herd. This evening, dine in one of San Francisco’s many distinctive neighbourhoods, from Chinatown to the very Italian flavoured North Beach, each offers its own distinctive culture and cuisine.
OPTIONAL EXPERIENCE - Alcatraz Island Cruise and Tour
Visit one of the world’s most legendary prisons, Alcatraz. Once home to some of America’s most notorious criminals, the federal penitentiary that operated here from 1934 to 1963 brought a dark mystique to the Rock. Today, Alcatraz is home to rare flowers and plants, marine wildlife, and thousands of roosting and nesting seabirds. Civil War-era buildings dotting the island give insight into the 19th century when the island served as both a harbour defence fort and a military prison. You can also see visible reminders of the American Indian Occupation that started in 1969 after the prison closed.
Day 5: Fresno (via Yosemite National Park) (282 miles)
Depart the bustle of San Francisco and enjoy the scenic drive to Yosemite National Park. This striking beauty includes an extensive high-mountain wilderness of peaks, rivers, and meadows, and groves of giant sequoia trees. After a thorough exploration of the park, continue on to Fresno for an overnight stay, considered to be one of the top ski resorts in the United States.
Hotels: (Standard) Holiday Inn Express Yosemite Park or similar (1 Night)
(Budget) Best Western Village Inn or similar (1 Night)
Day 6: Las Vegas (via Death Valley National Park) (481 miles)
On route to Las Vegas, pass through the impressive Death Valley. Stop at Father Crawley and Zabriskie Point for a spectacular view of the Panamint Mountains and Sand Dunes, a stop at Furnace Creek provides a great spot for a light lunch, then your journey continues to the exciting city of Las Vegas, known as the “city of Lights”.
Hotels: (Standard) Platinum Hotel & Spa or similar (2 Nights)
(Budget) Gold Coast Hotel or similar (2 Nights)
Day 7: Las Vegas
Today you are free to explore the city of Las Vegas. You may want to visit the Stratosphere Tower, catch one of the world-famous Vegas shows, wander Las Vegas Boulevard aka 'The Strip', or for a different side of Vegas, visit Fremont Street, a historic street in downtown with shops, restaurants, and some of the oldest casinos in Vegas.
Day 8: Los Angeles (via Palm Springs) (390 miles)
Leaving Las Vegas today, head west toward the fashionable resort community of Palm Springs. Here date palms grow wild and natural springs have attracted visitors for years. Now, known for its golf and upscale lifestyle, tourists and celebrity visitors come to enjoy the luxury. The Village area has a variety of restaurants, trendy shops, historic sites and annual festivals. Continue on to Los Angeles for a two-night stay.
Hotels: (Standard) Hollywood Hotel or similar (2 Nights)
(Budget) Best Western Plus Dragon Gate or similar (2 Nights)
Day 9: Los Angeles
Spend some time exploring the sights and sounds of L.A, take a stroll along the Walk of Fame and see the names of celebrities commemorated in pink stars along the sidewalk, visit Mann’s Chinese Theatre and take a drive through Beverly Hills to get a glimpse at the most famous neighbourhood in the United States, or simply spend a day relaxing on one of L.A’s fabulous beaches.
Day 10: Los Angeles to Miami Beach (flight)
Depart Los Angeles today for your flight east to the sunny shores of Miami. When you arrive, collect your car from the airport depot and make your way to Miami Beach, here you will stay for the next two nights on the picture perfect, palm-fringed shores.
Hotels: (Standard) Marseilles Hotel or similar (2 Nights)
(Budget) Ocean Five or similar (2 Nights)
Day 11: Miami Beach
World famous South Beach is home to fabulous shopping, gourmet restaurants, fashion shoots and filming of TV and movies. Walk along Ocean Drive and enjoy any type of cuisine you can imagine, shop at Lincoln Road mall and take pleasure in 175 specialty shops and galleries, learn about the Art Deco architecture by taking a walking tour of this district, or simply relax on one of the best beaches in the world. At night, South Beach truly becomes “decadent” with scores of nightspots catering to both the adventurous and the relaxed.
Self Guided Art Deco Walking Tour: Learn more about the Art Deco architecture by taking a walking tour of this historic district. Admire the exterior ornamentation of these landmark structures and explore the equally impressive interiors, at your own pace, while following detailed descriptions and learning a little bit of the history.
Day 12: Key West (170 miles)
Leaving the mainland behind, drive south into the beautiful Florida Keys. First up is the largest of the Keys, Key Largo, here you can learn about the delicate and diverse ecosystem by visiting the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, America’s first underwater state park. As you head further south, enjoy gorgeous views over the water as you cross the Seven Mile Bridge on your way to Key West. There is always something happening in Key West and no visit here is complete without taking part in the Sunset Celebration at Mallory Square; performers, vendors and artists line the water’s edge to bid the daylight farewell.
Hotels: (Standard) Gates Hotel or similar (1 Night)
(Budget) Fairfield Inn & Suites at The Keys collection or similar (1 Night)
OPTIONAL EXPERIENCE - Champagne Sunset Cruise
Toast the end of a perfect day in paradise as you watch the sun slowly disappear beyond the horizon aboard a Catamaran with champagne, beer and soft drinks included.
Day 13: Fort Myers (via the Florida Everglades) (370 miles)
The drive to Fort Myers today will take you through Florida’s natural side, the Everglades, this is a great opportunity for some wildlife spotting. Continue on and travel north to Fort Myers. Fort Myers and the surrounding islands boast some of Florida’s most natural and lovely beaches. They are a haven for birds, wildlife and the sea turtles that come here to nest.
Hotels: (Standard) Wyndham Garden Ft, Myers Beach or similar (1 Night)
(Budget) Outrigger Beach Resort or similar (1 Night)
Day 14: Orlando (164 miles)
After a morning exploring the sights of Fort Myers, including Thomas Edison and Henry Ford’s historic winter homes, continue on to Orlando. Tonight, visit Downtown Disney for dining and shopping. Or, experience a dinner show such as Medieval Times.
Hotels: (Standard) DoubleTree By Hilton Orlando or similar (3 Nights)
(Budget) Champions World Resort or similar (3 Nights)
Day 15 and 16: Orlando
Spend your next few days enjoying all of Orlando’s attractions. Choose from Orlando's impressive list of theme parks below or talk to your America Consultant about the other options:
Walt Disney World Epcot®
Epcot® is a showplace for the achievements of man, a tribute to innovation and imagination, and a fellowship of international culture. Epcot consists of Future World and World Showcase. Future World features attractions such as Spaceship Earth, where you will experience a journey from the beginning of time to the electronic age. Ride Test Track, a high-speed thriller that mimics actual vehicle testing conditions, sending you through breathtaking twists and turns. Explore all of Future World where innovation and invention entertain. World Showcase offers the cultures of 11 nations. The architecture and landscape change as you move from one country to the next. Taste the cuisine, shop and be entertained by distinctly different traditions. End the evening by watching Illuminations, a night time kaleidoscope of music and light.
Universal Studios Florida®
You’re the star at Universal Studios where you can ride the movies! Join the agents from “Men in Black Alien Attack” and zap aliens as you chase them through the streets of New York. Plunge into darkness on Revenge of the Mummy® a psychological thrill ride that combines special effects and speed. See Shrek 4-D an original 3-D film, with an added dimension where you will see, hear and feel the action right from your seat You’ll find something that appeals to kids of all ages at the place where you become part of the movies!
Universal‘s Islands of Adventure®
Journey through five remarkable islands where all your favourite myths, legends, comic books and cartoon heroes come to life. Enter a comic book city in the Amazing Adventures of Spiderman a 3-D thrill ride, where you will battle evil and feel the adventure. Ride your couch through the pages of the famous children’s book “The Cat In The Hat!” on Seuss Island. Explore the Lost Continent® where you will find Duelling Dragons the world’s first inverted duelling roller coaster. Take fear to new heights on Doctor Doom’s Fearfall on Marvel Super Hero Island®. Rocket 150 feet into the air and come back down faster than gravity! Experience all of the cutting edge rides and stories come to life at Universal’s Islands of Adventure.
Day 17: Fort Lauderdale (via Kennedy Space Centre) (250 miles)
Depart Orlando today and drive along Florida’s east coast toward Kennedy Space Centre. It is the site of the American Space Program and NASA headquarters. Continue on to Fort Lauderdale, often called the “Venice of America” because of the intricate canal system.
Hotels: (Standard) Doubletree Bahia Mar Beach Resort or similar (1 Night)
(Budget) Ocean Sky Resort or similar (1 Night)
OPTIONAL EXPERIENCE - Kennedy Space Centre Admission
Enjoy a day of Space Exploration with this general admission ticket. A vacation destination like nowhere else on Earth, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex brings to life the epic story of the U.S. space program. More interactive than a museum, more inspirational than a science centre, and more authentic and educational than a theme park, Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex offers a mix of thrilling simulators, breathtaking attractions, behind-the-scenes tours, interactive exhibits, 3D space films, rocket launch viewing opportunities and more.
Day 18: Depart Fort Lauderdale (31 miles)
En route to Miami Airport, consider a stop at the Waterfront area for dining and shopping and maybe lunch before continuing on at your leisure to the airport for your flight home or onwards to your next destination.
18 Day Self Drive - from £1,615
with flights from £2,072
Our Budget option includes all the benefits of our standard but offers a lower category of accommodation for the more budget conscious.
- Budget accommodation – from £1,299
- Add a Hollywood Trolley Tour – from £44
- Add an Alcatraz Island Cruise and Tour – from £46
- Add a Champagne Sunset Cruise in Key West – from £41
- Add a Kennedy Space Centre Admission – from £46
Price is per person, based on 2 sharing a double or twin room and include pre-booked accommodation, air-conditioned car and unlimited mileage. One-way fees charged locally. Hotels specified are subject to availability and may be substituted by one of a similar or higher standard.
Self Drive Touring
Your self drive includes:
- Well planned, easy to follow route
- Travel guide and maps
- 17 nights pre-booked hotel accommodation
- A choice of standard or budget hotels
- Modern air-conditioned car
- Unlimited mileage
- Roadside assistance
- Car upgrades available upon request