Take it easy, kick back and let the train take the strain as you travel leisurely between some of California’s most famous cities and along the spectacular coastline of the Golden State. Our 15-day/14-night tour operates from April to September and can be easily extended and adapted to include Yosemite National Park, Monterey and the Napa Valley Wine Region.
Day 1. Arrive San Francisco. Days 2 & 3. San Francisco. Day 4. Join the train – San Francisco – Santa Barbara. Days 5 & 6. Santa Barbara. Day 7. Santa Barbara – Los Angeles. Days 8, 9, 10. Los Angeles. Day 11. Los Angeles – San Diego. Days 12, 13, 14 San Diego. Day 15. Depart San Diego.
Day 1. Arrive San Francisco. Upon arrival at San Francisco International Airport make your own way to your hotel in the heart of San Francisco and enjoy the next three nights in this fabulous city. Three night stay: Comfort Inn By The Bay (Standard) or Galleria Park Hotel (Superior).
Days 2 & 3. San Francisco. Two full days to explore one of the world’s greatest cities. To help you, we recommend that you add a 2-day pass on the Big Bus Sightseeing double-decker bus. This hop-on/hop-off service allows you to enjoy the city at your own pace and to see all of the major landmarks including the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, China Town, Union Square and much more. Perhaps take a day trip by coach to the Napa/Sonoma Wine Region. Click on the ‘Excursions & Attractions’ button at the top of the page for more information about the excursions we can arrange for you.
Tour suggestion: If you would like to add a full-day, or a two-day excursion from San Francisco to Yosemite National Park please ask at the time of booking. Similarly, if you would like to spend some time in Monterey before arriving in Santa Barbara it is possible to break your journey with Amtrak and take the Amtrak service between Salinas and Monterey, have a night or two in Monterey and then rejoin the train to Santa Barbara.
Day 4. Join the train – San Francisco – Santa Barbara. Take the short bus connection today between San Francisco and Oakland and join your Amtrak train. Sit back and relax as the train journeys south through the farm lands and wineries of the Salinas/Monterey region before joining the coast. Three night stay: Best Western Beachside Inn (Standard) or Hyatt Santa Barbara (Superior).
Days 5 & 6. Santa Barbara. Two days to enjoy the beaches, shopping, wine tours and relaxed atmosphere of this lovely city. It is not difficult to understand why Santa Barbara, blessed with an abundance of natural beauty, is often referred to as the California Riviera. With wonderful beaches, parks, whale-watching excursions, wine country tours, the historic mission, music and art festivals, great shopping – there’s plenty to keep you busy during your stay.
Day 7. Santa Barbara – Los Angeles. A short train journey today brings you to California’s largest city – Los Angeles. Four night stay: Omni Los Angeles at California Plaza (Standard & Superior).
Days 8, 9, 10. Los Angeles. Three days to discover the sights and sounds of Los Angeles. Take in the movie culture and glamour of Hollywood and Beverly Hills, enjoy the fabulous Universal Studios, stroll along Hollywood Boulevard and see the Walk of Fame, check out the hand and footprints in the concrete at Grauman’s Chinese Theater, sample the produce at Farmer’s Market, and relax on the beaches of Santa Monica. Take an excursion to the original and World-famous Disneyland and it’s neighbour – Disney’s California Adventure Theme Park. We recommend the 2-day pass for the CitySights LA open-top sightseeing tour – hop-on/hop-off – service which runs throughout the city and links downtown, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica and the beaches. Click on the ‘Excursions & Attractions’ button at the top of the page for more information about the excursions we can arrange for you.
Day 11. Los Angeles – San Diego. A final short train journey brings you to the southern California city of San Diego and the final stop on your rail tour. Four night stay: Best Western Plus Hacienda, Old Town (Standard) or Hotel Solamar (Superior).
Days 12, 13, 14 San Diego. From the Pacific Ocean beaches,Mission Bay and Coronado, to the fabulous museums, botanical gardens and world-famous San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park, the vibrant nightlife of downtown San Diego’s Gas Lamp District, the shopping at Horton Mall, upmarket boutiques in fashionable La Jolla, SeaWorld, the Maritime Museum and the Mexican Market, shops and restaurants of Old Town – there is so much to do and see in San Diego that three full days is barely enough. Click on the ‘Excursions & Attractions’ button at the top of the page for more information about the excursions we can arrange for you.
Day 15. Depart San Diego. Depart San Diego today.
Just America will be pleased to assist with transatlantic flights from the UK, and excursions. This tour can be adapted, so if you want to discuss changes to the hotels, number of nights etc., please contact Just America on 01489 892329 or email – firstname.lastname@example.org
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Standard Hotels Superior Hotels Prices per adult
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Single Double Triple Quad Prices per adult
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* 14 nights hotel accommodation.
* Amtrak rail service as indicated.
Not included: Airfares, airport taxes, transfers, optional sightseeing excursions, meals (unless indicated), personal expenses.
Business Class service available on the train – prices available on request.
Prices based on Saturday departures – prices for other departure dates available on request.
Children under 12 yrs pay £95.00 when sharing a room with their parents and using existing bedding at hotels.
Location No. nights Standard Hotels Superior Hotels San Francisco 3 Comfort Inn By The Bay Galleria Park Hotel Santa Barbara 3 Best Western Beachside Inn Inc. Cont. breakfast Hyatt Santa Barbara Los Angeles 4 Omni Los Angeles Hotel at California Plaza Omni Los Angeles Hotel at California Plaza San Diego 4 Best Western Plus Hacienda Old Town Hotel Solamar
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Tour prices:The prices shown in the price panels are for the accommodation elements only, they do not include flights or car rental (unless indicated). This enables you to choose the airline and car of your choice and add them to the accommodation package to create your holiday. Our reservations staff will be pleased to help you with flight availability, to suggest which is the best airline for your itinerary and to advise you of any special offers the airlines may have introduced.
Hotels:Hotels featured in our self-drive and independent tours are chosen for their location, value for money and facilities. Whenever possible we offer a choice of Standard or Superior hotels. There is no recognised 'star' system throughout North America for classifying hotels, motels and resorts. The hotel ratings for our tours are subjective and are provided to give you an understanding as to the level of facility. They are either the hotel's official categorisation as per the Official Hotel & Resort Guide, or Just America's. Standards vary from location to location, therefore ratings in the remote areas can differ from those in the cities. Standard hotels would be those classified as Moderate, and Superior hotels would be First Class, in the Official Hotel and Resort Guide. National Park accommodations are more rustic and are chosen almost entirely because of their location. It should not be assumed that because an hotel is listed as Superior that it has certain amenities. Often a hotel is classified as Superior due to its position, views or room standard, it does not always follow that a superior hotel will have a swimming pool, hair-dryers, golf course, room service etc. We will try to provide information on individual hotels on request although the internet is usually the quickest and most accurate source of information. Hotel rooms in North America usually have one or two double beds. Triple and Quad rooms have two double beds. Very few hotels in North America have three or four beds. It is sometimes possible to have a rollaway bed which can be requested, but cannot be guaranteed. Occasionally hotels are chosen purely for their location - i.e. half-way between two points of interest - and may be included as a one night stop to break up an otherwise long journey. Such hotels may not have the full facilities normally associated with a Standard or Superior hotel, but sometimes we don't have any other choice. Where possible hotels providing free car parking have been included, however in some locations, such as city centres, the hotels may make a charge.
Note:Hotels are not usually ready to accept guests until after 3 or 4 pm, so please try not to check in before mid-afternoon. Check out time is usually before 11 am or 12 noon. It is sometimes possible to arrange late check out, or the storage of luggage, but this is at the discretion of the hotel.
Tour notes and itineraries:On several of our tours the tour notes and itineraries are provided at the first hotel. On other tours this information is forwarded with the travel documents approximately 14 days prior to departure. We will endeavour to provide the best information we can to help you, but it is not our policy to provide mile by mile detailed route guides, the frequent changes to local road conditions, layouts etc., makes this impossible. We do provide maps, guides to the major attractions en route, and directions to hotels whenever possible. These are independent self-drive holidays and you will be required to read a map and locate attractions and hotels. Sat.Nav. is available from the car rental companies - at a charge - and you may find this useful, however all technology is prone to failure so we always recommend that you keep the maps handy.
Tailor-made holidays:We will be pleased to discuss your own ideas and itineraries and help you plan your holiday. If you would like to email, fax or mail an outline of your tour with dates, number of people, ages of children etc., to us we will be happy to advise you. We request that you include your daytime telephone number on all correspondence. Where you have chosen the route and we have designed a tailor-made holiday for you, it may not be possible to provide you with a detailed tour itinerary. We suggest that you read up about the area you are planning to visit well in advance, preferably before you book the holiday. Insight Guides cover almost every region of North America and are about the best on the market. Just America can also provide a some tourist information subject to availability, but we do not have detailed route information to cover every area of the Continent. You might find the internet to be the best source of free, up-to-date information.
National Park Passes:Both the US and Canada charge entrance fees for their national parks, and if you are visiting a number of parks, this cost can add up to a significant amount. We recommend that you purchase a Parks Pass at the first national park you visit. For the US the pass currently costs $80 for up to four adults (children under 16 are free). In Canada a family pass currently costs $136.40. Both passes provide unlimited visits to that country's parks for 12 months. The passes can only be used in the country of purchase. Full details available at www.nps.gov (for USA) and www.pc.gc.ca/index_e.asp