California Coast Vacation
Explore the “Golden State's" stunning coastline on this incredible California adventure. Begin in San Francisco with sightseeing of the city's main attractions and ample free time to hop a historic cable car or stroll through Chinatown. Head south to the Monterey Peninsula and stop at lovely Carmel. Next, motor along ...Read Full Description
- Long Beach, California, United States; Los Angeles, California, United States; Monterey, California, United States; San Diego, California, United States; San Francisco, California, United States; Yosemite Ntl Park, California, United States
- Trip Length:
- 9 days
- Best Time to Go:
- April, June, July, August, September, October
- Recommended for:
Infants (under 2)
Children (2 - 5)
Children (6 - 8)
Children (9 - 11)
Children (12 - 14)
Children (15 - 17)
Adults (18 - 20)
Adults (25 - 29)
Family Trip, Group Retreat, Trip Around the World
Detailed Trip Description
Explore the “Golden State's" stunning coastline on this incredible California adventure. Begin in San Francisco with sightseeing of the city's main attractions and ample free time to hop a historic cable car or stroll through Chinatown. Head south to the Monterey Peninsula and stop at lovely Carmel. Next, motor along scenic 17-Mile Drive with views of Cypress Point, Pebble Beach Golf Course, and the Lone Cypress. Travel along Big Sur Coast Highway to San Simeon's opulent Hearst Castle, through the Santa Ynez Mountains to Santa Barbara, then to Long Beach for dinner aboard the RMS Queen Mary and a leisurely cruise to Catalina Island. Back on the mainland, take the coastal highway to the San Juan Capistrano mission before arriving in San Diego for sightseeing, a choose-your-experience activity, and a Farewell Dinner cruise—the perfect finale to your journey. Monterey Bay Travel Guide and Trip Planner
Day 1 - San Francisco
Welcome to the Golden State!
This evening, mix and mingle with your traveling companions at the 6:30 p.m. Welcome recept ion. Your Tour Director will prepare you for your upcoming adventure. (WR)
Day 2 - San Francisco
Morning sightseeing in one of the world’s most beautiful cities famous for its natural harbor, lush parks, cable cars, and bustling docks. Your tour includes Golden Gate Park, Twin Peaks, Nob Hill, and much more. Our tour ends at Fisherman’s Wharf where you’ll enjoy lunch with incredible views of the San Francisco Bay. This afternoon, enjoy free time for pursuing your favorite interests and activities—ride the world famous cable cars, shop in Union Square, or stroll around Chinatown. (B,L)
Day 3 - Monterey
Travel south to the rugged beauty of the Monterey Peninsula. Enjoy a visit to the lovely town of Carmel, a popular retreat for writers, artists, and celebrities. A highlight of today’s journey is the spectacular 17-Mile Drive to Monterey, with views of Cypress Point, famous Pebble Beach Golf Course, and the tenacious Lone Cypress. The ocean canyon surrounding Monterey Bay is deeper than the Grand Canyon and harbors a rich variety of sea life, which can be seen this afternoon at Monterey Bay Aquarium. Here you can explore the hidden world of this spectacular ocean realm at the heart of the nation’s largest marine sanctuary. The exhibits recreate the bay’s habitats, from shallow tide pools to the open ocean and deep sea. (B)
Day 4 - Yosemite Ntl Park
Monterey–Big Sur Coast Highway–San Simeon–Santa Barbara.
This morning, we’ll travel along the scenic Big Sur Coast Highway and journey to San Simeon and visit Hearst Castle, the opulent mansion of the 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 travel through the Santa Ynez Mountains to your resort hotel in Santa Barbara. (B,D)
Day 5 - Long Beach
Santa Barbara–Los Angeles–Long Beach.
Morning at leisure. You can take the Santa Barbara Trolley, swim at the pool, bicycle along the oceanfront, or visit the zoo or Stearns Wharf. Look out for Hollywood celebrities’ homes that dot the shoreline from Malibu to Santa Monica. We then travel to Long Beach and see Metropolitan Los Angeles along the way.
Food and Dining
This evening, enjoy dinner aboard one of the most famous ships in history, the RMS Queen Mary. (B,D)
Day 6 - Long Beach
Cruise to Catalina Island.
River or Barge Cruise
A leisurely morning cruise across 26-mile San Pedro Channel to beautiful Catalina Island. Once a ritzy playground for the rich in the 1930s and 1940s, Catalina Island today is a casual and laid-back destination. Enjoy a guided tour of the island before plenty of time to stroll the quaint streets of the Mediterranean-flavored port town of Avalon. Perhaps have lunch before heading back to Long Beach.
This evening, maybe take a stroll along the waterfront and stop by Shoreline Village, a recreated turn-of-the-century harborside center with specialty shops and boardwalk entertainment. (B)
Day 7 - San Diego
Long Beach–San Juan Capistrano–San Diego.
Take the coastal highway to San Diego. Stop in San Juan Capistrano to visit the beautiful 18th-century Mission, a majestic work of art. Founded more than two centuries ago, the mission is a monument to California’s multicultural history, embracing its Spanish, Mexican, Native American, and European heritages. Take some time to walk along the ancient cloisters amid the time-softened beauty of old adobe buildings. Continue to San Diego for a city sightseeing tour. (B)
Day 8 - Los Angeles
Choose Your Experience.
Select how you wish to spend your day. Choose between a visit to the world-famous San Diego Zoo featuring animals from around the world or visit Seaworld, home to the mighty king of the sea, Shamu.
River or Barge Cruise
This evening we top off the tour with a Farewell Dinner Cruise around San Diego Harbor. Enjoy a spectacular sunset, sweeping 360-degree views, and gourmet cuisine with dancing atop the yacht—the perfect finale for your vacation.
Day 9 - San Diego
The vacation ends this morning, with guests departing on individual schedules. Airport transfers are provided. (B)
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