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Best of California

Operated by: Insight Vacations

10 Days from $4,565 per person
JAN 2022 - MAR 2023
Usa California San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge At Night

Countries Visited

United States ...more United States

Locations Visited

San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Paso Robles, Yosemite National Park, San Francisco ...more San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Paso Robles, Yosemite National Park, San Francisco
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Wellbeing Protocols >

Industry leading 3-step protocols

Wellbeing Protocols

Industry leading 3-step protocols

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Entry Guide

Entry Requirements

Entry Guide

COVID-19 Vaccine Requirements >

FAQ’s on traveling now

COVID-19 Requirements

FAQ’s on traveling now

  1. Day 1 Welcome to San Diego

    After your arrival at San Diego Airport, you are transferred to your hotel on the downtown waterfront. Perhaps take a walk along the bay before joining your Travel Director and fellow travelers for a Welcome Dinner at Vistal Bar + Restaurant. Located right inside your hotel, it boasts a thoughtfully sourced and curated menu offering the best of California.

    meals Dinner with Wine
    hotel InterContinental San Diego.
  2. Day 2 San Diego Sightseeing

    Discover America’s finest city as you embark on a sightseeing tour with your Travel Director. Journey through the Gaslamp Quarter, the historic heart of San Diego and Balboa Park, one of North America’s most iconic urban parks. Admire its lush and landscaped gardens in bloom thanks to the year-round pleasant weather. Finally, stroll among the atmospheric old and historic adobe ranch homes of the Old Town State Historical Park. Glimpse into the 19th-century colonial life and perhaps try some authentic Mexican flavours at one of the popular eateries.This afternoon, board the Pacific Surfliner and enjoy far-reaching ocean views as the train hugs the coast. Travel through Orange County to the Mission Modern-style Union Station in Los Angeles.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown.
  3. Day 3 Los Angeles Sightseeing

    An exciting day awaits as you set out to explore lively Los Angeles. Ride on the landmark Angel’s Flight funicular for a taste of early 20th-century nostalgia. Continue to the Los Angeles Theatre, inspired by French Baroque architecture, for a private guided tour. It has been closed to the public since 1994 but was once one of the grand movie palaces of the Broadway District. In legendary Hollywood, take your photos of the famous hillside Hollywood sign and stroll along the Walk of Fame. Look for the hand- and footprints of cinema’s greatest celebrities at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre, Hollywood’s most sought-after theatre for movie premieres. In the afternoon, explore Los Angeles with Insight Choice. Choose to visit the innovative Petersen Automotive Museum, a captivating experience about the history and artistry of motorized transportation. Alternatively, head to the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures and take a deep dive into the history of filmmaking. Another option is to visit the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, a fantastic collection of artworks from ancient times to modern day. To top off your perfect day, dine at Nick and Stef’s, an outstanding steak house in Downtown LA.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown.
  4. Day 4 Train Journey to the American Riviera

    Return to Union Station and board your Pacific Surfliner train. Travel through the valleys around Los Angeles before arriving at the coast where the shoreline wraps around to Santa Barbara. Spend time on State Street, a palm tree-lined avenue of shops and eateries before you further explore Santa Barbara with Insight Choice. Choose to visit the 18th-century Old Mission, one of the original 21 California Missions founded by Spanish Franciscans. Alternatively, take a relaxing stroll through the Botanical Gardens and learn about California’s diverse native plants.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort.
  5. Day 5 Paso Robles Wine Country Relaxed Start

    Join your Amtrak rail journey one more time and soak up sweeping ocean views as you ride along the coast to San Luis Obispo. Later, arrive to Paso Robles in the heart of wine country and spend time at the City Park and explore its boutiques, cafes and art galleries. In the afternoon visit the Eberle Winery for a tour of the vineyard and the unique underground caves. Born out of necessity to store more wine barrels, the caves provide the perfect backdrop for a tasting of a selection of excellent local wines.Tonight, join a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience with a Farm-to-Table dinner at Thomas Hill Organics—a 10 acre collaborative supporting local agriculture with a focus on fresh, organic and straight-from-the-earth ingredients.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Allegretto Vineyard Resort Paso Robles.
  6. Day 6 Giant Sequoias

    Journey to the majestic Yosemite National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Stop at the Mariposa Grove, home to over 500 mature sequoias and admire these gigantic trees. The oldest tree in the Grove is the Grizzly Giant, which dates back around 3000 years and stands 209 feet (64 metres) tall.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Yosemite Valley Lodge.
  7. Day 7 Exploring Yosemite National Park Relaxed Start

    Join a park ranger and embark on a guided tram tour of the Yosemite Valley floor. You are surrounded by unspoilt nature as you take in the most iconic sights of the park. Get up close to the magnificent Yosemite Falls that cascade from a height of 2,425 feet (739 metres). See the Half Dome, a rock formation with a distinct shape, and El Capitan, a granite rock monolith rising 3000 feet (914 metres) above the valley floor. Take in the spectacular scenery from Tunnel View, encompassing towering mountains, dense forests and the Bridalveil Falls. Spend the rest of your day at leisure. Perhaps join an activity and explore further by renting a bike, going on a hike or visiting the Ansel Adams Gallery.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Yosemite Valley Lodge.
  8. Day 8 On to San Francisco

    Travel towards the coast, cross the Bay Bridge and arrive in buzzing San Francisco. Head to the Fisherman’s Wharf, once home to the city’s colourful fishing fleet and today a popular district full of restaurants, cafes and shops. This afternoon, join your Travel Director for a stroll across the legendary Golden Gate Bridge, a symbol of California, then continue on a short drive to the quaint town of Sausalito. Enjoy some leisure time before taking the ferry back to San Francisco, passing the infamous Alcatraz Island.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Hyatt Regency Embarcadero, San Fransisco.
  9. Day 9 San Francisco Sightseeing Relaxed Start

    This morning, venture across the road and to the Ferry Building and shop around at one of America’s most famous farmers markets. Join a walking tour of Chinatown's alleyways and learn about its history and cultural impact on the surrounding communities. Your participation in the tour supports a youth-led and youth-run organization promoting education, entrepreneurship, and tourism for underrepresented cultures. Browse the stalls offering organic produce, flowers and regional artisan specialties such as breads, cheeses, and jams. On your city sightseeing tour, journey past lively Union Square and vast Golden Gate Park. Travel through the SoMa District and Mission Bay to see the incredible growth and urbanization the city has experienced in recent years. Join your Travel Director for a culinary exploration of the Mission District. Sample local flavors in the area best known for creative ice cream parlours, craft doughnut shops, independent cafes and the best Mexican bites. Visit Balmy Alley and see the most concentrated collection of urban murals in the city.Tonight, toast to your travels at a local restaurant at your Celebration Dinner.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Hyatt Regency Embarcadero, San Fransisco.
  10. Day 10 Farewell California

    After breakfast, you are transferred to San Francisco Airport where your journey comes to an end.

    meals Breakfast
Best California Guided Tour Map
Price Includes

Additional Included Highlights

  • Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • From time to time, your Travel Director will delight you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.

Choice Highlights

  • Choose between two carefully selected activities
  • Los Angeles: Explore Los Angeles with Insight Choice. Take to the Miracle Mile and choose to visit one of the excellent museums. You can learn about the history and artistry of motorized automobiles at the Petersen Automotive Museum. Alternatively, embrace the tradition of filmmaking at the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Another option is to visit the Los Angeles County Museum of Art
  • Santa Barbara: Take a self-guided tour of the magnificent Old Mission Santa Barbara, founded in 1786. Known as the 'Queen of the Missions, it is one of the city’s most picturesque landmarks. Admire the grand double bell towers and lush gardens with the majestic San Ynez mountains as a backdrop.
  • Santa Barbara: Take a relaxing stroll through the 78-arce Botanical Garden (5.7 miles of trails inside) and learn about over 1,000 species of native and rare California flora.

Well-being

  • : Our Well-Being Directors take a proactive approach to your welfare ensuring all well-being regulations are met (available on tours with 21 or more guests).
  • : Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxurious, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom. Our customized luxury coaches are sanitized before the start of your tour and are maintained to very high standards. Physical distancing measures have been implemented on our customized luxury coaches.
  • : Experience enhanced hygiene protocols to align with the latest guidance following COVID-19. All Travel Directors, Well-Being Directors and Drivers have completed training in enhanced well-being and hygiene protocols.
  • : Hand sanitizer is freely available on board for you to use throughout the day.
  • : We only work with establishments we are confident will consistently adhere to our high well-being standards, which include hotels, restaurants and sight-seeing venues.

Travel Director

  • : "It’s magical to see how a group of guests come together over the course of our trip. I can always tell when that’s happening because they start planning their own ‘post-arrival’ activities before the travel day has finished."

Authentic Dining

  • San Diego: Enjoy a three course dinner with wine overlooking the San Diego Bay at Vistal - located inside the hotel.
  • Los Angeles: Join your Travel Director and newfound friends for a Highlight Dinner with wine at Nick and Stef's Steakhouse, named ‘Best Steakhouse in the Country’ by the Food Network.
  • Paso Robles: Visit the Eberle Winery for a tour of the vineyard and its unique underground caves. Learn about the wine region, the microclimate and grape varieties as you indulge in a wine tasting of local whites and reds.
  • San Francisco: Join your Travel Director to explore the authentic flavours of the Mission District. Take a walk among independent cafes, creative bakeries and ethnic eateries and sample some of the best bites of the city. Stop by Balmy Alley and admire the internationally recogniszed urban murals.
  • San Francisco: Tonight, join your fellow travelers for a Celebration Dinner at a local restaurant.
  • Dining Summary: 4 Dinner with Wine (DW), and 9 Breakfast (B)

Top Rated Highlights

  • San Diego: Board the Pacific Surfliner and enjoy far-reaching ocean vistas as your train journey takes you to Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Pismo Beach. Travel the whole length of the service and experience the Southern California landscape from a unique vantage point.
  • Los Angeles: Ride the historic funicular, Angel's Flight Railway in Downtown L.A.
  • San Francisco: Linking San Francisco to Marin County across the three-mile Golden Gate strait, this magnificent suspension bridge was built between 1933 and 1937. Renowned as an engineering marvel due to the precise planning, design and construction processes that were applied, all over treacherous open water, it remains one of America's most fascinating landmarks.
  • San Francisco: See the city’s highlights on your sightseeing tour as you pass Union Square, Golden Gate Park, Japanese Tea Garden, and Embarcadero.

Insight Experiences

  • Los Angeles: Visit the Los Angeles Theatre on a private tour, a special visit not accessible to the public. Known as the Grand Dame of the Los Angeles historic theatres, Charlie Chaplin's 'City Lights' premiered here in 1931. Admire the lavish interior inspired by the French Baroque period.
  • Yosemite National Park: Visit the home to over 500 mature giant sequoias and admire their sheer size. Home to some of the tallest and oldest trees in the world, the Mariposa Grove is a breath-taking place.
  • Yosemite National Park: Join a Local Expert Park Ranger for a tram tour of the Valley Floor. Learn about the park and its history, see some of its most iconic rock formations and waterfalls, and admire the scenery from Tunnel View.

Insight Choice

  • Los Angeles: Explore Los Angeles with Insight Choice. Take to the Miracle Mile and choose to visit one of the excellent museums. You can learn about the history and artistry of motorized automobiles at the Petersen Automotive Museum. Alternatively, embrace the tradition of filmmaking at the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Another option is to visit the Los Angeles County Museum of Art
  • Santa Barbara: Take a self-guided tour of the magnificent Old Mission Santa Barbara, founded in 1786. Known as the 'Queen of the Missions, it is one of the city’s most picturesque landmarks. Admire the grand double bell towers and lush gardens with the majestic San Ynez mountains as a backdrop.
  • Santa Barbara: Take a relaxing stroll through the 78-arce Botanical Garden (5.7 miles of trails inside) and learn about over 1,000 species of native and rare California flora.

Dates & Prices

Prices shown are per person based on two people sharing a twin room. To request a personalized travel quote, click "Request Quote" and a Travel Specialist will send your custom quote including airfare if requested.

Online Booking Process

Onlinebookingprocesssteps
January 2023
AARP Members Save $100
Jan 13 Fri
Jan 22 Sun
AARP Members Save $100
DOUBLE OCCUPANCY PRICE/PERSON
$4,565
February 2023
AARP Members Save $100
Feb 10 Fri
Feb 19 Sun
AARP Members Save $100
DOUBLE OCCUPANCY PRICE/PERSON
$4,565
March 2023
AARP Members Save $100
Mar 3 Fri
Mar 12 Sun
AARP Members Save $100
DOUBLE OCCUPANCY PRICE/PERSON
$4,743
Optional Add-Ons

Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.

San Francisco

Available on Day 8

Guided Chinatown Walking Tour, Chinese Dinner and City Illuminations Tour

Explore the Chinese markets, herb shops, a fortune cookie factory and more (weather permitting), before dining family-style with a Chinese feast. After dinner, board your motorcoach for the City Illuminations Tour. Drive past the colorful signs and glittering lights of North Beach, the Embarcadero, Fisherman’s Wharf, Telegraph Hill, Coit Tower, the Broadway Strip and the historic Ferry Building. After crossing the Oakland Bay Bridge to Treasure Island, catch a spectacular night panorama of sparkling San Francisco!
Adult Price: $66

Reviews
Service
Vacation
Independent Reviews
Trusted Customer
Tuesday, September 21, 2021
Service
very helpfull and knowledge
Vacation
tour guide was very good, bus was comortable
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