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California Fly Drive Holidays
California fly drive holidays and tours of the USA west coast provide a rich and diverse mix of attractions including world class US national parks, superb beaches, family activities, fun theme parks and vibrant multi-cultural cities.
Visit Yosemite or take a drive down Scenic Coastal Highway Route 1 - along the California coast. Explore the sights and attractions of San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego or head for Las Vegas in Nevada for a sightseeing trip to the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
In this guide, we'll help you plan a cheap California flydrive holiday and provide valuable tips to save you money when visiting the US.
Booking a Fly Drive to America
A California USA fly drive holiday offers ultimate flexibility, allowing you to set your own itinerary to tour America's west coast attractions. We recommend that you book 2 or 3 week fly drive holidays to tour California during summer 2013, as significant driving can be involved between places of interest.
The state of California represents over 163,000 square miles in size, so be sensible and try to avoid driving distances of greater than about 250 miles in one day as this will still equate to 4 - 5 hours driving. Where long journeys are unavoidable, always allow a rest day or two to recover. Don't try to cover all California's attractions in one holiday. Instead, plan further fly drive holidays to America to see the sights that you've missed first time!
West Coast USA Fly Drive
Expedia holidays offer some of the best cheap fly drive packages to the USA and America's west coast. If you're not planning to stay in one California city, check the "I only need a hotel for part of my trip" box and reserve a hotel at your arrival destination for just one or two nights. To book a flight back to the UK from a different city in America to your arrival point, read Fly Drive Destinations below for tips.
America Fly Drive Destinations
Plan ahead and book late deal America fly drive holidays and transatlantic flights now for Easter or make an early booking for summer 2013. When booking California fly drive holidays it is often more convenient to book a direct flight into one city in America and then return to the UK from another.
For west coast USA flights, consider flying into Los Angeles then back to the UK from either San Francisco or Las Vegas depending on your itinerary.
Expedia allow you to book this as a "multiple destination flight". Click here for an example flight itinerary. In the example, I book a cheap flight from the UK to Los Angeles and then return to the UK on a flight departing from San Francisco (or another USA city) at no extra cost. This adds flexibility to your America fly drive holidays, allowing you to drive the entire Central California coast Scenic Highway 1.
Tips For Booking Hotels
Including some hotels into your package California fly drive holiday makes sense for your USA arrival city and for any popular US National Parks that you'll be visiting during your stay. Visit Expedia to add hotels to your America flight + car package.
Retaining flexibility during fly drive holidays is paramount, so we'd advise you to only pre-book California hotel accommodation where necessary to avoid encountering last minute room availability problems in the most popular destinations.
At the start of your fly drive to America, advance book a cheap hotel close to the airport for convenience. In Los Angeles, we recommend the Springhill Suites, Hawthorne, LAX.
Hotels near Yosemite can be fully booked during the peak USA holidays season (July, August and September), so advance hotel booking is essential.
San Francisco and Las Vegas Hotels
Finding inexpensive hotels in San Francisco, Las Vegas and San Diego can be a challenge, so some pre planning of your California fly drive holidays will allow you to get the best deals by making advance hotel reservations. Many conventions and trade shows are held in Las Vegas, which can drive up hotel prices considerably - so choose your travel dates carefully to avoid coinciding with these events.
California FlyDrive Guide
This California flydrive guide lists some of the USA west coast's top sightseeing attractions. We feature activities and city landmarks which will appeal both to a family group and independent travellers of all ages visiting the west coast of America on a fly drive holiday.
San Francisco Area
Popular attractions in San Francisco for USA fly drive holidays include Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf, Alcatraz Island, the Golden Gate Bridge (Highway 101 North) and the Golden Gate Park which, at 1017 acres is the world's largest man made parks.
We also recommend taking a Bay Area cruise from Fisherman's Wharf on the Red & White Fleet and then exploring the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) which has good beaches and Muir Woods to see the majestic coastal Redwood trees.
The 49 mile Scenic Drive takes in most San Francisco attractions and landmarks, beginning at the intersection of Hayes and Van Ness Avenue. The 49 Mile Drive includes Twin Peaks which offers panoramic views over downtown San Francisco.
Alamo Square offers the much photographed Victorian houses known as the Painted Ladies.
Napa Valley is home to over 300 wineries, many of which offer guides tours and wine tasting. The Napa Valley wineries are 1.5 hours drive north of San Francisco.
Yosemite National Park is 210 miles south east of San Francisco. This is a "must see attraction" during any fly drive holidays to America's west coast. See our Yosemite pictures page for a taste of what to expect! We recommend pre-booking your Yosemite accommodation with Expedia well in advance.
Monterey, Carmel and Big Sur are 130 - 200 miles south of San Francisco on Scenic Highway 1. Big Sur has spectacular coastal scenery and Carmel has one of the best beaches.
Los Angeles Area
Los Angeles is the arrival point of many America fly drive holidays and it makes a good base for exploring southern California and the west coast. Driving time to San Francisco is about 8 hours (450 miles on Highway 1) or 6.5 hours (390 miles on Interstate 5) and Las Vegas is 5 hours (280 miles).
Los Angeles covers over 1000 square miles and incorporates 88 separate city neighbourhoods.
Best LA Beaches - Upmarket Santa Monica which has a good beach, restaurants and pier (distance to LA is 10 miles). Another famous landmark Venice Beach offers fun shopping and sightseeing (avoid after dark and don't leave valuables in your car). Malibu beach is also very attractive (20 miles on Route 1 north).
Newport Beach, California lies 45 miles south of LA in Orange County. Newport's Balboa beach has a pier and the nearby beach community of Corona Del Mar is well worth a visit, as is Crystal Cove State Park.
For the best view of downtown Los Angeles, the Hollywood sign and Santa Monica Mountains take Mulholland Road to Scenic Vista Point.
Disneyland, Anaheim - Although smaller than Disneyworld, Florida, Disneyland California is still one of the best family attractions. Various entry packages exist, so visit the official Disneyland site for more information when booking your USA fly drive.
San Diego lies 120 miles south of Los Angeles. It has many fun family attractions including La Jolla, Seaworld and Balboa Park - home of the the famous San Diego Zoo and the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center.