Experience the very best of California, from the stunning Pacific Coast to the natural wonders inland. You'll discover the ancient redwoods, valley vineyards and the 'Gold Rush' country of this sun-blessed paradise. Take in famous Yosemite, spectacular Lake Tahoe, and, finally, San Francisco, the wonderful 'City by the Bay'.
- Return scheduled flights
- Coach touring as described in the itinerary
- 11 nights' room-only accommodation in Santa Cruz (2), Pismo Beach (2), Fresno (2), Lake Tahoe (2), Sacramento (1) and San Francisco (2)
- Free time in San Francisco, Santa Cruz and Pismo Beach
- Visits to Yosemite National Park, and the redwoods of the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
- Visits to Lake Tahoe and Sacramento
- Wine tastings in the Napa and Sonoma valleys
- The services of a Newmarket Tour Manager in the USA
- Government taxes and service charges
Single rooms are available for a supplement
Fly to San Francisco, meet your Tour Manager and transfer by coach to Santa Cruz for a two-night stay.
Discover the charms of Santa Cruz and its surroundings. An optional excursion will take in the redwood forests of the coastal ranges and a ride on the historic, authentically preserved 'Roaring Camp' railroad, before spending the afternoon on the shores of the Pacific, with its sandy beach and the famous Santa Cruz Boardwalk.
A wonderful day packed full of highlights will see you journey south via the Monterey peninsular - home to famous Cannery Row - and pretty, exclusive Carmel-by-the-Sea, linked by the gloriously scenic 17-Mile Drive. Your base for the next two nights is the classic coastal resort of Pismo Beach.
Rest and relax on the shores of the Pacific, enjoying the many amenities of the resort. Join today's optional excursion to discover the wildly extravagant Hearst Castle - magnificent 'holiday home' of the infamous newspaper magnate who inspired the movie 'Citizen Kane'.
Leaving the coast and heading inland, you'll travel through the scenic coastal ranges into California's sun-kissed Central Valley, the 'Promised Land' of countless pioneers who made the long journey west. You'll spend the next two nights in prosperous Fresno, in the heart of the valley.
Today brings the opportunity to gaze in awe at the magnificent redwoods of the Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks. The former is topped by the granite spire of Moro Rock and features the world's largest living object, the 2,200-year-old General Sherman Tree. The latter is sprinkled with steep river valleys and beautiful lakes.
Journeying north into the forested foothills of the High Sierra, you'll soon enter breathtaking Yosemite National Park. Narrow, enclosed Yosemite Valley is a highlight of the holiday, dominated by the sheer rock faces of legendary Half Dome and El Capitan. Continue to sparkling Lake Tahoe, your base for the next two nights.
Lake Tahoe, one of the world's deepest and coldest lakes, is set between forested, granite-topped peaks. On the border between California and Nevada, it's a year-round holiday haven. Today's optional excursion includes a two-hour scenic lake cruise on board a 'paddle-wheeler' and visits historic Carson City - classic frontier town and Nevada state capital.
Drive through the heart of 'Gold Country' to Sacramento - forever associated with the '49ers' who came to seek their fortunes over 160 years ago and still recalled in the Old Sacramento historic district. Explore the Californian capital, perhaps visiting the state capitol building beneath its gleaming dome or the old town's boardwalks and saloons.
In 'Wine Country' - the exquisite Sonoma and Napa valleys - there'll be time to visit one of the many vineyards and to sample locally-produced fine wines, as well as the chance to enjoy lunch in these beautiful surroundings before we journey on to San Francisco for a final, two-night stay.
This morning's optional guided city tour is the perfect introduction to beautiful San Francisco, crossing the Golden Gate to the pretty artists' colony of Sausalito, returning across the bay to Fisherman's Wharf and passing infamous Alcatraz.
This afternoon, perhaps explore that infamous island prison, discover trendy North Beach or visit Haight-Ashbury, the original hippie hangout. This evening, why not head for colourful Chinatown, or take the cable-car down to bustling Fisherman's Wharf, with its shops, bars and restaurants?
Enjoy the morning in San Francisco, before boarding the coach for the transfer to the airport and your overnight flight home.
Arrive back in the UK.
Hotel transfer times
The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately two hours.
Passports and visas
British citizens require passports, valid for 90 days after the return date, when travelling to the USA. Visas are not normally required for entry, but visitors must register online with US Immigration at least 72 hours before departure. Full details of how to apply will be sent out about eight weeks before departure. The current visa charge is $16 for British Citizens.
On your flight
All outbound flights depart and arrive on the same day. All return flights leave in the evening and land in the UK the next day. On-board meals will usually include lunch and a snack on outward flights, and dinner and breakfast on flight home. Soft drinks are complimentary, but some airlines will charge for alcoholic drinks.
You are permitted to take one suitcase per person on the aircraft, which should not exceed 23kgs.
Smoking is not permitted on any coach forming part of your holiday, though regular stops will be made for your comfort en route. The majority of hotels in North America are non-smoking throughout, including in all bedrooms. In general smoking outside is acceptable, but do look out for signs prohibiting this close to public entrances or bus stops.
Gratuities are a way of life in North America, and it is generally accepted that they form part of a person's earnings. Customary gratuity to a coach driver or tour manager is about $5 per person per day; in a taxi or a restaurant leave 12-15 per cent of the bill and, in the bar, leave a dollar or so per drink.
If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.
The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair or electric scooter, please let us know as soon as possible so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
- London Heathrow Airport
Newmarket Air Holidays
ABTA REF: V7812
ATOL REF: 2325