Awesome way to see santa barbara, solvang and hearst castle all in one day. Our guide was very knowledgeable and funny to boot! Shuttle drive was very comfortable and we were provided with complimentary bottled water and cookies along the way. Took this tour solo but thoroughly enjoyed it. Felt safe the whole time and even made new friends! My favorite was catching the sunset with the elephant seals at san simeon.
This was a great trip! Richard is a terrific tour guide and very knowledgeable. My only complaint is that we didn't have enough time to explore Hearst Castle on our own after the tour, but that was more the fault of disorganisation at the castle rather than the tour, and was outside Richard's control. I'd definitely recommend this trip to others.
The tour was amazing! Thanks to our knowledgable tour guide Giovanni, and our driver, we were able to cover a lot in such a short time. I loved the surprise stop to see the Elephant Seals after we completed the day trip from Santa Barbara to Solvang then to Hearst Castle in San Simeon. Thank you.
We were excited to do this tour as a young couple after reading the viator descriptor, seeing the 4.5 star review and reading recent reviews however we feel we have been misled. The descriptor states a 12hour tour with 3 sightseeing stops. Santa Barbara was stop one. We stopped at the mission for 20 minutes and drove quickly through the rest of the place. This was extremely disappointing as previous reviews stated a stop at the harbour also. Santa Barbara seemed more of a restroom break than a sightseeing destination in the tour as specified in the descriptor. In Solvang the stop was 40 minutes which was enough for a quick coffee and browse in the small town. Hearst Castle definitely was the highlight of the tour, with a great tour from California State Park workers and time to explore and have lunch approx 2.5 hours. The biggest downfall to this tour, that is not made clear in the descriptor, is the time it takes to drive to places. After the castle it was a 4 hour trip back to LA with minimal talking from the tour guide and no radio on in the bus. It felt like an extremely long ride home. Reading the viator descriptor Santa Barbara seems to be the last stop which would have broken up the drive however this was not the case for us and added to an unenjoyable trip. Another aspect of the trip that let it down was the tour guide fell asleep during the tour. Many towns along the drive were left unspoken about, a real change to all towns previous which were discussed. We felt this was a little unprofessional. The driving of the minibus was questionable at times, immediate slams on breaks at red lights, driving in middle of the lanes, fast speed (71mph in a 55mph) and at one point flying over a speed bump. This made us feel unsafe at points. A point to note also this tour is way more than 12hours. From last pick up to first drop off we were on the road for 14.5hours. This was not altered because of traffic as the tour guide stated this at the start of the tour, another misleading selling point on the tour descriptor. If the tour guide knows the tour is a good 2hours more why is this not on the website?Considering as a couple we have paid $340 this trip really was not worth the money and extremely disappointing with some unprofessional elements. We would be grateful to hear a response from the company as we feel this tour was misleading.
This tour was amazing! Jacob was my tour guide for the day! He was very knowledgeable and ensured that I was comfortable during the ride to and from our destination. It just so happens I was on the tour alone because no one else had booked, but I wouldn't change a thing! Hearst was the best!
We booked this tour as I had always wanted to see the Hearst Castle. Dorit and Sam picked us up at the designated spot and we ended up having our own private tour the other tourists didn't show up. We had plenty of stops along the way and even a bonus quick stop to look at the elephant seals at San Simeon beach. This was definitely a bucket list trip for myself and I highly recommend going.