- Visit the Spanish Mission in Santa Barbara
- Admire spectacular views of Big Sur
- Walk along the beautiful Boardwalk of Carmel, California
- Take a cruise around San Francisco’s Bay and visit the Fisherman’s Wharf
- See San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Union Square and Chinatown
- Explore Yosemite National Park or Hearst Castle (depending on the season)
- Visit the Danish town of Solvang
- Ride in an air-conditioned minibus or van
What You Can Expect
In San Francisco, take a bay cruise past Alcatraz Island and under the Golden Gate Bridge, and the enjoy a sightseeing tour of the city’s top attractions, including Union square, Chinatown and Nob Hill!
Your next stop depends on the season. In the summer, you’ll head to Yosemite National Park; in the winter, when mountain roads are closed, you’ll visit Hearst Castle (beginning November 1). Both places offer plenty to see – in Yosemite, gaze in awe at the 1,200 square miles (3,100 sq km) of forests, lakes and waterfalls protected in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, or at Hearst Castle, be amazed by the majestic former residence of William Randolph Hearst.
See the Itinerary field below for details on each day of the tour.
Los Angeles - Santa Barbara - Solvang - Carmel
Departing Los Angeles in your minibus or van, enjoy the drive north up the spectacular California coast to your first stop – Santa Barbara. Visit a Spanish mission and learn how this religious outpost was a key to the development of the entire region.
Continue to Solvang, a quaint Danish community, where you can browse the local shops. Admire the bakeries, restaurants and stores that will make you feel like you are in Denmark – you’ll even see a replica of Copenhagen’s Round Tower in the town square!
Next, keep going north along Highway 1 through Big Sur, one of the West Coast’s most stunning spots. Take in the beautiful scenery and dramatic jagged coastline as you drive through town, on your way to charming Carmel, home to actor Clint Eastwood. In Carmel, enjoy free time to leisurely stroll through town. Then make your final stretch along the coast for the day to San Francisco.
Overnight: Pickwick Hotel in San Francisco
After breakfast, start your exploration of the renowned city of San Francisco at Fisherman's Wharf, where you’ll depart on a relaxing cruise around San Francisco Bay (breakfast included). Cruise under the Golden Gate Bridge and around Alcatraz Island, home to the notorious prison that once held infamous criminals like Al Capone. You’ll also enjoy wonderful and unique views of the city from the water, so make sure your camera is charged up!
After your cruise, return to Pier 39 to watch the local sea lions and enjoy the lively atmosphere of the pier. Enjoy free time to have a leisurely lunch (own expense) before your afternoon tour begins. This sightseeing tour will take you past all the city's famous landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Union Square, Chinatown and historical Nob Hill. End your tour with a breathtaking nighttime view of the illuminated Bay Bridge.
If you’re headed to Yosemite National Park on Day 3, you’ll spend the night in the town of Dublin. If you’re visiting Hearst Castle, stay another night in San Francisco.
Overnight: Holiday Inn in Dublin (summer) or Pickwick Hotel in San Francisco (winter)
San Francisco - Yosemite National Park or Hearst Castle - Los Angeles
Bid farewell to the Bay Area and head to either Yosemite National Park or Hearst Castle, depending on the season (breakfast at hotel included before departure).
Summer: Enjoy a scenic drive through the farmlands of the Joaquin Valley to Yosemite National Park. This 1,200-square-mile (3,100-sq-km) wonderland of towering forests, clear lakes, majestic mountains and tumbling waterfalls is located in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Stop at the park’s most popular features, including El Capitan, Bridalveil Fall, Half Dome and the Mariposa Grove, home to the world's largest living things – sequoia trees!
Winter: Travel back down the California coast, through Silicon Valley and south on Highway 1 to Hearst Castle. Built by the newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst, this famous mansion rivals the castles of Europe. Tour the famous castle, filled with beautiful antiques, and learn about its history and how it served as a playground for the rich and famous for the first half of the 20th century.
Your three-day California adventure ends back in Los Angeles in the evening.
We enjoyed the tour provided by Eli our tour guide and Jeff our driver were very knowledgeable and made sure we were all informed as we visited each location in multiple languages to cater for those who are not native English speakers. Although we traveled quite a distance regular comfort and sightseeing stops broke up the journey. The tour of San Francisco was great, Pier 39 and the cruise on the bay were highlights especially with the Americas Cup boats sailing by. Great scenery at the Yosemite National Park despite the lack of water in the waterfalls and rivers,the land was very dry and you can see why the wide fires are easily moving through California. We were lucky to see the park before the smoke came by.
A great way to see a large are in a short time, I would recommend a tour with this group any time
Very well structured tour incorporating many wonderful experiences into three superb days. We appreciated being part of a small group- six adults and one child - and having Richard as our excellent guide - well informed, entertaining and responsive to the group needs. So many highlights - the stunning ocean road , the elephant seals, the sight of Pebble Beach golf course ( for the golfing tragic) the extraordinary variety of San Francisco sights and on the last day the breathtaking wonders of Yosemite. No hesitation in recommending this tour and particularly this tour guide!