Optional Leisure Tours
Wednesday, October 31
A Hollywood Happening at Universal Studios (8 hours). Everywhere you turn you find yourself in the movies! Try to escape the howling, growling 30,000-pound fury of King Kong! Thrill to the mind-boggling, heart-pounding 8.3 Earthquake that's a 10 on the Scale of Fun! Take a starbound bike with E.T. Step into 10,000 degrees of live excitement as Backdraft roars to life around you! Movie classics have been produced here since 1915, and today, the 420-acre lot is home to outdoor sets, buildings, facades, live shows, museums, a one-hour guided tram tour, and an Entertainment Center full of shops, restaurants, cafes, and shows. ($95 per adult (ages 12+), $87 per child (ages 3-11) includes transportation and guide.) Lunch is on your own.
Treasures on the Hilltop (7 hours). Set high on a dramatic hilltop overlooking Los Angeles, the Getty Center unites the J. Paul Getty Trust's museum, institutes and grant program on one site. The Center sits on 110 acres of the Santa Monica Mountains and is surrounded by gardens and terraces that provide sweeping views of Los Angeles, the mountains, and the ocean. Five two-story pavilions, interconnected around an open central courtyard, house the ever changing exhibitions and the expanding permanent collections of pre-20th-century European paintings, drawings, illuminated manuscripts, sculpture, and decorative arts, and 19th- and 20th-century American and European photographs. Upon arrival at the museum, you will board a tram which will take you to the top of the hill and the museum buildings. As you wander throughout the exhibits, you will have the opportunity to view paintings in galleries with natural skylights and be free to see works of art chronologically or enter pavilions through the courtyard in any sequence you wish...the choice is up to you! ($35 per person includes transportation and guide.) Lunch is on your own.
Lights, Camera, Los Angeles! (4 hours). Picture Los Angeles with its sunny climate, magnificent Pacific coastline, tranquil deserts, and snow-capped mountains. The downtown area is a beautiful mix of old and new... gleaming high-rises coexist alongside historic treasures. You'll stop at Olvera Street, the birthplace of Los Angeles. Here you can enjoy the lively music of Mariachis and vibrant colors of Mexican handicrafts as you stroll back in time through this re-created Mexican village. Next, catch a glimpse at the heart of Los Angeles theatre. A stop at Mann's Chinese Theater will allow you to match your hand and footprints with the stars! ($30 per person includes transportation, a narrated scenic tour including: Downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood, Beverly Hills; and sightseeing stops to include: Olvera Street, Farmer's Market, Mann's Chinese Theatre, Rodeo Drive.) Lunch is on your own at the Farmer's Market.
Catalina Island Adventure (9 hours). Only "Twenty Six Miles Across The Sea...", but with the feeling of being in a small village in the Mediterranean. The adventure begins with your departure from the "mainland." During your journey, you may see colorful freighters and huge super tankers from far off lands docked at two of the largest harbors in the world, the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. Then there is the thrill of the blue Pacific as your ship passes into the open sea where graceful sailboats, luxurious yachts, and weather-worn fishing craft sail by. Once on Catalina, you can explore the rustic city of Avalon and its surrounding wilderness areas. Favorite activities are the glass-bottom boat rides and the inland motor tour. Savor the catch of the day in fine seafood restaurants, shop in quaint boutiques, or just lie on the beach, sipping a cool drink and watching the waves roll in! ($102 per person includes transportation and guide). Lunch is on your own.
Pasadena, the "City of Roses" (8 hours). The day will begin with a scenic drive along the tree-shaded streets of the City of Roses, viewing the opulent homes in this beautiful area. Then, cross a time line into yesteryear as you explore the charm of Pasadena's Old Town. Next, your tour will take you to the beautiful Huntington Library, Gallery, and Gardens. The library houses extensive holdings of English and American first editions, manuscripts, maps, letters, and many famous objects including a Gutenburg Bible, a first folio of Shakespeare plays and Benjamin Franklin's autobiography in manuscript. The art gallery collection emphasizes English and French paintings of the 18th century and includes many famous works such as Gainsborough's "Blue Boy" and Lawrence's "Pinkie." The botanical gardens cover 150 acres with more than 14,000 different kinds of plants. ($45 includes transportation, guide, and admissions). Lunch is on your own.
Star Homes (3 hours). In sunny southern California, most people are accustomed to running into their favorite celebrities. The curiosity flows in all of us…. What do they eat? How do they dress? And, of course, where do they live? Today, you will see the diverse areas and living environments of some of the most popular stars in Hollywood! You will be treated to a narrated excursion including Bel-Air and Santa Monica. Homes in these prestigious areas may include Elizabeth Taylor, Ronald and Nancy Reagan, Carole Lombard, Anthony Quinn, Rod Stewart, Barbra Streisand, the Elvis and Priscilla home and many others. You won't want to miss the spectacular sight of Aaron Spelling's modestly-priced 125-room mansion! In Hollywood, you may pass by the homes of such performers as Diana Ross, George Burns, Gene Kelly and still more as you make your way through the residential area of the rich and famous. The final stop is a place where all the "stars" can "shop 'til they drop!" Along Rodeo Drive, in the heart of Beverly Hills shopping district, you will encounter the West Coast's home of high fashion. ($64 includes transportation and guide.) Lunch is on your own.
Cruisin' Santa Monica Beach (5 hours). Life's a beach and what better way to explore it than on a cruiser bike or roller blades. Each guest will have two hours to roll up and down the coast with a detailed map to show the best places to stop and sightsee. The choice is yours, from a northbound path toward Will Rogers State Beach, the site of the famous "Baywatch" television show, or south toward the world-famous Venice Beach and upscale Marina del Rey. ($57 includes transportation, a cruise or mountain bike or roller blade skates and all the required protective gear. A bottle of water or soda is also included.) Lunch is on your own.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (5 hours). Explore the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, originally founded in 1913 as part of the Los Angeles County Museum of History, Science and Art. The Ahmanson Gallery, extending four floors with a lofty skylit central atrium, houses the museum's permanent collections, with East Indian and Islamic holdings that are among the finest in America. The Western European and American Painting and Sculpture collections are also notable. The Gilbert Collection of Monumental Silver is very popular and well known throughout the world. The beautiful Japanese Pavilion features Oriental sculpture, textiles, and decorative art. ($45 per person includes transportation, admission, and guide.) Lunch is on your own.