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Explore the incredible scenery and fascinating history along the Southern and Central California coast on this 12-hour day trip from Los Angeles. Enjoy one of the world’s most picturesque oceanfront drives as you head north, stopping first at Santa Barbara to visit its harbor, gorgeous beaches and historic Spanish Mission. Then see Solvang, a Danish-themed town near Santa Barbara. Finish the day with a visit at the sprawling Hearst Castle, constructed by famed publisher William Randolph Hearst. Your California coastal day trip also includes coach transport, live on-board commentary and Hearst Castle admission.


  • Full-day trip from Los Angeles
  • Scenic tour of the Southern and Central California coasts
  • Visit Santa Barbara and see the Spanish Mission
  • Stroll through Solvang, an authentic Danish town
  • Tour Hearst Castle
  • Entertaining and informative commentary from your tour guide
  • Air-conditioned transportation in a deluxe van or bus

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Santa Barbara, Solvang and Hearst Castle Day Trip from Los Angeles

Hearst Castle, California

Get a sense for the amazing scenery and incredible history just beyond the urban center of Los Angeles during this 12-hour day trip to visit Santa Barbara, the magnificent Hearst Castle and much more. It's a great way to go beyond the typical tourist hot spots in Los Angeles and San Francisco for a unique look at the diverse attractions of California.

Start your trip in the morning, leaving from either the Los Angeles Farmers Market or the Four Points by Sheraton in Culver City. Head north by coach along the jaw-dropping California coastline, making your first stop of the day in the town of Solvang. This quiet hamlet, situated in the Santa Ynes Valley and originally founded by Danish settlers, played a key role in the iconic film Sideways. Admire the city’s unique Danish-inspired architecture and Little Mermaid monument, based on the story by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen. The statue is a reproduction of a similar public artwork in Copenhagen. Don't forget to stop by Solvang’s tasty Danish bakeries and Danish-themed shops before leaving town.

Continue your trip at the renowned Hearst Castle. Your memorable visit to the estate of William Randolph Hearst takes you on an in-depth visit inside the luxurious home of this renowned media magnate. Once a frequent hotspot for Hollywood’s elite, Hearst Castle is packed with a floor-to-ceiling collection of artwork and antiquities that spans the globe. Check out Greek pottery that dates from 800 BC alongside priceless oriental rugs and elegant statues. In Hearst’s heyday of the 1920s and 1930s, invitations to this estate were a hot commodity, so be sure to document your visit to prove to others you were there.

Proceed next to Santa Barbara. When you arrive in town, head to the city’s Old Mission, a religious structure that helped give the city its name. You’ll also hear from your guide about the role these Spanish settlements played in the founding of the state of California. Then check out Santa Barbara’s harbor and explore its sublime beaches.

After finishing your excursion in Santa Barbara, continue back along the coast as you return to Los Angeles. It’s a laid-back, scenic way to end your wonderful day along California’s incredible diverse coastal areas.

Customer Reviews

karen.tilbury Australia

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2017

If you need a day away from LA, this trip is really worth doing. While it is a long day, the scenery along the coastal drive is outstanding before you reach your first stop of Santa Barbara. The town of Solvang is very pretty and our guide allowed plenty of time for us to wander through this unique place and enjoy it's ambiance. If you're a lover of pastries, you won't be disappoint with the number of bakeries on offer, all within a short walking distance of each other. Hearst Castle is a highlight and the guides are so knowledgable about the history behind the building of the castle and family. Due to the distance travelled, you get to do the Grand Rooms tour only and to see the pools, tennis courts and outside the three guest houses. Our guide planned a special stop for us on the drive back to LA, this was great as it allowed you to stretch the legs and have a break from the drive. Our guide was very friendly and had the challenge of having to impart knowledge to both English and Italian languages, but he handled this wonderfully and was always mindful that both groups were looked after.

Kew F

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2017

We booked this tour as I had always wanted to see the Hearst Castle. Dorit and Sam picked us up at the designated spot and we ended up having our own private tour the other tourists didn't show up. We had plenty of stops along the way and even a bonus quick stop to look at the elephant seals at San Simeon beach. This was definitely a bucket list trip for myself and I highly recommend going.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2016

This is a long drive, but you will be so happy that you have a driver! And that he knows just where to take you, so that you get a great taste of the area.

Daniel O

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2016

The tour was great, and our guide Richard was full of information and a good sense of humor.

Ramanpreet W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Booked the trip for my parents, they loved it. Tour bus was comfortable and clean, the driver was a fun and a knowledgeable narrator, the stop-over/sites had nice site seeing. Overall, it was a memorable and a well-planned tour.

Eva Y

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

It is a perfect relaxing day trip along the California coast. My tour guide Armin was very friendly and knowledgable in making a very memorable trip. He made quick stops at San Simeon to see the Northern elephant seals and Mission Santa Barbara. I would recommend to my friends because I had the best small group travel experience.

Robert G Australia

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Great guide and a wonderful experience, seeing wild Zebra in California and tour guide made the trip o memorable - tour group were like old friends by the end of the day

Yuan C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Value for money and overall a well-paced, informative day out! I especially enjoyed Hearst castle and would have love to spend more time exploring the site.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2016

The tour guide was very friendly and knowledgable. Very happy with the tour.

Connie B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended April 2016

Very fun and interesting trip Giovanni was our tour guide and he was terrific

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