Good Times Travel
17132 Magnolia St., Fountain Valley, CA 92708
Featuring the Cambria Pines Lodge, Hearst Castle ‘Holiday Twilight Tour,’ Cambria Christmas Market, Coast Starlight Train
Activity Level 2
Pace Level 2
This three-day holiday getaway to the Central Coast features a coastal train and a two-night stay at the woodsy-chic Cambria Pines Lodge, magically decorated for the Christmas season and featuring both a German-style Christmas Market and a walk-thru light display featuring more than two million lights! Sightseeing along the Central Coast backroads, the Danish town of Solvang and a ‘Holiday Twilight Tour’ of Hearst Castle will surely get you in the spirit of the season!
We set out from our departure points this morning aboard a deluxe motorcoach and travel to down- town Los Angeles’ Union Station to board Amtrak’s Coast Starlight train 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 Space Force Base where you’ll see the launch complexes and beautiful undeveloped coastline which is only visible by train. We’ll enjoy an included boxed lunch onboard along with a snack bar selling snacks and drinks. Enjoy the relaxing ride in your reclining seat or check out the view from the observation car featuring windows that stretch up to the ceiling offering unparalleled and expansive views. Upon arrival in San Luis Obispo, we’ll reboard our motorcoach and continue north along the coast to the quaint seaside village of Cambria – the artists’ colony nestled in a forest of towering Monterey Pines along a craggy stretch of California coastline. We’ll enjoy a two-night stay at the charming Cambria Pines Lodge, the woodsy- chic lodge nestled amongst a Monterey pine forest. This boutique hotel features spacious rooms that are richly appointed with a fireplace, farmhouse furnishings and modern amenities. The sprawling grounds feature beautiful gardens, a heated outdoor pool and hot tub, and the Cambria Pines Lodge Restaurant offering a diverse menu of enticing dishes. This time of year, the lodge is decked out in its holiday finest – sure to get you in the spirit of the season! Enjoy the evening at leisure with dinner on your own at the restaurant or at the Cambria Christmas Market, the charming annual holiday event that draws visitors from all over to experience a traditional holiday market similar to those found in Germany and Austria where it’s known as “Weihnachtsmarkt.” This outdoor event at the Cambria Pines Lodge features a vendor market with open-air stalls and local merchants selling imported German goods, seasonal gifts along with fresh baked goods and seasonal treats and drinks like Glühwein – the traditional German hot spiced wine that is sure to keep you cozy while exploring the walk-thru light display that features more than two million lights complete with themed vignettes. (Lunch)
Following an included breakfast at the lodge, we’ll enjoy a scenic ride along the coast north of Cambria to the elephant seal rookery at Piedras Blancas. This location is one of only a few spots in the world where northern elephant seals can be seen in vast numbers. Although elephant seals spend most of their lives in the open ocean, they arrive at this rookery to give birth, breed, molt and rest from long migrations in the ocean in search of food. At William Randolph Hearst State Beach we can take a leisurely stroll along the pier in this protected cove. This afternoon enjoy time at leisure for lunch on your own and browsing in the quaint village of Cambria, featuring eclectic shops, unique boutiques and galleries. This quaint and historic village has a leisurely pace and country village atmosphere reminiscent of a small town. This evening we’ll enjoy an included dinner with choice of entrée at Linn’s Restaurant, the Cambria icon and locals’ favorite known for their contemporary comfort food classics like meatloaf and chicken pot pie. But be sure to save room for what they’re most famous for – warm olallieberry pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top! We continue to Hearst Castle, the National Historic Landmark that sits above the clouds on top of “The Enchanted Hill.” Discover why the holiday season was an exceptionally festive time for William Randolph Hearst and his guests while on a docent-guided, ‘Holiday Twilight Tour,’ the seasonal evening holiday tour that showcases the Castle in a different light. Your knowledgeable guide will share stories of holiday festivities during the estate’s heyday while touring the grounds, the Casa del Sol guest house and the grand social rooms of Casa Grande – beautifully decorated for the holidays. Note this 75-minute walking tour includes a total of 190 stairs (both up and down) along a 2/3-mile route. (Breakfast, Dinner)
Following an included breakfast at the lodge, we’ll travel south by motorcoach to San Luis Obispo and visit the eclectic and historic Madonna Inn, the California landmark that features a timeless elegance, whimsical décor and is beautifully decorated for the holidays! In the Santa Ynez Valley we’ll travel the backroads to 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 to browse the wonderful shops that offer imported European wares and collectibles with lunch on your own in the delicious restaurants. For a true taste of Danish culture, sample the delicious pastries offered by Solvang’s authentic local bakeries. We continue south returning to our drop-off points this evening with many fond memories of our holiday getaway to the Central Coast. (Breakfast)
While we make every effort to operate our tours as outlined in the itinerary, we ask for your patience, understanding and flexibility and to retain a sense of adventure while traveling with us. Situations may arise that necessitate changes to the itinerary. Should we need to adjust the itinerary either prior to or while on tour, these changes will be communicated to you and only done when absolutely necessary.
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