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California Dreamin' 2014

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Monterey Bay Aquarium in California, USAMonterey Bay Aquarium in Califronia, USAAlamo Square in San Francisco, USAGolden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, USAYosemite National Park in California, USA
Monterey Bay Aquarium in California, USA
Monterey Bay Aquarium in Califronia, USA
Alamo Square in San Francisco, USA
Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, USA
Yosemite National Park in California, USA
  • Duration: 8 Days
  • Rating: Read Reviews
  • Brochure: USA and Canada 2014
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    Family Experiences 2014
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  • Style: Family Experiences
  • Description: Ride the Lake Tahoe Gondola and marvel at the marine life on a private behind-the-scenes tour of the Monterey Bay Aquarium on this fun-filled family program. Kids of all ages will be fascinated by the California Academy of Sciences and the California State Railroad Museum. Ride an authentic steam train in Roaring Camp, explore the UNESCO World Heritage site of Yosemite National Park and finish the guided trip off with a sumptuous beach barbecue night.
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Trip Itinerary

  • Day 1

    ARRIVE SAN FRANCISCO (2 NIGHTS)

    Welcome to the City by the Bay! Take your complimentary transfer to the hotel, perfectly situated right on the Embarcadero waterfront. Gather at the hotel with your Travel Director and fellow adventure-seekers for a Kick-off Party at 6 p.m.


    Meal(s): (Kick-Off Party)

    Hotel: Hyatt Regency San Francisco (MD)

    Hotels are subject to change.
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  • Day 2

    SAN FRANCISCO SIGHTSEEING & FREE TIME

    Let's see if you'll leave your heart in this great city! See the many city sights, including Pier 39's sea lions, known as the "Sea Lebrities," the "Painted Ladies" of Alamo Square and so much more! One of the most exciting spots in town is the California Academy of Sciences—an aquarium, a planetarium and a natural history museum all rolled into one. You'll be among the 40,000 creatures that creep, crawl, fly, slither, waddle and swim in this one-of-a-kind museum. Dinner this evening is a delicious Chinese banquet Highlight Dinner in Chinatown. But first, explore the many alleys and stop by the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory. You're in luck—these famous Local Specialities are as fresh as they come!


    Meal(s): (Full Breakfast / Highlight Dinner)

  • Day 3

    SAN FRANCISCO – SACRAMENTO – LAKE TAHOE

    Head toward Sacramento and the California State Railroad Museum. Tour the 21 meticulously restored locomotives and cars and numerous exhibits illustrating how railroads shaped people's lives, the economy, and the unique culture of California and the West. Later, continue to Lake Tahoe, where you'll be treated to heavenly views from the Lake Tahoe Gondola. Save some pixels on that camera, because coming up is the 9,123 foot-high (2,781 metre) observation platform on The Deck.


    Meal(s): (Full Breakfast)

    Hotel: Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel at Heavenly (F)

    Hotels are subject to change.
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  • Day 4

    LAKE TAHOE – MONO LAKE – YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK (2 NIGHTS)

    Now it's time to venture to another planet—or at least a place that looks like another planet. Mono Lake seems to come from another place, thanks to its odd-looking limestone formations called "tufa towers." Learn about the lake's history at the Mono Lake Visitor Centre and get interesting accounts about its history, geology and rich birdlife from an expert naturalist. Next, travel over the Tioga Pass (weather permitting) to Yosemite National Park. Gather ‘round a Local Expert and learn about the park's famous black bears and why you'd better not leave out any picnic baskets.


    Meal(s): (Full Breakfast)

    Hotel: Yosemite View Lodge (NP)

    Hotels are subject to change.
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  • Day 5

    YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK SIGHTSEEING & FREE TIME

    A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Yosemite National Park is awesome! You and your wide-eyed compadres are introduced to Yosemite Valley's most famous icons as you ride aboard a private open-air tram while a Park Ranger gives you the scoop on the park's history, geology, and plant and animal life. Be sure to take the easy hike to the Yosemite Falls, the tallest waterfall in the United States. This afternoon is free to pursue your own interests! You might want to take a bike ride on  12 miles (20 kilometres) of paved trail, rent a raft for a float down the Merced River or attend one of the many ranger presentations offered daily. Your Travel Director will be on hand to help you plan your day! This evening, after a yummy barbecue Highlight Dinner, enjoy gooey s'mores around the campfire.


    Meal(s): (Full Breakfast / Highlight Dinner)

  • Day 6

    YOSEMITE – SALINAS VALLEY – CARMEL – MONTEREY (2 NIGHTS)

    Head west today into Salinas Valley, also known as the "Salad Bowl of the World," where you join an agricultural education tour with a Local Expert to discover what makes Monterey County the number one vegetable growing region in the world. Later, when approaching the breathtaking California coast, look out for the Lone Cypress Tree along 17-Mile Drive, a stunning coastline rich in marine life and beautiful mansions. Drive along the top-ranked Pebble Beach Golf Links and wonder how anyone can focus on their swing with such amazing views to distract them! Spend some free time exploring the village of Carmel, where quaint cottages look like they've been plucked from the pages of a storybook. Travel on to Monterey, where John Steinbeck's life and work come alive at Cannery Row and Fisherman's Wharf.


    Meal(s): (Full Breakfast)

    Hotel: The Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay (SF)

    Hotels are subject to change.
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  • Day 7

    MONTEREY SIGHTSEEING & FREE TIME

    There's something special in store for you today—a private behind-the-scenes look at the Monterey Bay Aquarium! Before the aquarium even opens, this exciting tour gives you a chance to interact with staff and see the marine life in a whole new way. Afterward, enjoy free time to take in the aquarium's various exhibits at your own pace. Discover the Giant Octopus which, in the open ocean, can grow up to 30 feet (9 metres) long and weigh nearly 600 pounds (272 kilograms); the Kelp Forest, one of the tallest aquarium exhibits in the world; the stunning one-million gallon Outer Bay, home to giant tunas, sharks and turtles; or maybe explore the ocean at Splash Zone, where you can dive into a kelp forest and see sharks and penguins. After departing the aquarium, you have a choice of included activities—you might take a kayak for a paddle on Monterey Bay or hop on a bicycle and pedal from Cannery Row to the Pacific Grove Lighthouse! Tonight, gather up the gang and head to the beach for a Farewell Dinner complete with grass huts, tiki torches and a roaring bonfire. Enjoy a scrumptious barbecue and ice cream sundae bar, followed by delectable s'mores and games of beach volleyball and bocce!


    Meal(s): (Full Breakfast / Farewell Dinner)

  • Day 8

    MONTEREY – ROARING CAMP – DEPART SAN FRANCISCO

    Heading inland towards the Santa Cruz Mountains, arrive at Roaring Camp, the coolest train depot this side of the Mississippi. Ride into the past aboard an authentic narrow-gauge steam train that takes you over trestles and through towering California Redwood groves. Along the way, conductors narrate the history of the railroad and surrounding giants of the forest. As the train hisses to a stop, it's time to disembark into the 21st century and conclude your amazing California adventure. A complimentary transfer will take you to San Francisco International Airport and, for guests extending their stay, back to the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco. Please do not schedule any flights before 4:30 p.m.


    Meal(s): (Full Breakfast)

What's Included

Insider Experiences

  • Hidden Treasure Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure experience, unique to your itinerary, courtesy of your expert Travel Director.
  • Local Speciality Visit a fortune cookie factory in San Francisco.
  • Local Expert Learn about the park's famous black bears during a presentation in Yosemite National Park.
  • Local Expert Join an educational agriculture tour in Salinas Valley to learn about the fruit and vegetable production and advanced farming techniques of the region.

Sightseeing Highlights

  • San FranciscoExplore the city; visit the California Academy of Sciences.
  • Sacramento Rail MuseumVisit North America's most popular railroad museum and experience the lavishly restored trains and engaging exhibits.
  • Lake TahoeRide the Lake Tahoe Gondola for the best views of the lake.
  • Mono LakeExperience breathtaking vistas and learn from an expert naturalist about this otherworldly lake and natural wonderland.
  • Yosemite National ParkView and learn about the park's stunning waterfalls and monoliths with a Park Ranger aboard a private open-air tram; spend two nights soaking up the park's wildlife and scenery.
  • Salinas ValleyVisit one of the most productive agricultural regions in California.
  • 17-Mile DriveAdmire the spectacular coastal scenery as you journey along this famous scenic road.
  • CarmelDiscover this California coast jewel, a top-ten destination in the USA.
  • MontereyJoin an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the Monterey Bay Aquarium; go kayaking or explore by bicycle; enjoy a classic California Beach Party.
  • Roaring CampRide aboard an historic steam train and admire the giant California Redwood trees.

Dining

  • 7 full breakfasts
  • 4 evening meals:
    • Kick-off Party with light appetisers and drinks with your Travel Director in San Francisco
    • Chinese Banquet Highlight Dinner with drinks in San Francisco
    • Barbecue Highlight Dinner with drinks in Yosemite
    • Farewell Dinner on the beach with drinks in Monterey

Travel Highlights

  • Travel by luxury air-conditioned coach with reclining seats and an on-board restroom.
  • First Class hotel accommodation featuring twin rooms and private facilities.
  • Audio Headsets provided throughout your trip to enhance your included sightseeing experiences.
  • Complimentary keepsake photo and map.
  • The services of a professional Travel Director throughout your journey.
  • All hotel service charges and tips, baggage handling fees and local taxes included.
  • Airport transfers are provided on the first and last day of your guided trip
  • 7 nights First Class accommodation

Airport Transfers

  • For full details on transfers, please click here.
Disclaimer
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    of booking.
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  • Hotels are subject to change.
Notes
  • * For single travellers purchasing the twin-share option, please note that there is a no smoking policy in all shared rooms. Solo travel is not accepted on guided Family Experiences holidays unless travelling as part of a family group. 
  • ^Twin-share option not available for trips to South America., Costa Rica, Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii or for any holiday & cruise combination, or in Asia and Eastern Mediterranean except Highlights of Turkey (without cruise) & Best of Turkey.

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