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Coastal "Safari" by Rail Search Tour Calendar
Featuring an Oceanfront Stay in Pismo Beach, Coast Starlight Train, Morro Bay, Cambria

Tour Dates: February 7 - 9, 2018

3 Day Package
3 Meals Included

Price:
$589 Per Person / Double Occupancy
$759 Per Person / Single Occupancy


Welcome aboard for a getaway that showcases the wildlife and treasures of California’s Central Coast with a memorable coastal train ride. From Pacific Coast Highway to the back roads of the Santa Ynez Valley, this tour features a variety of animal farms, sanctuaries and ranches. All the while we’ll enjoy a relaxing stay at a charming oceanfront inn on a bluff overlooking Pismo Beach. Sit back and relax as we embark on a “safari” by rail to see the charming critters along the coast.

Tour Highlights:
 
  • “Safari” sightseeing along the Central Coast including a visit to a monarch butterfly sanctuary, an elephant seal rookery, a goat dairy farm, an ostrich and emu ranch and a tour of Morro Bay with a local guide in search of various birds and sea life
     
  • Ride along California’s coast aboard the deluxe Coast Starlight train featuring a dining car and observation car for spectacular views of Vandenberg Air Force Base and the coast
     
  • Stay two nights in Pismo Beach at a charming, recently-renovated, upscale, oceanfront property featuring cozy fireplace rooms
     
  • Attend San Luis Obispo’s Thursday night street fair and farmers’ market
  • Enjoy time at leisure to browse the quaint shops in both Cambria and Solvang


Fine Hotels / Great Locations:

  • Nights 1-2: Cottage Inn by the Sea – Pismo Beach, CA
Day By Day Itinerary:
Day 1
Wednesday, 2/7/2018 - Rail Journey to Pismo Beach
This morning we set out from our departure points for the tranquility of Pismo Beach and Califor­nia’s Central Coast. We’ll travel by motorcoach to Oxnard to board Amtrak’s deluxe Coast Starlight train. Here we’ll embark on a memorable journey along California’s coastline through Vandenberg Air Force Base and the fertile valleys to San Luis Obispo. Traveling by rail allows you to see much of the California coast and back roads normally hidden from the roads traveled by car.  You are free to move around the train, get lunch from the snack bar or sit in the dining car. Check out the view from the observation dome car or just relax in your seat. Upon our arrival in San Luis Obispo, our motorcoach will be waiting to take us the short distance to Pismo Beach. Known as the “Clam Capital of the World,” Pismo Beach preserves the spirit of early California with its 23 miles of unspoiled sandy beaches including Pismo’s dramatic rugged coastlines and the 1,200 foot Pismo Beach pier lined with fishing enthusiasts.  The white, sandy, uncrowded coastline offers a perfect landscape for our two-night stay at a charming oceanfront hotel with fireplaces in every room. This evening enjoy an included dinner at the famous McLintock’s Dining House. 

Dinner
Day 2
Thursday, 2/8/2018 - Coastal "Safari"
Following an included breakfast at our hotel, we travel to Morro Bay, the charming fishing village famous for its landmark, Morro Rock.  This sentinel of Morro Bay is actually a volcanic peak over 21 million years old. The 576-foot-high dome-shaped formation now serves as a preserve for the spectacular peregrine falcons that nest on top. As a bird sanctuary, the city of Morro Bay and the Morro Bay National Estuary provide a nourishing habitat to more than 250 species of birds. We’ll be joined by a local guide for a tour of the area to see the many birds and sea life.  We continue up Pacific Coast Highway to the elephant seal rookery at Piedras Blancas. This location is one of only a few spots in the world where elephant seals can be seen in vast numbers.  This time of year is breeding season and so the adult seals are on the beach and the males with their large noses are establishing dominance over their harems. Later we arrive in the charming town of Cambria, “where the pines meet the sea.” This lovely village and artists’ colony features quaint boutiques and shops as well as great restaurants and you’ll have time to enjoy both at your leisure. This afternoon we travel the backroads to visit a goat dairy farm (weather permitting). We’ll learn about the process of making goat cheese and meet the animals. This time of year there are often darling newborns and the memories here will be “udderly unforgettable.” This evening enjoy San Luis Obispo’s open-air Thursday night street faire and farmer’s market which fills four blocks of historic downtown. Buy just-picked produce, sample a variety of barbecued specialties from local restaurants and stroll the many booths while you are entertained by local performers. 
Breakfast
Day 3
Friday, 2/9/2018 - Solvang, Journey Home
After an included breakfast we’ll travel the short distance to the Pismo Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove. Each year thousands of vibrant orange and black Monarch butterflies cluster in the limbs of a grove of Eucalyptus trees here and it’s truly a sight to be seen. We continue south to the Santa Ynez Valley to enjoy time at leisure for lunch and shopping in the quaint Danish town of Solvang, America’s famous “Little Denmark.” Shops offer imported European collectibles and the delicious bakeries and restaurants are a delight. This afternoon we’ll visit an ostrich and emu farm and get up-close and personal with these big birds that are a rare and unique sight in this part of the world. The backdrop of the landscape on which they roam is quite lovely and seeing them walking about on the plain that resembles their native desert is like being in another place and time. The gift shop here offers a wide variety of ostrich and emu related products. We continue south towards our departure points, arriving in the evening with great memories of our coastal “safari” and the cute and cuddly creatures we met along the way.
Breakfast
Tour Inclusions:
  • 2 Nights deluxe hotel accommodations
  • 3 Meals: 1 dinner, 2 breakfasts
  • Comprehensive sightseeing with a local guide and services of a professional Good Times Travel tour director 
  • Admissions per itinerary
  • Transportation on a deluxe touring motorcoach and aboard Amtrak's deluxe Coast Starlight train
  • Luggage handling throughout the tour


Additional Information:

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