Day 1: London – San Francisco – Napa Valley
Depart London for your same day flight into San Francisco Airport, where you will collect your Alamo car rental upon leaving the airport and drive approx. 40 miles north to the world-renowned Napa Valley region. Here, fine wineries, quaint towns and a variety of culinary delights await. Stay 3 nights at the Napa Winery Inn, an Ascend Hotel Collection Member (or similar).
Day 2-3: Napa Valley
Located in the heart of America���s wine Country, Napa Valley packs an incredible punch in terms of superb scenery, quality wines, fabulous cuisine and top-class spas to sample within the many intimate towns location within the snug 35 mile long area that Napa Valley covers. Make sure to pay a visit to the intimate towns of Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga to see what all the fuss is about. During your stay, we recommend to book a trip on the Napa Valley Wine Train, a scenic 3-hour gourmet-dining excursion aboard lavishly restored 1915-1950 Pullman Dining and Lounge Cars, or for a change of pace take a hot-air balloon ride over the valley at sunset.
Day 4: Napa Valley - Sacramento (approx. 90 miles)
After your California wining and dining experience, it’s time to head to the State Capital Sacramento, home to trendy dining and lodging options. This lively city, situated in the heart of the Gold Country, is full of rich history dating back to the Spanish explorers and the 19th century gold rush era. Stay 2 nights at The Embassy Suites Sacramento Riverfront Promenade (or similar).
Day 5: Sacramento
Tour the city’s Capitol Building where Arnie used to govern. You can board the 19th century paddle-wheel boat and cruise the shores of Old Sacramento, which is also home to the Delta King, a permanently moored riverboat that serves delicious lunches and romantic dinners. Stop by Sutter’s Fort, which is all that remains of 19th century Swiss immigrant John Sutter who built an agricultural empire which was the first non-Native American settlement in California’s Central Valley. Experience the white waters of the American River and enjoy an afternoon of exhilaration by rafting down the river before heading to one of Sacramento’s local craft breweries for a sample.
Day 6: Sacramento – Yosemite National Park (approx. 152 miles)
Enjoy a scenic drive today through Central California to the West Gate into Yosemite National Park. Stay 3 nights at the Yosemite View Lodge or similar).
Day 7-8: Yosemite National Park
With its meadows of wildflowers, cascading waterfalls, sheer granite rock formations and wildlife, Yosemite is a true natural wonder, and the perfect gateway for families, adventure-seekers and nature lovers. Enjoy a two hour valley floor tram tour (optional) of the Yosemite Valley, or why not experience the park on foot with a trek along the Mist Trail, or even hire bicycles for self-exploration. Be sure to head up to Glacier Point, the highest point in the park which benefits from the most spectacular views across the Valley.
Day 9: Yosemite National Park – San Francisco (approx. 75 miles)
Continue back to San Francisco, the perfect location to finish up your Californian Gold Country experience. This quirky city will welcome you with open arms. Explore the unique hilly landscape, look out to the Pacific Ocean from the Golden Gate Bridge, and take in the action of Union Square and Fisherman’s Wharf which are bursting with activity. Stay 3 nights at the Donatello Hotel (or similar).
Day 10-11: San Francisco
It isn't only Tony Bennett who left his heart in San Francisco – plenty of other people have too. Frisco's unique charm acts as a giant magnet, making people yearn to come back. This is a great city simply to wander in. There's a colourful patchwork of neighbourhoods, each with its own personality, so it's a delight to meander through them, soaking up the sights and the atmosphere. Nob Hill oozes money and class; Mission is where you'll find hipsters, artists and cool bars; yachts bob on their moorings down at The Marina; the Haight retains its edge of Sixties counter-culture; and North Beach channels Italian bakeries and a boho vibe.
Day 12: San Francisco – London
Your tour ends today upon check out of your hotel. Return your car before the time you collected it and take your onward, overnight flight back home.