California Dreamin': Northern California By Design (F8B)

9 days from San Francisco to San Francisco

2022 Tour Details View 2021 Tour Details »

Head west for a 9-day adventure with the pioneer spirit of Northern California. How will you strike gold in the Golden State? Riding the rails in Sacramento or gliding by kayak on an ancient lake? Trekking the trails in Yosemite or treading lightly on the streets of a ghost town? Soaring to mammoth views or singing the Folsom blues? With complimentary YourChoice Excursions, you choose to climb to new heights or dig deeper to find your California dream. What a rush!

Why This Tour is El Capitan:
  • A journey to uncover Northern California’s historic sites and scenic sights from San Francisco to Yosemite.
  • The Wild West and the Pony Express … grapevines and gold mines … granite cliffs and guitar riffs!
  • Included YourChoice Excursions in Sacramento, Mammoth Lakes, and Yosemite National Park.
  • Eureka!




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California Dreamin': Northern California By Design map

 Photo Highlights

The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on this vacation:

  • Yosemite National Park

 Meals

 Meals & Itinerary

Breakfast daily, 1 lunch, 2 dinners

 Itinerary

Day 1 ARRIVE IN SAN FRANCISCO

Welcome to San Francisco! At 6 pm, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions for a welcome drink.

Day 2 SAN FRANCISCO–SAUSALITO–SONOMA–SACRAMENTO

SAUSALITO Free time to explore shops and galleries.
SONOMA Orientation tour and free time for lunch on your own. Guided tour of the wine caves and a tasting of award-winning sparkling wines at the Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyard.
SACRAMENTO Free time this evening.

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 3 SACRAMENTO

SACRAMENTO City sightseeing tour. YourChoice Excursions include one of the following activities of your choice:

DELVE: Prison Blues with the Man in Black
DELVE: Prison Blues with the Man in Black
Join an excursion to the town of Folsom for a visit to the Folsom Prison Museum. Here, you'll see how country music-legend, Johnny Cash, made a big impact on the town and the inmates at Folsom Prison as he performed Folsom "Prison Blues" in 1968. Learn about Cash's contributions to the town with exhibits and artifacts chronicling the nearly 140-year-old prison. Also spend time on the Folsom Cash Art Trail, where public art celebrates and honors Cash's contributions to Folsom. Return to Sacramento for a guided walking tour of Old Town Sacramento and dinner at a local restaurant.
TASTE: Hometown Roots
TASTE: Hometown Roots
A Local Roots Food Tour connects you with Sacramento's restaurants, chefs, architecture, and history with a 3-hour walk through this California culinary destination. While on the walk, discover the stories behind the murals and meet an artist of one of these famed pieces of art.
GAZE: Off the Rails
GAZE: Off the Rails
Discover Sacramento's historic role in the California Gold Rush, the Pony Express, and America's first transcontinental railroad, preserved in Old Sacramento and the California State Railroad Museum. Enjoy free time to explore the California State Railroad Museum, followed by a 1½-hour scenic ride and happy hour on the historic River Fox train. Next, take a nostalgic guided walking tour of Old Town Sacramento, including dinner at a local restaurant.

Breakfast Breakfast
DinnerDinner

Day 4 SACRAMENTO–LAKE TAHOE–MAMMOTH LAKES

SACRAMENTO Scenic ride along the “Most Beautiful Drive in America” en route to Lake Tahoe.
LAKE TAHOE Scenic drive continues and includes photo stops at viewpoints and free time in Heavenly Village.
MAMMOTH LAKES Guided sightseeing. Free time this evening.

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 5 MAMMOTH LAKES

MAMMOTH LAKES YourChoice Excursions include one of the following activities of your choice:

STROLL: Strike Gold in a Ghost Town
STROLL: Strike Gold in a Ghost Town
Take a guided walking tour of Bodie State Historic Park to discover the history and colorful characters who called this once-bustling gold-mining town (pop. 10,000) home. Walk down the deserted streets, seemingly frozen in time with furnishings and goods remaining within the walls of the homes and general store. Peer inside the windows of the abandoned houses, local church, saloon, jailhouse, and other preserved structures that evoke the bygone days of the Wild West. Enjoy a box-lunch during your excursion.
SOAR: Elevate Your Spirit
SOAR: Elevate Your Spirit
Feel your spirit soar with an aerial ride on the Panorama Gondola to the summit of Mammoth Mountain (elev. 11,053 ft.). Enjoy lunch at Eleven53 Café with sweeping views and discover the geological history, hearty culture, and natural wonders of the Sierras at the interpretive center and learning stations here. Spend free time hiking in search of wildflowers, wildlife, or the serenity of the alpine terrain and pristine lakes.
FLOAT: A Walk on the Moon
FLOAT: A Walk on the Moon
Embark on a 4-hour excursion to Mono Lake, resembling a lunar landscape with its surreal Tufa tower limestone formations rising from the glassy waters of one of Earth's oldest living lakes. Called the "Dead Sea of California," Mono Lake is actually teeming with life, including trillions of brine shrimp that provide an unlimited buffet for nesting California Gulls and other migratory birds traveling the Pacific Flyway. Take a guided kayak tour with a Naturalist Guide, and glide along the striking shoreline to the Rush Creek delta for dynamic views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and volcanic mountain ranges. You'll paddle to a little-known spot on shore to explore the extraordinary ecosystem here, before concluding your day with stunning views of the Eastern Sierra, jutting more than 13,000 feet (3962.4 m) into the sky. Enjoy a box-lunch during your excursion.

Free time this evening.

Breakfast Breakfast
LunchLunch

Day 6 MAMMOTH LAKES–YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK Explore Yosemite on a scenic drive through the park, including photo stops and free time to visit the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center. Free time this evening for the first of three nights at the luxury Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite resort.

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 7 YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK YourChoice Excursions include one of the following activities of your choice:

GAZE: Westward, Ho!
GAZE: Westward, Ho!
Get up close to the wonders and wildlife of Yosemite on a guided 2-hour tram tour. Return to the park this morning and join a Park Ranger to discover the natural history and the stories of Native Peoples and new settlers who moved west to a wilderness like no other.
TREK: Yosemite, Naturally
TREK: Yosemite, Naturally
Feel your senses awaken with a nature walk in the place where John Muir discovered "Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine into trees." Your Naturalist Guide will show you the breathtaking views of the Yosemite region, while encountering the fantastic flora and fauna of this magical wilderness.
STROLL: A Kaleidoscope in Black and White
STROLL: A Kaleidoscope in Black and White
Photography buffs and aspiring shutterbugs won't want to miss this private guided photography tour courtesy of the Ansel Adams Gallery. Whether you have your own camera equipment or want to snap your own masterpieces with your Smartphone, you'll find your focus with photography guides to escort and instruct you in the best vantage points, hidden locations, and perfect time for the best light.

Free time late afternoon and evening to enjoy the resort.

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 8 YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK Free time this morning and afternoon to enjoy Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite. Consider hiking, electric-assist mountain biking, or a visit to the Ascent Spa and Fitness Center. A farewell dinner this evening followed by a private stargazing excursion with a local expert.

Breakfast Breakfast
DinnerDinner

Day 9 YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK–SAN FRANCISCO

This morning, return to San Francisco International Airport or Marriott Marquis hotel. Please schedule departing flights after 4pm.

Breakfast Breakfast

 Tour Director

With GLOBUS, there’s no better way to get to know your destination than through the eyes of a Tour Director. We’d like you to meet one of our Tour Directors, who average over a decade of experience and are representative of the type of expert that will be with you on your vacation.

DEREK LUNDGREN

Escorting tours for more than 10 years

The Western United States' national parks have some of the most spectacular scenery on the planet, and provide experiences and memories that last a lifetime. Where else can you see wild animals roam free among natural wonders and stunning canyons? It's my great honor to introduce travelers to these beautiful places as I tell the little-known facts and stories that bring each destination to life.

Tour Director - DEREK LUNDGREN

 Accommodations

 Optional Excursions

No matter what you’re into: food, wine, history, art, music or anything else, we give you the freedom to personalize your vacation with optional excursions that speak to your interests.

When you book your excursions with us, you can be assured that every optional excursion that we offer coordinates with the free time that you'll have in your destination, so you'll never have conflicts between included and optional activities. Our team of travel experts carefully selects each optional excursion that we offer to ensure that you receive the highest quality at a great value. Our tried-and-true partners have a finger on the pulse of the city in which they operate so they deliver the very best experiences. We offer experiences you cannot create on your own and because you’re booking with us, we coordinate all your transportation and timing needs.

The following optional excursions are examples only for this vacation. These may or may not be offered, and availability is subject to days of operation and seasonality. Please select a departure date to view optional excursions and pricing for a specific date (due to currency fluctuation, pricing shown is subject to change until purchased). Optional excursions are available for purchase on our MyGlobus site 90 days prior to the tour start date.

Price Ranges

$ ($50 USD and under)
$$ ($51 - $100 USD)
$$$ ($101 - $150 USD)
$$$$ (Over $150)

No Excursions are available at this time.



The "Starting at" or listed price is based on the lowest price available to book. Price is per passenger based on double occupancy and does not include International airfare; additional fees/charges are not included. If a price is crossed out, the new price shown includes a limited time promotional offer(s) – please review current promotions or deals for additional information. Some tours require intra-vacation flights (and in some cases intra-vacation segments must be purchased from Globus).

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