13D12N GRAND TOUR OF CALIFORNIA

From San Francisco’s Painted Ladies and Yosemite National Park to Monterey’s Cannery Row and star-studded Los Angeles, there’s plenty to love about California. Marvel at the Golden Gate Bridge. Visit the vineyards of Napa Valley. Drive along the stunning coastline of Big Sur, and see what makes the Golden State one of a kind.

Please note that the following itinerary is an example, as all of our journeys are custom-made.

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Day 1: Arrival in San Francisco

Welcome to California! Arrive in San Francisco and transfer to your hotel.

Accommodation: Hotel Riu Plaza Fisherman´s Wharf or similar

 

Day 2: Sightseeing tour of San Francisco

Today’s guided tour introduces you to the sights and tastes of San Francisco, "The City by the Bay.” Drive passes the iconic Haight-Ashbury neighbourhood, epicentre of the counter-cultural movement. Later visit Golden Gate Park and enjoy stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge, a marvel of engineering. See the Palace of Fine Arts, as well as the Pacific Heights and Nob Hill neighbourhoods. Drive through North Beach and see the iconic Coit Tower atop Telegraph Hill. Follow by a stroll through Chinatown, the largest outside of Asia, and stop at the bakery that's credited with inventing the fortune cookie. Watch a demonstration to learn how the cookie is created and enjoy a tasting. Tour end in Ghirardelli Square and enter the factory store to sample some of the decadent chocolate.

Enjoy a free afternoon strolling along Fisherman’s Wharf or take a short ferry ride from the Embarcadero Pier for an up-close look at the infamous “inescapable” federal penitentiary at Alcatraz Island.

Accommodation: Hotel Riu Plaza Fisherman´s Wharf or similar

 

Day 3: Free day in San Francisco

After breakfast depart for Sonoma & Napa Valley Wine Tasting. California’s wine country stands out among the world’s renowned viticulture areas. Cross over the Golden Gate Bridge as you make your way to a vineyard in Napa Valley for a tour and wine tasting.

Accommodation: Hotel Riu Plaza Fisherman´s Wharf or similar

 

Day 4: Yosemite National Park (via Muir Woods National Monument)

Visit Muir Woods National Monument to see the towering redwood trees. Then, travel through the Central Valley, taking in the scenery on the way to Yosemite.

Accommodation: Best Western Plus Yosemite Gateway Inn or similar

 

Day 5: Sightseeing tour of Yosemite Valley

Today you will learn about the Yosemite Valley’s history and geology on a guided sightseeing tour with a park ranger. View Bridalveil Fall, named for the ethereal mists that surround the cataract. Drive up Inspiration Point for phenomenal photos of Half Dome and El Capitan, icons of the Yosemite Valley. Take in the sights at the historic Tunnel View overlook, offering one of the most famous views of the park. Enjoy free time to explore the park’s many natural wonders, including the breathtaking Giant Sequoia trees of the Mariposa Grove

Accommodation: Best Western Plus Yosemite Gateway Inn or similar

 

Day 6: Transfer to Monterey

This morning drive from Yosemite to Monterey, a coastal city brimming with rich history and cultural diversity. Drive through the scenic areas of Pebble Beach and Carmel-By-The-Sea. Spend free time exploring Cannery Row, a waterfront street made famous by author John Steinbeck. Checking to hotel after dinner.

Accommodation: Monterey Bay Inn or similar

 

Day 7: Santa Barbara Region via Hearst Castle

Drive down the Pacific Coast Highway and along the scenic Big Sur coastline, stopping to visit Hearst Castle. Here, you'll take a guided tour of the storied hilltop mansion of publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst. Then, continue on to the Santa Barbara region and spend two nights there.

Accommodation: Hotel Santa Barbara or similar

 

Day 8: Sightseeing tour of Santa Barbara

This morning, get to know the city of Santa Barbara, “The American Riviera.” Visit Old Mission Santa Barbara, a Franciscan mission established in 1786. Also, we will see Stearns Wharf, an iconic wooden pier in the Santa Barbara Harbor. Drive passes the historic County Courthouse, a Greek Revival-style building decorated with beautiful interior murals. View El Presidio, a former Spanish military outpost in downtown Santa Barbara. Later travel through the Santa Ynez Valley outside of Santa Barbara, a wine region famous for its pinot noir. On the road, stop in the charming town of Solvang and soak in its Dutch-influenced art and architecture, including a replica of Copenhagen’s famous Little Mermaid statue, honoring Hans Christian Andersen. You'll enjoy tours and wine tastings at each.

Accommodation: Hotel Santa Barbara or similar

 

Day 9: Transfer to Los Angeles

Continue on the Pacific Coast Highway as you travel to Los Angeles, stopping to enjoy free time for lunch at a West Hollywood farmers’ market. This afternoon, immerse yourself in lively L.A. Pass Rodeo Drive as you make your way through glamorous Beverly Hills. Stroll through Hollywood, passing Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and the star-studded Walk of Fame. View the iconic Hollywood Sign from the Hollywood and Highland Center, a bustling entertainment complex.

Accommodation: Sheraton Grand Los Angeles or similar

 

Day 10: Free day in Los Angeles

Spend a free day exploring Los Angeles or join a Warner Bros. Studio Tour.

** Bring the magic of Hollywood to life at one of Los Angeles’ busiest and most iconic motion picture and television studios: the Warner Bros. Studio. You’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at backlots and soundstages that serve as the backdrops for classic films and today’s hit TV shows—and you may even see actual filming!

Accommodation: Sheraton Grand Los Angeles or similar

 

Day 11: San Diego via La Jolla

Continue on to San Diego, stopping in the seaside town of La Jolla along the way. In the afternoon, get an introduction to “America’s Finest City” on a panoramic tour. Pass through Balboa Park, a 1,200-acre urban cultural park and location of the world-famous San Diego Zoo. Explore Coronado Island, a peninsula city with small-town coastal charm. Visit the historic Gaslamp Quarter and admire the neighborhood’s beautifully restored Victorian buildings. See the Cabrillo National Monument, which commemorates Portuguese explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo’s landing at San Diego Bay

Accommodation: Hampton Inn San Diego or similar

 

Day 12: Free day in San Diego

Explore San Diego on your own or join an excursion tour - USS Midway Museum & Harbor Cruise

** Begin with a self-guided audio tour of the USS Midway, the longest-serving U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, narrated by sailors who lived or worked on the ship. See over 60 locations throughout the museum during your visit, from the engine room to the control tower. Then, drive to the north side of the harbor, where you’ll enjoy free time for lunch before heading out on an afternoon cruise on the San Diego Bay.

Accommodation: Hampton Inn San Diego or similar

 

Day 13: Departure

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

 

 

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Please note: This itinerary is designed to give you an idea of what to expect on the tour but is not set in stone. What we actually do on a given day is flexible and can be tailored based on the interests of the group.


This itinerary and its package inclusions might be changed later in time, subject to availability.

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