Day 1 – San Francisco, California
See the very best of the Golden State on a fun-filled one week vacation. Fly to San Francisco, the romantic city by the bay. Enjoy a relaxing two night stay at your hotel, located near lively Fisherman’s Wharf. Rooms are available for check in after 3:00 p.m. Join Caravan for a 6:00 p.m. welcome briefing. Evening is at leisure to explore San Francisco.
Day 2 – Wine Country, Bay Cruise
After breakfast, enjoy a brief morning sightseeing tour of San Francisco highlights. See Union Square, Chinatown and Nob Hill. Then, head over the Golden Gate Bridge. The bridge, an engineering masterpiece, is over two miles long. Stop at the Golden Gate Bridge Overlook. Continue to Sonoma wine country. Enjoy a wine tasting at a local vineyard. On your return to San Francisco, drive through Golden Gate Park. Free time at Fisherman’s Wharf. Then, enjoy a cruise on San Francisco Bay. See Alcatraz Island and the San Francisco skyline. The remainder of your afternoon and evening are at leisure in San Francisco.
Day 3 – Yosemite National Park
Head east this morning into the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Pass through the historic gold mining towns of the great California Gold Rush. Arrive for lunch on your own at Yosemite National Park. Established in 1890, Yosemite’s 1,000 square mile park is an enduring legacy to the conservation efforts of naturalist John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club. See the wonders of Yosemite Park. On a sightseeing drive, look for waterfalls, including Yosemite Falls and Bridalveil Falls, and marvel at the two towering granite monoliths known as Half Dome and El Capitan. The remainder of your afternoon is at leisure to explore Yosemite Park. Hike the nature trails through giant cedar, pine and fir trees or just simply relax in the splendor of Yosemite Park. Overnight at Yosemite View Lodge.
Day 4 – Monterey Bay Aquarium
On your morning drive to Monterey, pass through the fertile San Joaquin Valley and by the San Luis Reservoir, part of the vast California irrigation project. Arrive in Monterey, home of John Steinbeck, who chronicled the adventures of this colorful fishing village. Stop at Cannery Row. Visit the world-renowned oceanfront Monterey Bay Aquarium. See coastal marine life in the Aquarium’s 1.3 million gallon giant kelp tank. Look for sharks, stingrays, jellyfish, starfish, and sea otters. Enjoy a relaxing two night stay at your hotel on Monterey Bay.
Day 5 – 17-Mile Drive, Big Sur, Redwoods
After breakfast, wind along the coast on Pacific Grove’s Sunset Drive. Then, enjoy Monterey’s famous Seventeen Mile Drive. See delightful natural wonders, including Seal Rock and the Lone Cypress. Stop at the Pebble Beach Golf Course. Next, drive to charming Carmel by the Sea and visit the beautifully restored Carmel Mission. Then, a spectacular drive on the Big Sur, one of the most awe-inspiring coastal drives in the world. On one side is the sparkling turquoise Pacific Ocean with its pounding surf, dramatic cliffs and endless horizon, and on the other is the Santa Lucia Mountain Range. Drive over Rocky Creek Bridge and Bixby Bridge. Photo stop at a Big Sur scenic viewpoint. Stop at a redwood grove for close-up views of these towering trees. Old-growth Pacific coast redwoods can live for 2000 years and grow to more than 350 feet tall. Return to Monterey via the Big Sur for a second opportunity to see dramatic vistas. In Monterey, you’ll have time to walk along the oceanfront trail near Fisherman’s Wharf, where sea lions play.
Day 6 – Santa Barbara, Los Angeles
This morning, head south to Santa Barbara, home to many stars and celebrities. Lunch on your own in Santa Barbara. Then, an afternoon drive along the Malibu coastline to Santa Monica. Drive along Ocean Avenue and see the Santa Monica Pier, which appears in many Hollywood films and TV shows, including "Baywatch." Santa Monica is a favorite hangout for celebrities, their entourage and the ever-present paparazzi. Enjoy free time here before continuing to your hotel in Los Angeles' fashionable West Side, adjacent to Beverly Hills. You stay two relaxing nights at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, host to many glittering Hollywood events. Evening at leisure.
Day 7 – Hollywood, Beverly Hills
You explore behind-the-scenes Hollywood on your morning visit to Sony Studios, home to the popular shows “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy,” as well as many blockbuster movies, including “Spider-Man.” Enjoy a rare glimpse of old Hollywood’s glory days as you walk on sound stages where movie history was made. Then, continue to Hollywood. See the famous Hollywood sign on the hills above. Stop at Mann’s (Grauman’s) Chinese Theater. Here you see the imprints of Jimmy Durante’s nose, John Wayne’s fist, and Betty Grable’s legs. Stroll Hollywood’s most famous sidewalk, known as the Walk of Fame, where you see the stars of Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson and many more. Enjoy a private guided tour of the Dolby (Kodak) Theatre, home of the Academy Awards. Next, drive along the Sunset Strip. In Beverly Hills, stroll along Rodeo Drive, America’s most celebrated shopping district, one mile from your hotel. Return to the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza. Remainder of your afternoon is at leisure. Farewell dinner tonight.
Day 8 – Los Angeles
Your tour ends after breakfast. Thanks for vacationing with Caravan.
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