Enjoy some time in exciting “City of Angels,” one of the most influential areas in the entertainment industry and home to many of the Hollywood elite. On a city tour, get a chance to see hand prints of famous stars at Mann’s Chinese Theatre as well as the home of the Academy Awards, the Kodak Theatre. Next, you’ll get an insiders perspective on the famous parade by attending an exclusive evening viewing of the magnificent, hand-decorated floats before watching the unforgettable spectacle of the 123rd Tournament of Roses Parade from your personal Grand Stand seats. After, you will make your way North along California’s coastline to San Francisco. Stop at many breathtaking sites along the way, including: Santa Barbara, Pismo Beach, Big Sur and Monterey. End your exciting vacation in the heart of San Francisco for a city tour, including Alcatraz Island. This trip will be a sure highlight of 2012 and start your year off right!
(Friday December 30, 2011) - Arrive in Los Angeles, CA:
Arrive at Los Angeles International Airport for your 10 day tour to beautiful and sunny California. Take a short transfer to your hotel close to the airport, where you will be met by the knowledgeable YMT Event team that will brief you about the details of the eventful days that lie ahead. Guests who book their airfare through YMT will enjoy a meet greet service at the airport and transfer assistance as an inclusion in their package. Enjoy the evening on your own, or join us on an optional evening outing to make new friends with your fellow travelers.
(Saturday December 31, 2011) - Leisure Day (half day) or Optional Tour to J. Paul Getty Museum or Reagan Library - YMT Exclusive evening event with Float Viewing in Pasadena:
Today you may decide to join a YMT optional tour to the Getty Museum or the Reagan Library. At the Getty Center you’ll be able to view world renowned fine artistry such as Van Gogh’s Irises in an architecturally stunning setting, towering high over Los Angeles, offering spectacular views of the city. Alternatively, you may choose to head to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, home to over 50 million pages of Presidential documents as well as the retired Airforce One plane from the Reagan Presidency. Set on beautiful grounds, the Library is also the final resting place of the president where you may pay your respects.
After you have returned to your hotel for a brief rest, we head out to Pasadena, home of the Rose Parade. This evening, you will have a unique glimpse into the world of float building at an exclusive float viewing at the Pasadena Rosemont Pavilion, after the crowds of the daytime visits have passed. We will start in YMT’s own VIP tent for the night with an audio-visual presentation on the history and the traditions of the Rose Parade, presented by the organizers of the Parade itself: The Tournament of Roses Committee. Among many things, you will learn about the Parade’s history, its volunteers the “White Suitors” and what the rules for float building are. Afterwards, you will have the chance to see the floats up close in the making, enjoy all the details and appreciate the hard work that is going into creating these magnificent pieces of art. At about 48 hours before the parade starts you will be able to feel the tension “to complete it all” as work will continue through the night “this is an amazing opportunity to witness this, almost as exciting as viewing the Parade, itself!
(Sunday January 1, 2012) - Los Angeles City Tour:
The Tournament of Roses is a tradition full of traditions, one of which is the “Never on Sunday” policy. In 1893, officials decided to move the parade to Monday, January 2 to avoid frightening horses tethered outside local churches and thus interfering with worship services. This tradition has remained until today and continues in 2012. The parade will not proceed on a Sunday New Year’s Day but instead the following day. Therefore, after a leisurely Sunday morning at your hotel, we will take you on a city tour of Los Angeles and Hollywood showing you the many facets of the “City of Angels.” Along the way, view the City’s Music Center with the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and the modern Disney Hall. Head into Hollywood and see Mann’s Chinese Theatre-famous for its permanent collection of handprints, footprints, and signatures from a multitude of movie stars, including Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe-as well as the Academy Awards’ home, the Kodak Theatre, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. You will surely not want to miss the photo opportunity of the world famous Hollywood sign! Then, head into Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive to see where the stars shop. We will return to the hotel in the early evening to give you enough time to prepare for a very early departure to the Rose Parade the next morning.
(Monday, January 2, 2012) - The 123rd Rose Parade:
There’s nothing like viewing this parade in person! Approximately 47 million Americans will watch the parade on TV, but you will be able to join nearly 700,000 onlookers in Pasadena! Watch in wonder from your reserved Grand Stand seats as the floats, spectacularly decorated with millions of colorful flowers pass by. This year’s theme will be “Just imagine” and it does not take a lot of imagination to picture that the floats will be especially spectacular to view! Each float’s entire surface must be covered using a variety of flowers, seeds, bark, leaves and other natural materials. Their 2.5 hour presentation will be accompanied by the best marching bands from throughout the country entertaining; you with music, dance, flag waving and acrobatics - truly a spectacle that you must see in person at least once in your lifetime!
(Tuesday, January 3, 2012) - Depart for Central California to San Luis Obispo area:
Leave the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles and depart for your tour through California to Santa Barbara, an upscale beach community that is a preferred weekend getaway for Angelinos. We will have a brief tour of the area and stop at the Santa Barbara Mission, one of the famous Camino Real Missions founded by Father Junipero Serra. Continue your tour to Solvang,a charming Danish Replica Village situated in the picturesque wine region of California’s Central Valley. Be sure to taste the famous Danish baked goods sold by many local bakeries in Solvang. The day ends in the San Luis Obispo/Pismo Beach area.
Overnight: Mission Inn Pismo Beach/Sea Crest Resort (or similar accommodations)
(Wednesday, January 4, 2012) “San Luis Obispo - Hearst Castle - Big Sur - Monterey:
Today’s route will take you through one of the most beautiful scenic routes of the United States along the California coastline. But first you will have an opportunity to visit the world renowned Hearst Castle, the vast, elaborate and sometimes eclectic estate of former publishing mogul William Randolph Hearst. You will enjoy an hour and half guided tour of the famous castle before heading to Carmel via the scenic Big Sur area, traveling on scenic Highway One. Keep your eyes out for the California Gray Whales migrating along the coastline around this time of year, they may show you a spout or two along the way! You are sure to enjoy breathtaking views! The day ends in Monterey, made famous by John Steinbeck’s “Cannery Row.”
Overnight: Casa Munras Hotel (or similar accommodations)
(Thursday, January 5, 2012) Monterey - San Francisco:
We will start the day leisurely this morning and depart late to San Francisco. You may enjoy the rugged scenery of the Monterey coast on your own or perhaps visit the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium, then board your coach again for your continued tour to San Francisco, where we will have a comprehensive city tour upon arrival in the early afternoon. The tour will take you over the Golden Gate Bridge and back. See the gateway to famous Chinatown, Lombard Street and Nob Hill where the famous Fairmont Hotel resides. Upon check in at your hotel enjoy the proximity of your home for 3 nights to Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39 with its many harbor seals adding to the soundtrack of this beautiful and busy area.
Overnight: Holiday Inn Fisherman’s Wharf (or similar accommodations)
(Friday, January 6, 2012) - San Francisco - Alcatraz Visit:
Today, you will enjoy one of the highlights of any San Francisco visit: Alcatraz! The tour to Alcatraz Island, along with the award winning self-guided audio tour through this notoriously famous prison, is included in your tour price and will surely be a memorable experience. Situated on a “rock” just off the coast, the federal penitentiary that operated here from 1934 to 1963 brought a dark mystique to its location. The presence of infamous inmates like Al “Scarface” Capone, and the “Birdman” Robert Stroud helped to establish the island’s notoriety. To this day, Alcatraz is best known as one of the world’s most legendary prisons. Many people, though, are unaware of the wealth of other stories to be learned on the island. Alcatraz is now home to rare flowers and plants, marine wildlife, and thousands of roosting and nesting sea birds. National Park Service Rangers are conducting narrated walks on the island throughout the day that you may join at your leisure. Your ferry trip to Alcatraz Island will be a timed departure in the morning, then you are free to return and enjoy the rest of your day at leisure. At night you may join your fellow travelers on a night tour of San Francisco with a Cable car ride and dinner in Chinatown (optional).
(Saturday, January 7, 2012) San Francisco - Optional Tours:
Today your full day in San Francisco is at leisure. You may join us in one of our optional tours to the famous California Wine Country of Napa and Sonoma. This full day excursion takes you to a variety of 2-3 wineries where you can learn about the local product, the vintner industry and culture of the area and you will be able to taste a variety of the product without worry - your driver/guide will take you back to your hotel safely!
Alternatively, you may decide to join us on a tour to the Muir Woods National Monument where you can visit and learn about the giant Redwood trees of the area, on our way back we will stop in Sausalito, a picturesque seaside community with plenty of dining opportunities and shopping, before returning to your hotel at “the wharf” like the San Franciscans say.
In the evening, why not join your driver/guides and fellow travelers for a casual seafood farewell dinner by the water? You can say goodbye to newfound friends and exchange memories from your eventful Rose Parade and Coastal California Trip.
(Sunday, January 8, 2012) -Depart for home:
Today it will be the day that you will have to say Goodbye to California as you venture back home. If you have booked your airfare through YMT Vacations, your transfer to the airport is included in our services.
December 29, 2011
From $1,149.00 per person double occupancy.
From $480.00 single room supplement.
- Hotel Accommodations: Based on twin/double accommodations in luxurious Los Angeles Airport area hotel, Mid-level, 3-star accommodations through the remaining itinerary.
- Sightseeing: Special events and sightseeing as listed. You will enjoy the Rose Parade viewing from reserved Grand Stand seats and will receive a complimentary YMT seat cushion as well as an official Rose Parade program (New! Value is $20). Excursion to Alcatraz Island, including the use of the award winning self guided audio tour is included. (Value is $26.50).
- To your room baggage handling: Free baggage allowance is up to 50 pounds per person, to be contained in a single suitcase, while on this land tour. Please check with your airline regarding checked baggage policies and fees.
- Service: Enjoy the service of a professionally trained and accredited tour driver/guide who is knowledgeable on the local area and will provide you with a wealth of information. This friendly service will make your trip a memorable experience.
All prices are in US dollars and do not include international airfare, unless otherwise noted.
Prices displayed are based on the lowest season base price and assume double occupancy. Prices are shown in U.S. dollars and may or may not include administrative fees, taxes, meals, airfare (where applicable) and Single Supplements. Cancellation penalties, blackout dates and other restrictions may apply.