McWay Falls, Big Sur
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California Adventure Teen Tour

California Bold

12-Day California coast adventure! Surf, Service, Kayak, Redwoods, Beaches and San Francisco!




2019 Dates

June 30 - July 11
July 14 - July 25
July 28 - August 8


12 days



Trip Highlights

  • Surf: 3 Days in the Pacific Ocean
  • Whitewater Raft the American River
  • Giant Redwood Trees!
  • Rock climb and hike in Yosemite
  • Service: Forests & Beaches
  • Kayak: Marine Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Experience Beautiful Big Sur
  • Explore San Francisco!
  • Community Service: 5 Hours






Big Sur is world famous for its natural wonders, where the Saint Lucia mountains rise abruptly from the Pacific to create a magical place teeming with wildlife, beaches, and beauty. From our coastal campsite, rated one of the best on the Pacific Ocean, we visit Point Lobos and McWay falls - an 80-foot waterfall that falls into the Pacific Ocean. We also explore the surrounding area of Big Sur, making sure to enjoy secluded beaches and hike to gorgeous mountain tops with stunning views of the Pacific!


Next, we head to Yosemite! After taking in the stunning views, we'll learn how to rock climb on Yosemite's beautiful granite walls. We'll have a wide range of climbs set up; from climbs that are great to learn on to ones that will challenge anyone wanting to push themselves. The next day, we'll hike around and explore the wonders of America's most iconic national park.


We then hit the coast for kayaking in a freshwater marine sanctuary in Monterey Bay, experiencing rare wildlife close up and learning about this protected area from experienced naturalists. Our adventure continues as we head north to the beautiful town of Santa Cruz for two days of surf camp with professional local surf guides. Our days in Santa Cruz are spent surfing, cruising the boardwalk, riding beach-side roller coasters, cleaning up the beach, visiting the University of California, Santa Cruz and soaking up every bit of this perfect California beach town!


Our California adventure continues in Big Basin Redwoods State Park, California’s oldest state park and home to towering Redwood trees and beautiful mountains rising from the Pacific. Nestled at our pristine Little Basin campsite, we complete a community service project in the Redwoods and enjoy expansive meadows, pristine creeks, and the best hiking trails in the Redwoods. We then head north up the coast to San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge. The final chapter of our journey has us surfing at world-class Stinson Beach, cruising the Golden Gate Bridge, and exploring the iconic city of San Francisco. We enjoy a final dinner to celebrate our journey.
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Day 1
Welcome to Bold Earth!
Campers are met upon arrival in San Francisco by their Bold Earth trip leaders. Campers will call home upon landing and once they have met their Bold Earth leaders. Once the group has arrived, we load the Bold Earth van and travel south down the coast to the world famous town of Big Sur, stopping at stunning Point Lobos for lunch and orientation, and a short hike. We then head to Pfeiffer Beach state park, renowned for its stunning views and excellent camping. At night we cook delicious meals and enjoy epic sunsets and campfires.
Day 2
We kick off our day with a morning hike through Big Sur, where old growth Redwood forests, sweeping canyons and expansive views of the Pacific offer the perfect beginning to our adventure. In the afternoon we head to McWay falls, an 80-foot waterfall known for its beauty and incredible beaches!
Day 3
Today we get our hands dirty working with Save Our Shores, helping to clean up and restore the beautiful beaches of California’s central coast. Many of California's most popular beaches are in need of trash removal and restoration and we give back by partnering with Save Our Shores. By helping to clean up the beaches and restore habitat, we are positively impacting this crucial ecosystem and reducing the amount of trash entering the Pacific Ocean.
Day 4
After giving back to the wetlands, we get to enjoy them! Today we take a full day paddle into Monterey Bay and enjoy the rare wildlife, scenery, and beauty of this unique area. Guided by professional kayaking guides and naturalists, we paddle far back into the Slough, gliding amongst Otters, migratory birds, and historic wetlands. Our full day ends in Monterey Bay, where we head to our beach campground and enjoy amazing meals, beach bonfires, and beautiful sunsets!
Day 5-6
WOW, Santa Cruz - California’s premier surf town, surrounded by Redwood forests and home to perfect sandy surf breaks, boardwalks, and gorgeous beaches. In the mornings we take surf lessons from professional surf guides, who teach us the fundamentals, then get us standing up and paddling into our own waves! The gentle and sandy surf breaks offer the perfect waves to hone our skills. In the afternoons we enjoy beach time, do a beach cleanup project with the Surf Riders Foundation, take a tour of the University of Santa Cruz (home of the Banana Slugs!), and experience the world famous Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Amusement Park, enjoying the roller coaster rides and seeing the sites of Santa Cruz. We camp just outside of Santa Cruz at Manresa Beach, a perfect spot for beach camping right on the coast!
Day 7
Today we pack up camp and head up to Big Basin Redwoods State Park, tucked outside the coastal foothills of Santa Cruz. Big Basin is the oldest state park in California and is home to some of the largest Redwood trees, expansive meadows, pristine creeks, and the best hiking trails in the Redwoods. Staying at our private outdoor field school, we are set up perfectly to enjoy this incredible area to the fullest.
Day 8
Waking up amongst giant redwood trees and pristine wildlife, we get the opportunity to give back by participating in a building and conservation project, helping to build new park benches, paint cabins, and to improve access to this incredible wilderness area. In the afternoon we explore and hike to swimming holes, soaking in the immense Redwood Forest
Day 9
After our amazing time in the Redwoods, California Dreamin’ continues north to Marin County and San Francisco. On the way, we stop at prestigious Stanford University, for a fun and informative visit to the beautiful campus and tour of the university. After our visit, we head further north to our new campground just across the Golden Gate bridge, which offers us unparalleled views of San Francisco and a perfect spot for our final days of surfing and San Francisco exploration.
Day 10
Our final full day of surfing brings us to Stinson beach - known for its uncrowded lineups, scenic beaches, and excellent surf breaks. We continue to master our surfing skills with professional surf guides, and enjoy a full day of hanging ten at this premiere Northern California surf spot!
Day 11
No California trip would be complete without a visit to the iconic city of San Francisco. In the morning we walk the Golden Gate Bridge, and for lunch, we enjoy world famous Clam chowder and check out the Sea lions at Fisherman’s Wharf. In the afternoon we explore the city, tasting delicious chocolate at Ghirardelli Square, exploring Telegraph Hill and Coit Tower, and spend time at the shops at Union Square. A trolley ride brings us back to Fisherman’s Wharf, where we enjoy a final Celebration dinner out!
Day 12
After an amazing and action-packed trip full of surfing, service, wildlife, beaches, Redwoods, and fun, we head home from San Francisco to share our stories and accomplishments with friends and family, and begin to look forward to future adventures!

Big Picture?


Cruising California’s famous Highway 1, California Dreamin’ hits the awesome highlights of the Golden State’s world-famous Pacific coastline.

Famous Sights: • Big Sur • Santa Cruz • Monterey • Stinson Beach • Stanford University

Awesome Activities: • Surfing • Sea kayaking • Hiking • Swimming • Community Service

At 12 days, California Dreamin’ is an action-packed summer of world-class adventure, sightseeing and community service.

The combination of sunshine, beaches, redwoods, epic activities and awesome campers make California Dreamin’ unforgettable!

How's the Surfing?

Take lessons from professional surf guides! Whether you are an avid surfer or new to the sport – you will learn a TON!

NO EXPERIENCE REQUIRED! Guides are in the water with campers at all times, making sure you catch waves, smile and learn a lot. Whether you are a complete novice or a seasoned veteran, we will match your skill level.

Surfing in Santa Cruz and at Stinson Beach for a total of 3 days is EPIC! Learning to surf in the capital of all things surf is epic.

Can I speak to references?

To receive a list of California Dreamin’ references, call us in Colorado at 303-526-0806 or email Please mention the trip you are interested and where you live.

Since 1976 over 16,000 students from all 50 US states and 55 countries have joined Bold Earth! We encourage you to contact our alumni directly to find out about the quality of our leaders, depth of programming and what a summer with Bold Earth is really like.

We want careful and selective families to choose Bold Earth. Our offerings are only as good as the families who choose Bold Earth Adventures. Our target student is responsible, informed and enthusiastic.

Do we camp on the beach?

The Bold Earth team works countless hours securing incredible campgrounds on the California Coast! California Dreamin’ campsites are within view of the Pacific Ocean – WOW!

All campgrounds have bathrooms, running water and are established sites. YES, you will always be comfortable! Bold Earth campers shower every 2-3 days and hot water for washing up is available every day.

Bold Earth Trip Leaders will provide tents and all the know-how you need to feel comfortable sleeping outside. Tents are provided, but bring your own sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and a pillow! You will share a tent with 2 or 3 other Bold Earth campers of your same gender. This is an awesome way to get to know each other! Highlights of camping:

• Beach Bonfires • Hearing the waves crash as you fall asleep • Campsites surrounded by Redwood Trees • Counting shooting stars • Lots of s’mores • Sunrise and sunset Yoga • Taking a sunrise run on the beach? YES!

Community Service?

Community Service is a Bold Earth core value. Bold Earth carefully chooses hands-on community service projects that are active, engaging and . . . LIFE CHANGING! All Bold Earth participants will receive a certificate to document their service hours.

Service Credit: 15 Hours

Project #1: Campers learn about wetland conservation on our first service project with the Watsonville Wetlands Watch, helping to clean up and restore the freshwater marshlands crucial to the ecosystems of the California coast. Over the decades, California has lost 90 percent of its wetlands to development, and the Watsonville Sloughs provide an essential resting place for migrating birds and rare, threatened wildlife. By helping to clean up the wetlands and restore habitat, we are helping to protect and conserve this crucial ecosystem. For more information visit the Watsonville Wetlands Watch.

Project #2: Waking up amongst giant redwood trees and pristine wildlife, Bold Earth campers have the opportunity to give back by participating in a building and conservation project in Big Basin National Forest, helping to build new park benches, paint cabins, and to improve access to this incredible wilderness area. Big Basin is California’s oldest state park, as well as home to California’s biggest Redwood trees!

Click to View: ALL Bold Earth community service projects

What to Pack?

Over the last 30 years, Bold Earth has carefully crafted the California Dreamin’ Packing List to include everything a participant needs to be comfortable on the trip. Click to view: California Dreamin’ Packing List for a detailed description of exactly what to bring. Anything not included on the list is provided by Bold Earth.

Checking Bags? On airport day, campers will check the large duffle bag. We recommend using the small daypack as a carry-on. Campers should either bring a credit card or enough cash to check their bags home.

Give Bold Earth a call at 303-526-0806 if you have any questions. The Bold Earth Trip Advisor team is always available to help answer packing questions or provide gear recommendations.

Food on California Dreamin’?

The food will be healthy, delicious, local, and fun. Bold Earth campers LOVE to eat and we understand that playing hard all day requires the right nutrition. Yes, we will enthusiastically accommodate vegetarians, gluten-free, kosher, allergies, and most special diets.

Cooking on California Dreamin’ is a combination of planning, preparing, cooking our own food and eating out. Approximately twice during your trip, you and two other campers will have the chance to make a meal for the group. Most campers find this to be incredibly fun and rewarding. Your leaders help you as much or as little as necessary and of course EVERYTHING is included. We eat out twice to celebrate our accomplishments and enjoy a night out.

How Do We Travel?

We will be traveling by 15 passenger vans, with a roof-rack for all of our personal gear. The van will be driven by your experienced and carefully screened leaders.

All travel is carefully planned to minimize time spent in the van and maximize the trip experience for active adventure. This trip is designed as a cool and active adventure – not a big-bus sightseeing tour…

Group Size & Leadership?

Small group size = SUCCESS! • Maximum of 13 incredible and enthusiastic campers • 2 adult trip leaders (one male and one female)

Group size is especially important on an adventure and community service style trip. Bold Earth campers are leaders who seek independence, responsibility, and fun. We know teenagers and we understand that a small group size is ESSENTIAL to camper success. This is NOT the typical teen tour!

Bonding and friendship are essential to the success of any summer program. Bold Earth leaders are carefully trained in group dynamics and leadership. Also, Bold Earth leaders are the MOST FUN PEOPLE EVER! Your two Trip Leaders will take a hands-on approach to the success of every individual. Bold Earth campers make friendships that last a lifetime.

Each camper will be Leader of the Day (LOD) and will have the opportunity to step into a leadership role and help to run the trip! The challenges and rewards of California Dreamin’ bring the unity and bonding of the group together.

California Weather?

Sunshine + California = SUMMER. California Dreamin’ is an iconic summer adventure in California’s PERFECT weather.

The California Coast is like the Mediterranean. Rain rarely falls, some fog is present and the sun typically is out and shining brightly. Average daily temperatures will be around 80°F (25°C) with nightly temperatures settling pleasantly around 60°F (15°C).

In other words… PERFECT!

More About California!

California is the coolest. Beaches, mountains, San Francisco, Yosemite, Silicon Valley, surfing, coffees, tans, music and everything else “American.” California Dreamin’ is a trip through the culture and natural beauty of California.

California is located on the West Coast of the United States with 840 miles (1350km) of Pacific Ocean beaches. USA’s 3rd largest state includes more than 38 million people, 9 national parks, 118 state parks and the famous In N’ Out Burger.

California has everything. The Sierra Nevada Mountains, the fertile farmlands of the Central Valley, and the arid Mojave Desert. It is home to some of the world’s most extraordinary trees: the tallest (Redwoods), most massive (Giant Sequoia), and oldest (Bristlecone Pine). It is also home to both the highest (Mt. Whitney) and lowest (Death Valley) points in the 48 contiguous states. WOW!

California is booming with innovation, culture, industry, and creativity. Facebook, Apple, Google, Twitter, Hollywood and more! California is also very ethnically diverse, with large Asian-American, Hispanic, African American communities. With its modern history dating back to the California Gold Rush of 1849, California is a place for dreamers, people who love the warm weather and adventure-seekers!

San Francisco?

The most beautiful city in the world? See for yourself!

California Dream’ begins and ends in San Francisco. We spend a night and then a full day and night exploring the streets, parks, trolleys, and sights of San Francisco.

Some SWEET SF Highlights: • Walk the Golden Gate Bridge • Eat Sourdough Bread at Fisherman’s Wharf • Camp in view of the Bay • See the parrots of Telegraph Hill • Dinner in Chinatown • Hike to Coit Tower

Time in San Francisco is carefully planned and strictly monitored, Bold Earth will show campers the beauty of this famous and amazing city.


We see LOTS of California’s world-famous Redwoods Trees!

Reaching heights of over 350 ft (115.5m), these massive trees sprinkle only a few lucky spots along the coast of California. State Parks protect roughly 45% of the remaining redwood population and we stay in unique campgrounds surrounded by Redwoods.

Two Trip Combination?

Yes! California Dreamin’ and all Bold Earth trips are designed to be combined to make a 4 or 8 week Bold Earth summer. If you are interested in combining California Dreamin’ with a particular trip, please contact our Colorado office – 303 526 0806 – for more information! A Bold Earth Director will handle all the arrangements to create an incredible summer for you!

California Bold

Travel Made Easy!

  1. Fly Together: Our goal is to fly together as a group. All students are met upon arrival and families are called immediately from the airport.
  2. We recommend participants book flights three months before departure. Booking around April 1st allows the Bold Earth team to guarantee low fares and maximum coordinated group flights.
  3. Combine 2 Trips: Many Bold Earth participants combine Bold Earth trips. Call or e-mail our office for more information.

Every trip has a story.

We have 40+ years of amazing travel tales to share, but our favorites are always best told by our adventurers themselves.
View Trip Blog
Manresa Beach, California
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I believe California Dreamin hasn't just been a simple holiday, but a great opportunity for me to grow up, facing problems I've always tried to avoid and finally dealing with things I've tried to keep as far away as possible. All of this has been possible thanks to the fantastic leaders I had and the support and company of my fellow young travelers.
The chance to do community service has also made this tour really worth doing, because apart from all the fun and really enjoyable things we did, helping people by doing somethings that's really useful has made the adventure truly satisfying and made me appreciate it all even more.

- Peter L.

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