Luxury Tailor Made Journeys depart on the dates that work for you and feature expert local guides throughout your journey. The itinerary below can be customized to your interests.
Arrive San Francisco, California
Arrive in San Francisco, where your driver-guide meets you at baggage claim and whisks you away to your first destination, Bodega Bay, located on the Sonoma Coast. Check in to begin your stay at the Bodega Bay Lodge, a charming resort nestled atop a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Enjoy the rest of your day at leisure, perhaps walking to Doran Park, a beautiful sandy beach about 10 minutes away or, if time permits while en route to your hotel, ask your driver to stop at the Muir Woods National Monument for a breathtaking excursion through pristine California coastal redwoods forest.
Bodega Bay | Kayaking the Sonoma Coast
This morning, embark on a private guided kayak tour of Sonoma Coast State Park. Admire the natural beauty of the dramatic California coastline as you learn about the area’s history, flora and fauna from your expert naturalist guide. Enjoy the chance to catch a glimpse of river otters, whales and possibly even dolphins. After kayaking, savor a picnic lunch before returning to your hotel.
Yosemite | Scenic Drive to a National Treasure
This morning, travel with your driver-guide to Yosemite National Park, enjoying varied sightseeing along the way. Cross the newly built Bay Bridge and pass through Oakland and Berkeley. Travel through the Central Valley, one of the world’s most productive agricultural regions, and then on to Mariposa, a historic gold mining town. Follow the Merced River until you enter the west entrance to Yosemite. Enjoy a scenic and informative drive into the valley, arriving at your hotel by late afternoon.
Yosemite | Discover Yosemite, Your Way
Explore Yosemite with a local conservationist guide, enjoying a route customized to your physical abilities and interests. If you are an avid hiker, more demanding routes can be taken. Likewise, if you enjoy photography, A&K can tailor the tour to focus on the park’s most photogenic features. Gaze at majestic cliffs, giant sequoia trees and tumbling waterfalls as your guide explains the region's geography, wildlife, and ecology. Explore the valley in an intimate way, getting up close to Yosemite Falls, hiking along the Merced River, and perusing Old Yosemite Village. For lunch, enjoy a picnic in nature, taking in the fresh mountain air. As your invigorating day draws to a close, return to your hotel for a well-earned evening at leisure.
Yosemite | Whitewater Rafting Adventure
Today, set out on an exciting whitewater rafting trip down 18 miles of continuous Class IV rapids on the Tuolumne River, long hailed as California’s premier whitewater rafting destination. Begin by meeting your expert rafting guides for a brief safety orientation and gear fitting, and then prepare yourself for an action-packed introduction to this scenic river canyon. Power through some of Tuolumne’s most notorious rapids, including the Rock Garden, Nemesis and Ram’s Head, and then take a break for a delicious riverside picnic lunch. Back on the water, make your way through The Squeeze, Gray’s Grindstone and Clavey Falls. After your exhilarating day of adventure, return to the lodge for an evening at your leisure.
Carmel Valley | En Route to Your Relaxing Retreat
After breakfast, your driver-guide chauffeurs you to the scenic Carmel Valley. On the way, enjoy the option to swing by Silicon Valley and stroll the campus of Google or Facebook. Peruse the Apple store on site or walk through the beautiful sculpture garden at Stanford University before continuing to Carmel Valley. Upon arrival, check in to your hotel, nestled amid the sunny splendors of one of California’s premier wine-growing regions, and enjoy your evening at leisure.
Carmel Valley | Monterey Bay Aquarium Visit
Travel to Monterey today, where you embark on a private eco-raft ocean safari aboard a boat originally designed for military patrol use. Seek out the region's magnificent wild residents, including humpback and blue whales, orcas, dolphins, seabirds, and seals, as you explore the beautiful coastline of Monterey Bay as well as Point Lobos or Elkhorn Slough. Next, go behind the scenes at the fabulous Monterey Bay Aquarium, exploring areas of the facility not open to the public, in the company of your private guide. Experience the Aquarium’s many marine species up close, viewing stingrays, jellyfish, sea otters, bluefin and yellowfin tuna, and other fascinating ocean denizens. Return to the Carmel Valley for a leisurely evening.
Depart San Francisco
After breakfast, you are chauffeured to San Francisco airport to board your departing flight.
Enhance Your Journey
Elevate your experience with a host of options available for an additional cost.
Experience Beekeeping Up Close
Visit Carmel Valley Ranch for a VIP tour of the ranch’s on-site apiary. Don your protective beekeeping gear and get up close with the resident hive’s 60,000 Italian honeybees. Learn how these hardworking creatures diligently forage for local pollen and nectar, particularly from the ranch’s plentiful lavender plants. Observe the sophisticated social structure that governs the bees’ society, from the guards at the hive entrance, to the nurses tending to the young and the notoriously elusive queen. Afterward, sample honey straight from the source and receive a complimentary lavender beeswax balm.
Enjoy a Campfire/Stargazing Experience
This evening, head into the wilderness and gather around a roaring campfire built specially for you. Sing campfire songs, roast s’mores and experience the night sky like never before. Join a local astronomer to gaze through a telescope and learn what secrets the Yosemite Valley’s starry night has to tell, observing constellations, planets, nebulae, galaxies and other celestial wonders.
Redwood Ziplining Adventure
Kick up the adrenaline this afternoon with an exhilarating ziplining excursion. During this guided eco-tour adventure, glide across multiple ziplines suspended among the area’s breathtaking coastal California redwood trees. Enjoy panoramic forest views and personally experience one of the country’s most exciting ziplines.