California Here We Come

Tour Highlights

On this tour we will start in San Francisco, explore the Golden State’s stunning coastline and finish in San Diego, taking in the best of California. 

Tour Highlights:

SAN FRANCISCO: Known for its hilly landscape, iconic Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, colourful Victorian houses and the historic Fisherman’s Wharf. In the bay sits Alcatraz Island - site of the notorious former prison. 

MONTEREY: Cannery Row, one-time center of the sardine-packing industry, was immortalized by novelist John Steinbeck. Equally famous is the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

17 MILE DRIVE:  One of California’s top scenic drives, with beautiful beaches, seals and sea lions, the famed Lone Cypress, huge mansions and championship golf courses.  

SAN SIMEON: Home to the legendary Hearst Castle. 

SOLVANG:  A quaint Danish village.

SANTA BARBARA: The “American Riviera”.

LOS ANGELES / HOLLYWOOD and BEVERLY HILLS: “The City of Angels” is the center of America’s film and television industry. 

NEWPORT BEACH: Offers one of the largest recreational harbours on the west coast.

PALM SPRINGS:  A sun-drenched desert oasis  that attracts celebrities, sun seekers and naturalists alike. Stars such as Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Marilyn Monroe and Lucille Ball all built homes here.

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO: California’s most famous mission, known for the “miracle” of the return of the swallows. 

SAN DIEGO:  The Gaslight District, Historic Old Town, and Balboa Park are but a few of the world-class attractions here. 

Tentative Itinerary

We depart for San Francisco. Upon arrival we transfer to our hotel in the heart of the city, with time at leisure before tonight’s Welcome Dinner.
We tour America's Favourite City - Chinatown, Ghirardelli Square, Fisherman's Wharf and other famous sights. Then we cross the Golden Gate Bridge and stop for panoramas of San Francisco and the Bay area. In Marin County we will see one of America's wealthiest communities, and the picturesque town of Sausalito.
This morning we cruise on San Francisco Bay to Alcatraz Island and the infamous former federal prison, which was home to the likes of Al Capone, “Machine Gun” Kelley and Robert “The Birdman” Stroud. There are videos, self-guided walks, an audio tour and talks on topics such as “Famous Escapes”. Afternoon at leisure to explore San Francisco at your own pace.
We drive to Salinas and visit the Steinbeck Center, a multi-media museum which brings to life the novels and personal world of author John Steinbeck, who was born here. We then proceed to the charming oceanside town of the artisans, Carmel, for a 2-night stay.
We visit historic Monterey, California’s old capital, to see Steinbeck's Cannery Row and visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium - the largest aquarium in the west. Then we proceed to Carmel, considered the most beautiful spot on the coast. See why as we drive along the Del Monte Forest 17 Mile Drive where lavish mansions were built by tycoons in the 1920's. The views of the sea and rugged coastline are unsurpassed.
We continue the thrilling drive down the Pacific Coast Highway (acclaimed as the most beautiful drive in North America) where the mountains drop steeply to the sea. Passing the fantastic Pacific panoramas of Big Sur we arrive at San Simeon, home of the famous Hearst Castle. We visit this fabulous estate and explore the small kingdom of castles, fountains and European art treasures. You won't believe your eyes! We overnight in Solvang, reminiscent of a quaint Danish town.
After some free time in Solvang we proceed to Santa Barbara, noted for architectural beauty. Then, en route to Palm Springs, we’ll stop at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Perched on a hill with sweeping views, the Museum contains hundreds of artifacts related to America’s 40th president. Step aboard the same Air Force One that flew President Reagan over 1 million kms. around the world, and stroll through a replica of the White House’s Rose Garden.
On our guided tour of Palm Springs we see some of the homes of Hollywood celebrities who called this desert playground their home since the 1930’s. We also see some of the beautiful natural highlights this area is known for. Included will be an easy hike into the famous Indian Canyons, and since the Coachella Valley is known as the Date Capital, we will visit a date garden!
A day at leisure to enjoy the desert oasis of Palm Springs. There is much to do and see here. Your Tour Manager will be on hand with suggestions.
We proceed to Los Angeles. Our city tour begins with a visit to the Farmer's Market, followed by a drive through parts of Hollywood and a stop to stroll the Walk of Fame at Mann's Chinese Theatre with its famous footprints and star-lined sidewalks on Hollywood Boulevard. We’ll finish with a visit of the brand new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, Where Dreams are Made, celebrating the history and art of movie-making in Hollywood.
We visit the famous Getty Museum - an architectural landmark with breathtaking views and a world renowned art collection. Then we’ll have time at leisure in colourful Santa Monica and by the pier’s carousel (built in 1922 it has appeared in many films).
We head over to Newport Beach (where the rich and famous moor their yachts) for a relaxing Harbour Cruise along the California Riviera. In the afternoon we visit the famous Mission San Juan Capistrano, surrounded by the oldest neighbourhood in California. Then we proceed to San Diego’s historic Old Town, where we may stroll the quaint streets before ending at our nearby hotel, for a 3-night stay.
Our full-day tour will take in the old and the new in this historic city, including Point Loma, Mission Bay, Cabrillo National Monument, Balboa Park and Old Town.
At leisure to enjoy this wonderful city! Perhaps visit the world famous San Diego Zoo, take a trolley ride from Old Town to the Gas Lamp District, return to Balboa Park’s Art Galleries and museums, visit Seaport Village - a charming area with a boardwalk and horse-drawn carriages, or take a trolley across the border to Tijuana, for a Mexican experience! Tonight is our Farewell Dinner!
We fly home with Air Canada Rouge.

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