Northern California and Southern Oregon
Northern California and Southern Oregon
A wild coastline, the tallest trees on the planet, natural caves, volcanic lakes, waterfalls, mountains, pioneer history, steam trains, active geothermal activity and cosmopolitan cities; there are few destinations where you find this all together in one region, but the neighbouring region of Northern California and southern Oregon is one of them.
This itinerary is flexible and can be tailor-made to suit you; if you want to add extra days in one area, extend the holiday or maybe change the direction of travel. Talk to one of our experts about how to make this holiday the perfect one for you.
We used Frontier Travel to book our honeymoon. We were given all the information we needed and everything ran seamlessly. We had a fantastic time, the hotels and lodges were perfect. Thank you for organising such a brilliant trip!
Itinerary (13 Nights)
Here’s a day-by-day guide to your itinerary. Feel free to ask us to add other days or ideas and excursions by contacting us directly, so we can give you the best price.
San Francisco is the kind of quirky place where a fog-calling contest might compete for...
San Francisco is the kind of quirky place where a fog-calling contest might compete for attention with gala balls marking the opening of the symphony, opera and ballet seasons. From Union Square to North Beach to Japantown, you’ll find intriguing neighbourhoods at every turn. The writers of the Beat Generation, the hippies of the Summer of Love in the late 1960s and the lgbt population contributed to make the city what it is today. San Francisco is also one of the world’s great dining destinations, thanks in part to the diverse cultural influences and proximity of fresh ingredients. During your three days in San Francisco you will have plenty of time to explore this alluring city. Whether you want to explore the shops around Union Square or stroll along Fisherman’s Wharf, be sure to ride the world-famous cable cars over the hills. A guided city tour is a good idea for new visitors and a ferry across the Bay to Sausalito gives a grand view of the Golden Gate Bridge.
TIP. If you want to visit Alcatraz, ask Frontier to book it in advance as it does get very busy.
3 nights in San Francisco
San Francisco to Mendocino
Pick up your car in the morning and drive out of town over Golden Gate...
Pick up your car in the morning and drive out of town over Golden Gate Bridge. Head north on highway 101, taking a break in downtown Petaluma in Sonoma County. Continue north on Highway 101 where you will experience rolling hills of beautiful vineyards as they give way to majestic redwoods. The road meanders through the famous Anderson Valley wine region to the Pacific Ocean leading you towards the coastal town and artists’ colony of Mendocino. If the time is right, you may even see whales from the Mendocino Headlands State Park and we would recommend a visit to the Big River Estuary where you could rent a kayak or canoe.
1 night in Mendocino
Mendocino to Eureka
Take your time to meander through Humboldt Redwoods State Park, marvelling at the height and...
Take your time to meander through Humboldt Redwoods State Park, marvelling at the height and breadth of these mammoth trees, on your route north; but first you should stop in Fort Bragg to ride the Skunk Train as it snakes its way along the Noyo River, zigzagging through the redwood-thick Noyo River Canyon. Eureka is known for its Victorian era architecture, artisanal shops and good restaurants.
1 night in Eureka
Eureka to Crater Lake National Park
You will continue to follow the coastal Highway 101 until Crescent City where you branch...
to Crater Lake National Park
You will continue to follow the coastal Highway 101 until Crescent City where you branch inland through the Siskiyou Mountains, over the Oregon border to visit the Oregon Caves National Monument. You will spend a couple of days in the area which will give you time to explore Crater Lake National Park and the Cascade Mountains. Crater Lake, one of the 7 wonders of Oregon, was formed over seven thousand years ago by the collapse of the Mount Mazama volcano. It has no rivers flowing into it, the water comes from the melting snows of the surrounding mountains, so only the very hardy will want to swim even though the cobalt water looks inviting.
You will have a full day to experience this incredible natural phenomenon by hiking the local trails or perhaps taking an electris boat cruise on Crater Lake. This operates from the north side of the lake at Cleetwood Cove from late June to mid-September and is guided by an Interpretive Park Ranger but does require a strenuous hike.
As you head south from Crater Lake you’ll have joined the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway, a 500 mile (804 km) route that takes you from Crater Lake to Mount Lassen. Along this route you will find live volcanoes, amazing waterfalls, and a natural history millions of years old.
TIP: White Water Rafting on the Rogue River is an awesome experience. Ask Frontier about day and overnight trips.
2 nights Crater Lake
Crater Lake National Park to Redding
Today will be a full day as we suggest you take a 150-mile detour to...
Crater Lake National Park
Today will be a full day as we suggest you take a 150-mile detour to visit the phenomenal Lava Beds National Monument. Make sure to hike the 0.75-mile trail to the top of 5,260-foot Schonchin Butte. From the summit there’s a glorious view of the lava. Then you have a choice, you can continue along the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway through McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park to Redding or you can retrace your steps and take the main road south past Mount Shasta, one of the highest peaks in the USA. Stop in the pretty town of McCloud and enjoy many views of the mountain before heading south to Redding, “the second sunniest city in the US”.
TIP: Stay a while! Rent a house boat on Lake Shasta or Trinity Lake.
1 night in Redding
Redding to Sacramento & Gold Country
An easy drive south along Interstate 5 unless you feel like further exploration along the...
Sacramento & Gold Country
An easy drive south along Interstate 5 unless you feel like further exploration along the side roads.
Sacramento was at the forefront of the pioneer expansion and the ’49 Gold Rush, when pioneers travelled to the town by boat from San Francisco. A day walking tour of the city is a must, from the Capital building, modelled on the Washington DC Capital building, to the famous riverfront “Old Town”, one of the few remaining original wooden townships left. This tour will highlight the old west for you, as will the beautiful Delta King paddle steamer moored at the dockside. Alongside is the superb railway museum, celebrating the expansion of the railway through the High Sierra Mountains, an incredible feat of engineering.
TIP: If you want to explore the Sierra more, we suggest a day trip to Lake Tahoe via the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park.
2 nights in Sacramento, California’s Capital City
Sacramento & Gold Country to Napa Valley
A very pretty drive today through the Californian vineyards. Many of the vineyards open their...
Sacramento & Gold Country
to Napa Valley
A very pretty drive today through the Californian vineyards. Many of the vineyards open their doors for wine tours although you may be better to take the excellent Napa Valley Wine Train as the samples are very generous. Take a couple of days to wind down after a busy holiday; enjoy a wine tasting, relax in one of the many spas or just enjoy the glorious countryside.
3 nights Napa Valley
J Smith - Travelled New York to Toronto
I have just returned from a tailor made holiday made possible by Jeannette Dembrey. This was the first time I had ever organised such a major holiday and as it was a gift for my children after my retirement it was really important to get things right. I went to quite a few agencies but Jeannette was way better than any of the people who I spoke to. She was so professional and wanted me to get the best from the money I could afford. The holiday was absolutely amazing and everything went like clockwork. Jeannette had thought of everything even the connections between places and the things we would do in each town. We stayed in 6 hotels altogether starting in New York and ending in Toronto. I am amazed at how smoothly it went. Even my son who has travelled all over the world was impressed with the way things had been organised. I cannot praise Jeannette enough for her professionalism. Thank you Jeannette. I would recommend you to anyone with the satisfaction of knowing that you did an amazing job. Thank you.