Day 1: London – Oakland
Fly from London to the Bay Area to begin your holiday. Oakland will inspire with its diversity and charm, from its quirky neighbourhoods, to endless shopping, world-class museums and foodie culture. This city also boasts one of the best climates in the USA so get your shades on and head to explore. Stay 5 nights at the Homewood Suites by Hilton Oakland Waterfront (or similar).
Day 2: Oakland
Relax and unwind in the East Bay today, in the city that has been home to cultural heroes from Jack London and Gertrude Stein to Tom Hanks and Tupac Shakur. Whether you want to stretch your legs with a walk in lovely Joaquin Miller Park, take in a fascinating museum or embark on a Tour de Taco to search out the best of the city’s favourite street food, Oakland has plenty of exciting and unique attractions. Kids will love the Chabot Space and Science Center and Oakland Zoo whilst adults will enjoy the shops, outdoor restaurants and entertainment venues at Jack London Square.
Day 3: Napa Valley and the California Wine Country
There are around 400 wineries in the Napa Valley alone, so you have a lot to explore today and a lot of tasting to do. You can either do your research beforehand and go prepared to try your favourite varieties or just trust to pot luck and stop wherever takes your fancy. Small, pretty towns such as Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga are all worth a visit and big wineries like Inglenook Vineyards serve up insightful tours and stunning architecture with their wine tastings.
Day 4: San Mateo
It’s time to head for the ocean today and get your first taste of the Northern California coastline in San Mateo County. Don’t miss a visit to Half Moon Bay with its laid back vibe, buzzing Main Street and golden sandy beaches. There are also plenty of other unspoilt coves along the coast, with walking trails and the opportunity to spot seals and migrating whales. If the great outdoors isn’t your thing, then a visit to the Computer History Museum in Silicon Valley's Mountain View is a must, especially for technology buffs.
Day 5: San Francisco
Why not leave your hire car at the hotel today and head across the water to San Francisco by ferry or BART train. Stroll around Fisherman’s Wharf where you can visit several museums and shops Pier 39. Catch a ferry to Alcatraz Island where you can take an audio guided tour of the infamous penitentiary. You might also like to savour the stunning bay views from the top of Telegraph Hill or spend an afternoon wandering around the collections at the historic Palace of Fine Arts. This evening why not take in a cruise on the bay with Hornblower cruises.
Day 6: San Francisco – London
After your exciting Californian holiday, you can choose to extend your trip and opt for a stay along Californian’s glorious coast, or return your car to the Airport before boarding your overnight flight back to London.