Post-IPW FAMS bring 400 people to over 40 destinations
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Post-IPW FAMS bring 400 people to over 40 destinations

By Jamie Lathrop 06/27/2019

The IPW high continued as Visit California and numerous industry partners pulled together the largest FAM trip Visit California has ever hosted. With almost 400 members of the trade and media setting out on 13 different tours, the lowest valleys to the highest peaks were reached and the experiences were unforgettable.

Starting off where extremes are the norm, a full tour of 30 attendees explored a visit to the to the largest national park outside of Alaska at Death Valley on a 2-day tour. Mountain-sized sand dunes, colorful sandstone canyons along with heat they surely won’t forget this tour was one that has them all coming back for more.

And the fun continued Thursday as 150 attendees were sent up north on early morning flights out of John Wayne Airport where groups set out to discover new destinations and revisit old. These tours — North of the Bay, Alpine Adventures & the Gold Country, Mountain High, Bay or Bust, and NorCal Wine Down — took guests through experiences like seeing the beauty of Yosemite with personally guided tours of the park floor, wine tasting and farm exploring with Michelin chefs of SingleThread restaurant, sailing tours of Lake Tahoe’s north and southern tips and tours of Oakland’s art and food scene that make this growing urban community so special. And in an effort to show off that classic California double — skiing and surfing in a single day — Visit California made sure to hit the coastal spots of the north with visits to Mendocino and the sands of Santa Cruz.  

It also can’t go unsaid that attendees are still smiling about their experience paddle-boarding in Sacramento with Olympic gold medalist, Jonny Moseley, and a magical evening under the stars in Sonoma at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate

The Southern California tours were equally popular and presented undiscovered experiences with visits to places like Joshua Tree, Twentynine Palms and Temecula on the Deserts and Mountains, and SoCal Soultours. Guests had the thrill of their life at BMW Performance Center and a truly VIP experience with San Diego as they were given a behind the scenes tour of Petco Park and followed it with red carpet treatment in a suite at the MLB Padres game.  

And a list of tours wouldn’t be complete without heading up towards Los Angeles for the highly sought after La La Land tour. Shopping at Citadel Outlets, a downtown tour and West Hollywood’s weekend of Pride LA activities made for an unforgettable experience for these attendees. Santa Monica and Burbank also made sure to put all the fun (and sun) in the Family Fun & CA Sun tour by pulling out all the stops. Doesn’t everyone tour this city by horse and segway? 

Heading back up the coast, our Central Coasting tour of SLOCal and Monterey had our guests wanting their weekend to never end. This tour captured many moments of firsts and a whole lot of laughs with dune buggie rides, convertible bus rides, beach bon-fires and topped off with a magical final evening under twinkle lights with a farm-table experience you only see in the movies. Neighboring destinations of Ventura County Coast and Santa Barbara made sure to show off what makes these coastal paradises so special too. A visit to the Channel Islands joined by California Ambassador and Influencer Kyle Mulinder, strawberry picking and plenty of wine tasting ticked all the boxes for the attendees of Riviera Retreat. 

And last but not least was a tour of Mountains and Valleys with the only FAM group comprised of 30 Chinese buyers and media. Partners at Mammoth Lakes, Lake Mono, San Jose and TriValley took this group on an epic road trip. Starting in Anaheim, they drove to Mammoth Lakes where they explored the summer snow with their own lesson in nature photography and continued on to Silicon Valley where they were greeted by Assemblymember Kansen Chu at Luna Mexican Kitchen (recently awarded Michlen’s Bib Gourmand honor). Their final stop on the Valley tour was over to TriValley where they got in some retail therapy at SF Outlets and treated to an incredible finale dinner and tasting in the caves at Wente Vineyards

To wrap it up - 4 days, 400 people, 13 tours, 6 airports, a whole lot of buses and over 40 destinations! All in all, it was a huge success! A huge thank you to all participating partners that helped to bring the Dream Big motto to life.  

A special thank you to Best VIP who assisted in driving our groups on their CA Roadtrip Republic adventures. 

Post-IPW Fam Tours Image Gallery

Post-IPW Fam Images

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