CALIFORNIA'S HISTORIC TRAINS - 2009

10 days from San Francisco to San Francisco (CO-8630)

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Vacation Overview

Experience California's major attractions and hidden treasures by road and by rail on this unique vacation. Start your vacation in San Francisco, the "City by the Bay," where your sightseeing tour includes the Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown, Fisherman's Wharf, and Nob Hill. Stroll the charming streets of Sausalito, then view Napa Valley in style aboard the Napa Valley Wine Train. Sit back and relax as you pass many of the region’s notable vineyards and wineries. In Santa Rosa, the largest city in California’s wine country, enjoy some leisure time and a visit to the Korbel Winery for a champagne cellar tour and tasting. From Fort Bragg, you travel into the Coastal Mountain Range, home of the towering Redwood trees, on the 1885-era Skunk Train. In Sacramento, California’s capital, enjoy an orientation tour and a thrilling ride over the Fremont Trestle—the West's longest wooden bridge at 8,000 feet—on the Sacramento RiverTrain. The fun continues with a trip to Yosemite National Park and a sightseeing tour of California's picturesque coast. Visit Carmel, a quaint town popular with writers, artists, and celebrities, and travel the spectacular 17-Mile Drive to Monterey—with views of Lone Cypress, Cypress Point, and the world-renowned Pebble Beach Golf Course. Enjoy free time and a sightseeing tour in Monterey; then travel back in time on Roaring Camp Railroad's 100-year-old narrow-gauge steam train, before returning to San Francisco for the perfect conclusion to your California train vacation.

Itinerary

Day 1 Mon. SAN FRANCISCO

Honolulu, Hawaii at dusk

Welcome to San Francisco! Enjoy time at leisure to relax or to do some independent exploring. Your Tour Director is on hand this evening to answer any questions.

Day 2 Tue. SAN FRANCISCO

This morning, explore the famous “City by the Bay” on our included sightseeing tour. See the Golden Gate Bridge, China Town, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Nob Hill. This afternoon is at leisure to discover more of this vibrant city on your own. Shop the stores of Union Square, ride one of San Francisco’s famous cable cars, or enjoy a bay cruise. Your Tour Director will have suggestions for the best places to shop and dine.

Day 3 Wed. SAN FRANCISCO –SAUSALITO – SANTA ROSA

Today our first stop is Sausalito, the jewel of San Francisco Bay. There’s time to stroll the charming streets, take in the breathtaking views, browse through the unique boutiques, or enjoy the plaza area. Later, view the scenic Napa Valley in style aboard the NAPA VALLEY WINE TRAIN. On board you’ll enjoy an elegant 3-course lunch. Sit back and relax as you pass many of the region’s notable vineyards and wineries. We overnight in Santa Rosa, the largest city in California’s wine country. (L).

Day 4 Thu. SANTA ROSA–FORT BRAGG

This morning is at leisure in Santa Rosa. Why not visit historic Railroad Square, containing the old Northwestern Pacific Railroad depot and the former Petaluma and Santa Rosa Railroad depot? Walk among these notable buildings that are now home to a bustling shopping and dining district. You may also want to visit the Charles M. Schulz Museum, dedicated to the artist who created Charlie Brown and the Peanuts comic strip. See the workshop where Snoopy, Peppermint Patty, Lucy, and the rest of these lovable characters came to life. This afternoon we’ll visit the Korbel Winery and enjoy a CHAMPAGNE CELLAR TOUR. You’ll see where the world-famous Korbel Champagnes were first made more than 100 years ago, visit the antique vaults, and learn the history of the Korbel legacy. Your tour ends with a tasting of this bubbly libation. We then travel along historic Highway 1 and overnight in the coastal town of Fort Bragg.

Day 5 Fri. FORT BRAGG–SACRAMENTO

This morning we take a leisurely journey into the Redwoods, criss-crossing the Noyo River and into the Coastal Mountain Range on the Historic SKUNK TRAIN. Built in 1885 as a logging railroad, the Skunk line began as a means of moving massive redwood logs to the sawmills of the coast. Steam passenger service started in 1904 but was discontinued 20 years later when the self-powered, yellow “Skunk” rail cars were inaugurated. The little trains were quickly nicknamed for their original gas engines, which prompted folks to say, “You can smell ‘em before you can see ‘em.” Moving at a leisurely pace you’ll have plenty of time for taking photos of the exhilarating journey. Afterwards, we continue to Sacramento, a former Gold Rush town and now capital city of California. Our orientation tour includes Old Sacramento, the downtown area, the Governor’s mansion, and State Capitol.

Day 6 Sat. SACRAMENTO

Today we’ll have a thrilling adventure as we travel aboard the SACRAMENTO RIVERTRAIN and relive the days of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. In addition to Western-themed characters, the train will stop for a delicious barbecue followed by an old-fashioned gunfight along the shores of the Sacramento River. Travel through scenic countryside, past farms and fields. A highlight of the trip is when we pass over the Fremont Trestle. This 8,000-foot-long bridge is the longest wooden bridge in the West. Later this afternoon, we visit the CALIFORNIA STATE RAILROAD MUSEUM, widely regarded as one of North America’s finest railroad museums. The museum offers lavishly refurbished trains, engaging exhibits, and special events throughout the year. (L)

Day 7 Sun. SACRAMENTO – YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK – MERCED

The highlight of today is a visit to YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, one of America’s first wilderness areas. Located in Central California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range, Yosemite National Park encompasses an incredible 1,170 square miles of breathtaking natural splendor. During your time here you may want to enjoy an open-air tram ride, rent a bicycle, visit the Ansel Adams photography studio, join a trail ride, or just relax with a picnic lunch.

Day 8 Mon. MERCED–17-MILE DRIVE–MONTEREY

Today, travel to California’s picturesque coast. Enjoy a visit to the lovely town of Carmel, a popular retreat for writers, artists, and celebrities. A highlight of today’s journey is the spectacular 17-MILE DRIVE to Monterey, with views of Cypress Point, famous Pebble Beach Golf Course, and the tenacious Lone Cypress. Upon arrival in Monterey, enjoy a sightseeing tour that includes a visit to historic Fisherman’s Wharf and Cannery Row, made famous by John Steinbeck’s novel. During your free time, explore the unique shops and galleries, watch the sea lions and otters, or visit the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Day 9 Tue. MONTEREY – SAN FRANCISCO

This morning’s journey is on the ROARING CAMP RAILROAD and the 100-year-old steam train. Travel over trestles, through redwood groves, and up a winding narrow-gauge grade to the summit of Bear Mountain. Upon arrival at Roaring Camp there’s time to explore the old-fashioned general store, the opera house, depot, and covered bridge. This afternoon we return to San Francisco. Tonight, join us for an optional farewell dinner, a perfect ending to your California holiday.

Day 10 Wed. SAN FRANCISCO

The vacation ends today with guests departing on individual schedules. Transfers are provided to San Francisco International Airport.

AIRPORT TRANSFERS

Airport transfers may be included when you make your international flights arrangements.

Dates and Prices

Departure
Details

Departure
Date

Tour
Start Date

Return
Date

Land/Cruise
Price Only

Status

Popular Departure

6/1/2009

6/1/2009

6/10/2009

$1,439.00

Available

6/15/2009

6/15/2009

6/24/2009

$1,469.00

Available

6/29/2009

6/29/2009

7/8/2009

$1,469.00

Available

7/13/2009

7/13/2009

7/22/2009

$1,469.00

Available

7/27/2009

7/27/2009

8/5/2009

$1,469.00

Available

8/10/2009

8/10/2009

8/19/2009

$1,469.00

Available

9/7/2009

9/7/2009

9/16/2009

$1,439.00

Available

9/21/2009

9/21/2009

9/30/2009

$1,439.00

Available

10/5/2009

10/5/2009

10/14/2009

$1,439.00

Available

Popular Departure - due to itinerary and time of year, this departure historically sells out quickly. Early booking is encouraged.