Pacific Wine Country
Day 1 - Vancouver It seems unlikely that a character named "Gassy Jack" Deighton would be responsible for one of the most beautiful cities on the continent. But that's history for you. During the gold rush, Gassy Jack saw a chance to make money from the hordes of miners on their way to the Yukon. The saloon he built became the focus of the shanty town known as Gastown. From that ragtag group of shacks, modern Vancouver was born. The provincial government persuaded settlers to change the name of the town to Vancouver, after Captain George Vancouver, who sailed the region's waters in 1792. Canada's third-largest city, Vancouver is a cosmopolitan place with a European feel and a personality all its own. It's a community with a rich ethnic mix - including the second-largest Chinatown in North America - and stunningly beautiful parks.
Day 2 - Astoria As the oldest American settlement west of the Rockies, Astoria offers a rich history for your exploration. It was first visited by Captain Robert Gray in 1792, by the Lewis & Clark Corps of Discovery in 1805, then adventuresome pioneers by the thousands. Now its your turn to experience the excitement of exploring Astoria. Within a 20 mile radius, one can see dozens of exciting attractions including Fort Stevens State Park, Fort Astoria, Heritage Center Museum, Flavel House Museum, Uppertown Fire Fighters Museum, Astoria Column and the Columbia River Maritime Museum, home to one of the nation's finest displays of model ships and nautical artifacts. Astoria offers other fun discoveries, such as historic Victorian homes and the beautiful 4.1 mile-long Astoria Bridge.
Day 3 - At Sea
Day 4 - San Francisco, California Cable cars, the Golden Gate rising from the fog - welcome to San Francisco, arguably the most romantic and cosmopolitan city in the United States. San Francisco has it all: a colorful history, superb restaurants, sophisticated museums, world-class shopping, and that elusive air of romance and abandon that's part of the tang of the city.
Day 5 - At Sea
Day 6 - Santa Barbara "Welcome to Paradise," is a fitting expression for those visiting the coastal city of Santa Barbara. Called the American Riviera, Santa Barbara is a place where food, art, history, fashion, wine and sunshine mix to create a delightful and unique experience for the visitor. Charming Spanish and Moorish style buildings graced by brilliantly-colored bougainvillea, palm-lined beaches, a warm Mediterranean climate, charming sidewalk cafés and a pristine seaside setting are some of the aesthetic reasons for visiting Santa Barbara. The "Queen of the Missions," Santa Barbara's Old Mission can be traced back to the 1700's when the mission was built to bring Christianity to the Chumash Indians. The Old Mission is now a California Historical Landmark and is one of the most popular attractions in the area. Just outside of Santa Barbara, lies the Santa Ynez Valley which is home to numerous world-renowned wineries. The scenic beauty of the dramatic mountains, lush valleys and oak trees is only surpassed by the rich flavors of the wines produced in the area.
Day 7 - San Diego Known as a place of infinite beauty, affectionate locals and endless sunshine, San Diego has become one of America's favorite cities. Located in the southwest corner of California, close to the border of Mexico, San Diego has a distinct cross-cultural feel, part sun-drenched Mediterranean atmosphere, part south-of-the-border zest and part quintessential California beach town. The history of San Diego is rooted in its Spanish and Mexican past. San Diego was declared the capital of upper and lower Baja only four years after Mexico gained its independence in 1821. Less than thirty years later, the United States declared war on Mexico and within two years the Treaty of Guadalupe Hildalgo was signed creating the current borders between Mexico and the United States. The city continues to prosper with a population exceeding one million. World-renowned attractions such as the San Diego Zoo, the Salk Institute, Sea World, La Jolla and the San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge have created a strong tourism industry for the area. But undoubtedly what attracts visitors from around the world is the city's breathtaking natural beauty, superb coastline and near-perfect weather.
Day 8 - Los Angeles The City of Angels always hovers between dream and reality. Once a near-forgotten colonial outpost, the pueblo metamorphosed into an agrarian paradise before reinventing itself as a movie colony. Perhaps no other city owes so much to the technological innovations of the 20th century, from the automobile to the airplane. Little wonder that LA is oft described as the "dream machine." In LA, reinvention is a way of life. Yet this talent for change has created a city with a rich ethnic diversity and a sizzling culture. LA is the source for trends that migrate across the country and then the world. Where else can you enjoy a Thai taco or munch on a kosher burrito? Or travel from downtown's high rises to the beaches of Malibu, shopping in Beverly Hills along the way.
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