We recently enjoyed the Three Day Coastal trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles with Kelly as our knowledgeable guide. This was a great balance of guided tour and leisure time to explore on one's own. We chose to tour the Hearst Castle and take the train from Santa Barbara to LA. With only five people in a clean, comfortable van we were able to ask questions and stop in interesting local places. I would highly recommend these tours to anyone.
My friend A. Paul from Lithuania and I took the Coastal California tour with Explore California. It was completely flawless. Picked up in San Francisco in the morning and driven via Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz to Monterey. Found very quickly that Bryan was not your standard guide. Very friendly, very personable. Being a music aficionado, I was happy to find that he was open to providing a "personalized soundtrack" for the tour experience. We had plenty of time on the first afternoon to explore the aquarium and Cannery Row. Tour members are on their own for dinners, which are not included in the tour price. The hotel accommodations in Monterey and for the second night in Cambria, near Hearst Castle, were both very nice. No complaints there. The second travel day wends its way through Big Sur via the Nepenthe Cafe. Beautiful. Bryan provided plenty of stops for photo ops and just to take in the beautiful scenery. He also had plenty of tidbits of information on local color, flora, etc. Finished up the day's travel at Hearst Castle. Because of traffic and our frequent stops, we missed the tour we were scheduled for, but Bryan persevered and got us in the last tour of the day which was great. The third day goes from Cambria to Santa Barbara via the Danish town of Solvang for lunch. Very nice. Not as spectacular scenery-wise, but very California. We had time for a bit of browsing and a beer in Santa Barbara before Bryan dropped us at the train station for the last leg, the evening train to Los Angeles. The fact that he can arrange that whole train to take you on the last leg is amazing, but demonstrates the lengths that Explore California will go to make your tour a one of a kind experience. Thank you Bryan and Kelly for a trip we won't forget. Cheers!
My family took day trip from San Francisco to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Everyone had a great time. The van was clean and comfortable. Our driver (Kelly) was from Monterey so she was able to tell us a lot about the area and give us an excellent recommendation for lunch. She even took us to the beach after lunch so the kids could run around and play in the sand (some of which we brought back into the van with us - sorry Kelly!) I would definitely recommend Explore California.