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Best of California

Operated by: Insight Vacations

10 Days from $4,109 per person
JAN - OCT 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, Pismo Beach, Paso Robles, Yosemite National Park, San Francisco ...more San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Pismo Beach, Paso Robles, Yosemite National Park, San Francisco
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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

    Kick off your trip at 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 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 Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and learn about California’s diverse native plants.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort.
  5. Day 5 Beach Towns and Wine Country Relaxed Start

    Today we take the Pacific Surfliner train from Santa Barbara to Pismo Beach. Enjoy stunning ocean views and lush farmlands as you head north into our final destination dotted with olive groves, vineyards, and orchards. Enjoy lunch along the coast on your own before you are treated to an olive oil farm tour and tasting experience. In the evening, discover why Pismo Beach is known as the Clam Capital of the world or relax and dine at your hotel.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Vespera Resort
  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. Once you've settled in to your hotel, enjoy a three-course dinner with wine in The Mountain Room at Yosemite Valley Lodge. Take in views of the nearly 2500 foot (762 metres) high waterfall while exploring diverse and sustainable menu offerings that include local, organic, and seasonal preparations.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Yosemite Valley Lodge
  7. Day 7 Exploring Yosemite National Park Relaxed Start

    Join a naturalist guide/climber and get familiar with the ins and outs of rock climbing. Take a step back and spend time watching experts in action. You can see climbers tackling some of the more than 60 routes up the granite monolith that is El Capitan. Widely considered the Mecca of the rock-climbing world, it was first ascended by Warren Harding in 1958. You’ll talk granite and gear, explore the science behind the emotions you feel when inching up a wall, and you will Make Travel Matter learning how climbers help preserve the vertical environment.

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

    Travel towards the West 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 Francisco
  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. In the afternoon, we visit the oldest and largest Chinatown in the US on our Insight Experience. We take you off the main streets and into the alleyways to learn about the daily life, rich history, and modern-day issues of San Francisco’s Chinatown. Tours are led by Chinatown Alleyway Tours - a community based non-profit that is youth-run and youth-led.  Tonight, toast to your travels at a local restaurant at your Celebration Dinner.

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

    It is time to bid farewell to your fellow travellers and new friends as you depart at your own leisure with plenty of new memories.

    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).

Choice Highlights

  • 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.
  • 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 in historic downtown Los Angeles.
  • 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: See the best of Los Angeles today as we visit some of the cities most iconic landmarks. Take a ride on the shortest railway ever built, grab a bite to eat at the historic Grand Central Market, visit the US Bank Tower, Pershing Square, and the Italian Renaissance style Bradbury Building which you may recognize from great films such as Blade Runner.
  • Yosemite National Park: Join a naturalist guide/Climber in the park at El Capitan Meadow to get familiar with the basics, step back and spend some time watching experts in action. You can see climbers tackling some of the more than 60 routes up the granite monolith, which was first ascended by Warren Harding in 1958. You’ll talk granite and gear, explore the science behind the emotions you feel when inching up a wall, and Make Travel Matter by learning how climbers help preserve the vertical environment and more. This is a Make Travel Matter Experience as it is operated by Yosemite Conservancy- a non-profit organization that has provided over $140 million to Yosemite for than 700 completed projects. They help improve trails, restore habitat, protect wildlife, inspire the next generation of nature-lovers and more.
  • San Francisco: Join a youth-led walking tour of Chinatown's historic alleyways where you will learn of their origins and hear stories from those who call this place home.

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.
  • 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.

Make Travel Matter

  • Yosemite National Park: Join a naturalist guide/climber at El Capitan Meadow where you will become familiar with the basics of rock climbing, while learning how they help preserve the vertical, natural environment. Your visit contributes to the Yosemite Conservancy, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of US National Parks.

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

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April 2023
AARP Members Save up to $100
Apr 14 Fri
Apr 23 Sun
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DOUBLE OCCUPANCY PRICE/PERSON
$4,675 $4,208 Save $468
LIMITED TIME OFFER
May 2023
AARP Members Save up to $100
May 5 Fri
May 14 Sun
AARP Members Save up to $100
Guaranteed Departure This departure is guaranteed
DOUBLE OCCUPANCY PRICE/PERSON
$4,675 $4,208 Save $468
LIMITED TIME OFFER
June 2023
AARP Members Save up to $100
Jun 16 Fri
Jun 25 Sun
AARP Members Save up to $100
DOUBLE OCCUPANCY PRICE/PERSON
$4,585 $4,127 Save $459
LIMITED TIME OFFER
AARP Members Save up to $100
Jun 23 Fri
Jul 2 Sun
AARP Members Save up to $100
DOUBLE OCCUPANCY PRICE/PERSON
$4,585 $4,127 Save $459
LIMITED TIME OFFER
July 2023
AARP Members Save up to $100
Jul 28 Fri
Aug 6 Sun
AARP Members Save up to $100
DOUBLE OCCUPANCY PRICE/PERSON
$4,585 $4,127 Save $459
LIMITED TIME OFFER
August 2023
AARP Members Save up to $100
Aug 18 Fri
Aug 27 Sun
AARP Members Save up to $100
DOUBLE OCCUPANCY PRICE/PERSON
$4,585 $4,127 Save $459
LIMITED TIME OFFER
September 2023
AARP Members Save up to $100
Sep 8 Fri
Sep 17 Sun
AARP Members Save up to $100
Guaranteed Departure This departure is guaranteed
DOUBLE OCCUPANCY PRICE/PERSON
$4,675 $4,208 Save $468
LIMITED TIME OFFER
October 2023
AARP Members Save up to $100
Oct 6 Fri
Oct 15 Sun
AARP Members Save up to $100
DOUBLE OCCUPANCY PRICE/PERSON
$4,565 $4,109 Save $457
LIMITED TIME OFFER
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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Terms & Conditions
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