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Yosemite

  • Yosemite

    Yosemite National Park was one of the first wilderness parks in the US, yet still maintains its status as one of the country’s most popular national parks.

    • Yosemite Falls

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    • Tenaya Lodge During Winter

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    • Bear In Mariposa

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    Although famous for its incredible waterfalls, it also boasts over 1,165 square miles of extraordinarily deep valleys, grand meadows and ancient giant sequoias. Visitors marvel at its superb hiking and walking trails, fishing opportunities and the myriad of wildlife which call it home. Yosemite evokes an awe of mother natures’ magnificence making any visit a worthwhile experience.

     

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    • Top Tip 1

      Everyone should drive Highway 1 - the Pacific Coast Highway, but our tip is to do it from north to south. Whichever direction you take the scenery is stunning but you get a better view going south because you're on the ocean side of the road.

    • Top Tip 2

      Hearst Castle is a must-see stop as you drive along the coast, taking you back to the early days of Hollywood.

    • Top Tip 3

      Wine tasting tours are plentiful in Napa and Sonoma. Our favourites are Jordan's and Chalk Hill. Try the Library Tasting tour, a wine and cheese pairing at Jordan's and the Culinary Tour at Chalk Hill, a wine and food pairing prepared by Chef Didier. Both are exceptional experiences and amazing value.

    • Top Tip 4

      Visit the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. On Thursdays, from 6pm, enjoy music, cocktails and entertainment whist experiencing world class exhibits and star gazing on the living roof.

    • Top Tip 5

      San Francisco - where do you start? Visit North Beach for the cafe culture, take a tour to Alcatraz (we recommend you pre-book it), see Lombard Street, cycle across the Golden Gate Bridge, take a sightseeing tour of the city on a fire engine, shop in Union Square.

    • Top Tip 6

      For spectacular scenery, and to escape from the desert heat, take a ride on the Palm Spring Aerial Tramway. If you're in downtown Palm Springs on Thursdays, you'll enjoy VillageFest, offering live entertainment and an array of stalls selling food and gifts.

    • Top Tip 7

      Yosemite National Park is one of California's great natural wonders. Stay for a couple of nights and include a guided horseback ride for a tour with a difference.

    • Top Tip 8

      Follow the scenic 17-Mile Drive coastal route between Pebble Beach and Pacific Grove for stunning views of the Monterey Peninsula. There's a small fee to drive this route but it's worth it.

    • Top Tip 9

      Rent a bike or rollerblades and enjoy people watching along the boardwalk at Santa Monica and Venice Beach.

    • Top Tip 10

      When visiting Universal Studios Hollywood, book the VIP ticket which allows you to jump the queues and includes behind-the-scenes access.

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  • California's Gold Coast

    Begins in Los Angeles, California and ends in San Francisco, California

    12 Days / 11 Nights

    Departures: April, May, June, July, August, September and October

    Add this Escorted Tour to planner

    Your escorted tour includes

    • Round trip scheduled flights
    • Accommodation for 11 nights as specified
    • 11 breakfasts, 7 lunches & 6 dinners
    • Air-conditioned motorcoach transportation
    • Services of a Tauck Tour Director
    • Classic tour
    • Santa Barbara

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    • San Diego

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    • Yosemite National Park

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    • Hollywood Boulevard

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    • Gaslamp Quarter, San Diego

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    • California Gold Coast

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    • Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles

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    • Big Sur coast

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    • Scenic Carmel beach

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    Day
    01

    Arrive Los Angeles

    Depart the UK on your chosen scheduled 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. 

    Hotel: Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills ()

    Day
    02

    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.

    Hotel: Four Seasons Los Angeles (Breakfast and lunch included)

    Day
    03

    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.

    Hotel: Belmond El Encanto (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)

    Day
    04

    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.

    Hotel: Belmond El Encanto (Breakfast and lunch included)

    Day
    05

    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.

    Hotel: The Cliffs Resort (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)

    Day
    06

    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.

    Hotel: InterContinental, The Clement Monterey (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)

    Day
    07

    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.

    Hotel: InterContinental, The Clement Monterey (Breakfast included)

    Day
    08

    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.

    Hotel: Majestic Yosemite Hotel (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)

    Day
    09

    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.

    Hotel: Majestic Yosemite 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 and at your doorstep 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 recommend restaurants in this city.

    Hotel: 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.

    Hotel: 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 for your flight back to the UK.

    Prices

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

    Majestic California: San Francisco, Yosemite & the Pacific

    Begins in San Francisco, California and ends in Monterey, California

    8 Days / 7 Nights

    Departures: June, July and August

    Add this Escorted Tour to planner

    Your escorted tour includes

    • Round trip scheduled flights
    • Accommodation for 7 nights as specified
    • 7 breakfasts, 4 lunches & 5 dinners
    • Air-conditioned motorcoach transportation
    • Services of a Tauck Tour Director
    • Family friendly
    • Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

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    • Giant Redwoods

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    • Streetcar in San Francisco

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    • Yosemite Valley

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    • Monterey Bay

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    Day
    01

    Arrive San Francisco

    Depart the UK on your chosen scheduled flight to San Francisco. Upon arrival, transfer to the JW Marriott San Francisco Union Square. This evening you’ll enjoy a welcome reception and dinner with you fellow travelling companions. 

    Hotel: JW Marriott San Francisco Union Square (Dinner included)

    Day
    02

    San Francisco

    This morning, enjoy a private catamaran cruise of San Francisco’s Bay area, taking you under the Golden Gate Bridge and past Alcatraz Island. Back on land, enjoy a guided visit to the Sourdough Bread Museum, followed by lunch at a local restaurant. This afternoon you'll embark on a sightseeing tour, taking you to some of the city’s most famous attractions including Nob Hill, Chinatown, Fisherman’s Wharf and Lombard Street. The rest of the day is yours at leisure to explore this iconic cit. Perhaps enjoy some shopping, take a trip over to Alcatraz Island or stroll around Fisherman’s Wharf.

    Hotel: JW Marriott San Francisco Union Square (Breakfast and lunch included)

    Day
    03

    Sierra National Forrest

    You’ll leave San Francisco behind this morning as you travel towards the Sierra Nevada. En route you’ll visit the Altamont Wind Farm, one of the earliest wind farms in the United States. Continuing on to Jamestown, you’ll enjoy lunch in a historic 1859 hotel. Tonight’s accommodation is a mountain resort just outside Yosemite National Park. Have dinner at leisure before embarking on an interpretive hike into the Sierra National Forest, using flashlights to light your trail. 

    Hotel: Tenaya Lodge At Yosemite (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)

    Day
    04

    Yosemite National Park

    Your day in Yosemite National Park begins with a privately guided visit to Glacier Point. Towering 3,200 feet above the valley floor, this impressive scenic overlook offers commanding panoramic views of Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, Yosemite's high country and the stunning High Sierra. After lunch at the lodge you could put your rock-wall climbing to the test or try your hand at archery. This evening have a go at panning for gold, just like the old prospectors. Later enjoy a BBQ dinner while being entertained by the Sugar Pine Singers. Board The Logger for a narrow-gauge rail excursion powered by a vintage Shay steam locomotive through Sierra National Forest and gather around the campfire for a sing-along during a stopover in the canyon.

    Hotel: Tenaya Lodge At Yosemite (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)

    Day
    05

    Yosemite National Park

    You'll learn about Yosemite National Park's history, geology, plant and animal life, and must-see attractions from park rangers during a two-hour open-air tram tour along the Yosemite Valley floor. See waterfalls such as Bridalveil, Horsetail and Ribbon Falls with their spectacular rock formations, nearly vertical granite cliffs, quiet pools and open meadows. The rest of the day is yours at leisure to explore the wonders of Yosemite National Park.

    Hotel: Tenaya Lodge At Yosemite (Breakfast and dinner included)

    Day
    06

    Monterey

    En route from Yosemite to the coast of the blue Pacific, stop in historic Mariposa, reminiscent of the Gold Rush era. Visit the Mariposa Museum & History Center, whose exhibits tell the stories of indigenous Miwuk Indians, Chinese immigrants who came to California seeking a better way of life and the oldest county courthouse west of the Rockies. Continue your California travel through the San Joaquin Valley where you'll see vineyards, nuts, citrus fruits and vegetables basking in the sun. After lunch, traverse the Coast Mountains to California's Pacific coast, winding your way along the Monterey Peninsula via the 17-Mile Drive to the renowned Pebble Beach golf course. Your family will spend the next two nights in seaside Monterey at InterContinental The Clement Monterey, ideally situated in historic Cannery Row next to the Monterey Bay Aquarium on Monterey Bay.

    Hotel: Intercontinental The Clement Monterey (Breakfast and lunch included)

    Day
    07

    Monterey

    Located on Fisherman’s Wharf, your hotel is ideally located to explore the pretty town of Monterey. This morning you can choose between a bicycle tour along the coast, a kayak adventure or a self-guided walking tour. During a visit to the Monterey Aquarium you will learn all about marine life, with over 200 galleries and exhibits including giant octupuses, jellyfish, large green sea turtles, barracuda, sharks and coral reefs, as well as natural displays that showcase playful otters and endearing black-footed penguins. Tonight, enjoy a private farewell dinner with your fellow travelling companions. 

    Hotel: Intercontinental The Clement Monterey (Breakfast and dinner included)

    Day
    08

    Journey Home

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

    Prices

    From £3642 per person sharing a standard room in low season. Prices for children over 12 years, alternative party sizes, separate rooms for children and other date seasons are all available on request.

    Yosemite and Sequoia: John Muir's California

    Begins and ends in San Francisco, California

    8 Days / 7 Nights

    Departures: May, June, July, August, September and October

    Add this Escorted Tour to planner

    Your escorted tour includes

    • Roundtrip scheduled flights
    • Accommodation for 7 nights as specified
    • 7 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 5 dinners
    • Air-conditioned motorcoach transportation
    • Services of a Tauck Tour Director
    • Classic tour
    • Yosemite Valley

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    • The Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

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    • Sequoia National Park

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    • San Francisco Houses

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    • Yosemite National Park

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    Day
    01

    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
    02

    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
    03

    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
    04

    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 before taking a tour of Sequoia National Park accompanied by a guide who will tell you stories of Muir, Charles Young and other park pioneers. Climb the steps to the top of Moro Rock for stunning views of the park and Great Western Divide. The rest of the day is yours to explore as you wish.

    Hotel: Wuksachi Lodge (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)

    Day
    05

    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 Majestic Yosemite Hotel, a historic masterpiece of stone, timber and soaring stained glass windows in the heart of Yosemite, and dine at leisure.

    Hotel: The Majestic Yosemite Hotel (Breakfast, lunch and dinner included)

    Day
    06

    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 Majestic Yosemite Hotel (Breakfast included)

    Day
    07

    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
    08

    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.

    Prices

    From £4122 per person based on twin occupancy of standard rooms in low season. Other prices available on request.

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