B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
Friday, 30 Jun 2017: Arrive Santa Barbara, CA; Welcome Dinner (D)
Schedule your arrival no later than 4:00pm and take local transportation to the hotel. The tour will begin at 6:00pm in the hotel lobby where we will make introductions and then depart for our Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight Santa Barbara - 2 nights
Saturday, 1 Jul 2017: Channel Islands National Park (B,Picnic L)
Close to the California mainland, yet worlds apart, Channel Islands National Park encompasses five remarkable islands and their ocean environment, preserving and protecting a wealth of natural and cultural resources. Isolation over thousands of years has created unique animals, plants and archaeological resources found nowhere else on Earth. We will spend a day in the park, commonly referred to as the American Galapagos. The islands are ideal for getting away from the clamor of urban life. Hike if you'd like, take photographs, sketch or just relax and take in the magnificent views. Once back on the mainland we'll return to our hotel.
Sunday, 2 Jul 2017: Santa Barbara Old Mission; Drive to San Simeon (B,D)
Before departing for San Simeon, we will visit the Santa Barbara Mission. It was established on the Feast of Saint Barbara, December 4, 1786 and was the tenth of 21 California Missions to be founded by the Spanish Franciscans. Overnight San Simeon - 2 nights
Monday, 3 Jul 2017: Hearst Castle (B)
Hearst Castle, crowned La Cuesta Encantada or "Enchanted Hill", was built in tiny San Simeon. It's a 165-room Moorish castle with 127 acres of gardens, terraces, pools and walkways, furnished with Spanish and Italian antiques and art, flanked by three large guest houses. In its heyday, Hearst Castle had a zoo, tennis courts and two magnificent swimming pools. There is so much to see here that we will spend the day.
Tuesday, 4 Jul 2017: Big Sur; Pacific Coast Highway to Monterey (B,L)
The drive north from San Simeon is where the Pacific Coast Highway really shines with stunning views. California State Route 1 passes through some of the most dramatic scenery in the world -- from coastal redwood forests to ocean cliffs and secluded coves. To really appreciate this area, we have planned an easy walk along the McWay Waterfall Trail. Overnight Monterey - 1 night
Wednesday, 5 Jul 2017: Carmel-by-the-Sea; San Francisco (B)
This morning there is time to explore Monterey. Consider visiting Monterey Bay Aquarium, one of the largest and most respected aquariums in the world. You may also want to take time to stroll along Cannery Row--immortalized in John Steinbeck's novel of the same name--and Old Fisherman's Wharf. Then it's off to visit Carmel-by-the-Sea, one of the most charming small towns in California. We conclude our day in San Francisco where we will check into our hotel and have the remainder of the evening to relax. Overnight San Francisco - 2 nights
Thursday, 6 Jul 2017: San Francisco; Farewell Dinner (B,D)
Today enjoy free time in San Francisco to do whatever you wish. Your Tour Leader will have suggestions for things to do and see. Don't forget to hop a ride on those famous cable cars (dating from the late 1800s) designed to cope with all the steep hills. The day will end with our Farewell Dinner.
Friday, 7 Jul 2017: Return Home from San Francisco (B)
Sadly, our time together has come to an end. Based on the departure time you provide WTT, your Tour Leader can assist with organizing travelers into small groups so you can ride-share to the airport if you wish.