This adventurous tour takes you through the unmistakable landscape of Seattle to the Oregon Coast and introduces you to the cities of Portland and other coastal gems in Oregon like Seaside and Newport. Then you enjoy the wonders of Olympic, Mt. Rainier, and Redwood National Parks on the way to Wine Country and the glorious Napa Valley in California before ending your journey in the exciting metropolis of San Francisco.
After arriving at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport you proceed to your hotel. Seattle is known as the “Emerald City” because of the green hue of the waters that surround it. Situated between the jagged Olympic Mountains to the west and the volcanic peaks of the Cascade Range to the east, the city sits on a narrow strip of land between Puget Sound and the 18-mile-long Lake Washington. The downtown area of Seattle has many excellent restaurants. You have two nights to enjoy the Seattle area.
Today, experience all the sights and sounds of Seattle. Much of the modern city began in 1962 with the World’s Fair which helped spark the creation of the Space Needle, the Seattle Centre, and the Coliseum and prompted the development of parks and transport systems. One of the city’s major attractions is the Waterfront where you find shops, restaurants and the aquarium. Visit Pike Place Market, one of the oldest farmer’s markets in the US, and after a long day relax on a tour boat enjoying views from the Puget Sound.
Leave early in the morning for Olympic National Park, which encompasses three distinctly different ecosystems - rugged glacier capped mountains, 60 miles of wild Pacific coast and magnificent rain forest. Take a scenic drive to Hurricane Ridge for spectacular views before touring the Coastal Strip, which is some of the country's most rugged and picturesque coastline. There are raft and kayak rentals available and several hot springs can also be found. Enjoy an overnight stay in the Olympic National Park area.
Olympic National Park to Portland
Take a scenic route today towards Mount Rainier, an active cascade volcano encased in more than 35
square miles of snow and ice. There are a variety of hiking trails available for all skill levels. Drive by Mt. St. Helen where an earthquake in 1980 preceded her eruption blanketing towns, hundreds of miles away, in volcanic ash. After visiting the National Park continue to Portland where you stay for two nights. Known as the “City of Roses” it is a big city which retains many small town charms.
Today you can visit the International Rose Test Garden in the West Hills above downtown which are among the largest and oldest in America. Then stop at Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square, where a mechanical
sculpture called the Weather Machine gives forecasts every day at noon. Later drive along the scenic
Columbia River Gorge, a spectacular canyon of the Columbia River, which stretches for more than 80 miles. Dine and shop in the many neighbourhoods of Portland with their strong artistic and musical communities.
Portland to Newport
Drive on today towards Newport, by way of Seaside and Cannon Beach. The town of Seaside is a
popular Oregon coastal destination. Seaside has a two-mile-long boardwalk, with plenty of shops and restaurants. Just a few miles further you will come to Cannon Beach and its well-known landmark, Haystack Rock. Continue to Newport where the picturesque Yaquina Head Lighthouse welcomes you. This town is known for its Dungeness crab and glorious harbour. The historic Bay Front has great seafood restaurants.
Newport to Coos Bay
Explore the second part of Oregon’s Pacific coast today, stopping at the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. Wind-sculpted sand dunes towering to 500 feet above sea level provide numerous recreational opportunities. But the most exciting thing to do is ride the Dune Buggies. Then continue to Coos Bay, which boasts an attractive waterfront boardwalk, complete with historical displays. What was once a huge lumber mill is now the site of the equally large Mill Resort and Casino.
Coos Bay, Crater Lake and Medford
Your journey today leads you through fascinating volcanic Lava Lands to Crater Lake National Park. which takes in Crater Lake’s caldera which rests in the remains of a destroyed volcano called Mount Mazama. The lake is the deepest in the United States and has no streams flowing into or out of it. The lake’s water regularly has a famous striking blue hue and is filled entirely from direct precipitation in the form of snow
and rain. Then drive on to Medford for an overnight stay.
Medford to Eureka
Leave Medford this morning and consider stopping at the Oregon Caves National Monument. Continue your journey to Redwood National Park located along the northern coast of California. This park is famous for its groves of giant redwoods, the tallest and one of the most massive tree species on earth. Here, banana slugs, gray whales, Douglas-Fir, black bears, and sea anemones are equally at home. Take a serene hike along one of the fascinating trails before travelling on to Eureka for an overnight stay.
Eureka to Napa Valley
Today you drive from Eureka and up the stunning Pacific Coast into wine country. Many of the wineries offer tastings and tours of the facilities and a unique experience can be found on the Wine Train, which tours the Napa wine making region using elegant Pullman lounge and dining cars. Passengers can choose to have brunch, lunch, or dinner trips, all of which include seasonal gourmet dishes and opportunities to sample the
best local wines. Overnight in Napa.
Napa to San Francisco
Today you drive to San Francisco, stopping at Muir Woods National Monument on the way. Then call in at the charming town of Sausalito at the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge, where you can enjoy the views across the Bay and stroll along the Bridgeway, the main street. The term “melting pot” is used to describe many American cities, but it is most appropriate for San Francisco. Rows of elegant houses, the famous cable cars, clusters of ethnic neighborhoods, and the colourful waterfront all add to its distinctive flavour.
Today you are free to enjoy the sights and sounds of San Francisco. Use one of the iconic cable cars to ride to the many attractions around this city and take a boat to visit the infamous island of Alcatraz located in the middle of San Francisco Bay. The rangers give excellent guided tours detailing the history and legends surrounding “The Rock.” You can also spend time in nearby Golden Gate Park before dining in one of the many distinctive neighbourhoods including Chinatown and the very Italian flavoured North Beach.
End of tour
Today your wonderful road trip from Seattle in Washington State, through Oregon and then California comes to an end. But before you return your hire car at the international airport ready for your flight back home try to make time for some more sightseeing or shopping in one of the world's great cities. You can pick up souvenirs of San Francisco along the piers on the waterfront and it wouldn't be right to leave before treating yourself to a signature crab sandwich on sourdough bread.