Mondays (First day of tour)Duration
3 days, 2 nightsStart time
From Starbucks Coffee Shop, Farmers Market Corner of Fairfax, Blvd and 3rd St: 06:30am
4 Points Sheraton Culver City Hotel, 5990 Green Valley Circle, Culver City in the lobby of the hotel: 07:00am
Duration: 3 days, 2 nights
The tour departs either from Starbucks Coffee Shop (entrance), Farmers Market Corner of Fairfax, Blvd and 3rd St or from 4 Points Sheraton Culver City Hotel, 5990 Green Valley Circle, Culver City in the lobby of the hotel
Please report at the meeting point 15 minutes before the start time. This is mandatory to allow time for pre-departure briefing.
The tour ends at the departure point
Enjoy the rugged grandeur of the coast as you travel north from historic Santa Barbara to charming Carmel. Spend a day in San Francisco, one of the world’s most beautiful cities. Cruise the Bay, then take a land tour of highlights including Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Chinatown, Union Square, Nob Hill and much more.
In summer, spend time among the natural wonders of Yosemite National Park. See incredible rock formations, breath-taking waterfalls and magnificent Giant Sequoias. In winter, visit a man-made marvel – the astounding Castle built by newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst as a playground for celebrity friends in the early 20th century.
This is a tour packed with beauty and interest – an experience you will remember for a very long time.
Double and Single room options are available for your California Highlights Tour from Los Angeles. Meals are not included in this tour. Breakfast and dinner can be obtained in or close to your hotels and lunch stops will be made at appropriate points on the route.
Day 1 (Monday): Los Angeles – San Francisco
There are two departure points for this excursion. 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 06:03am, 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 entire 3-day tour you will be transported in a de luxe air-conditioned vehicle and accompanied by a professional guide. (You should state on your booking form whether you require an English, Italian or Spanish- speaking guide.) At the start of the tour, you will depart north up the spectacular California Coast to Santa Barbara, one of the earliest Spanish settlements in this part of the Americas.
Sometimes known as ‘the American Riviera’, Santa Barbara is a beautiful spot with glorious beaches, majestic mountains, a colorful culture and a Mediterranean climate.
From Santa Barbara, the tour continues north and stops at Solvang, founded in 1911 by a Danish community. Here you will find bakeries, restaurants, and shops offering a taste of Denmark in California. Much of the architecture follows traditional Danish style.
After Solvang, you will continue along Highway 1 through Big Sur, a thinly populated region of the central California coast where the Santa Lucia Mountains rise sharply from the Pacific Ocean.
You will stop at charming Carmel, a small town on the Monterey Peninsula known for its natural beauty and the large number of artists, poets and writers who have chosen to live there. The town has had several mayors who were poets or actors, including actor-director Clint Eastwood, who was mayor from 1986 to 1988.
You will have the chance to stroll through Carmel before heading on towards San Francisco. On arrival in San Francisco, you will be dropped at the Pickwick Hotel, where you will spend the night.
The Pickwick is a 3-star hotel located close to San Francisco’s Union Square. Designed in a neo-Gothic style, the eight-story Hotel featured prominently in Dashiell Hammett's 1929 classic mystery, ‘The Maltese Falcon’.
Guestrooms have French-provincial decor, down duvets and pillows, and marble bathrooms with pedestal sinks; amenities include air-conditioning, TV, cable and complimentary wireless Internet access. The hotel has a swimming pool. The Pickwick Café is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Day 2 (Tuesday): San Francisco
After breakfast, you will set out with your tour guide to explore San Francisco. Your day starts with a delightful narrated 45-minute cruise in the world-famous Bay. Have your camera ready to capture the city’s famous skyline with its amazing mix of buildings. Pass under the renowned Golden Gate Bridge and marvel at its colossal span. Return past notorious Alcatraz Island, site of the former federal prison that once housed Al Capone.
Return to Pier 39 for a leisurely lunch (payable direct) before an afternoon tour that takes in all the city’s famous landmarks. There will be a number of stops during the tour so that you can get a closer look at some of the key sights. Highlights include:
• Golden Gate Bridge: This magnificent feat of engineering crosses the Golden Gate – the point where San Francisco Bay meets the Pacific Ocean.
• Union Square: A haven for shoppers, with an impressive collection of department stores, up-scale boutiques, local trinket shops, and salons.
• Chinatown : Dating from the 1850s, when Chinese immigrants flocked to the gold coast to work on the Transcontinental Railroad or strike it rich as prospectors, San Francisco’s Chinatown is the oldest in the United States.
• Nob Hill : See San Francisco’s iconic cable cars make the climb through this beautiful hilly neighborhood, which was almost completely destroyed by the 1906 earthquake.
End the day with a stunning evening view of the twinkling lights of the city from the Bay Bridge.
You will spend the night at the 3-star Dublin – Holiday Inn Express Hotel
Day 3 (Wednesday): San Francisco – Los Angeles
Leaving San Francisco after breakfast, your route for the day goes through farmlands of the Joaquin Valley to the magnificent Yosemite National Park. This 1,200 square mile wonderland of forests, lakes and waterfalls is located in the Sierra Nevada.
You will spend about 5 hours in Yosemite. During this time you will make stops to see the following famous features:
• El Capitan: A massive rock formation that rises 3,000 feet and is a mecca for the rock climbers of the world.
• Bridalveil Fall: 188 meters (620 ft) high and one of the most prominent waterfalls in the Yosemite Valley.
• Half Dome : A granite dome at the eastern end of Yosemite Valley. The crest rises more than 4,737 ft (1,444 m) above the valley floor.
• Mariposa Grove: The largest grove of Giant Sequoias in the Park, with several hundred mature examples of these monster trees. Two of its specimens are among the 25 largest Giant Sequoias in the world.
From 01 November to 30 April, the visit to Yosemite will be replaced by a visit to the world famous Hearst Castle. This incredible edifice was built by newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst early in the 20th century as a playground for himself and his guests, many of whom were Hollywood celebrities. Hearst devoted nearly 30 years and about US $10 million to creation of his opulent estate. The Castle architecture is a mix of Italian, Spanish, Moorish and French styles.
Inside the buildings, you will find a phenomenal collection of antiques and priceless treasures, including Greek vases dating from 800 BC, rare oriental carpets, and countless works of art.
In the evening, you will drive back to Los Angeles and will be dropped off at approximately 07:00pm. 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.
Please call the activity operator at least 24 hours prior to start of the tour for reconfirming departure details.
Luggage is limited to one piece per person with the following dimensions: 21" X 12" X12" (46cm x 30cm x 30cm) and a maximum of 22 pounds (10 kgs).
From 01 November to 30 April, the visit to Yosemite will be replaced by a visit to the world famous Hearst Castle.
At the end of the 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.
Smoking is not permitted on the motor coach