Good Times Travel
17132 Magnolia St., Fountain Valley, CA 92708
Featuring a Single-Hotel Stay in Monterey, 17-Mile Drive, Carmel, Redwood Forest Steam Train, Coast Starlight Train
Activity Level 2
Pace Level 2
The Monterey Peninsula is the embodiment of the quintessential California spirit – providing a sense of timelessness and re-connection. It’s been 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 and the unspoiled wildlife. We invite you on this memorable rail journey to discover with us the cypress groves, redwood forest, world-renowned aquarium and captivating charm that make the Monterey Peninsula 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 to the Monterey Peninsula. We’ll enjoy a three-night stay at the Portola Hotel & Spa, a AAA Four Diamond bayfront hotel situated adjacent to Monterey’s 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. (Lunch)
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 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. We return to the hotel with the balance of the evening at leisure. (Breakfast)
After an included breakfast, we’ll travel north to the Santa Cruz Mountains and arrive at Roaring Camp, which resembles a 1880s logging town. Shop in the old-fashioned general store or explore vintage western structures, such as an opera house, depot and covered bridge. We’ll board the Redwood Forest Steam Train and travel over trestles, through towering redwood groves and up a winding narrow-gauge grade to the summit of Bear Mountain as the conductor provides narration. Roaring Camp’s steam engines date from 1890 and are among the oldest and most authentically preserved narrow-gauge steam engines providing regularly scheduled passenger service in America. We return to Monterey this afternoon with time at leisure to browse Monterey’s historic Cannery Row and take advantage of included admission to the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium. The former sardine cannery located on the ocean’s edge of Cannery Row boasts spectacular coastal views and 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. We return to the hotel with the balance of the evening at leisure. (Breakfast)
Following an included breakfast, we’ll travel south by motorcoach, making rest stops along the way. In San Luis Obispo we’ll visit the eclectic and historic Madonna Inn. Opened for business in 1958, it quickly became a California landmark and it’s timeless elegance and whimsical de cor continues to intrigue visitors more than 60 years later! Enjoy time at leisure here for browsing and lunch on your own this afternoon in Santa Barbara, the 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. We return to our departure points this evening with many fond memories of our time relaxing on the train and enjoying a three-night stay in Monterey while exploring California’s beautiful Central Coast and redwoods on this memorable getaway. (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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