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Redwoods National Park, California

Northern California: Exploring the great outdoors

15 days from £4,550pp

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Tour highlights

  • Wander through Little Italy and North Beach on a guided food tour in San Francisco, enjoying homemade Italian coffee and treats.

  • Drive north on the Pacific Coast Highway, enjoying the rugged beauty and wide ocean views on this lesser-driven path.

  • Marvel at the mighty redwood trees and learn about their unique ecology, on a private guided tour in Redwood National Park.

  • Explore the geothermal wonderland of Lassen Volcanic National Park, one of the state's lesser well-known national parks.

  • Kayak across the vast waters of pristine Lake Tahoe in clear kayaks.

Price includes:

  • Scheduled international flights
  • Activities and excursions as detailed
  • Fully insured vehicle hire
  • All accommodation
  • 24-hour support while you travel
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Itinerary idea in detail

Includes international flights from a choice of UK airports, including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

  • Today you begin your journey by boarding your international outbound flight to San Francisco. Welcome to the 'City by the Bay'! On arrival in San Francisco, make your way downtown to your conveniently located hotel. The rest of the day is yours to settle in and explore. Why not head down to Chinatown for an evening feast, or to Fisherman's Wharf and Embarcadero where many fresh seafood restaurants can be found.

  • Enjoy a full day independently exploring San Francisco. You may wish to take a boat trip out on the bay, sailing under the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, or find your way to the vast open spaces of the Presidio, where you can walk through acres of parkland and gain panoramic views out to the bay and the bridge.

  • A foodie treat awaits as you walk around Little Italy and North Beach with your guide on this small group walking food tour. The area is vastly populated with Italian families who settled in San Francisco around the 1850s during the gold rush era. Today, there are many Italian restaurants, cafés, and bakeries that all serve delicious food, and today's tour will showcase the best.

  • Collect your rental car and drive north over the Golden Gate Bridge, joining the Pacific Coast Highway heading north. When you arrive at Bodega Bay, spend some time exploring this charming coastal town nestled along the rugged Sonoma Coast. Explore the picturesque harbour, visit local art galleries and shops, and enjoy fresh seafood at one of the waterfront restaurants.

  • You've got a free day for relaxation at the lodge. Take a morning walk around the expansive grounds and perhaps book yourself in for a well-earned spa treatment. Alternatively, if you're feeling more active, hike along one of the trails of Bodega Head, located just a short distance from the lodge. This scenic headland offers views of the Pacific coastline, opportunities for birdwatching, and the chance to spot migrating whales during the right season.

  • Drive for around three and a half hours up the Pacific Coast to the pretty Victorian town of Mendocino. There are various viewpoints and stops along the way, so it's well worth taking your time. As you approach Mendocino, consider stopping at Mendocino Headlands State Park. This picturesque park offers views of the rugged coastline, as well as trails for hiking and exploring the coastal bluffs. Finally, you'll arrive in the village of Mendocino, known for its historical buildings, art galleries, and stunning coastal views.

  • Drive 15 minutes up the coast to nearby Fort Bragg to begin your peddle-powered adventure through the mighty redwoods on the Pudding Creek Railbikes. These Railbikes take you along the majestic wooden trestle bridges and the old railway line and into the heart of the ancient redwoods of Mendocino County.

  • Journey further north along the beautiful coastline of northern California to Trinidad. The drive takes around three and a half hours, but there are many scenic state parks to stop at on the way. Be sure to visit the Avenue of the Giants trees in Humboldt Redwoods State Park. Trinidad is home to beautifully rugged driftwood-strewn beaches, ideal for a secluded sunset stroll.

  • Today's half-day private guided tour will teach you all you need to know about the enormous redwood trees of Redwood National Park. Some trees here can grow up to 100 m (328 ft) in height and are over 2,000 years old. Your guide will talk about the trees, their history, and the park's wildlife; be on the lookout for herds of elk, which thrive in these coastal forests.

  • Leave Trinidad behind this morning and drive for around four and a half hours north to Mount Shasta. Along the way, you pass through the beautiful scenery of Trinity National Forest and Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. Once at Mount Shasta, you may have time to follow one of the many walking trails. We like the loop trail that takes in several waterfalls along the McCloud River. There's also the Panther Meadow Loop, which follows the spring water through the alpine meadows.

  • Leave Mount Shasta behind this morning and drive south a couple of hours to Lassen Volcanic National Park. This park is home to steaming fumaroles, meadows freckled with wildflowers, clear mountain lakes, and numerous volcanoes. We highly recommend spending most of the day exploring the park and taking a couple of short hikes before making your way to your overnight accommodation.

  • This morning, wind your way south, enjoying the dramatic mountain scenery, passing Lake Almanor and Plumas National Forest before reaching the north of Lake Tahoe. Wherever you stay, around the lake is sure to afford sweeping views of the surrounding mountain ranges and the 72 miles of stretching shoreline as it sinks into glistening blue waters.

  • The best way to see Lake Tahoe is from the water. Head out to Sand Harbor with your small group and kayak around Bonsai Rock in clear kayaks, affording views down through the crystalline waters to the boulders, fish, and marine life below. Even if you're a beginner, your knowledgeable guide will help you grasp the basics of paddling, and you can share a kayak if you'd prefer.

  • Make your way back west through the mountains and back to San Francisco — a drive of around four hours. Once at the airport, you can drop off your rental car before boarding your onward flight.

  • Arrive home today to complete your journey.

Accommodation options

While the itinerary price reflects the suggested accommodation, Audley trips are 100% tailor-made, and a specialist can help you select the option best suited to your tastes and budget.

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Contact a California specialist

The specialist who designs your trip to California will have explored the country many times and, in some cases, lived there. Their first-hand knowledge gives us the belief that no other travel company can match our expertise in helping you plan your trip.

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When to go

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Place Daily max temperature (°C) Monthly rainfall (mm)
San Francisco
 
Sonoma
 
Mendocino
 
Trinidad
 

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