- City tour of San Francisco to include Chinatown, Union Square, Twin Peaks, the Presidio, and Golden Gate Park
- Walk or drive across the spectacular Golden Gate Bridge and enjoy a visit to the U.S. Army Corpsof Engineers Bay Model (for those driving across)
- Visit the Aquarium of the Bay and scenic Sausalito
- Two bay ferry rides, from Sausalito to San Francisco and San Francisco to Vallejo
- Travel to Napa for lunch at the Oxbow Market with a wine tasting at a nearby winery
- Explore Sacramento, California’s state capital, with visits to Old Sacramento State Historic Parkand the capitol
- Discover aviation history at Castle Air Museum and rail history at Railtown 1897 State HistoricPark
- View majestic Yosemite Valley during a ranger-guided tram tour
- Cruise across beautiful Lake Tahoe by sternwheeler
- Walk in the footsteps of Mark Twain in the silver mining town of Virginia City, Nevada
- 10 meals (7 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners)
- Guided by Kevin Murphy (From Pacific Northwest Tour)
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Welcome to the Golden State and the City by the Bay!
Welcome to California and San Francisco! As time allows, enjoy lunch at your leisure along Fisherman’s Wharf followed by a brief city tour to include Chinatown, Union Square, Twin Peaks, the Presidio, and Golden Gate Park. In the late afternoon, check-in to your hotel located along the wharf. You’re within walking distance to many restaurants and spectacular views of San Francisco Bay!
Crossing the Golden Gate to The Marin Headlands
Following breakfast this morning, you have a choice to make: to walk or drive across the Golden Gate Bridge! For those wishing to walk the 1.7 miles, the motorcoach will drop you off on the south side of the bridge and pick you up on the north side. For those preferring to ride across the bridge, you will have the opportunity to visit the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ San Francisco Bay Model, a working hydraulic scale model of San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta system. Once both groups are reunited, lunch and shopping at your leisure follow in the bayside community of Sausalito. A short ferry ride across the bay will return you to the wharf with the option to visit the Aquarium of the Bay. Affiliated with the Smithsonian, the aquarium features over 20,000 creatures that call the Pacific Ocean home. Tonight, a Welcome Dinner is hosted along the wharf. (B,D)
Vines & Wines of Napa Valley
Before leaving the City by the Bay, explore the indoor market of the historic Ferry Building, filled with local foods and goods. One last look at San Francisco Bay is provided by a high-speed ferry ride past the Bay Bridge and Angel Island to the city of Vallejo. From here, it’s a short distance to the fertile fields of Napa Valley, known as one of the premier grape-growing regions of the world. Enjoy lunch at your leisure from a choice of several vendors at the famous Oxbow Market, where you can purchase additional items from wine to olive oil. Following lunch, enjoy a tasting of local varietals at a winery in Napa before continuing east to Sacramento. (B)
A Capital Idea
Enjoy a brief city tour of Sacramento this morning with a visit to the State Capitol. There you will find out why Sacramento was the fourth city to be honored with the title of “Capital City.” Enjoy lunch at your leisure in historic Old Sacramento with the option of visiting the California State Railroad Museum, one of the most respected rail museums in North America, and home to restored engines and rolling stock of all descriptions. Discover the stories of those who built the Transcontinental Railroad and others who made their living along the rails. Heading south through the Central Valley, pause at Castle Air Museum, a former U.S. Air Force Base, and discover a surprising collection of vintage military aircraft dating from pre-WWII to the present on approximately 25 acres of beautifully maintained grounds. Your home for the next two evenings is along the Merced River in El Portal, near the entrance to Yosemite National Park. (B)
Scenic Yosemite National Park
A short drive from your hotel and you find yourself surrounded by the natural beauty of Yosemite Valley made famous in story, art, and photographs by people such as naturalist John Muir, artist Thomas Hill, and photographer Ansel Adams. A ranger-guided tram tour of the valley introduces you to the history of the park with several stunning views of such well-known landmarks as El Capitan, Half Dome, and Yosemite Falls. Lunch and exploring on your own follow in Yosemite Village. Visit the Yosemite Museum and Happy Isles Art Center in addition to the park’s main visitors center. Return to your hotel in the late afternoon. (B)
Discovering California’s Gold County
Travel north into California’s Gold Country. Your first stop is Historic Railtown 1897, a state park charged with restoring and preserving historic rail engines and cars. You’ll take a scenic ride through the countryside. Lunch is included nearby as you climb northeast into the majestic Sierra Nevada mountain range. As you crest the final hill, the Lake Tahoe Basin will unfold before you surrounded by snow-capped mountains. Your home for the evening is in South Lake Tahoe and your hotel is located in Heavenly Valley Village, just steps from several restaurants for dinner, and right across the street from the several casinos of Stateline, Nevada. (B,L)
Nevada Silver and Lake Tahoe Blue
Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America and the largest lake by volume after the five Great Lakes. An optional hike near your hotel is offered this morning. After a late morning check out from your hotel, board the MS Dixie II for a cruise aboard the paddle-wheeler as it travels across the south end of the lake and around Emerald Bay. Lunch is available for purchase on board. Back on board your motorcoach, continue into Nevada, the Silver State, and climb the surrounding hills to Virginia City. Discover the unique history of the town, where Mark Twain lived as a reporter for the Virginia Territorial Enterprise from 1862-64. Your accommodations for the evening are in the heart of nearby Reno. A Farewell Dinner celebrates the Basque heritage of the region. (B,D)
Transfer to Reno International Airport for your return flight home. (B)
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