101 USA Holidays

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Mike Gerrard Donna Dailey
Award-winning travel writers Mike Gerrard and Donna Dailey.

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California in a convertible

Mike & Donna's verdict:

We like to think we’re experts on the best drive in America, the Pacific Coast Highway, and if we had to devise the perfect trip it would be… well, this one. Black Tomato have picked the coolest hotels, sensible drive times, the best places to stop, and hottest car. Next time we go - it’s gotta be a Mustang!

Recommended tour operator: Black Tomato

Special hotelsCool wheelsCalifornian vineyardsButterfly beach along Channel Drive in Santa Barbara, California.

Black Tomato says

Take part in a great American tradition – in style – on our quintessential road trip up the fabled Pacific Coast Highway and winelands of California.

Your adventure begins in Los Angeles where bespoke personal shopping experiences, reservations at top restaurants and entrance to the hottest nightclubs will have you feeling the VIP treatment reserved exclusively for the Hollywood stars.

Escape the buzz of the city by laying your head at Shutters on the Beach, Santa Monica, where the city buzz is replaced with the gentle crashing of waves.

Hop in to your all American muscle car, the Mustang convertible, to head two hours north to Santa Barbara’s wine country where you will settle in at the uniquely Spanish-Moroccan flavoured Canary Hotel.

Spend the day in the strangely Danish city of Solvang and visit the extravagant Bridlewood Estate for an exclusive wine tasting experience. Complete your afternoon on the coast at the Channel Islands National Park where whale sightings are common year round.

Hit the road the next day and stop at Morro State Park. The flat coastal landscape is dramatically broken up by the towering landmark, Morro Rock. Try your hand at fishing before retiring at the seaside Anderson Inn at Morro Bay.

Hit the most scenic section of the Pacific Coast Highway en route to Big Sur. Just off the highway, nestled high above the California coast, is the exclusive Post Ranch Inn, offering seclusion with a spectacular view – the perfect place to unwind.

The road to San Francisco offers a multitude of options from a trip to Carmel and Pebble Beach, to a visit to Half Moon Bay for kayaking with the sea lions as you head to San Francisco for a final night in the waterfront Fairmont Heritage Place – a fitting end to your great American road trip.

Find out more Classic California and other holiday ideas in California, in Black Tomato style, of course.

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