8 Day Tour: October 1-8, 2021
- Base Pricing is always calculated for double occupancy.
- $550 supplemental for Solo Travelers.
- San Francisco
- Muir Woods
- Napa & Sonoma Valleys
- Hearst Mansion–San Simeon
- Whale Cruise
- Catalina Island
- John Muir & Eugene O’Neil Homesites
- Elephant Seals, Whales, Seals & Sealions & more!
- Roundtrip airfare from Chicago
- First Class Hotel Accommodations
- Daily Breakfast
- 5 Dinners
- Deluxe Motorcoach Transportation
- Admissions to all listed Attractions
- Roundtrip airport transfers in the Chicagoland area
- Guided by Bill Ball
- Baggage Handling
- All Gratuities
Day One: We arrive in San Francisco and begin our tour. We will visit the big city sights like Fisherman’s Wharf, Telegraph Hill and ride a cable car. We will visit Fort Point, a critically important defensive structure from a bygone era. Our big stop will be Muir Woods where we will see the graceful giant Redwoods—the tallest trees in the world.
Day Two: Today we tour the homes of two of America’s greats. First we visit the Eugene O’Neil National Historic Site. This Chinese/Monterey hybrid estate was once the home of America’s only Nobel Prize winner playwright. This is a special treat most never see. Next we visit the home of John Muir, the man responsible for much of the national park lands in California. Our final stop today is Point Reye National Seashore another national park facility. Home to 400 species of birds and 72 species of mammals, this is like an island having been separated from the mainland by the San Andreas fault. Here you can see the 21foot movement of the rocks after the 1906 giant earthquake.
Day Three: We visit one of the best marine sanctuaries in the world—the Farallon Island National Wildlife Refuge. Home to the longest colony of nesting seabirds in the contiguous US, 5 species of breeding seals and sealions and great white sharks not to mention the whales. This is a unique wildlife area and well worth the price of the trip.
Day Four: We visit the beautiful wine country of Napa and Sonoma Valleys. We will see the wine process, from vine to bottle and of course sample some of the best wines of the world. The valleys are much more, though, than wine and we will explore the geology, culture and natural beauty as well. This will be a day to remember.
Day Five: We head to Monterey Bay today know for its innovative aquarium and one of the richest areas in the world for whales. We will visit the world famous aquarium to see close up the wildlife of the area. Afterwards, we will do a whale safari looking for several species including the giant Blue Whale, largest animal to ever live.
Day Six: We begin our day with a visit to one of the most scenic but underutilized national parks—Pinnacles. This new national park is known for its unique geological formations caused by a volcanic eruption over 23 million years ago. The wildlife is special here as it is one of the few chaparral ecosystems. We will make a unique stop to observe the enormous Elephant Seals. We will get up close and personal well, maybe not personal. Our next stop is one of the most incredible mansions ever built—Hearst’s San Simeon. This biggest of big estates will blow your mind. We then continue down some of the most scenic parts of Highway 1.
Day Seven: We take a cruise to Catalina Island known for its famous opera house and Wrigley’s massive cactus garden. We will tour the island on the look out for some of its native and introduced wildlife. We will overnight on the island.
Day Eight: Bill has one more surprise for you today to top off this incredible trip that included driving scenic Highway 1, whale spotting, Napa Valley, five national parks sites and the unbelievable Hearst Mansion. What memories, what photos—what a good time!