Style : Group tour

California Coast Food and Wine Trail end Los Angeles

Trafalgar
4.5 . Great
90%
Travel Style: N/A
Physical Level: Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment. 2- Easy
Lodging Level: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Comfort (4*)
7 days
From: $ 3,183 $ 455 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights (Bullets)

  • Discover San Jose with a downtown city orientation seeing sights like Plaza de Cesar Chavez, Circle of Palms Plaza, and San Jose Museum of Art
  • See Big Basin Redwoods, Natural Bridges State Beach
  • View Lone Cypress, Bixby Bridge, and the scenic 17-mile drive through Pacific Grove on the Monterey Peninsula
  • Visit Pebble Beach Golf Links
  • Connect With Locals
  • Connect With Locals
  • Dive Into Culture
  • MAKE TRAVEL MATTER®
  • Be My Guest
  • MAKE TRAVEL MATTER®

Short Description

On this ultimate California tour with maximum 17 travelers, you’ll savor the incredible gifts of the irresistible Pacific coastline from exquisite views to tastebud-tempting food and wine. Be spellbound by the beauty of Big Sur and discover cozy coastal communities and little-known gourmet producers along the way, traveling in style in a Mercedes-Benz® sprinter vehicle. This small-group tour is one nature lovers and foodies will adore.

Style Group tour
Array
Itinerary Focus N/A
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Comfort (4*)
Flight & Transport Inclusions N/A
Start City San Jose
End City Los Angeles (CA)

Destinations

United States

Attractions & Cities Visited

California

Activities & Interests

Culture Historic sightseeing

N/A
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Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to San Jose

Welcome to San Jose! You’ll begin your small group tour – California Coast Food & Wine Trail, at this center of innovation and affluence. It may be the Capital of the Silicon Valley and home to a range of Fortune 500 companies, but it’s also the start of your unforgettable gastronomic California tour along the stunning coast. There’s no better way to kick start your flavor-filled journey than a Welcome Reception to get to know your Travel Director and fellow travel companions.

Day 2: Explore San Jose and surrounds

Gain a true sense of what it’s like to live in Silicon Valley when you embark on a downtown walking tour where you’ll get to view all the highlights of this innovative city, from the Plaza de Cesar Chávez and Circle of Palms Plaza to the San Jose Museum of Art and St. James Park. A visit to San Jose would not be complete without gaining a deep understanding of what drives this major technological hub and you’ll enjoy a self-guided visit to The Tech Museum of Innovation, a science and technology center where you’ll have an opportunity to get hands-on and learn about everything from social robots to cyber detectives. Leave Silicon Valley behind and arrive at Harley Farms, a 1910 dairy farm across nine acres of pasture in Pescadero and home to 200 goats. On this MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience, you’ll walk alongside the milking herd, past Anatolian shepherds, donkeys and British White cattle, learning why the locally made chevre, fromage blanc, ricotta and feta consistently win awards for their taste and quality. It’s the perfect place for a picnic lunch and you’ll leave with a deep appreciation for where your food comes from before heading to our lofty next stop, Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Immerse yourself amongst giants as you embark on a self-guided walk through California’s oldest state park, admiring its largest trees – some as tall as the Statue of Liberty. You’ll feel tiny in comparison to these ancient coast redwoods and discover how this redwood forest has evolved over the centuries. The next stop is Santa Cruz, where you’ll have the evening to explore the city on your terms.

Day 3: Discover the sights of Santa Cruz

Slow it right down in Santa Cruz, a surfer’s paradise and haven for beach lovers. Natural Bridges State Beach is where you’ll begin your self-guided walk and you’ll admire all its highlights, stopping at its tide pools to see the little creatures swimming in its salty waters and admiring the incredible rock formations that jut out into the ocean. Gaze across the waves in search of the migrating whales, seals and otters which find sanctuary in this stunning marine environment fringed by coastal scrub and grasslands dotted with pretty wildflowers in the spring. Your lungs filled with fresh sea air you’ll head back to Santa Cruz Wharf for lunch on your own. Stroll down the longest wooden pier in the United States with a warm cup of clam chowder, keeping your eyes peeled for seals, sea lions and perhaps dolphins that frequent Monterey Bay. The sounds and smell of the ocean will linger long after you’ve returned to Santa Cruz, but tonight is all about reminiscing about your California tour thus far, so join your travel companions for a delicious dinner with wine to end the perfect day.

Day 4: Admire Big Sur and the highlights of 17-Mile Drive

You’ll want to remember every irresistible inch of today’s drive along the Monterey Peninsula, committing to memory all the highlights of Big Sur and one of the world’s most scenic journeys – 17-Mile Drive. Skirting the blue waters of the Pacific, you’ll make a stop at Pebble Beach Golf Links, one of the top courses in the country. An iconic championship venue, Pebble Beach Golf Links justifiably earns its rank as the top public golf course in the country, and you’ll learn how it has hosted more U.S. Opens than any other course in the past five decades. Dramatic cliffs, pristine beaches and lush forests line this part of your California tour and you’ll immerse yourself in the beauty of your surrounds, stopping for photos at the Lone Cypress, arguably the most iconic symbol of 17-Mile Drive. On your next stop at Carmel-By-The Sea, you’ll gain a deep appreciation of what it must be like to live in this rich artistic small beach city on California’s Monterey Peninsula. You’ll have some time for lunch and a stroll past its fairy-tale cottages and galleries before settling in for the highlight of the day and your epic drive along the Pacific Coast Highway through Big Sur. You won’t be able to tear your eyes away from the dramatic coastline you’ve only seen in movies as you snake along Highway 1. This is what dreams are made of and you’ll pass such highlights as Bixby Bridge as you skirt deep Pacific blue on one side and lush green hilly landscapes on the other towards tonight’s overnight stay in San Luis Obispo with the Pacific on one side and towering cliffs on the other.

Day 5: Oyster cruising in Morro Bay

We begin today with a leisurely walk of the Montaña De Oro State Park taking in beautiful views of the park’s tide pools, beaches, rock islands and natural beaches. It’s the perfect start to an unforgettable day in Morro Bay where you’ll Connect With Locals after lunch on your own and board a coastal cruise learning about the local marine life as you watch sea otters feast on shellfish and hear stories about what it’s like to live and work here from the boat captain. Back on land, your seafood journey continues, as you Dive Into Culture and enjoy a tasting of the local catch of Pacific Gold Oysters from Morro Bay Oyster Company. With your newfound skills, you’ll be able to shuck fresh oysters like a pro and you’ll learn how these cold waters make for the perfect environment for these hardy oysters. SLO CAL is the place to be this evening and you’ll be spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding how to spend your evening and what to eat. Don’t miss the chance to try out some of the area’s delicious wines, or the vibrant craft-brewing, cider and distillery scene.

Day 6: Enjoy the flavors of Paso Robles

Your last day in southern California will be a real treat for foodies - We start with a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience at a local avocado farm where you’ll learn about the region’s agriculture. Your hosts from the local CalPoly will take you on a walking tour of the farm and you’ll leave knowing that your visit has helped to sustain the agricultural educational program which the farm supports. Next, join the mother-daughter duo of Karen and Jennifer Talent at the Groves on 41 Olive Oil Ranch where they host a Be My Guest feast featuring their award-winning olive oil in the different lunch dishes, even the ice cream! For a taste of the good life, we head to Parrish Vineyards. This family run vineyard has its origins in the fascinating story of their grandfather who planted 500 acres of grapes pre-Prohibition. Today, the family manages 150 acres on three estate vineyards and specializes in Bordeaux varieties. You’ll Connect With Locals and meet your host, winemaker and owner David Parrish whose mission it is to create Napa-style Cabs in Paso’s limestone soils. Then it’s back to the city after a day in California wine country to enjoy one final evening with your travel companions at your leisure, no doubt raising a glass to the epic day you’ve had in sunny Southern California.

Day 7: Farewell California

Your California tour of coast, food and wine has come to an end. Transfer to Los Angeles International Airport where you will arrive at approximately 1pm.

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 3,183
Price Per Day: $ 455 per day
Checking price

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10,956 Trafalgar Travel Reviews & Ratings

90%
4.5 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 6,748
Great 3,159
Average 740
Disappointing 192
Terrible 117
Value
4.5
Guide
4.5
Activities
4.5
Lodging
4.5
Transportation
4.5
Meals
4.5

California Coast Food and Wine Trail end Los Angeles

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Company Reviews

I consider myself seasoned traveler

2.0
Details
Value2.0
Guide2.0
Activities2.0
Lodging2.0
Transportation2.0
Meals2.0
I consider myself seasoned traveler, with visits to 75 countries so far. I travelled with all major travel companies either by car, bus, or boat/ship on river/ocean cruises. I travelled with Trafalgar many times in the past. I do a lot of research before deciding which travel company I shell spend my money with. Itinerary is THE most important point in my decision making. Many travel companies promise heaven and deliver hell! Here is my experience with Trafalgar promises and advertisements:
Let’s start with pre-departure info and requirements. Israel entry form, Jordan declaration form, Canada ArriveCAN and Mandatory health insurance WERE NOT REQUIRED NOR NEEDED!

After we met Trafalgar car/shuttle driver in Tel Aviv, he took off, started walking faaast... and we schlepped our luggage behind him…. even in Africa or India, drivers ALWAYS HELPED WITH LUGGAGE! Not this one!! Welcome to Tel Aviv and meet your Travel Director welcome reception was delayed more than two hours, because travel guide was late. We were given “smokers room” which reeked/smelled like a pig stay/bar. Change was not possible; hotel was fully booked. I requested at least the air freshener, deodorizer, they promised, never delivered! Originally, we requested 2 beds, however, one queen bed was provided! To add an insult to injury, when I complained in the morning about that horrible night, hotel manager offered a “free glass of orange juice for my trouble??!
Bus for Journey to Sea of Galilee didn’t have WIFI because it was not set up! Later we spent an hour in front of Jaffa Whale, trying to get whispers working, exchanging batteries, headphones, microphone. Guide didn’t bother to test/prepare equipment beforehand! Driver sold drinking water for 1$ and after I question it, guide explained that water is free and 1$ was the tip for driver!? Sail on the Sea of Galilee was the most embarrassing, pathetic experience. Boat sailed for about ten minutes into the sea and then captain started to sing, kept singing for more than hour, ship was not moving, sun was blasting. After more than an hour of his horrible singing, one traveler plucked up the courage and asked him to start sailing the bloody boat, instead of singing. He obliged and took us immediately back to shore!

Next day the bus WIFI didn’t work again, and promises were made to have it fixed tomorrow... yada, yada...we
We didn’t get to see Dome of the Rock up close because gates to Dome of the Rock were to close at 2pm and we wasted our time strolling thru market. Guide spent more time talking with bus driver than narrating history, sightseeing etc.
Allenby Bridge to Jordan Crossing was a total disaster. We started early morning and after arriving at the border, guide couldn’t locate her Jordanian counterpart, our bus kept cruising back and forth in front of border crossing, we were told that we shall have to shlepp all our luggage by hand!… finally, we arrived at the passport/visa/fee payment building... nobody knew what to do... how to verify the passports. There were many lines for passport verification, visa payment, crossing fee... thanks god there were very few other travelers... so, after couple of hours of mayhem, we were cleared, and learnt that our luggage was actually transferred to Jordanian bus, but bus was too small for 23 people and unable to stove all luggage into the compartment hold of the bus, so some luggage was loaded into the bus itself!
Intriguing problem was the repeated situation with drinking water not being included with quite amazing, sumptuous dinners. Guide explained that it was the confusion of hotel personnel with her requests?!
I inquired three days before end of our trip about airport transfer and was told it was too early... then day before departure I was told that I was not on transfer list! Later I was told that I should join travelers leaving at 5am for their 9 am flights, but my flight was at 12:05pm!! After frantic e-mails to Trafalgar, I was assured that all should be ok. And it was. But I found it very unprofessional and petty to throw me under bus! Then the guide inquired about TIP!? OMG!
Well, this trip was an adventure and exercise in stupidity, amateurism, and lack of professionalism! AC worked on and off, after repeated requests, driver obviously hated AC. His window was opened all the time. He was speeding and passing other traffic over speed bumps, run red lights, sneezed, coughed without covering his mouth and was quite annoyed when travelers begged to stop for washroom stop!
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NOT A "GREAT" EXPERIENCE!!

2.0
Details
Value2.0
Guide2.0
Activities2.0
Lodging2.0
Transportation2.0
Meals2.0
We were with a group of primarily older couples guided by a much younger marathon runner tour guide for our Exploring London Tour. 1. Daily activities schedules were not provided to members of the group but were posted only in the hotel lobby. Guide provided updates once by email at 11:27 p.m. while most were sleeping. 2. No rating of difficulty for daily excursions whether included or paid additional excursions was provided. Our guide was much too fast making the excursioins either moderate or difficult at best. 3. Much too long on busses with inadequate convenience stops for older people. Parking was an issue at many venues where significant distances had to be covered just to get to the area that was of interest. Routes were changed with little or no notice and one venue on a paid excursion was closed. 4. No effort to provide transportation to closed venue the next day nor was any refund offered, however, on other days the bus was re-routed to accommodate drop-offs of others near venues not included in our tour. 5. One older gentleman was left behind because our guide did NOT count those on the bus prior to telling the driver to go ahead and depart. Gentleman had to take a cab back to our hotel. 6. Hotel accommodations were much less than expected. Tower Hotel, located near the Tower of London and the Tower Bridge, is very dated with bath tubs that were literally unsafe for seniors. No air conditioning or heating control available in individual rooms. Rooms were much too warm to sleep well at night. Hotel offered a fan which we accepted but no fan ever showed up at our room.

Expected a much better and well prepared overall tour package from a tour company as old and experienced as Trafalgar.
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I used Trafalgar for the Contrasts of…

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I used Trafalgar for the Contrasts of Italy and it was an amazing experience. I travel host was wonderful and had no issues with Trafalgar. This was my first time using them and I can say it was the absolute best time of my life! I am planning another trip with them for next year.
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I along-with my wife took a trafalgar’s…

2.0
Details
Value2.0
Guide2.0
Activities2.0
Lodging2.0
Transportation2.0
Meals2.0
I along-with my wife took a trafalgar’s tours - capitals of scandinavia.. i would like to share that though trafalgar charges a good amount of money for the tour, the rooms provided by trafalgar were like dormitories / hostel rooms. Very small with sagging mattresses. Not even air cooled.. very uncomfortable. And no redressal even after repeated observations by travelling passengers.

I raised up the issue. My review has not been put up on their website despite my repeated requests.. Thats why writing here now.. Reply recd after one month and that too is very diplomatic and unreasonable.

I was told very good abt them by makemytrip.com when i was booking my trip but unfortunately, had a bad taste.. guys be aware..
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A despicable and terrible experience

1.0
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
A despicable and terrible experience. I booked their Best of Israel tour and paid $4,000 up front. Four days before departure my mother was rushed to the hospital and had emergency surgery. She is now in critical condition with a second surgery scheduled for the day the tour was to start, and I cannot leave home at this time. I contacted Trafalgar to tell them I needed to reschedule the trip due to these circumstances, and I would happily take the trip later. Trafalgar told me they "cannot reschedule the trip" but only cancel it; refund me 10%; and KEEP 90% OF THE MONEY AS A CANCELLATION FEE! They want to keep $3,600 for DOING NOTHING!!! These people are complete pigs. I travel two or three times a year and this was my first -- and last -- experience with this company. There is zero justification for a policy like this. Trafalgar brags about how it's been around for a hundred years and gives tours all over the world, and maybe their tours are good. I'll never know. The Best of Israel trip looked good, but this kind of despicable business practice amounts to thievery and I personally will not tolerate it. Yes, I can and will put in an insurance claim for the money but I'm going to sue them anyway. Please do not patronize a company that treats people like this. If we don't insist on an end to these kinds of predatory business practices, they will only get worse. I mean think of it: would you do this to a customer in my situation? Only a depraved company would act this way.
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It is very very doubtful that I will…

1.0
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
It is very very doubtful that I will ever travel with Trafalgar again. I took my first trip with Trafalgar last month (Aug 2022).
Many of the overnight stops could be provided in hotels that are closer to the centre of the cities/towns. I did not see some cities that were on the agenda.
The chosen outer suburb hotels were not near any shops or noted historical sights. Nor were there any nice views from the hotel windows. And the 'added extras' were too expensive.
I have done tours with other agencies and had plenty of time to walk around and view the central areas of the visited cities.
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Details

Accommodations

  • Apple Farm Inn

Additional Information

  • All hotel tips, charges and local taxes
  • All porterage and restaurant gratuities
  • An expert Travel Director and professional Driver
  • Audio headsets for flexible sightseeing
  • Breakfast daily and up to half of your evening meals
  • Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted
  • Luxury air-conditioned coach with Wi-Fi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)
  • Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras
  • Optional Experiences and free time

Trip ID#:

trafalgar-JVFDWLN17

Meals Included

  • 1 Welcome Reception
  • 1 Be My Guest
  • 6 Breakfasts
  • 1 Lunch
  • 1 Dinner
  • 1 Farewell Dinner
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