DAY 1 – San Francisco to Big Sur (camping)
We’ll meet bright and early to begin our escape to the sun-drenched coastal city of Santa Cruz to play at the Beach Boardwalk. In the afternoon, you’ll hit the ground running as you make your way to Monterey. Explore the bay by kayak or stand-up paddleboard*, or simply stroll along the coast. If you’d rather get a closer look at what is beneath the water (like the world’s largest octopus), head over to the Monterey Bay Aquarium*. Of course, you’ll have to check out historic Cannery Row and Fisherman’s Wharf: adventure, history and clam chowder await! Tonight, we’ll sleep under the stars in the Big Sur area.
*additional cost for activities not included
DAY 2 – Big Sur to Santa Barbara/SLO (camping)
Rise and Shine! Strap on your good walking shoes, today you’ll trade in the small-town charm for the brilliant beauty of the rural coastline. After a quick breakfast, we’ll venture through the lush greenery of Big Sur and and through to Julia Pfeiffer Burns State, where, nestled in a beachy enclave of emerald water, you’ll see one of the most photographed waterfalls on the Pacific Coast, McWay Falls. Have you been waiting for your chance to wrap your arms around a redwood? These happy trees thrive in the coastal fog that blankets Big Sur. After a quick lunch, we’ll hike through Point Lobos State Reserve, speckled with hidden coves and beautiful shorelines. Next, it’s time to head down the coast to San Simeon to see the sea lions! We’ll end our day setting up camp near the “Place of the Full Moon,” San Luis Obispo, to make dinner with the group, and enjoy the evening around the campfire!
DAY 3 – Santa Barbara/SLO to LA (hostel)
We’ll make a quick breakfast before setting our course for the beach city so beautiful, it was nicknamed the American Riviera. The Santa Barbara sun will have you ready to jump into your swimsuit. If the sun, sand and ocean are calling your name, rent a stand up paddleboard or just soak it all in and relax at the beach. Looking to fit in some last minute shopping? You’ll want to stroll through the many boutiques along State Street. Eager to learn more about the area’s history? Check out Old Mission Santa Barbara. Your guide is ready with hikes along the coast or in the hills that will give you unforgettable scenic views of the ocean.There’s no wrong choice. We’ll end our day riding into Tinseltown. Hollywood has been waiting for you to arrive in the City of Angels, where we’ll do a quick tour before heading to our accommodations for the night.
DAY 4 – LA to LV (hotel)
Viva Las Vegas! We’ll set off early for a morning of sightseeing before we head from the City of Angels to Sin City. We’ll drive through the Mojave, the driest desert in North America and into the Silver State of Nevada, where nearly 75% of its residents live in Las Vegas. Keep a lookout for the iconic Route 66 signs! Once we arrive, your guide will dazzle you with a vehicle tour of some of the flashy Las Vegas Strip your hotel. Get ready for a night on the town! Freshen up, grab your dancing shoes, and bring those sunglasses because even at night, the bright lights are hypnotizing! Dance the night away in one of Vegas’ epic clubs, or try to win big at one of the Strip’s mega casinos!
Day 5 – Full Day LV (hotel)
Las Vegas in the daylight is just as exciting! You’ll have this full day to explore the rest of what Las Vegas has to offer. You’ll have an excellent selection curated by your guide to check out whatever aspect of the city’s culture appeals to you most. Fascinated by organized crime? Check out the world-famous Gangster Museum. Have you been wondering what happened to retired Las Vegas signs? Check out the Neon Museum. If you’re looking to try your luck at the blackjack table, you’ll have ample time to sweep the table. If you’re looking for further adventure, check out the amazing Grand Canyon on one of our partner tours!
Day 6 – LV to Eastern Sierras via Death Valley (camping)
You’re up early this morning and headed to the awe-inspiring Death Valley National Park. Death Valley is a rift valley and home to the United States’ lowest point, the scorching Badwater Basin. After traversing the valley, you’ll head off to the eastern side of the magnificent Sierra Mountains and our campsite.
Day 7 – Eastern Sierras to Yosemite (camping)
We’ll break from the seemingly endless desert scenery into the lush Sierra Nevada Wilderness at the edge of Yosemite National Park. You’ll get a view of Mono Lake, one of the oldest shallow, salt lakes in the western hemisphere before climbing to the top of Tioga Pass. Head out for a hike in high country, dip your toes in the icy water of Tenaya Lake and check out the backside of Half Dome at Olmsted Point.
Day 8 – Full Day Yosemite (camping)
Prepare to enjoy a full day with a plethora of views and options! We’ll drive as a group back to Glacier Point to see the majestic view of the valley floor. From here, you’ll choose how you’d like your day to go. Are you itching to get back on those trails? Would you rather peruse the visitor’s center and kick back with a beer and a slice of pizza? Do you prefer to check out the bike trails? Or does a day of exploring Yosemite Valley tickle your fancy? Today, you get to choose! Your guide knows all the different hike options, so check in with them for the skinny on which walks are the most or least rigorous and which ones offer the best views.
Day 9 – Yosemite to San Francisco
We’ll hit the trails for one last scenic hike in the incredible Yosemite wilderness before traveling back through the historic California Gold Country, through the lush Central Valley and back to the City by the Bay, San Francisco. We’ll gather to reminisce about the extraordinary sights we’ve left behind us on an optional sunset sail under the Golden Gate Bridge before saying goodbye to your travel family.