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Air & Land
Land Only

9 Day Bay Area & Central Coast California Fly & Drive

Independent Package Includes

  • Flights Chicago-San Francisco, San Diego-Chicago
    Other departure cities available. Click on date of departure for selection and prices
  • Airline taxes & fuel surcharges
  • 8 nights accommodations (room only or room & breakfast)
    • 2 nights San Francisco
    • 1 night Monterey
    • 1 night Cambria
    • 1 night Santa Barbara
    • 2 nights Los Angeles
    • 1 night San Diego
  • Selected hotels - breakfast and parking - click here for details
  • 7 day car rental: Economy (Chevy Aveo or similar). Upgrade to other categories available
  • Car rental includes: Unlimited mileage, Roadside Assistance, all sales taxes, surcharges, and fees

Vehicle Options
Economy - Chevy Aveo or similar

Economy - Chevy Aveo or similar

  • 1-3 passengers
  • 2 Large Suitcases
  • Automatic Transmission
  • Air Conditioning
Intermediate - Hyundai Elantra or similar

Intermediate - Hyundai Elantra or similar

  • 1-5 Passengers
  • 3 Large Suitcases
  • Automatic Transmission
  • Air Conditioning
Full Size - Chevy Malibu or similar

Full Size - Chevy Malibu or similar

  • 1-5 Passengers
  • 4 Large Suitcases
  • Automatic Transmission
  • Air Conditioning
Full Size SUV - Ford Explorer or similar

Full Size SUV - Ford Explorer or similar

  • 1-5 Passengers
  • 3 Large Suitcases
  • Automatic Transmission
  • Air Conditioning

The following are suggested sites that can be visited en route to your hotel.

DAY 1, Thursday - Arrive in San Francisco
Welcome to San Francisco! Arrive independently to your hotel in San Francisco to begin your vacation in California. This afternoon, begin your discovery of this beloved “City by the Bay.” The best way to see San Francisco is on foot combined with public transportation. This afternoon stroll around Union Square, complete with people watching, window-shopping and views of the astonishing architecture. Continue on to Chinatown, the largest of its kind in North America, with its open markets, storefront temples and hundreds of stores displaying Asian wares. Enjoy dinner tonight at one of the many restaurants or Dim-Sum shops
Overnight: San Francisco

DAY 2, Friday - Full day in San Francisco
Explore unforgettable San Francisco today. The options are endless. Take a stroll along Fisherman’s Wharf and watch the sea lions in the Bay. You can set sail and cruise to notorious Alcatraz, the maximum-security prison in the Bay -- you can walk the cellblocks where the Birdman of Alcatraz and Al Capone spent time. See the breathtaking views of the Golden Gate Bridge before continuing to Golden Gate Park. Ride a Cable Car and enjoy the views and the steep hills…it’s an experience you shouldn’t miss. If you’re in the mood for delicious chocolates, then head to the early 20th century complex of Ghiradelli Square with its chocolate and souvenir shops, cafes and restaurants. Other not-to-be-missed visits include the famous San Francisco Zoo, Haight-Ashbury and the Mission District. Tonight, your choice of fine restaurants, concerts and performances await all over the city. For live music try the cosmopolitan North Beach area
Overnight: San Francisco

DAY 3, Saturday - Drive to Monterey
This morning, depart your hotel and independently transfer to the airport. Proceed to the Rental Car Center to pick up your car and begin your drive to Monterey. Travel along the scenic coastal route, stopping along the way to see the Old Mission San Juan Bautista, in a historic park surrounded by 18th and 19th century buildings. Then, drive past wetlands, artichoke and strawberry fields before arriving in stunning Monterey on the Monterey Peninsula with its extraordinary coastline and wind swept beaches. The region has fantastic state parks, beaches and picturesque trails for walking, jogging, hiking or biking. Visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium, one of the most respected aquariums in the world showcasing over 200 uniquely designed marine exhibits and petting pools. Stop by Cannery Row, made famous by John Steinbeck in his novel about working people and the sardine canneries; today the area has been converted into restaurants, galleries and shops. Tonight, visit Fisherman’s Wharf for a wide choice of casual seafood restaurants
Drive Time: 2-3 hours*
Distance: 80 miles*
Overnight: Monterey

DAY 4, Sunday - Drive to the San Simeon Area
Depart Monterey, driving south along the rugged and winding coast to San Simeon. Here, you’ll see opulent Hearst Castle, sitting in solitary splendor atop a hill; its buildings and gardens are spread over 127 acres of land, once part of newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst’s 250,000-acre ranch. It took nearly 30 years for Hearst to build this elaborate estate, which was never lived in, but donated to the State of California. Consider taking a tour, beginning with a film presentation about the Hearst family and the building of this estate, followed by a tour of the highlights of the castle, including the home’s antiques, fine art and other exotic treasures from all over the world that cost over $50 million. Walk through the magnificent fragrant gardens before departing the castle and driving to your hotel in Cambia
Drive Time: 3-4 hours*
Distance: 100 miles*
Overnight: Cambria

DAY 5, Monday - Drive to Santa Barbara
Drive south to gorgeous Santa Barbara, known as “America’s Riviera,” nestled between lofty mountains and the shimmering Pacific Ocean. Santa Barbara is chic and relaxed, with superb scenery accented by red tile roofs, white stucco buildings and California’s most beautiful white sandy beaches. After a relaxing lunch, stroll the pristine downtown area, admire the charming California Mission-style architecture and see the city’s famous landmarks such as Stearns Wharf by the harbor, bustling State Street, El Presidio and Mission Santa Barbara, a colonial historic site. Drive up into the Santa Ynez Mountains past vineyards and organic farms and the growing wine industry. Stop at Rattlesnake Canyon’s waterfalls before continuing to your hotel in Santa Barbara for overnight. In the evening, the after-dark scene revolves around downtown’s State Street or the waterfront area
Drive Time: 3-4 hours*
Distance: 110 miles*
Overnight: Santa Barbara

DAY 6, Tuesday - Drive to Los Angeles
Depart Santa Barbara driving via the stunning coastal drive to bustling Los Angeles with its contrasting neighborhoods, sparkling celebrity homes, chic beaches, and new urban renaissance. There are thousands of things to do and to see. Begin with a view of the famous Hollywood sign in Griffin Park, and its observatory with panoramic views of the city. Or, visit the downtown area and see some of the legendary sights, such as the Walk of Fame, and Graumann’s Chinese Theatre. A stroll along plush Rodeo Drive is a must. Stop at one of the outdoor cafés and just people-watch – perhaps you’ll see one of the famous residents. If you’re looking for offbeat, then travel to Venice Beach, notable for its bodybuilders, skaters, hippies and bizarre goods sold on the streets. In the evening, try to get tickets to the Hollywood Bowl, or the Walt Disney Concert Hall or the Greek Theatre – it is indeed a very cultural city
Drive Time: 2-4 hours*
Distance: 90 miles*
Overnight: Los Angeles

DAY 7, Wednesday - Full day in Los Angeles
A full day to explore the Los Angeles area. Visit a movie studio in Hollywood and walk on the sound stages where so many movie classics were made – there are many tours available. Drive to Santa Monica, a favorite place for celebrities and their entourages. See the famous Santa Monica Pier and gorgeous beach. Alternatively, head to Disneyland or nearby Knott’s Berry Farm to immerse yourself in cartoon parades, fabulous rides and fun-filled events. For a cultural experience, visit the amazing Getty Center, an island in the sky that can only be reached by a tram. This architecturally postmodern museum is located on a hilltop above LA. Wander through the art galleries, gardens, courtyards and sit at an outdoor café to just people-watch. In the evening, try some of the diverse ethnic California cuisine ranging from sushi in Little Tokyo, Korean BBQ in Koreatown, Thai Town, Little Saigon, hundreds of tamale shops in East LA., seafood shacks in Malibu or the elegant and upscale restaurants in the city center
Overnight: Los Angeles

DAY 8, Thursday - Drive to San Diego
Get an early start today on your trip to San Diego. Drive past some of the gorgeous homes and magnificent scenery of Newport Beach and Laguna en route to the seaside city of San Diego. You’ll need time to tour the fabulous San Diego Zoo, known as the best zoo in the US with its pandas, koalas, flamingos and elephants. If you’re looking for water shows, stop at Sea World to watch the whales and penguins frolic. In charming Old Town, there are many historical exhibits coupled with plentiful choices of Mexican restaurants. For astounding and inspiring views of the area, ascend to the Cabrillo National Monument to see the exhibits depicting the exploration of California. Don’t miss La Jolla, the “jewel” of San Diego nestled on the Pacific Ocean. The combination of immaculately landscaped parks, hillside villas, upscale boutiques, and outdoor cafes makes it one of the most beautiful stops in California. Walk down to the famous Cove, where you’ll see the locals enjoying the outdoors and perfect weather. Tonight, visit the revitalized downtown Gaslamp Quarter, with its cobblestone streets and gas lamps evoking the 19th century, with a choice of over 100 restaurants
Drive Time: 3-4 hours*
Distance: 140 miles*
Overnight: San Diego

DAY 9, Friday - Return Home
Dependent on your schedule, spend more time in San Diego. Return your vehicle at the Car Rental Facility at San Diego Airport before your departure flight home

*Please consider that the driving times & distances are estimated and that they can vary because of many circumstances, such as, specific route taken, hotel location, traffic, weather, road conditions, etc.

    Book your Optional Tours before you travel and see more, save time, save money, and protect your investment. Tours purchased while traveling may cost an extra 10% or even more! Tours often sell out - avoid disappointment! Save your cash - many countries do not accept credit cards. Travel insurance only covers services purchased prior to departure.

    San Francisco Hop On/Hop Off Tour - 2 Day Pass

    Day #1 01 Aug 2013 - 31 Dec 2014         $44
    See San Francisco at your own pace on a two-day tour! From historical sites to modern San Francisco architecture, this tour uncovers the beauty and culture of the Bay Area. Complete with live narration, this is a fantastic and easy way to see all the sights San Francisco has to offer. This hop-on-hop-off tour is taken on the most modern, comfortable and environmentally friendly double-decker buses in the city and stops at all of the major attractions, including the towering Golden Gate Bridge, bustling Fisherman’s Wharf, coloful Haight Ashbury and the lively neighborhoods of Chinatown and North Beach.

    Tour departs every 20-30 minutes from Union Square, Fisherman's Wharf, Golden State Park, Chinatown Gate & Alcatraz Landing between 9am - 4pm. Ticket valid for 48 hours, tour runs on continuous loop. Drop off at any of the stops along the tour route.

    Book your Optional Tours before you travel and see more, save time, save money, and protect your investment. Tours purchased while traveling may cost an extra 10% or even more! Tours often sell out - avoid disappointment! Save your cash - many countries do not accept credit cards. Travel insurance only covers services purchased prior to departure.

    Hotels Available for Departure Dates

    Choice of Hotel Plans

    Click a Date to Book Online

    This package is currently unavailable. Please check back later or call Virgin Vacations for more information.
    Create Your Own Flexible Vacation

    *Not Included:
    Optional Car Rental Add-ons.

    Additional Information:
    Selected hotels - breakfast and parking - click here for details

    Plan B: Upgrade to the Best Western Tuscan Inn is available.

    Entry Requirements:
    Passengers traveling abroad require a passport valid for six months beyond their travel dates. All travelers are responsible to check if a visa is required for all countries on their itinerary. For visa information, check our Visas page.

    This trip is also available with the following variations: