Gems of Northern California

13 nights from £2,789 per person

Best time to travel APR - OCT

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Itinerary Highlights

  • Explore San Francisco on its Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour and take a ferry to Alcatraz for a self-guided tour of the notorious former prison
  • Board the Napa Valley Wine Train for a decadent rail journey and an elegant vintage train through this beautiful wine growing region while enjoying a gourmet lunch
  • Follow the Pacific Coast north, taking in the dramatic scenery and watching the crashing surf at Bodega Headlands
  • Take a self-guided walk through the soaring old-growth redwoods at the Redwood National and State Park

What's Included

  • Inspiring Travel Company - Accommodation Throughout Accommodation Throughout
  • Inspiring Travel Company - Car Hire Car Hire
  • Inspiring Travel Company - GPS Device GPS Device
  • Inspiring Travel Company - International Flights International Flights
13 nights from £2,789 per person
Best time to travel APR - OCT
All of our holidays are tailor-made to your requirements by an expert Travel Specialist
Enquire Now Video Consultation

Drive through redwood forests and along the dramatic Pacific Coastline, visiting vineyards of Sonoma and charming towns such as Little River and Eureka along the way on this Northern California fly-drive holiday.

Journey the road less travelled on this Gems of Northern California fly-drive, a highly recommended holiday for a second-time visitor to the state.

Beginning in San Francisco, enjoy the city's attractions before heading north to one of California's premier wine-growing regions of Sonoma. After visiting the charming towns of Little River, Ferndale, Mendocino and Eureka, journey onto the Redwoods National Park to hike among these towering trees.

On your way back down to San Francisco, stop in Sacramento. Drive through forest-clad mountains to Redding where you can explore caves and lava tubes, tour Shasta Dam or kayak through pristine wilderness. Your final stop is one of California's most historic cities, and its State Capital, Sacramento.


Day 1  San Francisco
Travel from the UK to San Francisco. On arrival you will be met and transferred to your downtown hotel where the rest of the day is at your leisure.
Day 2  San Francisco
Spend time in this vibrant and fun city exploring the attractions of Fisherman's Wharf, the Golden Gate Bridge and Union Square district
Day 3  San Francisco to Sonoma (48 miles)
Collect your rental vehicle this morning and drive across Golden Gate Bridge to Sonoma, one of California’s premier wine-making regions, next to Napa Valley. Sonoma is a real haven if you are a wine enthusiast or even if you just like wine, showcasing a variety of grapes. There are family-run wineries, quaint local restaurants and beautiful views to enjoy.
Day 4  Sonoma & Napa Valley
Board the Napa Valley Wine Train, one of the valley’s most distinctive restaurants; fine dining in elegant early 20th century Pullman rail carriages while taking in the stunning Napa Valley scenery. Enjoy a gourmet lunch while the train makes its 36-mile round trip journey from Napa to St. Helena. Upgrade and dine in elevated splendour in the Vista Dome railcar or for the wine connoisseur extend your tour to include tastings in selected wineries.
Day 5  Sonoma to Mendocino (110 miles)
Mendocino, California
Drive north on Highway 101 stopping at the small town of Little River, just 2-miles south Mendocino with its dramatic ocean-bluff, craft beers and delicious Dungeness crab. Take an alternative route along the Pacific coast, passing rugged promontories. Watching the crashing surf at Bodega Headlands where you will witness for some of California’s most magnificent coastal views. Stop at Fort Ross, a historic Russian settlement from the early 1800’s. Accommodation: Mendocino Grove Glamping
Day 6  Mendocino
Mendocino, California
Explore Mendocino with its Victorian-era architecture and visit the Kelley House Museum to get an insight into 1800’s life here, when homes were built from the redwoods the area is famed for. Hike along the dramatic coast and discover secret coves, tide pools and wild Pacific beaches. We recommend a hike along the self-guided nature trail in Jug Handle State Reserve through pines and pygmy trees not much higher than knee level.
Day 7  Mendocino to Eureka (146 miles)
Eureka, California
Continue north to Humboldt Redwoods State Park, and follow the signs for the Avenue of the Giants, a scenic drive that winds through acres of giant Redwoods that tower over 91 metres in height. Stop in the charming Victorian village of Ferndale; streets are lined with buildings of Victorian-era architecture, quaint antique stores and art galleries. In Eureka, visit the waterfront and maritime museum; take a 75-minute cruise around the picturesque bay.
Day 8  Eureka
Eureka, California
You can spend the day exploring more of Eureka or head further north to the Redwood National and State Park where you can discover soaring old-growth redwoods and hike or bike along self-guided trails where you might come across herds of Roosevelt elk. Drive to Klamath River Overlook where in December to April you can spot migrating grey whales.
Day 9  Eureka to Redding (148 miles)
Redding, California
Today your drive takes you east through forest-clad mountains and through historic gold-rush towns on the Upper Trinity River, arriving into Redding, renowned for outdoor activities such as kayaking, fishing and exploring caves and lava tubes. Lake Shasta Caverns are Northern California’s most famous caves, the two-hour tour includes a boat cruise across Lake Shasta. Hotel – Best Western Plus Hilltop Inn
Day 10  Redding
Redding, California
Take a ranger-led kayak tour at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area or a free guided tour of Shasta Dam. Visit the spectacular Burney Falls or hike through the pristine wilderness at Lassen Volcanic National Park and Castle Crags State Park. There are plenty of historical attractions too, such as Behrens-Eaton House Museum, a Victorian style home or the beautifully restored 1930’s Cascade Theatre.
Day 11  Redding to Sacramento (162 miles)
Head south to one of California’s most historic cities, and its State Capital, Sacramento. The city offers an impressive array of landmarks and points-of-interest, such as Tower Bridge and Old Sacramento, a 28-acre National Historic Landmark District and State Historic Park which sits on the banks of the Sacramento River. Here you can find museums, shopping, dining and entertainment.
Day 12  Sacramento to San Francisco (88 miles)
Today you will drive west towards San Francisco Bay for your flight from San Francisco back to the UK.
Gems of Northern California
13 nights from £2,789 per person
All of our holidays are tailor-made to your requirements by an expert Travel Specialist
Enquire Now
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