California’s Gold Coast

  • 12 Days / 11 Nights
  • April to October
  • Round trip scheduled flights with Virgin Atlantic / Delta Air Lines
  • Accommodation for 11 nights as specified
  • 11 breakfasts, 7 lunches & 6 dinners
  • Air-conditioned motorcoach transportation
  • Services of a Tauck Tour Director
  • Classic tour

From £4896 per person based on twin occupancy of Standard rooms in low season. Other prices available on request.

Day 1

Arrive Los Angeles

Depart the UK on your Virgin Atlantic / Delta Air Lines flight to Los Angeles. Upon arrival, transfer to the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills. This evening, join your travelling companions for a welcome reception and dinner.

Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles
Day 2

Los Angeles

Southern Californians have a legendary passion for cars and today you’ll begin exploring the dynamic city of Los Angeles with a tour of the historic automobiles, Hollywood cars, hot rods, and other extraordinary vehicles at the Petersen Automotive Museum. After lunch, explore downtown Los Angeles for a walking tour with visits to a historic Broadway theatre and the Bradbury Building, a 19th-century landmark with a magical Victorian courtyard featuring open cage elevators. Visit Grand Central Market, an iconic showcase for the diverse cuisines and cultures of Los Angeles. Take a ride on Angel’s Flight Railway and see some of the city’s most striking modern architecture, The Broad museum and Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles (Breakfast and lunch included)
Day 3

Los Angeles

Enjoy a tour through Beverly Hills, along Sunset Boulevard, and to the TCL Chinese Theatre movie palace on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, where you’ll see the handprints of many celebrities. Then you’re off to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum for a guided tour and lunch. The museum and grounds are spectacular, with sweeping views of the Simi Valley, the surrounding mountains, and the Pacific Ocean. View an Air Force One aircraft that flew seven presidents, a recreated Oval Office, an exhibit on the Berlin Wall featuring parts of the wall itself, and more. Drive north to Santa Barbara, on the “American Riviera,” where you’ll dine at your hotel.

Belmond El Encanto (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)
Day 4

Santa Barbara

Go on a guided tour of 18th-century Old Mission Santa Barbara, home to an active Franciscan parish for more than 200 years. Get a feel for the quiet beach community of Santa Barbara, long a celebrity hideaway, and visit the 1929 Courthouse, surrounded by lush gardens. Inside you’ll find murals depicting scenes of the city’s past, painted by a self-taught artist, whose illustrations appeared in the novels of Joseph Conrad and Jack London. The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is California’s oldest, and a guided tour reveals the diversity of the state’s native flora and vegetation. This evening you’ll have free time to enjoy your ocean-view resort or explore downtown Santa Barbara.

Belmond El Encanto (Breakfast and lunch included)
Day 5

Central Coast and Morro Bay

Get ready for scenic delights as you pass through rolling hills on this morning’s road trip along coastal Highway 101. Entering the Central California wine region, you’ll find microclimates where morning fog and ocean breezes encourage varieties such as pinot noir and chardonnay, and others where low-lying mountains are ideal for full-bodied reds – as you’ll learn on a vineyard tour and tasting.  Discover picturesque Solvang, a town with a distinctive Danish heritage, and enjoy lunch, a tour, and a tasting at Presqu’ile, a small family-owned winery. The evening is spent at The Cliffs Resort, a fabulous hotel overlooking the Pacific in Pismo Beach.

The Cliffs Resort (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)

Day 6

Big Sur & Hearst Castle

Drive along stunning Pacific Coast Highway 1 to San Simeon and Hearst Castle, a national and California Historical Landmark designed by revered California architect Julia Morgan. This elaborate estate created for newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst takes you back to the opulent era of the early 20th century; the castle was the inspiration for Xanadu, the over-the-top mansion in Orson Welles’ film Citizen Kane. After your guided tour, it’s nature’s opulence that will impress you as you continue along the Pacific Coast, hundreds of feet above crashing surf and remote, rocky beaches, to the Big Sur Coast. Your destination today is the coastal city of Monterey, where you’ll dine at your hotel on Monterey Bay.

Intercontinental, The Clement Monterey (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)
Day 7

Monterey & Carmel

Today’s tour of the Monterey Peninsula takes in the beauty of Pacific Grove, famed 17-Mile Drive, and Pebble Beach before you arrive in Carmel-by-the-Sea, which has been named one of the “most romantic cities of the world”. Enjoy free time to explore the town’s galleries and find an appealing spot for lunch, before heading off to the award-winning Monterey Bay Aquarium to discover the delights of marine life, from cuttlefish to whales.

Intercontinental, The Clement Monterey (Breakfast included)
Day 8

Yosemite National Park

Agriculture takes center stage as you leave the coast and drive through the fertile farms, orchards, and vineyards of California’s Central Valley en route to Yosemite National Park. Abundant sunshine, superb soil, and year-round growing conditions make this region an important crop-basket for American households. Broccoli, chard, asparagus, pistachios, pomegranates, and many other varieties of produce grow here. After lunch in Merced, your route continues from the valley to the oak-lined roadways and Victorian towns of Gold Country. In 1848, news of this precious metal spread like wildfire, leading to explosive population growth. From men seeking their fortune in mining to the merchants, bankers, and women followed. At the Mariposa Museum & History Center, you’ll learn about the lives of the miners and others who shaped this area. Arrive at Yosemite National Park in the late afternoon, where you’ll spend the next two nights at the historic Majestic Yosemite Hotel.

The Ahwahnee (was Majestic Hotel) (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)
Day 9

Yosemite National Park

Despite Yosemite Valley being only seven miles long and less than a mile wide, it hosts an array of national treasures within its sheer, high walls. World-famous cliffs like El Capitan and Half Dome, plunging waterfalls like Bridalveil Falls, wild meadows and the meandering Merced River, birds to delight any birdwatcher and much more. Get acquainted with the valley on a morning walk guided by a naturalist, then spend the rest of the day exploring Yosemite National Park as you please.

The Ahwahnee (was Majestic Hotel) (Breakfast included)
Day 10

San Francisco

On your way from Yosemite to San Francisco, visit Jamestown for lunch at the historic National Hotel built during the height of the Gold Rush. Arrive in San Francisco late this afternoon, with time to rest, relax, or explore the area surrounding Union Square. Your hotel is in a vibrant retail and cultural area in the heart of the city where you’ll discover a favourite city square where you will be entertained by musicians, artists, or performers. Sample a range of cuisines inspired by fresh ingredients at one of the recommended restaurants in this city.

The Westin St Francis (Breakfast and lunch included)

Day 11

San Francisco

A sightseeing tour takes you up and down San Francisco’s hills with views of San Francisco Bay as you see Chinatown and the Marina District, rows of Victorian gingerbread houses, and Coit Tower. Go for a walk along the Golden Gate Bridge and feel the breezes of the bay on a private catamaran cruise. Head to the salty atmosphere of Fisherman’s Wharf for free time for lunch and checking out its historic ships, sea lions, seafood stalls, and sourdough bread bakeries. This evening enjoy farewell festivities at a Chateau Montelena winemaker reception with tastings followed by a wine-paired chef’s dinner.

The Westin St Francis (Breakfast and dinner included)

Day 12

Journey Home

There may be time for some last minute shopping or sightseeing before your transfer to the airport to check-in for your flight back to the UK with Virgin.


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