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Begins: San Francisco, Ends: Los Angeles
Visit "The Enchanted Hill" and explore the history behind Hearst Castle, the former private residence and “palace” of William Randolf Hearst, America’s greatest publishing and communications giant.
Hearst Castle in San Simeon is a California State Memorial Park and included as part of Caravan Tours’ all inclusive, fully escorted California Coastal Tour.
Located approximately half way between San Francisco and Los Angeles on California’s Pacific coast highway, Hearst Castle was a 28-year collaboration between William Randolf Hearst and famed San Francisco architect Julia Morgan.
Between 1919 and 1947 Hearst Castle evolved into five major structures including the Mediterranean revival style main house “Casa Grande” plus three guest houses that total over 90,000 square feet.
Along with the 165-room Hearst Caste the estate includes 127 acres of exquisitely manicured gardens, walkways and terraces plus a 1,665 square foot Greek-Roman style pool. The five main structures of Hearst Castle include 56 bedrooms, 61 bathrooms, 19 sitting rooms and 41 fireplaces.
Hearst Castle also houses much of Mr. Hearst’s extensive private collection of museum quality European and Mediterranean art including classical paintings, sculpture, oriental rugs, tapestries, antiquities, silver and antique furniture.
As the main house of Hearst Castle, Casa Grande has 115 rooms, totaling 60,645 square feet and includes 38 bedrooms and 41 bathrooms.
Casa del Mar
With 18 rooms, Casa del Mar (“A” house) is the second largest structure in Hearst Castle. This main guest house totals 5,875 square feet and has 6 bedrooms.
Casa del Monte
Known as “B” house, this 4-bedroom guest house totals 2,291 square feet.
Casa del Sol
Known as “C” house, this guest house totals 2,604 square feet and boasts 8 bedrooms.
With Neptune and Nereid statues, Vermont marble colonnades and four 17th century Italian bas-reliefs, Neptune pool is 104 feet long and 58 feet wide with a 95 foot wide alcove and holds 345,000 gallons of water.
Since 1952 Caravan’s international tour operators have operated quality, affordable escorted tours throughout North and Central America, under the same family ownership and management.
Our escorted southern California coast vacation tour also includes guided tours of San Francisco, Napa Valley and Yosemite National Park plus an escorted coach tour down along the southern California coast to Beverly Hills.
Visit our California Coast Tour Page for more detailed package tour information.Order a Free Caravan Tours Brochure
San Francisco City Tour –
Yosemite: The Artwork of Glaciers –
Wildlife Near El Capitan Rock Face in Yosemite –
Rhythms of the California Coast along Highway One –
California's Wine Country –
|Apr||2**, 9**, 16**, 23**, 30**|
|May||7*, 14*, 21*, 28*|
|Jun||4*, 11, 18, 25|
|Jul||2, 9, 16, 23, 30|
|Aug||6, 13, 20, 27|
|Sep||3, 10, 17, 24|
|Oct||8, 15, 22, 29|
**indicates Super Value date
*indicates Great Value date
|Room Type||Super Value||Great Value||Special Value|
|Double||$ 1,395||$ 1,495||$ 1,595|
Plus Taxes and Fees:
Double $269; Triple $239; Single $349
Call 1-800-Caravan. You can reserve space free for up to 3 days, then a $300 deposit per person is due. Full payment due 60 days prior to departure.
Airfare is not included or sold by Caravan. Here is a list of some of the airlines that service this tour.
Meals included are shown by:
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner
Yosemite View Lodge
Hilton Garden Inn
InterContinental Century City
Master Card, Visa, or check.
Accommodations in the hotels and lodges are rooms with two beds and private bath or shower. A limited number of single rooms are available. Triple rooms are usually two beds, sometimes with a cot or rollaway.
The Argonaut is a luxury boutique hotel perched on the edge of the Bay at Fisherman's Wharf. It is located in the historic Haslett Warehouse, a grand building built in 1907 of exposed brick, Dougas Fir beams, and plenty of seaside character. The hotel's Blue Mermaid Chowder House and Bar is a local favorite. The fitness center is open 24/7. In-room spa services include a variety of massages and body wraps. Fully furnished guest rooms include luxury bath amenities, plush bath robes and a yoga mat.
Yosemite View Lodge
Yosemite View Lodge is the closest accommodation just outside Yosemite Park. It has a great location with the wild and scenic Merced River just outside the door. There is an outdoor pool and spa, with the Merced River in the background. Rooms have phones, cable TV and HBO.
The Embassy Suites is located on Monterey Bay near Seaside Beach, two miles from Fisherman's Wharf in historic Monterey. Several restaurants are within walking distance. There is a wonderful paved hiking trail from nearby the hotel to downtown Monterey. The Embassy Suites features an indoor pool, whirl pool, sauna, fitness center and outdoor sun deck.
Hilton Garden Inn
The Hilton Garden Inn is located in the Central Coast area of California, in the town of Pismo Beach. The inn is approximately one mile from downtown Pismo Beach, the boardwalk, and Pismo Pier. The inn features an on-site restaurant, lounge, self-service laundry, fully equipped fitness center, and heated outdoor pool with jacuzzi. Free WiFi is provided in all guest rooms.
InterContinental Century City
The InterContinental Century City Hotel is located on the Avenue of the Stars, next door to Fox Studios and adjacent to Beverly Hills. This hotel features a 24-hour fitness center with an outdoor heated infinity pool and deck, sauna and steam room. All rooms have balconies or sun decks.
Caravan does not provide arrival transfers from the San Francisco, California airports to the Argonaut Hotel (495 Jefferson Street at Hyde) in San Francisco. You can transfer by taxi, shuttle or the Bay Area Rapid Transit system (BART):
From San Francisco Airport (SFO), taxis cost approximately $45.00 and take 30 minutes. Super Shuttles (800-258-3826 or 800-BLUEVAN) cost $17.00 per person and take 45 minutes, no advance reservations necessary. Blue Super Shuttle vans depart every 15 to 20 minutes from the upper level of the airport just outside United, U.S. Air and the International terminal. The BART station at the San Francisco Airport is located just beyond the International Terminal. Take the Red AirTrain from your domestic terminal or walk and follow the signs to the International terminal. The walk takes between 5 minutes (Terminal 3) and 15 minutes (Terminal 1). Take a San Francisco bound BART train to the Embarcadero Station (a 30 minute ride). Get off at Market and Embarcadero. Board a F-Market street car towards Fisherman's Wharf, and get off at the end of the line. From there, walk two blocks to the Argonaut. BART costs $8.10 and the street car costs $1.25 per person. For more information see www.bart.gov.
From Oakland Airport (OAK) to San Francisco, taxis cost $45.00 and take 40 minutes. Super Shuttles (800-258-3826 or 800-BLUEVAN) cost $26.00 per person and take 1 hour, advance reservations required. Upon arrival at the Oakland Airport, call Super Shuttle for pickup instructions. The Oakland Airport is linked to the Coliseum Station (the nearest BART station) by the AirBART Bus. Take a San Francisco-bound train to the Embarcadero Station (a 30 minute ride). Get off at Market and Embarcadero, and take the F-Market street car towards Fisherman's Wharf, and get off at the end of the line. From there, walk two blocks to the Argonaut. BART costs $3.80 and the AirBART Bus costs $2.00 ($.50 for Children & Seniors) per person. For more information see www.bart.gov.
Caravan does not provide departure transfers from the InterContinental Century City Hotel to the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Super Shuttles cost $14.00 per person and should be arranged in advance through the hotel concierge or by calling Super Shuttle (800-258-3826). Taxis cost $35 to $40.00 and travel can take anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes, depending on traffic.
Airfare is not included or sold by Caravan Tours. Here are lists of airlines that service this tour:
||Aeroflot, Air Canada, Air China, Air France, AirTran Airways, Alaska Airlines, America West, American Airlines, American Transair, Asiana, ATA, British Airways, Carthay Pacific Airways, China Airlines, Continental, EVA Air, Frontier, Hawaiian Airlines, Japan Airlines, KLM, Korean Air, LACSA, Lufthansa, Mexicana, Midwest Airlines, Phillipine Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Taca, United Airlines, Virgin Atlantic|
||Air Jamaica, Aer Lingus, Aero California, Aeroflot, AeroMexico, Air Canada, Air China, Air France, Air New Zealand, Air Pacific, Air Tahiti Nui, AirTran Airways, Alaska Airlines, All Nippon Airways, America West, American Airlines, American Eagle, American Transair, Asiana, ATA, Avianca, British Airways, Carthay Pacific Airways, Champion Air, China Airlines, Continental, Copa, Corsair, Delta, El Al Israel, EVA Air, Frontier, Hawaiian Airlines, Horizon Air, Japan Airlines, KLM, Korean Air, LACSA, Lanchile, LTU, Lufthansa, Malaysia Airlines, Mexicana, Miami Air, Midwest Express, Omni Air, Phillipine Airlines, Qantas, Singapore Airlines, Southwest, Swissair, Taca, Ted, Thai Airways, Transmeridian, United Airlines, United Express, US Airways, Varig Brazilian, Virgin Atlantic, Westjet, World Airways|
This is a predominantly casual tour. Casual wear is suggested for sightseeing and daytime traveling. Dress code for most evenings is smart casual.
Virtually everything! Hotels, most meals, all of the activities described in the itinerary pages, airport transfers in select cities, gratuities to hotel porters, restaurant staff and local guides. Caravan’s professional Tour Directors and local guides will be with you every step of the way, ensuring a worry free vacation.
Prices do not include air travel, country entry or departure fees, airport porter fees, visas, phones, valet, all items of a personal nature, food and beverages not on the regular menu and tips to the Caravan Tour Director and Driver. General fees and taxes are additional and listed separately beneath each tour’s price.
From cosmopolitan French Canada to the tropical rainforests of Costa Rica, Caravan has a tour for every one. Passengers requiring special assistance must be accompanied by an able companion.
A well paced and unhurried itinerary is our goal, after all, you are on vacation! Touring days begin and end at reasonable hours and include frequent stops. While the occasional early morning departure is necessary, we do our best to ensure a leisurely vacation.
Group sizes will vary depending on the reserved rooms at the hotels and lodges and the capacity of the ships, trains, and motorcoaches used. Usually, the maximum size will range from 36 to 44 passengers.
Included meals for each tour are listed at the end of each day. Meals are shown by B (breakfast), L (lunch) and D (dinner). All meals in Latin America are included. Most meals are included in the USA and Canada. Full, buffet, or deluxe continental breakfasts are included everywhere. Coffee and tea are provided at all meals. In Latin America, bottled water is provided free on the motorcoach and purified water is provided at the meals. Alcoholic beverages are not included unless specified.
Out of courtesy to your fellow tour members, please restrict the use of cell phones to emergency use only when you are on the motorcoach. Please also remember to turn off ringers; cell phone conversations and ringers are intrusive and can spoil other passengers' enjoyment of the tour. Please contact your service provider for information regarding cell phone reception areas: many rural areas do not have cell phone network coverage
“Our tour director was very knowledgeable and enjoyable. He was very conscientious about ensuring luggage was delivered to the appropriate rooms. He handled all special needs promptly. Our driver was terrific. He is an excellent driver. We always felt totally safe with him, and he has a sense of humor. He responded quickly to any requests. It would be great to go on another tour with them both. They work very well together.”Mr. & Mrs. R.A., Silverdale, Washington
“I enjoyed the tour very much. It was well organized. I would consider Caravan in the future. I was well pleased. All persons on tour were very friendly.”Mr. C.L., Zelienople, Pennsylvania
“The whole trip was great and Ill have the pictures and memories that will last me forever. I cant wait to go on another Caravan tour in the future.”Ms. P.L., Lodi, New Jersey
“We were very pleased with this tour and hope to take more in the future.”Mr. & Mrs. J.P., Lake Worth, Florida
“The tour was very well run. Our tour director was a superb guide and our driver was topnotch!”Mr. & Mrs. G.S., Ridley Park, Pennsylvania
“All were clean and well maintained. Hotels were in great locations. All meals were really nice in a nice atmosphere. There was plenty to eat. You get an A+. This was the best trip I believe I’ve taken. We saw so much! Great group! I will do another tour with Caravan. The entire tour was a ten. Thanks again!”Mr. & Mrs. D.S., Columbus, Georgia
“The hotels were nice. Each supplied a nice breakfast, plus something extra. Admired our tour directors great English accent and knowledge of the territory plus his sense of humor. Appreciated the bottled water available on the bus. Most enjoyable tour with a good variety of places and activities.”Ms. M.O., Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
“I loved the tour. We had a wonderful group. Everyone got along and they were always on time. We will definitely take another tour in the years to come.”Mr. & Mrs. L.F., Halifax, Massachusetts
“All in all, for the time we had, we really saw a great deal of California. No regrets at all for choosing Caravan.”Ms. M.S., San Antonio, Texas
“I simply cannot believe that you can offer such a quality experience as the tour we enjoyed for the prices you charge!! This trip was truly beyond a good travel value...it was an unbelievable STEAL! Rest assured, we will travel with you again and recommend at every opportunity. Thank you very much for providing such a fine vacation experience.”Ms. J.R., Audubon, New Jersey
“My expectations were met and exceeded everyday. There was a good balance of schedule and free time. Loved San Francisco, Carmel, 17-Mile Drive, redwood grove, I loved it all! This was my first Caravan tour and I thoroughly enjoyed it. We are already considering what our next tour should be!”Mr. & Mrs. D.H., Westchester, Ohio
“Had a great time. This was my second Caravan trip and I will go again. Very well organized!”Ms. D.T., Sterling Heights, Michigan
“I really had a great time. Everything was taken care of for me. Just having luggage delivered and picked up made such a difference. I would definitely take another trip.”Mr. & Mrs. A.B., Lynn, Massachusetts
“Thank you for a well coordinated tour. I think you are a first class company and wont hesitate to recommend you to others.”Mr. & Mrs. R.N., Greenwood, Indiana
“Was amazed at how much we got to see, enjoyed everything. I especially liked San Francisco and Yosemite and the redwood grove.”Mr. & Mrs. R.D., Lawrence, Massachusetts
“The hotels were in excellent locations. For example, near Fishermans Wharf and Yosemite Lodge between the mountains, loved swimming in the outdoor pool with such a view! This is one of the best tours. There were so many highlights that were so diverse and interesting, I find it difficult to pick out the best one. Will be checking out your other tours.”Ms. A.D., Greenport, New York
“We have traveled with Caravan before and hope to do it again. We have recommended this trip to our friends. Our tour director was attentive to the needs and desires of the group. He enjoyed seeing California and sharing his love for California. Excellent in his job! Caravan does a great job with this tour. I have recommended it to several people.”Mr. & Mrs. G.S., Virginia Beach, Virginia
“We had a great time. Are considering the Canadian Rockies and Glacier Park next year.”Mr. & Mrs. E.L., Orangeville, Pennsylvania
“Our tour director could not have done a better job. Everything ran very smoothly due to his diligence. He was very knowledgeable making for a richer travel experience. Everyone on the tour was very happy with his guidance. Will definitely recommend Caravan to friends.”Mrs. B.T., Rutherford, New Jersey
“Our tour director was a wonderful wealth of information and caring. This was my second tour this summer. I have been very impressed with Caravan and its employees.”Ms. C.S., Mesa, Arizona
“Weve been telling all of our friends what a great trip it was. It is the best trip on which Ive been for the hotels where we stayed.”Mr. & Mrs. A.B., Glenmont, New York
“All our breakfasts were very good, better than any other tour we have taken. You may have more people to take this trip next year from people Ive told about your trip.”Mr. & Mrs. F.T., Glenmont, New York
“I felt it was a well-planned tour. Very pleased, on the whole, with sights, comfort and food.”Ms. E.B., Wheaton, Illinois
“All of our meals were good and served nicely. I especially enjoyed the breakfast buffets, nice variety of choices and all had fresh fruit. Great, nice variety of activities and scenic sights. Our tour director was charming, had a great personality and kept everything fun and upbeat! He was very knowledgeable of the area and provided good information as well. I loved this trip and would highly recommend Caravan Tours to friends.”Mr. & Mrs. W.F., Elkhart, Indiana
“Appreciated having water available on the motor coach. All in all, the tour was well worth the money and we would recommend your company to friends.”Mr. & Mrs. J.N., Amityville, New York These are only the first 25 reviews of this tour... Read all 133 Reviews »
Caravan Tours began selling fully escorted tours in 1952. We have been under the same management and ownership ever since. In 1965, Roger Mudd hosted a two hour CBS TV special on Caravan Tours. This TV production took about one month to make and was so successful it inspired the 1968 romantic comedy movie “If it’s Tuesday this must be Belgium.” In the early 50’s the Mayor of Dublin presented Caravan with the Key to Dublin for bringing the first American tour to the city after WWII. Since then Caravan has been recognized as a pioneer in travel.
Caravan’s strong buying power gives you great vacations at prices much lower than you can find anywhere. Last year many of our tours sold out quickly. Book early for the date you prefer and the best air fare.
Caravan Tours is a member of ASTA (American Society of Travel Agents), NTA (National Tour Association), CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association), and an allied member of ACTA (Alliance of Canadian Travel Agencies).
Caravan delivers volume to our suppliers, who in turn reward us with their very best prices, we in turn pass these savings on to you, and you reward us by buying our tours. As volume continues to rise, we then receive even better prices from our suppliers, and we pass even greater savings on to you. This year our tours are better than ever.
The short answer is “very.” Our surveys are uniformly very positive. However we continually strive to improve our tours, (they are often updated several times in the course of one year), we study all client surveys and suggestions for improvement very carefully.
Caravan includes all activities listed in the tour itinerary page. Caravan does not sell any optional activities which can add hundreds of dollars to your tour price. Your free time is scheduled in great settings where there is no need to buy additional expensive activities.