Ride the famously spectacular Pacific Coast Highway that twists and turns up the California shore – one of the most scenic drives in the world, and best of all you get to just sit back and enjoy the ride.. Swap your van for a bike and cycle the stunning landscape between the artsy village of Ojai and historic Ventura Beach.. Spot wildlife, with expert eyes to guide you, as you walk the cliff faces of the spectacular and ancient Channel Islands.. Sample local delights on a walking food tour of one of Santa Barbara’s most eclectic neighbourhoods, discovering the tasty secrets easily missed on your own.
Seemingly worlds away from LA, the California coast is home to some of the most spectacular natural scenery in all the USA. Spend five days exploring local life and wildlife along the exhilarating Pacific Coast Highway. Cycle through forests and get sweeping views of the California coast with a cliff-top hike. In between all that active adventure, indulge in locally sourced treats like olive oil, craft beer and a few glasses of wine along the way. If this sounds like your kind of escape, then Cali is calling.
Breakfast Included: 4 Lunches Included: 2 Dinner Included:
Welcome to the City of Angels! Your Pacific Coast adventure begins with a welcome meeting tonight at 6 pm. If you arrive early, take time to explore LA, perhaps by stargazing around Hollywood, wandering the famous Venice Beach or hopping the Ferris wheel at the Santa Monica Pier, which is just steps from your hotel. After the meeting you might choose to head out to dinner with your new travel friends – the ideal way to get to know the group.
Los Angeles to Santa Barbara
Today, travel north up the famously scenic Pacific Coast Highway, where ocean waves roll in on one side and mountains stretch high on the other, and stop to stretch your legs at the Carpinteria Bluffs. From the vantage point of these protected bluffs, you’ll catch great views of the Pacific, and maybe even see some harbour seals sunbathing on the beaches below. Drive onwards to Santa Barbara, a beautiful town known as the “American Riviera.” Here, you’ll meet a local guide for a food tour through Santa Barbara’s eclectic Funk Zone neighbourhood. Your included lunch will be a sampling of the area’s lesser known but very tasty treats, from handmade chocolate to lobster bisque. Take a free afternoon to visit the landmark Mission Santa Barbara, walk down Sterns Wharf, or relax on the beach just steps away from your accommodation.
Today is a day to explore all that Santa Barbara has to offer on the food and wine scene. Make your way north to the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley, put back on the map thanks to Hollywood’s attention in the early 2000s. Get your first taste of the local vintages with an included wine tasting, then make a stop at the seemingly out-of-place village of Solvang, which looks like it’s been picked up from Demark and dropped here in the heart of Santa Barbara County wine country. In the afternoon, visit a winery with quite the story. Hear all about how the owner is seen as a pioneer among female winemakers and taste the results of her decades of work on getting the best out of two distinguished grape varietals, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir.
Hop a ferry across to Scorpion Cove on Santa Cruz Island for a walking adventure among the ancient Channel Islands. These islands were first colonised some 13,000 years ago and are the earliest evidence of humans in North America. You’ll embarking on an easy hike (2 kilometres or 1.5 miles) along the Cavern Point Loop for sweeping views of the California coastline. Stop for a picnic lunch along the way and – if you want to paddle along clear waters, among soaring cliffs and stunning sea caves – there's the chance to book an optional extra1.5 hour kayaking trip. Continue on to Ventura in the late afternoon and join your group for an optional food truck dinner at a local brewery that’s not only a community favourite, but that also donates 1% of all its sales to environmental non-profits.
Ojai to Los Angeles
Head inland today to the small town of Ojai, set in a valley within the Topatopa Mountains, and explore the village centre dotted with art galleries and New Age shops. Enjoy an olive oil tasting at a multi-generation family farm, where the olive trees are 150 years old and the olives are all picked by hand. After an included organic lunch at a local cafe, hit the road on two wheels with a leisurely cycle to historic Ventura Beach (approximately 25 kilometres or 16 miles). From Ventura hop back in the van and return to Los Angeles, where your Pacific Coast adventure will come to an end around 5 pm.