Best of California

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
9 Days from $2,835 per person

The lively and glamorous cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles contrast with the rugged beauty of the Californian coast and grandeur of Yosemite National Park.

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Tour Pace: Active
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  1. Welcome to California. On arrival at San Francisco International Airport, your airport transfer takes you to your hotel. At 18:00, join your Tour Director for a Welcome Reception and an opportunity to get to know each other over a pleasant evening with drinks and a light meal.
    hotel:Omni San Francisco (2 nights).
  2. Spend the morning taking in the sights of the city – the bustling activity in Union Square and beautiful Golden Gate Park. Later, join your Tour Director and fellow guests for a Signature Evening with an informative walking tour through Chinatown followed by an authentic Chinese dinner at a restaurant loved by the locals.
    meal(s):FB, SE
    hotel:Omni San Francisco.
  3. Enter the Napa Valley in California's lush premier wine country with a visit to the Benziger Family Winery for a private tram tour. Take an up-close look at the vines and learn about the biodynamic and certified organic farming approach and history of the winery, while enjoying the breathtaking views. See the terraced vineyards and visit the crush pad, barrel aging caves and Tasting Room where you'll enjoy an exclusive tasting. Later in the afternoon, peruse the quaint shops at Sonoma's historic plaza. The evening is at leisure.
    hotel:The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa.
  4. Travel through California's Gold Country and into the Sierra Nevada Mountains to Yosemite National Park. Explore the valley floor with its spectacular waterfalls, the imposing rock formations of El Capitan and Half Dome and abundant wildlife. Enjoy your hotel, located inside the park and close to North America's highest waterfall.
    hotel:Yosemite Valley Lodge.
  5. Drive down the Sierras and through the fertile San Joaquin Valley. As you arrive in Carmel-by-the-Sea browse the art galleries and shops on Ocean Avenue, before a relaxing drive across the Monterey Peninsula and along scenic 17-Mile Drive. Pass the famous Pebble Beach Golf Links and multi-million dollar mansions before arriving in charming Monterey. For your dining pleasure, you have a spectacular selection of local restaurants to choose from.
    meal(s):FB, DA
    hotel:Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa.
  6. Head south to La Cuesta Encantada, 'The Enchanted Hill' high above the ocean at San Simeon, for a guided tour of Hearst Castle, the grandiose estate of publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst. Continue south through the vineyards of the Central Coast to the resort town of Santa Barbara, often billed as the 'American Riviera'. Check in to your beachfront hotel.
    hotel:The Fess Parker A Doubletree by Hilton Resort, Oceanfront Rooms.
  7. Visit the beautiful Mission Santa Barbara and learn about the chain of 21 missions along California's El Camino Real. Then journey along spectacular Santa Monica Bay, passing through glamorous Malibu on your way to Santa Monica. Take time to stroll along the popular Third Street Promenade. Visit the stunning Getty Villa, a recreation of an ancient Roman country house. Continue on to your luxurious hotel at L.A. LIVE, the city's one-of-a-kind entertainment destination.
    hotel:JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE (2 nights).
  8. In the morning, spot the Hollywood Sign during your sightseeing tour, view Grauman's Chinese Theatre and stroll along the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Experience the glitz and glam of Hollywood on a private tour of the Dolby Theatre, home to the Academy Awards ceremony. Spend the afternoon at the historic L.A. Farmers Market with a Local Expert to take you through the collection of restaurants and shops for a tasting before taking time to explore on your own. In the evening, enjoy a Celebration Dinner of American comfort classics with a Southern twist at Engine Co 28, a renovated firehouse from 1912.
    meal(s):FB, CD
    hotel:JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE.
  9. Your California tour comes to an end with a departure transfer to Los Angeles International Airport.

30 Day Refund Guarantee

We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

Add air to your reservation

Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

Always included in your GET vacation

  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • All Gratuities All Gratuities
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips

Meal Summary

1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 8 Full Breakfasts (FB), 1 Signature Evening (SE), 1 Dine-Around (DA) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD).

Included Highlights

Signature Experiences

  • Hearst Castle: Ascend the 'Enchanted Hill' for a guided tour of one of America's grandest private estates.
  • Santa Barbara: Visit Mission Santa Barbara, a historic Spanish mission founded by the Franciscan order in 1786.
  • Los Angeles: Visit the Getty Villa, a recreated ancient Roman country house.
  • Los Angeles: Step beyond the red carpet. A behind-the-scenes look at the Oscars on a private tour of the Dolby Theatre.

Sightseeing Highlights

  • San Francisco: See the cable cars, Union Square, Alamo Square and Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Sonoma: Explore the shops of this Spanish Plaza.
  • Yosemite National Park: Experience the natural beauty and wildlife. See the El Capitan and Half Dome rock formations.
  • San Joaquin Valley: Stop at a historic fruit stand.
  • Carmel-by-the-Sea: Browse the art galleries and shops.
  • Santa Barbara: Drive down State Street, view the Court House and Stearns Wharf.
  • Santa Monica: Stroll along the Third Street Promenade.
  • Los Angeles: Drive along Sunset Boulevard, see the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Grauman's Chinese Theater.
  • Scenic Drives: 17-Mile Drive past the Pebble Beach Golf Links.
Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount AvailabilityPrice
5 May 17 13 May 17 checkmark $3,150$2,835pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,150 $2,835 pp
12 May 17 20 May 17 checkmark $3,150$2,835pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,150 $2,835 pp
19 May 17 27 May 17 checkmark $3,150$2,835pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,150 $2,835 pp
2 Jun 17 10 Jun 17 checkmark $3,150$2,835pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,150 $2,835 pp
9 Jun 17 17 Jun 17 checkmark $3,150$2,835pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,150 $2,835 pp
7 Jul 17 15 Jul 17 $3,150$2,835pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,150 $2,835 pp
14 Jul 17 22 Jul 17 $3,150$2,835pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,150 $2,835 pp
28 Jul 17 5 Aug 17 $3,150$2,835pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,150 $2,835 pp
11 Aug 17 19 Aug 17 checkmark $3,150$2,835pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,150 $2,835 pp
18 Aug 17 26 Aug 17 $3,150$2,835pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,150 $2,835 pp
1 Sep 17 9 Sep 17 checkmark $3,150$2,835pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 12
$3,150 $2,835 pp

Tours operate as per the 2016 itinerary.

undefinedIncludes New Year's Eve Dinner in San Francisco.

Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.

Single Room Supplement: from $1,325.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $91 per person.

Early Payment Discount: Pay in full to save the amount listed above. For details, click here.

AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift!  Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.

Frequent Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the price of the vacation.

  • We suggest bringing a variety of lightweight clothing items that can be layered to save space in your suitcase and give you more options for how to dress. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.

  • At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity.  We recommend $4-5 per person/per day for your driver and $6-7 per person/per day for your Travel Director.  Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is 1-2 dollars per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit.  A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.

  • Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.

  • You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions.  All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers.  In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group. 

    If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.

  • We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 48 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.


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