by Aer Lingus on August 18th, 2016

​Love to surf? Or perhaps you’ve never done it but would love to learn? Then Lisbon is the destination for you.

​Famed for its vibrant café culture, its soulful Fado music and its abundance of cultural and historical landmarks, the Portuguese capital is also the perfect surfing location. In fact, just outside Lisbon is a string of stunning Atlantic beaches that stretch from Cascais to Estoril and boast some of the best waves in Europe.
Picturesque buildings in Lisbon
​They’re easy to reach from the centre of the city – smart travellers can make the short hop along the coast-hugging suburban railway line to the soft, sandy beaches of Oeiras and Cascais. Or in less than an hour’s drive, plunge into the bracing surf at Guincho and chill in a sheltered bay fringed with pristine white sand beneath the green hills of Arrabida. The climate in Portugal is also perfect for surfing. While it basks in sunshine for most of the year, there’s always a refreshing breeze blowing off the Atlantic. 
The beach at Cascais
​So where to start? First, you’re going to need a surf school. There are plenty to choose from along this five-mile stretch of stunning sandy beach. Cascais, in particular, offers a wide range of schools and accommodation. The highly rated Moana Surf School offers private lessons and group courses for all levels. It also rents out surfboards at €15 per half day or €25 for a full day and you can hire wetsuits at €10 per half day or €15 for a full day.
​For something a little different, try paddle boarding with the Viator water activities group. Not only is this an enjoyable and fun day out, it’s a great way to explore the stunning coastline of caverns and cliffs that stretch from Cascais to Estoril. Take a class and learn how to row on the board or simply join the long distance paddling group which travels to Boca do Inferno from Cascais Duquesa Beach. Sessions start at 8am, 9am and 10am each day and last for up to two hours – leaving you plenty of time to surf in the afternoon.
​Another option for dedicated surfers is the Lisbon Surf School, which provides lessons in surfing and bodyboarding and is run by Pedro Couto – a former professional surfer. The school also offers hiking expeditions and guided mountain bike trips with trails along the Atlantic coast, as well as yoga classes and massage.

Located in the quaint village of Murches, LX Surf Camp is 30 minutes east of Lisbon’s International Airport and five minutes from the town of Cascais. Set in natural pine-tree woodlands, it offers great views of Cascais, Sintra and the Malveira Hills. Then there’s the excellent Hooked Surf School, which is mobile and provides lessons on Praia da Carcavelos, Praia do Guincho, Praia Grande and Praia das Maçãs. Simply call ahead and they will pick you up from your accommodation. The school also rents out surfboards and wetsuits.
​And when you’re all surfed out at the end of the day – exhausted and sun-kissed after a day of riding the waves, be smart and kick back in one of the laidback bars along the coastline. For example, Bar Waikiki in Costa di Caparica is a beachfront spot popular with surfers, with a cool lounge vibe. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail as the sun goes down on another beautiful day in Lisbon.
Ready to conquer the waves in Portugal? Aer Lingus offers direct flights to Lisbon all year round. 

by Aer Lingus on August 17th, 2016

​Today in Dublin Airport we welcomed our one millionth transatlantic guest of 2016! On checking-in to their flight to Los Angeles, Olwen Kelleghan and Ciarán Foy were greeted with champagne, a complimentary business-class upgrade and a pair of complimentary tickets, for any route of their choice, on our transatlantic network.

​This is a significant milestone in our year and comes on the back of a busy 2016 in which we have announced a number of exciting new transatlantic routes. We're committed to expanding our Dublin Airport base into a major European transatlantic gateway and look forward to welcoming the next million guests on board Aer Lingus flights in the months ahead.

by Aer Lingus on August 17th, 2016

​Sick of doing sun salutations in a dark, concrete yoga studio? Why not take your practice outdoors and salute the sun for real with a rejuvenating yoga and Pilates retreat? We’re all aware of the benefits a dose of mindfulness can bring to our lives, but the daily grind can leave us with little time to truly disconnect. Sometimes the best solution is to whisk yourself away for a spot of R&R. 

​If the idea of a timetabled holiday sounds unappealing, don’t fret. Most retreats take a relaxed attitude to the day, so if you prefer to skip a class and lounge by the pool instead, that’s fine too – yogi’s choice!
Yoga on the beach in Spain
​Head straight for Sothern Spain, where Malaga’s almost year-round warm weather make it a favourite destination for sun worshipers. But this cosmopolitan city has a lot more to offer than just its sunshine. Travel directly from the airport to the city’s winding streets by train or taxi. Save time to enjoy yourself when you arrive, by checking out the best way to get to the city online ahead of flying.

As one of the world’s oldest cities, Malaga is steeped in history. Wander the streets and soak up the beautiful architecture or seek shade in some of the city’s 30 museums. There’s something for everyone. When you’ve had your fill of the city, its surrounding towns and countryside are the perfect place for a digital detox.

Head inland where, hidden among rolling olive groves, you’ll find Olive Retreat. Their body and mind health retreat covers everything from meditation to yoga. Supremely healthy food is the order of the day here. And since this course is all about arming yourself with the tools to live a better life, you’ll learn to cook it too. Expect to return home armed with the skills to cope with all your daily stresses.
Yoga holiday in Spain
​If you’re interested in the retreat experience, but can’t shake your attachment to life’s little luxuries then check out the Shanti-Som wellbeing retreat near Marbella. This certainly isn’t a back-to-basics style retreat. In fact, it feels more like a boutique hotel giving you use of the sauna, pool, steam room and spa. Don’t worry if you’re a little out of practice, these retreats are suitable for all levels – from beginner to advanced.  
Detox in Spain
​If you enjoy exploring the local surroundings in between yoga sessions, then check out Malaga Yoga Retreats. Conveniently located in the centre of the gorgeous Spanish town of Benalmadena Pueblo, the whitewashed houses and pretty colourful flowers make this village a must-see destination in its own right. If you want to completely de-stress, their ‘6 Days of Wellness’ retreat provides daily classes, accommodation and healthy vegetarian meals. Perched among the mountains and five minutes from the beach, this stunning location means you can breathe in views of both – depending on which yoga position you find yourself in. 

With flights from Dublin to Malaga, you can get from your office desk to a beachside yoga class in no time. Book today at

by Aer Lingus on August 16th, 2016

Thanks to its location at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula, the Algarve makes for a fantastic getaway even in the winter months. Covering 5,000 square kilometres of southern Portugal, this stunning region abounds with golden beaches, majestic mountains and charming villages. What’s the best way to see it? Perched on your bike.

Faro is the perfect gateway to the Algarve
​The region’s capital, Faro, is a perfect entry point to the glorious natural beauty of the area. With its medieval walls and atmospheric streets, the city has an old-world elegance and charm to match anywhere. Better yet, accommodation and food are extremely reasonable when compared to more well-known European destinations. Be smart and start your trip off with dinner and a glass of wine at Restaurante Ria Formosa. With its lovely roof terrace overlooking the marina, it makes for a particularly appetising welcome.

Cycling really is the ideal way to see this wonderful region of the world. Not only will you have time to slow down and appreciate the gorgeous scenery, you’ll also be doing your bit for the environment. There’s much to explore around Faro itself, with the surrounding islands and wetlands offering an abundance of scenery and wildlife to enjoy. You might even spot a flock of the area’s most flamboyant flying visitor – the pink flamingo.

If you want to get away from it all, take the ferry to Ihla Deserta. The boat leaves every two hours from Porta Nova pier in Faro, with the last one returning at 17:30. You’ll soon see how this tranquil spot earned the name “Deserted Island”. And if you want to see the coast from a truly unique perspective, visit the diving school at Hidroespaco and explore the reefs and lagoons which dot the coastline.   
A biking holiday is the ideal way to explore Portgual
​If you want to venture further afield, Algarve Bike Holidays offer a range of bikes and tours for people of all abilities. And they can even provide Electric Bikes if you need a little extra help climbing those hills. Now that’s smart travel! They’ll organise everything for you – all you’ll need to do is book your flights.

​​ If you’re reasonably experienced and want to see as much of the region as possible, try their “Best of the Algarve” tour. In just seven days, it’ll bring you from the Guadiana River on the border with Spain, to the market town of Monchique. Along the way, you’ll take in quaint fishing villages, rugged cliffs and ancient Moorish architecture. If you fancy something a little less strenuous, try the “Family Friendly Cycle Tour”, which allows you to spend as much – or as little – time in the saddle as you like.
The Algarve abounds with stunning scenery
Cycling Holidays Portugal also provide a range of enticing tours of the region. Their “Terra da Caldas” trip follows a scenic route through some of the less explored areas of the Algarve, including the beautiful province of Aljezur on the rugged West Atlantic coast. Think Galway or Donegal, if the weather was great all year round. This area is largely untouched by tourism and offers a truly authentic taste of Portugal.

With direct Aer Lingus flights from Dublin to Faro, you could be biking your way around Portugal in just a few hours. So what are you waiting for?

by Aer Lingus on August 11th, 2016

​There’s a reason New York is synonymous with shopping. It’s one of the fashion capitals of the world and there’s nothing you can’t find in this sprawling metropolis. From designer goods to independent boutiques and vintage markets, the city is a shopper’s paradise, no matter what your style.

​Stay in Midtown’s Ace Hotel, which boasts a hip aesthetic, sassy wall art and a retro photobooth in the lobby. Located just blocks from the Empire State Building (many rooms enjoy a view), it’s a prime location for exploring the city.
Empire State Building
​From here, there’s really nowhere better to begin your New York shopping spree than on 5th Avenue. This is the Holy Grail for fashion lovers – especially if you’re on the lookout for labels. Chanel, Prada and Louis Vuitton are all here, as well as luxury department stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor and Bergdorf Goodman.

How about an early start with breakfast at Tiffany’s? Okay, so the famous store may not actually have a restaurant, but make like Audrey Hepburn in the classic movie and grab a bagel and coffee and enjoy them over a spot of window shopping at the iconic jewellers.

Those looking for more affordable retail therapy will be happy to find that brands like Nike, H&M & Zara all have impressive flagship stores on the famous shopping street. Make sure you check out Sephora for hard-to-get-here cosmetics, Victoria’s Secret for girly loungewear and the very Instagram-worthy Dylan’s Candy Bar for sweet treats and souvenirs.
Fifth Avenue New York
​Or if you’re looking for something a little different, get yourself to SoHo in Lower Manhattan. Once a hotbed for the city’s many artists, the area (South of Houston, hence the name) has now become a go-to for unique fashion as well. Its famous cast-iron buildings and cobblestone streets are still home to numerous art galleries, but more recently it’s become a major shopping destination.
While you’ll still find some on-trend brands (shop Japan’s UNIQLO for casual basics, visit Birchbox’s only brick-and-mortar store, and the US debut of & Other Stories), the real appeal of shopping in SoHo is the chic indie boutiques. Babel Fair offers an ever-changing range of international designers. And the eclectic American Two Shot stocks carefully selected vintage pieces alongside local designers and encourages browsers to hang out at their in-house coffee bar. 
New York City streets
​Needless to say, productive shopping requires more sustenance than just caffeine. With virtually every kind of cuisine available in NYC, deciding where to eat is a tough choice. So why choose? Head to the Chelsea Market in the Meatpacking District and no matter what you’re in the mood for, you’ll find it. This huge indoor food-hall hosts over three dozen vendors serving up everything from deli soups and sandwiches to sushi, tacos and oysters. It’s a great place to stroll around, taking in the sights and smells before grabbing a bite. 
New York City food
​Whether you’re a vulture for vintage or just love a good bargain, the Brooklyn Flea market is definitely worth checking out. Held every Saturday, it’s recently relocated from Williamsburg to the streets of DUMBO (“Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass”), where you’ll find stalls selling everything from pre-loved clothing to antiques and art. From the perfectly worn-in leather jacket to an obscure album on vinyl, this is the place to find whatever you’re looking for. Of course, with Brooklyn being the hipster epicentre of the city, it’s also a great place to do some people watching and gain some style inspiration from the locals.

If you’re short on time and the thought of navigating New York’s shopping districts seems a little overwhelming, consider a tour with Shop Gotham and have a fashion-savvy New Yorker guide you through some of the city’s best retail spots. There are a number of tours to choose from, allowing you to explore the garment district and meet some designers. Or if you prefer, you can take a private sample sale crawl and avail of huge discounts.

Of course, all that shopping can take its toll on your feet – but what could be more New York than popping into a salon for a casual pedicure? At the end of your shopping trip, treat yourself with a trip to Valley Nails to perk up your tired toes, and maybe even get a new polish to match those new shoes.

Fly direct from Dublin or Shannon to NYC with Aer Lingus and on top of your cabin baggage, you can check in a free bag up to 23kg so you’ll have plenty of space for your new purchases.

by Aer Lingus on August 11th, 2016

​Air travel review website, Skytrax, asked customers to rate their airline experience across eight categories, including comfort, on-board services, food and beverages, inflight entertainment, on-board Wi-Fi, airport services and value for money. Aer Lingus came third in Europe, with a 70.94% satisfaction score, just behind Greek airline Aegean (80.7%) and German carrier Lufthansa (71.01).

We're delighted to be named the third most loved airline across Europe. Since this award is based on reviews, it’s an even greater accolade for Aer Lingus to know we’re getting it right according to our guests on board. Over the last two years we conducted in-depth research to hear directly from our guests and better understand their needs which makes for a much more intuitive guest experience.

Product enhancements such as our new Business Class cabins, inflight entertainment system, onboard Wi-Fi together with Premium Check-in and Express Bag Drop in Dublin are testament to this. This is just the beginning of the journey for Aer Lingus as we continue to grow our short haul and transatlantic networks to be one of the most moved airlines not only in Europe, but across the globe.

2016 is proving to be a standout year for us, having recently marked 80 years of flying. In addition this year sees our largest ever transatlantic expansion take effect. By the end of the summer, we will fly direct from Ireland to 10 new North American cities on 12 transatlantic routes. The new year-round Los Angeles service began in May and will be closely followed by Dublin to Newark in New Jersey from 1st September and flights from Dublin to Hartford, Connecticut will begin on 28th September.

Aer Lingus passengers can also enjoy US Customs and Border Pre-clearance at Dublin and Shannon airport in one quick and easy procedure, ensuring that their arrival into the US is speedy and queue-free.

You can check out the full listing of the world's most-loved airlines here.

by Aer Lingus on August 10th, 2016

​Known as the City on the Hill, Boston is rich in American history, and you’ll see evidence of this everywhere you turn. Beautiful colonial-era architecture, grand public parks, and an abundance of memorials all point to its revolutionary past. Although it’s one of the oldest cities in the USA, its many universities and colleges attract students and academics from all around the world, bringing a modern and youthful vibe to the city.

Paul Rever monument Boston
​Though Boston may not be as synonymous with shopping as cities like New York or Los Angeles, the Massachusetts capital is a smart place to spend, thanks to a policy of no sales tax on clothing under $175 (and only 6.25% tax thereafter). A relatively small population means less crowds and its compact size makes it easy to get around, even with shopping bags in tow.

Sleep at the Omni Parker House, a Bostonian institution brimming with Old World charm. In its 160 years of business, guests have included everyone from Charles Dickens to JFK and the kitchen maintains bragging rights for creating the city’s eponymous Boston cream pie. You’ll be a mere three minute walk from Boston Common, the oldest city park in the USA and a great place to begin the Freedom Trail, a 2.5 mile route through the city marked by 16 historically significant landmarks. 
Boston cream pie
​Ready for some shopping? Located in the ritzy Back Bay area, Boston’s Prudential Centre is a downtown mall with a difference. Natural light floods in through high glass domes and skylights, and lush greenery throughout gives an outdoor feeling. You’ll find a mix of upscale department stores here like Saks Off Fifth and Lord & Taylor, along with more affordable stateside mall favourites like Free People, Sephora and Barnes & Noble.

There are some decent dining options here too, like the Cheesecake Factory, famous for its generous portions and desserts to die for. Afterwards, the centre’s Prudential Tower offers 360 degree views of the city and the water.

If you’re in the mood for adventure, splash out on a Boston Duck Tour ticket. Departing from the base of the Prudential Centre every 30 minutes, these amphibious vehicles will take you off-road and into the Charles River. It’s a very fun way to get around the city, and you might even learn a few things along the way.
Charles River
​Just a 10-minute subway ride from the downtown core is the recently developed Assembly Row outlet mall. This is a must-visit for serious bargain hunters, where you can expect big discounts on big names. Again, you’ll find luxury department stores alongside higher-end chains like Banana Republic, J. Crew Factory and Brooks Brothers, but there’s also quite a bit more than shopping on the cards. Kids and big kids alike will be thoroughly entertained at the Legoland Discovery Centre or at the AMC cinema. Or else grab an ice-cream cone from local institution J.P. Lick’s, step outside the mall and enjoy the waterfront park along the bank of the Mystic River.
​For your final shopping destination, head to Faneuil Hall, perhaps the most unique shopping experience the city has to offer. This open-air market dates all the way back to 1743, and today it brings together a collection of shops, restaurants, and street performers. Expect crowds, but the hustle and bustle brings the vibrant market to life. Amid the shops are dozens of food stalls, selling everything from pretzels to sushi, as well as classic New England fare, such as clam chowder and lobster rolls.

For a satisfying lunch, grab a seat at the Boston Chowda Co. which has been serving up fresh seafood in the market for over 25 years. Enjoy some lighter cultural heritage and get a round at Cheers, a restaurant which replicates the interior of the famous sitcom’s bar. With all your smart shopping savings, you should certainly have some extra dollars to spend on drinks at the bar where everybody knows your name.

Fly direct to Boston from Dublin or Shannon with Aer Lingus.

by Aer Lingus on August 9th, 2016

​It’s known for its mouth-watering pizza, its prowess at baseball and an innovative music scene, but did you know that Chicago is also a fantastic place to shop? In fact, few other US cities offer such a diverse mixture of stores selling everything from vintage clothes to one-off boutique items, all in close proximity to each other.  

​Plus Chicago is a vibrant and sophisticated city so you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to after-hours entertainment and dining out. For shoppers travelling from Ireland, Aer Lingus operates direct flights to the Windy City, so you can start planning your shopping trip today.
Chicago skyline
​So where to start when you arrive? We recommend the Magnificent Mile. This 13-block stretch of shops runs from North Michigan Avenue to Oak Street and is the main shopping district of the city. Need some chic casual separates? Check out AllSaints on Michigan Avenue in Bloomingdales. Perhaps you fancy a new pair of drop-dead gorgeous stilettos? Get down to Hanig’s Footwear, also on Michigan Avenue. Or maybe you want to indulge your pooch in some new accessories? At Tails in the City pet boutique, you can go crazy and pick up some luxury souvenirs to bring back home.  
In fact, there are so many stores to choose from here that your only problem will be too much choice. That – and you might need help carrying the bags! 
Chicago Magnificent Mile Shopping
​Smart travellers visiting Chicago in winter can pick up a great deal on a coat that will see you through wind, hail, and snow. There are plenty of options depending on budget, from the luxurious ikram – a fashion boutique offering a treasure trove of vintage clothing – to State Street’s Burlington Coat Factory, where you can pick up huge discounts off major leading brands.
​And when your feet get weary and the hunger pangs set in, try a slice of delicious wood-fired pizza to sate your appetite. Bar Toma at 830 North Michigan Avenue is a great place to get it. This attractive all-American pizza joint is located just off the Magnificent Mile and offers a great selection of cocktails and craft beers. If you want to have a relaxing visit, why not book ahead of time online?

Of course, there are bargains to be had in other parts of the city too. A local favourite, Lincoln Square is another great shopping district. Expect old-fashioned shop fronts, cobblestoned streets and an eclectic mix of hip restaurants, bars, and boutiques in this German-influenced part of the city.

It’s the perfect place to pick up some arts and crafts items too. Check out Merz Apothecary on 4716 North Lincoln Avenue for some unusual holistic remedies and bath products. 

Afterwards, music lovers should head to Laurie’s Planet of Sound on 4639 North Lincoln Avenue for vinyl records. For more independent quirky stores visit Andersonville, home to one of the city's largest gay and lesbian communities. Expect stylish boutiques, unusual antique stores and some of the best bars and restaurants in the city. We especially like the Hopleaf Bar at 5148 North Clarke Street, which specialises in craft beers. 
Shopping bags
​Hamburger Mary's on 5400 North Clark Street is famous for its lively dining atmosphere and hearty food. It also hosts award-winning stage shows at an in-house theatre, which is precisely the kind of eccentric charm that you can expect in Andersonville. It’s the perfect place to end a day of shopping. Just don’t forget to take your bags home! 

Ready to start ticking off your list of must-have items? Head to Aer Lingus today to find a direct flight to Chicago that suits you.

by Aer Lingus on August 5th, 2016

​​You can’t beat the quintessential road trip. Driving with the windows down, the wind in your hair, and the radio on full blast is one of life’s simple pleasures. So make the most of your holidays this year and plan an unforgettable trip driving across Route 66.

This legendary highway stretches almost 4,000km across the USA. Beginning in Illinois, it passes through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona to the coast of California. Famously known as the Main Street of America, it still tops the bucket list of travellers around the world. Organising your Route 66 road trip is easier than you think. When you hire a car through Aer Lingus, you can pick it up in Chicago and drop it off in Los Angeles when you’re done.
Fly directly to Chicago from Dublin Airport and soak up some big city vibes before hitting the road. Chicago has tons to offer, whether you’re looking to see some stand-up comedy, live music or sports. And with the right timing, you could even catch the Irish rugby team when they take on New Zealand’s All Blacks in what’s sure to be an epic match on 05 November. Pack your jersey and join forces with incoming fans to cheer on the Irish team.
WigWam Motel
​Once you’ve had your fill of the Windy City, hit the highway. And happily, when it comes to catching some shut-eye en route there are plenty of options. Be smart and check out availability at popular roadside motels such as the iconic Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari, New Mexico or the teepee-shaped cabins of the Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona, ahead of your trip. Those on a tighter budget can take advantage of the many truck-stops dotted along the highway to freshen up. Large truck-stops usually offer cheap laundry and showering facilities alongside restaurants and petrol stations so you can refuel and fill your car’s tank at the same time.
​After heading south through the famous cornfields of Illinois to Missouri, you’ll definitely want to spend a night in lively St. Louis. Sample local beers at the Schlafly Brewery, head out on the tiles in the buzzing entertainment district, and don’t leave town without trying the local St. Louis-style pizza, which boasts a thin crust and its signature Provel cheese.
highway restaurant
​Back on the road, you’ll soon reach the Great Plains of Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico. While the prairies aren’t known for being the most exciting part of the country, you’ll find plenty of kitsch Americana on this stretch. Rusting gas stations and honky-tonk bars are heralded by oversized, ‘50s-style neon signage. Quirky attractions promise interesting detours along the way as well. See the famous Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas, or check out the Totem Pole Park in Oklahoma and New Mexico’s Glenrio ghost town.  

As you’d expect, there are plenty of old-school diners serving up greasy American fare as well. In Seligman, Arizona, stopping at the playful Delgadillo’s Snow Cap Drive-In for a classic cheeseburger and root beer float are a must. 
Grand Canyon
Of course, there’s a lot more to Route 66 than just retro signs and vintage neon. Once you reach Arizona, you’ll be spoiled with stunning landscapes, such as the Painted Desert and the breath-taking natural wonder of the Grand Canyon. The views are surreal, and at night the desert skies are clear and starry, except for the faint glow of Los Angeles in the distance. Upon arrival in Los Angeles, make your way to the Venice Beach Boardwalk, breathe in the Pacific Ocean air, and remind yourself that you’re not in Kansas anymore.  

Remember, this is the road trip of a lifetime, so give yourself as much time as you can. You’ll really need at least two weeks to do Route 66 right, but the beauty of a road trip like this is the freedom – so let yourself stop when you want and take detours on a whim. Book your flights to Chicago with Aer Lingus and get in gear for the drive of your life.

by Aer Lingus on August 4th, 2016

​​Searching for adventure? Look no further – driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco on Route 101 is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. First known as the Camino Real (King’s Highway), it’s the perfect way to get a taste of the West Coast America in all its shining glory.

The drive itself will take you just eight hours. But add in some stops to tour the sights and destinations along the way, and you’ll have a truly action-packed tour. Start your planning ahead of arrival, so you’re ready to hit the road once you touch down in LAX. Be smart and book your car hire before travelling for extra convenience.
Route 101
​Once you’re ready to start, get on the road early. Rush hour in Los Angeles starts at about 5am, so by grabbing a coffee and leaving early, you’ll give yourself a head start. No matter how you chose to get out of Los Angeles, your trip on Route 101 will take you to the town of Oxnard. Stop for breakfast here at the Best Breakfast Café on Saviers Road. This old-style 70’s diner is a favourite with road-trippers and it’s not hard to see why. Try the Spanish omelette for your first meal of the trip and drink in the road-side atmosphere.

From here, drive on as the road merges with the coastal route through Malibu. Once you reach Malibu, stop at Surfriders Beach to watch the surfers compete for its famously large waves. If you’ve got time, soak in some culture at the stunning Getty Villa with its impressive collection of Greek and Roman artefacts.
Californian Beach Life
​Head further north from here to your next destination, Santa Barbara. Stop over for a night and take in the sights, as there’s plenty to see. A favourite with college students and tourists alike, make time for a visit to the Mission Santa Barbara, which houses Franciscan friars and a small museum. Afterwards, try out snorkelling and kayaking in the stunning Channel Islands National Park. Alternatively, why not hop on an electric bike and explore the coastline with Santa Barbara Electric Bike Tour? Either way, you’re guaranteed a great day out.

North of Santa Barbara, you'll get your last glimpse of the Pacific Ocean before the road turns inland for a long stretch ahead of your arrival at Buellton. Fans of the film Sideways may recognise the Hitching Post restaurant and it’s the perfect place to enjoy a steak, French fries and a cold beer (for the non-designated driver). 
Pacific Coast Highway
​When you’re back on the road again, you’ve simply got to spend some quality time in Pismo Beach. This is the quintessential Californian beach town and a perfect addition to your trip. Try the fish and chips at Brad's on Pomeroy Avenue. Then take a walk along the beach and out onto the pier. Later on, drive around to Oceano Dunes, the only beach in California where you can drive your car right out onto the sand and enjoy the sunset.  

For dinner, make time for a bread bowl of clam chowder at Splash Café. Check out the menu online ahead of time, so you’re ready to order when you arrive. A lovely little all-American joint, it’s been a hit with locals since opening its doors in 1991. Add some seafood tacos to your order if you’re feeling extra peckish.
Pismo Beach & Boardwalk
Next up is San Luis Obispo, a pleasant university town established in 1872. You’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to wineries here. Check out the Niven Family Wine Estates and sample six different labels inside an early-20th-century wooden schoolhouse. Take a day to enjoy the region’s delicious wines and soak in the scenic views.

The following day you’ll pass through Paso Robles – the centre of California's fastest-growing and most exciting wine region – and San Jose, famous for its tech companies, before arriving in San Francisco. Approaching the city, switch over to Route 280 to get into town and cross over the Golden Gate Bridge. What better way to end the trip of a lifetime?

Fly directly to Los Angeles and from San Francisco with Aer Lingus. Book your flights today

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