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Dana Point, Southern California (Festival of Whales)

USA
Southern California - so much to do and see, an excellent climate year-round and the spectacular scenery of coastline and desert.
Warm ocean breezes, oceanfront promenades, countless attractions, world class wines and a laid-back lifestyle are just some of the features that make California the most visited destination in North America. This relaxing and delightful tour takes in the best of Southern California, while still allowing time to do your own thing!

Upon arrival we will have an overnight and tour in Los  Angeles, and then proceed to the quaint seaside town of Dana Point for a 13-night stay. Located between Los     Angeles and San Diego on the California Riviera, the town is set in a natural cove between dramatic cliffs and the clear waters of the Pacific. It is a perfect place to stroll in the parks along the shoreline and enjoy the beauty of the ocean.  Dana Point hosts a large marina with yachts and other small pleasure boats, and nearby are 2 tropical-style shopping villages and many restaurants.  

We will stay at the Marina Inn - a charming informal hotel with a relaxed atmosphere, perfectly situated near the marina and shopping villages. All of our harbour view rooms are spacious with a balcony.  On-site is a heated swimming pool and a fitness room. 
Our stay in Dana Point will coincide with the Festival of Whales, celebrating the annual migration of thousands of these giant mammals. We will have the opportunity to take a whale watching cruise and watch them frolicking in the warm coastal waters.  

Tour Highlights:

   • Tour of Los Angeles and Hollywood, with a visit to see the art, architecture and gardens of the Getty Center 
   • The Ocean Institute
   • Coastal Tour - Laguna, Newport Beach and the horticultural oasis of Sherman Gardens
   • Nixon Presidential Library
   • Wine Tasting Cruise with breathtaking coastal views 
   • Carlsbad Flower Fields and Village
   • Mission San Juan Capistrano
   • Palm Springs - Indian Canyon, a Date Ranch and a matinee theatre show. 
   • San Diego, including the world famous zoo

Itinerary / Excursions

We will visit the Farmer’s Market, and see Rodeo Drive, celebrity homes in Beverly Hills, Hollywood and much more. Included will be a visit to the J. Paul Getty Museum - a spectacular synergy of art (including works by Van Gogh and Renoir), architecture, landscaping and wonderful views.
 We also visit Sherman’s Gardens - a museum devoted to the local flora.
 The town has drawn Hollywood stars for decades, so it is known as a playground for the rich and famous. We’ll enjoy a casual hike through the famous Indian Canyon - a lush oasis surrounded by desert scenery), a visit to a Date Garden, a matinee theatre performance, and early dinner before heading back to the coast.
 The birthplace of President Nixon houses a museum, library, galleries and rotating exhibitions. See the replica of the Lincoln Sitting Room, the phone that was used to call Neil Armstrong on the Moon, the limousine used by Presidents Johnson, Nixon and Ford and so much more.
Beginning with a walking tour of the historical sites in this charming town, followed by a visit to the Museum of Making Music, and finally a wagon tour of The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch - 50 acres of colourful Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers that cascade down the hillside overlooking the ocean.
 We will see Point Loma, Cabrillo National Monument and Mission Bay, and we will visit the world-famous San Diego Zoo.
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