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California Dreamin

(San Fran to Santa Monica - From May 2021)

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The one that's the ultimate Cali road trip, including the Sonoma Valley, Yosemite & Palm Springs

Travel Style

In-Depth Explorer

Take your time and explore in-detail each destination on this trip. Find out more

  • Duration

    8 days

  • Places

    7 places

  • Meals

    5 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

  • Transport Style

    Coach

  • Group Size

    Maximum 30 people

  • Team

    Expert Trip Manager, Driver

San Francisco, Sonoma, Bass Lake, Yosemite National Park, Palm Springs, Santa Monica, Muir Woods

California Dreamin (San Fran to Santa Monica - From May 2021)

9 Inclusions

Experiences that are included with your trip

  • Wine tasting in the Sonoma Valley
  • Picnic lunch in Muir Woods
  • Entry to Yosemite National Park
  • Yosemite base camp orientation
  • Yosemite park shuttle
  • Yoga by the pool in Palm Springs
  • Afternoon pool party with DJ (seasonal)
  • Brunch at a local café
  • Dinner at True Food Kitchen Santa Monica

9 Free Time Add-Ons

Optional experiences that you can choose from and pay for on your trip

  • Hot Air Ballooning in Sonoma
  • Bike rental in Sonoma
  • Forest Flight Tour Ziplining in Sonoma
  • Food & wine pairing dinner in Sonoma
  • Stand up paddleboarding on Bass Lake
  • Kayaking on Bass Lake
  • Palm Springs Cable Car
  • Parasailing in Santa Monica
  • Surf Lesson in Santa Monica

Where I'll Stay?

Learn more about the accommodation available on this trip

  • 7 nights

    All accommodation is included on this trip

    5 nights in Hotel, 2 nights in Contiki Special Stay

    As well as comfy and conveniently located hotels, we've got some sweet digs lined up for you. How does a summer camp resort on the fringes of Bass Lake and a pool party hub in Palm Springs sound?

About this trip

California dreaming? The sunshine state keeps on giving on this unforgettable adventure that brings you all the bucket-list big hitters. Kicking off in the golden city of San Fran, you'll journey to the Sonoma Valley for some wine tasting then hike and bike your way around Yosemite, kick back poolside in Palm Springs and stroll the iconic Santa Monica pier. This sun-drenched road trip will plaster a smile on your face for years to come.

Buy With Confidence

  • Only $99 deposit to book*

    For a limited time, reserve your space now with a deposit of only $99, pay the rest 45 days before departure

  • Pay over time, interest free

    Can't pay in full? We've got you covered with our Part Pay Program

  • No booking fee, no change fees

    Change your travel dates or even your trip for free

  • Financing available with UpLift

    Book now, pay later when you're eligible for Uplift

Map & Itinerary

  • Start location
  • End location
  • Trip day
  • Via location
  • River route
  • Plane route

Nights spent per location

  1. San Francisco

  2. via via

    Muir Woods

  3. 2 2 nights

    Sonoma

  4. 1 1 night

    Bass Lake

  5. 1 1 night

    Yosemite National Park

  6. 2 2 nights

    Palm Springs

  7. 1 1 night

    Santa Monica

DAY 1 - San Francisco to Sonoma via Muir Woods

San Francisco

Welcome to San Fran! We'll meet and greet today in the Golden City before heading somewhere a little more tranquil...

Muir Woods

Is there a more majestic sight in nature than a redwood tree? These giant natural cathedrals - which can be up to 3,000 years old - take the breath away up close. We'll journey into Muir Woods to picnic in their towering shadows, before heading into wine country.

Sonoma

Up for a tipple? Sonoma is a world-class wine-growing region, so touring a winery and taking a tasting is a no brainer. After comparing drops it's time to head to our sweet digs for the night, The Sandman, with its heated pool surrounded by a fence of redwoods. Impressed? You should see what's in store tomorrow.

Stay

The Sandman

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Wine tasting in the Sonoma Valley

  • Picnic lunch in Muir Woods

DAY 2 - Sonoma

Sonoma

Not a bad place to wake up, is it? Known as the valley of the moon, the sweeping, fertile lands of Sonoma are ours to explore today. Lucky us. So, what adventure will we choose? We could hire some bikes and explore the 13,000 acres of parkland, soar through the skies on a hot air balloon, or zipline through the forests. As the evening draws in, why not opt for a tasty dinner paired with local wines?

Stay

The Sandman

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Hot Air Ballooning in Sonoma

  • Bike rental in Sonoma

  • Forest Flight Tour Ziplining in Sonoma

  • Food & wine pairing dinner in Sonoma

DAY 3 - Sonoma to Bass Lake

Sonoma

Rise and shine - we're headed out of wine country and into what can only be described as a mountain paradise. 

Bass Lake

This afternoon you’ll become enamored with the tranquility of Bass Lake. You could opt to stand up paddleboard or kayak on the sparkling waters. Later on, kick back and enjoy the view from the chalet deck - it is nothing short of spectacular. Take a dip in the pool, warm up in the jacuzzi and breathe in the fresh mountain air.

Stay

The Pines Resort

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Stand up paddleboarding on Bass Lake

  • Kayaking on Bass Lake

DAY 4 - Bass Lake to Yosemite

Bass Lake

Thought the scenery couldn't get any more spectacular? Think again.

Yosemite National Park

We're headed to the most iconic National Park in the world: Yosemite. Here, amongst the towering sequoias, cascading waterfalls and winding trails we'll fall in love over and over again. Hike, bike or invest in some shinrin-yoku time (forest bathing), before heading to the iconic Yosemite Falls. Mother nature has never looked so good, and our eyes have never been wider.

Stay

The Pines Resort

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Entry to Yosemite National Park

  • Yosemite base camp orientation

  • Yosemite park shuttle

DAY 5 - Yosemite to Palm Springs

Yosemite National Park

The good times don't stop rolling as we swing through to Palm Springs. We'll soak up the views in the plunging San Joaquin Valley - the agricultural heartlands of the world's 7th largest economy (the state of Cali).

Palm Springs

We've reached the retro-chic masterpiece that is Palm Springs. Feeling like Hollywood stars, we'll settle in our hotel with its buzzing poolside scene and colourful architecture. We've got a day of adventures ahead of us tomorrow.

Stay

The Saguaro

DAY 6 - Palm Springs

Palm Springs

The day is ours to check out Palm Springs! First up though is yoga by the pool and brunch to follow. Feeling energised and ready for the day, we could stroll the streets checking out the chic boutiques, opt to take the Palm Springs Aerial Cable Car or maybe just hang poolside and soak up some sun. Between the pool clubs, DJs and quirky bars, the heat will be on tonight. It's party time.

Stay

The Saguaro

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Yoga by the pool in Palm Springs

  • Afternoon pool party with DJ (seasonal)

  • Brunch at a local cafe

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Palm Springs Cable Car

DAY 7 - Palm Springs to Santa Monica

Palm Springs

This morning we'll make our way towards LA and your final destination, Santa Monica. You'll arrive mid-afternoon for some activities by the beach, or take some time to explore Santa Monica Pier and the end point of famous Route 66. Tonight is a final dinner together at True Food Kitchen for some proper Cali vibes, before a night checking out Third Street Promenade.

Santa Monica

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Dinner at True Food Kitchen Santa Monica

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Parasailing in Santa Monica

  • Surf Lesson in Santa Monica

DAY 8 - Depart Santa Monica

Santa Monica

Time to say goodbye to your crew. It's been a blast, but all good things must come to an end. With our sun-kissed skin and eyes on the next horizon, it's time to plan our next Contiki. Peru, anyone?

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions group

What documents do I need to travel?

Depending on your nationality, you may require visas to enter the USA and Canada on your trip. You are fully responsible for obtaining all necessary visas prior to the departure of your trip. You can find more info at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov. Contiki is not legally permitted to knowingly allow anybody who does not have a valid visa to join a trip. Visa and other entry & exit conditions (such as currency, arrival/departure taxes, customs and quarantine regulations) do change regularly.

Your passport must have at least six months’ validity remaining when you arrive. Local immigration authorities may deny entry and deport people who do not meet this requirement, even if they only intend to stay for a short period. Important to consider:

• Visas can take up to six weeks and a fee is normally charged
• Failure to obtain all necessary visas could cause you to miss part of
your trip and will result in you incurring considerable expense and
inconvenience
• It is better for you to apply for all visas before you leave home
• It is essential that the entry and exit dates are correct on the visa

What are the luggage restrictions?

On our American trips you can bring one bag or suitcase of 73 x 50 x 25 cm (or 29” x 20” x 10”), with a max weight of 20 kg (44 lbs) & one piece of hand luggage.

What do the Contiki team do?

People are at the heart of everything we do, and our team is what makes our trips the best. Our worldwide On-Road Team, locally based staff & network of Local Guides are all extensively trained & widely travelled, & are the best in the business. But we know it’s not just about training, it’s about passion & our team have it in their blood. Their passion for getting you in the know on every single detail of America is what makes our travellers walk away from their experience knowing that they made every moment count. Your Trip Manager is like your walking, talking guidebook – just for you. They plan your itinerary every day, organise your food and accomodation and book your Free Time Add ons, and because they know everything about where you’re going, you will too. Your Drivers are the experts on getting you from A to B efficiently and safely in North America. They know their way around like the back of their hands & they’ll drop you at your door & unload your bags for you. Local guides provide specialist knowledge when you need it and will always help you avoid the tourist traps.

What's not included that I should budget for?

Aside from essentials like flights, how much spending money you’ll need will depend on the duration of the trip and how much you anticipate spending on personal expenses like alcohol or shopping. Before you travel, it’s also a good idea to read up on and get an idea of the Free Time Add-Ons you think you’ll want to do on trip, as these will form part of your overall budget. We’d advise doing some research on your chosen destinations beforehand, looking at things like:
 
- Cost of a local lunch
 
- Cost of a local dinner
 
- Cost of a bottle of water
 
- Cost of entry to a sightseeing spot
 
Tipping is customary in North America. It is an accepted practice in all areas of the service industry, & particularly in restaurants, bars, hotels & taxis. It’s common practice to tip if you feel that the service provided has been excellent.
The same goes for your Contiki Team. If you feel that your Trip Manager & Driver’s service has been exceptional, then feel free to tip them if you feel they’ve done a great job. If you choose to tip, we recommend around US$3 per person per day, however whether or not you choose to tip (& how much) is up to you.

Will I be able to access WiFi on my trip?

We love WiFi, and keeping your accounts updated as you travel is key! The hotels all have WiFi where you can access your email to let your friends & family know you have arrived safely in Los Angeles, or email after your trip with all your stories.

What are Contiki’s sustainability credentials?

We believe that travelling sustainably and consciously, matters. Contiki Cares is our commitment to protecting the communities we visit, the wildlife we interact with, and the planet we all share. Our founding partner, the TreadRight Foundation was established 10 years ago as a not-for-profit organisation focused on promoting sustainable tourism within The Travel Corporation’s family of brands. In the USA & Canada we have programmes such as our Wheels For Change program, FareStart’s flagship restaurant in Seattle, and the Manitobah Mukluks Storyboot in Toronto. To find out more about our conscious travel experiences in North America, visit Contiki.com/about/contikicares.