NORTH AMERICA TRAVEL SERVICE

California | San Francisco

Experience the rich cultural life of San Francisco, one of the world’s most vibrant and cosmopolitan cities. The many hills of the city afford visitors plenty of perfect views over San Francisco Bay. The entrance to the Bay is spanned by the famous Golden Gate Bridge. Take a walk across it - well over a mile - and enjoy a gull’s eye view of the shipping traffic passing far below. Visit Golden Gate Park, over 1000 acres of lawns, lakes and a riot of flora. No visit to San Francisco can be complete if it doesn’t include Fisherman’s Wharf and Union Square.

Some Other San Francisco Escorted Tours

All escorted tours starting in California

Yosemite and Sequoia: John Muir's California

San Francisco


8 DAYS/7 NIGHTS

Begins and ends in San Francisco

Departures
June, July, August, September and October

Your Tauck Itinerary includes:
• Roundtrip schedule flights
• Accommodation for 7 nights as specified
• 7 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 5 dinners
• Air-conditioned motorcoach transportation
• Services of a Tauck Tour Director

DAY 1 ARRIVE SAN FRANCISCO

Depart the UK on your chosen scheduled flight to San Francisco. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel The Westin St Francisc, the elegant “Grand Dame” of Union Square, close to the city’s main attractions – with a cable car stop at the front door. Join us this evening for a welcome cocktail reception and dinner.
Hotel: The Westin St Francis
Dinner included

DAY 2 MUIR WOODS AND THE PRESIDIO

Head across the city for a visit to the Presidio, a former Army base and now a National Historic Landmark rich with history; the base was home to the “Buffalo Soldiers,” the African-American cavalry troops who earned their fighting reputation in the Indian Wars, and were among the U.S. troops who served as the earliest caretakers of the national parks. From here, a short drive over the Golden Gate Bridge finds you under the green canopy of Muir Woods, a coastal redwood forest preserved as a national monument. These towering ancient trees, some 20 stories high, are among the last remnants of a fog-shrouded primeval forest that once blanketed the northern coast. A self-guided tour along its winding walkways takes you through a shaded, misty world of slanted cathedral light, dense flora, and tranquil running streams – a place to feel the awesome power (and silence) of some of the tallest living things on the planet. After lunch in picturesque Sausalito, hop aboard a ferry for the return trip to San Francisco. Dock at the historic Ferry Building terminal with its famous clocktower and its arcade of shops and cafés along the Embarcadero. The remainder of the day is free.
Hotel: The Westin St Francis
Breakfast and lunch included

DAY 3 The Central Valley and on to Sequoia National Park

Before there was a National Park Service, the job of policing and protecting the national parks belonged to the U.S. Army. At Sequoia and Yosemite, the parks’ guardians were the Buffalo Soldiers, who rode out every spring from the Presidio, crossing 300 miles on horseback to the Sierra Nevada. Drive a route that follows the Buffalo Soldiers’ path across the agricultural Central Valley. Stop in Fresno for lunch, then board a motor coach for the 7,000-foot climb to Sequoia National Park. Your destination is remote Wuksachi Lodge® on the park grounds. This afternoon, an expert from the Sequoia Field Institute describes how John Muir found and documented the “Giant Forest” in 1875, a perfect introduction to the park. Tonight at the lodge, a naturalist guides you through the spectacular constellations that fill the night skies.
Hotel: Wuksachi Lodge
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

DAY 4 LAND OF GIANTS AND MORO ROCK

Begin the day with privately guided walks among ancient Giant Sequoias soaring to the height of skyscrapers; your first walk is in the Giant Forest Grove to see the General Sherman Tree, estimated to be over 2,500 years old (and still growing). Next up is a walk along the "Big Trees Trail" at Round Meadow with an interpretive naturalist guide who will give you some amazing insights into the unusual ecosystem of the Giant Sequoias. Lunch today is at a private barbecue at Wolverton Meadow, where a living-history re-enactor tells stories of mountain life in the late 1800s. Travels inside Sequoia National Park are via small 10-passenger vehicles, accompanied by a guide; you'll hear stories of early park "personalities" such as John Muir, Charles Young and Stephen Mather, as well as climb the 400 steps to the top of Moro Rock for stunning views of the park and the peaks of the Great Western Divide. The rest of the day is yours to explore as you wish.
Hotel: Wuksachi Lodge
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

DAY 5 Kings Canyon and Yosemite National Park

The overlook at Kings Canyon offers a vista that will leave you breathless: deeper than the Grand Canyon, the glacier-carved granite cliffs plunge 8,000 feet to a wild river winding through an alpine landscape. Continue on to Fresno and the south entrance to Yosemite National Park. Your Yosemite tour begins with a film by Ken Burns describing Muir’s passion for the Yosemite Valley, and his activism to preserve it for future generations. Later, have lunch in at Wawona® Hotel, an inn that was once a stagecoach stop. Here you’ll meet a National Park Service ranger for a Tauck Exclusive -- a private lecture on the unique history and legacy of Yosemite National Park. Next, visit Glacier Point for a stirring view of the Valley, overlooking Half Dome and a panorama of glacier-formed peaks; on this spot in 1903, John Muir stood with Teddy Roosevelt during a private tour of the area that persuaded the President that Yosemite should be under federal protection as a national park. This evening, settle into your room at The Ahwahnee®, a historic masterpiece of stone, timber and soaring stained glass windows in the heart of Yosemite; dine at your leisure.
Hotel: The Ahwahnee
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

DAY 6 A day well spent in Yosemite, "Nature's Grandest Temple"

Yosemite “is the grandest of all the special temples of Nature I was ever permitted to enter,” wrote Muir, who regarded such settings of awesome natural beauty as sacred places with restorative powers, “where the galling harness of civilization drops off and wounds heal, ere we are aware.” Discover the park's power to move your spirit on a guided Yosemite tour in a special open-air vehicle, with opportunities to explore on foot. The afternoon is yours to enjoy the park at your own pace. Optional activities are available (some at additional cost), including bicycling, a hike over the footbridge at Vernal Falls, and a visit to the Yosemite Indian Cultural Museum and Village. Lunch and dinner are on your own today.
Hotel: The Ahwahnee
Breakfast included

DAY 7 RETURN TO SAN FRANCISCO

Our Yosemite tour days conclude this morning; depart Yosemite for the return trip to San Francisco, driving across the populous Central Valley with a stop for lunch. Filmed narratives by Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan weave together the past seven days of history and nature, with insights you won’t get anywhere else. One of the stories you'll hear relates to Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, a glacial valley that Muir fought unsuccessfully to save; in the 1920s, the federal government allowed its river to be dammed, turning the valley into a reservoir for the city of San Francisco. Today, a campaign continues, joined by the Sierra Club (which Muir founded) to remove the dam and restore the valley to its original state. “Mountain parks,” Muir argued, “are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life...” an idea that remains controversial to this day. Arrive late afternoon at The Fairmont San Francisco, a Beaux Arts-style, premier hotel on Nob Hill – it’s listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. Join us tonight for a farewell cocktail reception and dinner; the setting may be a long way from the Sierra Nevada, but Yosemite can never be left behind (and may be as close as your glass of tap water...).
Hotel: The Fairmont San Francisco
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

DAY 8 JOURNEY HOME

Spend your final morning in San Francisco, perhaps shopping for souvenirs before taking your transfer back to the airport for your flight back to the UK.
Breakfast included

2014 PRICES

From £3764 per person based on twin occupancy of standard rooms in low season. Other prices available on request.

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