Central Coast Whales, Rails & Dunes
Featuring Morro Bay Hotel, Guadalupe Dunes, Whale Watching, Coast Starlight Train

Departing: Wednesday, March 7, 2018

3 Day Package
3 Meals Included
New Itinerary

$499 Per Person / Double Occupancy
$599 Per Person / Single Occupancy

This new three-day getaway showcases the wildlife and geologic treasures along California’s Central Coast at a delightful time of year. Explore the historic and geologically unique Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes, embark on a whale watching cruise from Morro Bay and enjoy a memorable coastal train ride. All the while, we’ll enjoy a relaxing stay at an upscale water-front inn overlooking Morro Bay and surrounded by 4,000 acres of rugged woodlands.


Tour Highlights:
  • Explore the Central Coast at a delightful time of year with a whale watching cruise and a docent-guided visit to the Guadalupe Dunes, featuring miles of pristine sand dunes and the buried set from Cecil B. Demille’s The Ten Commandments, which was filmed here in 1923

  • Ride along California’s coast aboard the deluxe Coast Starlight train, featuring a dining car and observation car for spectacular ocean views

  • Stay two nights in Morro Bay at an upscale recently-renovated waterfront property surrounded by 4,000 acres of rugged woodlands

  • Attend San Luis Obispo’s Thursday night street fair and farmers’ market, and enjoy time to browse in both Cambria and Solvang

Fine Hotels / Great Locations:
  • Nights 1-2: Inn at Morro Bay - Morro, CA
Day By Day Itinerary:
Day 1
Wednesday, 3/7/2018 - Rail Journey to Morro Bay
This morning we set out from our departure points for the tranquility of Morro Bay and California’s Central Coast. We’ll travel by motorcoach to Oxnard to board Amtrak’s Coast Starlight train. Here begins a memorable four-hour rail journey along California’s coastline and through its fertile valleys to San Luis Obispo. We’ll travel along Point Conception and through Vandenberg Air Force Base where you’ll see the launch sites and beautiful undeveloped coastline only visible by train. You are free to move around the train, get lunch from the snack bar or enjoy lunch on own in the dining car. Check out the view from the observation car or just relax in your comfortable seat. Upon our arrival in San Luis Obispo, our motorcoach will be waiting to take us the short distance to Morro Bay, the “Gibraltar of the Pacific.” This charming seaside fishing village sits in the shadow of the famous, 576-foot high, dome-shaped Morro Rock. This sentinel of Morro Bay is actually a volcanic peak over 21 million years old. This gorgeous natural setting offers a perfect landscape for our two-night stay at a charming, recently-renovated inn. Surrounded by 4,000 acres of rugged woodlands, this quaint full-service inn has a stunning waterfront location overlooking Morro Bay and the Pacific Ocean. This evening, enjoy an included dinner at a locals’ favorite.

Day 2
Thursday, 3/8/2018 - Coastal Adventures
Following an included breakfast at our inn, we’ll board a private chartered boat and embark on a two-hour whale watching cruise out of Morro Bay. This memorable educational experience takes place at the time of year when grey whales are migrating northbound from Mexico to Alaska. Mothers with calves travel last, staying closer to the shore and moving slowly, making this one of the best times to see them. Your experienced and knowledgeable skipper is skilled at tracking down a variety of whales, dolphins, seals, sea lions, and a rich variety of bird life; some of which are endangered and protected. Later, enjoy time at leisure along the Morro Bay Embarcadero for browsing and lunch on own. This afternoon you are at leisure to relax at the hotel or explore Morro Bay State Park, home to lagoons, trails and a bird-rich saltwater marsh. Within walking distance of the hotel is the Museum of Natural History featuring exhibits on ecology and local Native American culture. Or take advantage of an optional excursion to experience the wild terrain of the coastal sand dunes aboard a real USMC Humvee (Hummer) for an additional $65 per person. On this memorable adventure, your experienced and skilled driver-guide will take you along the beach from Pismo Beach to the famous Oceano Dunes highlighting points of interest along the way. Then, “hold onto your seat” as you begin to climb the towering, wind-sculpted sand dunes on this thrilling adventure. Your expert driver will show off the capabilities of this military vehicle as you climb dunes that most 4-wheel vehicles would never make. Experience going sideways around a Pismo “dune Bowl” and blasting steep inclines in forward or reverse on this exhilarating adventure from start to finish. 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. 
Day 3
Friday, 3/9/2018 - Solvang & Journey Home
After an included breakfast, we’ll travel south the short distance to Guadalupe to visit the Dunes Center, promoting the conservation and restoration of the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes. Featuring a variety of exhibits including animal specimens, artifacts from the “Lost City of DeMille” and art created by local artists, any exploration of these dunes isn’t complete without a visit to the Dunes Center. Then, we head to the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes, a National Natural Landmark that contains some of the most remote and least disturbed habitats in the 18-mile long coastal dunes complex. Join a naturalist guide for a short nature walk and enjoy the spectacular views of the ocean and dunes for as far as the eye can see. Gazing upon the rolling and windswept dunes, it’s easy to see how they could stand in for the Sahara Desert in Cecil. B. DeMill’s 1923, silent epic, The Ten Commandments. In fact, the pioneer filmmaker built the largest set in movie history at the time in the dunes and then after filming was complete, ordered that the entire set be dismantled… and secretly buried in the dunes. And there it lay, forgotten, for the next 60 years known as the “Lost City of Cecil B. DeMille.” In 1983, a group of determined film buffs – inspired by a cryptic clue in DeMille’s posthumously published autobiography – located the remains of the set. Weather and sand shifting permitting, we may catch a glimpse of this historic film site. This afternoon we continue south to the Santa Ynez Valley to enjoy time at leisure for lunch on own 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. We continue south to our drop-off points, arriving in the evening with great memories of our unique coastal getaway. 

Tour Inclusions:

  • 2 Nights deluxe hotel accommodations
  • 3 Meals: 1 dinner, 2 breakfasts
  • Services of a professional Good Times Travel tour director
  • Comprehesive sightseeing
  • Admissions per itinerary
  • Transportation on a deluxe touring motorcoach and aboard Amtrak's deluxe Coast Starlight train 
  • Luggage handling throughout the tour

Additional Information:
© Good Times Travel - 17132 Magnolia St. - Fountain Valley, CA 92708
Toll Free: 888-488-2287 Local: 714-848-1255 Fax: 714-848-2855 - CST:2018390-40