Pacific Coast Explorer

  • California + 9 more
  • Self Drive Ideas
  • 11
from  £645pp
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Take the trip of a lifetime and drive the length of the stunning Pacific Coast. You will find yourself wanting to stop every few minutes just to photograph every new scenic vista!

A Free Personalised Road Book is included as standard with our Self Drive itineraries. 


Please note: – This is a suggested itinerary only and is intended to give an overview of what is possible. All of our holiday itineraries are fully customisable and can be tailor-made to suit your own individual requirements.  If you would like to start in a different destination, use specific hotel accommodation, include an extra night here, a side-trip there and/or include tickets to an event please let your Discover North America travel specialist know. They’ll also book you the best value flights to ensure a seamless holiday experience.


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Day 1 Seattle

Arrive in Seattle and pick up your rental car. Make time this afternoon to visit the Space Needle or the
superb Explore Music Project before enjoying dinner and coffee at one of Seattle’s excellent restaurants.

Day 2 Seattle - Mt. Rainier - Mt. St. Helens - Portland (269mi/430km)

Depart Seattle today en route to Mt. Rainier National Park, one of the outstanding scenic wonders of the Northwest. Cross the Columbia River for a stop at Mt. St. Helens that will reveal the devastation created by the 1980 eruption of this active volcano. Continue to Portland in the evening.

Day 3 Portland - Oregon Dunes - Redwood National Park (350mi/560km)

The dramatic coastline of Oregon has pan- oramic vistas and picturesque images for you to enjoy today. The peaceful drive through ever-changing terrain will take you through small towns which reflect the essence of the American Spirit. May we suggest packing a picnic and pull- ing off the highway at one of the many trails you will find along the way.

Day 4 Redwood National Park - Eureka (230mi/380km)

Pass former Russian fishing settlements as you continue your drive today. The giant redwoods are protected in state and national parks as World Heritage sites.

Day 5 Eureka - San Francisco (170mi/280km)

Follow the coastline of California south to the village of Mendocino. The town of Mendocino is a Historic Preservation District on the National Register of Historic Places with a superb coastal setting and is the perfect place to Linger before continuing south to San Francisco. There will be time to explore the city this evening.

Day 6 San Francisco

Enjoy a wonderful day touring the city. See places like Union Square, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Fisherman’s Wharf, where you can take a short boat trip to tour infamous Alcatraz Island.

Day 7 San Francisco - Monterey / Carmel (124mi/200km)

Today’s drive takes you down the California coast to Monterey. Stroll along Fisherman’s Wharf and Cannery Row before continuing along the stunning landscape of 17-Mile Drive en route to the village of Carmel.

Day 8 Monterey / Carmel - Big Surprise - Central Coast (240mi/390km)

Follow Pacific Coast Highway south along the Big Sur Peninsula. On the way enjoy views of the Pacific Ocean pounding the cliffs and rocks below. Why not take time to visit Hearst Castle and learn about its fascinating history. Overnight in the heart of California’s central coast.

Day 9 Central Coast - Santa Barbara - Santa Monica - Los Angeles (234km/376mi)

Continue south today passing through Santa Barbara, yet another beautiful stretch of coast in Malibu and the seaside town of Santa Monica prior to arriving in Los Angeles.

Day 10 Los Angeles

A full day to explore Hollywood or Beverly Hills. Go behind the scenes at Universal Studios Hollywood, or head to Anaheim’s ever-popular Disneyland Park.

Day 11 Los Angeles

Return your car to the airport before your departure flight.