Small Group Tours by STORY

Story Land & Sea®

The Grand Californian Tour

The Grand Californian

Grand California: A Delightful Itinerary

Story Land & Sea®'s unique Exclusives
highlight this 11 Day Tour of Grand California

Dear Story Traveler,

Tour Captain Dan Dieckhaus, along with my involvement, has hand-crafted this itinerary along the Grand California coast from San Diego all the way to Napa Valley and San Francisco. It's not your usual big group tour of California. Read on and discover how we have intertwined the Story Way® of dining, immersion sightseeing and luxury accommodations into this fantastic journey.

The trip is fully-hosted by our professional Story Tour Captain complemented by our local, professional tour guides.

The Grand Californian: Itinerary

  • Hotel del Coronado
  • Napa Valley
  • Sail under Golden Gate Bridge
  • Hearst Castle
  • Hearst Castle

DAY 1: San Diego

Depart your home airport on your flight to San Diego. Your flight is not included, but inquire for special fares with our Air Service team. 
Get an airfare quote here.

Your Story Begins.

City: San Diego

Story Land & Sea®'s True Small-Group tour commences at 5:00PM at our deluxe hotel in Coronado. Meet your Story Local Host® for the included orientation reception in our historic luxury hotel located right on Coronado Beach.

5:00PM - Story Land & Sea® Exclusive: Join in a Story Land & Sea® original experience with our Welcome from the Tour Captain from one of our classic perspectives ~ unique vantage point in the company of your new friends and fellow travelers.

Walking Level: Light, Leisurely Pace; Volume: Light

Your Small Group Tour Vacation is underway! After our reception, we'll enjoy our Welcome Dinner in San Diego.

Story Way® Dining: Tonight, join your Tour Captain for a special included dinner at one of Mark Story's personal favorites in San Diego's Little Italy.

Accommodation: Hotel del Coronado, 2 Nights 

DAY 2: San Diego, USS Midway, Cardif-by-the-Sea and La Jolla

This morning we embark on our sightseeing immersion with our local guide as we learn about San Diego's history, pay our respect to the USS Midway, and then it's time along the beautiful coast at Cardif-by-the-Sea.

Enjoy time for lunch at guest expense, walk along the beach or enjoy the town. For those who simply want to explore the village or want to ride the surf, we have all options covered for you today.

Later we arrive La Jolla for time at this scenic sunset destination. An optional dinner experience at nearby Brockton Villa is recommended or you may explore on your own.

We return to the hotel about 1 hour after sunset tonight.

Accommodation: Hotel del Coronado

DAY 3: Los Angeles: Santa Monica & Beverly Hills

Rodeo Drive & the L.A. Story

We make our way to the City of Angels this morning. It's a uniquely Los Angeles experience as we take in celebrity and star's homes, the Mann Chinese Theater, the Rodeo Drive and interesting venues along the way.

Upon arrival, we transfer to our hotel in Beverly Hills, The Beverly Hilton. Check-in, freshen up and join the Tour Captain again at 4pm for our afternoon sightseeing experience.

Story Way® Dining: After our driving tour we arrive at our restaurant for a special Welcome to Hollywood dining experience.

Accommodation: The Beverly Hilton, 1 Night

Opened in 1955 by distinguished hotelier Conrad Hilton, The Beverly Hilton combines the excitement and entertainment of Hollywood with the prestige of Beverly Hills. The hotel is located at the crossroads of Wilshire and Santa Monica Boulevards.

DAY 4: Private Tour of Warner Brothers' Studios

Being a movie buff, Story Land & Sea® owner Mark Story had the privilege of this same behind-the-scenes tour of Warner Bros. and describes it as an amazing experience with incredible insight into the film-making industry.

This afternoon we continue our journey up the coast to beautiful Santa Barbara.

Coastal Road to Santa Barbara

The American Riviera

Santa Barbara's climate is often described as Mediterranean, and the city has been promoted as the "American Riviera." We make our way north along the scenic drive and arrive the seaside community of Santa Barbara. We will take in some of the notable sites of the city including its Courthouse constructed in 1929 in a Spanish-Moorish architecture. Under the leadership of Pearl Chase, many of the city's famous buildings rose as part of the rebuilding process, including the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, sometimes praised as the "most beautiful public building in the United States."

Next, a visit to the graceful Mission Santa Barbara introduces this city icon – a still-active Franciscan parish after 225 years. Mission Santa Barbara, also known as Santa Barbara Mission, is a Spanish mission founded by the Franciscan order near present-day Santa Barbara.

After time for lunch in the Gaslamp area, you’ll have time at leisure to enjoy the beach or the city.

Accommodation: Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore or Similar, 1 Night

DAY 5: Hearst Castle, Carmel-by-the-Sea

Scenic Drive to Hearst Castle
We continue our journey along California's Gold Coast and make our way to Hearst Castle. About Hearst Castle
Hearst Castle’s history began in 1865, when Mr. George Hearst purchased 40,000 acres of ranch land. Then in 1919, William Randolph Hearst inherited the estate. It had grown to more than 250,000 acres, and Randolph was dreaming of ways to transform it into a retreat he called La Cuesta Encantada—Spanish for “Enchanted Hill.” By 1947, Hearst and architect Julia Morgan had created Hearst Castle. It boasts 165 rooms and 127 acres of gardens, terraces, pools and walkways all built to Hearst’s specifications and to showcase his legendary art collection. We enjoy the afternoon before continuing on to Carmel-by-the-Sea.

Story Way® Dining: Enjoy an included dinner tonight with your Tour Captain.

Hotel: Hotel L'Auberge Carmel, 2 Nights

DAY 6: Carmel-by-the-Sea

Day at Leisure

Enjoy a day at leisure. Explore the beach or the villages of Carmel or Monterrey with our included shuttle service today.

Accommodation: Hotel L'Auberge Carmel

DAY 7: Golden Gate Bridge

This morning we're off for the City by the Bay, San Francisco. But this is not our final destination for today:

Upon arrival to the Bay we board our private boat for a tour of the Bay: We will enjoy all of the amenities on today's transfer and a very unique perspective of the Golden Gate Bridge as we sail under the beauty.

Enjoy the sights of the Bay as we make our way to port and onward to Napa Valley.

Napa Valley

We board our vehicle and travel to Napa Valley to our estate for check-in at our estate.

Enjoy the balance of the day at leisure until our welcome dinner tonight.

Story Way® Dining: Enjoy an included dinner tonight with your Tour Captain.

Accommodation: Bardessono, The Carneros Inn, Calistoga Ranch, or Similar, 2 Nights

DAY 8: Discovering Napa Valley

Your Story of travel in California continues today in wine country.

Story Exclusive®: Enjoy a private tour of the vineyards and production facilities of beautiful Castello di Amorosa along with our signature wine-tasting experience where the varietals are paired with delicious plates. Certain departures will include one of our other wineries based on season.

After a wonderful day making memories in this unique setting we return to our hotel for a night at leisure.

Join the Tour Captain for an optional dinner tonight or explore at leisure.

Accommodation: Bardessono, The Carneros Inn, Calistoga Ranch, or Similar 

DAY 9: Muir Woods | City by the Bay

Muir Woods
We make our way to the Muir Woods, named for noted conservationist John Muir, and home of some of the oldest and tallest trees on Earth.

We continue with our journey today to the bayside enclave of Sausalito to explore. There's time for an optional lunch and a visit to the pier.

San Francisco
Then we arrive San Francisco and our home for the next two nights. Upon arrival, we will check-in, freshen up and then meet for a special orientation experience before dinner. Soak in the city's unique and stunning beauty with its variety of architecture. We'll see the curvaceous Lombard Street and arrive at the famous Fisherman's Wharf for a walk-through and catch the sites that make this destination truly unique - watch out for the flying fish!

Accommodation: Sir Francis Drake Hotel, 2 Nights

DAY 10: San Francisco

This morning we enjoy exploring the sites, sounds and scents of San Francisco. We'll visit some of the unique neighborhoods of San Francisco that continue to portray their unique character. The balance of the day is at leisure for you to enjoy the City by the Bay.

Story Way® Dining: For our Farewell Dinner experience you will enjoy one of our favorite nights of fun and celebration, as we toast one another to a wonderful journey together.

Our days have been filled with new sights, tastes, and discoveries - tonight enjoy reflecting on the incredible journey we've had together!

Accommodation: Sir Francis Drake Hotel

Departure Day

DAY 11: San Francisco Airport

An optional transfer to San Francisco Airport is available. Inquire with reservations.

## Tour Ends ##


The Grand Californian: Story Hotels


San Diego Hotel - 2 Nights

Los Angeles Hotels - 2 Nights

Carmel-by-the-Sea - 2 Nights

Napa Valley Hotels - 2 Nights

San Francisco Hotel - 2 Nights

The Grand Californian: What's Included

It's a world-class tour with most inclusions in the company of a few new friends as we journey along the California Coast.

We've tried to include everything, however, make note the following items:

Arrival Transfers are optional at $69 per person.

Departure Transfers are optional at $39 per person.

Five (5) Dinners are included featuring Story Way® dining though our Tour Captains will invite you to join them to unique restaurants each night.

Services of Story's English-speaking local guides - professional, certified guides.

Admission and Entrance Fees per itinerary - you go inside with Story Land & Sea® and No Long Lines!

Welcome Dinner and Farewell Celebration & Feast - total of 5 dinners with wine and gratuities included.

Twin-bedded rooms with private bathroom facilities. Porterage of one (1) piece of luggage. All hotel service charges, baggage handling fees and local taxes included.

Gratuities for local guides, Story arranged Dining Staff and Hotel Porter: Included. Story Tour Captain gratuities are not included: we recommend $8 to $15 per person per day.

Motorcoach Driver: gratuities included. You may tip more at your discretion. Room Steward and Wait Staff (while dining on your own): At your discretion. (not included in tour package).



Story Land & Sea accepts all major credit cards.

© 2014+2017 Queenslander International, llc, Story Land & Sea®, QueensLander Tours, QueensLander® Worldwide Tours, Mark Story Worldwide Adventures® are service marks owned by Queenslander International, llc. The service marks and trademarks of airlines appearing in this brochure and on,, are owned by the respective companies mentioned.



The Grand Californian Tour

Published Rate: From $6,779 Per Person

Payable by Credit Card or Check. See pricing below.

Single Supplement: $1684

— Small Group Tour Prices —

Enjoy small group touring in beautiful California from 2 to 16 guests.

A True Small-Group® Tours up to 16 Guests
Published Date Price
May 8 $6,779
June 13
July 4
Aug 17
Sep 12


Join us on the Grand California Tour.
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Airfare is a completely separate booking from your land tour.



We recommend some form of travel protection to help provide coverage for trip cancellation, trip interruption, emergency medical and emergency evacuation, lost or delayed baggage and more. You may purchase this coverage from the provider of your choice. For your convenience, we offer plans through Travelex Insurance Services For more information on the available plans or to enroll, go to TRAVELEX (click here)


The product descriptions provided here are only brief summaries and may be changed without notice. The full coverage terms and details, including limitations and exclusions, are contained in the insurance policy. Travelex Insurance Services, Inc CA Agency License #0D10209. All products listed are underwritten by, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company NAIC # 22276. 11.17 83IT

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Airfare is not included but it can be quoted here. Remember, you are responsible to arrive at the point of your small group tour origination. If you are delayed for any reason, your vacation may be at risk even if STORY Land & Sea® made your airfare arrangements. Airfare is a completely separate booking from your land tour vacation. You can cancel your vacation with a 100% refund up to 90 days prior to departure. Within 90 days you will begin receiving penalties per the terms of the Tour Application should you have to cancel.