Majestic California: The Pacific, Redwoods & Yosemite

7 night tour - starting in San Francisco, California - ending in Monterey or San Francisco, California

A Tauck Bridges Tour, World Travel. Family Discovery.

Celebrating 90 years in the travel touring business, Tauck offer the ultimate in luxury touring. Throughout the years, ingenuity and innovation, plus a focus on customer servce and authentic experiences, have grown Tauck into one of the world's leading travel touring companies. On your tour you can expect an itinerary carefully designed to create an unforgetable experience, ensuring the finest hotels, luxury motorcoaches and highly experienced tour directors.

Family Travel at its best - Travel can be life changing. It is transformational, eye-opening, exciting, wondrous and engaging for travelers of every age... Our family vacations are designed to spark a passion, inspire a sense of wonder or enrich understanding – and when these experiences are shared with loved ones, they bring you closer together. We take care of every detail of your vacation... so you can do, see and be together as a family on the adventures of a lifetime.

Designed With Families In Mind - Every Tauck Bridges adventure is expertly choreographed for families so that everyone has a great time, from children to parents to grandparents Travel with knowledgeable, professional Tauck Directors who engage and inspire the whole family
Tauck Bridges trips are designed to immerse families in the places they visit with hands-on activities that connect everyone with the heart and soul of the destination Exclusive Access - Tauck brings 90+ years of destination expertise – exclusive access for enriching family experiences
Hotels are handpicked with families in mind, and dining features regional cuisine Authentic cultural experiences and exclusive events you can’t get if traveling on your own.

Travel With Other Families - Travel with like-minded grandparents, parents and children, rather than on your own Traveling with other families makes the trip more fun when you share the excitement of discovery with new friends Families that bond on tour often continue their friendships long after the excitement of the trip is over; Tauck Bridges trips often lead to lifelong friendships for everyone.

Our family California travel adventure takes you from the Golden State's shining seas to national park treasures as you explore San Francisco, Yosemite National Park and the Monterey Peninsula together. Tauck takes you behind-the-scenes with filmed narratives by Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan – creators of "The National Parks: America's Best Idea" – who share personal stories of the dreamers, visionaries, and unsung heroes who shaped the preservation of Yosemite. Cruise under the Golden Gate Bridge and discover "the city by the bay" from a hotel at Fisherman's Wharf. Learn a lot about the world around us under the "living roof" of the California Academy of Sciences. Go back to the Gold Rush era, then see cutting-edge energy technology for the 21st century. You'll be awed by Yosemite... and the awesome activities you'll enjoy in and around the park, including a moonlight dinner train ride in Sierra National Forest. On the Monterey Peninsula, visit the amazing Monterey Bay Aquarium and choose a walking tour of Old Monterey, a bike ride or a kayak adventure. It's all part of your family's unforgettable California travel experience from Tauck Bridges!

2017 Guaranteed departure dates:
July 02nd
August 20th
2018 Guaranteed departure dates:
June 10th & 24th
July 15th
August 05th & 12th
View Itinerary Details

Day 1: Welcome to San Francisco, the "City by the Bay"

Your California travel family adventure begins 5:30 PM at JW Marriott San Francisco Union Square. A transfer from San Francisco International Airport to JW Marriott San Francisco Union Square is included. Your family will enjoy exploring a little of San Francisco from your hotel's fabulous location conveniently located near Union Square, Chinatown and The Financial District. Join us at 5:30 for our welcome reception and dinner.

Lodging: JW Marriott San Francisco Union Square


Day 2: A bay cruise, wonders of science and more in San Francisco

Get a great day of San Francisco exploration started with a private catamaran cruise of San Francisco Bay that takes you under the Golden Gate Bridge and passes Alcatraz Island, the site of the first lighthouse and U.S. fort on the West Coast – and later an infamous federal prison that held some of the most notorious and dangerous criminals of the time. Return to land for a visit to the California Academy of Sciences, where a world of natural wonders waits; it's the only place on Earth with an aquarium, a planetarium and a natural history museum all under one roof! There's a lot to see and a lot to learn at this terrific place that houses more than 38,000 living things including penguins, but maybe one of the coolest things about the Academy is that its roof is alive! This afternoon, your family's California travel continues with a sightseeing drive to view Nob Hill, Chinatown, Fisherman's Wharf, Victorian homes and Lombard Street, "the crookedest street in the world" – all world-famous symbols of San Francisco. The rest of the day and evening are free.

Lodging: JW Marriott San Francisco Union Square


Day 3: Future energy, past history & and flashlight hike in Sierra National Forest

As the song says, "run and catch the wind" – and that's just what's been happening at the Altamont Wind Farm, one of the earliest wind farms in the United States, which you'll see en route from San Francisco toward the Sierra Nevada. You can take some great pictures of the kind of giant windmills – technically, wind turbines – that may look like "alien visitors," but will produce more and more of our electricity as the future unfolds. Continue on to Jamestown for lunch in a historic 1859 hotel. Later, arrive at your mountain resort just outside Yosemite National Park, where dinner is at your leisure this evening. Tonight, see what really goes on the woods at night during an interpretive hike lit by flashlights – and perhaps by starlight or moonlight, too – in the Sierra National Forest.

Lodging: Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Wawona Village in Yosemite and a ride on a moonlight dinner train

Today in Yosemite National Park begins with a visit to historic Wawona Village, to explore the oldest settled portion of the Yosemite Valley. Interpreting how Yosemite inspired national parks across America and throughout the world, the Pioneer Yosemite History Center displays horse-drawn wagons, a covered bridge you can walk across, and various historic buildings out of Yosemite's past. Return to Tenaya Lodge for lunch and time spent as you please – including, if you wish, putting your rock-wall climbing* skills to the test on the rock-climbing wall! Then join us this evening to try your luck panning for gold, just like the old prospectors – then get set for a rip-roaring evening on the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad Moonlight Special. Chow down at a great barbecue dinner while the Sugar Pine Singers entertain you with old-fashioned melodies. Then, it's ALL ABOARD The Logger for a narrow-gauge rail excursion powered by a vintage Shay steam locomotive through Sierra National Forest... back in time to the days when lumberjacks ruled the woods. Gather round the campfire for a sing-along during a stopover in the canyon, and hear that lonesome whistle blow as you chug home in the moonlight!

Lodging: Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Yosemite by tram and as you please

You'll learn about Yosemite National Park's history, geology, plant and animal life, and must-see attractions from park rangers during a two-hour tram tour along the valley floor. Have lunch on your own, then spend the rest of the day with your family exploring this amazing place... or return to your lodge to go for a hike, rent bikes, go to programs presented by park rangers... or anything else you choose. Dinner is at your leisure tonight.

Lodging: Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite

Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6: From the mountains to Mariposa to the Pacific coast and Monterey

En route from Yosemite to the coast of the blue Pacific, stop in historic Mariposa – a town settled by families came in search of grazing and farmland after prospectors in California's Gold Rush of the 1850s began abandoning hopes of striking it rich. Visit the Mariposa Museum & History Center, whose exhibits tell the stories of indigenous Miwuk Indians, Chinese immigrants who came to California seeking a better way of life and the oldest county courthouse west of the Rockies. Continue your California travel through the San Joaquin Valley, part of a region dubbed the "salad bowl to the world." At least 25% of America's agricultural products come from California, many of them from this area; you may see vineyards, nuts, citrus fruits and vegetables basking in the sun as you drive along. After lunch, traverse the Coast Mountains to California's Pacific coast, winding your way along the Monterey Peninsula via the 17-Mile Drive to the renowned Pebble Beach golf course. Spend the next two nights in seaside Monterey at the Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay, right on Fisherman's Wharf, near Cannery Row and the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Lodging: Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay

Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7: Seaside adventures and behind-the-scenes at Monterey Bay Aquarium

This morning, your family can choose between three fun things to do in Monterey - a bicycle tour* along the coast, a kayak adventure* in Monterey Bay or a self-guided walking tour of old Monterey, once the capital of California. Did you know that an octopus tastes with its tentacles – or that corals and jellyfish are cousins? That's just part of what you may learn at a late-afternoon behind-the-scenes visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, located on the former site of a sardine cannery and one of the world's largest aquariums. Its 200 galleries and exhibits introduce you to an amazing underwater world, including giant octupuses, jellyfish, large green sea turtles, barracuda, sharks and coral reefs, as well as natural displays that showcase playful otters and endearing black-footed penguins. Your visit ends with a special, private farewell reception and dinner right at the Aquarium in seaside Monterey.

Lodging: Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay

Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8: Journey home or extend your stay

Your California travel adventure ends in Monterey. Your family can fly home anytime; a transfer is included from Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay to Monterey Peninsula Airport. For those flying from San Francisco International Airport, one group transfer is included from Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay for flights after 12:00 noon. Please allow two hours for flight check-in.  Ask at booking about additional nights in Monterey.


Your Tauck Tour Highlights

Note: For activities marked with an asterisk (*) in day-by-day descriptions, participation is at your own risk; a signed liability waiver will be required.

Cruise San Francisco Bay, the “golden gateway” to the Pacific Ocean, by catamaran; ride the hills from Chinatown to Coit Tower and down the crookedest street in the world to family fun on Fishermen’s Wharf
Learn how life on the planet developed at the California Academy of Sciences
Explore mountains, waterfalls & meadows in Yosemite; take a moonlit train ride and join a campfire sing along
Behind-the-scenes tour of the Monterey Bay Aquarium; kayak, bike or walk along lovely Monterey Bay
Airport transfers upon arrival and departure as noted
15 meals (7 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 5 dinners); all gratuities to Tauck Director, local guides & drivers; service charges, taxes, and porterage

Your Hotels....

Nights 1 - 2 : JW Marriott San Francisco Union Square - San Francisco, California - Tauck Guests enjoy complimentary Internet access in guest rooms!

JW Marriott San Francisco Union Square is conveniently located near Union Square, Moscone Convention Center, Chinatown and The Financial District. Distinguished among Union Square hotels, luxurious guest rooms provide the comforts of home with the world-class amenities you expect. Guest rooms feature lush pillow-top mattresses, luxurious linens and down duvets for a sound night's sleep, ergonomic Herman Miller Aeron chairs, Bose radios, 46-inch HDTVs, plug-in panels, large showers, separate bath, comfy robes and other modern amenities. From a state-of-the-art fitness center to culinary creations showcased at Level Three Restaurant and Bar, replete with cozy fireplace, no detail was forgotten in the stunning style that is JW Marriott; the hotel exudes sophistication and elegance, with an attentive staff dedicated to providing exceptional service from the moment of arrival to final goodbyes.

Nights 3 - 5 : Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite - Fish Camp, California - Tauck Guests enjoy complimentary Internet access in guest rooms!

Set in an evergreen forest just two miles from Yosemite National Park’s southern gate, the Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite is the perfect place for a comfortable and fun stay. Lovely guest rooms feature individual climate control, comfy down bedding, coffee maker, iron and ironing board, remote control cable TV, and in-room safe. Fun things for all ages to do here (some at additional cost) include a climbing wall, horseback riding, an arcade with video games, pinball machines and a pool table, hiking, mountain biking, fishing, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and the Spa. Jackalope’s Bar and Grill has great burgers, sandwiches and pizzas, or pick up a picnic lunch at the Parkside Deli.

Nights 6 - 7 : Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay - Monterey, California

Located at Fisherman's Wharf in the heart of historic Monterey, within walking distance of Cannery Row and the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay captures the essence of Monterey. Just open the door to your guest room with boutique furniture, shuttered windows and watercolors by local artists and you'll feel right at home. Amenities such as high-speed Internet access, in-room coffee service, deluxe pillow-top beads, spa-inspired bath products, iron and ironing board, hair dryer, cable TV, Nintendo video games and more ensure a comfortable family stay.

Tour Only Cost: All prices quoted below are per adult person, per tour in British Pounds (GBP)

Departure Dates

Single Twin/Double Triple Quad
All departures in 2017 £3157 £2487 £2300 £2205
All departures in 2018 Please call us Please call us Please call us Please call us


Children 12 and under receive a Discount of £120  - Children under 18 must be booked in a room with at least one adult. Quadruple accommodations are not available for four adults. Triples and quadruples are usually a two-bedded room with a rollaway cot, when available. Hotels in the remote canyons of the Southwest, although chosen from the best available, may not compare with facilities found in more populated areas.

Recommended age: 8+; children must be 7+ for mule / horseback riding.

Not included in your tour cost:
Flights – we can package your tour with flights at very competitive airfares using our airline partners. Please call us to discuss the best airline for your itinerary.
Pre or post accommodation - If you want to extend your stay at the start or the end of your escorted tour or add another destination to your booking please call us and we will be happy to provide a quote.
Meals, other than those listed in the itinerary.
The customary gratuities for the Tour Director and local drivers are not included.
There are many questions and considerations you might have when planning an escorted tour with Tauck. For more information please click here.
To book your travel arrangements:
Please call us on Freephone 0800 0336 335, We are open 7 days a week.
We will be happy to check the availability of your tour, offer a quote for flights and any pre or post nights you would like to add.
When you are ready to go ahead with the booking, we would require a non-refundable deposit of 20% or the full balance if you are due to travel within 8 weeks.