Best Of California

Western USA

Regional Journey

Best of California (Summer 2020)

Duration: 9 days Visiting: United States

Prices from US${{lowPrice | number:0}}

Menu
  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Highlights
  • Optional experiences
  • Accommodation
  • Reviews
  • Dates & prices

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.

  1. Day 1

    San Francisco, the City by the Bay.

    California here we come. You'll be picked up at San Francisco International Airport and whisked straight to your upscale hotel. Join your Travel Director and fellow travellers at 18:00 for a Welcome Dinner with wine.

  2. 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 neighborhood of San Francisco. Afterwards, take in the city with a few photo stops. Visit the Conservatory of Flowers and Golden Gate Park, before walking 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.

  3. 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 private, ranger-led valley floor 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.

  4. 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 famer'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.

  5. 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 Visitor Center 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.

  6. 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 Santa Barbara's Historic State Street to Stearns Wharf. In the evening, dinner awaits at a local restaurant.

  7. 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.

  8. 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. Visit the Hollywood and Highland Centre, 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 through the Sunset Strip before heading down Rodeo Drive. Enjoy an Insight Choice between a visit to the Petersen Automotive Museum or the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Tonight, toast to your journey at a Celebration Dinner at Nick and Stef's Steakhouse.

  9. 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.

Highlights

 

INSIGHT EXPERIENCES

  • Los Angeles: Join a Local Expert for a behind-the-scenes tour of a historic downtown theatre.

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS

  • San Francisco: See the iconic cable cars, Union Square and Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Yosemite National Park: Experience the park's natural beauty and wildlife. See the El Capitan and Half Dome rock formations.
  • San Joaquin Valley: Stop at a historic fruit stand where seasonal delights are grown, farmed, and sold.
  • Carmel-by-the-Sea: Browse the art galleries and shops in this quaint beach city.
  • Scenic Drives: 17-Mile Drive past the Pebble Beach Golf Links.
  • 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.

AUTHENTIC DINING

  • San Francisco: Enjoy a delightful Welcome Dinner with your fellow travellers and Travel Director.
  • Santa Barbara: Savour a delicious dining experience at one of sunny Santa Barbara's local restaurants.
  • Dining Summary: 8 Breakfasts (B) and 4 Dinners with wine (DW).

STAY IN STYLE

  • San Francisco: Hyatt Regency Embarcadero
  • Yosemite National Park: Stay in the park and enjoy Yosemite after the crowds have left, just a short walk to Yosemite Falls.
  • Monterey: Located on Cannery Row, InterContinental The Clement Monterey is a beautiful waterfront hotel in California, overlooking Monterey Bay.
  • Santa Barbara: Stay at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort. Enjoy beautiful views and a serene stay right on the beach.
  • Los Angeles: Stay at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown situated within walking distance of the city's most noteworthy attractions.

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.

Optional experiences

Most Insight trips already include a host of bonus highlights and comprehensive sightseeing. There may also be an exciting array of Optional Experiences which will turn an already amazing experience into the trip of a lifetime! These are entirely optional and can be booked through your Travel Director/Local Representative at the commencement of your trip. Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations.

Prices and availability of Optional Experiences are subject to change.

San Francisco Bay Cruise

Come aboard one of San Francisco’s most popular bay cruises. Sail past the famous PIER 39 sea lions and along San Francisco’s historic waterfront, revealing the city’s fascinating skyline. As you head west towards the Golden Gate Bridge, cruise along Fort Mason and the Marina District, which was devastated in the 1989 earthquake. Don’t miss incredible photo opportunities when sailing directly under the massive 4,200-foot (1280 meter) span of the 746-foot (227 meter) tall Golden Gate Bridge. As you steam back into the bay, travel past Angel Island State Park and slowly cruise around the infamous Island of Alcatraz. On your way back to Fisherman’s Wharf, see the Oakland Bay Bridge, and Coit Tower. This cruise tour has both indoor and outdoor seating with full narration describing major landmarks as you sail by them. You haven’t experienced San Francisco until you’ve taken a Bay Cruise! Approx. duration: 1 hr

Adult Price: USD 34.00

Code: SAN0027

Golden Gate Bridge Walk & Sausalito

Stroll across the 1.7 mile span of the magnificent Golden Gate Bridge and learn how the bridge was an engineering marvel and about the people who gave so much time to build this icon of San Francisco. Arrive in the quaint seaside community of Sausalito and have time to leisurely browse the charming shops or have lunch along the picturesque bay. Your adventure concludes with a wondrous ferry cruise across the bay, passing haunting Alcatraz Island and catching an amazing view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Approx. duration: 3.5 hours

Adult Price: USD 40.00

Code: SFO0003

Accommodation

 

Hyatt Regency Embarcadero, San Francisco.

San Francisco (Traditional) - USA

Yosemite Valley Lodge

Yosemite (Traditional) - USA

Intercontinental The Clement Monterey

California - Monterey (Traditional) - Usa

Located on Cannery Row, InterContinental The Clement Monterey is a beautiful waterfront hotel in California, overlooking Monterey Bay.

Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort.

Santa Barbara (Resort) - USA

InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown.

Los Angeles (Contemporary) - USA

Guest Reviews & Experiences

Our guests rate us 4.6 out of 5 based on 10777 independent user reviews received during the past year.

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