DAY 1 – San Francisco to Monterey
Bid farewell to the City by the Bay and head south toward sun-drenched Santa Cruz. Keep an eye out for produce stands filled with artichokes and hang gliders floating over the Pacific Ocean along Highway 1. We’ll make a quick stop at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk* for some rollercoasters and fried snacks, before making our way south to Monterey.
In the afternoon, prepare to hit the ground running as you head to the central coast’s crown jewel, 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! You’ll stay overnight in Monterey County at a nearby campground or hotel.
DAY 2 – Full Day Big Sur
Today you’ll get out into the wilderness and explore the rural coastline. Hike through the forests of Big Sur and the amazing Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, home to one of the most beautiful waterfalls on the Pacific Coast, McWay Falls. You’ll weave your way through some of the largest trees in the world as you hike amongst the Coastal Redwoods. On your way back you’ll have a chance to hike through Point Lobos State Reserve, where you’ll explore hidden coves and beautiful shorelines.
DAY 3 – Monterey to San Francisco
Enjoy your final morning in Monterey along 17-mile drive before heading back north where you’ll have a chance to kayak at the Elkhorn Slough*, the largest tidal salt marsh in California. The slough is home to sea otters, sea lions, seals, brown pelicans, American avocets, cormorants, egrets! Find out what is going on at The Mystery Spot* in Santa Cruz before heading north to the quaint town of Half Moon Bay. Your journey ends today in San Francisco where the hustle and bustle of city life returns.
*additional activities are optional and entrance fees are not included
ADDITIONAL CAMPING INFORMATION:
Camping is easy, but cooperation is important. Don’t worry if you’ve never camped before; many people haven’t. We supply the gear, using quality tents, camping and cooking equipment (you will need a sleeping bag – they are available for rent). Everybody is expected to participate in the set-up and breakdown of camp, and our professional guides are there to ensure a positive camping experience. We camp at comfortable campsites that have hot showers and modern facilities.
Camping Food: We provide the food, but not the chefs. Our guests are the cooks, waiters, and dishwashers. The fare is all-you-can-eat and very tasty, and is a mixture of chicken, beef and vegetarian. Most people eat better with us than they do on the rest of their travels. Please inform of any dietary restrictions or allergies prior to your trip.