B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
Monday, 22 July - Arrive San Francisco; Welcome Dinner (D)
Arrive San Francisco no later than 4:30pm and take the hotel shuttle to our hotel, located just north of the airport. The tour begins at 6:00pm in the lobby of the hotel for introductions. Afterwards we will go to dinner together, get better acquainted, and talk about our upcoming week.
Tuesday, 23 July - Drive to Yosemite National Park; Free Time (B,L)
This morning after breakfast we will depart for Yosemite, enjoying views of Half Dome, Arch Rock and El Capitan during our drive into the park. Yosemite Valley is only seven miles long and less than a mile wide, but it ranks higher in "scenery per square foot" than perhaps anywhere else in the world. Because it was formed by glaciers, the valley walls are sheer and high, leading to world-famous cliffs: El Capitan rises more than 3,000 feet virtually straight up from the Yosemite Valley floor, and Half Dome looms 4,800 feet above. Our home the next three nights will be Yosemite View Lodge. After arriving at the hotel and checking in, the remainder of your evening is free.
Wednesday, 24 July - Yosemite Valley Tour, Afternoon Free (B)
This morning we will take a 2 hour tour of the valley floor via the Park's tram. On this tour, we will be introduced to some of the most famous sightseeing points in Yosemite Valley and learn the history, geology, plant and animal life of the region. We will see Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, El Capitan, Tunnel View, and Bridalveil Falls.
This afternoon is free time. There will be time to walk around Yosemite Valley Visitor Center and the Yosemite Museum. You could take the free shuttle bus to visit Yosemite Falls where a 10-minute walk brings you to the falls. There are many park tours as well as ranger-led walks, talks and hikes. Complimentary shuttle bus service is available to various points in the park. After a full day at the park we will return to our hotel and relax.
Thursday, 25 July - Trip to the Giant Sequoias, Glacier Point (B,L)
We will spend today at Mariposa Grove and take a park tour of the Giant Sequoias. Mariposa Grove is the largest stand of giant sequoias (also known as Sierra redwoods) in Yosemite. At the grove, those who wish to walk among the sequoias can take an easy 1.6-mile down-hill to the massive 209-foot tall tree known as the Grizzly Giant, one of the largest trees in the Mariposa Grove and is estimated to be 1,800 years old. We will have lunch outside the park, and then drive to one of the most amazing overlooks in the park - Glacier Point. This location looks down into Yosemite Valley, and across to Half Dome where you can see the climbers making their assent. It's an a-m-a-z-i-n-g view!
Friday, 26 July - Drive to San Francisco; Free Time (B)
Our return to San Francisco will get us there around 1 pm where we will have some free time to enjoy all San Francisco has to offer- maybe a tour of Alcatraz, a visit to Chinatown; and don't forget a ride on those famous cable cars (dating from the late 1800's) designed to cope with all the steep hills.
Saturday, 27 July - San Francisco City Tour, Fisherman's Wharf; Farewell Dinner (B,D)
San Francisco has a rich history that includes a gold rush, earthquakes, and fires but the city has always rebounded. Our day will begin with a city tour to highlight the famous landmarks of San Francisco. After the city tour, we will spend time at Fisherman’s Wharf. The wharf is a world famous attraction and a thriving and vibrant local neighborhood; home to world class dining, shopping and endless entertainment opportunities. The remainder of the day is free to further explore San Francisco with your fellow travelers. To end our stay in San Francisco, we will get together for a farewell dinner.
Sunday, 28 July – Return Home (B)
It's time to return home. Return home at your convenience, remembering that checkout is at 11:00am. The tour leader will assist in coordinating ride-shares to the airport.