Planning to visit in July and drive Highway 1. Here's the itinery with a few queries.
Days 1-3 Fly to San Francisco and stay three nights. City tours including Alcatraz. Worth waiting to pick car up on Day 4? Anyone flown with Aer Lingus, their flight cost look very reasonable?
Day 6 Drive to Pismo taking in a few stops including Hearst Castle - Looks like this will be a long day? Stay 1 night Pismo. Is it worth breaking this leg of the journey with a night at somewhere like San Simeon? Maybe miss Pismo and and go straight to Santa Barbara from stay at San Simeon?
Day 7 Drive to Santa Barbara and stay for one night - tour the city.
Days 8-11 Drive to Santa Monica and stay 4 nights. Visit Malibu en route? Prefer the beach location but want to tour Los Angeles, is SM a reasonable location for that? Most likely to visit Disney in Anaheim and maybe Universal Studios Hollywood amongst other LA city visits. Worth keeping the hire car for LA or is there plenty of public transport to get me where I want to go?
Day 12-14 Fly to New York and stay 3 nights. Squeeze in another city trip and try to break up the jet lag and journey home.
Day 15 Fly back to UK
I take it booking independently will work out more cost effective than handing over to a tour operator?
Thanks for your help!