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Begins: San Francisco, Ends: Los Angeles
Day 1 – San Francisco, California
See the best of California on a fun-filled vacation that includes two nights in a national park lodge at the base of Yosemite Falls. Your Golden State adventure begins in San Francisco, the romantic city by the bay. Enjoy a relaxing two night stay at your hotel near Fisherman’s Wharf. Rooms are available for check in after 3:00 p.m. Join Caravan for a 6:00 p.m. welcome briefing. Evening is at leisure to explore San Francisco.
Day 2 – Wine Country
After breakfast, enjoy a morning sightseeing tour of San Francisco highlights. See Union Square, Chinatown, Nob Hill, and Golden Gate Park. Then, head over the Golden Gate Bridge, an engineering masterpiece. Continue to Sonoma wine country. Enjoy a wine tasting at a local vineyard. On your return to San Francisco, stop at the Golden Gate Bridge Overlook. Afternoon and evening at leisure. You may wish to ride a historic cable car, cruise on San Francisco Bay, or dine and shop on Fisherman’s Wharf. B
Day 3 – Monterey, Big Sur, Carmel
This morning, head south along the California coast. Enjoy a train ride through coastal redwoods. Continue to Monterey, home of John Steinbeck, who chronicled the adventures of this colorful fishing village. Free time at Cannery Row. Next, wind along the coast on Pacific Grove's Sunset Drive. Then, enjoy Monterey's famous Seventeen Mile Drive. See natural wonders, including Seal Rock and the Lone Cypress. Drive by the Pebble Beach Golf Course. Next, a spectacular drive on the Big Sur, one of the world’s most awe-inspiring coastal drives. On one side is the sparkling turquoise Pacific Ocean with its pounding surf, dramatic cliffs and endless horizon, and on the other is the Santa Lucia Mountain Range. Photo stop at a Big Sur scenic viewpoint. Return north via the Big Sur for a second opportunity to see dramatic vistas. Drive through charming Carmel By The Sea. Overnight on Monterey Bay. B
Day 4 – Yosemite National Park
This morning, pass through the fertile San Joaquin Valley and by the San Luis Reservoir, part of the vast California irrigation project. Arrive at Yosemite National Park for a relaxing two night stay. Your lodge is inside Yosemite Park, and is the closest lodging to the base of Yosemite Falls. Established in 1890, Yosemite’s 1,000 square mile park is an enduring legacy to the conservation efforts of naturalist John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club. Brief orientation drive upon arrival. Overnight in Yosemite National Park. B
Day 5 – Yosemite National Park
Enjoy a valley floor orientation drive showcasing the wonders of Yosemite Park. Look for waterfalls, including Yosemite Falls and Bridalveil Falls, and marvel at the two towering granite monoliths known as Half Dome and El Capitan. The rest of your day is at leisure to explore Yosemite Park. Hike the nature trails through giant cedar, pine, and fir trees or just simply relax in the splendor of Yosemite Park. Your two night stay inside Yosemite allows time for a comprehensive visit. Overnight in Yosemite National Park. B
Day 6 – Hearst Castle, Central Coast
Head south through California’s Central Valley. Stop and look for Elephant Seals resting along a Pacific Ocean beach. Then, enjoy a visit to Hearst Castle. During the 1920’s and 1930’s, politicians and Hollywood movie stars were frequent guests at William Randolph Hearst’s castle. Movie star Cary Grant considered the pool one of the most romantic spots on earth. Continue south. Photo stop at Morro Bay, the Gibraltar of the Pacific. Overnight along California’s Central Coast. B
Day 7 – Santa Barbara, Santa Monica
Morning visit to the historic Santa Barbara Mission. Sightseeing drive of downtown Santa Barbara. Photo stop at the Santa Barbara waterfront. Continue south along the Malibu coastline to Santa Monica. Photo stop overlooking Santa Monica Pier, a backdrop for many Hollywood films and TV shows, including “Baywatch.” Continue to your hotel, for a relaxing two night stay. Your hotel is in the fashionable West Side of Los Angeles, near Rodeo Drive and Beverly Hills. Evening at leisure. B
Day 8 – Hollywood, Beverly Hills
Explore behind-the-scenes Hollywood on your morning visit to Sony Studios. The studio is home to the popular shows “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy,” as well as many blockbuster movies, including “Spider-Man.” Enjoy a rare glimpse of old Hollywood’s glory days as you walk on sound stages where movie history was made. Then, continue to Hollywood. See the famous Hollywood sign in the hills above. Stop at the Chinese Theater (Grauman’s). Here you see the imprints of Jimmy Durante’s nose, John Wayne’s fist, and Betty Grable’s legs. Stroll Hollywood’s most famous sidewalk, known as the Walk of Fame, where you see the stars of Elvis Presley, Julie Andrews, Groucho Marx, Nicole Kidman, Elton John, and many more. See the dramatic entrance of the Dolby (Kodak) Theatre, home of the Academy Awards. Next, take the Sunset Strip to Beverly Hills and pass Rodeo Drive, America’s most celebrated shopping district. Return to your hotel. The rest of your afternoon is at leisure. Farewell dinner tonight. BD
Day 9 – Los Angeles
Your tour ends after breakfast. Thanks for vacationing with Caravan. B
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||7**, 14**, 21**, 28**|
|Jun||2*, 9*, 16, 30|
|Sep||1, 8, 22, 29|
|Oct||6, 13, 20, 27|
**indicates Super Value date
*indicates Great Value date
|Room Type||Super Value||Great Value||Special Value|
|Double||$ 1695||$ 1795||$ 1895|
Plus Taxes and Fees:
Double $297; Triple $259; Single $397
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.
$99 Travel Protection Plan
Caravan’s $99 travel protection plan offers peace of mind if you cancel for any reason whatsoever prior to the departure of the tour. The travel protection plan also includes air, baggage, evacuation and medical coverage.
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 Valley Lodge
Inn at Morro Bay
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.
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.
Yosemite Valley Lodge
Yosemite Valley Lodge is a national park lodge located in the heart of Yosemite Valley inside Yosemite National Park. Perfect for exploring, the lodge is an easy walk from the base of the waterfalls beneath which it is located and convenient for hiking one of the many trails originating nearby. The main lodge complex emphasizes glass and wood detailing to blend harmoniously with the natural surroundings. The lodge features two dining establishments, a lounge area, a seasonal swimming pool, a gift shop, bike rentals and Wi-Fi. Elevation is approximately 4,000 feet.
Inn at Morro Bay
The Inn at Morro Bay is located along California's Central Coast at the base of a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Morro Rock and surrounded by 4,000 acre of rugged woodlands. Services and amenities include a heated pool and jacuzzi, restaurant and lounge.
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
“First time with Caravan but look forward to many more. Excellent tour! Every hotel was wonderful, and the Argonaut and Intercontinental L.A. were exceptional. Great choices for sightseeing, enjoyed everything we saw. Loved Muir Woods. Your planning was exceptional. We’ve done lots of trips and never had a better guide or driver. They were a walking encyclopedia and I could write a book about them. They make a tour outstanding. ”Mrs. & Mr. J.N., Lewisberry, Pennsylvania
“I have been on many guided coach trips but Caravan was the most bang for the buck. I loved everything about our trip. I was impressed with seeing so much in such a short time. Enjoyed every place we saw. Hearst Castle was definitely a highlight for me. I had wanted to see it for many years. Informative and charming, ours was the best director I’ve ever had. My sister and I are already planning our next trip! ”Ms. E.J., Chelsea, Alabama
“Our experiences with Caravan Tours so far have been very positive. You incorporate lots to see and comfortable clean hotels in great locations. You never fail us in getting to see so much in such a short time. Fabulous sights. Our guides at the vineyard, Hearst Castle, and Sony Studios were very informative and humorous. ”Mr. & Mrs. T.M., Ashland, New Hampshire
“Great value for a professional tour we will never forget. We enjoyed all the sights which were breathtaking. Muir Woods, Yosemite and Hearst Castle were our favorite. We had plenty of rest stops and visited beautiful places for photos. Our TD skillfully shared history about the individual places and California in general. Everyone loved her. All of the hotels were terrific. The motorcoach was bright and cheerful. We look forward to future tours with Caravan.”Mr. & Mrs. W.H., Kansas City, Missouri
“Great hotel locations, and good meal variety. California fruit is the best! Best tour guide ever. Excellent!!. Very nice tour. Scenery was spectacular. ”Mrs. T.M., West Salem, Wisconsin
“All sights were excellent, the whole trip was exceptional! Our first trip with Caravan went beyond our expectations. Great stops, especially Yosemite and Solvang, what a unique Danish town! We will spread the word about your excellent company. We have another tour to the Grand Canyon, and we’re excited to go with your company again. ”Mrs. & Mr. C.S., Richland, Pennsylvania
“Absolutely wonderful. Got to see everything I wanted and was given enough time to experience and learn about all the beautiful and interesting places in California as well as a few we didn’t expect! We got spoiled last year on the Caravan Mt. Rushmore tour and thought nobody could be as good as that director. Well, our California Coast TD was just as excellent. Everyone I spoke to agreed that we couldn’t understand how she remembered all the great knowledge she imparted to us, all the histories and stories of these places. She took such great care of us, a delight! We met lots of nice people on tour, made some friends, saw new and exciting things and learned a lot. All the hotels were above my expectations, all different, upscale beautiful rooms and in great locations. Thank you again, Caravan, for a great time! ”Ms. S.M., Palm Beach, Florida
“This was our first guided coach trip, but it won’t be our last. THE BEST. If our California director and driver are on all of our Caravan trips, we might never come home. ”Mr. & Mrs. R.D., Lititz, Pennsylvania
“This was our second trip through Caravan, did the Costa Rica tour a few years back. The accommodations Caravan find for these trips are outstanding! Never have I had any negativity for any of them. They are topnotch and a great reason alone we travel with you. Additionally, this trip certainly provided many different sights and sounds. Muir Woods was a surprise and very peaceful. Stops at Santa Barbara and Monica were delightful. Yosemite tunnel view, I can’t get out of my mind! Our small but mighty driver, she was delightful! Thank you for enjoyable trips with so much to see and do! ”Mr. & Mrs. J.T., Glenshaw, Pennsylvania
“This was my 4th Caravan Tour, we have wonderful memories and new friends! Spectacular! Starting with Golden gate, Fisherman’s Wharf, Muir Woods, Winery, Yosemite, Hollywood - excellent choices. I ❤ Caravan!”Ms. L.S., Herkimer, New York
“Our first Caravan excursion was such a wonderful adventure! It would be difficult to improve upon near perfection. This was a vacation to remember. The trip was all we hoped for - a delightful, rewarding introduction to California. We highly recommend it. We received an excellent tour in a short period of time and it was so enjoyable to see large sampling of California without driving, booking hotels, tours, activities. The Intercontinental in L.A. is a true gem. And a knowledgeable, caring, considerate director, a joy to be with. Well-organized and entertaining. First-rate motorcoach!”Mr. & Mrs. M.L., Monticello, Indiana
“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
“The whole trip was great and I'll have the pictures and memories that will last me forever. I can't wait to go on another Caravan tour in the future.”Ms. P.L., Lodi, New Jersey
“You get an A+. This was the best trip I believe I've taken. All hotels were clean and well maintained in great locations. All meals were really nice in a nice atmosphere. There was plenty to eat. 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
“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
“These Caravan tours are the best you can get for such a reasonable price. We have never been disappointed with anything on these tours. The choices are always awesome on the hotels and sightseeing. We look forward to more Caravan tours in the future! I love the fact that everything is included, no optionals, which means the price you see is what you are charged!”Ms. B.H., Owensboro, Kentucky
“Don't be hesitant about booking a vacation with Caravan. They are far better at what they do than much of the competition out there and our experience was a very pleasant one. Their clients seem to be a good mixture of age and background and all became friends within the time of the tour. Five-star recommendation from both me and my partner who accompanied me. We will definitely use Caravan in the future.”Mr. S.W., Burstwick, Yorkshire United Kingdom
“Highly recommend this wonderful trip. Words cannot describe the beauty of this part of the country--breathtaking, delicious and awesome. The tour was perfectly organized down to every last detail and packs so much into eight days. So impressive! The tour director and driver were complete professionals who made the trip the success it was. We've never done an escorted tour, but would do it again with Caravan next year. Hopefully we could have the same tour director and driver.”Mr. & Mrs. J.S., Hamilton Square, New Jersey
“This is one of the best tours. The hotels were in excellent locations. For example, near Fisherman's Wharf and Yosemite Lodge between the mountains, loved swimming in the outdoor pool with such a view! 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
“Caravan has done an exceptional job of setting these tours up and has decades of experience. All the sights were very good as we saw California agriculture, mountains, coastlines, and large cities which were all learning experiences for most of us. The bridges were awesome to see as well. This was my first trip with Caravan and my wife and I plan to take New England. An absolutely fantastic job all around. ”Mr. & Mrs. C.P., Saint Augustine, Florida
“Amazing, luxury suites and views, the hotels were relaxing and immaculate first-class comfort facilities. Enjoyed it all: San Fran, so much to see. Views from Muir Woods and wine tour. Yosemite - WOW. Monterey drive, seals, Hearst, breathtaking. Hollywood. Perfect amount of rest stops. Would definitely experience Caravan again, 150% satisfied.”Ms. L.M., Clairton, Pennsylvania
“This Caravan Tour exceeded my expectations. Will recommend highly to others and will tour with Caravan again. All the hotels were wonderful, felt like 4 or 5 star hotels which I’m sure they were. Enjoyed all our stops and appreciated the extra effort when necessary. We all loved our director: he was wonderful, knowledgeable and a kind, caring soul who cared about his group. ”Mr. & Mrs. D.S., Winter Springs, Florida
“I lost my husband last March and took this tour by myself. It was a trial run. I LOVED my tour. I have travelled with several other well-known touring companies, and I was very impressed with Caravan, and at no time did I feel threatened or afraid. My rooms were all very comfortable and secure. I now know that I can do this by myself. I’m planning on taking my son and his wife on your Costa Rica tour next year. I’m so excited about it. I truly loved this Pacific Coast tour. It was serious sightseeing. My favorite day was Sony Studios and Hollywood. The harbor seals were amazing. I’m going with Caravan again, God-willing.”Ms. V.G., Saint Johnsbury, Vermont
“Our director was one of the very best at her job. This was my 6th tour with Caravan and her, along with one other, are truly remarkable people who really know how they do it. I was the only Californian on the tour and this couldn’t have been better. The stops were exceptionally well chosen, a fresh look at California. Your tours have been so enjoyable. Congrats on your hard work in making them available. You’re an excellent company. ”Mr. & Mrs. P.S., Lafayette, California These are only the first 25 reviews of this tour... Read all 164 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.