California Missions and The Riverside Festival of Lights
USD 2,298per person
Journey to sunny California for the holidays and embark on an adventure that will satisfy both the body and soul. Explore the many Spanish Missions, religious outposts all over the state, and take in the sights. All kinds of activities lie in store for the traveling Catholic, from attending holy masses to sightseeing the different landmarks around the area, there is much to enjoy on this interesting spiritual expedition. You’ll also be able to enjoy the Festival of Lights at Riverside, a magical display of luminous decorations that’s traditionally for generations of the residents within Southern California.
Arriving in San Diego, enjoy making yourself at home at the hotel before beginning your travels across the sun-kissed state. From there, you’ll get to explore different places like museums, exhibits, sightsee fantastic towns and Californian landmarks, and so much more. You’ll also get to attend masses at the Mission outposts all over California. But we can’t neglect the holiday cheer of Christmas lighting and decorations, which you’ll get to experience once you arrive to witness the annual Riverside Festival of Lights.
- Hotel accommodations
- Ground transportation
- Airport transfers
- Sightseeing tours
- Free Wi-Fi in motorcoach
Day 1 - Arrival in San Diego. Welcome to San Diego! Upon arrival a group transfer is provided to your hotel. Later join your Tour Director for a welcome reception at the hotel. (WR)Note: Group needs to arrive together on the same flight for the group transfer to the hotel. Individual transfer costs can be quoted separately.
Day 2 - San Diego. Morning sightseeing features the beautifully restored Gaslamp Quarter, Balboa Park, and Historic Old Town San Diego. After some free time for lunch, enjoy time to explore Balboa Park before a visit to the first Franciscan mission church in California. THE MISSION BASILICA SAN DIEGO DE ALCALA was founded in 1769 by Junipero Serra. After MASS, return to your hotel where your evening is at leisure.
Day 3 – San Diego - Los Angeles – RiversideToday, travel north to MISSION SAN GABRIEL ARCÁNGEL founded in 1771 by Junipero Serra. The museum exhibits old books, native paintings, and parchments. You will have time for MASS at the mission church. Then, continue to Riverside for the annual Mission Inn Hotel and Spa Riverside Festival of Lights, a tradition for generations of Southern California residents. Enjoy free time this evening to experience holiday lights, local artists, live entertainment, and more.
Day 4 – Riverside - San Juan Capistrano – Santa BarbaraDepart for San Juan Capistrano to visit MISSION SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, famous for its annual return of the swallows. Then continue up the Pacific coast to Santa Barbara. Here the Spanish influence is apparent in quaint whitewashed and tile-roofed buildings. Enjoy some time for lunch. This afternoon, visit the impressive 200-year-old MISSION on a guided tour to learn about its history and the world famous twin bell towers. Check into your hotel and enjoy the evening at leisure.
Day 5 – Dec. 31 - Santa Barbara – Solvang – San Luis ObispoContinue up the coast today to Solvang, where Denmark has been recreated with picturesque buildings and windmills. Enjoy free time here to walk the flower-lined village streets and enjoy the “Old World” architecture. In the afternoon continue to San Luis Obispo. Check into your hotel and enjoy the evening at leisure.
Day 6 – San Luis Obispo - Carmel - MontereyTravel north for a visit to MISSION SAN LUIS OBISPO DE TOLOSA, with its museum of early California artifacts and relics from Father Serra. Then take in the spectacular Pacific Ocean waves from legendary 17-MILE DRIVE and the rugged Pacific coastline en route to picturesque Monterey, which was once Spain’s Californian capital. Visit Monterey Harbor’s historic Old Fisherman’s Wharf to look for sea lions and otters, then visit Cannery Row, made famous by John Steinbeck’s novel of the same name.
Day 7 – Monterey – San Francisco. Visit mission SAN CARLOS BORROMEO DE CARMELO, headquarters of Father Serra. Founded on June 3, 1770, it was named after Saint Charles Borromeo, a 16th-century archbishop of Milan. Also, visit MISSION SAN JUAN BAUTISTA, the largest mission in California. Continue to San Francisco and enjoy the evening at leisure.
Day 8 – San Francisco. Visit MISSION SAN FRANCISCO DE ASIS, followed by a sightseeing tour of San Francisco featuring spectacular Golden Gate Bridge, Nob Hill, and bustling Fisherman’s Wharf. The remainder of the day is at leisure.
Day 9 – Departure from San Francisco. A group transfer is provided to the San Francisco airport for your departure flight.
Rates are per person based on double occupancy and subject to change without prior notice. Rates do not include airfare yet. $250 per person non-refundable deposit is required upon booking, and an additional $300 per person non-refundable deposit required for air-inclusive.
*Due to the Festival of Lights in Riverside, additional non-refundable deposits may be necessary to confirm your space. We will advise you of the details and amount of the additional deposit (if required) before confirming the hotel.
*This tour is subject to change given the current environment concerning Covid-19. We will follow any regulations or guidelines given the situation at the time of travel. As much of this is fluid at the moment, while states and locations reopen, there could be capacity limits or operational adjustments that have to be made.
*This tour requires a minimum of 20 passengers or the tour may be cancelled. The final number of tour participants traveling on each motorcoach determines the final per person tour cost. Individual cancellations may necessitate an adjustment in the per person tour rate. In the event the tour operator cancels your tour, we will issue applicable refunds.
Other terms and conditions may apply.