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On the Road: California’s Pacific Coast Highway & Yosemite

From Los Angeles to San Francisco, discover rugged coastlines, Yosemite National Park, historic missions and unique art collections as you journey the legendary Pacific Coast Highway.
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Program No. 20120RJ
11 days
Starts at

On the Road: California’s Pacific Coast Highway & Yosemite

From Los Angeles to San Francisco, discover rugged coastlines, Yosemite National Park, historic missions and unique art collections as you journey the legendary Pacific Coast Highway.
11 days
Starts at
Program No. 20120 RJ
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At a Glance

Discover the dramatic beauty of the legendary Pacific Coast Highway as it winds along the California coast. Begin in the diverse cultural region of L.A. and explore ancient antiquities at the Getty Villa before traveling north to Santa Barbara, known as the “American Riviera.” Head to Yosemite to learn about its remarkable granite formations, and finish with a stop in San Francisco for a local’s look at the city.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Behold Big Sur’s rugged coastline and encounter the wonders of the ocean at Monterey Bay Aquarium.
  • Reflect at Santa Barbara’s Mission, savor Santa Ynez wines and marvel at the palatial Hearst Castle.
  • With expert naturalists, experience waterfalls and rock formations like Half Dome and El Capitan in Yosemite Valley, and dine at the historic Ahwahnee Hotel.

General Notes

Program includes long bus rides to each unique spot on the itinerary.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
The Golden Shore, California's Love Affair With the Sea
by David Helvarg
In this eminently readable and well-researched tribute, Helvarg, an environmental journalist and filmmaker, considers the crosscurrents of culture, history, economy and myth that come together on the state’s golden shores.
California the Beautiful
by Galen Rowell (Photographer)
Rowell's exquisite photographs are accompanied by excerpts from Joan Didion, M.F.K. Fisher, Jack London, William Saroyan and many other luminaries in this celebration of the nature and spirit of California.
Life in a California Mission
by Jean Francois de la Perouse, Malcolm Margolin (Introduction)
A remarkable essay about the natural life and native customs of 18th-century California, written by a French explorer while his ships lay at anchor in Monterey Bay.
The Golden West, Hollywood Stories
by Daniel Fuchs
This marvelous collection of stories and essays from Sunny California, many originally appearing in The New Yorker and Commentary, capture the spirit (and personalities) of Hollywood in the heyday of the studio era.
Hearst Castle, The Biography of a Country House
by Victoria Kastner, Victoria Garagliano (Photographer), George Plimpton
An illustrated history of newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst's estate at San Simeon.
National Audubon Society Field Guide to California
by Peter Alden
A compact, easy-to-use guide to 1,000 California trees, wildflowers, mammals, insects, birds and other flora and fauna.
Eyewitness Guide California
by Eyewitness Guides
A literate, visually rich guide to the Golden State, featuring color photography, dozens of excellent local maps and a region-by-region synopsis of California's attractions with a particular focus on San Francisco and Los Angeles.
California, A History
by Kevin Starr
A lively short history in the excellent Modern Library Chronicles series, written by a renowned historian.
My First Summer in the Sierra
by John Muir
Muir's original account of a summer in Yosemite and surrounding High Sierras, based on his youthful notebooks of the summer of 1869.
Slouching Towards Bethlehem
by Joan Didion
A classic collection of essays on the1960s cultural climate, first published in 1968. In the acclaimed title essay, Didion vividly describes the landscape, mood and culture of '60s San Francisco.
Cannery Row
by John Steinbeck
Based on memories of characters he met living in Monterey, including his good friend the marine biologist Ed Ricketts, this is Steinbeck's story of the good-natured bums, prostitutes, alcoholics and other denizens of Cannery Row.
22 Meals
10 Breakfasts
6 Lunches
6 Dinners
The following choices may be available when requested in advance: Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Low Fat, Low Salt
Lodgings may differ by date. Select a date to see the lodgings specific to that date.
Apr 17, 2021 - Apr 27, 2021
  • Apr 17, 2021 - Apr 27, 2021
1 night
Los Angeles
Situated just four blocks from LAX, The Westin Los Angeles Airport is a haven of wellness and renewal in a vibrant travel destination. Embrace refreshing accommodation in well-appointed hotel rooms and suites with refined comforts, signature bath products, ergonomic workspace and plush Westin Heavenly Beds. Ignite your senses with delectable American fare, fine wine and innovative cocktails at our stylish hotel restaurants and bars. Explore celebrated attractions including the Santa Monica Pier, Venice Beach and the Forum. Elevate your experience with our signature programs and facilities - from the WestinWORKOUT® Fitness Studio and RUNWESTIN™ to our unique Surf Lesson Room Package and our on-site Surf Concierge. Celebrate and succeed in sophisticated event space, enhanced by expert planners and custom catering. After a full day, refresh in our outdoor heated pool, relax in our whirlpool or enjoy our in-room spa services. Discover a relaxing sanctuary at The Westin Los Angeles Airport.
2 nights
Santa Barbara
Classic touches of California Spanish Revival add to the historic feel of the Holiday Inn Express Hotel Santa Barbara. The hotel's historic property, also known as the Hotel Virginia and built in 1917, features Malibu and Catalina tile-work and exposed brick walls and wrought-iron railings. The hotel is conveniently located near many cultural destinations as well as the beach and Stearns Wharf which are only a few blocks away.
1 night
Cambria Pines Lodge is located just off Highway One and is nestled among 25 acres of pines, set away from the crowds on the central coast of California. Enjoy the comforts of modern conveniences in a country setting. Accommodations, dining facilities and educational programs are located within a short walking distance of each other. Paths are flat and mostly paved. The hotel has a split-level floor plan with approximately 8 stairs to guestrooms and no elevators. There are a limited number of rooms with ramp access. Please contact the program provider as soon as possible if you require such a room.
2 nights
The Monterey Hotel is a unique historic hotel with modern upgrades. The Victorian- inspired hotel sits in the middle of Monterey, CA with local sights within walking distance. A short walk can take you to Old Fisherman's Wharf, Cannery Row, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. You will find a variety of restaurants and shops just outside the lobby doors.
2 nights
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite Valley Lodge's close proximity to Yosemite Falls makes it the perfect base camp for exploring Yosemite National Park. Its glass and wood architecture work in unity with the surroundings and the ample windows allow in the bright mountain sunshine while providing remarkable views. The lodge is a historic building built in the 1950s to match the scenic surroundings. It is an old wood structure meant to blend in with the natural scenery.
2 nights
San Francisco
The Hotel Riu Plaza Fisherman's Wharf is ideally located close to almost all of San Francisco's most famous tourist attractions and business centers. Located in the heart of Fisherman’s Wharf, the hotel is walking distance to Pier 39, Alcatraz ferries, Lombard Street and Chinatown and next door to multiple public transportation stops. Dollar Rent A Car office is located onsite.

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