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"Explore the Golden State by Historic Railroad" - July 22, 2017
Map and Highlights- This tour is a "Guaranteed Departure"
  • 7 Nights, 13 Meals
  • California Rail Museum
  • Sacramento River Train
  • Skunk Train
  • Winery Tours & Tastings
  • Napa Valley Wine Train
  • San Francisco Tour
  • Roaring Camp Railroad
  • Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • 17 Mile Drive
  • Yosemite National Park
  • Railtown State Park



All Aboard! Today arrive in Sacramento, shuttle service from the airport to your hotel located in Old Sacramento will be provided. (*Please arrive at the Sacramento Airport by 3:00pm) Upon arrival at the hotel, meet your Western Leisure tour director for check-in and a brief orientation. This evening start your California rail experience aboard the Sacramento RiverTrain . The Woodland Branch was constructed in 1911 by the Northern Electric Co. as the Sacramento and Woodland Railroad to link the fertile farmlands of Yolo County with the developing city of Sacramento. Enjoy a fun themed event ride with dinner. (D)


This morning enjoy a tour of colorful Sacramento. Your first stop is the l874-vintage Capitol Building, recently restored to its turn-of-the-century splendor; next, visit the Old Sacramento Historic District, where you can step back in time to the era of the Pony Express, the '49ers, and the arrival of the Central Pacific Railroad. You'll have time to explore at leisure before continuing on to the California State Railroad Museum, where you'll especially want to see the Museum of Railroad History. Catch the vision of men like Leland Stanford, who dreamed of shining rails stretching from coast to coast. With over 225,000 square feet of total exhibit space, the buildings within the California State Railroad Museum complex use stimulating exhibits, enthusiastic and knowledgeable docents, and beautifully restored railroad cars and locomotives to illustrate railroad history in California and the West. In the afternoon depart Sacramento and travel north and then west past Clear Lake on the way to Ukiah for overnight. This evening, join the group for dinner. Hampton Inn, Ukiah, CA (B,D)


Depart Ft. Bragg this morning and head deep into Redwood Country. We are on our way to board the Skunk Train. Except for passengers' high-tech cameras and modern garb, a time traveler from the last century would feel quite at home riding the Skunk Train today. The view from the restored rail cars is pretty much unchanged: towering trees, deer drinking from the Noyo River, an isolated fisherman's cabin peeking from the forest. With occasional whistles as it chugs through tunnels, over bridges and past open meadows, the train follows the coastal "Redwood Route" as it has since 1885. Built as a logging railroad, the Skunk line began that year as a logical vehicle for moving massive redwood logs to Mendocino Coast sawmills from the rugged back country. Steam passenger service was started in 1904, extended to the town of Willits in 1911, and discontinued in 1925 when the self-powered, yellow "Skunk" rail cars were inaugurated. The little trains were quickly nicknamed for their original gas engines, which prompted folks to say, "You can smell 'em before you can see'em." Moving at a leisurely pace, the trains pull covered cars as well as open observation cars—perfect for capturing photographs of this truly exhilarating journey. We’ll journey aboard the train before heading south into wine country. We’ll stop in Healdsburg and the Rodney Strong Winery. Rodney Strong was one of the pioneers of Sonoma County’s modern wine industry, an acknowledged visionary who understood the potential that Sonoma’s soil and climate held for producing world-class wines. We’ll take a guided tour before checking into our hotel in Healdsburg. (CB,L)


This morning travel east to California's beautiful Napa Wine Country and the Napa Station where you will board the Napa Valley Wine Train and enjoy a 3-course lunch en route to Grgich Hills Winery. The Napa Valley Wine Train provides a relaxing three-hour, thirty-six mile round-trip journey from the historic town of Napa, through one of the world's most well-known wine valleys to the quaint village of St. Helena, and back. Disembark at Grgich Hills Winery for a one-hour private tour and tasting directed by a member of the Grgich Hills staff. Re-board the train for the dessert course in their lavishly restored 1915 Pullman Lounge Car as you head back to Napa Station. Then we’re off to San Francisco. The most romantic city in the world welcomes you for a tour. You will see the beautiful Civic Center, Golden Gate Park, the Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown, the Presidio and Sausalito. Tonight, enjoy dinner on your own at one of the many terrific restaurants San Francisco has to offer. (B,L)


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!) Travel over trestles, through towering redwood groves and up a winding narrow-gauge grade to the summit of Bear Mountain as conductors narrate the history of Roaring Camp, the railroad and the forest. In the 1880s, narrow-gauge steam locomotives were used to haul giant redwood logs out of the mountains. Roaring Camp's steam engines date from 1890 and are among the oldest and most authentically preserved narrow-gauge steam engines providing regularly scheduled passenger service in America. Depart the redwoods and travel toward the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean on your way to the beautiful "17-Mile Drive." Stop at the storybook village of Carmel-by-the-Sea with its unique shops and art galleries, and who knows? Next, travel to Monterey, the town made famous by John Steinbeck. Named for the Count of Monte-Ray upon its discovery in 1602, the city became the Spanish capital of California in 1775. It was here that the U.S. flag was first raised in California, and it is here that you'll discover Steinbeck's famous Cannery Row. No longer the final destination of sardines and anchovies, the Row is now the home of many restaurants and delightful boutiques. Next, discover the mystery of the ocean depths as you tour the Monterey Bay Aquarium for an introduction to the undersea world of Monterey Bay. During a “Behind the Scenes Tour,” you will have a personalized tour focused on your interests and questions as you experience the ultimate insider's view of the Aquarium. Discover animals and plants in front of the galleries then follow a guide through the "Employees Only" doors that you've always wished you could open. Behind-the-scenes, you'll see where they care for animals, how food is prepared and where they keep new arrivals. After this unique experience, there will be time to wander the Aquarium at your leisure before checking into your hotel in Monterey. (CB)


Depart Monterey this morning and enter Yosemite National Park for touring. Yosemite, "Jewel of the Sierra," is described as 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, our accommodations are in Mariposa. Best Western Plus Yosemite Way Station, Mariposa, CA (CB,D)C


Depart Yosemite this morning and arrive all too soon we’ll arrive in Jamestown, CA for touring of Railtown 1897 State Historic Park. It is home to one of America’s last intact, still-operating railroad roundhouses. Known as “The Movie Railroad”, Railtown 1897, its historic locomotives and cars have starred in hundreds of film and TV productions, including High Noon, Back to the Future 3, and Petticoat Junction. Next take a short drive to Ironstone Vineyards, a family-owned and operated winery located in in the heart of the Sierra Foothills, California’s scenic Gold Rush Country. First join the group for a special farewell luncheon. A gourmet buffet lunch will be 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! Depart Ironstone and travel to Sacramento for your final night. The evening is free to relax and have dinner on your own in Old Town Sacramento. Red Lion, Sacramento, CA (B,L)


Transportation has been provided back to the Sacramento Airport for your flights home. What an incredible journey through the past you’ve had on your Rail Tour through California. (B)


Tour Includes:

  • 7 nights accommodations
  • Transportation by motorcoach
  • Services of a professional Western Leisure tour director
  • 7 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 5 dinners
  • Entrance fees to attractions, National Parks and Monument as mentioned in itinerary
  • Tips for included meals
  • Luggage handling (1 suitcase per person)

Not Included:

  • Airfare
  • 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

Call ME FOR PRICING - (816) 454-3800