Good Times Travel
17132 Magnolia St., Fountain Valley, CA 92708
Featuring a Pismo Beach Oceanfront Hotel, Animal Encounters, Paso Robles Wine Country, Coast Starlight Train
Activity Level 2
Pace Level 2
Welcome aboard a three-day rail getaway that showcases the spectacular coastline, the Paso Robles wine country and the cuddly critters along California’s Central Coast. We’ll experience multiple animal encounters, award-winning wines and strolling amongst charming towns while enjoying a relaxing, two-night stay at an upscale, oceanfront hotel on a bluff overlooking Pismo Beach.
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 the short distance to Pismo Beach, the classic beach town that features incredible, expansive vistas of the Pacific Ocean. Enjoy a relaxing, two-night stay in an oceanview room with private balcony or patio at an upscale, full-service, oceanfront Pismo Beach hotel that features a contemporary and stylish design along with a bit of fun and nostalgia. This coastal hideaway that sits atop a bluff overlooking Pismo Beach features a heated pool with multiple spas, four terraces – including a rooftop terrace with fire pits, an on-site restaurant and stair access to the unspoiled sandy beach below. (Lunch)
Following an included breakfast, we’ll travel north to Paso Robles and our first animal encounter. Tucked away in the rolling hills of Paso Robles is a 40-acre, hilltop ranch that features an orchard of over 500 almond trees that dot the hillsides in all directions. This family-owned and operated almond and alpaca ranch is also home to a variety of other farm animals including sheep, goats, horses, ducks and chickens. A guided tour of the ranch will provide unforgettable up-close interaction with the animal and an opportunity to visit the ranch store which sells handmade alpaca products. We’ll continue deep into the Paso Robles wine country, home to the oldest grapes in California – they were planted by Franciscan monks as they made their way north on El Camino Real in the late 1700s. With over 200 wineries, this wine region is not only the fastest growing wine region in the state, but more importantly, it’s producing world-class wines – especially Rhône varietals and blends. We’ll be the judges during an included lunch with wine tasting at a picturesque winery and vineyard where rustic elegance meets wine country charm. This afternoon we’ll visit the Pismo Beach Monarch Butterfly Grove where thousands of vibrant orange and black Monarch butterflies flock to a grove of Eucalyptus trees here. While the number of butterflies seeking shelter here each winter was dwindling, the last two winters saw a dramatic surge in population, reaching 24,000 butterflies in 2022/2023. While only mother nature knows what this year will bring, we’ll keep our fingers crossed for a repeat of last year. This evening, enjoy dinner on your own at one of the restaurants within walking distance of the hotel or take advantage of motorcoach transportation provided to downtown San Luis Obispo’s Farmers’ Market and street faire (weather permitting). Enjoy time at leisure strolling amongst four lively and historic blocks filled with just-picked produce for sale, local restaurants selling a variety of barbecued specialties and entertaining local performers. This one-night-a-week event is undoubtedly one of the most treasured events on the Central Coast and has a long history of bringing locals and visitors together to eat, shop, listen to music and connect. (Breakfast, Lunch)
After an included breakfast, we’ll visit a turtle and tortoise sanctuary that provides a shelter for turtles, tortoises and other cohabiting creatures amongst a lush and expansive ecologically friendly 5-acre haven. On a guided tour of the sanctuary we’ll have an opportunity to get up-close to a variety of captivating creatures and learn about this sanctuary that has rescued, safeguarded and nurtured an estimated 5,000 animals over the last 30 years. We’ll continue south to Santa Barbara and enjoy time at leisure for browsing and lunch on own in this popular beach city known as “America’s Riviera.” Characterized by unique shopping, great food and distinctive architecture, downtown Santa Barbara offers palm-lined thoroughfares where you’ll be surrounded by shops, boutiques, tantalizing eateries and beautiful buildings. This afternoon we’ll visit an exotic bird sanctuary that is home to over 50 stunning parrots. On a guided tour, we’ll explore this small but lush tropical garden that is a haven for unwanted and displaced companion parrots. Witnessing these majestic creatures converse amongst themselves creates an otherworldly experience! We’ll continue south towards our departure points, arriving in the evening with great memories of our coastal safari and the cute and cuddly creatures
that we met along the way. (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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