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America's Finest City bids you a warm welcome and you'll have the day to ease into its laidback, friendly vibe before joining your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Reception this evening.
Capture the essence of San Diego on camera when you join a Local Specialist professional photographer for a sightseeing tour, which will reveal the history of the city and a few favourite photo spots. Head to the Old Town with its beautiful collection of 19th-century buildings and the Gaslamp District for some superb snaps, before spending the rest of the day at leisure.
We leave San Diego bound for the City of Angels, where our first stop is La Jolla, San Diego's 'Jewel by the Sea'. You'll want to get your camera ready to snap the quiet beach fringed by sandstone cliffs before travelling north along the coast of Orange County. Stop at Laguna Beach for a quiet stroll, before arriving in Newport Beach for a short walking tour across iconic Balboa Island. You'll take a step back in time, boarding the ferry which has been in operation since 1919 to Balboa Peninsula, then continue to Huntington Beach for a surf's up experience you'll never forget. Visit the International Surfing Museum, then continue to Beverly Hills where you'll stay the next two nights.
Answer the call of Tinseltown this morning as you stroll down the Walk of Fame in search of your favourite stars and seek out their handprints outside the TCL Chinese Theatre. Spot the Hollywood Sign from one of the best vantage points in the city, then indulge your inner hipster with a drive down Sunset Strip to Beverly Hills. Imagine the glamour days of Hollywood as you stroll past beautiful boutiques that have been frequented by presidents, kings, sultans and movies stars. The afternoon is yours to enjoy as you wish. You could consider a visit to the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures or Warner Brothers Studios before joining your travel companions for a Regional Dinner with wine at one of the many restaurants in Beverly Hills.
Indulge your inner artist and explore Venice Beach with a Local Specialist who will reveal what life is like in this bohemian beach town. Stroll along the free-spirited Venice Boardwalk, watching the colourful street performers entertain passers-by, then continue to Santa Monica Pier where you'll have some free time to wander along Ocean Front Walk or stroll down trendy Third Street Promenade. Our scenic drive continues north along the Pacific Coast Highway, along Malibu's 21 miles of scenic beauty, arriving in Santa Barbara later with some time to relax and enjoy the resort facilities. Later you'll 'Connect With Locals' during an exclusive farm-to-table 'Be My Guest' dinner paired with wines at a local Santa Barbara restaurant.
This morning, visit the famous Santa Barbara Mission to learn about the 21 California missions built along El Camino Real in honour of the Spanish Monarchy. Then embark on a city tour of the city's Mediterranean-style city centre. Consider a stop at the city's "Funk Zone" with its tasting rooms, cafés and art galleries before heading up the Santa Ynez Mountains later this afternoon. Views of the rolling hills of central California's wine region give way to ranch country as you continue your journey to Los Olivos where you'll 'Dive Into Culture' with the owner of Global Gardens and learn about organic olive oil and vinegars. Our last stop for the day is at Oceano Dunes, one of the most expansive coastal dunes left in California before arriving in Pismo Beach, where we'll overnight in the newest resort offering direct boardwalk access to the beach. You'll have the evening at leisure for a romantic stroll at sunset along Pismo Pier.
Delve into Morro Bay's oyster farming heritage when you meet a Local Specialist who will explain why the local waters are perfect for breeding these tasty molluscs. 'Dive Into Culture' and learn how to shuck an oyster, then sample a few before visiting the elegant former home of William Randolph Hearst in San Simeon. Explore the beautiful gardens and legendary art collection at Hearst Castle. Continue north to Piedras Blankas Rookery to see the resident Elephant Seals basking on sun-kissed California shores. Sit back and watch the dramatic coastline unfold as you follow the highway north up the Pacific Coast, revealing the state's extraordinary natural splendour one mile at a time. See plunging waterfalls, secret coves and pretty seaside resort towns before stopping at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park to see the ancient Redwood giants towering over the forest floor. Our last stop today is Monterey, where you'll have a choice of three different restaurants for your dinner with wine.
Heading north, continue on to one of the most scenic drives in the world, skirting the Pacific coast along the iconic 17-Mile Drive, past the Lone Cypress Tree, Spanish Bay and Pebble Beach Golf Links. You'll visit the artists' retreat of Carmel-by-the-Sea, strolling down Ocean Avenue lined with boutiques, cafés and art galleries, before returning to Monterey. En route, we'll stop at a local winery in Carmel Valley. Relax and enjoy the peaceful surroundings while sampling your own flight of wines. This afternoon, you'll have your choice of sightseeing which could see you visit the renowned Monterey Bay Aquarium or take to the water for a cruise around Monterey Bay with close-up views of Humpback and Blue whales, dolphins, otters and more.
We leave Monterey, bound for San Francisco, continuing along the "Slowcoast" stopping at Half Moon Bay. Arriving in San Francisco, you'll embark on a sightseeing tour past Fisherman's Wharf, North Beach, Union Square, Golden Gate Park and The Presidio. This evening, go "Off The Grid" at Fort Mason, San Francisco's roaming mobile food extravaganza. Your VIP Tasting Ticket will give you access to live entertainment, craft cocktails and a selection of 30 food trucks plying San Francisco's best street food.
Join a Local Specialist this morning to gain insights into San Francisco's passion for organic and sustainable agriculture. Then stroll through the Farmer's Market at the historic Ferry Building, one of the leading gourmet food marketplaces in the country. You'll have some time to explore the farm market featuring a range of artisan foods before an afternoon at leisure. This evening, join your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Farewell Dinner with wine at one of San Francisco's renowned restaurants.
Bid a fond farewell to newfound friends as you are transferred to San Francisco International Airport.
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