From San Francisco to Los Angeles, see the famous sights of California on this spectacular vacation. Enjoy the excitement and faster pace of San Francisco and Los Angeles, and take a deep breath and slow down in the mountain areas of Lake Tahoe and Yosemite National Park. If you’re interested in seeing some of California’s amazing scenery, this tour offers you a chance to admire some of its best. Witness the scenery in stunning Lake Tahoe with the sparkling blue water surrounded by the Sierra Mountains. Marvel at the spectacular alpine scenery in Yosemite National Park with its waterfalls, mountain peaks, ice-sculpted domes, and meadows. Sit back and watch the views of famous Pebble Beach Golf Course, the dramatic Pacific coastline, and Lone Cyprus on 17-Mile Drive, one of the most scenic drives in the world.Visit Monterey and Hearst Castle in Sam Simeon, built by William Randolph Hearst as his private retreat. Once only accessible to celebrities and famous guests, enjoy a tour highlighting this impressive 123-acre estate. Also stay in Solvang, a quaint Danish village founded in 1911 by Danish educators to maintain their heritage. Wander through the town with picturesque buildings and windmills, charming shops featuring Danish imports, and over 30 restaurants. All of this and more await you on this tour through California. Be sure to pack your camera and get ready for a fabulous vacation!
Day #1 Arrive in San Francisco. Welcome to the “Golden State!” At 6:30 pm, meet your traveling companions for a welcome drink. Your Tour Director will prepare you for your upcoming adventure.
Day #2 San Francisco. Enjoy morning sightseeing in one of the world’s most beautiful cities. Your tour includes Golden Gate Park, Twin Peaks, Fisherman’s Wharf, and much more. Afterward, journey across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito. Enjoy waterfront views, breathtaking scenery, and a vibrant downtown area with a large variety of shops, restaurants, and art galleries. Return to San Francisco by FERRY and enjoy incredible skyline views. Still plenty of time for pursuing your favorite interests and activities—ride the world-famous cable cars, shop in Union Square, or visit the Museum of Modern Art. This evening, enjoy a dinner at a local restaurant. (B,D)
Day #3 San Francisco–Lake Tahoe. From the Pacific Coast, travel to stunning Lake Tahoe, surrounded by the Sierra Mountains. There’s plenty of time to explore this alpine lake, the largest in North America and also one of the highest. Even though the average depth of the lake is 989 feet, it is one of the clearest and purest bodies of water in the world! (B)
Day #4 Lake Tahoe–Yosemite National Park. Southward through the Sierra Nevadas to YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK. Yosemite has innumerable lakes, meadows, ice-sculpted domes, forests, waterfalls, and unspoiled alpine scenery. Descend into the 4,000-foot valley, where you’ll board an open-air TRAM to explore the famous sites of El Capitan, Cathedral Spires, Yosemite Falls, and Half Dome. The scenery is nothing short of spectacular! (B)
Day #5 Yosemite National Park–Carmel–Monterey. A high point on today’s journey is the beautiful 17-MILE DRIVE, with views of famous Pebble Beach Golf Course and the tenacious Lone Cypress. Enjoy a visit to the resort town of Carmel, a popular haven for writers, artists, and celebrities. Then, on to Monterey and Cannery Row, immortalized by John Steinbeck. Head to the wharf for a visit to the world-famous [LF] MONTEREY BAY AQUARIUM followed by a special dinner here overlooking the bay. (B,D)
Day #6 Monterey–San Simeon–Solvang. This morning, journey south to San Simeon and visit HEARST CASTLE, the opulent mansion of wealthy newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst, which houses splendid antiques, art treasures, and exotic possessions purchased at an estimated $50 million. The tour shows off the highlights of the impressive 123-acre estate. Then, journey to your resort hotel near Solvang. (B,D)
Day #7 Solvang–Santa Barbara–Los Angeles. Visit [LF] downtown Solvang, where Denmark has been recreated with picturesque buildings and windmills. Free time to browse through the charming shops featuring Danish imports and rich pastries. Travel through the Santa Ynez Mountains to beautiful Santa Barbara, where the Spanish influence is apparent in quaint whitewashed and tile-roofed buildings. Visit the impressive 200-year-old MISSION with its world-famous twin bell towers. Afterward, enjoy a leisurely stroll along the wharf. Hollywood celebrities’ homes dot the shoreline from Malibu to Santa Monica on your way to metropolitan Los Angeles, the motion picture capital of the world. (B)
Day #8 Los Angeles. Morning sightseeing of this gigantic metropolis takes you from Olvera Street—the oldest thoroughfare in the city—to Hollywood. Step into the shoeprints of famous movie stars at Grauman’s Chinese Theater, and see Sunset Strip and Rodeo Drive. Later, visit the GETTY MUSEUM, housing a collection of Western art from the Middle Ages to the present. This evening your Tour Director hosts a special farewell dinner. Wonderful conversation and cuisine make the perfect finale for your vacation. (B,D)
Day #9 Los Angeles. The tour ends this morning after breakfast with guests departing on individual schedules. Airport transfers are provided. (B)