AmeriCan & Worldwide Travel

01892 779900

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!

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?

  • 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.

Our low season standard hotel price starts from £1429.00 per person based on 2 people sharing a room (Supplements or reductions for other room types available on request).

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 info@awwt.co.uk stating your travel dates, and preferred standard of accommodation for a detailed & competitively priced quotation.