Seemingly worlds away from LA, the California coast is home to some of the most spectacular natural scenery in all the USA. Spend five days exploring local life and wildlife along the exhilarating Pacific Coast Highway. Cycle through forests and get sweeping views of the California coast with a cliff-top hike. In between all that active adventure, indulge in locally sourced treats like olive oil, craft beer and a few glasses of wine along the way. If this sounds like your kind of escape, then Cali is calling.
Location: Los Angeles
Welcome to the City of Angels! Your Pacific Coast adventure begins with a welcome meeting tonight at 6 pm. If you arrive early, take time to explore LA, perhaps by stargazing around Hollywood, wandering the famous Venice Beach or hopping the Ferris wheel at the Santa Monica Pier, which is just steps from your hotel. After the meeting you might choose to head out to dinner with your new travel friends – the ideal way to get to know the group.
Location: Los Angeles to Santa Barbara
Today, travel north up the famously scenic Pacific Coast Highway, where ocean waves roll in on one side and mountains stretch high on the other, and stop to stretch your legs at the Carpinteria Bluffs. From the vantage point of these protected bluffs, you’ll catch great views of the Pacific, and maybe even see some harbour seals sunbathing on the beaches below. Drive onwards to Santa Barbara, a beautiful town known as the “American Riviera.” Here, you’ll meet a local guide for a food tour through Santa Barbara’s eclectic Funk Zone neighbourhood. Your included lunch will be a sampling of the area’s lesser known but very tasty treats, from handmade chocolate to lobster bisque. Take a free afternoon to visit the landmark Mission Santa Barbara, walk down Sterns Wharf, or relax on the beach just steps away from your accommodation.<br/><br/>Included Activities:<br/>-<description>Santa Barbara - Walking lunch tour</description><br/>-<description>Carpinteria Bluffs - walk</description>
Location: Santa Barbara
Today is a day to explore all that Santa Barbara has to offer on the food and wine scene. Make your way north to the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley, put back on the map thanks to Hollywood’s attention in the early 2000s. Get your first taste of the local vintages with an included wine tasting, then make a stop at the seemingly out-of-place village of Solvang, which looks like it’s been picked up from Demark and dropped here in the heart of Santa Barbara County wine country. In the afternoon, visit a winery with quite the story. Hear all about how the owner is seen as a pioneer among female winemakers and taste the results of her decades of work on getting the best out of two distinguished grape varietals, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir. <br/><br/>Included Activities:<br/>-<description>Santa Ynez Valley – wine tasting</description><br/>-<description>Lopac – wine tasting</description><br/>-<description>Solvang – village walk</description>
Location: Channel Islands
Hop a ferry across to Scorpion Cove on Santa Cruz Island for a walking adventure among the ancient Channel Islands. These islands were first colonised some 13,000 years ago and are the earliest evidence of humans in North America. You’ll embarking on an easy hike (2 kilometres or 1.5 miles) along the Cavern Point Loop for sweeping views of the California coastline. Stop for a picnic lunch along the way and – if you want to paddle along clear waters, among soaring cliffs and stunning sea caves – there's the chance to book an optional extra1.5 hour kayaking trip. Continue on to Ventura in the late afternoon and join your group for an optional food truck dinner at a local brewery that’s not only a community favourite, but that also donates 1% of all its sales to environmental non-profits.<br/><br/>Included Activities:<br/>-<description>Channel Islands - Hike</description><br/><br/>Optional Activities:<br/>-<description>Chanel Islands - Sea Kayaking</description>
Location: Ojai to Los Angeles
Head inland today to the small town of Ojai, set in a valley within the Topatopa Mountains, and explore the village centre dotted with art galleries and New Age shops. Enjoy an olive oil tasting at a multi-generation family farm, where the olive trees are 150 years old and the olives are all picked by hand. After an included organic lunch at a local cafe, hit the road on two wheels with a leisurely cycle to historic Ventura Beach (approximately 25 kilometres or 16 miles). From Ventura hop back in the van and return to Los Angeles, where your Pacific Coast adventure will come to an end around 5 pm.<br/><br/>Included Activities:<br/>-<description>Ojai - Olive Oil tasting</description><br/>-<description>Ojai - Bike ride Ojai to Ventura</description><br/>-<description>Ojai - Farm to table lunch experience</description>
Intrepid was started by two friends from Melbourne, Australia, in 1988 after embarking on a trip through the wilds of Africa in a modified ex-council truck, crammed with friends, supplies, a handful of aviator sunglasses and a case or two of beer. Could this type of travel be something others would be interested in? The answer was a resounding yes and today Intrepid send 100,000 travellers across the globe each year with the help of a staff of 1,000.
After three decades, founders Darrell and Manch, feel they know what travellers want. They get that it’s a big decision to fly across the world to wander the souks of Marrakech or enjoy a dreamy Angkor sunrise. They understand that you’re looking for a balance of inclusions and free time, a mix of classic highlights and local secrets you won’t find on Google. And of course, an authentic real life experience. Their leaders are born and raised in-country and they know their destination better than anyone. So you’ll do more than just see a place, you’ll live it. Small groups, big adventures and responsible travel – that’s Intrepid’s thing. With 1,000 trips in a variety of styles across 100 countries, you’re sure to find something you like.
Intrepid believe the real magic happens well away from the beaten path. It’s the little noodle bars, hidden galleries and backstreet bodegas and real life experiences you won’t find in a search engine. Real life experiences are those moments you know you’re really alive and experiencing something special. While it could be the instant you see one of the world’s great icons for the first time, it is more likely to be the moment you find yourself in the middle of a village square soccer game, being treated to a home-cooked meal by your new local friends or sharing a laugh with your fellow travellers as you try a new mode of transport … camel anyone? These unexpected moments are what travelling with Intrepid is all about, giving you a trip like no other.
Intrepid realises the world is a really big place. And there’s a plethora of different languages to learn, borders to cross and cultures to negotiate. Small group adventure travel makes these things easy and allows you to maximise your precious time off. Instead of worrying about logistics, you can focus all your energy on having the experience of a lifetime. Their tour groups are small enough to feel like you’re exploring a destination independently, but big enough to create a good social vibe. Group size will vary depending on where and how you’re travelling, but the average group size is about 10.
Intrepid’s themed trips encompass all hobbies and interests or could pique an interest in a new hobby you never knew you needed. From foodie explorations across Asia or India, sailing the seas in Thailand or the Caribbean, wildlife encounters in the Serengeti or Antarctica, scenic cycling or walking to Base Camp or through Tibet, and epic expeditions in Burma or Russia, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Intrepid is committed to operating in a responsible manner, incorporating the principles of sustainable development in the way they provide travellers with real life experiences. These values are ingrained in the culture and daily operations of every Intrepid office and tour. In addition, they hope their travellers also demonstrate the principles of responsible travel - respecting people, cultures and local environments; in the distribution of wealth; in good will and cross-cultural sharing; and in contributing to sustainable development.