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Northern California

San Fran, Monterey, Carmel, Big Sur, Yosemite NP, Lake Tahoe, Redwoods NP & Napa Valley

This half of California offers more must-see destinations most other countries could even dream of.  Focusing on sophisticated Northern California, this road trip includes the culture of San Francisco, the stunning scenery of Napa Valley, Lake Tahoe and Yosemite along with a famous drive on the Big Sur.

PRICES FROM JUST £1699

Northern California 14 days

All of our American road trips can be tailored to meet your requirements. Do you have more or less than 14 days for your road trip? No problem, we can bolt on extra nights to allow more time to explore or shorten the number of destinations as required. Just let us know when requesting your quote.

Northern California has so much to see and do

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Golden Gate Bridge

Day 1

Arrive in San Francisco

Once you’ve settled into your first hotel, why not step out on the streets of San Francisco and enjoy a meal at one of the city's amazing restaurants.

  • Key location: San Francisco, CA
  • San Francisco, CA

The Painted Ladies

Day 2

So much to see and do in San Francisco

Once the fog lifts, one of America’s favourite cities will be revealed. Ride a cable car, climb the streets and get into the vibe that only this city can offer. Full of Victorian charm, famous movie locations and wealthy tech companies, San Francisco has it all.

  • Key location: San Francisco, CA
  • San Francisco, CA

Alcatraz Island

Day 3

A third day to enjoy San Francisco

Alcatraz, Lombard Street, Coit Tower, Fisherman's Wharf and Chinatown are just some of the incredible must-see destinations available to you today. Your personalised Itinerary Pack will help you prioritise all of San Francisco’s visitor attractions, whilst giving you all the information you’ll require to enjoy them.

  • Key location: San Francisco, CA
  • San Francisco, CA

Monterey Bay

Day 4

Take Highway 1 to Monterey Bay

Once California’s capital and a major whaling town, today Monterey is best known for the world-class Monterey Bay Aquarium that presides on Cannery Row, which focuses instead on marine education and preservation. Want to experience the bay area first hand? Take a whale watching trip during spring or autumn.

  • Key location: Monterey, CA
  • Monterey/Carmel

Amazing Carmel Beach

Day 5

Charming Carmel and beautiful Point Lobos

Connecting Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea is the 17-Mile Drive, this scenic toll road takes you on a little tour past rugged beaches, millionaire homes and wind-blown cypress trees. Seals bask in the sun on offshore rocks and sea otters bob up and down in the waves. The legendary Pebble Beach golf course can be found here also. At the other end of the drive is lovely Carmel-by-the-Sea with its world-class beaches, charming homes and classy restaurants.

  • Key location: Monterey
  • Monterey/Carmel

Bixby Bridge, Big Sur

Day 6

Big Sur - The drive of your life

The classic All-American drive down California’s Highway 1 becomes even more dramatic when it passes through the 90 miles of coastal road that is the Big Sur. Twisting roads curve around the steep cliff faces, occasionally passing gorgeous State Parks and spectacular vista lay-bys that look out over the vast Pacific Ocean. At the end of Big Sur lies Hearst Castle, this mansion is perched on “The Enchanted Hill” and overlooks the Pacific ocean in the distance. This is an extraordinary home that hosted the worlds most famous and wealthy, today it offers visitors the chance to see fine antiques and art from around the world in an over the top setting.

  • Key location: Big Sur, CA
  • San Simeon, CA
  • 94 Miles

A national treasure

Day 7

Take in some of the best views in the world in Yosemite

In total Yosemite National Park is over 1180 sqm of nature at its best. The most visited area of the park is Valley Floor. Vast rock faces, crystal clear waters, staggering views and stunning waterfalls combine to make Yosemite a real national treasure.

  • Key location: Yosemite NP
  • Yosemite NP
  • 207 Miles

View from Glacier Point

Day 8

More Yosemite majesty

Spend your second day exploring Yosemite National Park. Outside of the main valley area, you can enjoy Tuolumne Meadows and Glacier Point from May to October and The Mariposa Grove offers gigantic Redwoods to marvel at and is near the south entrance. Gaze up in wonder at this natural wonders.

  • Key location: Yosemite NP
  • Yosemite NP

Sunset over Lake Tahoe

Day 9

Take any number of scenic routes to Lake Tahoe

In the summer months, you can opt to lie on a beach, gamble in the Nevada casino’s or cruise the entire 71-mile shoreline. From November to April you’ll be able to rent some skis and hit the slopes at one of the 7 world class resorts that surround the lake.

  • Key location: Lake Tahoe, CA
  • Lake Tahoe, CA
  • 202 Miles

Lassen Volcanic NP

Day 10

Head northwest to Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Volcanic National Park is home to smoking fumaroles, meadows freckled with wildflowers, clear mountain lakes, and numerous volcanoes. Jagged peaks tell the story of its eruptive past while hot water continues to mould the land. This relatively un-known National Park offers opportunities to discover the wonder and mysteries of volcanoes.

  • Key location: Lassen VNP
  • Chester, CA
  • 178 Miles

Giant Redwoods

Day 11

Back to the coast to visit the stunning Redwoods

Cruise along scenic Highway 299 to the majestic Redwood National Park and some of the State Parks that surround it.

  • Key location: Redwood NP
  • Redwood NP
  • 242 Miles

Walking through a grove

Day 12

Explore California’s coastal Redwoods

Redwoods were once common throughout North America but sadly are now only commonly found in Oregon and California. For the ultimate Sequoias experience head to the Redwood National Park in northern coastal California. These are true giants at up to 100m high and 11m in diameter. Once you've stood amongst these trees, the stresses of work and home life just melt away.

  • Key location: Redwood NP
  • Redwood NP

Napa's Vines

Day 13

Anyone for a glass of wine?

Scenic Highway 1 will take you south to America’s premier wine region - Napa and Sonoma Valley.

  • Key location: Napa Valley, CA
  • Napa Valley, CA
  • 226 Miles

Napa Valley vines

Day 14

Visit a vineyard or relax by the pool

The two neighbouring valleys of Napa and Sonoma offer stunning scenery made up of perfectly manicured vineyards stretching across rolling hills which can be enjoyed by car or even by an early morning hot air balloon ride. This is a foodies’ heaven, with places like Thomas Keller’s Bouchon restaurant regularly picking up awards. Tomorrow, head back towards San Francisco for your overnight flight back to the UK.

  • Key location: Napa Valley, CA
  • Napa Valley, CA

Check out some of the other tours that explore this region

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