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Best of California


San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego: Three of California’s most beloved cities and the destinations you will discover on this 9-day tour through the Golden State.

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9 days From $2,699 per person
Travel on your own following a well-planned itinerary
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Terms and Conditions

2022 Tour code: WC-BCAS-22

About the tour

California is a state full of landmark sites, fascinating cities and the undeniable beauty of nature. Luckily for you, you get to experience it all as you journey through the state. Begin in San Francisco, where you get to visit Fisherman's Wharf and some of the famed piers, travel along the hilly roads and see some of the City by the Bay's best attractions on a Hop-on/Hop-off tour. San Francisco is also used as a basecamp to explore more of Central California, as you embark on day-long journeys to Yosemite and Napa and Sonoma's wine countries from here. When your time in San Francisco comes to a close, enjoy oceanic views from Amtrak's Coast Starlight as you make your way south to Los Angeles. Once in L.A., keep your eyes peeled for the rich and famous as you get an in-depth look at the city on a Hop-on/Hop-off tour. Enjoy one more train ride, this time aboard the Pacific Surfliner, to your final destination: San Diego. As you take one last Hop-on/Hop-off tour followed by a cruise through the harbor, you once again get to experience some of the very best sites. Nine full days of adventure, a lifetime of memories; come lose yourself in California.


What’s included


Day 1 - Arrive San Francisco

Arrive in San Francisco using your preferred method of travel. Once you have gathered your luggage, transfer to your Downtown or Wharf hotel for the first of four nights. Should you have extra time after you settle in, kick off your adventures by exploring the interesting shops and the fantastic eateries this city is known for. Overnight San Francisco.

Day 2 - Hop-on/Hop-off Tour of San Francisco

Experience 24 of the most fascinating locations throughout San Francisco on today's Hop-on/Hop-off city tour. The entire journey is narrated by a tour guide, and you are free to exit at any of the destinations to get a better look. Some of the sites included on the tour include Chinatown, Union Square, Fisherman's Wharf, Lombard Street and Golden Gate Park. When the tour concludes, the rest of the day is yours to revisit favorite attractions or to leisurely explore new areas. Overnight San Francisco.

Day 3 - Yosemite in a Day Tour

Today takes you out of the city and into California's vast wilderness with the Yosemite in a Day Tour. You will be picked up from your hotel bright and early this morning and ride by minibus into the heart of Yosemite. A brief snack stop in San Joaquin Valley is made along the way. On the drive there and as you roll through the park, a knowledgeable guide will provide you with valuable insider's information about the park. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife! Deer, black bear, bighorn sheep, bobcats and many species of birds make their home in Yosemite. While in the park you will embark on a guided hike through the famous giant redwoods; make picture-perfect stops at sites such as El Capitan, Half Dome and Bridalveil Falls; and have free time to hike, walk, get lunch, take photographs and enjoy nature on your own. After a long day of outdoor adventures, grab a late dinner back in the city before settling in for the night. Overnight San Francisco.

Day 4 - Napa and Sonoma Wine Country Tour

Vineyard tours and tastings of some of the world's best wine lies ahead today, with your day-long excursion to Napa and Sonoma. You will again be picked up from your hotel this morning, this time by luxury motor coach, and make your way across the Golden Gate Bridge and north through California to Napa Valley. Upon arrival, enjoy tastings and tours at three separate wineries and free time to explore the charming town of Yountville in the heart of Napa. You will be returned to your hotel following the tour, and the rest of the day is yours to lounge or sightsee as you please. Overnight San Francisco.

Day 5 - San Francisco to Los Angeles

A full day of travel ahead, this morning begins with boarding Amtrak's Coast Starlight at San Francisco's Union Station. The route this train follows is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful in the country; as such, enjoy dramatic views of the rugged coastline and peeks at the beautiful towns and countryside that make California so unique. Your train will arrive at Los Angeles Union Station later this evening, at which time you will transfer to your centrally located hotel for the first of two nights. Overnight Los Angeles.

Day 6 - Hop-on/Hop-off Tour Los Angeles

Get a taste of the most exciting destinations and attractions in Los Angeles in the very best way today: by double-decker bus. Choose the route that best suits your interest, and enjoy looks at places like the Sunset Strip, the tar pits, Universal City, the Santa Monica Pier, Venice Beach, Chinatown and so much more. In all, there are more than 50 stops to enjoy on this tour. You can choose to stay on the bus to experience everything L.A. has to offer, or you may "hop off" at the destination of your choosing for a better look. Overnight Los Angeles.

Day 7 - Los Angeles to San Diego and Hop-on/Hop-off Tour San Diego

Enjoy a few last hours of leisure in Los Angeles this morning before boarding another Amtrak train, the Pacific Surfliner, for a scenic journey through Southern California. The train takes you out of Los Angeles, past the palm trees and blue ocean views in Orange County and finally into San Diego. The train arrives at your vacation's final destination this afternoon, at which time you will transfer to your hotel. Check-in, freshen up if needed and then it is off to explore! Your time in San Diego includes a 2-day pass for a Hop-on/Hop-off tour. There are 10 fascinating sites to explore throughout the city, including the San Diego Zoo, Gaslamp Quarter, Little Italy, Old Town State Park, Seaport Village and more. Overnight San Diego.

Day 8 - San Diego Harbor Cruise

As your last official day of touring, today takes you out on the water. Over the course of 2 hours you will soak in picturesque views of the San Diego skyline, catch glimpses of seals and sealions, and cruise under the Coronado Bridge. You can choose to sit inside or outside on the boat for this adventure. When you dock back at the harbor, the rest of the day is yours to see what makes San Diego so special. Remember, your Hop-on/Hop-off tour pass is still valid, so you are free to use it to get around, if you choose. Overnight San Diego.

Day 9 - Tour Conclusion

Your journey through central and southern California comes to a close today. Transfer to San Diego International Airport for your return flight home or continue on your journey by connecting with another tour.

Additional information

Please Note

Please be aware Amtrak may experience occasional schedule changes and service disruptions.  Vacations By Rail recommends visiting the Amtrak web site prior to your departure for the latest information.

Departure times

Departure times vary based on selected rail vacation. This information will be provided in your final documents. For more information please speak with your rail specialist.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular vacation with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.


Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner
Amtrak's Coast Starlight

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