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

Departing: Wednesday, March 7, 2018
Waitlisted!

3 Day Package
3 Meals Included

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

Additional Departure Dates:

This  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 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, bay-front inn that is surrounded by rugged woodlands and overlooks Morro Bay.
 

Tour Highlights:
 
  • Explore the Central Coast at a delightful time of year with a whale watching cruise, a docent-guided visit to the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes and an optional thrilling excursion aboard a Humvee (Hummer) through the famous Oceano Dunes 
     
  • 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 at leisure browsing in the Danish town of 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
We set out from our departure points this morning for the tranquility of California’s Central Coast. We’ll travel by deluxe motorcoach to Oxnard to board Amtrak’s deluxe Coast Starlight. 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 complexes and beautiful undeveloped coastline only visible by train. You are free to move around the train, and get a snack or lunch on your own from the snack bar or dine in the dining car (based on availability). Check out the view from the observation car or just relax in your reclining 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. This gorgeous natural setting offers a perfect landscape for our two-night stay at a charming, upscale, bay-front inn that is surrounded by 4,000 acres of rugged woodlands. Enjoy an included dinner at a locals’ favorite this evening. 

Dinner
Day 2
Thursday, 3/8/2018 - Coastal Adventures
Following an included breakfast at the inn, we’ll board a private chartered boat and embark on a two-hour whale watching cruise out of Morro Bay. While gray whales are common along the California coast during this time of year, other mammals – including porpoises, dolphins and seals may also be seen – increasing our chances of seeing wildlife today – which is always unpredictable. Your experienced and knowledgeable skipper is skilled at tracking down sea life 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 inn 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 $70 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 never could. 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 and sample barbecued specialties from local restaurants while you’re entertained by local performers.
Breakfast
Day 3
Friday, 3/9/2018 - Guadalupe Dunes, Solvang and Journey Home
After an included breakfast, we’ll travel the short distance south 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. A naturalist guide will lead us on a short nature walk along the beach so we can take in 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 to become the “Lost City of Cecil B. DeMille.” This afternoon we continue south to the Santa Ynez Valley and the quaint Danish town of Solvang. Known as America’s famous “Little Denmark,” Solvang features quaint old-world architectural styles and flower-lined streets to create a very walk-able village. Enjoy time at leisure for browsing the wonderful shops that offer imported European wares and collectibles and lunch on your own in the delicious bakeries and restaurants. We continue south to our drop-off points, arriving in the evening with great memories of our unique coastal getaway.
Breakfast

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:
 
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