San Francisco & Northern California • View Fly Drive Holiday Itinerary
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Lake Tahoe, California
Golden Gate Bridge Sunset, America, San Francisco
Hyde Street Cable Car, San Francisco
Yosemite National Park, USA
Yosemite National Park
Lake Tahoe, Nevada
Lassen Volcanic National Park, California, USA
Sunset through sequoia redwoods in Yosemite National Park
Redwood National Park, California
Sunset at Glass Beach, Fort Bragg, California, USA
Napa Valley, California
Flying Over San Francisco

San Francisco & Northern California

12 day Fly Drive – from £1165

With flights from £1765

Combine a city stay in San Francisco with a self drive route around the stunning National Parks of Northern California.

Highlights:
  • Visit the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and Union Square
  • Wonder at the beauty of Yosemite’s Half Dome and El Capitan
  • Watch the bubbling mud in Lassen Volcanic National Park
  • Hike through the giant trees of Redwoods National Park
  • Sample wine straight off the vine in the scenic Napa Valley

Your Itinerary

Expand All

You can customise this holiday by adding extra nights or destinations. Just let us know what you would like to do.

Golden Gate Bridge Sunset, America, San Francisco

Day 1 – Welcome to San Francisco

Arrive into San Francisco International airport, collect your bags and transfer to your hotel. Home of the…

Arrive into San Francisco International airport, collect your bags and transfer to your hotel.

Home of the majestic Wine Country and the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco is well-known for its historic cable cars and bustling Union Square. Enjoy your first evening along the colourful waterfront.

    Riu Plaza Fisherman’s Wharf or similar

Golden Gate Bridge Sunset, America, San Francisco
Hyde Street Cable Car, San Francisco

Day 2 – Explore San Francisco

Today, you are free to discover the many sights and sounds of San Francisco. Perhaps take…

Today, you are free to discover the many sights and sounds of San Francisco. Perhaps take a cable car ride from Fisherman’s Wharf to Union Square, or visit the famous Alcatraz Island.

This evening, dine in one of San Francisco’s many distinctive neighbourhoods, from Chinatown to the very Italian flavoured North Beach, each offers its own distinctive culture and cuisine.

Optional Experience – San Francisco Hop on Hop off Bus Tour
See San Francisco from the top of an authentic English Double Decker Bus! This is a fully narrated sightseeing tour. Enjoy the city lights and skyline on the Night Loop.

Optional Experience – Alcatraz Island Tour
Welcome to Alcatraz; once home to some of America’s most notorious criminals. Delve into the island’s remarkable history on this essential tour.

    Riu Plaza Fisherman’s Wharf or similar

Hyde Street Cable Car, San Francisco
Yosemite National Park, USA

Day 3 – Yosemite National Park

Gaze upon the mist over the Golden Gate Bridge before collecting your car and departing the…

Gaze upon the mist over the Golden Gate Bridge before collecting your car and departing the bustle of San Francisco. Head towards the natural beauty that is Yosemite National Park.

Take your time and enjoy the meandering drive into the park, the views get better with every turn. There are photo opportunities aplenty as you drive through Yosemite. Capture the iconic Sequoia trees, granite cliffs of El Capitan and Half Dome, and the iconic vista of towering Bridalveil Fall from Tunnel View.

    San Francisco > Yosemite National Park | 190 miles

    Yosemite View Lodge or similar

Yosemite National Park, USA
Yosemite National Park

Day 4 – Explore Yosemite National Park

Begin by exploring Yosemite Valley, home to some of the park’s most famous attractions. Marvel at…

Begin by exploring Yosemite Valley, home to some of the park’s most famous attractions. Marvel at the towering granite cliffs of El Capitan and Half Dome from Tunnel View, one of the park’s most iconic viewpoints. Take a stroll along the valley floor to admire Yosemite Falls, the tallest waterfall in North America, and Bridalveil Falls.

Yosemite Valley Visitor Centre and the Yosemite Museum, explain more about the park’s natural and cultural history through exhibits and also provide details about ranger talks, and guided walks.

Alternatively, take a scenic drive to Glacier Point for stunning views of Half Dome and the surrounding high country, or drive the Tioga Road to Tuolumne Meadows for alpine scenery and other hiking opportunities.

    Yosemite View Lodge or similar

Yosemite National Park
Lake Tahoe, California

Day 5 – Lake Tahoe

If it’s open, take the seasonal Tioga Road through Yosemite National Park’s high country. Enjoy breathtaking…

If it’s open, take the seasonal Tioga Road through Yosemite National Park’s high country. Enjoy breathtaking views of alpine meadows, granite peaks, and glacial lakes.

Make a stop at Mono Lake, a unique and ancient saline lake known for its otherworldly tufa towers. Explore the South Tufa Area, where you can walk among these remarkable limestone formations.

Continue on this scenic road past Topaz Lake and on to Lake Tahoe.

Alternatively, if Tioga Pass is closed, follow the road to Groveland where you can stop at the quaint downtown and consider a visit to the Tuolumne County Museum and History Centre.

Continue towards Sonora, where scenic views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains await as you approach Sonora Pass. Descending towards Bridgeport, indulge in the beauty of Twin Lakes, great for a hike.

Along the way to Lake Tahoe pass through charming towns like Markleeville and Woodfords, offering opportunities to stop for refreshments and explore local shops.

    Yosemite National Park > Lake Tahoe | 207 miles
    Tahoe Lakeshore Lodge & Spa or similar
Lake Tahoe, California
Lake Tahoe, Nevada

Day 6 – Explore around Lake Tahoe

Start exploring Lake Tahoe from the stunning beaches that line the lake’s shores, such as Sand…

Start exploring Lake Tahoe from the stunning beaches that line the lake’s shores, such as Sand Harbor, Emerald Bay, or Lester Beach, where you can swim, sunbathe, or enjoy water sports like kayaking and paddleboarding.

Lake Tahoe offers numerous hiking trails with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and crystal-clear waters. Consider hiking to the top of Mount Tallac for panoramic vistas of the lake or exploring the trails in Desolation Wilderness.

You can also take a scenic drive around the lake to admire its beauty from various viewpoints, such as the Emerald Bay Overlook or the scenic byways of Highway 89. Don’t miss the chance to visit historic sites like Vikingsholm Castle or the Tallac Historic Site to learn about the region’s rich history.

Finally indulge in the vibrant culinary scene around Lake Tahoe, with numerous restaurants offering everything from casual lakeside dining to gourmet cuisine. Sample local specialties like fresh trout or indulge in international flavors at one of the many eateries around the lake.

    Tahoe Lakeshore Lodge & Spa or similar

Lake Tahoe, Nevada
Lassen Volcanic National Park, California, USA

Day 7 – Lassen Volcanic National Park

Along the route to Lassen Volcanic National Park consider stopping at the charming town of Truckee,…

Along the route to Lassen Volcanic National Park consider stopping at the charming town of Truckee, known for its historic downtown area and vibrant atmosphere. Take a stroll along the Truckee River or visit one of the local art galleries or boutique shops.

Once you arrive at Lassen Volcanic National Park, explore its unique volcanic landscape and natural wonders. Highlights within the park include:

  • Bumpass Hell: Take a hike to this hydrothermal area featuring boiling mud pots, steam vents, and colorful hot springs.
  • Lassen Peak: Hike to the summit of Lassen Peak for panoramic views of the surrounding area.
  • Manzanita Lake: Enjoy a scenic walk around Manzanita Lake or rent a kayak or canoe to explore its tranquil waters.
  • Sulphur Works: Visit this hydrothermal area near the southwest entrance of the park to see mud pots and steam vents up close.
    Lake Tahoe > Lassen Volcanic National Park | 140 miles

    Best Western Rose Quartz Inn or similar

Lassen Volcanic National Park, California, USA
Sunset through sequoia redwoods in Yosemite National Park

Day 8 – Klamath

From Lassen Volcanic National Park enjoy the scenic drive through Lassen National Forest. Take advantage of…

From Lassen Volcanic National Park enjoy the scenic drive through Lassen National Forest. Take advantage of pullouts and scenic overlooks along the way to admire the natural beauty of the landscape and perhaps take some photographs.

If time permits, make a detour to McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park to see Burney Falls, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in California.

Drop down on to the Pacific Coast Highway and approach Klamath where you can enjoy views of the Klamath River and surrounding forests. Once in town, consider visiting the Trees of Mystery attraction, where you can take a gondola ride through the redwoods and learn about local Native American culture and legends.

    Lassen Volcanic National Park > Klamath | 234 miles

    Holiday Inn Express Klamath or similar

Sunset through sequoia redwoods in Yosemite National Park
Redwood National Park, California

Day 9 – Redwoods National Park

Spend a day within Redwoods National Park, home to some of the oldest trees in America. Start…

Spend a day within Redwoods National Park, home to some of the oldest trees in America.

Start your visit at one of the park’s visitor centres to learn about the park’s ecology and history, and to see if there are any ranger lead activities.

Take scenic drives through the park to marvel at the towering redwoods and diverse landscapes. Drive along the Avenue of the Giants through the ancient redwoods and don’t miss Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway, which offers stunning views and access to various trailheads.

Visit one of the park’s beautiful beaches, such as Gold Bluffs Beach or Enderts Beach, for a peaceful stroll, beachcombing, or tidepooling. Some beaches also offer opportunities for picnicking and wildlife viewing.

Explore the park’s extensive network of hiking trails, ranging from easy strolls to challenging treks. Highlights include the Lady Bird Johnson Grove Trail, Trillium Falls Trail, and Fern Canyon Trail, known for its lush greenery and vertical walls.

And then, if you return at night, take advantage the park’s remote and dark-sky locations for prime stargazing.

    Holiday Inn Express Klamath or similar

Redwood National Park, California
Sunset at Glass Beach, Fort Bragg, California, USA

Day 10 – Fort Bragg

Begin today by visiting the Klamath River Overlook for stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and…

Begin today by visiting the Klamath River Overlook for stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and the mouth of the Klamath River.

Next, make a detour to explore the charming town of Trinidad, known for its scenic harbour and beautiful beaches. Take a stroll along Trinidad State Beach or hike the Trinidad Head Trail for panoramic views of the coastline.

Continue your journey south along Highway 1, also known as the Pacific Coast Highway, and marvel at the rugged coastline and dramatic cliffs. Consider stopping at Patrick’s Point State Park, where you can hike scenic trails, explore tide pools, and visit Wedding Rock for sweeping ocean views.

As you approach Fort Bragg, be sure to visit Glass Beach, a unique beach covered in colorful sea glass, a result of years of glass dumping. Take some time to explore the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens or browse the shops and art galleries in downtown Fort Bragg.

    Klamath > Fort Bragg | 196 miles

    Holiday Inn Express Fort Bragg or similar

Sunset at Glass Beach, Fort Bragg, California, USA
Napa Valley, California

Day 11 – Napa Valley

Continue further south by exploring Mendocino, a picturesque coastal town known for its Victorian architecture, art…

Continue further south by exploring Mendocino, a picturesque coastal town known for its Victorian architecture, art galleries, and stunning coastal views. Consider taking a stroll along the Mendocino Headlands State Park trails or visiting the Point Cabrillo Light Station.

Enjoy breathtaking views of the rugged coastline as you drive through the quaint towns of Elk and Gualala. Consider stopping at Salt Point State Park to hike scenic trails, explore tide pools, or enjoy a picnic overlooking the ocean.

As you reach Sonoma County, it is possible to detour to explore the charming town of Healdsburg, known for its wine tasting rooms, boutique shops, and farm-to-table dining experiences. Take some time to explore the historic Healdsburg Plaza or visit a nearby winery to sample award-winning wines.

Finally, arrive in Napa Valley, where you can immerse yourself in the region’s world-renowned wine culture. Consider taking a wine tour or visiting one of the many wineries in the area to taste exquisite wines and enjoy beautiful vineyard views. Don’t miss the opportunity to dine at one of Napa Valley’s fine restaurants or explore downtown Napa’s vibrant culinary scene.

    Fort Bragg > Napa Valley | 135 miles

    Hilton Garden Inn Napa or similar

Napa Valley, California
Flying Over San Francisco

Day 12 – Farewell from San Francisco

Your holiday comes to an end today as you make your way back to San Francisco…

Your holiday comes to an end today as you make your way back to San Francisco International Airport in time to return your car and check-in for your flight home.

    Napa Valley > San Francisco | 70 miles
Flying Over San Francisco

Your Itinerary

You can customise this holiday by adding extra nights or destinations. Just let us know what you would like to do.

Day 1

|

Welcome to San Francisco

Arrive into San Francisco International airport, collect your bags and transfer to your hotel.

Home of the majestic Wine Country and the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco is well-known for its historic cable cars and bustling Union Square. Enjoy your first evening along the colourful waterfront.

    Riu Plaza Fisherman’s Wharf or similar

Golden Gate Bridge Sunset, America, San Francisco

Day 2

|

Explore San Francisco

Today, you are free to discover the many sights and sounds of San Francisco. Perhaps take a cable car ride from Fisherman’s Wharf to Union Square, or visit the famous Alcatraz Island.

This evening, dine in one of San Francisco’s many distinctive neighbourhoods, from Chinatown to the very Italian flavoured North Beach, each offers its own distinctive culture and cuisine.

Optional Experience – San Francisco Hop on Hop off Bus Tour
See San Francisco from the top of an authentic English Double Decker Bus! This is a fully narrated sightseeing tour. Enjoy the city lights and skyline on the Night Loop.

Optional Experience – Alcatraz Island Tour
Welcome to Alcatraz; once home to some of America’s most notorious criminals. Delve into the island’s remarkable history on this essential tour.

    Riu Plaza Fisherman’s Wharf or similar

Hyde Street Cable Car, San Francisco

Day 3

|

Yosemite National Park

Gaze upon the mist over the Golden Gate Bridge before collecting your car and departing the bustle of San Francisco. Head towards the natural beauty that is Yosemite National Park.

Take your time and enjoy the meandering drive into the park, the views get better with every turn. There are photo opportunities aplenty as you drive through Yosemite. Capture the iconic Sequoia trees, granite cliffs of El Capitan and Half Dome, and the iconic vista of towering Bridalveil Fall from Tunnel View.

    San Francisco > Yosemite National Park | 190 miles

    Yosemite View Lodge or similar

Yosemite National Park, USA

Day 4

|

Explore Yosemite National Park

Begin by exploring Yosemite Valley, home to some of the park’s most famous attractions. Marvel at the towering granite cliffs of El Capitan and Half Dome from Tunnel View, one of the park’s most iconic viewpoints. Take a stroll along the valley floor to admire Yosemite Falls, the tallest waterfall in North America, and Bridalveil Falls.

Yosemite Valley Visitor Centre and the Yosemite Museum, explain more about the park’s natural and cultural history through exhibits and also provide details about ranger talks, and guided walks.

Alternatively, take a scenic drive to Glacier Point for stunning views of Half Dome and the surrounding high country, or drive the Tioga Road to Tuolumne Meadows for alpine scenery and other hiking opportunities.

    Yosemite View Lodge or similar

Yosemite National Park

Day 5

|

Lake Tahoe

If it’s open, take the seasonal Tioga Road through Yosemite National Park’s high country. Enjoy breathtaking views of alpine meadows, granite peaks, and glacial lakes.

Make a stop at Mono Lake, a unique and ancient saline lake known for its otherworldly tufa towers. Explore the South Tufa Area, where you can walk among these remarkable limestone formations.

Continue on this scenic road past Topaz Lake and on to Lake Tahoe.

Alternatively, if Tioga Pass is closed, follow the road to Groveland where you can stop at the quaint downtown and consider a visit to the Tuolumne County Museum and History Centre.

Continue towards Sonora, where scenic views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains await as you approach Sonora Pass. Descending towards Bridgeport, indulge in the beauty of Twin Lakes, great for a hike.

Along the way to Lake Tahoe pass through charming towns like Markleeville and Woodfords, offering opportunities to stop for refreshments and explore local shops.

    Yosemite National Park > Lake Tahoe | 207 miles
    Tahoe Lakeshore Lodge & Spa or similar
Lake Tahoe, California

Day 6

|

Explore around Lake Tahoe

Start exploring Lake Tahoe from the stunning beaches that line the lake’s shores, such as Sand Harbor, Emerald Bay, or Lester Beach, where you can swim, sunbathe, or enjoy water sports like kayaking and paddleboarding.

Lake Tahoe offers numerous hiking trails with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and crystal-clear waters. Consider hiking to the top of Mount Tallac for panoramic vistas of the lake or exploring the trails in Desolation Wilderness.

You can also take a scenic drive around the lake to admire its beauty from various viewpoints, such as the Emerald Bay Overlook or the scenic byways of Highway 89. Don’t miss the chance to visit historic sites like Vikingsholm Castle or the Tallac Historic Site to learn about the region’s rich history.

Finally indulge in the vibrant culinary scene around Lake Tahoe, with numerous restaurants offering everything from casual lakeside dining to gourmet cuisine. Sample local specialties like fresh trout or indulge in international flavors at one of the many eateries around the lake.

    Tahoe Lakeshore Lodge & Spa or similar

Lake Tahoe, Nevada

Day 7

|

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Along the route to Lassen Volcanic National Park consider stopping at the charming town of Truckee, known for its historic downtown area and vibrant atmosphere. Take a stroll along the Truckee River or visit one of the local art galleries or boutique shops.

Once you arrive at Lassen Volcanic National Park, explore its unique volcanic landscape and natural wonders. Highlights within the park include:

  • Bumpass Hell: Take a hike to this hydrothermal area featuring boiling mud pots, steam vents, and colorful hot springs.
  • Lassen Peak: Hike to the summit of Lassen Peak for panoramic views of the surrounding area.
  • Manzanita Lake: Enjoy a scenic walk around Manzanita Lake or rent a kayak or canoe to explore its tranquil waters.
  • Sulphur Works: Visit this hydrothermal area near the southwest entrance of the park to see mud pots and steam vents up close.
    Lake Tahoe > Lassen Volcanic National Park | 140 miles

    Best Western Rose Quartz Inn or similar

Lassen Volcanic National Park, California, USA

Day 8

|

Klamath

From Lassen Volcanic National Park enjoy the scenic drive through Lassen National Forest. Take advantage of pullouts and scenic overlooks along the way to admire the natural beauty of the landscape and perhaps take some photographs.

If time permits, make a detour to McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park to see Burney Falls, one of the most beautiful waterfalls in California.

Drop down on to the Pacific Coast Highway and approach Klamath where you can enjoy views of the Klamath River and surrounding forests. Once in town, consider visiting the Trees of Mystery attraction, where you can take a gondola ride through the redwoods and learn about local Native American culture and legends.

    Lassen Volcanic National Park > Klamath | 234 miles

    Holiday Inn Express Klamath or similar

Sunset through sequoia redwoods in Yosemite National Park

Day 9

|

Redwoods National Park

Spend a day within Redwoods National Park, home to some of the oldest trees in America.

Start your visit at one of the park’s visitor centres to learn about the park’s ecology and history, and to see if there are any ranger lead activities.

Take scenic drives through the park to marvel at the towering redwoods and diverse landscapes. Drive along the Avenue of the Giants through the ancient redwoods and don’t miss Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway, which offers stunning views and access to various trailheads.

Visit one of the park’s beautiful beaches, such as Gold Bluffs Beach or Enderts Beach, for a peaceful stroll, beachcombing, or tidepooling. Some beaches also offer opportunities for picnicking and wildlife viewing.

Explore the park’s extensive network of hiking trails, ranging from easy strolls to challenging treks. Highlights include the Lady Bird Johnson Grove Trail, Trillium Falls Trail, and Fern Canyon Trail, known for its lush greenery and vertical walls.

And then, if you return at night, take advantage the park’s remote and dark-sky locations for prime stargazing.

    Holiday Inn Express Klamath or similar

Redwood National Park, California

Day 10

|

Fort Bragg

Begin today by visiting the Klamath River Overlook for stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and the mouth of the Klamath River.

Next, make a detour to explore the charming town of Trinidad, known for its scenic harbour and beautiful beaches. Take a stroll along Trinidad State Beach or hike the Trinidad Head Trail for panoramic views of the coastline.

Continue your journey south along Highway 1, also known as the Pacific Coast Highway, and marvel at the rugged coastline and dramatic cliffs. Consider stopping at Patrick’s Point State Park, where you can hike scenic trails, explore tide pools, and visit Wedding Rock for sweeping ocean views.

As you approach Fort Bragg, be sure to visit Glass Beach, a unique beach covered in colorful sea glass, a result of years of glass dumping. Take some time to explore the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens or browse the shops and art galleries in downtown Fort Bragg.

    Klamath > Fort Bragg | 196 miles

    Holiday Inn Express Fort Bragg or similar

Sunset at Glass Beach, Fort Bragg, California, USA

Day 11

|

Napa Valley

Continue further south by exploring Mendocino, a picturesque coastal town known for its Victorian architecture, art galleries, and stunning coastal views. Consider taking a stroll along the Mendocino Headlands State Park trails or visiting the Point Cabrillo Light Station.

Enjoy breathtaking views of the rugged coastline as you drive through the quaint towns of Elk and Gualala. Consider stopping at Salt Point State Park to hike scenic trails, explore tide pools, or enjoy a picnic overlooking the ocean.

As you reach Sonoma County, it is possible to detour to explore the charming town of Healdsburg, known for its wine tasting rooms, boutique shops, and farm-to-table dining experiences. Take some time to explore the historic Healdsburg Plaza or visit a nearby winery to sample award-winning wines.

Finally, arrive in Napa Valley, where you can immerse yourself in the region’s world-renowned wine culture. Consider taking a wine tour or visiting one of the many wineries in the area to taste exquisite wines and enjoy beautiful vineyard views. Don’t miss the opportunity to dine at one of Napa Valley’s fine restaurants or explore downtown Napa’s vibrant culinary scene.

    Fort Bragg > Napa Valley | 135 miles

    Hilton Garden Inn Napa or similar

Napa Valley, California

Day 12

|

Farewell from San Francisco

Your holiday comes to an end today as you make your way back to San Francisco International Airport in time to return your car and check-in for your flight home.

    Napa Valley > San Francisco | 70 miles
Flying Over San Francisco

Your Holiday Includes

11 nights’ hotel accommodation
10 days car hire, with unlimited mileage

Flights & More

Ask your FREEDOM Consultant to include Economy, Premium or Business Class flights for a complete ABTA and ATOL protected package.

They can also add extra nights and experiences in places you choose, to create the exact holiday you are looking for. Popular options include:

  • Extra nights in Seattle, San Francisco, Yosemite, Lake tahoe, or any location on your route
  • Upgrade your car to an SUV, 4×4 or electric vehicle
  • Speak to your travel consultant about adding in further experiences during your holiday

Next Step

Please get in touch with our America Experts to start planning your holiday. You’ll have a single point of contact from your first enquiry through booking.

San Francisco & Northern California

12 day Fly Drive – from £1165

With flights from £1765

Price is per person, based on two people sharing a double or twin room and includes pre-booked accommodation, air-conditioned car and unlimited mileage.Hotels specified are subject to availability and may be substituted by one of a similar or higher standard.

Tour code: AT-13

Map

San Francisco & Northern California, Fly Drive Holiday, Route Map

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