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The Californian

Operated By:
Tour Pace: Comfortable
Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
Tour Style: First Class
10 Days from $2,995 per person

An all-over experience in California, from southern favorites, Los Angeles and San Diego, to northern must-sees like San Francisco, Paso Robles, Monterey and spectacular Yosemite.

 

You'll enjoy Insider moments like... soaking in the Californian sun, strolling through orchards of 4,000 olive trees. Immerse yourself in how extra virgin olive oil is pressed, before relishing every bite of the meal drizzled in the local artisanal olive oil, produced right there.

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  1. Welcome to San Diego. Get acclimated and relax. This evening, meet your Travel Director and fellow travel companions at the hotel at 6 p.m. for a Welcome Reception.
    meal(s):WR
    hotel:Omni San Diego
  2. From the Victorian Gaslamp Quarter to the luxuriant gardens of Balboa Park, San Diego entices visitors and locals alike with a combination of fascinating history, lively street life and some of the best weather in the country. Get acquainted with the city on a guided orientation tour and then enjoy some free time or join an optional visit to the San Diego Zoo or the mighty USS Midway.
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  3. Travel up the sun-kissed coast to San Juan Capistrano, home to one of the oldest Spanish missions in California. Visit the ruins of the Great Stone Church, the iconic Bell Tower and the peaceful Sacred Garden. Stop and grab a bite to eat for lunch on your own in Santa Monica before a visit to the Getty Center with its world-renowned collection of classical and modern art. Stroll the idyllic grounds admiring paintings and sculptures. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
    meal(s):FB, D
    hotel:Millennium Biltmore Authentic Accommodations
  4. Immerse yourself in Tinseltown today. See Grauman's Chinese Theater, opened in 1927, and home to hundreds of premieres and three Academy Award ceremonies. Then it's time for your choice of sightseeing; choose from a private tour of the Dolby Theater, the current home of the Oscars or a "Hollywood Behind the Scenes" walking tour. Cruise Sunset Boulevard as you make your way to Beverly Hills and view the high-end shops of Rodeo Drive. If all this sightseeing has made you hungry, you'll find plenty of choices to sate your appetite at the historic LA Farmers' Market, a Cultural Insight, with its colorful collection of restaurants and shops for a tour and tasting. The rest of the day is free.
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  5. This morning, wind your way up the coast to idyllic Santa Barbara. Savor some time to relax before continuing north along the Pacific Coast Highway to Paso Robles. Join a Be My Guest lunch where you stroll through olive groves with a glass of wine. Your hosts will enlighten you about the trees and the steps involved in going from olive to olive oil, before dining on a meal created with local ingredients.
    meal(s):FB, BG
    hotel:Paso Robles Inn Authentic Accommodations
  6. Begin your day at "La Cuesta Encantada"—the enchanted hill—upon which William Randolph Hearst built his magnificent castle. A guide leads you through the property with its 165 rooms, acres of gardens, and pools, and brings the story of the newspaper publisher to life. Drive Highway 1 toward Big Sur, running along the most beautiful coastline in the United States. Then it's on to the quaint village of Carmel-by-the-Sea. After cruising scenic 17-Mile Drive past the iconic Lone Cypress Tree and Pebble Beach Golf Links, arrive in Monterey, home to Cannery Row.
    meal(s):FB, D
    hotel:Monterey Marriott
  7. Head across the fertile San Joaquin Valley, stopping at a local fruit stand to sample some of the tasty local produce. Ascend the Sierra Nevada Mountains on your way to Yosemite National Park and its spectacular wild landscape, passing the misty splendor of Bridal Veil Falls. Gaze in wonder at the granite walls of El Capitan and Half Dome. Spend your free evening taking in all the natural wonders of Yosemite National Park after the crowds have left, just steps away from Yosemite Falls.
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    hotel:Yosemite Valley Lodge Authentic Accommodations
  8. Descend from the mountains for a stop in Napa before continuing on to a vineyard in Sonoma where you will sample some of the finest California wines. Afterward, cross the iconic Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco. This evening, perhaps take an optional guided tour of the oldest Chinatown in the United States, followed by a Chinese dinner.
    meal(s):FB
    hotel:Hyatt Regency San Francisco
  9. Embark on a morning exploration that takes you to see the sights. There's a story around every corner and you have some free time this afternoon to explore. In the evening, join your newfound friends for a Farewell Dinner.
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  10. Your journey comes to an end with a transfer to San Francisco International Airport or choose to extend your stay at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco.
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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.

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

Meal Summary

9 nights' accommodations, 9 full breakfasts, 1 Be My Guest lunch, 3 dinners.

Included Highlights

Hidden Treasure

  • Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure.

Cultural Insight

  • Visit to the famed LA Farmer's Market, a favorite of the locals.

Be My Guest

  • Sample blended olive oils during a meal in Paso Robles.

Authentic Accommodations

  • Stay at the Millennium Biltmore in Los Angeles, Paso Robles Inn and Yosemite Valley Lodge.

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City tour of Los Angeles and San Francisco
  • Orientation of San Diego
  • Visit the Getty Center, San Juan Capistrano, Hollywood, Santa Barbara, Hearst Castle, Carmel, Monterey and Yosemite National Park
  • See the spectacular Golden Gate Bridge
  • Scenic drives along Highway 1 and 17-Mile Drive
Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
16 Jun 17 25 Jun 17 checkmark $2,995pp Call 1-877-622-9109
4 Aug 17 13 Aug 17 checkmark $2,995pp Request Quote Book Now
25 Aug 17 3 Sep 17 checkmark $2,995pp Call 1-877-622-9109
15 Sep 17 24 Sep 17 checkmark $2,995pp Call 1-877-622-9109
20 Oct 17 29 Oct 17 checkmark $2,995pp Request Quote Book Now
29 Dec 17 7 Jan 18 checkmark $3,250pp Request Quote Book Now
black-dothashtag 29 Dec 17 7 Jan 18 $3,250pp Call 1-877-622-9109

undefinedFestival Departures: New Year's Eve celebration arranged for these departures.

undefinedThe Californian with Rose Parade: These departures include admission to the 2018 Rose Parade in Pasadena on New Year's Day.

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 $1,350.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $107 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.

Past Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the Land Only 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.

Reviews

Thursday, November 17, 2016
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : SERVICE WAS GREAT
Vacation : WISH WE HAD AN EXTRA NIGHT AT YOSEMITE PARK

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.

Los Angeles

Warner Brothers VIP Behind the Scenes

Adult Price: $64.00 | Child Price: $54.00

Get a taste of Hollywood by experiencing the Warner Bros. Studio Tour. Begin your tour with an introductory video, featuring the rich history of films and television programs.  Then, meet your guide who takes you around the 110 acre studio lot on a 14 seater cart.  This unscripted tour is customized to your favorite movies and TV shows, making every tour unique. You will also have the oportunity to visit the Warner Bros. Museum featuring props and costumes from the DC Universe super heroes, Transportation Museum featuring “Batman” vehicles from the iconic films, various backlots, and at least one soundstage. You will also have the opportunity to learn about the film process from your knowledgeable guide and will hear incredible studio stories. The newest addition to the tour, “Stage 48: Script to Screen” features interactive exhibits about casting, design, sound, and costumes, the Central Perk coffee shop set from Friends, green screen opportunities to ride a broomstick or Batman vehicle. This optional is not available on the December 29th  special departure, instead this trip will be attending the Rose Parade.

San Diego

1 Hour San Diego Scenic Harbor Cruise & USS Midway Museum

Adult Price: $50.00 | Child Price: $35.00

Embark on a one-hour narrated boat tour of San Diego Harbor that provides up-close access to scenic waterfront architecture, military crafts, historical landmarks, natural sea life and spectacular photo opportunities. Your professional guide will share entertaining facts and history that helped to shape the city’s distinctive waterfront. The ship feature three levels with comfortable indoor and outdoor seating, 360-degree views, and an onboard snack bar. After your harbor cruise, visit the USS Midway Museum where every admission includes a self-guided audio tour of 25 restored aircraft and 60 exciting exhibits; from the powerful engine room to the Captain’s bridge. Stop and listen to one of the many story-telling docents throughout the ship.  

San Diego

San Diego Zoo

Adult Price: $52.00 | Child Price: $42.00

Explore the world-famous San Diego Zoo,  located in beautiful Balboa Park. Caring for over 4000 animals of 800 different species from the forests and jungles of the world, the zoo is a unique walking experience that exhibits animals in the most natural way possible, adding shows and animal presentations throughout the day. Take the zoo bus tour to help you decide which areas you want to spend more time in – be sure to visit the Lost Forest to watch the gorillas in action and stop at the Giant Panda Research Station, which is now home to three Giant Pandas including Xiao Liwu born in 2012. Your admission includes the zoo bus tour, round-trip Skyfari Aerial Tram Ride, all shows and children’s zoo. Transfers included.

San Francisco

Golden Gate Bridge Walk & Sausalito

Adult Price: $39.00 | Child Price: $29.00

Stroll across the 1.7 mile span of the magnificent Golden Gate Bridge and learn how the bridge was an engineering marvel and about the people who gave so much time to build this icon of San Francisco. Arrive in the quaint seaside community of Sausalito and have time to leisurely browse the charming shops or have lunch along the picturesque bay. Your adventure concludes with a wondrous ferry cruise across the bay, passing haunting Alcatraz Island and catching an amazing view of the Golden Gate Bridge.

San Francisco

Guided Chinatown Walking Tour, Chinese Dinner, Ride the Cable Car and City Illuminations Tour

Adult Price: $71.00 | Child Price: $71.00

Begin your evening with a ride on one of the world famous Cable Cars. Then, 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!

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