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 biggest names in retail can be found at Union Square. Virtually every fashion label in the world has set up shop in and around Square, a landmark park in the heart of the downtown shopping and hotel district.

Crossing the strait of the Golden Gate from San Francisco to the Marin headlands for 1.7 miles is the world-renowned 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.

Take a ride on one of the famous cable cars in San Francisco. With over 50 hills in the city to climb, you will not only delight in the experience but appreciate the ride. Nob Hill boasts perhaps the best view of San Francisco Bay. See also Lombard street, known as the crookedest street in the world.

One of the most photographed locations in San Francisco, Alamo Square's famous "postcard row" at Hayes and Steiner Streets is indeed a visual treat. A tight, escalating formation of Victorian houses is back-dropped by downtown skyscrapers, providing a stunning contrast.

Step through Dragon’s Gate and find yourself in a totally different world. Welcome to China Town. Stroll through the 24 blocks of hustle and bustle with exotic shops, food markets, temples and museums. Buy herbal remedies, enjoy samples at a tea bar and be sure to try the best Dim Sum.

North Beach, rich in Italian heritage, compresses cabarets, jazz clubs, galleries, inns, family style restaurants and gelato parlors into less than a square mile. Coit Tower atop Telegraph Hill is blessed with marvelous views. A 360-degree view of the city is visible from the observation platform at the top of the tower.

A visit to San Francisco is not complete without visiting Fisherman’s Wharf with its fishing boats, sea lions basking in the sun, seafood stalls, steaming crab cauldrons, seafood restaurants and sourdough French bread bakeries. Head to Pier 39 and explore the dining, shopping and attractions on offer. Lined with deep-water piers, The Embarcadero is literally where one embarks. And, oh, “the places you’ll go!” At the foot of Market Street, is the Ferry Building, a vibrant public space housing a food hall, restaurants and a farmers market.

A mile and a half from Fisherman's Wharf, Alcatraz was the site of the first lighthouse built on the Pacific Coast, then a federal prison for such notorious convicts as Al Capone. Now it is one of the city's most popular attractions. A visit to the island includes a tour of the cell house where visitors can see where the prisoners lived.

Yosemite and Sequoia: John Muir's California

San Francisco


8 DAYS/7 NIGHTS

Begins and ends in San Francisco

Departures
June, 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 Francis, the elegant Grand Dame of Union Square, ideally located amidst the city's attractions. This evening, enjoy a welcome cocktail reception and dinner.
Hotel: The Westin St Francis
Dinner included

DAY 2 MUIR WOODS

This morning you cross 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 brings 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. Following lunch in picturesque town of Sausalito, you hop aboard a ferry for the return trip to San Francisco. After docking at the historic Ferry Building terminal with its famous clocktower and arcade of shops and cafés, the remainder of the day is free for you to explore the sights.
Hotel: The Westin St Francis
Breakfast and lunch included

DAY 3 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. Your route follows the Buffalo Soldiers’ path across the agricultural Central Valley. A stop for lunch is made in Fresno before making the 7,000-foot climb to Sequoia National Park. In the afternoon, an expert from the Sequoia Field Institute describes how John Muir found and documented the “Giant Forest” in 1875, offering a perfect introduction to the park. This evening at your lodge, a naturalist guides you through the spectacular constellations that fill the night skies.
Hotel: Wuksachi Lodge
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

DAY 4 SEQUOIA NATIONAL PARK

Today begins with a privately guided walk among ancient Giant Sequoias soaring to the height of skyscrapers. Walking through the Giant Forest Grove you'll see the General Sherman Tree, estimated to be over 2,500 years old (and still growing) before strolling beautifully restored Round Meadow. Enjoy a private barbeque lunch at Wolverton Meadow and an opportunity to climb the steps to the top of Moro Rock for stunning views of the park and Great Western Divide. Next you'll explore the Giant Forest on a narrated guided tour with stories of Muir, Charles Young and other park pioneers.
Hotel: Wuksachi Lodge
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

DAY 5 YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK

Today you leave Wuksachi Lodge and journey 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. Lunch is at the Wawona Hotel, an inn that was once a stagecoach stop, where you’ll meet a National Park Service ranger for 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. It was on this spot in 1903 that John Muir stood with Teddy Roosevelt during a private tour of the area and 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, and dine at leisure.
Hotel: The Ahwahnee
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

DAY 6 YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK

'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'. Today you discover the park's power on a guided Yosemite tour in a special open-air vehicle. The afternoon is yours to enjoy the park at your own pace, with optional activities including biking, a hike over the footbridge at Vernal Falls, and a visit to the Yosemite Indian Cultural Museum and Village.
Hotel: The Ahwahnee
Breakfast included

DAY 7 SAN FRANCISCO

This morning you depart Yosemite for the return to San Francisco, first visiting the Mariposa Museum and then 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 - a campaign continues today to restore the valley to its original state. This afternoon you arrive at The Fairmont San Francisco, a Beaux Arts-style, premier hotel on Nob Hill, listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. In the evening, celebrate your journey with a farewell cocktail reception and dinner.
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 to the airport for your flight back to the UK.
Breakfast included

PRICES

From £3656 per person based on twin occupancy of standard rooms in low season. Other prices available on request.

Winner of ‘Top Tour Operator to the USA & Canada 2012’ voted by readers of Selling Long Haul magazine.

START PLANNING YOUR DREAM HOLIDAY

x
© North America Travel Service