There are two departure points for your California Beaches Tour From Los Angeles. Hotel pick-up is not included so you should make your way to either Starbucks Coffee Shop at Farmers Market Corner of Fairfax, Blvd and 3rd St, at 06:30am, or to 4 Points Sheraton Culver City Hotel, 5990 Green Valley Circle, Culver City, where you will meet your guide in the lobby of the hotel at 07:00am.
For your fun day out, you will be transported in an air-conditioned vehicle and accompanied by a bilingual guide. First stop will be Huntington Beach with its famous 8.5-mile (13.7 km) beach. Often referred to as ‘Surf City’, Huntington is the site of the world surfing championships, which take place here in summer every year.
Huntington is a surfers’ paradise, not so much for the height of the waves, but for the consistent quality of the surf. The waves are a unique natural effect caused by edge-diffraction of ocean swells by a nearby island and disturbance from distant hurricanes. If the weather is good and the stores that offer surfing lessons are open, then it may be possible for you to experience the legendary surf for yourself. The cost of a surfing lesson is not included in this tour (approximately US$ 50 for a 45 minute lesson).
Huntington Beach is regarded as the birthplace of the West Coast surfing culture and featured in the Beach Boys’ song ‘Surfin’ Safari’. It is also the cradle of beach volleyball. As you stroll along the sands, you will see the famous beach volleyball pavilion.
You have around 90 minutes in Huntington, including a stop for breakfast (payable direct) at one of the fast food places along the beach-front, before moving on to Long Beach. Long Beach is known as the venue of a celebrated Grand Prix street race and for its international Marathon and Half-Marathon. Runners love to race here because it is flat and 80 per cent of the course is in view of the ocean.
You will visit RMS Queen Mary, Long Beach’s most famous landmark. Said to be the grandest liner ever built, the magnificent Queen Mary clocked 1001 trips across the Atlantic before settling in her current home. During her long and eventful life, she not only carried the rich and famous across the ocean but was also deployed as military transport in WWII.
Accompanied by your tour guide, you will see the ship’s celebrated Art Deco interiors and visit restored areas that have been under wraps since the final voyage in 1967, including the Isolation Wards and the aft Machine Rooms. And hear tales of the notable passengers who sailed in the luxury liner in her heyday. These included Greta Garbo, Gloria Swanson, Clark Gable, David Niven, Bing Crosby, Elizabeth Taylor, Aristotle Onassis and Mary Pickford. Bob Hope was known to practice his golf swing on the upper decks, and Fred Astaire danced in the ballroom.
After the Queen Mary, you will continue to Venice Beach, home to the world’s most colorful promenade. During the summer season and on weekends, there is an eye-popping array of lively street entertainment. Performers include an eclectic assortment of musicians, singers, jugglers, acrobats, mimes, comics, magicians, prophets, and fortune tellers.
Browse the funky shops, soak up the atmosphere, watch the roller skaters and skateboarders doing their stuff and see the professionals pump iron at Muscle Beach. You will also have the chance to catch a spot of lunch (payable direct).
Then spend some time at Santa Monica Pier, beach and promenade, the home of ‘Baywatch’. The 100-year old pier offers a variety of entertainment including thrill rides, a historic 1922 Carousel, and an interactive aquarium.
End the day with a stroll along Third Street Promenade, a pedestrian street in Santa Monica. It is one of the premier shopping destinations in West Los Angeles and frequently draws crowds from all over Los Angeles County.
At the end of your tour you can be dropped off at either Starbucks Coffee Shop at Farmers Market or 4 Points Sheraton Culver City Hotel. At the start of the tour please advise your guide which of these you prefer. After you are dropped off, you will need to make your own arrangements to get back to your accommodation.