Best of California

Best of California

9 Days
From

$5195

$3623

Best of California

9 Days Starting in Los Angeles (CA) and ending in San Francisco

Visiting: San Diego, Los Angeles, Hollywood, Santa Barbara, Pismo Beach, Paso Robles, Mariposa Grove, Yosemite National Park, San Francisco

Tour operator:

Insight Vacations

Tour code:

ACALZM20

Activities:

Sightseeing

From:
$5195
$3623 (USD) Operator discount: -$1469 The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$102 -30%

This tour is no longer available, please see similar tours below or send an enquiry

Tour Overview

Discover the best of California on this all-encompassing train tour from San Diego to San Francisco. Far-reaching ocean vistas and the natural beauty of Yosemite National Park meet big city lights and creative cuisine to show you the essence of The Golden State. Experience the laid-back lifestyle, take a glimpse into the heyday of cinema, and embrace the cultural diversity through an array of Insight Experiences.

Highlights

  • 4 Dinner with Wine (DW)

  • 9 Breakfast (B)

  • Los Angeles: Explore Los Angeles with Insight Choice. Take to the Miracle Mile and choose to visit one of the excellent museums. You can learn about the history and artistry of motorized automobiles at the Petersen Automotive Museum. Alternatively, embrace the tradition of filmmaking at the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures.

  • Santa Barbara: Take a self-guided tour of the magnificent Old Mission Santa Barbara, founded in 1786. Known as the 'Queen of the Missions, it is one of the city’s most picturesque landmarks. Admire the grand double bell towers and lush gardens with the majestic San Ynez mountains as a backdrop.

  • Santa Barbara: Visit the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, one of the City's best museums. Learn about the area's vast culture and history through exhibits.

  • : Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.

  • : Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.

  • : 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.

  • : From time to time, your Travel Director will delight you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.

  • : We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.

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Itinerary

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Day 1 : Welcome To San Diego
Location: San Diego
Meals Included: Dinner, with Wine

Kick off your trip at your hotel on the downtown waterfront. Perhaps take a walk along the bay before joining your Travel Director and fellow travelers for a Welcome Dinner at your hotel.

Day 2 : San Diego Sightseeing
Location: San Diego, Los Angeles
Accommodation: InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown
Meals Included: Breakfast

Discover America’s finest city as you embark on a sightseeing tour with your Travel Director. Journey through the Gaslamp Quarter, the historic heart of San Diego and Balboa Park, one of North America’s most iconic urban parks. Admire its lush and landscaped gardens in bloom thanks to the year-round pleasant weather. Finally, stroll among the atmospheric old and historic adobe ranch homes of the Old Town State Historical Park. Glimpse into the 19th-century colonial life and perhaps try some authentic Mexican flavours at one of the popular eateries. This afternoon, board your coach and enjoy far reaching ocean views as you travel up the coast from San Diego to Los Angeles. The evening is at your leisure.

Day 3 : Los Angeles Sightseeing
Location: Los Angeles, Hollywood, Los Angeles
Accommodation: InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner, with Wine

An exciting day awaits as you set out to explore lively Los Angeles. Ride on the landmark Angel’s Flight funicular for a taste of early 20th-century nostalgia. Continue your journey through Downtown Los Angeles exploring Grand Central Market, the Bradbury Building, and US Bank Tower while learning about the history and architecture from the 18th century to the present. In legendary Hollywood, take your photos of the famous hillside Hollywood sign and stroll along the Walk of Fame. Look for the hand- and footprints of cinema’s greatest celebrities at the historic TCL Chinese Theatre, Hollywood’s most sought-after theatre for movie premieres. In the afternoon, explore Los Angeles with Insight Choice. Choose to visit the innovative Petersen Automotive Museum, a captivating experience about the history and artistry of motorized transportation. Alternatively, head to the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures and take a deep dive into the history of filmmaking. Downtown Los Angeles has established itself as one of the country's great dining destinations. Tonight we'll visit a popular restaurant highlighting LA's local culture and cuisine. Sol Agave - is an upscale Mexican concept using organic ingredients, fresh sustainable seafood, prime steaks, all natural chicken and pork with out loosing the authenticity of MEXICO!

Day 4 : Journey To The American Riviera
Location: Los Angeles, Santa Barbara
Accommodation: Resort, Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Drive along one of the most scenic drives in America known as the Pacific Coast Highway. This stretch of freeway hugs the coast of California offering sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean. Take a stroll on the wooden Santa Monica Pier that juts 500 meters into the Pacific Ocean. See the iconic ferriswheel and amusement park situated on the pier and perhaps spot wildlife in the distance. Back on the coach, depart for Santa Barbara taking in the ocean views on your left and mountain views to your right. Explore Santa Barbara with Insight Choice. Choose to visit the 18th-century Old Mission, one of the original 21 California Missions founded by Spanish Franciscans. Alternatively, take a relaxing stroll through the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and learn about California’s diverse native plants.

Day 5 : Beach Towns And Wine Country
Location: Pismo Beach, Paso Robles, Pismo Beach
Accommodation Name: Vespera Resort
Meals Included: Breakfast

This morning we visit "The Danish Capitol of America" in Solvang, California. In 1911, a new settlement was founded around the mission by a group of Danish-Americans who purchased 9,000 acres (3,600 ha) of the surrounding Rancho San Carlos de Jonata, to establish a Danish community far from Midwestern winters. The community took on its distinctive Danish-themed architecture beginning in 1947 and has since become a prominent tourist destination.
Later we take the coach from Santa Barbara to Pismo Beach. Enjoy stunning ocean views and lush farmlands as you head north into our final destination dotted with olive groves, vineyards, and orchards. Enjoy lunch along the coast on your own before you are treated to an olive oil farm tour and tasting experience. In the evening, discover why Pismo Beach is known as the Clam Capital of the world or relax and dine at your hotel.

Day 6 : Giant Sequoias
Location: Pismo Beach, Mariposa Grove, Yosemite National Park
Accommodation: Lodge, Yosemite Valley Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner, with Wine

Journey to the majestic Yosemite National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Stop at the Mariposa Grove, home to over 500 mature sequoias and admire these gigantic trees. The oldest tree in the Grove is the Grizzly Giant, which dates back around 3000 years and stands 209 feet (64 metres) tall. Once you've settled in to your hotel, enjoy a three-course dinner with wine in The Mountain Room at Yosemite Valley Lodge. Take in views of the nearly 2500 foot (762 metres) high waterfall while exploring diverse and sustainable menu offerings that include local, organic, and seasonal preparations.

Day 7 : Exploring Yosemite National Park Relaxed Start
Location: Yosemite National Park
Accommodation: Lodge, Yosemite Valley Lodge
Meals Included: Breakfast

Join a naturalist guide/climber and get familiar with the ins and outs of rock climbing. Take a step back and spend time watching experts in action. You can see climbers tackling some of the more than 60 routes up the granite monolith that is El Capitan. Widely considered the Mecca of the rock-climbing world, it was first ascended by Warren Harding in 1958. You’ll talk granite and gear, explore the science behind the emotions you feel when inching up a wall, and you will Make Travel Matter learning how climbers help preserve the vertical environment.

Day 8 : On To San Francisco
Location: Yosemite National Park, San Francisco
Accommodation: Hyatt Regency Embarcadero San Francisco
Meals Included: Breakfast

Travel towards the West Coast, cross the Bay Bridge and arrive in buzzing San Francisco. Head to the Fisherman’s Wharf, once home to the city’s colourful fishing fleet and today a popular district full of restaurants, cafes and shops. This afternoon, join your Travel Director for a stroll across the legendary Golden Gate Bridge, a symbol of California, then continue on a short drive to the quaint town of Sausalito. Enjoy some leisure time before taking the ferry back to San Francisco, passing the infamous Alcatraz Island.

Day 9 : San Francisco Sightseeing Relaxed Start
Location: San Francisco
Accommodation: Hyatt Regency Embarcadero San Francisco
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner, with Wine

This morning, venture across the road and to the Ferry Building and shop around at one of America’s most famous farmers markets. Join a walking tour of Chinatown's alleyways and learn about its history and cultural impact on the surrounding communities. Your participation in the tour supports a youth-led and youth-run organization promoting education, entrepreneurship, and tourism for underrepresented cultures. Browse the stalls offering organic produce, flowers and regional artisan specialties such as breads, cheeses, and jams. On your city sightseeing tour, journey past lively Union Square and vast Golden Gate Park. In the afternoon, we visit the oldest and largest Chinatown in the US on our Insight Experience. We take you off the main streets and into the alleyways to learn about the daily life, rich history, and modern-day issues of San Francisco’s Chinatown. Tours are led by Chinatown Alleyway Tours - a community based non-profit that is youth-run and youth-led. Tonight, toast to your travels at Palette Tea House, for an elevated Chinese dim sum Celebration Dinner.

Day 10 : Farewell California
Location: San Francisco
Meals Included: Breakfast

It is time to bid farewell to your fellow travellers and new friends as you depart at your own leisure with plenty of new memories.

Check out our Q&As

  • Can I join the tour once it has departed?

    We regret that no refunds can be made for absences from a tour, including experiences such as missed meals or sightseeing.

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Since 1978.

  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    Insight Vacations is a founding member of the TreadRight Foundation, a joint initiative created by the brands within The Travel Corporation (TTC) almost 15 years ago to ensure our impact through tourism is positive. Our ethos to #MakeTravelMatter guides our decision-making at every level of our business.

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    Yes

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    You have two options as a solo traveller. Either choose to be matched with a same sex partner for a room share - at no extra cost. Or choose a room of your own with a reduced or even free private room upgrade on select tours.

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    Please contact us for latest COVID-19 policies

Reviews of this Operator

Peggy Lindenborn  

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02-Nov-2021

Country Roads of Southern Italy and Sicily is a delightful trip and our travel guides and driver, Enzo, Chris and Greg were amazing and made the trip very memorable. We saw so many places and had great experiences along the way! Thanks to them for such a wonderful vacation.!

Feefo Trusted Reviews
Trusted Customer  

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11-Jan-2023

Great itinerary, good pace, tour director was friendly and very knowledgeable and organised. Bus was very spacious and driver was great. Yes would recommend insight to friends and families

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Jacqueline Thornberry  

Scenic Iceland and the Northern Lights

31-Oct-2021

The number is our group was small which meant we got to know each other. Our tour guide, Laura Spiers, was excellent as was our driver. The food was good, and of course everything we saw in Iceland was beautiful and educational.

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Kathryn Ronca  

Enchanting Canyonlands

08-Nov-2021

The trip was fantastic. Everything was well planned and exceeded my expectations. All insight personal were courteous helpful and professional Ann Manual and Kevin were a topnotch team There was attention to every detail and at all times felt safe and always a personal touch to the trip. The motor coach was clean and roomy and there was multiple wipe downs during the day All hotels were top notch and all staff at the hotels and restaurants were helpful and courteous I would recommend this trip as it gave you a fantastic view of the natural wonders of the the West.

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Patrick Ong  

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12-Jan-2023

This trip is absolutely amazing! Worth every Penny! Our Tour guide did not Disappoint.

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Dates & Availability

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Friday - Saturday

May 10, 2024 - May 18, 2024
$5195 $3623 (USD)

Operator discount: -$1469 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$102 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Friday - Saturday

Jun 14, 2024 - Jun 22, 2024
$5275 $3678 (USD)

Operator discount: -$1493 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$104 (USD)

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Friday - Saturday

Jul 19, 2024 - Jul 27, 2024
$5295 $3691 (USD)

Operator discount: -$1500 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$104 (USD)

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Friday - Saturday

Aug 16, 2024 - Aug 24, 2024
$6125 $4337 (USD)

Operator discount: -$1666 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$123 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Friday - Saturday

Aug 30, 2024 - Sep 07, 2024
$5295 $3691 (USD)

Operator discount: -$1500 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$104 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Friday - Saturday

Sep 20, 2024 - Sep 28, 2024
$6095 $4319 (USD)

Operator discount: -$1654 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$122 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Friday - Saturday

Oct 04, 2024 - Oct 12, 2024
$5195 $3623 (USD)

Operator discount: -$1469 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$102 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Friday - Saturday

Apr 11, 2025 - Apr 19, 2025
$5250 $4594 (USD)

Operator discount: -$526 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$130 (USD)

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Friday - Saturday

May 09, 2025 - May 17, 2025
$5250 $4594 (USD)

Operator discount: -$526 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$130 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Friday - Saturday

Jun 13, 2025 - Jun 21, 2025
$5450 $4738 (USD)

Operator discount: -$578 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$134 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Friday - Saturday

Jul 18, 2025 - Jul 26, 2025
$5450 $4738 (USD)

Operator discount: -$578 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$134 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Friday - Saturday

Aug 15, 2025 - Aug 23, 2025
$6325 $5589 (USD)

Operator discount: -$578 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$158 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Friday - Saturday

Sep 12, 2025 - Sep 20, 2025
$5475 $4758 (USD)

Operator discount: -$582 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$135 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Friday - Saturday

Sep 19, 2025 - Sep 27, 2025
$5475 $4758 (USD)

Operator discount: -$582 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$135 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Friday - Saturday

Oct 03, 2025 - Oct 11, 2025
$6325 $5592 (USD)

Operator discount: -$575 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$158 (USD)

Book with Confidence

  • Low Deposit

    Insight Vacations requires a minimum deposit of 350 USD per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 90 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of insight vacations charges.

    Up to 91 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 90 days before tour starts: Forfeit 50% of booking price.

    At 29 days before tour starts: Forfeit 80% of booking price.

    At 1 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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