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Couples Culinary Retreat – A Taste of California

  • By Sam Taylor
  • Published 24 November 2014
  • Revised 18 March 2016
Couples Culinary Retreat – A Taste of California
  • By Sam Taylor
  • Published 24 November 2014
  • Revised 18 March 2016
Couples Culinary Retreat – A Taste of California
  • By Sam Taylor
  • Published 24 November 2014
  • Revised 18 March 2016
Day 1 – Arrive in Los Angeles (3 nights)
The start of your itinerary, Los Angeles welcomes regular flights from the UK with leading airlines including British Airways and New Zealand Air, with a flight time of approximately 10 hours 30 minutes. LA really is one of the great food cities of the world, renowned by its contemporary approach to cooking and infusions from its multi-cultural city. The food is simply excellent, reinforced seamlessly by a multitude of vineyards in the surrounding area, offering the perfect wine pairings to every dish.

Our top tip: Arrange a Los Angeles Ethnic Neighbourhoods Food Tour and explore LA’s diverse culinary scene, stopping off to sample numerous local restaurants, markets and bakeries, as well as meeting local business owners to hear their story.

Crowne Plaza Beverly Hills

Day 4 – Los Angeles to San Francisco (2 nights)
Approximately a 5 hour car journey from Los Angeles to the urban metropolis of San Francisco, renowned by its iconic landmarks, such as Alcatraz Island and the postcard image of the Golden Gate Bridge. Numerous fine dining establishments encircle Fisherman’s Wharf, specialising in dishes influenced by the surrounding waters, using the daily catch and seasonal ingredients found inland on the fertile lands across the elongated bridge.

Our top tip: A city surrounded by water makes for an excellent selection of aqua based activities, whether it’s a dinner cruise, sunset cruise or even a visit to Alcatraz Island.

Handlery Union Square

Day 6 – San Francisco to Napa Valley (4 nights)
Cross the Golden Gate Bridge and within an hour you will find yourself in the heart of Napa Valley’s wine country, dotted with quaint vineyards, offering the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of San Fran. Unwind playing a round of golf at the Chardonnay Golf Club, or relax with a therapeutic treatment at Calistoga Hot Springs Spa. Winery visits are a hugely popular attraction here for obvious reason, with the option to cycle between vineyards on a guided tour.

Our top tip: The best way to view this majestic landscape is from above in a hot air balloon. Take in the pristine landscape of vineyards and mountains while sipping on a glass or two of sparkling wine.

Napa Valley Marriott Hotel & Spa

Day 10 – Napa Valley to San Francisco (2 nights)
On your short return drive to San Francisco plan a different route to experience even more of the Golden State. A second visit to San Francisco allows you to uncover some of the city’s hidden gems away from the iconic tourist sites. Off the beaten path there is plenty to do, such as a glamorous walking tour of Nob Hill, as well as numerous art galleries to roam through, ideal for a laid back afternoon.

Our top tip: For the ultimate culinary adventure the Grub Crawl walking food tour takes guests on an exploration of some of San Fran’s best restaurants, tasting their signature dishes along the way.

Radisson Hotel Fishermans Wharf

Day 12 – San Francisco to Monterey (1 night)
Just a two hour journey heading south along the coast and you will be in Monterey, a tranquil city home to some of California’s most uncrowded beaches, ideal for couples. Monterey Bay itself is dotted with a number of hotels, offering exceptional views out across the water. Fabulous alfresco seafood restaurants are plentiful here, aiding to its reputation as a destination perfect for a romantic getaway.

Our top tip: Get in touch with nature by renting a kayak from Monterey Bay and meet the friendly local inhabitants of sea lions, seals and otters.

Crowne Plaza Monterrey

Day 13 – Monterey to Santa Barbara (1 night)

One of California’s postcard coastal towns, Santa Barbara is located approximately 4 hours further south from Monterey on the periphery of Los Angeles, yet feeling like a million miles away. The tight nit coastal community is renowned for its farm to table dining with some of the best backdrops you are ever likely to encounter. To the west look out across the ocean and behind you rests the Los Padres National Forest.

Our top tip: It’s a crime to visit Santa Barbara without sampling the local produce grown here in the American Riviera, such as avocado, melon and figs.

Hyatt Santa Barbara

Day 14 – Santa Barbara to Los Angeles (1 night)
The last leg of your journey is a very manageable 2 hour journey, before arriving back in Los Angeles for the final night. Residing in a Beverly Hills hotel places you on the doorstep of a range of fine dining options and chic nightlife options to end your California road trip in style.

Our top tip: Make sure to visit one of the Simon Malls or outlet centres before catching your flight as this is a great opportunity to pick up designer brands at a heavily discounted cost.

Crowne Plaza Beverly Hills

For more information on this itinerary and other California adventures click here.

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