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Santa Barbara, Solvang and Hearst Castle Day Trip from Los Angeles

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Los Angeles, United States
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From US$169.00

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icon11 to 13 hours  (Approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 9 more

Keeping you safe during COVID-19
What you can expect during your visit
Face masks required for travelers in public areas
Face masks required for guides in public areas
Face masks provided for travelers
Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
Social distancing enforced throughout experience
Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
Gear/equipment sanitized between use
Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
Guides required to regularly wash hands
Regular temperature checks for staff
Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
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Overview

Explore the incredible scenery and fascinating history along the Southern and Central California coast on this 12-hour day trip from Los Angeles. Enjoy one of the world’s most picturesque oceanfront drives as you head north, stopping first at Santa Barbara to visit its harbor, gorgeous beaches and historic Spanish Mission. Then see Solvang, a Danish-themed town near Santa Barbara. Finish the day with a visit at the sprawling Hearst Castle, constructed by famed publisher William Randolph Hearst. Your California coastal day trip also includes coach transport, live on-board commentary and Hearst Castle admission.
  • Full-day trip from Los Angeles
  • Scenic tour of the Southern and Central California coasts
  • Visit Santa Barbara and see the Spanish Mission
  • Stroll through Solvang, an authentic Danish town
  • Tour Hearst Castle
  • Entertaining and informative commentary from your tour guide
  • Air-conditioned transportation in a deluxe van or bus
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Professional tour guide
Transportation by 15-passenger van or a full-sized bus
Sightseeing in Santa Barbara and Solvang
Hotel pickup and drop-off
Gratuities

Departure Point

1: 6333 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90036, USA
2: Four Points Sheraton, 5990 Green Valley Cir, Culver City, CA 90230, USA

Return Details

Returns to original departure point
Get a sense for the amazing scenery and incredible history just beyond the urban center of Los Angeles during this 12-hour day trip to visit Santa Barbara, the magnificent Hearst Castle and much more. It's a great way to go beyond the typical tourist hot spots in Los Angeles and San Francisco for a unique look at the diverse attractions of California.

Start your trip in the morning, leaving from either the Los Angeles Farmers Market or the Four Points by Sheraton in Culver City. Head north by coach along the jaw-dropping California coastline, making your first stop of the day in the town of Solvang. This quiet hamlet, situated in the Santa Ynes Valley and originally founded by Danish settlers, played a key role in the iconic film Sideways. Admire the city’s unique Danish-inspired architecture and Little Mermaid monument, based on the story by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen. The statue is a reproduction of a similar public artwork in Copenhagen. Don't forget to stop by Solvang’s tasty Danish bakeries and Danish-themed shops before leaving town.

Continue your trip at the renowned Hearst Castle. Your memorable visit to the estate of William Randolph Hearst takes you on an in-depth visit inside the luxurious home of this renowned media magnate. Once a frequent hotspot for Hollywood’s elite, Hearst Castle is packed with a floor-to-ceiling collection of artwork and antiquities that spans the globe. Check out Greek pottery that dates from 800 BC alongside priceless oriental rugs and elegant statues. In Hearst’s heyday of the 1920s and 1930s, invitations to this estate were a hot commodity, so be sure to document your visit to prove to others you were there.

Proceed next to Santa Barbara. When you arrive in town, head to the city’s Old Mission, a religious structure that helped give the city its name. You’ll also hear from your guide about the role these Spanish settlements played in the founding of the state of California. Then check out Santa Barbara’s harbor and explore its sublime beaches.

After finishing your excursion in Santa Barbara, continue back along the coast as you return to Los Angeles. It’s a laid-back, scenic way to end your wonderful day along California’s incredible diverse coastal areas.
Itinerary
Stop At:  
Old Mission Santa Barbara
Depart north up the spectacular California Coast to the first stop in Santa Barbara. Visit a Spanish Mission and learn how these religious outposts were key in the development of the entire region. Then we visit the harbor and amazing sandy beaches, it will be easy to understand why movie stars and the rich and famous make this area their home.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Solvang Antiques
We continue north to Solvang, an Authentic Danish village with European architecture stroll down the main street and browse in the local shops.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Hearst Castle
After our visit we continue to the world famous Hearst Castle. Built by the newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst, Art treasures can be found in every room of Hearst Castle. Antique ceilings, Greek vases dating from 800 B.C., rare oriental carpets, and myriad works of art can be seen throughout William Randolph Hearst's vast home see why the castle served as a playground for the rich and famous for the first half of the 20th century.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Free
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • For tours with fewer guests, vans may be substituted
  • Tours can be bilingual/multilingual as they are offered in many different languages
  • Children under the age of 2 are free, please advise at time of booking if infant is traveling
  • Tour of Mission Santa Barbara is not guaranteed
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Infant seats available
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 50 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Empire Vacations

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Santa Barbara, Solvang and Hearst Castle Day Trip from Los Angeles?
A:
The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Face masks provided for travelers
  • Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
See all safety measures taken by Santa Barbara, Solvang and Hearst Castle Day Trip from Los Angeles.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitization during Santa Barbara, Solvang and Hearst Castle Day Trip from Los Angeles?
A:
The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by Santa Barbara, Solvang and Hearst Castle Day Trip from Los Angeles.
Q:
What is the social distancing policy during Santa Barbara, Solvang and Hearst Castle Day Trip from Los Angeles?
A:
The policy on social distancing is:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
See all safety measures taken by Santa Barbara, Solvang and Hearst Castle Day Trip from Los Angeles.
Q:
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Santa Barbara, Solvang and Hearst Castle Day Trip from Los Angeles?
A:
The policies on staff health & safety are:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
See all safety measures taken by Santa Barbara, Solvang and Hearst Castle Day Trip from Los Angeles.
Q:
What is the maximum group size during Santa Barbara, Solvang and Hearst Castle Day Trip from Los Angeles?
A:
This activity will have a maximum of 50 travelers.

See all safety measures taken by Santa Barbara, Solvang and Hearst Castle Day Trip from Los Angeles.

Traveler Photos

Traveler Tips


  • "Hearst Castle is located 245 miles north of LA, so be prepared to spend quite a lot of time in the mini-bus, but it you want to see it, just do it!" See review

Reviews

4.5
star-4.5
120 Reviews
Reviews by Viator travelers
Showing 1-10 of 120 reviews
star-5
A big day trip but worth doing
Alison_M
, Feb 2020
I took this tour on 5 February 2020 - turned out I was the only client, but fortunately the policy is to run the tour in these cases, even for 1 passenger. My driver was Jacob, who was knowledgeable and amusing. The SUV we had was comfortable and quiet. It was a long day, but a very worthwhile one for me, as I had limited time in LA, so this tour, which took in Santa Barbara Mission, the Danish town of Solvang, and the Hearst Castle, was great. The Hearst Castle was the highlight and the tour cost included entry and the main tour fees. Solvang and Santa Barbara were also interesting but the focus is (rightly in my view) the Hearst Castle. As I was the only passenger, we had some extra time which Jacob utilised to take me to an elephant seal colony near the Hearst Castle - an unexpected bonus, which I really appreciated. The journey home is a long one, longer in this case due to terrible traffic, but a very worthwhile day. Be prepared to buy your lunch and snacks to eat en route, and you will save time you can better spend on visiting locations. Thanks, Jacob!
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star-3
Highs and lows
Mehman
, Feb 2020
Could have skipped fisherman’s wharf. All closed Night stop for gas and get food was bad. In an extra 15 minutes could have stopped by a fast food place that was decent Guide good. Danish the best ovee
icon Response from Host , Mar 2020
Dear Mehman, Thank you for taking the time to review our tour. Fisherman's wharf is a important landmark and our stop is very short. Definitely will take in consideration your food stop suggestions. We hope to have another opportunity to serve you. Thanks Mike Amadeo Team
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star-5
Hearst Castle
chriscorradi1
, Feb 2020
The Tour Guides were friendly and always were there on time and were extremely professional and helpful. Loved the day. Didn’t want it to end!
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star-5
Outstanding
Jody S
, Dec 2019
This tour far exceeded my expectations, especially as I found out at pick up that I was the only person to book this tour on this winter day. My tour guide, Jacob, was incredibly informative and knowledgeable. As an Australian visiting the area for the first time, he was able to answer all of my questions. The Santa Barbara stop and Mission tour was a highlight, and the Solvang lunch stop was enjoyable. The stand out was the tour of the incredible Hearst Castle, which has been on my bucket list for many years. To top the day, Jacob drove me to a nearby cove to see elephant seals. This was undoubtedly a highlight of my holiday in the US. Thanks to Jacob and to the tour company!
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star-4
LA nice day trip
emanuelalar0sa
, Oct 2019
It's a nice trip if you already know LA. Hearst Castle is located 245 miles north of LA, so be prepared to spend quite a lot of time in the mini-bus, but it you want to see it, just do it! They have some original pieces inside, like a Canova's statue and some antique Egyptians statues. The 2 pool are amazing :-). I will suggest a stop in Santa Barbara, not only see the main street by bus, and I'll go first to Heartst Castle and then Santa Barbara, if you arrive at 8AM everything is closed, there is no fun... Solvang for a European is nothing special, looks very "fake", but can give an idea of ancient Denmark. Very appreciated to be in a small group (11 people)
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star-4
the castle was great, the trip was not
Lizabeth68au
, Jul 2019
Perhaps my group was just unlucky, but the tour took a really long time- traffic and roadworks didn't help. BUT the tour guide (who never introduced himself so I didn't catch his name) didn't talk about anything other than how long we had in each spot and to make sure we used the restroom. That's not guiding. In contrast, Huan came along with a Chinese client and they chatted away in Mandarin for the whole tour. He was lovely. So, the castle was terrific, and the state rangers do a great job touring. So if you want to see the castle, I would recommend driving yourself if possible.
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star-5
Involves a lot of driving from/to...
Haoie
, May 2018
Involves a lot of driving from/to LA, but an excellent overview of the 3 sites, with the focus being on the castle.
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star-5
I took this tour as a single woman...
Jackie
, Jan 2018
I took this tour as a single woman on January 13, 2018. The tour was AMAZING! We accomplished so much in one day -- Hearst Castle, lots of sightseeing and views of mountains, visiting the elephant seals, stopping by the Madona Inn and visiting San Luis Obispo. There were mudslides in Santa Barbara when I took this tour, so unfortunately, we were not able to go there all roads were closed. But the tour guide made up for it by showing us things we would never have seen otherwise such as the elephant seals. We traveled about 720 miles on the tour and I was seriously impressed with how much we accomplished in one day. The driver was also great and played a movie for us on the long drive back about William Randolph Hearst. Take this tour!!
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star-5
Very well organised, our tour leader...
JULONG ZHAO
, Jan 2018
Very well organised, our tour leader Richard was very friendly and resourceful, and the driver made all of us feel absolutely safe and enjoyable! All 6 of us truly appreciated their service.
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star-5
Three different locations to visit...
Marina K
, Dec 2017
Three different locations to visit in one day-great experience! Want to go back and revisit soon, Thank you!
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