The steep hills and ocean views of San Francisco welcome you on your journey. On arrival, you’ll transfer to your hotel to settle in and meet with your Travel Director and fellow travellers to run through the itinerary that will whisk you around California, Oregon and Washington over the next eight days.
The City by the Bay is all yours today, so choose how you want to adventure after an orientation sightseeing tour to understand the city’s different neighbourhoods. If you’re after iconic views, why not join our Optional Experience taking you across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge towards the artistic seaside city of Sausalito. You’ll cruise through its quaint streets, passing art galleries, artisan shops and sidewalk cafés, before heading back to San Francisco. If you’re planning to explore on your own, you’ll have no shortage of sights to experience today. Wander down to the city's famous pier to watch people and boats come and go or hit the shops for some treasures. You could take a walk up the winding Lombard Street, known as the most crooked street in the world!
After departing San Francisco we'll head to Sonoma Wine Country’s charming Healdsburg, where you’ll be tempted to join in on an optional tasting room experience to sample the wine that makes Sonoma a “must-taste” destination. Next, travel along the 31-mile Avenue of the Giants in Humboldt Redwoods State Park, giving you time to enjoy views of the more than 50,000 acres of redwood groves. Later, we’ll arrive in Eureka.
This morning in Eureka, you’ll discover elaborate Victorian homes, a relic from the prosperous lumber industry, so take a moment to wander through the historic Old Town to sample oysters pulled from the perfect habitat in Humboldt Bay. On the coach, we’ll cruise to Redwood National and State Parks – trees older than 1,000 years will amaze. You’ll feel dwarfed by the tallest trees on earth as you make a loop on the Big Tree Wayside Walk located in the Prairie Creek State Park, where trees five stories taller than the Statue of Liberty will surround you. Toss your head back to try and look all the way to the top. Natural wonders and adventures lie ahead as you make your way north to Oregon, and if you’ve been wishing for a chance to get on the water, now’s the time. Choose to join an optional jet boat ride along the Rogue River in a boat specially designed to zip you up and down the water, where you’ll be able to enjoy the lush scenery and towering pines while your guide expertly navigates the curving river. If a slower pace is more your morning speed, spend time walking among the massive piles of driftwood and admiring the living starfish, sea urchins and hermit crabs that live in the tide pools of the Gold Beach. With an evening to yourself in Coos Bay, park up and people watch at the many bistros on the Bay or spend a relaxing night in your hotel before tomorrow’s outdoor experiences that await.
If you’re in the mood to explore the city, you could discover the community’s maritime traditions at the Coos History Museum. For those craving more of the outdoors, head to Mingus Park to get your fill of greenery and Japanese-inspired architecture among the serene paths and ponds of Choshi Gardens. Trade your luxury coach for an off-road dune buggy at Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area and hit the sand to explore miles of the largest expanse of coastal sand dunes in North America. As you roll up and down the dunes, you’ll take in expansive scenes and get an adrenaline rush that will propel you through the day. Depart Coos Bay for the laid-back coastal city of Newport.
Newport's laid-back charm will quickly capture your heart and get you excited for the coastal adventures ahead. We’ll pay a visit to the Oregon Coast Aquarium to learn about the sea life that makes this region so rich in natural delights. The engaging exhibits are designed to connect you to the coast and inspire ocean conservation, and you’ll discover a delicate balance between the coast’s rocky shores, oceanic waters and marine animals. Consider a stroll to the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse to see the only historic wooden lighthouse still standing in Oregon or head to Nye Beach to explore on your own. Perhaps opt for a Marine Discovery Tour. Our next stop Portland, awaits. We’ll arrive to Portland in time for an orientation tour of the city sights, fast becoming one of America’s gastronomic hotspots, before the evening is yours to explore your way.
With a full day in Portland, be sure to make the most of it. You’ll kick-start the day with a group breakfast that highlights the city’s regional specialities– the perfect fuel for exploring on your own or joining one of many incredible optional excursions. If you’re in the mood for grand vistas and thundering waterfalls, you’ll be sure to sign up for an all-day adventure through the Columbia River Gorge and Hood River that tops off with sampling local specialities along the Hood River Fruit Loop. For serious wine and beer lovers, why not take the chance to sip world famous Pinot Noir in one of the 600 wineries that make up the Willamette Valley on another tasty optional, before journeying back to Portland – home of the more breweries than any city in the world – to sample some of the city’s top craft brews. Or if indulging in local eats sounds like your idea of a perfect day, put on comfortable shoes and opt for a walking tour to taste Portland’s incredibly creative (and sometimes quirky) cuisine. After a day full of surely unforgettable moments, this evening is also yours to enjoy Portland, your way.
Rise and shine, Seattle awaits! Travel to Washington, dropping by Mount St. Helens Visitor Center, you’ll have the chance to discover the history behind its namesake volcano’s 1980 eruption while catching gorgeous views of the Cascade Range. Get to know the city on a sightseeing tour with your Travel Director, where you’ll spot the Space Needle and plenty of other famed sights. Then, head to the waterfront for your visit to Pike Place Market, the city’s original farmers’ market. It’s prime location and bustling energy is a sensory experience full of sights and sounds unlike anything you’ve experienced – especially the fishmongers’ signature tossing moves. Your Travel Director will regale you with some of the market’s history before there’s time to browse the stalls filled with gleaming fish, artisan crafts and fresh produce. We hope you’re hungry, ‘cos there’s no better place to tuck into the freshest Dungeness crab and clam chowder in the city. End your day by grabbing a bite to eat at one of thousands of the city’s incredible restaurants or choose to join the group for an optional Farewell Dinner and drinks to celebrate an unforgettable trip!
A contrast of beautiful coastal scenery and big city bustle, Seattle gives a great final send off as your trip comes to an end and you head to the airport for your onward journey. Transfers to Seattle International Airport are available.