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Coastal California

Coastal California

Leave the sprawl of urban Los Angeles as you make your way up the Central Coast.  Stops include San Simeon with a tour of famous Hearst Castle and Monterey with the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium.  Then wrap up with a tour through San Francisco with the Golden Gate Bridge, cable car rides, Alcatraz, and Pier 39.  Of course, the scenery along the way of the Pacific Ocean is stunning.

  • Program Highlights

    Most American Christian Tours Education Programs of Coastal California, will include:

    • Pismo Beach Monarch Grove (Seasonal - Oct through Feb)
    • Morro Bay Stop
    • Hearst Castle tour
    • Scenic Coastal Highway 1 
    • Monterey Bay Aquarium
    • A one-way cable car ride from Union Station to Fisherman's Wharf
    • A walk out onto the Golden Gate Bridge
    • Time on Fisherman's Wharf
    • Alcatraz Island Tour        


    If time permits include:

    • Mission Delores
    • The Exploratorium
    • Golden Gate Park
  • Climate

    The Central Coast of California has a Mediterranean climate - warm and dry in the summer and cooler and wetter in the winter.  California Central Coast weather varies according closeness to the ocean. Be prepared for a wide range of conditions.


    Spring typically has temperatures with highs in the 60s and 70s with cooler mornings. Afternoons are often windy - usually with winds out of the northwest. Fog can occur, but is less common than during the summer. 


    Summer can be foggy and cool with highs in 60s along the coast, but sunny days will be warmer. Mornings often start out foggy, but the fog often usually clears by mid day.


    Fall is usually the  warmest season along the coast, with highs in the low 70s. Mornings can be cool. 


    Winter highs are usually in the low 60s. Mornings can be cold and fog is relatively rare.  November to April is usually the rainy season.

  • Geography

    Hugging the rugged western coastline from Monterey Bay to Santa Barbara is California's Central Coast. This mountainous region made up of the Coastal Ranges features the famous road - Highway 1.  This route follows the coast from Monterey and Carmel to Big Sur, San Simeon and Morro Bay.  Along the way are steep mountains and cliffs, panoramic ocean views, and beautiful cove and beaches.


    The City of San Francisco is located on the U.S. mainland at the tip of the San Francisco Peninsula, halfway up the coast of northern California. It is surrounded on three sides by bodies of water: the Pacific Ocean, the Golden Gate strait, and the San Francisco Bay.  Several islands are part of the city, notably Alcatraz Island and Treasure Island. The city and county has a total area of 231.9 square miles. 46.7 square miles of it is land and 185.2 square miles of it (79.86%) is water. The land within the city limits roughly forms a seven by seven mile square.San Francisco is famous for its hills. A "hill" in San Francisco is an elevation that is over 100 ft. There are a total of 42 hills within city limits. 

  • Essentials

    • Being amazed at the beauty and scenery of the rugged California coast
    • Touring the grand Hearst Castle and seeing its famous pools
    • Wondering at God's unique creation at Monterey Bay Aquarium
    • Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge - internationally known symbol of San Francisco
    • Riding a Cable Car - now listed as a "special" moving National Historic Landmark
    • Visiting Alcatraz - "The Rock" - infamous federal prison
  • Get Prepared

    Blue Willow, Doris Gates, 1940   A story of a migrant family sent in the San Joaquin Valley.  Although not the Central Coast, there are parallels with the immigrant families working on Cannery Row.
    Foghorns, seal lions, waves splashing onshore.
  • Taste:


    Try the homemade chowder in a sourdough bowl on San Francisco's Pier 39.


    A hot cocoa at Ghiradelli.

  • In A Word:


  • Surprises:

    • William Randolph Hearst and and his architect Julia Morgan worked for 28 years on his castle "La Cuesta Encantada," or the Enchanted Hill.  Hearst spent over $6.5 million on the building and $3.5 million on the art from all over the world that decorates the rooms.
    • Monarch butterflies, like those found along the Central Coast of California can migrate over 2,000 miles.  As caterpillars they feast on milkweed and can consume an entire milkweed leaf in about 5 minutes.
    • The amazing natural beauty of the City of San Francisco - stunning.
    • The sea lions that have taken up residence by Pier 39.
    • How steep the hills are and the streets running straight up and down them.
    • The Monterey Bay Aquarium is located at the north end of Cannery Row, on the former site of Hovden Cannery. Cannery Row began in the early 1900's as large sardine canneries were built canning and processing sardines for food, fishmeal and fertiler.  The last cannery closed in 1973.

  • Cities/Destinations Included

    San Simeon
    San Francisco

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