Yosemite Valley and California Wine Country 3-Day Explorer
From towering waterfalls of Yosemite Valley to the crashing waves of the Pacific and wine country in between, you will experience the best that California has to offer on your three-day tour of Yosemite National Park plus the Napa and Sonoma wine country region. If that isn’t enough, you’ll also see Giant Sequoias near Yosemite and ancient Coastal Redwoods and marvel at the size of those natural wonders. (Truly, how did they get that big?)
Day 1 – Towering Trees and Granite Monoliths in Yosemite National Park
Your Expedition Leader will pick you up right at your hotel in downtown San Francisco. (Hello everyone! Let’s head east!) All along the way, you’ll learn about the fascinating history and rich culture of the region as your luxury coach rolls toward that day’s destinations. The time will fly by as you head across California’s fertile San Joaquin Valley, one of the richest agricultural areas in the world.
Your anticipation will build as you climb into the foothills of the Sierra Nevada range. You’ll spend some quiet time in the serene Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoia – the largest living things on Earth. (Shhh! The solitude will be unbelievable!)
You’ve seen them in photos, but until you view the granite formations of Yosemite National Park for yourself, you can’t grasp the beauty of El Capitan, Half Dome and other landmarks. (And now, of course, you’ll take your own photos!)
Yosemite, from Yohhe’meti, the native people who originally settled the valley, is the jewel of the national park system. Stops at Inspiration Point and El Capitan Meadow will confirm that. You’ll experience Yosemite Falls and Bridalveil Falls and even have time to hike to the top of Nevada Falls (strenuous!) or to Half Dome via the Mist Trail (easy!) before calling it a day and retiring to a compfortable, nearby 3-star or 4-start hotel (included).
In Yosemite, your options for hikes, shuttle rides, bike rentals, a visit to the Ansel Adams Gallery and other activities will keep you on the move. Make a plan, or not! You have time to wander.
Day 2 – Glorious Food and Wine in Napa Valley and Beyond
In the morning, grab continental breakfast (included) before we depart. You’ll soon go back in time during a visit to the Gold Rush town of Groveland, established in 1848 as a mining camp and a post to protect people from bandits. It’s the home to the Iron Door Saloon, the oldest continuously operating saloon in California. (Here’s a toast to history!)
As you head for Napa Valley, your Expedition Leader’s descriptions of the area will have you in stitches with funny tales of wine country. You’ll also learn the colorful history of the region beginning with American immigrant George Calvert Young who planted the first Napa Valley grapes in 1839. (“Cheers, George!”) Napa Valley first burst onto the global stage at the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976, California wines won best-in-the-world honors. (Take a bow, California!)
You’ll stop at the trend-setting Oakville Grocery, the perfect place to pick some freshly prepared picnic items. At the wineries, you visit (tasting fees included), your hosts will welcome you with smiles and some exquisite wines selected exclusively for us. (Like one? Take a bottle home!)
Remember these five easy wine-tasting steps: See, swirl, sniff, sip, savor. Repeat. Now you’ve got it! (A person could sure fall in love with this course of study!)
Up for a railroad excursion? You’ll have the option to dine aboard the Napa Valley Wine Train’s restored glass-domed Pullman cars in the waning hours of daylight (not included). We also arranged a gourmet food and wine-pairing option or strike out on your own at Sonoma Plaza. (So many choices, so much fun!)
Full of good food and drink and more memories to last forever, you’ll nestle into your comfortable Sonoma Valley suite (included) for the night.
Day 3 – A Deep Dive on the Spectacular Pacific Coast
You’ll have time to linger over breakfast (included) and gather your energy before setting to explore the historic Point Reyes Lighthouse, built in 1870 to warn mariners of these dangers of rocks offshore. The lighthouse is 300 steps below the Visitor Center, so prepare for some exercise!
The region is popular with locals for its fine wine and fresh cuisine, such as artisan cheese and oysters from Tomales Bay. Your party will enjoy pondering the locally sourced options for lunch.
Your nature lovin’ is not done yet! You’ll be looking skyward during your visit to Muir Woods National Monument, the primeval home to old growth Coastal Redwoods, some at least 1,200 years old. The tallest is 258 feet high.
Get ready for our last photo stop under the northern footing of the Golden Gate Bridge. The sun will be sinking in the western sky, adding special lighting for some of your final snapshots. Leave just a little room on your camera memory because we are all headed to the big finish—an elaborate seafood departure dinner in the bayside village of Sausalito (included). Everything wraps up :( with an early evening delivery back at your San Francisco hotel.
NOTE: Call us 415-357-0700 to add any fun activities of your choice at the locations that you will be visiting with us (additional fee applies).
What is the best time of year to visit Yosemite?
Yosemite is a year-round treasure, with its gorgeous sights taking on different looks for every season. The waterfalls peak between March to May.
How much are entrance fees along the tour?
Your tour price includes Yosemite Valley National Park entry fee and admission to Muir Woods.
How much are wine-tasting fees in the country?
The average Napa Valley fee for a basic tasting is $15-$30. Don’t worry, these are included in the tour price.
Facts & Figures
- Yosemite Falls is the park’s tallest waterfall at 2,425 feet. It is actually three separate falls, cascading as one to the valley floor.
- There are 475 wineries in Napa Valley that help California produce 90% of America’s wine.
- Grape harvest begins in August with light-skinned grapes (Chardonnay) and ends in late September or early October with dark-skinned grapes (Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon).
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Every other Sunday starting October 14, 2018.