GoHop.ie Explains The Californian Fly-Drive Honeymoon

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San Francisco at dusk

San Francisco at dusk


Thinking of heading stateside? Can’t decide on just one adventure? Michael Collins from Gohop.ie gives us the low-down on one of their most popular honeymoons, the Californian fly-drive honeymoon.

If you’re getting married soon, congratulations! If your honeymoon will be a Californian fly-drive, then double congratulations! California offers so much. It has sun, beautiful beaches, wine, sun,  mountains, wildlife, history, architecture, sun, quaint old stuff and sky-scraping shiny new stuff. And it has nice weather. And that’s all before you nip across the border to Vegas. Yeah, baby!

Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco at night

Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco at night

San Francisco in Northern California offers strolls in the Golden Gate Park, bike rides across the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, romantic cruises on the Bay and people-watching in the centre of the hippy subculture. But one of the city’s great advantages is the ease with which you can leave it. This sounds like something of an insult, but it explains why so many people like to use it as a base.

If you don’t fancy travelling even that far, less than half an hour away are some of the world’s biggest trees at Muir Woods. Four hours away and you have the sheer granite walls and high waterfalls in Yosemite National Park. Also only four hours away are the high and warm ski resorts of Lake Tahoe.

The famous wine valleys of Sonoma or Napa are just over an hour away from San Francisco. Most wineries in the area offer free wine tasting and great food. If you intend drinking, don’t drive; instead, take a guided tour with Gray Line, or one of the other tour companies that leave from San Francisco’s Union Square every morning. Although, if you are driving, you have the advantage of taking in Calistoga, a spa town that sits on the edge of the wine country. Here, boiling mineral water shoots out of the earth, reminiscent of Yellowstone. Some of the local day spas have harnessed this natural phenomenon and offer hot mineral and mud baths.


Golden Gate Bridge-Ship in the Mist

The Golden Gate Bridge


If you decide to drive the famous Highway 1, not far south of Carmel there’s a part called Big Sur. For the next 160km you will see no large towns and very few houses. Instead, motorists are treated to views of mountains, cliffs and surf-battered beaches. On short walks from the road, visitors can discover dense forest, hot springs and broad rivers. It’s little wonder the novelist Robert Louis Stevenson called Big Sur “the greatest meeting of land and sea in the world”.

Big Sur comes to an end close to the town of San Simeon, which wouldn’t be worth a mention but for its most famous resident who lived there in the early part of the twentieth century. William Randolph Hearst was a media mogul, and one of the most powerful men in the United States. He used his enormous wealth to build a castle in the hills near San Simeon and it became the playground of the world’s rich and famous. No actor in Hollywood felt they had really made it until they received an invitation to stay at Hearst Castle. Of course, if you’re a movie buff you already know this. Hearst was the inspiration for the lead character in the Orson Welles’ classic Citizen Kane. The movie is set in “the world’s largest private estate”, the fictional Xanadu, which was modelled on Hearst Castle.

Having said that. there’s much more to the Los Angeles area than just the movies, such as the art of the J Paul Getty Museum, the beaches of Santa Monica, and the exclusive shops of Beverley Hills. But when you’re in LA, why not go with the flow? The city doesn’t just make movies; it lets you behind the scenes and for a moment you feel like you’re in one!

At Universal Studios just north of Hollywood, visitors on the Studio Tour can see film sets, both current and former. Fans of Desperate Housewives will enjoy visiting Wisteria Lane, while the Bates family house used in Psycho, and the eerie plane wreckage used in War of the Worlds are also part of the tour.

On the other side of the 415 acre park are the thrill rides, based on films such as Revege of the MummyJurassic Park and The Simpsons.


Image via abc.com

Over on Hollywood Boulevard, you’ll find the famous Walk of Fame featuring star-shaped plaques embedded in the footpath celebrating famous names from the world of film.

Along this famous street of tack, glamour and movie nostalgia, there are many mini-buses offering tours of movie stars’ homes. There’s probably something immoral about stopping outside people’s homes and photographing when they’re off duty, but… ehem… well… they would be welcome to stop outside your home if ever they’re in your area! Anyway, for the most part, it’s a tour of homes that movie stars used to live in. The stars themselves moved out as soon as the tour buses started dropping by.


Even though Las Vegas isn’t in California, it has become an essential part of any driving trip that takes in Los Angeles. The two cities are just four hours apart, along a route that you already know from films such as BugsyThe Hangover and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

You may have recently got married, but your honeymoon is as good a time as any to renew your vows. Why not let Elvis perform the ceremony in a Las Vegas wedding chapel? He can even collect you from your hotel in a 1964 pink Cadillac!

If you think that this sounds like the perfect way to start married life then contact the travel experts in Gohop.ie who will tailor-make your Californian Fly-Drive to suit your needs. Visit www.Gohop.ie or call 01 2412389.

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