Top California Tours & Travel Packages 2024/2025 [reviews...

California Tours & Travel Packages 2024/2025

48 California trips. Compare tour itineraries from 16 tour companies. 244 reviews. 4.7/5 avg rating.

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Top California Attractions

From its stunning coastal drives and iconic national parks to its vibrant cities and rich cultural heritage, California tours provide unique opportunities to explore the state's diverse attractions. Whether you're seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, here are some diverse experiences you can enjoy on California tours:

  • Walking across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge
  • Wine-tasting and visiting Chateau Montelena, the winery that put California wine country on the map in 1973
  • Driving along the picturesque Pacific Coast Highway
  • Getting a taste of old Hollywood glamor in Los Angeles 
  • Stopping at the old haunts of 1950s beat poets in San Francisco 
  • Eating at the famous Chez Panisse in Berkeley
  • Being awestruck by the views in Yosemite and Big Sur
  • Recreating a specific Jawa scene from Star Wars in Death Valley
  • Bike riding around beautiful Tahoe Lake
  • Feeling dwarfed by ancient redwood trees
  • Exploring Bodega Bay and feeling the spirit of Hitchcock
  • Surfing the waves at Huntington Beach
  • Visiting the historic missions along El Camino Real
  • Exploring the eclectic shops and eateries of Santa Monica Pier
  • Stargazing in the clear skies of Joshua Tree National Park

California Tours & Travel Guide

California Attractions & Landmarks Guide

California, the westernmost mainland state, is an incredibly diverse destination. Its population grew exponentially after the 1849 Gold Rush when thousands struck out west seeking fame and fortune. 

Today, tourists flock to California for everything from surfing to skiing. With a stunning coastline, world-famous food and wine, and vibrant cities, nothing beats a California vacation.

Noteworthy Destinations on California Tours
California is home to various renowned destinations that offer something for every traveler. From its bustling cities and charming coastal towns to its iconic landmarks and vibrant cultural scenes, California's destinations are as diverse as they are captivating. Here are some must-visit spots on any California tour:

San Francisco
San Francisco is famous for its iconic Golden Gate Bridge, historic Alcatraz Island, and vibrant neighborhoods like Chinatown and the Mission District. 

Ride the famous cable cars, explore Fisherman’s Wharf, and enjoy the eclectic food scene. Visiting the city's museums, such as the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, adds cultural depth to your trip.

Los Angeles
Los Angeles, the entertainment capital of the world, is known for its Hollywood glamor, beautiful beaches, and cultural landmarks. 

Visit the Hollywood Walk of Fame, tour Universal Studios, and relax on Venice Beach. Don't miss the Getty Center for its impressive art collections and stunning views of the city.

San Diego
San Diego is celebrated for its perfect weather, beautiful beaches, and family-friendly attractions. 

Visit the famous San Diego Zoo, explore Balboa Park's museums and gardens, and relax on Coronado Beach. The Gaslamp Quarter offers vibrant nightlife and dining options, making it a great spot to end your day.

Big Sur
Big Sur offers some of the most dramatic coastal scenery in the world. Drive along the Pacific Coast Highway for breathtaking views of the rugged coastline and the iconic Bixby Creek Bridge. 

For a truly memorable experience, hike in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, visit McWay Falls and stay in charming cliffside accommodations.

Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe is a stunning alpine lake that offers year-round activities. In winter, enjoy skiing and snowboarding at renowned resorts like Heavenly and Squaw Valley. 

In summer, go hiking, biking, or boating on the lake. The scenic beauty and outdoor adventures make Lake Tahoe a top destination for nature lovers.

Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, known as the "American Riviera," boasts Mediterranean-style architecture, beautiful beaches, and a relaxed atmosphere. 

Visit the Santa Barbara Mission, explore the vibrant State Street, and enjoy wine tasting in the nearby Santa Ynez Valley. The city's waterfront and pier offer perfect spots for a leisurely stroll.

Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea
Monterey is renowned for its world-class aquarium and the scenic 17-mile Drive. Explore Cannery Row, made famous by John Steinbeck, and visit the charming village of Carmel-by-the-Sea with its art galleries and quaint cottages. The coastal beauty and artistic vibe make this area a delightful destination.

Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park is known for its unique Joshua trees and rugged desert landscapes. Hike the Hidden Valley Trail, rock climb at Echo Cove, and explore the Cholla Cactus Garden. The park’s clear skies offer excellent stargazing, making it a magical place to visit both day and night.

Santa Monica
Santa Monica is a vibrant coastal city known for its iconic pier, beautiful beaches, and bustling shopping districts. 

Stroll along the Santa Monica Pier, enjoy the rides and games and the sunset views. The Third Street Promenade offers a variety of shops, restaurants, and street performances.

Anaheim is home to Disneyland Resort, making it a top destination for families and Disney enthusiasts. 

Spend the day exploring Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park, enjoying the rides, shows, and magical atmosphere. The nearby Anaheim Garden Walk offers dining, shopping, and entertainment options.

Malibu is famous for its stunning beaches, celebrity homes, and scenic coastal drives. Relax on Zuma Beach, hike the trails of Malibu Creek State Park, and enjoy fresh seafood at one of the beachfront restaurants. The Malibu Pier offers great fishing and dining opportunities with beautiful ocean views.

Top National Parks in California
California is home to many national parks, each offering unique landscapes and experiences. From towering granite cliffs to expansive deserts and ancient forests, these parks showcase the state's natural beauty and ecological diversity. 

Here are some of the top national parks in California, along with outdoor activities and fitness levels required:

Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park is famous for its dramatic granite cliffs, including the iconic El Capitan and Half Dome. The park features stunning waterfalls, giant sequoias, and vast wilderness areas. 

Visitors can enjoy hiking, rock climbing, wildlife spotting, and photography. Popular trails include the Mist Trail and John Muir Trail. 

Fitness Level: Moderate to high, depending on the activity. Hikes can range from easy walks to strenuous climbs.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
These adjacent parks are renowned for their towering giant sequoias, including the General Sherman Tree, the largest tree on Earth by volume. Sequoia and Kings Canyon offer a mix of rugged mountains, deep canyons, and vast cave systems. 

Popular activities include hiking, camping, exploring scenic vistas, and cave tours at Crystal Cave. 

Fitness Level: Moderate, with some trails and cave tours requiring good physical fitness.

Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park is known for its unique desert landscapes and distinctive Joshua trees. 

The park offers a mix of arid desert and rugged rock formations, making it a popular destination for rock climbing, hiking, and stargazing. Popular hikes include the Hidden Valley Trail and Barker Dam. 

Fitness Level: Moderate, suitable for most visitors, but rock climbing requires higher fitness and skill levels.

Death Valley National Park
Death Valley is famous for its extreme temperatures and stark desert landscapes, including Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America. 

The park offers unique geological features such as sand dunes, salt flats, and colorful badlands. Visitors can enjoy hiking, birdwatching, and exploring historic sites like Scotty's Castle. 

Fitness Level: Low to moderate, with most activities accessible to general visitors. Summer visits require caution due to extreme heat.

Redwood National and State Parks
Home to the tallest trees on Earth, the coast redwoods, Redwood National and State Parks offer a tranquil escape into ancient forests. The parks feature lush fern canyons, scenic coastal drives, and numerous hiking trails. Visitors can enjoy hiking, picnicking, and wildlife viewing. 

Popular trails include the Lady Bird Johnson Grove and Fern Canyon. Fitness Level: Low to moderate, with well-maintained trails suitable for all fitness levels.

Lassen Volcanic National Park
Lassen Volcanic National Park is known for its geothermal features, including bubbling mud pots, steaming fumaroles, and hot springs. The park also offers scenic mountain landscapes and clear alpine lakes. 

Popular activities include hiking, camping, and exploring the geothermal wonders. Key hikes include the Bumpass Hell Trail and the Lassen Peak Trail. 

Fitness Level: Moderate to high, with some hikes requiring good physical fitness due to elevation gains.

Channel Islands National Park
Channel Islands National Park encompasses five remote islands off the southern California coast, each offering unique natural beauty and biodiversity. Visitors can enjoy kayaking, snorkeling, hiking, and wildlife watching. 

The islands are home to unique species, such as the island fox, and provide opportunities to see marine life like seals and dolphins. Popular activities include hiking the Scorpion Canyon Loop and sea cave kayaking. 

Fitness Level: Moderate, with activities like kayaking and hiking requiring good physical condition.

Pinnacles National Park
Pinnacles National Park is famous for its dramatic rock spires and caves, formed by an ancient volcanic eruption. The park offers excellent rock climbing, hiking, and birdwatching opportunities, including the chance to see the endangered California condor. Popular hikes include the High Peaks Trail and the Balconies Cave Trail. 

Fitness Level: Moderate to high, with rock climbing and some hikes requiring good physical fitness and agility.

Point Reyes National Seashore
Point Reyes National Seashore is known for its rugged coastline, scenic landscapes, and diverse ecosystems. The park offers activities such as hiking, birdwatching, and whale watching. 

Key attractions include the Point Reyes Lighthouse, Tomales Bay, and various wildlife viewing opportunities, including elephant seals, tule elk, and numerous bird species. Popular hikes include the Tomales Point Trail and Chimney Rock Trail. 

Fitness Level: Low to moderate, with most trails suitable for all fitness levels.

Kings Canyon National Park
Often paired with Sequoia National Park, Kings Canyon features deep valleys, towering cliffs, and impressive waterfalls. The park is home to the General Grant Tree, one of the largest trees in the world. 

Visitors can enjoy hiking, camping, and exploring the scenic Kings River. Popular hikes include the Mist Falls Trail and Rae Lakes Loop. 

Fitness Level: Moderate to high, with some trails requiring good physical fitness due to elevation changes and distances.

The Wine Tasting Tours in California
In 1973, Chateau Montelena was largely responsible for putting the now-famous California Wine Country on the map. Immortalized in the 2008 film Bottle Shock, blind tasters in France were astonished that each preferred the California wine over their own. 

Today, California’s wine country has expanded far beyond its Napa beginnings. It is the perfect destination for wine enthusiasts to explore other micro-regions in the area, where they can discover new varietals and get a real sense of how the wine industry has shaped Napa, Sonoma, and beyond. 

The area is not only known for wine today but also a hotbed of up-and-coming cuisine and old standards, such as the French Laundry, where you’ll be treated to a meal of several courses crafted by renowned chef Thomas Keller.

Here are some popular destinations often found on wine tours in California:

Napa Valley
Napa Valley is the heart of California’s wine country, known for its world-class wineries and beautiful vineyard landscapes. 

Popular stops include Domaine Carneros, Castello di Amorosa, and the iconic Chateau Montelena. Visitors can enjoy wine tastings, vineyard tours, and gourmet dining experiences at Michelin-starred restaurants like The French Laundry.

Sonoma Valley
Sonoma Valley offers a more relaxed and rustic wine-tasting experience than Napa. Highlights include the historic Buena Vista Winery, the innovative Francis Ford Coppola Winery, and the beautiful gardens of Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate. 

Sonoma is also home to charming towns like Healdsburg, known for its boutique wineries and farm-to-table dining.

Russian River Valley
The Russian River Valley is renowned for its cool-climate varietals, particularly Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. 

Must-visit wineries include Gary Farrell Vineyards & Winery, J Vineyards & Winery, and Rochioli Vineyards & Winery. The region’s scenic beauty, with its rolling hills and river views, adds to the appeal.

Paso Robles
Paso Robles, located midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, has emerged as a premier wine destination. Known for its diverse varietals and innovative blends, popular wineries include Tablas Creek Vineyard, Justin Vineyards & Winery, and Eberle Winery. 

The area also offers hot springs, olive oil tastings, and charming downtown shops and restaurants.

Santa Barbara County
Santa Barbara County, often called the American Riviera, boasts a growing wine scene with stunning coastal views. 

The Santa Ynez Valley and the Santa Rita Hills are key regions, with notable wineries like Foxen Vineyard, Sunstone Vineyards & Winery, and Sanford Winery. The picturesque towns of Los Olivos and Solvang provide additional attractions.

Mendocino County
Mendocino County is known for its organic and sustainable winemaking practices. Anderson Valley is a highlight, featuring wineries like Navarro Vineyards, Goldeneye Winery, and Husch Vineyards. 

The region’s coastal proximity and redwood forests create a unique backdrop for wine tasting.

Temecula Valley
Temecula Valley, located in Southern California, offers a warm climate perfect for growing a wide variety of grapes. 

Famous wineries include Wilson Creek Winery, Ponte Winery, and South Coast Winery Resort & Spa. The area also features hot air balloon rides, golf courses, and a charming Old Town with shops and restaurants.

Lodi is an up-and-coming wine region known for its robust Zinfandels. Key wineries include Michael David Winery, Klinker Brick Winery, and Oak Farm Vineyards. The region’s laid-back vibe and agricultural heritage provide a unique wine-tasting experience.

Livermore Valley
Livermore Valley, one of California’s oldest wine regions, offers a rich history and excellent wines. 

Notable wineries include Wente Vineyards, Concannon Vineyard, and Murrieta’s Well. The region’s proximity to the San Francisco Bay Area makes it a convenient destination for wine lovers.

California Tours From Snow to Surf
When you think of California, you probably picture sunny beaches and the ocean, but there's so much more to this incredible state! 

California is a treasure trove of diverse landscapes and weather, offering something for everyone, from snow to surf and everything in between.

Hit the slopes in winter at Lake Tahoe or Mammoth Lakes, where you can enjoy pristine snow and fantastic ski resorts. Come spring and fall, the mild climate and rolling vineyards of Napa and Sonoma’s wine country are perfect for a relaxing getaway with plenty of wine tastings.

In the summer, California’s coastline is calling! Whether you want to soak up the sun on the beaches, take a scenic drive along the Pacific Coast Highway, or catch some waves at Malibu or Huntington Beach, there's endless fun. 

And let's not forget the dramatic landscapes of Death Valley, a stark but stunning desert with extreme temperatures and unique beauty. Down south, you can experience the romantic desert winds of Joshua Tree and Palm Springs, where stargazing and luxurious desert resorts offer a perfect escape.

No matter what you’re into, California’s got it all – making it the ultimate year-round destination for every kind of traveler!

Showbiz Adventures on California Tours
The sprawling city of Los Angeles is synonymous with the glitz and glamor of Hollywood. There's plenty to see and do for tourists interested in the magic of showbiz. 

Start your adventure by hiking to the iconic Hollywood Sign for breathtaking city views and a must-have photo op.

Next, take a tour of the legendary studio backlots and filming locations. Visit Universal Studios Hollywood for an immersive experience, where you can see sets from famous movies and TV shows and even catch a glimpse of live filming.

Stroll down the Hollywood Walk of Fame, where you can find the stars of your favorite celebrities embedded in the sidewalk. Nearby, the TCL Chinese Theatre offers a chance to see the handprints and footprints of Hollywood legends.

For a touch of history, head to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. Walk among the graves of iconic stars like Mickey Rooney and Douglas Fairbanks. The cemetery also hosts a popular summer film series, where you can watch classic movies under the stars — a unique experience locals and tourists enjoy.

Common California Road Trips
California's diverse landscapes and scenic highways make it a perfect destination for unforgettable road trips. Whether you're cruising along the coast or exploring inland treasures, these popular road trips offer a unique way to experience the Golden State’s beauty and attractions.

Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1): Drive along the stunning coastline from San Francisco to Los Angeles, with stops in Monterey, Big Sur, and Santa Barbara. Enjoy breathtaking ocean views, charming seaside towns, and iconic landmarks like the Bixby Creek Bridge.

Route 66: Travel the historic Route 66 from Los Angeles to the Arizona border, passing through classic American towns and attractions. Highlights include the Santa Monica Pier, quirky roadside diners, and the Mojave Desert.

Yosemite National Park to Lake Tahoe: Explore the scenic route from Yosemite National Park to Lake Tahoe, taking in the majestic Sierra Nevada mountains. Enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, and skiing while marveling at the natural beauty of both destinations.

San Francisco to Napa Valley: Take a short but sweet trip from San Francisco to Napa Valley, one of the world’s premier wine regions. Enjoy wine tastings, gourmet dining, and the picturesque vineyards along the way.

The Big Sur Road Trip: Drive from Carmel to San Simeon to experience the dramatic cliffs and coastal beauty of Big Sur. Stop at key points like McWay Falls, Pfeiffer Beach, and Hearst Castle for unforgettable views and experiences.

Los Angeles to Joshua Tree National Park: Head from the bustling city of Los Angeles to the tranquil desert landscape of Joshua Tree National Park. Explore unique rock formations, Joshua trees, and starry night skies perfect for stargazing.

The Gold Rush Trail: Follow the historic Highway 49 through California’s Gold Country, from Nevada City to Mariposa. Discover charming gold rush towns, historic sites, and beautiful Sierra Nevada scenery.

California Reviews & Ratings

4.7/5  Excellent
244  Reviews
See all California tour reviews


Oct 2015

Written on

I enjoy intrepid but the style of

I enjoy intrepid but the style of travel doesn't suit everyone.



Oct 2015

Written on

Good size group, great tour leader (on

Good size group, great tour leader (on this occasion), pretty good value for money on the whole.



Sep 2015

Written on

good balance of guidance and free time

good balance of guidance and free time



Sep 2015

Written on

Inexperienced leadership resulting in some wasted time.

Inexperienced leadership resulting in some wasted time. Too much time traveling in buses and small vans. Our leader was not confident in communicating information to...



Sep 2015

Written on

Very knowledgeable, competent, personable guide. Fun and

Very knowledgeable, competent, personable guide. Fun a...

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