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Central Coast Lighthouses, Redwoods & Rail Search Tour Calendar
Featuring Monterey, Carmel, Big Sur, Cambria, Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, Hearst Castle, Coast Starlight Train

Tour Dates: September 26 - 30, 2021

5 Day Package
7 Meals Included
Just Added

$1399 Per Person / Double Occupancy
$1799 Per Person / Single Occupancy

Join us on this unique journey along California’s Central Coast – traveling by train, along the backroads and on the spectacular Pacific Coast Highway through Big Sur. For centuries artists, poets, explorers and novelists have been drawn to the rugged beauty of the California Coast. The crashing surf…the towering redwoods…the unspoiled wildlife...the historic lighthouses...the embodiment of the quintessential California spirit. We’ll experience it all as we enjoy stays at waterfront hotels, tours of historic lighthouses and a relaxing walk beneath giant redwoods – providing a true sense of timelessness and reconnection.

Tour Highlights:
  • Stay two nights at a AAA Four Diamond bayfront hotel adjacent to Monterey’s Fisherman’s Wharf with sightseeing to include a visit to Point Pinos Lighthouse and a tour of the Monterey Peninsula with a local guide highlighting historic Monterey, Cannery Row and the famed 17-Mile Drive

  • Travel the iconic Big Sur Scenic Highway (Hwy 1) between Monterey and Cambria with a stop at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park for a picnic lunch and a stroll beneath the giant redwoods

  • Stay two nights on Cambria’s spectacular Moonstone Beach at a charming inn which features cozy rooms with a fireplace with time at leisure in the village of Cambria – home to artists’ galleries and boutiques

  • Sightseeing along the Central Coast north of Cambria including the the elephant seal rookery near Point Piedras Blancas, a docent-guided tour of Piedras Blancas Light Station and an optional tour of Hearst Castle

  • Enjoy a five-hour rail journey along California’s coast aboard Amtrak’s Coast Starlight train

Fine Hotels / Great Locations:
  • Nights 1-2: Portola Hotel & Spa - Monterey, CA
  • Nights 3-4: FogCatcher Inn on Moonstone Beach - Cambria, CA
Day By Day Itinerary:
Day 1
Sunday, 9/26/2021 - Coastral Train Ride
We set out from our departure points this morning for the tranquility of California’s Central Coast. We’ll travel by deluxe motorcoach to downtown Los Angeles’ Union Station to board Amtrak’s Coast Starlight train for a memorable five-hour rail journey along California’s beautiful 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. Be on the lookout for two lighthouses located on the coast – Point Conception and Point Arguella. You are free to move around the train, get lunch from the snack bar or enjoy a waiter-served lunch on your own in the dining car (based on availability). Check out the view from the observation car or just relax in your reclining seat. Upon arrival in San Luis Obispo, we’ll reboard our motorcoach continue north to the Monterey Peninsula. Enjoy two nights at an upscale, AAA Four Diamond bayfront hotel within walking distance of Monterey’s Fisherman’s Wharf.
Day 2
Monday, 9/27/2021 - Monterey, Carmel
After an included breakfast, we’ll join a local guide for a comprehensive area tour. Wrapped by the Pacific Ocean on three sides, the Monterey Peninsula is often described as “the greatest meeting of land and sea.” On this in-depth driving tour, we’ll travel through historic Old Monterey, Cannery Row, Pacific Grove and along the famed 17-Mile Drive. One of the most picturesque drives in the world, 17-Mile Drive is an enchanting journey full of dramatic coastal cliffs, snow-white beaches and mystical forests. Along the way, we’ll encounter such spectacular sights as The Lone Cypress, Bird Rock, celebrity homes and the world-renowned Pebble Beach Golf Links. Enjoy time at leisure for lunch on your own and browsing in the quaint seaside town of Carmel-by-the-Sea. This town that deftly straddles the balance point of rich history and new wealth, features great restaurants, boutiques and galleries. This afternoon we’ll visit Point Pinos Lighthouse – a fitting name for the lighthouse that sits on the jagged rocky coast at the southern tip of the Monterey Peninsula with a covering of Monterey Pines. The oldest operating lighthouse on the West Coast, the light here has guided mariners to safety since 1855…and it’s still active today. Enjoy an included dinner this evening at a locals’ favorite.
Day 3
Tuesday, 9/28/2021 - Monterey to Cambria via Highway 1
Following an included breakast, we’ll travel by motorcoach on one of the greatest stretches of coastline on Earth – the iconic Big Sur Scenic Highway. The stretch of Pacific Coast Highway between Monterey and Cambria offers excellent views of craggy canyons, wildlife, seashores and lighthouses. As we travel south along Highway 1, we’ll be surrounded by the Santa Lucia Mountains on one side and the sea-sprayed, rocky Pacific Ocean on the other for a journey that will surely take your breath away. This region has often been described as “the face of Earth as the Creator intended it to look.” We’ll travel over the famed Bixby Bridge and take in views of Point Sur Lighthouse before we arrive in Big Sur. At Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park we’ll enjoy an included picnic lunch and time for a leisurely walk amongst the giant redwood trees. This beautiful park also features conifers, oaks, sycamores, cottonwoods, maples, alders and willows – along with open meadows and abundant wildlife! This afternoon we continue south past Ragged Point to the quaint seaside village of Cambria – the artists’ colony nestled in a forest of towering Monterey Pines along a craggy stretch of the California Central Coast. Enjoy a two-night stay at a charming inn featuring an oceanfront setting on Cambria’s Moonstone Beach. This spectacular stretch of rugged coastline offers an extraordinary array of tide pools, walkable bluff-top boardwalk and a spectacular vantage point for memorable sunsets. Enjoy time at leisure in Cambria’s East Village with dinner on own this evening.
Day 4
Wednesday, 9/29/2021 - Cambria, Hearst Castle
After an included breakfast we’ll travel north to Piedras Blancas Lighthouse, located on a rugged windswept point of land just north of Cambria. Enjoy a docent-guided tour of this lighthouse that first illuminated as an aid to navigation in 1875. The lighthouse still casts a beam of light to guide mariners along the rocky California coast and will offer us a glimpse into history and a respite from the modern world. This afternoon, enjoy time at leisure relaxing at the inn, taking a walk on the beach or browsing the eclectic shops, boutiques and galleries in Cambria’s quaint and historic village. Or take advantage of an optional docent-guided tour of Hearst Castle for an additional fee. This National Historical Landmark that sits above the clouds on top of “The Enchanted Hill” is an extraordinary temple to opulence and excess is a must-see to end all must-sees. This eye-popping extravaganza features a 165-room castle, terraced gardens, pools and a spectacular wraparound view of California’s Central Coast. Experience what life was like as a guest of W. R. Hearst, explore his personal collection of rare and ancient works of art and encounter the majesty and beauty of this historical treasure first-hand while on a docent-guided tour of Hearst Castle. Choose one of three available tours including “Grand Rooms,” “Upstairs Suites” and “Cottages & Kitchens.” Your visit here begins in the Heart Castle Theatre with Hearst Castle – Building the Dream, a movie that features breathtaking original cinematography combined with vintage clips and stills from the 1920s and 30s allowing the construction and history of the Castle to come to life on a giant five-story screen. Enjoy an included dinner at a locals’ favorite this evening.
Day 5
Thursday, 9/30/2021 - Santa Barbara, Journey Home
Following an included breakfast, we’ll begin our journey home traveling along Highway 1 through seaside hamlets like Morro Bay and Pismo  Beach. This afternoon we’ll arrive in Santa Barbara, known as “America’s Riviera.” Enjoy time at leisure for browsing and lunch on your own in downtown Santa Barbara along State Street and at Paseo Nuevo – the Mediterranean-style shopping district. Continuing south, we’ll arrive at our drop-off points this evening. We’ll all relish in the memories of our time relaxing on the Coast Starlight and at quaint waterfront inns along with the magnificent sights along California’s spectacular coast while on this memorable journey!

Tour Inclusions:

  • 4 Nights deluxe hotel accommodations
  • 7 Meals: 2 dinners, 1 lunch, 4 breakfasts
  • Services of a professional Good Times Travel tour director
  • Comprehensive sightseeing with a local guide
  • 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
Phone: 714-848-1255 - CST: 2018390-40
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