It's a "Girls Road Trip" through some of California's most scenic drives, natural beauty and Yosemite National Park. We begin our Journey in San Francisco and explore this vibrant town filled with famous sites, seafood, the Golden Gate bridge and harbor.
Next stop is Yosemite National Park: Located in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. It’s famed for its giant, ancient sequoia trees, and for Tunnel View, the iconic vista of towering Bridalveil Falls and the granite cliffs of El Capitan and Half Dome. In Yosemite Village are shops, restaurants, lodging, the Yosemite Museum and the Ansel Adams Gallery, with prints of the photographer’s renowned black-and-white landscapes of the area.
Then a scenic drive to Monterey and the California Coast: Monterey is a city on California’s rugged central coast. Its Cannery Row, one-time center of the sardine-packing industry, was immortalized by novelist John Steinbeck. Today, it's a popular strip of gift shops, seafood restaurants and bars in converted factories. Also famous is fisherman's wharf for some clam chowder, whale and dolphin watching and the sea lions.
Last but certainly not least is Carmel by the Sea: A small beach city on California's Monterey Peninsula. It's known for the museums and library of the historic Carmel Mission, and the fairy tale cottages and galleries of its village-like center. The Scenic Bluff Path runs from a surf spot at Carmel Beach to bird-rich Carmel River State Beach. To the South lie the sea animals and whaling museum of Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. This is a very picturesque town with amazing beaches and scenic views all around.
** You have the option of adding the Napa Wine tour at the end of this tour.
May 30, 2020 Arrival into San Francisco (SFO).
Transfer to our centrally located hotel in Union Square. Enjoy the day at your leisure to explore San Francisco and it's various areas such as Haight Ashbury famous from the 60's era, China Town, Lombard street (The crookedest Street in the world) Unions Square shopping area. Some of this can be explored via trolley Car. Later today our tour leader will take you on a walking tour to the famous Ghiradelli Chocolate store where you can sample some of delicious treats. You will explore Fisherman's Wharf and the quaint little shops and water view before having dinner at the wharf. Welcome dinner will be at a local seafood restaurant. Chancelor Hotel (D)
May 31 - Depart for Yosemite National Park - Mariposa Grove
Today depart for a scenic drive towards to the Sierra Nevada Mountains to Yosemite National Park. Upon arrival we head to the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias the largest sequoia grove in Yosemite and it is home to over 500 mature giant sequoias. Settled in 1849, and situated in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains Mariposa is a picturesque little town with friendly people and charming shops, galleries and restaurants. The city is the southernmost in the chain of Gold Rush towns, and features a historic downtown area with buildings constructed in the 1850s, lending an Old West feel to the city. We will enjoy a nice easy hike to stretch or legs and have a lunch in town here. Next we arrive at our hotel with time to relax and refresh. This evening you'll be treated to a BBQ dinner outside with a fire, live music and the chance to roast smores over the open fire. Hotel Tenaya Lodge for 3 nights. (B, D)
June 1 - Yosemite Grand Tour
We will enjoy a full day exploring Yosemite National Park. Sites to see include: Glacier Point
one of the best viewpoints in Yosemite from the top, look down on Yosemite Valley and see Half Dome and Yosemite Falls. Bridalveil Fall
is by far the most popular waterfall in Yosemite National Park, taking its name from its delicate appearance as it cascades down to the valley floor. You get a great view of the 620-foot waterfall. In the spring and summer, expect to experience a good mist as you hike near the falls. Mirror Lake
as its name suggests, is a beautiful lake where you can see Mt. Watkins reflected on a clear day. Tunnel View
, also called Discovery View, is the gateway to Yosemite Valley. On a clear day, you exit Wawona Tunnel and have all of Yosemite Valley suddenly revealed before you: massive El Capitan
(3,000 feet tall) and Bridalveil Fall (617 feet) in the foreground, with views all the way to Half Dome
, Cloud's Rest and beyond.
After all this wonderful outdoor experience we head back to hotel where you may opt for a massage at the spa. The remainder of the evening is at your leisure to relax and dine at the hotel restaurants. (B,L)
June 2 - Your last day in Yosemite is spent first with an easy hike either to a nearby waterfall or lake Tenaya. After you have the option to choose from the following at your leisure and at an additional cost: Horse back riding, White water rafting, Spa treatments. This evening is at your leisure to enjoy the stars in the gorgeous National park dark skies. (B,L)
June 3 - Depart for Monterey.
We depart this morning for our drive to Monterey. Upon arrival stop for lunch at the Fisherman's Wharf and enjoy some local clam chowder, ceviche or fresh seafood of your choice. You will then have a scenic walk to Cannery Row. Many old cannery buildings have been refurbished as restaurants, galleries, shops, with the world-class Monterey Bay Aquarium. Tasting rooms let you sample local wines. And reminders of Cannery Row as the popular (and much-written-about) haunt of Pulitzer Prize – winning author John Steinbeck abound. Time for some shopping, wine tasting and taking in all the sites. The remainder of the day is at your leisure to explore on your own. Look for the sea lions at Coast Guard Pier or kayak and search for the otters in their natural habitat. Tonight dinner as a group at a nearby establishment. Hotel in Monterey at the Portola Hotel and Spa for 2 nights. (B, L)
June 4 - Scenic 17 mile drive to Carmel by the Sea.
Today is a special treat as we drive along the famous and scenic 17 mile drive which goes through Pebble Beach to Carmel by the Sea. The privately managed roadway winding between Pacific Grove and Pebble Beach, takes you through a wind-sculpted forest of cypress trees to a rocky coastline dotted with some of the most envy-inducing homes on the planet. You’ll also get great views of the celebrated golf courses of Pebble Beach. In spring, pull over at Fanshell Overlook to see harbor seals and their pups. Scenic lookouts for photo stops along the way. Upon arrival into Carmel which is a quaint town filled with galleries, shops, restaurants and a step back in time feel. The beach here is amazing with white sand, boulders, trees and wonderful views of the Pacific Ocean. Enjoy time here to take in the town, have lunch and if your a fan of the late Doris Day pop into the hotel she once owned for a cocktail and enjoy the movie memorabilia as well as a Carmel icon this hotel is known for. Back to Montery for our farewell dinner. (B, D)
June 5 - Departure Day.
Depart this morning from the Monterey (MRY) airport to head home. Other airport departures are available for an additional cost.
Option 2: Drive to San Francisco and join the Napa Valley Wine tour.
You will then fly home from (SFO)
Cost: $1996.00 based on Double Occupancy. (Roommates can be provided)
Single Supplement: $870.00
Booking/final payment deadline is 60 days prior to departure.
SAVE 3% OFF Tour cost if paying by check or ACH transfer
- 6 nights hotel with taxes
- Daily Breakfast
- 3 Lunches
- 3 Dinners
- Entrance fees to all parks and sites visited as per itinerary
- Tour Leader
- Private transfers to all included cities visited
- R/T airport arrival/departure airport transfers if traveling on scheduled days. Arrival into SFO departure from MRY
- Professional Tour planning services
- Welcome Gift
- Guided Tour in Yosemite National Park
- Meals not listed in itinerary
- Alcoholic beverages and soft drinks with meals
- Room charges such as calls, mini bar, laundry, room service
- All personal expenses
- Travel insurance
- Gratuities for driver, guide, tour leader
- Additional tours or activities not included in program
- Pre/Post nights at hotels
- Transfers from Monterrey to San Francisco if adding on the Napa tour
Entry Requirements: Visitors from Canada and other countries need a valid passport. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the date you intend to leave your country. Make sure you check your passport expiry date at least 2 months prior to travel. Before traveling abroad it's a good idea to make two photocopies of your passport, driver's license and credit cards. Leave one copy at home with a friend or family member and another bring with you.
Time Zone: California is in the Western Time Zone. They are 3 hours behind NYC.
Weather: California has mild weather with low humidity, For Yosemeti temperatures will range in May usually warm during the day but cold overnight, with average highs in Yosemite Valley in the 70s and lows in the 40s. While rain and snow are possible, they're not very common. Yosemite's waterfalls usually peak in mid - to late-May, so this is the best month to see them. While it may seem like summer, snow is usually present in much of the park. Monterey weather will be mid to high 60's to low 70's for the day with cooler temps at night around the low 50's.
Currency: The US currency is the dollar.
Electricity: US Standard Voltage is the 120 V. Most hotels provide hairdryers.
Taxes: California sales tax is 7.25%.
Health: There are no health issues for concerns for a trip to California.
Activity level: During the this Tour, we will travel by private van sometimes for a few hours at a time with comfort stops along the way. To be able to fully enjoy the tour and participate in scheduled activities, you need to be able to walk/hike at a leisurely pace, up to 3 or 5 miles on some days, many times this is on dirt or uneven surfaces. You should be able to stand unassisted for up to 30 minutes at times during the tours. This trip does many hikes and most are easy or moderate hikes with rest stops along the way. This trip is pretty easy for the average person however if you can't or choose not to participate in certain activities this is at your own discretion. However it cannot affect the groups participation nor can any tours or activities or refunds be offered or changed due to an individual not being able or not wanting to participate in any activities.