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Best of California 2021

9 days with Insight Vacations   Rating: Deluxe

Book this Trip Now and Save!

  • Save 10% to 12% on this trip. Price shown reflects discount. Expires November 4. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Pay a reduced deposit of $99 per person on most trips. Expires October 31. Click here for eligible departures.
  • Club Bon Voyage Discount! Past guests of Insight save an additional 5% off this vacation. Click here for eligible departures.

Offers subject to change or withdrawal, availability is limited. Some discounts are not combinable.


Itinerary
Click for Dates and Prices Day 1 San Francisco, the City by the Bay.
California here we come. A mix of modern glamour and bohemian charms, you’ve arrived in the Golden Gate City, a location famous for its rolling hills, colourful houses and eclectic architecture. You’ll be picked up at San Francisco International Airport and whisked straight to your hotel. Join your Travel Director and fellow travellers at 18:00 for a Welcome Dinner with wine.(Dinner with Wine)

Day 2 Exploring San Francisco.
Get ready for a fun-filled day exploring the city. Hop aboard an iconic cable car for a ride along the picturesque streets. Visit the Cable Car Museum in the Nob Hill neighbourhood of San Francisco. Afterwards, take in the city with a few photo stops. Visit the bucolic Golden Gate Park, before walking or driving across the emblematic Golden Gate Bridge and travelling on to the city of Sausalito. A scenic ferry ride will bring you back to San Francisco, where the rest of your day is at leisure. Your Travel Director is on hand to make suggestions for making the most of your evening.(Breakfast)

Day 3 Yosemite National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Today you’ll witness the mountainous scenery of Yosemite National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Travelling through California's Gold Country, you'll drive through the imposing Sierra Nevada mountains. Explore spectacular waterfalls and striking rock formations of El Capitan and Half Dome on a ranger-led valley floor tram tour. Rest up on your free evening at your lodge, located inside the park and close to Yosemite Falls, North America's highest waterfall. On a clear evening you’ll be able to take in the sparkling night sky over the park.(Breakfast)

Day 4 Yosemite National Park to Monterey.
Leave Yosemite behind as you take in the Sierras before you are swept through the fertile San Joaquin Valley, also known as the “food basket of the world”. Stop at the Merced Fruit Barn which features its diverse produce. In Salinas, the heart of "The Salad Bowl of the World", enjoy a farmer's agricultural tour of a local farm, known for heirloom artichokes. Once in Monterey you'll head to your hotel situated on the waterfront street Cannery Row.(Breakfast)

Day 5 Monterey, the Cradle of History.
Today you'll journey to Carmel-by-the-Sea, a quaint seaside community where you’ll have ample free time. As you travel along Pacific Coast Highway, enjoy a relaxing drive across the Monterey Peninsula and along 17-Mile Drive. Stop at Pebble Beach and its world-renowned links, as well as Lone Cypress and Seal and Bird Rocks for a glimpse of sunbathing seals and sea lions. A Dine-Around Evening awaits upon your return to Monterey, with your choice of three local restaurants.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)

Day 6 The American Riviera.
Head on to sunny Santa Barbara. Along the way, experience a guided tour and wine tasting served at a Paso Robles winery. On arrival, Santa Barbara greets you with its white buildings, terracotta roofs, beautiful weather and an array of bars and restaurants. Walk along a portion of palm tree lined State Street, the heartbeat of Santa Barbara and stop at the Spanish-Colonial style County Courthouse. In the evening, dinner with wine awaits at the local Opal Restaurant & Bar, a Santa Barbara favourite for 20 years serving eclectic California cuisine.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)

Day 7 Santa Monica and the City of Angels.
Visit iconic Mission Santa Barbara, before making your way to Santa Monica and Venice. A Local Expert will take you on a walking tour of Venice Beach, Muscle Beach, the Canals and Walkways and explain Abbot Kinney's role in the development of the 'Venice of America’. Continue on to your modern L.A. hotel, in the city's entertainment district.(Breakfast)

Day 8 The Glitz and Glam of L.A.
Explore Los Angeles with your Travel Director. Experience a bit of nostalgia in Downtown as you ride aboard the lovingly restored Angel's Flight Railway. Next, you will be treated to an exclusive and private guided visit of the Los Angeles Theatre, a grandiose historic movie palace that is closed to the public. Visit Hollywood and Highland, where observation decks allow for the best views of the Hollywood sign. See the iconic TCL Chinese Theatre as you walk along the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Drive along the famous Sunset Strip to Beverly Hills before walking along Rodeo Drive. Select a visit to either the Petersen Automotive Museum or the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures for a Your Choice experience. Tonight, toast to your journey at a Celebration Dinner at Nick and Stef's Steakhouse.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)

Day 9 Depart Los Angeles.
It's time to say goodbye to your fellow travellers before a transfer takes you to Los Angeles International Airport. If you would like to see more, perhaps extend your stay in the City of Angels.(Breakfast)

Map
All This Included
California here we come. From the unique mix of modernity and bohemian influence in San Francisco, the rugged beauty of Yosemite, the idyllic charms of Monterey and Santa Barbara, to the lights of Los Angeles, the Golden State has so much to offer. Explore California's colourful past, stand in awe of the striking scenery and savour unique wines on this exceptional journey of contrasts along the Pacific Coast.

Included Insight Services

  • Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
  • If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.

 

Highlights

Authentic Dining

  • San Francisco: Enjoy a delightful Welcome Dinner with your fellow travellers and Travel Director.
  • Monterey: Have your choice of three local restaurants during your Dine-Around evening in Monterey.
  • Santa Barbara: Savour a delicious dining experience at one of sunny Santa Barbara's local restaurants.
  • Los Angeles: Join your Travel Director and newfound friends for a Celebration Dinner with wine at Nick and Stef's Steakhouse, named 'Best Steakhouse in the Country’ by the Food Network.
  • Dining Summary: 8 Breakfasts (B) and 4 Dinners with wine (DW).

Insight Experiences

  • Yosemite National Parks: Explore spectacular waterfalls and striking rock formations of El Capitan and Half Dome on a ranger-led valley floor tour.
  • Salinas: Otherwise known as the "The Salad Bowl of the World", Salinas offers the chance to enjoy a farmer's agricultural tour of an heirloom artichoke farm.
  • Venice Beach: Join a passionate and knowledgeable Local Expert for a walking tour of Venice Beach, Muscle Beach, the Canals and Walkways and explain Abbot Kinney's role in the development of the 'Venice of America’.
  • Los Angeles: Join a Local Expert for a behind-the-scenes tour of a historic downtown theatre not open to the public.

Top Rated Highlights

  • San Francisco: Hop aboard an iconic cable car for a ride along the picturesque streets. Visit the Cable Car Museum in the Nob Hill neighborhood of San Francisco.
  • Yosemite National Park: Experience the park's natural beauty and wildlife. See the El Capitan and Half Dome rock formations.
  • Monterey: As you travel along Pacific Coast Highway, enjoy a relaxing drive across the Monterey Peninsula and along 17-Mile Drive. Stop at Pebble Beach and its world-renowned links, as well as Lone Cypress and Seal and Bird Rocks for a glimpse of sunbathing seals and sea lions.
  • Paso Robles: Enjoy a guided visit and wine tasting in the heart of Central California Wine Country.
  • Santa Barbara: Walk along Santa Barbara's Historic State Street to Stearns Wharf.
  • Santa Barbara: Visit Mission Santa Barbara, a historic Spanish mission founded by the Franciscan order in 1786.
  • Los Angeles: Drive along Sunset Boulevard, see the Hollywood Walk of Fame and TCL Chinese Theatre.

 

Accommodations
San Francisco: Hyatt Regency Embarcadero, San Francisco
Yosemite National Park: Yosemite Valley Lodge
Monterey: InterContinental The Clement Monterey
Santa Barbara: Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort
Los Angeles: InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown
Notes
  • Full passport and flight details (if air not booked with Insight) are required at time of booking and at the very latest upon final payment.
  • NOTE: This trip falls under LEVEL 1
  • Please arrange flights to arrive on or before Day 1.
  • Departure on the last day of your guided vacation is at leisure.
  • The maximum elevation for this trip is 4,400 ft./ 1340 m.
  • We recommend bringing a flashlight for use in the National Parks. Lighting is often limited on the walking paths at night.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions
For Insight Vacations terms and conditions, please click here.

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.