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OregonScenicByways

Oregon Scenic Byways

A 14-night tour that will take you along some of Oregon's beautiful Scenic Byways. Few states can boast such a varied landscape as Oregon.

Visit the high desert plains with deep river canyons, which are bounded by glaciered volcanic peaks. These are bordered with rich and fertile valleys and they in turn lead you to the rugged Pacific Coast.

Oregon boasts nearly 400 miles of pristine, public coastline, which is home to legendary seafood, historic lighthouses, stunning state parks and breathtaking viewpoints. Charge up your camera and prepare to be amazed!

Highlights Include

  • Crater Lake National Park
  • Columbia River Gorge
  • Pacific Coast Scenic Byway
  • Waterfront Parl, Portland
  • Mt Hood Scenic Railroad

Itinerary

1

Portland

Portland is situated at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers and is a city of discreet charms. It is a small accessible city that is beginning to grow as people have come to visit and stayed. Downtown Portland is filled with a mix of old and new architectural styles, coffeehouses and tree-lined streets. Within a few minutes drive of the city are fantastic Pinot wineries, the foothills of Mount Hood and waterways that need exploring.

Portland is a laidback city with a reputation for being bike and pedestrian friendly, manifested in its fantastic walking and cycling paths all around the city, which enable visitors to explore its blend of galleries, markets, bars, architecture, coffeehouse and much more. Take a stroll through the Skidmore Historic District, along the Tom McCall Waterfront Park and descend on the Pioneer Courthouse Square for a relaxing latte. Here you are in the centre of shopping and dining in Portland.

Portland's gardens are some of the finest in the country - thanks to the weather! There are numerous world-class public gardens and parks to be enjoyed. Spend a morning in Washington Park, home of the Rose Test Gardens, the Japanese Gardens and the exciting World Forestry Centre.

Portland's trendy North West district offers many interesting shops and cafes to stroll around or head for the Pearl District for very stylish cafes and restaurants alongside many antique and home design shops.

3

Hood River

"63 miles"

Today you will be experiencing one of Oregon's' amazing scenic byways - The Historic Columbia River Highway.
From Troutdale, outside the city on the banks of the Columbia River, the Highway is a 70-mile narrow winding drive. The highway climbs to the rural towns of Springdale and Corbett, offering dazzling peeks at Mt. Hood. Your first view of the gorge comes at the Portland Women's Forum State Park.

Heading into a mossy rain forest, a series of graceful figure-eight loops gently drops you 600 feet. Within five miles of each other, you'll encounter four dramatic cataracts _ Latourell, Shepperd's Dell, Bridal Veil and Wahkeena falls. Park up and walk to take a closer look. Next is two-tiered Multnomah Falls. At 620 feet, only three falls in the nation are higher, and none are more beautiful.

From here it's a short drive to the Cascade Locks, a 1920's toll bridge marks the site of the Native-Americans' Bridge of the Gods. Twenty miles further east is the town of Hood River where you will be staying tonight. Hood River is the center for recreation on the Columbia River, which naturally lends the city a sense of fun and youthfulness. Windsurfing is a huge sport here as the strong river currents and westerly winds make for perfect conditions. Alternatively there are bike rentals to be enjoyed and many nearby trails to take.

If you extend your time here, you could take the Mt Hood Scenic Railroad. It offers a 4-hour excursion along the Hood River Valley to the south of town.

4

Bend

"142 miles"

Head back west along the I-84 and at Troutdale travel south towards Estacada and the start of the West Cascades Scenic Byway. Here the route hugs the beautiful Clackamas River with its stunning rapids and glassy pools. Stop to have a soak at Breitenbush Hot Springs or enjoy at swim and lunch at Detroit Lake. Follow the North Santiam River to Marion Forks where you can stop and visit the fish hatchery.

Continue on to the US20 and the Santiam Pass Scenic Byway. These eastern Cascade foothills are full of outdoor activities to be enjoyed including Suttle Lake Resort where you can enjoy boating, windsurfing and fishing.
Take a side road to Camp Sherman and see the Metolius River bubble up from underground springs before heading onto the town of Sisters, located in the shadows of the Three Sisters Peaks - Faith, Hope and Charity. Leave the highway and continue onto Bend where you will spend 2 nights.

Bend was originally called Farewell Bend as it is located where pioneer roads converge. Downtown Bend has been recently revived with shops, art galleries and fine restaurants. The city is the perfect place to explore the region - maybe drive the McKenzie Pass scenic byway, rent a bike and explore the city's many bike trails, or drive out to the Newberry National Volcanic Monument to see the Lava Cave and Lava Forest.

7

Crater Lake

"137 miles"

Travel south of Bend and join The Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway, which takes you through the very heart of Central Oregon, with the majestic Cascade Mountains providing a constant backdrop.
The beginning of your drive takes you through the Deschutes National Forest before turning west where you will encounter Mt Bachelor - home of the areas top ski resort. In summer, visitors can use the Express Lift to take you up to over 7,000 ft. From here you can see Mt Adams in Washington and Mt Shasta in California. Stop for a picnic lunch at Devils Lake, or a bit further south at Elk Lake and enjoy relaxing on a rented boat with some lunch.

Not too much further south of here you will be joining the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway that will take you to Crater Lake. This Byway extends all the way to Mt Lassen in California and offers fascinating volcanic geology and scenery.
You will be stopping at Crater Lake National Park for 2 nights to explore this stunning region. This National Park was created by the eruption and collapse of Mt Mazama. The remaining six mile wide caldera is the site of Crater Lake. Its vivid blue colour and waters purity is attributed to the fact that only rain and snowfall contribute to the water. The 33-mile loop winds around the rim of the lake, offering many viewpoints and side roads.

9

Florence

"163 miles"

Joining the 350 miles Pacific Coast Scenic Byway that traces the entire Oregon coastline. Pounding surf, endless beaches and mature forests all provide many recreational activities along the way.

Old Town Florence has been beautifully restored in colorful themes reminiscent of the Victorian era. Numerous restaurants, art galleries, clothing and specialty shops are mixed among Gazebo Park and the new Boardwalk overlooking the fishing docks.

Highlights: From Coos Bay to Florence drive through the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, the largest expanse of coastal sand dunes in the USA.

11

Newport

"50 miles"

En route to Newport stop in Depoe Bay where you can also do a Whale Watch Cruise. Newport’s bustling waterfront is full of restaurants, shops, galleries, charter fishing boats and canneries and is also home to historic Yaquina Bay Lighthouse, and Oregon Undersea Gardens.

Highlights: En route stop and visit Tilamook Cheese Factory for a taste of some of the country’s finest Cheese.

12

Astoria

"134 miles"

Hugging the Columbia River, the charming town of Astoria is the oldest American settlement west of the Rockies and the last stop at the western end of the Lewis & Clark Trail.

Highlights: Magnificent Victorian homes were built on the cliffs that overlook the town.

14

Portland

 "98 miles"

Before you leave tomorrow perhaps take a day out to one of the numerous wineries in the Willamette Valley. There are around 30 wineries in Yamhill County alone so you might have to narrow down your choices to enable you to spend time at one or two!


What's included?

  • Return flights from London (Please ask about other departure airports)
  • 14 nights hotel accommodation and room tax
  • Fully insured compact car hire for 2 drivers
  • A detailed travel pack containing a day by day itinerary with driving instructions, maps, & suggested excursions

How to book

Daily Departures 01 June to 30 September.

Please call us on (01892) 779900 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. stating your travel dates, and preferred standard of accommodation for a detailed & competitively priced quotation.

NationalParksofthePacificNorthWest

National Parks of the Pacific North West

This stunning tour of the north-western corner of mainland North America tour takes you through the Olympic Peninsula’s lush rain forests and along its endless sandy beaches. Visit glacier clad mountain summits and quaint and colourful farming towns. Explore the lunar terrain of Mount St Helens and enjoy the urban delights of Seattle. Spend some time in the increasingly popular wine region of Central Washington.

Highlights Include

  • Mt St Helens
  • Olympic National Forest
  • Mt Rainer National Park
  • North Cascades National Park
  • Pike Place Market
  • Wine Country

Itinerary

1

Seattle

You have one night here on arrival and we have put you into a hotel at the airport to let you collect your car and relax for the evening. You will be returning at the end of your tour for 2 more nights in this fascinating city.

2

North Cascades National Park

"116 miles"

Leave the city and head North towards the North Cascades National Park, where waterfalls cascade into deep valleys and a beautiful alpine landscape beckons. Discover communities of life adapted to persistent moisture in the west and recurrent fire in the east — all sensitive to climate change. Explore jagged peaks crowned by more than 300 glaciers.

Highlights: Driving the 132 miles Cascades Highway and Ladder Creek Falls.

4

Leavenworth

"188 miles"

After breakfast head north on Highway 5 to join the Stevens Pass Greenway which starts in the port of Everett – home of the Boeing Assembly Plant. Stevens Pass Greenway will take you on a leisurely drive through a high mountain pass where you can enjoy historical towns and quaint villages.

One of the first is Snohomish which has over 400 antique dealers, restaurants and shops concentrated in a four-block section of the old town. You can view several of the grand old Victorian homes from the city’s lumber and steamboat era with a free self-guiding map.

Wallace Falls State Park just outside Gold Bar is home to a beautiful old growth forest and plunging water and is worth a visit. From Skykomish the road climbs around 2000 feet in 14 miles. Take some stops along here to admire the views and also take in Deception Falls, before reaching Stevens Pass. From here you will be entering the spectacular Tumwater Canyon, where the rolling Wenatchee River is full of people enjoying rafting and kayaking.

Continue on to one of the most distinctive towns in the Pacific Northwest – Leavenworth. The attraction here is the Bavarian village; complete with authentic architecture, flower filled streets and a stunning backdrop courtesy of the Cascades. Originally the town evolved around the Great Northern Railroad serving the bustling logging community. The railroad moved its roundhouse to Wenatchee in 1922, the town's last sawmill closed in 1926 and then the Great Depression hit with a vengeance. Changing the town to a Bavarian-theme town came about in the 1960’s when the locals put together their own money to transform the town.

Sights around today’s Leavenworth include the towns Glockenspiel, The Cuckoo Clock and Front St Park.

6

Yakima

"94 miles"

Take the Highway 97 heading south out of Leavenworth. The road climbs 21 miles to Blewett Pass where an interpretive trail offers a three-mile loop through the high country forests. From Ellensburg join the Canyon Road – a beautiful scenic drive all the way to Yakima. Yakima is the gateway to Washingtons wine country and Yakima Valley is the state’s oldest wine growing district. With over 300 days of sunshine a year, this region is not only home to world class wineries but also offers a wide range of year round recreational opportunities as well. These include, hiking, fishing, skiing, wildlife viewing, whaite water rafting and other water recreation. In the city of Yakima, the Historic District remians today much as it was a long time ago, except with modern businesses located inside!

7

Mt Rainer

"105 miles"

Time to leave the Valley and head east towards Mt Rainier National Park. This is the Chinook Scenic Byway, home to the highest of the Cascade Mountain passes – Chinook Pass. Just west of the pass, the highway enters Mount Rainier National Park, passing Tipsoo Lake. This is a great spot to stop for a picnic lunch with the stunning Mt Rainier behind you. Mount Rainier is Washington’s tallest and best-known peak and the National Park surrounding it is a recreational paradise. Enjoy stunning drives, like the one from Longmire to Paradise – a 13-mile drive that climbs through evergreen forests.

At Paradise you can enjoy 360-degree views of the park from the Visitor Centre. The Sunrise area is a high plateau reached by a series of switchbacks along 11 miles of road. The visitor center here has telescopes to allow you to view the park sights close up.

9

Kelso

"90 miles"

Travel further southwest away from Mt Rainier and towards Highway 5. From here you will join Highway 504 – the Spirit Lake Memorial Highway which will take you to Mount St Helens.

On May 18th 1980 a huge blast sent billions of pounds of Washington into the stratosphere and leveled hundreds of square miles of forest, spreading volcanic ash across the Pacific Northwest. Today the land still bears witness to the incredible force of the eruption. The Highway 504 once carried travelers to Spirit Lake, one of the most beautiful spots in the Cascade Range. After Mount Saint Helens violently erupted, forests were flattened and the lake was filled with ash and logs. In the aftermath, a huge wall of mud, ash, and debris buried over 30 miles of the original road. This highway was dedicated to the 57 people who died as a result of the explosion and renamed the “Spirit Lake Memorial Highway”.

At the beginning of the highway is the Mount Saint Helens Visitor Centre where you can easily just spend an hour looking at the impressive exhibits. Once into the park the Johnston Ridge and the Coldwater Ridge Observatory both overlook the blast area from the northwest side of the mountain. Another great viewpoint is the Windy Ridge – where you can look at the lava dome in the mouth of the crater. The reality of the volcano’s capability and destruction is apparent everywhere – the roads bypass forests that were blown away by the force of the blast and ash and huge boulders have been left behind.

10

Ocean Shores

"120 miles"

Travel west following the Columbia River to the coast and to your first sight of the Pacific Ocean at the Long Beach Peninsula – home to a 28-mile long beach. The Willapa Bay side of the Peninsula offers lovely old towns, oyster beds and wildlife viewing and will be a good place to stop for some lunch.

Then travel north on Hwy 101 past the town of Raymond. Scattered along the highway and throughout the town are around 200 steel-plated sculptures which are part of the Raymond Wildlife-Heritage Sculpture corridor. All the sculptures represent some of the history and culture of the region. The town of Ocean Shores has six miles of wide-open sandy beaches to be enjoyed. You will be spending one night here.

12

Quinault

"46 miles"

Head north into the Olympic National Forest and to beautiful Lake Quinault - a deep, clear lake located on the southwestern side of the Olympic National Park. The lake is over eight miles long and plunges more than 1000 feet at its deepest point. The valleys that cradle Lake Quinault, the Quinault Rain Forest and the Hoh Rain Forest are truly the "Valleys of the Rain Forest Giants" where the trees are some of the country’s largest.

13

Port Angeles

"120 miles"

Continue on Highway 101 which takes you back along the Pacific Coast and then follows the Olympic National Forest to the Northeastern Olympic Peninsula and the city of Port Angeles. Logging ships and fishing boats visit this city’s busy harbour daily.

There are many places to explore form here including Hurricane Ridge where you can take the 18-mile road to over 5000 ft and pick up hiking trails for stunning views.

From here you can also easily access the stunning Olympic National Park. Here the roads do not penetrate very far into the park so the majority of the park is for hikers and climbers, although there are river trips and fishing to be enjoyed here too.

Neah Bay on the very northwestern point of the peninsula is the centre of the Makah Indian Reservation. Here you can visit the Makah Cultural & Research Centre where the permanent exhibits include artifacts from the Ozette collection, uncovered from a Makah village partially buried by a mudslide nearly 500 years ago. Inside the museum you will find a full-size replica long house, and four cedar dug-put canoes. Whaling, sealing, and fishing gear, basketry and other tools are also on display, preserved by the unique conditions created by the mudslide.

15

Seattle

 "82 miles"

Spend your morning exploring Port Townsend with its brightly painted Victorian mansions. This charming town has many wonderful cafes and restaurants where you can pick a spot for lunch. Continue on via the Bainbridge Island ferry to Seattle. The ferry takes 35 minutes and is not a reservable service.

Arrive into Seattle and head for your hotel before you explore the city at your leisure. This is a city who’s charm comes from its stunning location, friendly people and the way the city has grown up on the shores of Puget Sound and Lake Washington.

Highlights: Ride to the top of the Space Needle, the city's most famous landmark and visit Pike Place Market, which sells tons of fresh local food, flowers, handicrafts and more.


What's included?

  • Return flights from London (Please ask about other departure airports)
  • 15 nights accommodation and tax
  • A travel packet with itinerary, maps, suggestions, brochures

How to book

Daily Departures 01 June to 30 September.

Please call us on (01892) 779900 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. stating your travel dates, and preferred standard of accommodation for a detailed & competitively priced quotation.

PacificCoastAdventurer

Pacific Coast Adventurer

Take a deep breath. That’s cedar and spruce you smell, along with the subtle scent of an ocean breeze. Welcome to the beautiful Pacific west coast of the USA. From the hilly streets of San Francisco to the soaring heights of the Giant Redwoods, then the rugged beauty of the Northern Californian and Oregon coastline. Charming Victorian villages and historic timber towns are intermingled with dramatic views of ocean bluffs, forested headlands, and awe-inspiring mountain panoramas. Driving from Seattle to San Francisco you’ll experience one of the most peaceful and beautiful routes in the country. Sit back and enjoy the beauty and contrast on this exceptional journey 14 night journey.

PLEASE NOTE: We also offer a 21 night San Francisco round trip version of this itinerary that includes Yosemite National Park and Lake Tahoe. If this particular tour is too long for you or alternatively, you have other stops in mind we can tailor a different length holiday or route to suit your requirements. Please call one of our friendly and experienced consultants on (01892) 779900 for more advice or email us with your itinerary and we will be happy to assist in helping to plan your trip.

Not looking to drive so far? Why not let us suggest some other alternative routes with less mileage? There are NO One Way drop fees on car hire in California so you really can start and end your journey just about anywhere!

Highlights Include

  • Seattle
  • Mount Rainier National Park
  • Plympic National Park
  • Seaside
  • Newport
  • Coos Bay
  • Crater Lake National Park
  • The Redwood National Forest
  • Mendocino
  • San Francisco

Itinerary

1

Seattle

Seattle’s charm comes from its stunning location, its friendly and laidback people and the way the city has grown up on the shores of Puget Sound and Lake Washington. The downtown area is full of odd shaped towers and preserved historical districts alongside modern skyscrapers.

To get a bird's-eye view of the area, ride to the top of the Space Needle, the city's most famous landmark which rises from the grounds of the Seattle Centre.

On a clear day, the view is great. Back at ground level take time to see two other attractions in the vicinity: the Experience Music Project and the Pacific Science Centre. The Seattle Art Museum, in the downtown area, has a spectacular collection of African, Native American and European works.

Located two blocks north of the museum is Pike Place Market, which was built in 1907. Its vendors sell tons of fresh local food, flowers, handicrafts and more. Be sure not to miss the seafood stand at the main entrance: Fishmongers toss huge sea creatures from the display tables to the sales counter, over the customers' heads.

Down the hill from the market you will find the waterfront and the Seattle Aquarium, which specializes in Pacific species. Spend the rest of day and tomorrow exploring this lovely city at your own pace.

3

Mount Rainier National Park

"87 miles"

Time to leave the city and head east towards Mt Rainier National Park. This is the Chinook Scenic Byway, home to the highest of the Cascade Mountain passes – Chinook Pass. Just west of the pass, the highway enters Mount Rainier National Park, passing Tipsoo Lake. This is a great spot to stop for a picnic lunch with the stunning Mt Rainier behind you. Mount Rainier is Washington’s tallest and best-known peak and the National Park surrounding it is a recreational paradise. Enjoy stunning drives, like the one from Longmire to Paradise – a 13-mile drive that climbs through evergreen forests.

At Paradise you can enjoy 360-degree views of the park from the Visitor Centre. The Sunrise area is a high plateau reached by a series of switchbacks along 11 miles of road. The visitor centre here has telescopes to allow you to view the park sights close up.

4

Olympic National Park

"157 miles"

Protecting 73 miles of wild Pacific Coast Olympic NP is a land of beauty and variety. A day's exploration her can take you from breathtaking mountain vistas with meadows of wildflowers to sandy beaches and ocean tidepools.

Nestled in the valleys are some of the largest remnants of ancient forests left in the country.

6

Seaside

"135 miles"

Departing the Olympic Peninsula, today you will be heading for the equally amazing Oregon Pacific Coast.

Be sure to stop by the largest sea lion cave in the world at the Sea Lion Caves north of Florence, where the Sea Lions live year round. Be daring and descend in an elevator 208 feet down to the most spectacular natural sea cave.

Driving on Highway 101, don’t forget to visit on of Oregon’s nine light houses as some of them are haunted!

Arcades and bumper cars will entertain children of all ages on the Seaside Promenade. Have an educational experience and visit the Maritime Museum in Astoria and don’t miss the house of Lewis & Clark from 1805-06 in Fort Clatsop. 33 explorers lived here, and you won’t believe how small it is. Nearby you can also visit the life size statue of Sacagawea, the Shoshone Indian woman who accompanied the explorers on their journey to the Pacific Ocean.

Be sure to explore nearby Cannon Beach with its quaint town centre and many art galleries. Nearby Haystack Rock, the third largest monolith in the world is one of the State’s most photographed natural wonders.

7

Newport

"117 miles"

From Coos Bay to Newport, first go via Florence where you will be driving through the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, which forms the largest expanse of coastal sand dunes in the USA and where you can enjoy many activities including horseback riding and dune buggy tours. You can take a walk on the many trails through the dunes or view the wave like mounds, that sit among little forested islands, through enclosed viewing platforms at the Dunes Overlook south of Florence.

Over the past few years, Old Town Florence has been beautifully restored in colourful themes reminiscent of the Victorian era. Numerous restaurants, art galleries, clothing and specialty shops are mixed among Gazebo Park and the new Boardwalk overlooking the fishing docks.

Further on Newport, Oregon’s second largest commercial port, was first explored by fishing crews in 1860’s. During the 1870’s, steamboats brought holidaymakers up from San Francisco. Old downtown Newport, centred on Bay Boulevard, has a very lively seafront, a complete working port with seafood markets, and the bark of seals! On the other side of Bay Boulevard are chandlers, 24 hour restaurants, art galleries and brew-pubs.

Boat excursions are available around Yaquina Bay, a trip out into the Pacific to view Wales, or even popping into bayfront restaurants, which are plentiful. The Oregon coast Aquarium has become one of the biggest attractions in Oregon. Room sized exhibits are grouped by ecosystems with interactive displays to explain the dynamics of the various forms of life found there. At a supervised ‘petting area’ visitors can touch the denizens of a tide pool and ask marine specialists questions. Outside, trails lead around natural-looking enclosures for seals, sea lions and sea otters. Puffins and Murres are found in abundance too.

8

Coos Bay

"98 miles"

From Coos Bay to Newport, first go via Florence where you will be driving through the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, which forms the largest expanse of coastal sand dunes in the USA and where you can enjoy many activities including horseback riding and dune buggy tours. You can take a walk on the many trails through the dunes or view the wave like mounds, that sit among little forested islands, through enclosed viewing platforms at the Dunes Overlook south of Florence.

Over the past few years, Old Town Florence has been beautifully restored in colorful themes reminiscent of the Victorian era. Numerous restaurants, art galleries, clothing and specialty shops are mixed among Gazebo Park and the new Boardwalk overlooking the fishing docks.

Further on Newport, Oregon’s second largest commercial port, was first explored by fishing crews in 1860’s. During the 1870’s, steamboats brought holidaymakers up from San Francisco. Old downtown Newport, centred on Bay Boulevard, has a very lively seafront, a complete working port with seafood markets, and the bark of seals! On the other side of Bay Boulevard are chandlers, 24 hour restaurants, art galleries and brew-pubs.

Boat excursions are available around Yaquina Bay, a trip out into the Pacific to view Wales, or even popping into bayfront restaurants, which are plentiful. The Oregon coast Aquarium has become one of the biggest attractions in Oregon. Room sized exhibits are grouped by ecosystems with interactive displays to explain the dynamics of the various forms of life found there. At a supervised ‘petting area’ visitors can touch the denizens of a tide pool and ask marine specialists questions. Outside, trails lead around natural-looking enclosures for seals, sea lions and sea otters. Puffins and Murres are found in abundance too.

9

Crater Lake National Park

"171 miles"

Leave Bend early today and join The Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway, which takes you through the very heart of Central Oregon, with the majestic Cascade Mountains providing a constant backdrop.

The beginning of your drive takes you through the Deschutes National Forest before turning west where you will encounter Mt Bachelor – home of the areas top ski resort. In summer, visitors can use the Express Lift to take you up to over 7,000 ft. From here you can see Mt Adams in Washington and Mt Shasta in California.

Perhaps stop for a picnic lunch at Devils Lake, or a bit further south at Elk Lake and enjoy relaxing on a rented boat with some lunch. Not too much further south of here you will be joining the Volcanic Legacy Scenic Byway that will take you to Crater Lake. This Byway extends all the way to Mt Lassen in California and offers fascinating volcanic geology and scenery.

This National Park was created by the eruption and collapse of Mt Mazama. The remaining six mile wide caldera is the site of Crater Lake. Its vivid blue colour and waters purity is attributed to the fact that only rain and snowfall contribute to the water. The 33-mile loop winds around the rim of the lake, offering many viewpoints and side roads.

11

Crescent City

"183 miles"

As you travel north to Crescent City today, plan to stop at Lady Bird Johnson Grove, a gorgeous ridge top stand of old-growth trees that you can explore on a one-mile walking loop. Crescent City hosts the must-see Redwood National Park, home to the magnificent Giant Redwood trees. The northern, wet climate nurtures these great trees in ridge top, streamside, and coastal environments. To truly experience the grandeur of the park, take the “Trees of Mystery” and “Trail of Tall Tales” walking trails through the forest. If you feel like driving, there are a number of scenic drives around Crescent City that allow you to take in the area’s stunning natural beauty. Outside the park, the Del Norte Historical Society Museum and the Battery Point Lighthouse Museum illustrate the intriguing history of the city, which includes shipwrecks and tsunamis.

12

Mendocino

"224 miles"

The town of Mendocino is known for its spectacular rugged coastline, beautiful wine country, and quaint oceanfront Victorian villages reminiscent of 19th century New England.

It is the only town on the California coast to be designated a Historic Landmark. Dramatic ocean bluffs, known as the Mendocino Headlands, surround the town on three sides and provide scenic walking trails with exceptional views.

Russian Gulch State Forest, just north of Mendocino, features a heavily forested headland with a 36-foot high waterfall and wonderful hiking trails. En route to Mendocino, you can stop to visit the lighthouse and diverse landscape at Point Reyes National Seashore, as well as a number of coastal state parks and beaches.

13

San Francisco

"154 miles"

The world-famous Golden Gate Bridge welcomes you to San Francisco, the most-visited and beloved American city. Prepare to lose your heart as you explore delightful and diverse neighborhoods, take in breathtaking views from the tops of crooked streets, wander through Fisherman’s Wharf, and sample a fabulous variety of cuisines.

Begin your stay in San Francisco by walking the Barbary Coast Trail, a wonderful 3.8-mile overview of the city ranging from Nob Hill to Ghirardelli Square. Spend a day exploring the Golden Gate Recreation Area, which includes the Golden Gate Bridge, the Presidio, Muir Woods and more. Jump on the ferry at Pier 39 for a trip to Alcatraz, the famous island prison that also has spectacular gardens, bird colonies, and views of San Francisco Bay. Stop in one of Boudin’s famous sourdough bakeries for a true taste of San Francisco, and be sure to visit Chinatown for great food and atmosphere to match.

Spend two nights here before flying home.


What's included?

  • Direct return flights from London (Please ask about other departure airports)
  • 14 nights hotel accommodation and room taxes
  • Fully insured compact car hire
  • A detailed travel pack containing driving instructions and maps

How to book

Daily Departures 27 April to 26 October.

We can also offer this itinerary in a wide range of other accommodation types, including superior hotels, character properties and small inns.

Please call us on (01892) 779900 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. stating your travel dates, and preferred standard of accommodation for a detailed & competitively priced quotation.

SeattletoVancouverPacificExplorer

Seattle to Vancouver Pacific Explorer

If you've ever thought about combining the style & sophistication of Seattle and Vancouver with some of the unspoilt beauty of both Washington State and Canada's stunning British Columbia, then you will love this exciting new 17 day self drive tour. Otherwise, known as the 'The Evergreen State', Washington still remains unspoilt by mass tourism and is not only home to the beautiful city of Seattle, but also quiet beaches, giant forests and two amazing national parks - Olympic and Mount Rainier. Meantime, lying just a short distance across the straits of Juan de Fuca lies the equally amazing Vancouver Island, home to the beautiful city of Victoria, and neighbour to friendly Vancouver. Both regions of these 2 countries offer a wide range of sight seeing and activities and such as bear and whale watching that will captivate any first time traveller to this fascinating part of North America.


Itinerary

1

Seattle

Depart the UK on your direct flight to Seattle, Washington State's largest city. Collect your hire car on arrival or alternatively transfer to your hotel by taxi.

The whole day is yours today to discover the states delightful gateway city with a casual pace of life. The city's compact and clean downtown area and fantastic transportation system make it an absolute delight to discover by foot. Seattle also offers a perfect mix of urban attractions and outdoor recreation as it is surrounded by lakes and acres of lush green forest.

Visit Pike Place Market where local merchants sell fresh cheeses, meats and a variety of mouth-watering delicacies, and enjoy a little people watching over a good cup of coffee at one of the many cafes this jewel of the Pacific Northwest is famous for.

Later visit the famous Space Needle for a dramatic view of the city and its surroundings. With so many great restaurants, clubs and bars, open air festivals and cultural activities to enjoy your stay in Seattle will leave you wanting to return for sure.

3

Mt Rainier National Park

"93 miles"

Today, it's time to leave the city and slowly head south east towards Mt Rainier National Park. This is the Chinook Scenic Byway, home to the highest of the Cascade Mountain passes - Chinook Pass. Just west of the pass, the highway enters Mount Rainier National Park, passing Tipsoo Lake. This is a great spot to stop for a picnic lunch with the stunning Mt Rainier behind you.

Spend the day exploring the park. At At 14,410 feet, Mount Rainier is Washington's tallest and best known peak as well as being the fifth highest mountain in the continental 48 states. The National Park surrounding Mount Rainier is a recreational paradise that you will delight in discovering. Enjoy stunning drives, like the one from Longmire to Paradise - a 13-mile drive that climbs through evergreen forests. At Paradise you can enjoy 360-degree views of the park from the Visitor Centre. The Sunrise area is a high plateau reached by a series of switchbacks along 11 miles of road. Whilst, the Wonderland Trail is a 94-mile trail which goes around Mount Rainier. The visitor center here has telescopes to allow you to view the park sights close up.

5

Quinault

"242 miles"

Begin your journey early today, as you travel from Mount Rainier further west through the state and Olympia, on towards the scenic Olympic Peninsula and your first sight of the Pacific Ocean. Break your journey somewhere en route, like the lovely seaside town of Ocean Shores, at the mouth of Grays Harbor. Then continue to head north into the Olympic National Forest and on to beautiful Lake Quinault - a deep, clear lake located on the southwestern side of the Olympic National Park. The lake is over eight miles long and plunges more than 1000 feet at its deepest point. The valleys that cradle Lake Quinault, the Quinault Rain Forest and the Hoh Rain Forest are truly the "Valleys of the Rain Forest Giants" where the trees are some of the country's largest. Tonight you will stay at the Lake Quinalt Lodge - a historic property located in the midst of the rain forest.

6

Port Angeles

"124 miles"

After a leisurely start, continue on Highway 101 which takes you back along the Pacific Coast and then follows the Olympic National Forest to the Northeastern Olympic Peninsula and the city of Port Angeles. Logging ships and fishing boats still visit the city's busy harbour daily, and it makes an interesting base from which to explore the Peninsula and surrounding area for a few days.

There are many places to explore form here including Hurricane Ridge where you can take the 18-mile road to over 5000 ft and pick up hiking trails for stunning views. From here you can also easily access the stunning Olympic National Park. Here the roads do not penetrate very far into the park so the majority of the park is for hikers and climbers, although there are many river trips and fishing can also be enjoyed here too. Neah Bay on the very northwestern point of the peninsula is the centre of the Makah Indian Reservation. Here you can visit the Makah Cultural & Research Centre where the permanent exhibits include artifacts from the Ozette collection, uncovered from a Makah village partially buried by a mudslide nearly 500 years ago. Inside the museum you will find a full-size replica long house, and four cedar dug-put canoes.

Whaling, sealing, and fishing gear, basketry and other tools are also on display, preserved by the unique conditions created by the mudslide.

The nearby and charming town of Port Townsend with its brightly painted Victorian mansions, and many wonderful cafes and restaurants makes a great place to also visit.

8

Victoria

"24 miles"

Today you will be leaving the shores of America and crossing into Canada's beautiful province of British Columbia, by taking the 90 minute ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria. As there are only 4 crossings a day, it is worth catching a morning ferry to guarantee your space on board and then you will have the rest of the day free to enjoy the lovely city of Victoria. This pretty provincial capital standing at the southern tip of Vancouver Island remains the most British of cities in North America, but the lure of nature is now as much of a draw as the call of the Empire. Spend the afternoon enjoying a leisurely stroll along the waterfront or browsing around the Royal British Columbia Museum. The city's well preserved inner city streets are lined with well preserved old buildings, and trendy shops that now occupy restored historic areas. Horse drawn carriages are even available to get you around if your feet do start to tire!

Enjoy a full day at leisure in this picturesque city where you can easily explore all the downtown attractions by foot, as most of which are within a short walk of each other. Spend time exploring the Inner Harbour, Beacon Hill Park and the Empress Hotel. Meantime, nearby Butchart Gardens is a must see if you are interested in horticulture and gardening. Here breathtaking floral splendour greets you at every turn with some of the finest displays in the world. The gardens come alive with colours and scents and throughout the summer. Also in the evening the Concert Lawn stage comes alive with a variety of performing artists. Take a picnic and sit on a bench or lawn and enjoy marvellous music and entertainment in the open air.

Alternatively, If you want to see some of the world's greatest mammals then pre book one of our immensely popular coastal excursions and spend the day in search of orcas, minke and grey whales, as well as porpoises, harbour seals and other marine wildlife.

On this exhilarating round trip of 50 to 80 kms, you will ride aboard custom built Zodiac boats that offer high speed with stability giving you a safe and intimate whalewatching experience. Expect the taste of ocean spray at some point along the route!

10

Tofino

"197 miles"

From Victoria you will heading further north west on the Island Highway, winding through ancient rainforests and provincial parks. Stop en route at Duncan, located just north of Victoria as it is known as the city of totems and has a display of around sixty all over the town. It is also home to the Native Heritage Center and is a good place to buy Indian crafts. Whilst nearby Chemainus, is famous for it's many murals painted around the town. Just start at the information centre and follow the yellow footprints around the town!

The picturesque, coastal district of Tofino is an intriguing contrast of old growth forests, white sand beaches, and the ever churning Pacific Ocean. Tofino, in the centre of Clayoquot Sound, was just designated British Columbia's first United Nations Biosphere Reserve and now offers many exciting and interesting excursions such as whale watching, Local Bear viewing excursions, rainforest visits and fishing. For a more leisurely afternoon, explore the area on a gentle trail such as the one along famous Long Beach and and then relax in Hot Springs Cove, the only hot Springs on the island. Here you will find several pools set in the hillside getting cooler as you get nearer the sea.

12

Campbell River

"169 miles"

Leaving behind the rugged West Coast of Vancouver Island, today you will journey through the eastern plain, rich in farmlands, fishing streams and tiny communities to the World famous resort of Campbell River. Otherwise known as the 'Salmon Capital of the World', the area is not surprisingly a huge destination for fisherman and nature lovers alike. The town itself has a few things worth visiting such as the 'Museum at Campbell River' where you can learn about the history of Northern Vancouver Island through the numerous exhibits and an extensive research library.

This beautiful part of the Vancouver Island offers you a variety of things to see and do as well as give you a chance to relax and enjoy the amazing scenery. Nearby Strathcona Park is in fact British Columbia's oldest provincial park and contains more than 210,000 hectares of scenic wilderness with many hiking trails ranging from short walks to several-days-long expeditions into the parks interior. Whilst Della Falls - Canada's highest waterfall, at a height of 440 meters, also some wonderful viewing opportunities from it's many hiking trails.

If you haven't already experienced the thrill of seeing the worlds biggest mammal up close then you can also go Whale Watching from here and see the almighty Killer Whales in their natural habitat. Alternatively learn to fish on a 17 foot Boston Whaler on a Guided Salmon fishing excursion in the area. For the ultimate excitement, why not pre book one of the overnight excursions that are available from Campbell River to see the magnificent Grizzly Bears of Knight Inlet, 50 air Miles north of Campbell river.

14

Vancouver

"113 miles"

Departing early after breakfast for your drive south back along the Island Highway as far as Nanaimo where you will catch the ferry back to Vancouver. Make time for a quick stop in Coombs, where you can have a drink or an ice cream and watch the goats graze on the roof of the Old Country Market! Catch the ferry from Nanaimo to Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver(north of downtown)and continue your journey to the city of Vancouver where

Downtown Vancouver is an intriguing mixture of steel, concrete, mirrored glass buildings, modern sculptures and old-fashioned fountains. There is so much to see and do in the city. You can rent a bike to ride around the Seawall in Stanley Park or try rollerblading if you are feeling adventurous! Dinner can be taken at the top of Grouse Mountain for a spectacular view of the city lit up at night and you can reach the summit by the Skyride Gondola - we have included this trip in your package.
Take the ferry across False Creek to the refurbished Granville Island - the place to be on a sunny day. Here you can shop in the Public Market, walk round the marina, browse in the gift shops or sample some of the local food.

A visit to the Capilano Suspension Bridge is well worth it for the spectacular views and stunning forest scenery. Alternatively spend some time at the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge nearby. Take along your bathing suit and you can have a dip in Lynn Creek after a short walk in the forest.
There will be plenty of time for shopping on Robson Street in its trendy shops and the Robson Public Market.Visit Chinatown - the second largest Chinese community in North America and home to the beautiful and peaceful Dr. Sun Yat-sen Classical Chinese Garden. No visit is complete without wandering through Gastown where Vancouver started. The brightly painted buildings date back to 1886 and old gas lamps and trees line the red cobblestone streets. There are many galleries, restaurants and gift shops here The Boathouse Restaurant is a great place for dinner, while watching the sunset over English Bay and people watching all the evening.


What's included?

  • Direct return flights from London (please ask about other departure airports)
  • 16 nights hotel accommodation and room tax
  • Fully insured compact car hire for 2 drivers
  • A detailed travel pack containing a day by day itinerary, driving instructions, maps and suggested excursions

How to book

Daily Departures 01 June to 30 September.

Please call us on (01892) 779900 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. stating your travel dates, and preferred standard of accommodation for a detailed & competitively priced quotation.

AnIntroductiontothePacificNorthWest

Pacific North West

Cooler than California to the south, but no less spectacular, these two diverse states are split by the great north-south spine of the Cascade Mountains, where regular rainfall and a moist climate create a verdant landscape.

The Pacific region’s two capitals are strikingly different. Seattle is a modern, commercial and cultural city, as well as being known for its high-tech and aerospace industries. Meantime, smaller and charming Portland holds more historic appeal for its old time terracotta architecture, with ten stately bridges crossing the scenic Willamette River and a nationally regarded culture of cycling.

Beyond the region’s bigger cities lie diverse and interesting towns such as Bend in central Oregon. With a backdrop of the Cascades, Bend makes a great base for exploring the surrounding mountains and the beautiful Columbia River Gorge.

Add to this exciting mix several pristine and diverse National Parks, vineyards, delightful coastal towns, hundreds of state parks, lighthouses and lookouts and any trip to the Pacific North West will be a delightful journey.

Washington - The Evergreen State

The Columbia River Gorge is one of the USA’s best natural attractions; home to waterfalls, historic highways and a huge U-shaped gorge, carved from colossal Ice Age floods. Mount St. Helens is still a haunting sight, nearly three decades after it blew its top. It is the most renowned volcano in North America and is well worth a visit. The San Juan Islands are perched in the upper corner of America and make for a beautiful and very scenery day-trip from the mainland, particularly in the summer months.

Seattle’s Pike Place Market holds an array of fine restaurants, seafood and produce vendors as well as street entertainers and is well worth a visit during your time in Washington State.

Featured in our National Parks of the Pacific North West, Seattle to Vancouver Pacific Explorer and Pacific Coast Explorer Itineraries.

Oregon - The Beaver State

The laid back capital city of Oregon, Portland is a delight to visit with shops, restaurants and galleries galore. The smaller but no less exciting town of Bend is nestled in the foothills of the Cascades and offers endless outdoor recreational opportunities and is a great base to explore this lovely region.

Hells Canyon is deeper than the Grand Canyon and boasts excellent white-water rafting on the Snake River. Crater Lake is cradled in what’s left of a hollowed out volcano, this sheer blue lake is a stunning must see destination.

Featured in our Oregon Scenic Byways and Pacific Coast Explorer Itineraries.

 

For further recommendations or a full quotation please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone (01892) 779900

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