Good Times Travel
17132 Magnolia St., Fountain Valley, CA 92708
Featuring a Two-Night Stay at an Oceanfront Inn on Cambria’s Moonstone Beach, Hearst Castle, Coast Starlight Train
Activity Level 2
Pace Level 2
One of our all-time most popular tours is offered at what is typically a delightful time of year in this region. This relaxing three-day getaway explores California’s Central Coast while enjoying a stay at a charming and cozy inn on Cambria’s Moonstone Beach. We’ll travel by train and along the picturesque backroads while keeping a relaxed pace as we experience first-hand why this area “where the pines meet the sea” is so special.
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 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 in a charming boutique inn that features cozy fireplace rooms with a coastal décor and a driftwood-inspired design. This oceanfront gem is located on Cambria’s Moonstone Beach, recently voted one of the ‘10 Best Beaches in California’ by the readers of USA Today. This spectacular stretch of coastline offers an easily accessible beach with drift- wood and collectable shells and rocks, tide pools, a walkable bluff-top boardwalk and a spectacular vantage point for memorable sunsets. This evening we’ll enjoy an included dinner with choice of entrée at Linn’s Restaurant, the Cambria icon and locals’ favorite that’s known for its 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! (Lunch, Dinner)
Following an included breakfast we’ll visit Hearst Castle, the National Historic Landmark that sits above the clouds on top of “The Enchanted Hill.” This extraordinary temple to opulence and excess is an eye-popping extravaganza featuring a 165-room castle, terraced gardens, pools and a spectacular wraparound view of California’s Central Coast. Our visit here begins at the Visitor Center in the Heart Castle Theatre, a giant screen theater showing the resident film, Hearst Castle – Building the Dream. Featuring breathtaking original cinematography combined with vintage clips and stills from the 1920s and 30s, the film allows the construction and history of the Castle to come to life on a giant five-story screen. Experience what life was like as a guest of W. R. Hearst, see 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 “Grand Rooms” tour through the main building, including the Assembly Room, Refectory, Morning Room, Billiard Room and Theater. Note the Grand Rooms tour includes a total of 140 steps (both up and down) and 2/3-mile walk. If you require the Grand Rooms ADA tour (which has no stairs and limited availability), please advise us at the time of reservation. Enjoy time at leisure this afternoon relaxing at the inn, taking a walk on Moonstone Beach or browsing the charming shops, boutiques and galleries in Cambria’s quaint and historic village. This evening, enjoy dinner on your own at one of the oceanfront restaurants or take advantage of motorcoach transportation to downtown San Luis Obispo’s Farmers’ Market and street faire (weather permitting). Enjoy time at leisure strolling amongst four blocks filled with just-picked produce for sale, local restaurants selling barbecued specialties and entertaining local performers. (Breakfast)
After an included breakfast 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 north- ern 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. We’ll continue south and travel the backroads through the Santa Ynez Valley to 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 walkable village. Enjoy time at leisure for lunch on your own and browsing the wonderful shops that offer imported European wares and collectibles. For a true taste of Danish culture, sample the delicious pastries offered by Solvang’s authentic local bakeries. We continue south to our drop-off points, returning this evening with many fond memories of our time on California’s beautiful 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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