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California Coastal Bus Tours by Caravan
Join Caravan Tours on their all inclusive California central coast guided tours. Follow the rugged central California coastline between Monterey and Los Angeles. Added tourist attractions include San Francisco, Sonoma wine country, and Yosemite National Park.
These fully guided bus tours of the central California coast are all-inclusive and include all accommodations, planned meals and featured attractions.
As one of America’s leading bus tour companies, Caravan is still family owned and operated after more than 60 years in the North American travel industry.
California Travel Tour Bus Itinerary
Begin your California central coast guided tour in the beautiful city of San Francisco, home to Alcatraz, Fisherman’s Wharf, Nob Hill and the Golden Gate Bridge. Then travel fully escorted, by coach along the central and southern California coast to Beverly Hills. In between your sightseeing vacation package includes:
- Yosemite National Park, home the towering granite monoliths Half Dome & El Capitan
- Morning drive to Monterey, passing through San Joaquin Valley
- San Luis Reservoir
- Cannery Row
- Monterey Bay Aquarium, world famous for its 1.3 million gallon tank and sharks, stingrays and jellyfish
- 17 Mile Drive, famous for its Seal Rock and the Lone Cypress
- Carmel by the Sea with visit to Carmel Mission
- Hearst Castle
- And much more!
California Central Coast Guided Tours –
Includes Big Sur
Caravan’s central coast California bus tour is simply not complete without the spectacular bus ride along Big Sur. Possibly one of the most spectacular coastal drives in the world, Big Sur derives its name from the Spanish for “the Big South”.
Aboard the tour bus, guests are treated to contrasting coastal and mountain views out each window. To the west, guests can view down dramatic cliffs that plummet into the sparkling blue waters of the Pacific Ocean, with its endless horizon. To the east are the slopes of the Santa Lucia mountain range, which are home to Coastal Redwoods, Douglas Fir and Ponderosa Pine.
The Santa Lucia Mountains rise very abruptly from the ocean waters. In fact, Cone Peak in the Santa Lucia Mountain range is the highest coastal mountain the continental US. It ascends nearly a mile above sea level and is located just three miles away from the Pacific Ocean waters.
As Caravan’s California central coast guided tour continues over Rocky Creek Bridge and Brixby Bridge, there is a photo opportunity at a popular Big Sur scenic viewpoint plus a rest stop at a Redwood Grove. These old-growth Pacific coast redwoods can live for as long as 2,000 years and grow to be more than 350 feet tall.
The Big Sur bus tour portion of this California central coast guided tour also makes a return trip through Big Sur for a second viewing opportunity.
Unhurried Central Coast Guided Tours of California
Caravan’s bus tours in central and southern California along the beautiful Pacific Ocean coast follow a relaxing, unhurried travel itinerary. Tour operators ensure each tour day starts and ends at reasonable hours with frequent stops.
These California bus tours accommodate all types of travellers including families, groups and seniors. In particular, Caravan’s California central coast guided tours are especially popular senior bus tours through California as they run from May to December.
California Coast Guided Tours - An Unbeatable Value
Caravan has been offering fully escorted sightseeing tours throughout North and Central America since 1952, operating under the same family ownership and management.
Central coast coach travelers on our California bus tours experience an unrivalled standard of excellence with all-inclusive packages at approximately 30% less than most of our lower cost competitors.
For one affordable, low price, California sightseeing vacation tours by bus include all itinerary meals and excursions with nothing in our class anywhere near this value.
Book Your Bus Tour of Southern California Today!
Visit our California bus tours page for more detailed tour information.
Back to TopVideos for this Tour
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 –
Latin America Tours
2021 Departure Dates
|Apr||11, 18, 25|
|May||2, 9, 16, 23, 30|
|Jun||6, 13, 20, 27|
|Jul||4, 11, 18, 25|
|Aug||1, 8, 15, 22, 29|
|Sep||5, 12, 19, 26|
|Oct||3, 10, 17, 24|
**indicates Super Value date
*indicates Great Value date
Call For Latest Availability
2021 Price Per Person - $U.S.
|Room Type||Super Value||Great Value||Special Value|
|Double||$ TBA||$ TBA||$ TBA|
Plus Taxes and Fees:
Double $TBA; Triple $TBA; Single $TBA
Call for Latest Availability
and to Reserve Space
Caravan’s tours sell out fast! Please call 1-800-CARAVAN or 312-321-9800 before confirming other travel arrangements to verify availability of your preferred departure date. You can reserve space free for up to 3 days, then a $300 deposit per person is due. Full payment is 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
What’s on this Page:
Hotels - listed by day
Yosemite Valley Lodge
Inn at Morro Bay
InterContinental Century City
Master Card, Visa, or check.
Back to Top Hotels
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.
Days 1, 2 – San Francisco
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.
Day 3 – Monterey Bay
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.
Days 4, 5 – Yosemite Park
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.
Day 6 – Central Coast
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.
Days 7, 8 – Los Angeles
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.
Back to Top Airport Transfer Information
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|
Back to Top Local Weather
This is a predominantly casual tour. Casual wear is suggested for sightseeing and daytime traveling. Dress code for most evenings is smart casual.
Back to Top Frequently Asked Questions
What is included in the tour price?
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.
What is not included in the tour price?
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.
Can your tours be enjoyed by all age groups?
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.
How long will each day be?
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.
How large will my group be?
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.
Are meals included?
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.
Can I use my cell phone in this area?
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
Back to Top Customer Reviews of our California Coast & Yosemite tour
“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. 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. 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! 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 top-notch and a great reason alone we travel with you. Additionally, this trip certainly provided many different sights and sounds. 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, 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. 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 163 Reviews »