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From Painted Ladies to picturesque beaches!Our group had a great time on the California Panoramic tour. Our tour director met us at the San Francisco airport along with the other group on the tour. He stayed in contact with us constantly on the tour.
We were immersed into San Franciscan culture and history with a cable car ride and dinner. Then it was off to see the Golden Gate Bridge. Quite the magnificent structure. We even completed a walk across it with an amazing scenery of SF Bay.
Hotel accommodations were fantastic and we had the added comfort of knowing that EF provided the group overnight security.
The next day we toured SF with a tour guide. Although he carried a speaker and spoke through a mic, if was difficult to hear him in the heart of the city over the noise of the transportation. We walked through Chinatown where some enjoyed a treat of Mooncakes from a Chinatown bakery. From the bus, we saw the unique architecture of the homes and buildings and briefly stepped off the bus to take pictures of the "Painted Ladies". We took a bus ride to the highest point in SF called Twin Peaks where we were met with an amazing panoramic shot of the city and ocean. Pretty windy though!
Alcatraz was an amazing tour. We took a ferry ride to the island and continued with a self-paced audio tour of the facility. Fantastic!
At the Fisherman's Wharf, the group could taste food from the sea, listen to the harmony of the seals, take in musical performances and view the bay from the pier.
We had to travel by bus to LA the following day, just stopping to eat with washroom breaks. From the bus, we could see the dry rolling hills of California. Since it was July 4th, we attended a small festival in the suburban town where our hotel was and were treated to fireworks at dusk.
The guided tour of LA was a bit too long. Though the guide was very knowledgeable, she gave us more information than necessary. We tuned out halfway through. I guess it depends on the guide. Hollywood Boulevard was surreal for many as they snapped pictures of the different celebrity stars of the Walk of Fame. The Santa Monica and Venice beaches were beautiful but I would have preferred sticking to one beach for that amount of time instead of having to rush to see both.
My group's last day was spent at Universal Studios Hollywood. There, we got to experience how movies were made, take in 4D movie scenes, ride roller coasters and watch a live performance of Water World.
Overall, the trip was a great experience and I recommend it to all who are interested in seeing a snapshot of the Californian coast.
The best trip thus far!I was skeptical when my school picked the California Panorama tour over Europe, but after coming back from this wonderful experience I am everything but disappointed. I wouldn't have traded this tour for anything! Our tour director made the entire week fun filled with many jokes, stories and learning opportunities. My favorite aspects of the trip would definitely have to be Universal Studios (the simulator rides were deadly - pardon my Newfinese), the Hollywood Walk of Fame (I loved getting pictures with the stars), and Mission Beach. After this, I would definitely go on more tours.
Amazing trip!!This trip was amazing! The guide was super and the trip was perfect! It was even better than I wished it would be!