California Dreamin' - 2015

5 out of 5 stars

8 days

from £1643 pp

Trip available from Jun 2015 to Oct 2015.
"We were treated to a fabulous vacation"
Kevin , Jul 2014

This exciting family trip combines San Francisco, tales of Sierra Nevada’s Gold Rush, views of the great California coastline and an interactive visit to Yosemite.

It’s Insider moments like… tasting a freshly made fortune cookie on a visit to a tiny factory in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Hearing our nature historian at Yosemite National Park dispel myths about the black bear, with insights into this solitary animal’s behaviour. Entering the Monterey Bay Aquarium before it even opens – so your children can quiz staff about marine life on an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour. And roasting s’mores around the bonfire at a classic beach party barbecue in Monterey.

Trip type:
Family Experiences
Trip code:

Large Map

Trip Itinerary

  • 1.


    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.


    Kick-Off Party


    Hyatt Regency San Francisco

  • 2.


    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 Regional Meal 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!


    Full Breakfast,Regional Meal

  • 3.


    Today, gear up for a tour of the Jelly Belly Factory. See the real working candy factory, a A Local Speciality, where over 150 different sweet treats are created. Learn the secrets of the legendary jelly bean, and discover why it takes more than a week to make a single bean. Then, after some time to look around downtown Sacramento, grab a paddle, hop into a big yellow raft, and get ready for some wet, wild and adventurous fun on the South Fork of the American River! The river flows through the heart of Gold Country through fun, splashy whitewater rapids. There’s always a little time for a refreshing swim in the cool, clear water. Tonight, enjoy a Regional Meal at Sutter Fort, prepared 1840s style. See costumed characters demonstrating the arts and crafts of 1840s life. A Gold Rush era style band will entertain with old time music.


    Full Breakfast, Regional Meal


    Hyatt Regency Sacramento

  • 4.


    This morning, travel to glorious Yosemite National Park. Gather ‘round a A Local Expert and learn about the park’s famous black bears and why you’d better not leave out any picnic baskets.


    Full Breakfast


    Yosemite View Lodge

  • 5.


    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 Regional Meal, enjoy gooey s'mores around the campfire.


    Full Breakfast,Regional Meal

  • 6.


    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.


    Full Breakfast


    The Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay

  • 7.


    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!


    Full Breakfast,Farewell Dinner

  • 8.


    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.


    Full Breakfast

The Trafalgar Difference

  • Hidden Treasure

    Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure experience, unique to your itinerary, courtesy of your expert Travel Director.
  • Local Expert

    Learn about the park's famous black bears during a presentation in Yosemite National Park.
    Join an educational agriculture tour in Salinas Valley to learn about the fruit and vegetable production and advanced farming techniques of the region.
  • Local Speciality

    Visit a fortune cookie factory in San Francisco.
    Enjoy a tour of the Jelly Belly candy factory in Sacramento.

Find out what makes Trafalgar different.

What's Always Included

Sightseeing Highlights

  • 17-Mile Drive

    Admire the spectacular coastal scenery as you journey along this famous scenic road.
  • Carmel

    Discover this California coast jewel, a top-ten destination in the USA.
  • Monterey

    Join an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the Monterey Bay Aquarium; go kayaking or explore by bicycle; enjoy a classic California Beach Party.
  • Sacramento Rail Museum

    Visit North America's most popular railroad museum and experience the lavishly restored trains and engaging exhibits.
  • Roaring Camp

    Ride aboard an historic steam train and admire the giant California Redwood trees.
  • Salinas Valley

    Visit one of the most productive agricultural regions in California.
  • San Francisco

    Explore the city; visit the California Academy of Sciences.
  • Yosemite National Park

    View 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.


  • 5 evening meals:

    Farewell Dinner on the beach with drinks in Monterey
    Chinese Banquet Regional Meal with drinks in San Francisco
    Barbecue Regional Meal with drinks in Yosemite
    Kick-off Party with light appetisers and drinks with your Travel Director in San Francisco
    Regional Meal at Sutter Fort, prepared 1840s style
  • 7 full breakfasts

Travel Highlights

  • Travel by luxury air-conditioned coach with reclining seats and an on-board restroom.
  • 7 nights First Class accommodation
  • 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

Airport Transfers

Specific transfer information can be found on the airport transfers page

Optional Experiences


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

  • Golden Gate Bridge Walk & Sausalito

    Adult Price: $40.00 Begin your afternoon adventure with a wondrous cruise across the bay, passing haunting Alcatraz Island - catching an amazing view of the Golden Gate Bridge - before arriving in the quaint seaside community of Sausalito. Leisurely browse the charming shops or have lunch along the picturesque bay. Time to walk off those calories with a stroll across the 1.7 mile span of the magnificent Golden Gate Bridge. Learn how the bridge was an engineering marvel and about the people who gave so much time to build this icon of San Francisco. Duration: 3.5 hours. (Minimum: 10 guests).
Prices & Availability
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