PACIFIC COAST EXPLORER - 2009

15 days from San Diego to Seatle (CO-8570)

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Vacation Overview

From San Diego to Seattle, this Pacific Coast vacation highlights the Pacific Coast’s beauty and most exciting cities. Start your trip in San Diego, California’s second-largest city, with time to explore the city. Your San Diego sightseeing tour includes the Gaslamp Quarter, Balboa Park, Coronado Island, and Old Town San Diego. Head to Los Angeles, home to musical and film celebrities, and tour some of Los Angeles’ most popular sights. Enjoy the shoreline from Santa Monica to Santa Barbara, where you visit the 200-year-old mission, then head to Solvang, where Denmark has been recreated. On your way to San Francisco, stop at Hearst Castle, the opulent mansion of wealthy newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst, with splendid antiques, art treasures, and exotic possessions purchased at an estimated $50 million. Your tour shows off the 123-acre estate. Head north to San Francisco, famous for its cable cars and steep streets, for three overnights. See the city’s famous landmarks on your sightseeing tour and enjoy time to explore on your own.

A visit to this area would not be complete without a stop in the wine-growing valley of Sonoma. Enjoy a guided tour and wine tasting at one of the well-known Sonoma wineries. View the world's tallest trees in spectacular Redwood National Park and along Avenue of the Giants, a quiet 2-lane road that winds through some of the world’s most spectacular scenery with ancient redwood trees. You have the opportunity to see an 1,800-year-old redwood before heading north into Oregon. Enjoy some of Oregon’s beautiful coastal towns, including Bandon-by-the-Sea, Coos Bay, Florence, Tillamook, and Newport. In Portland, Oregon’s largest city, your sightseeing tour shows you why Portland is better known as the “City of Roses” with its numerous parks and beautiful flower gardens. Then head to Seattle and enjoy a sightseeing tour including the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, and more. Your trip ends in Seattle with time for you to explore on your own. If you want to see the amazing cities and beautiful sights along the Pacific Coast, this vacation is for you!

Itinerary

Day 1  Sun. SAN DIEGO

Honolulu, Hawaii at dusk

Welcome to San Diego, California’s second-largest city. 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  Mon. SAN DIEGO

Enjoy blue skies on 70 miles of beaches with a Mediterranean climate. This morning features a sightseeing tour including downtown, the Gaslamp Quarter, Balboa Park, Coronado Island, and Old Town San Diego. This afternoon, experience San Diego at your leisure. Take in the Maritime Museum or the celebrated San Diego Zoo.

Day 3  Tue. SAN DIEGO – LOS ANGELES

Today, continue on your coastal journey to Los Angeles, the “City of Angels” and home to Universal Studios® as well as your favorite musical and film celebrities. Tour Los Angeles and visit Mann’s Chinese Theatre, where nearly 200 movie stars have left their hand and footprints, and see the popular Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Day 4  Wed. LOS ANGELES

The day is free for your own exploration. Visit Hollywood and the Hollywood History Museum, located in the old Max Factor Building. Stroll Olvera Street, the heart of the original Spanish Mission, or visit the Getty Centre with its wonderful art collection. Take a tour around Universal Studios® or spend the day at magical Disneyland®. This evening your Tour Director will have plenty of suggestions for dining and shopping.

Day 5  Thu. LOS ANGELES – SANTA BARBARA – SOLVANG – SAN LUIS OBISPO

This morning, leave the motion picture capital of the world behind as you follow the shoreline from Santa Monica to Santa Barbara. The Spanish influence is apparent in Santa Barbara with quaint whitewashed and tile-roofed buildings. Visit the impressive 200-year-old MISSION with its world-famous twin bell towers. Afterward, enjoy a stroll along the wharf and lunch on your own. Up next: Solvang, where Denmark has been recreated with picturesque buildings and windmills. Free time to browse through the charming shops featuring Danish imports and rich pastries.

Day 6  Fri. SAN LUIS OBISPO – SAN SIMEON – MONTEREY – SAN FRANCISCO

This morning, journey north to San Simeon and visit HEARST CASTLE, the opulent mansion of wealthy newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst. See the splendid antiques, art treasures, and exotic possessions. The tour shows off the highlights of the impressive 123-acre estate. On to Monterey and Cannery Row, immortalized by John Steinbeck. Time here to explore on your own before heading to the Golden Gate city of San Francisco, famous for its steep hills and cable cars.

Day 7  Sat. SAN FRANCISCO

This morning, included sightseeing takes in the Old Spanish Dolores, the spectacular Golden Gate Bridge, bustling Fisherman’s Wharf, and Nob Hill. In the evening, how about dinner at a popular Fisherman’s Wharf restaurant followed by a cocktail? You’ll end the night with an illumination tour of San Francisco.

Day 8  Sun. SAN FRANCISCO

A full program of optional excursions is available, including a helicopter ride over the city. Your Tour Director will suggest more sightseeing attractions as well as other favorite places to shop and dine.

Day 9  Mon. SAN FRANCISCO–WINE COUNTRY–EUREKA

Leave San Francisco and cross over the magnificent Golden Gate Bridge. Head north into the wine-growing valley of Sonoma. Enjoy a guided tour and WINE TASTING at one of the well-known wineries. Afterward, travel the AVENUE OF THE GIANTS. This world-famous scenic drive is a 31-mile portion of Highway 101 with 51,222 acres of redwood groves. Arrival in Eureka, California’s premier lumber center, situated on scenic Humboldt Bay. On the way to your hotel, see the grand Carson Mansion, once the home of a local lumber baron.

Day 10  Tue. EUREKA – REDWOOD NATIONAL PARK – BANDON-BY-THE-SEA – COOS BAY

Travel the coastal highway through REDWOOD NATIONAL PARK with its majestic sequoias, then drive to the seacoast town of Bandon-by-the-Sea. A sightseeing tour will show you its beauty and charm, and includes a photo stop at the Bandon Lighthouse. Overnight in the town of Coos Bay.

Day 11  Wed. COOS BAY–FLORENCE–NEWPORT

Today is all about scenic beauty at a leisurely pace. First is the quaint town of Florence, one of Oregon’s most beautiful and charming cities along the coast. Time on your own to explore historic Old Town with its shops, boutiques, and coffee houses. From Florence, continue north through the SIUSLAW NATIONAL FOREST past popular beach resorts to one of Oregon’s favorite vacation spots—Newport on pretty Yaquina Bay. Late this afternoon, visit the OREGON COAST AQUARIUM.

Day 12  Thu. NEWPORT–TILLAMOOK–PORTLAND

For a taste of the dramatic Oregon coastline we follow the Three Capes Scenic Route to Tillamook. Watch for the signs that tell you the brief story of the ghost community, now gone, that existed there 35 to 55 years ago. Enjoy a break in Tillamook, best known for its famous cheese and tasty saltwater taffy, before heading to Portland, Oregon’s largest city. A sightseeing tour shows why Portland is better known as the “City of Roses” with its numerous parks and beautiful flower gardens. Visit the largest rose garden in the U.S.–WASHINGTON PARK INTERNATIONAL ROSE TEST GARDEN. Time on your own to explore.

Day 13  Fri. PORTLAND – SEATTLE

Seattle

Today, cross the majestic Columbia River and head north into Washington State to the VOLCANO VISITORS CENTER to learn of the dramatic eruption of Mount St. Helens. Then, weather permitting, see ice-clad dormant volcano Mount Rainier before reaching Seattle. This afternoon’s sightseeing includes the Seattle Center, site of the 1962 World Fair and the 605-foot-high Space Needle, and a stop at the colorful Pike Place Market. Tonight, join your fellow traveling companions for an optional waterfront meal and panoramic views from the observation deck of the Space Needle.

Day 14  Sat. SEATTLE

The day is free for you to explore the “Emerald City.” Perhaps take a sightseeing tour that soaks up the Asian flavor of the International District. Explore downtown, take a ferry across Puget Sound, or just relax and experience the spectacular views of Elliott Bay and enjoy fresh seafood.

Day 15  Sun. SEATTLE

The trip ends this morning with guests departing on individual schedules. Transfers are provided to Seattle-Tacoma 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

6/7/2009

6/7/2009

6/21/2009

$1,979.00

Available

6/14/2009

6/14/2009

6/28/2009

$1,979.00

Available

8/23/2009

8/23/2009

9/6/2009

$1,979.00

Available

8/30/2009

8/30/2009

9/13/2009

$1,979.00

Available

9/6/2009

9/6/2009

9/20/2009

$1,979.00

Available

Popular Departure

9/13/2009

9/13/2009

9/27/2009

$1,979.00

Available

9/20/2009

9/20/2009

10/4/2009

$1,979.00

Available

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