Day 1: London – San Francisco
Fly from London and arrive the same day into San Francisco, the gateway to Northern California. With San Francisco being such a compact and walkable city, there’s no need to pick up a car from the airport, so make your way into the city centre to start your Californian experience. Stay 2 nights at the Hotel Carlton (or similar).
Day 2: San Francisco
Today, why not visit one of the Golden Gate Bridge overlooks for thrilling views and photo opportunities of San Francisco and the Bay. Take a stroll around the many shops, galleries and museums along Fisherman’s Wharf and nearby Ghirardelli Square, or take an iconic cable car to Union Square where you can shop until you drop. Make time for a ferry ride to the infamous Alcatraz Island, the former penitentiary to some of the most notorious federal criminals of the 20th century, and if time allows, pay a visit to the beautiful Golden Gate Park, home to the California Academy of Sciences. The options are endless!
Day 3: San Francisco – North Coast/Eureka (approx. 300 miles)
Today, pick up your Alamo rental car and commence your journey to California’s North Coast region. Your drive takes you along the rugged coastline of Mendocino County with its picturesque beaches and villages. Visit Fort Bragg where you can enjoy a quick bite overlooking the rocky bluffs, then follow the breathtaking route along the Avenue of Giants, a 32-mile drive through the majestic redwoods to Eureka, your base for exploring Humboldt County. Stay 4 nights at the Clarion Inn by Humboldt Bay (or similar).
Day 4-6: North Coast
California’s outdoor wilderness is yours to explore from Eureka, the gateway to Redwood National Park, so spend a day being awed by the timeless giant redwoods that tower over the local area. Be sure to visit the Bigfoot Museum where many sightings of this mysterious creature have been recorded. On your first evening, visit Eureka’s historic Old Town district, home to a vibrant arts scene, delicious food and great wine. The natural beauty and coastal sights of Mendocino County beckon, from historic Fort Bragg to Mendocino, a New England-style village which is now a bohemian enclave with art galleries, eclectic shops, B&Bs and beautiful photographic opportunities. In addition to all of this, there is an abundance of farm to fork style dining and wineries that are just waiting to be discovered during your stay on the North Coast.
Day 7: Eureka/North Coast – San Francisco (approx. 300 miles)
Today, it’s back to San Francisco. There’s time to squeeze in some last minute souvenir shopping at Union Square or take those last few photographs that you may have been missed the first time round. Enjoy dinner in Fisherman’s Wharf where views over the Bay at sunset are a must-see. Stay 1 night at the Hotel Carlton (or similar).
Day 8: San Francisco – London
You can choose to extend your trip and opt for a stay along Californian’s glorious coast, or drive back to the airport for your departure back to London.