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Monterey & Carmel Holiday by Rail Search Tour Calendar
Featuring a Three-Night Stay in Monterey, Carmel by the Sea, Steinbeck House,
17-Mile Drive, Coast Starlight Train

Tour Dates: December 12 - 15, 2021
Limited Space

4 Day Package
5 Meals Included

$999 Per Person / Double Occupancy
$1299 Per Person / Single Occupancy

On this holiday escape to the Monterey Peninsula, we’ll not only discover the cypress groves, historic towns, early California history and exceptional stories that make the Monterey Peninsula so special, but do it at a magical time of year when it’s charmingly decorated for the holidays. Join us as we travel along the coast by train, enjoy a single-hotel stay in the heart of Old Monterey, and appreciate this region that celebrates the holiday season with beautiful lights, fairy tale-like decor and the simple pleasures like a cup of hot cocoa with an ocean view.

Tour Highlights:

  • Stay three nights at a bayfront, AAA Four Diamond hotel adjacent to Monterey’s Fisherman’s Wharf and decked out for the holidays
  • Join a local guide for an in-depth tour of the Monterey Peninsula highlighting Cannery Row, Pacific Grove, historic Monterey, sights along the picturesque 17-Mile Drive, a visit to the Carmel Mission and an optional visit to the famed Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • Enjoy an included lunch at the Steinbeck House – the beautifully restored Victorian home
  • Enjoy time at leisure exploring the quaint boutiques and galleries in Carmel and Solvang
  • Ride along the spectacular California coast aboard Amtrak’s deluxe Coast Starlight train

Fine Hotels / Great Locations:


  • Nights 1-3: Portola Hotel & Spa - Monterey, CA
Day By Day Itinerary:
Day 1
Sunday, 12/12/2021 - Coastal Train Ride
We set out from our departure points this morning aboard a deluxe motorcoach and travel to downtown Los Angeles’ Union Station to board Amtrak’s Coast Starlight for a memorable five-hour rail journey along California’s spectacular 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, 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 and continue north to the Monterey Peninsula. We’ll enjoy a three-night stay at an upscale, bay-front, AAA Four Diamond hotel decked out for the holidays and adjacent to Fisherman’s Wharf in Old Monterey. Enjoy the balance of the evening at leisure with dinner on your own at the hotel or a nearby restaurant.
Day 2
Monday, 12/13/2021 - Steinbeck House, Optional Visit to Monterey Bay Aquarium
After an included breakfast, we’ll travel to the Salinas Valley, often referred to as “Steinbeck Country.” The agriculturally rich area is where John Steinbeck grew up and drew inspiration for his most famous novels like East of Eden. In John Steinbeck’s hometown of Salinas, we’ll enjoy an included lunch at The Steinbeck House, Steinbeck’s birthplace and boyhood home. This restored Queen Anne Victorian built in 1897 is charmingly decorated for the holidays. We return to Monterey this afternoon with time at your leisure to browse Monterey’s historic Cannery Row. Or take advantage of an optional visit to the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium for an additional $40 per person. The former sardine cannery on Cannery Row sets the standard for aquariums around the world because of its immersive exhibits and ability to present marine life on a truly grand scale. Get up-close and personal with 35,000 sea creatures representing over 550 marine species including sea otters, penguins, sharks, jellies and thousands of other marine animals and plants. Enjoy an included dinner at a locals’ favorite this evening.
Day 3
Tuesday, 12/14/2021 - Monterey Peninsula
Following 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...” For centuries, artists, poets, explorers and novelists have been drawn to the rugged beauty here – from the crashing surf to the towering redwoods to the unspoiled wildlife. On this in-depth driving tour, we’ll travel through historic Monterey, Cannery Row, Pacific Grove, and along the famed 17-Mile Drive – one of the most picturesque drives in the world, this 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 an included three-course lunch in the quaint seaside town of Carmel-by-the-Sea followed by time at leisure. This town that deftly straddles the balance point of rich history and new wealth, features a variety of boutiques and galleries. The setting is even more magical at Christmastime, when the adorable shops, inns and cafes are charmingly decorated for the holidays. This afternoon we’ll visit the Carmel Mission, founded by Father Junipero Serra in 1770, making it the second of the 21 California missions. Considered the most authentically restored Franciscan mission, it is also perhaps the most beautiful of California’s missions. Enjoy time to browse this heritage site to learn about life here centuries ago. Small museums and a chapel gallery showcase art pieces and artifacts. The sparsely furnished cell where Father Serra slept is a sobering reminder of how he lived. He chose this peaceful, garden-trimmed mission overlooking the Pacific as his final resting place, which comes as no surprise considering its elegant Moorish architecture and spectacular coastal setting. Enjoy the evening at leisure.
Day 4
Wednesday, 12/15/2021 - Solvang, Journey Home
After an included breakfast, we’ll travel south by motorcoach to the Santa Ynez Valley and the quaint Danish town of Solvang, known as America’s famous “Little Denmark.” This time of year, the quaint old-world architectural styles and flower-lined streets are beautifully decorated for the holidays. Enjoy time at leisure for browsing the wonderful shops and lunch on your own in one of the delicious restaurants. We continue south arriving at our drop-off points this evening.
Tour Inclusions:
  • 3 Nights deluxe hotel accommodations
  • 5 Meals: 1 dinner, 2 lunches, 3 breakfasts
  • 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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Phone: 714-848-1255 - CST: 2018390-40
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