Here is a selection of the most recent reviews of the Santa Barbara, Solvang and Hearst Castle Day Trip from Los Angeles submitted by actual travelers. Read what travelers liked, what they loved, and what they thought could be improved.
this tour was amazing really enjoyable trip up coast. Hearst Csstle is out of this world, Solvang is a quaint little town and Santa Barbara is very nice, and our tour guide Ali R was fantastic he went out of his way to make sure we saw as much as possible and was very imformative.Thanks Ali "my god " it was a very memorable tour with loads of laughs :)Reviewed by: Tracey O, April 2013
the trip to in itself was great it was the driver that spoiled the trip driving 80mph, looking on his tune list, and fiddling with his map quest which caused him to drift into other drivers lanes..would not book againReviewed by: joanne, July 2011
Our trip was not very satisfactory. To begin with the driver was 30 minutes late. Then there were 6 of us in your van. The 3 who had to sit on the back seat were very uncomfortable, and the driver should have asked us to switch around. He offered no commentary and we even had to ask what towns we were passing through. When we got to Hearst we were only allowed 1 1/2 hours, half of which was a tour, and the rest taken up with driving up to there and back. We had no time on our own. Altogether not very satisfactory.Reviewed by: Eleanor V, January 2012
Santa B. only pier for 15 min. the mission 15 min. stopped at Madonna Inn 15 min. Hearst was OK. a glanze of elephant seals 10 min arrived at 7pm at Solvang all closed and dark accompanied by hebru talking whole day long driver/other guest. nightmare, complained but in vain. whole tour just 3 pers.!Reviewed by: Helen K, February 2013
This "tour" was a crushing disappointment and the advertising on Viator's website is, at best, deceptive. The ad describes strolling thru wineshops in Solvang, visiting the harbor and taking photos on the beach in Santa Barbara on the way to Hearst. We spent 45 minutes in Solvang and drove straight to Hearst where we got out of the car, got on a shuttle to the castle, did the guided tour of the ground floor rooms then walked once around the castle grounds, got back on the shuttle and immediately back in the van ... no time to view the "don't miss" movie, visit the gift shop, or even stop long enough to get something to eat (our driver insisted the lines were moving too slow). We headed back to Santa Barbara and went from the freeway to the Santa Barbara Mission for 20 minutes where the driver paced nervously behind us before hustling us back in the van. I told him I was hugely disappointed with how rushed the tour was and he insisted that by law, he could only be driving 12 hours in a day and it would take every bit of that to get back to LA. The only beach and harbor views is what we could glimpse between the trees as we blew down the freeway. We did not hit heavy traffic and the driver went the speed limit (and certainly did not permit us to linger at any point), so the grievance is clearly with Viator and the fraudulent advertising done on their site. Solvang, Santa Barbara and definitely Hearst are absolutely worth the visit, but don't waste your money on this tour - a rental car and gas costs a LOT less and you can actually SEE what you came to visit.Reviewed by: David S, August 2011 Note from Viator Thanks for taking the time to review your tour. We are sorry that the experience did not live up to expectations. We have passed your comments onto our local operator who has now revised the tour itinerary so that Santa Barbara is visited in two parts: a morning stop at the Spanish Mission, followed by a visit to the harbor and the beach area in the afternoon, after the visit to Hearst Castle. This change has successfully relieved the pressure of getting to Hearst Castle on time for the scheduled visit, and makes for a more relaxed and enjoyable tour. Thank for your valuable feedback, and we look forward to seeing you on another Viator tour in future, when i hope your experience will be more pleasurable.