If locking eyes with a lioness in the Sahara Desert is not your jam, there’s a new kind of safari in town, and it involves everything from swimming with whale sharks to bear watching by boat in British Columbia. That’s right—bears. Here are eight experiences you can knock off in a single vacay with Latitude 33’s new private jet-guided West Coast Safari.
Sometimes cozying up to a beach bar with a Dan Brown novel is not enough. In the age of experiential travel, tourists desire unforgettable adventures and one-of-a-kind experiences that spark envy on the Instagram feed. Latitude 33 had this in mind when launching West Coast Safari. From $150,000 for four people (and accommodating up to nine), you can explore several coastal destinations from the comfort of a luxury Bombardier Challenger 350 private jet, all in a 15-day itinerary.
1. Santa Barbara, Calif.
Take off from Santa Ana in Orange County or Los Angeles’ Van Nuys or Palomar airports for a quick flight to what is known as the American Riviera. Begin with a private wine tasting in Santa Ynez at Sunstone Winery. Then head over to Belmond El Encanto for a stay at the acclaimed lush hillside escape overlooking the ocean. You can opt to lounge by the zero-edge pool or additional excursions, like polo or cave diving.
2. Big Sur, Calif.
Next, a helicopter ride transports passengers to San Luis Obispo for a private tour of Hearst Castle, followed by a scenic drive up craggy ocean-flanked Highway 1 for a picnic lunch at the summit from Big Sur Bakery.
3. Napa Valley, Calif.
Head inland for wine tasting with a local sommelier and a stay at Meadowood Napa Valley, a private estate resort in St. Helena. Enjoy the award-winning spa or soak up bird’s-eye views of the valley from from a hot air balloon.
4. Jackson Hole, Wyo.
The average joe might do a little hiking in this Teton mountain range-flanked valley. To kick up immersion with nature, safari travelers spend a day at Diamond Cross Ranch channeling their inner cowboy with horseback riding and private horse-whispering lessons with pro Grant Golliher. Included is a stay at the boutique Caldera House and a private fly-fishing excursion on the river.
5. British Columbia
Venture out of the States for a stay in an oceanfront suite at Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino, Canada. Imbibe the views via floatplane before hiking to a remote hot spring in Maquinna Marine Provincial Park. Then catch a private boat ride along the lake to spot bears—or perhaps a pod of whales.
6. Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
The next stop on the journey is the Baja Peninsula of Mexico. Arrival at The Resort at Pedregal is preceded by a ride through a man-made privately owned tunnel carved into a mountain. Each room has its own oceanside plunge pool. Excursions include swimming with whale sharks and brunch at sea on a yacht.
7. San Diego
Head back to Cali for the last leg, where a room at Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa awaits. Enjoy sumptuous views of the gardens and olive groves, or a spa day at this award-winning Mediterranean-inspired Del Mar hideaway. Or savor the local flavor with a day at the San Diego Zoo. Equestrian enthusiasts can trot over to the famous Del Mar Racetrack for a private tour of the stables or to catch a race.
8. Kauai, Hawaii
Starting next year, West Coast Safari will add an additional stay to its itinerary at The Lodge at Kukui’ula. Practice your golf swing on the 18-hole golf course; sail the sea on a 32-foot Yellowfin boat during the day; or toast the day with a sunset cruise.
Photography by: from top: latitude 33 | belmond el encantol | wickannish inn | the lodge at kukui’ula