Although California was sighted by Spanish navigator Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo in 1542, its first Spanish mission (at San Diego) was not established until 1769.California became a U.S. territory in 1847 when Mexico surrendered it to John C. Frémont. On Jan. 24, 1848, James W. Marshall discovered gold at Sutter’s Mill, starting the California Gold Rush and bringing settlers to the state in large numbers. By 1964, California had surpassed New York to become the most populous state. One reason for this may be that more immigrants settle in California than any other state—more than one-third of the nation’s total in 1994. Asians and Pacific Islanders led the influx.
Leading industries include agriculture, manufacturing (transportation equipment, machinery, and electronic equipment), biotechnology, aerospace-defense, and tourism. Principal natural resources include timber, petroleum, cement, and natural gas.
Death Valley, in the southeast, is 282 ft below sea level, the lowest point in the nation.Mt Wittney (14,491 ft) is the highest point in the contiguous 48 states. Lassen peak is one of two active U.S. volcanoes outside of Alaska and Hawaii; its last eruptions were recorded in 1917.
Other points of interest include Yosemite National Park, Disneyland, Hollywood, the Golden Gate bridge, Sequoia National Park, San Simeon State Park.
The Bridge, cable cars, a sparkling bay, and streets lined with elegant Victorian homes—San Francisco is undeniably one of the world’s great cities. Located along the Northern California at the state’s distinctive bend in the coast, the region has an alluring magic that stretches beyond the bay to diverse cities with nightlife and trend-setting cuisine. The Bay Area is also home to some of the world’s finest wine country, including Napa Valley and Sonoma, plus waterfront towns, dramatic beaches, and the tech-savvy southern end of the bay known as the Silicon Valley, where lunchtime ideas at Google, Facebook, and Apple, turn into the next brilliant innovation.
Los Angeles is a sprawling Southern California city famed as the center of the nation’s film and television industry. Not far from its iconic Hollywood sign, studios such as Paramount Pictures, Universal and Warner Brothers offer behind-the-scenes tours. On Hollywood Boulevard, TCL Chinese Theater displays celebrities’ hand- and footprints, the Walk of Fame honors thousands of luminaries and vendors sell maps to stars’ homes. Points of interest Universal Studios Hollywood, Griffith Park, Getty Center, Hollywood Walk of Fame, Disneyland.
Monterey is a city on California’s rugged central coast. Its Cannery Row, one-time center of the sardine-packing industry, was immortalized by novelist John Steinbeck. Today, Cannery Row is a popular strip of gift shops, seafood restaurants and bars in converted factories. Equally famous is Monterey Bay Aquarium, with hundreds of thousands of marine animals and plants on display in underwater and interactive exhibits.
Point of interest: Monterey Bay Aquarium ,Fisherman’s Wharf, Monterey.
San Diego is a city on the Pacific coast of California known for its beaches, parks and warm climate. Immense Balboa Park is the site of the world-famous San Diego Zoo, as well as numerous art galleries, artist studios, museums and gardens. A deep harbor is home to a large active naval fleet, with the USS Midway, an aircraft-carrier-turned-museum, open to the public.
Day-1: Arrival in San Francisco
Welcome to California! Arrive in San Francisco and transfer to your hotel.
Day-2: Sightseeing tour of San Francisco
Today’s guided tour introduces you to the highlights of San Francisco, the “City by the Bay.”
Ride up Twin Peaks, the hills near the center of San Francisco, and take in spectacular panoramic vistas
Pass the iconic Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, location of cultural movements in the 1960s, and the posh neighborhoods of Pacific Heights and Nob Hill
Drive through North Beach and see the iconic Coit Tower atop Telegraph Hill
Visit Golden Gate Park and enjoy stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge
Enjoy a free afternoon strolling along Fisherman’s Wharf or add an excursion.
Optional Excursion – Alcatraz Island
Day-3: Free day in San Francisco
Spend a free day exploring San Francisco on your own or add an excursion.
Optional Excursion – Sonoma & Napa Valley Wine Tasting
Day-4: Transfer to Yosemite National Park
Travel through the Central Valley on the way to Yosemite. In the afternoon, enter the national park for a discussion on Yosemite, led by a park ranger.
Day-5: Sightseeing tour of Yosemite Valley
Learn about the Yosemite Valley’s history and geology on a guided sightseeing tour with a park ranger.
View Bridalveil Fall, named for the ethereal mists that surround the falls
Drive up Inspiration Point for phenomenal photos of Half Dome and El Capitan, icons of the Yosemite Valley
Take in the sights at the historic Tunnel View overlook, offering one of the most famous views of the park
Enjoy a free afternoon in Yosemite National Park or add an excursion.
Optional Excursion – Yosemite’s Glacier Point
Drive from Yosemite to Monterey, a coastal city brimming with rich history and cultural diversity. Spend free time exploring Cannery Row before visiting the world-famous Monterey Aquarium.
SANTA BARBARA REGION
Day-7: Hearst Castle via Big Sur
Journey south along the Pacific Coast Highway, a cliff-side roadway boasting exhilarating views, crossing the mountainous region of Big Sur. Stop for a guided tour of Hearst Castle, the storied hilltop mansion of publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst, before arriving in the Santa Barbara region.
Day-8: Sightseeing tour of Santa Barbara
Get to know the city of Santa Barbara, the “American Riviera,” on this morning’s guided sightseeing tour.
Visit Old Mission Santa Barbara, a Franciscan mission established in 1786
See Stearns Wharf, an iconic wooden pier in the Santa Barbara Harbor
Pass the historic County Courthouse, a Greek Revival-style building decorated with beautiful interior murals
View El Presidio, a former Spanish military outpost in downtown Santa Barbara
Take time to explore Santa Barbara on your own or add an excursion.
Optional Excursion – Santa Barbara Wine Country
Day-9: Sightseeing tour of Los Angeles
Continue on the Pacific Coast Highway as you travel to Los Angeles, stopping for lunch at a West Hollywood farmers market. Then, immerse yourself in lively L.A . on a guided sightseeing tour.
Ride down Rodeo Drive through glamorous Beverly Hills
Stroll through Hollywood, passing Gruman’s Chinese Theatre and the star-studded Hollywood Walk of Fame
View the iconic Hollywood sign from the Hollywood and Highland Center, a bustling entertainment complex
Tonight, celebrate your trip with your fellow travelers at a farewell dinner.
Transfer to the airport for your flight home, or continue on to explore San Diego.
Discover what makes San Diego “America’s Finest City.” From its pristine beaches to the historic downtown, this coastal California hot spot delights at every turn.
Day 10: San Diego via La Jolla
Continue on to San Diego, stopping in the seaside town of La Jolla along the way. In the afternoon, get an introduction to “America’s Finest City” on a panoramic tour.
Pass through Balboa Park, a 1,200-acre urban cultural park and location of the world-famous San Diego Zoo
Explore Coranado Island, a peninsula city with small-town coastal charm
Visit the historic Gaslamp Quarter and admire the neighborhood’s beautifully restored Victorian buildings
See the Cabrillo National Monument, which commemorates Portuguese explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo’s landing at San Diego Bay
Day-11: Free day in San Diego
Explore San Diego on your own or add an excursion.
Optional Excursion – USS Midway Museum & Harbor Cruise
Transfer to the airport for your flight home.