Map and Highlights- This tour is a "Guaranteed Departure"
Day 1 – Arrive San Francisco (7/17 Wed)
Today arrive in the City by the Bay, San Francisco! Shuttle service from the airport to your hotel will be provided. (*Please arrive at the San Francisco Airport by 3:00 pm) Upon arrival at the hotel, meet your Western Leisure tour director for check-in and a brief orientation. The rest of the day is free at leisure. This evening, join the group for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant on Fisherman’s Wharf.
Holiday Inn Express Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco, CA (D)
Day 2 – San Francisco (7/18 Thu)
Start the day with a guided tour of San Francisco. You will see the beautiful Civic Center, Golden Gate Park, the Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown, and the Presidio. The rest of the day is free to explore San Francisco on your own. You can take an optional cruise to the "Rock," Alcatraz Island, the former federal prison - home to the likes of Al Capone, "Machine-Gun" Kelly and Robert "The Birdman" Stroud. Enjoy Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39, San Francisco’s Premier Bay Attraction. There will be plenty of time for shopping, dining and to ride the world-famous Trolley Cars.
Holiday Inn Express Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco, CA (B)
Day 3 – Roaring Camp Railroad – Monterey - Merced (7/19 Fri)
This morning, travel south toward the scenic Santa Cruz mountains. You are entering the domain of the giant redwoods, the tallest living things on earth. You'll have a chance to marvel at these incredible trees first-hand as you visit Roaring Camp, a former mining town, and now a bustling mountain retreat. You'll board the Roaring Camp and Big Trees Railroad, an authentic narrow-gauge 19-century railway, and enjoy a ride amid the pristine beauty of the mountains. This Railway boasts the steepest railroad grades in the United States, so be ready for a little excitement, as well as for breathtaking scenic beauty! After a beautiful ride and an included lunch, depart the redwoods and travel toward the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean on your way to Monterey, the town made famous by John Steinbeck. Here you will have free time to enjoy Cannery Row. No longer the final destination of sardines and anchovies, the Row is now home to many shops, restaurants and delightful boutiques. Next, take a scenic drive on beautiful "17-Mile Drive" past world-famous Pebble Beach with amazing picture stops along the way. Travel inland to the town of Merced and check in for a two-night stay.
Hampton Inn, Merced, CA (B,L)
Day 4 – Yosemite National Park (7/20 Sat)
Depart Merced this morning traveling east and enter Yosemite National Park for a day of sightseeing. Yosemite, "Jewel of the Sierra," is described as the home of the most beautiful streams, the loftiest granite domes, the noblest forests and deepest ice-sculptured canyons in the world. This park will enthrall and delight you. You'll experience the clear air and sunshine first-hand as you board the Valley Tram and travel to Yosemite's most famous scenic highlights, including El Capitan, towering 7,569 feet above the Merced River; Yosemite Falls, the second largest waterfall in the world; Bridalveil Falls, whose roaring torrents cascade down towering cliffs in lacy grandeur; and the geologically-fascinating Half Dome. After spending the day in Yosemite, return to your hotel in Merced.
Hampton Inn, Merced, CA (B)
Day 5 – Jamestown – Ironstone - Sonoma (7/21 Sun)
Depart Merced this morning and arrive all too soon we’ll arrive in Jamestown for touring of Railtown 1897 State Historic Park. Known as “The Movie Railroad,” its historic locomotives and cars have starred in hundreds of film and TV productions. Ride behind a historic steam or diesel locomotive on a train trip through California's scenic Gold Country! Your 6-mile, 45-minute round trip train ride will take you past the water tower from "Petticoat Junction," and transport you from the backyards of Jamestown to the rugged hillsides of California's Mother Lode country. It is also home to one of America’s last intact, still-operating railroad roundhouses. Next take a short drive to Ironstone Vineyards, a family-owned and operated winery located in in the heart of the Sierra Foothills. First, join the group for a gourmet buffet lunch served in the Culinary Center. While dessert is served, the doors to the music room will be opened so you can enjoy music from the beautifully resorted 1927 Alhambra Theatre Pipe Organ. After lunch, take a guided tour of the grounds including the vineyard, wine-caverns and gardens. After the tour, there will be wine tasting and a chance to try your hand at gold panning. Altogether a great California experience! This afternoon, leave Gold Country behind as you make your way to California’s world-famous Wine Country. Arrive in the beautiful town of Sonoma with free time on Sonoma Plaza to explore all the many shops, art galleries, wine tasting rooms, specialty food stores and restaurants where you can have dinner on your own. You can also visit Sonoma State Historic Park and Mission San Francisco Solano which is located adjacent to the Plaza. The last of the California Missions, it was founded July 4, 1823, and is the northernmost of California's extensive Mission system. Continue to nearby Rohnert Park and check into your hotel for a two-night stay.
Doubletree Sonoma Wine Country, Rohnert Park, CA (B,L)
Day 6 - Wine Country (7/22 Mon)
This morning, enjoy a tour and tasting of a wonderful winery in the area. Then travel north to the beautiful little town of Healdsburg with some free time to explore around the town plaza and have lunch on own. After lunch, continue north to the Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Geyserville, CA. This beautiful estate is owned by movie director Francis Ford Coppola and his wife Eleanor who have been making wines since 1975. Your private tour includes a special Storytellers Tasting. With every great wine comes a great story. Featuring I Mille, Pitagora, and Vendetta, the Storytellers Series encompasses the creativity and ingenuity of their winemaking team. Each wine in this collection reveals stories that have influenced Francis and his family throughout many generations. One of our favorite attractions at the winery is the Movie Gallery, displaying a vast collection of authentic movie memorabilia. Francis’s filmmaking career spans five decades, which means they have some pretty amazing items to explore, including several Academy Awards, Don Corleone’s desk from The Godfather, and the original automobile from Tucker: The Man and His Dream rotating impressively on a showroom turntable. The gift shop alone is worth the visit. As you return south, visit the Benziger Family Winery. Here you will be treated to a motorized tram tour of the Benziger's Sonoma Mountain Estate, stopping along the way to visit grape growing and winemaking exhibits. It's a one-of-a-kind experience! After the tour, join the group for wine tasting and a special farewell dinner at the estate. What a perfect way to celebrate your Northern California experience!
Doubletree Sonoma Wine Country, Rohnert Park, CA (B,D)
Day 7 – Departure (7/23 Tue)
Transportation has been provided back to the San Francisco Airport for your flights home. What an incredible journey through the past you’ve had on your tour through Northern California.
(*Please schedule departure flights from the San Francisco Airport for 10:00 am or later)
6 nights accommodations
Transportation on a full-size motorcoach
Services of a Western Leisure tour director
6 Breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners
Entrance fees to attractions, National Parks and Monuments as mentioned in the itinerary
Tips for included meals
Luggage handling (one suitcase per person)
Meals (other than mentioned in the itinerary)
Items of a personal nature (i.e., room service, telephone, liquor, etc.)
Customary gratuities for the tour director, driver, local guides and outfitters