• Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton
    Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton

Destinations Show, Olympia

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Vicki Tester

 


Photograph by kind permission of UnCruise Adventures

Don’t forget we will be at Destinations Show at Olympia, London, on February 02, 03, 04 and 05. Find us on Stand AC32 which we are sharing with the American company Uncruise Adventures. Most of the team will be there over the 4 days and would love to see a friendly face or two. This is one of the biggest travel shows in the U.K and a great place to find new destinations and experiences that would suit you. If you have a particular place in mind for your holiday next year (or the year after) give us a call to book an appointment with our team expert for that part of the world. However we will be very pleased to see you as and when you are free.

For your free tickets to Destinations Show, please go to: http://www.destinationsshow.com/london/form/registration  and then type in MSC97 in the appropriate place.

We look forward to seeing you at either event.

Favourite Road Trips

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Looking for inspiration? Here are just a few ideas based on some of our favourite road trips. This selection will give you a taste of the possibilites; whether your interest lies in wildlife, photography, spectacular scenery, geology, history of you are planning a family adventure, let us help you plan the perfect trip.

BB King Mural Clevand MS web

 

Rhythm and Roots

…a musical discovery tour. Trace the roots of American music and experience the unique cultural landscapes that gave birth to the Blues, Country and Rock-n-Roll.


ITINERARY

Blue Ridge NC1

 

The Skyline Drive & The Blue Ridge Parkway

…follow the Appalachians from the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia to the Great Smoky National Park in North Carolina; this relaxed and easy drive offers endless hiking trails, blue-grass music, spectacular mountain vistas, wildflowers, sparkling waterfalls, black bear and the brilliant fall foliage that is any match for New England…


ITINERARY

Western USA

 

The Grand Circle

This exhilarating route is surely one of the most spectacular road trips in the US. Allow at least 10 days to ensure you have time to explore the wealth of National Parks – Bryce, Zion, Arches, Canyonlands, Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon to name just at few. The names evoke the scenery and the wilderness you will encounter and remember for ever. With so much to see along the way it is difficult to know where to start and what to include – here is one suggestion, beginning and ending in Las Vegas…


ITINERARY

Highway 1- Central Coast 4 cr cttc

 

The Pacific Coast from Seattle to LA

Follow the dramatic Pacific Coast Highway – a 1500 mile trip which takes you through Washington, Oregon and California. Rain forests, endless beaches, lighthouses, estuaries teaming with diverse wildlife, giant redwood forests, interspersed by vibrant and cosmopolitan cities – this route has just about everything. Although you can do the journey in a few days we would suggest you take your time to fully enjoy the trip. Here’s one suggestion..


ITINERARY

California & Las Vegas 020

 

 

 

 

 

The East Coast from Washington DC to Florida

Take a drive down the USA’s Atlantic Coast and on the way discover beautiful beaches, a rich and interesting history, warm and genuine hospitality, charming towns and cities and an abundance of wonderful wildlife.


ITINERARY

Yellowstone geyser

 

The Wild West

…from the Badlands of South Dakota to Yellowstone; this drive will take you through some of the most wild and beautiful landscapes imaginable. Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, the Bighorn Mountains and Cody before entering the spectacular scenery of Yellowstone National Park, with its legendary geyser basins, hot springs and assorted geothermal oddities, not to mention its stunning wildlife.


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glacier

 

Alaskan Adventure

Explore Alaska’s stunning landscapes – rugged mountains, alpine meadows, crystal lakes, glaciers, diverse and abundant wildlife. With more scenic highways that any other US state, this is the ultimate driving destination. Incorporate Alaska’s Marine Highway, where whales, rare birds, sea-otters and sea lions can be viewed from the deck, to make this a truly memorable trip.


ITINERARY

El Capitain cr Robert Holmes

 

From San Francisco to Vegas

Your journey starts in one of world’s truly great cities before heading south along the Pacific Coast Highway. Then drive across the Sierra Nevada Mountains, through the weird and wonderful Death Valley to the city of sin, Vegas …

 


ITINERARY

4.2

 

Route 66

No list of road trips is complete without the Great Mother Road, Route 66. Much of the original route has now been bypassed by the interstates but many stretches are still driveable and accessible. During the thirties, thousands travelled west to California, to escape poverty in the dust bowls. Motels, diners, neon lights, museums, kitsch and other nostalgic reminders of a different era…


ITINERARY

Kluane

 

The Golden Circle – a Taste of Yukon and Alaska

Here we suggest a spectacular mountain self-drive journey which offers a taste of Alaska and Yukon. Drive through dramatic rocky landscapes, past deep blue lakes and experience the excitement of the Klondike Gold Rush. This is a trip for adventurers with opportunities for canoeing, Kayaking, hiking and superb wildlife viewing…


ITINERARY

Route 66

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A journey along route 66.

Summary

Route 66

It was in 1926 in Springfield, Missouri that the idea of a highway connecting Chicago with Los Angeles was born, but it is perhaps most famous as the route taken by many families suffering hardship during the Dust Bowl of the 1930’s when agricultural workers headed west in search of employment.  Today, much of the original road has now been by-passed, but stretches are still driveable.  Many of the businesses along the way have been renovated to reflect the era when this road was considered the Great Mother Road.

Day 1: Chicago
Day 2: Springfield, Illinois (205 miles)
Day 3: St Louis, Missouri (105 miles)
Day 4: Springfield, Missouri (210 miles)
Day 5: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (290 miles)
Day 6: Amarillo, Texas (260 miles)
Day 7: Albuquerque (290 miles)
Day 8: Holbrook (230 miles)
Day 9: Flagstaff (90 miles)
Day 10: Grand Canyon South Rim (90 miles via Williams)
Day 11: Kingman (185 miles)
Day 12: Santa Monico, California
Day 14: Return to London or continue elsewhere.

Description

Description

Here we give one suggestion for a 2 week trip following Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles. No matter how long you take, this journey involves a lot of driving – if you can stretch to 3 weeks then you will only enhance your experience and give yourself the opportunity to explore more of the amazing diversity of landscapes and places you are passing through. We have included some suggestions as to where you might add some extra time. Or why not just do part of the route and combine with some of the stunning National Parks of Western USA. We can help you plan the perfect trip …

Day 1: Chicago
Arrive in Chicago then pick up your hire car before heading to your downtown hotel for an overnight stay. Chicago is known as America’s favourite city. Situated on Lake Michigan it boasts sandy beaches, cycle paths, superb architecture, authentic blues music, great restaurants, shops, museums and art galleries. If time allows, an extra night here would be highly recommended.

Day 2: Springfield, Illinois (205 miles)
Your advernture begins with a drive through the farmlands of Illinois. First stop, the State Capitol, Springfield. Long time home and final resting place of Lincoln, the city has maintained many of the original Route 66 sites.

Day 3: St Louis, Missouri (105 miles)
Continue to St Louis, located on the banks of the Mississippi and home to the Gateway Arch, which reflects St Louis’ role in the Westward expansion of the United States during the 19th Century. Ride the tram to the top for magnificent views of the city and river.

Day 4: Springfield, Missouri (210 miles)
Today’s journey takes you through the Ozark Highlands of Southern Missouri. The original route has been replaced by the I44 freeway but many of the signs of the route can be seen near each exit. One of the most famous attractions are the Meramec Caverns, a set of limestone caves once used as a hide-out by Jesse James and widely advertised on barns and buildings all over the Midwest.

Day 5: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (290 miles)
Into Oklahoma which boast more self-driveable miles of the original Route 66 than any other State. Once known as Indian Territory the state is home to more Native American Tribes than any other. During the Dust Bowl of the 30s thousands of Oklahomans headed west along Route 66 to escape poverty – the Oklahoma Museum of History reflects on this period of the States History in addition to special collections relating to the Native American presence. Take time to see the moving and powerful memorial to those killed or affected by the 1995 bombing.

Day 6: Amarillo, Texas (260 miles)
Continue west into Texas, passing through McLean, the headquarters of Texas’s Historic Route 66 Association. Much is being done to try to preserve the town in its original condition. Visit the Devil’s Rope Museum where you will learn everything you need to know about barbed wire.

Day 7: Albuquerque (290 miles)
Depart Amarillo and take time to visit the famous Cadillac Ranch where bizarrely 10 classic Cadillacs lie nose down in the ground. Cross the mid-point of Route 66 before heading into New Mexico – for many this is their favourite section of the trip. With stunning mountain scenery, breathtaking views, ranches, reservations and Pueblo communities along the route you will find many motels, trading posts and gas stations that have been restored and preserved. Spend a couple of nights in Albuquerque to give you plenty of time to explore this historic city and the nearby State Capital, Santa Fe – the original Route 66 passed through here.

Day 8: Holbrook (230 miles)
Cross into Arizona, taking time to visit the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert National Parks before staying overnight in the town of Holbrook. Visit the Navajo County Museum, located in the Historic Navajo County Courthouse.
If you have an extra day or two then we would highly recommend taking a detour from the route here to visit the Canyon de Chelly National Monument and Monument Valley.

Day 9: Flagstaff (90 miles)
Short drive today, past Winslow and the massive Meteor Crater to the lively and vibrant town of Flagstaff. If time allows, a detour or a night or two in nearby Sedona is highly recommended.

Day 10: Grand Canyon South Rim (90 miles via Williams)
Not strictly on Route 66 but a detour to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon is well worth it. Make sure you see the Canyon when the light is at its best at sunrise or sunset. Or for a truly spectacular view take an early morning flight by helicopter or fixed wing aircraft over the Canyon.

Day 11: Kingman (185 miles)
This stretch of the route through Arizona has some of the best surviving stretches of the original route – many of the old cafes and motels are still flourishing. Overnight stop in Kingman.
At this point you may not be able to resist a night or two in Las Vegas

Day 12: Santa Monico, California
And finally into California (first passing London Bridge at Lake Havasu), crossing the State Border at Needles. Cross the Mohave Desert to Santa Monica; this marks the end of Route 66 where the road meets the Pacific Ocean. End your trip here with a couple of nights relaxation by the beach.

Day 14: Almost a full day before heading to the airport to drop off the car and your direct overnight flight pack to the UK

Cadillac Ranch

Credit Helen Wibley


CanyonDeChelly comp

Credit Helen Wibley


Museum_Club_Flagstaff comp

Credit Helen Wibley


Painted Desert Arizona

Credit Helen Wibley


Petrified Forest Arizonan

Credit Helen Wibley

      

Little Gems

Little Gems

If you can only afford the time to do a section of Route 66, do the section between Amarillo and the Grand Canyon.  It is here that you will see the Cadillac Ranch and cross the midway point.  You’ll see renovated gas stations, diners and trading posts, to say nothing of the scenery!

What our clients say

Client Feedback

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Holiday Homes USA

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Holiday homes USA – houses and apartments

Despite the cost of getting there, USA still represents excellent value for money. For families, a group of friends, golfing or outdoor enthusiasts, beach lovers, skiers, we are delighted to be able to offer a wide selection of villas with private pools, condominiums, apartments and luxury holiday homes in several stateside locations. As well as the traditional holiday destinations of Florida and California, we can offer New York, South Carolina, New England, Colorado and Arizona. Whatever the size of your group or budget, we will be able to find something to suit you. Perhaps combine a week on the road with a week’s relaxation in a beautiful location.

Contact us for details

Holiday homes USA - NYC

Credit New York Tourism

 

Untouched Oregon

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Oregon is indeed untouched – and well off the beaten tourist path.  This itinerary takes the visitor through the best that Oregon has to offer from stunning scenery, to deserted beaches – there is something for everyone here. Travelling to Oregon is set to become even easier with the introduction of a new direct flight from Heathrow to Portland starting summer 2017.

Summary

Untouched Oregon

Oregon is indeed untouched – and well off the beaten tourist path.  This itinerary takes the visitor through the best that Oregon has to offer from stunning scenery, to deserted beaches – there is something for everyone here.

Day 1: Portland
Day 4: Hood River
Day 5: Bend
Day 7: Crater Lake National Park
Day 9: Bandon
Day 10: Florence
Day 11: Newport
Day 12: Nahcotta
Day 14: Quinault
Day 16: Port Angeles
Day 18: Seattle
Day 21: Return to UK

Description

Description

With its outstanding natural beauty and many sites of historical and cultural significance, Oregon has more designated scenic byways and tour routes that any other state. Much of Oregon’s appeal lays in the fact that few people find it and it is still relatively undiscovered. This tour takes you on a breath taking journey through the state; Columbia River Gorge, Crater Lake National Park, the dramatic Pacific coastline… Along with spectacular scenery you will enjoy rich history, charming towns and extraordinary recreational and cultural experience.

Day 1: Portland
Portland is a delightful and laid back city with so much to see. With the magnificent Mount Hood as a backdrop, it is famed for its International Rose, Classical Chinese and Japanese gardens. It boasts USA’s largest bookstore Powells. Add museums, art galleries and fabulous restaurants
Three nights Portland

Day 4: Hood River
Pick up car and depart on the scenic route to Hood River to the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. Stop at Multnomah Falls, the highest in Oregon and 2nd highest in the USA
One night Hood River

Day 5: Bend
Drive south through the Warm Springs Indian Reservation where you will explore the culture and history of Warm Springs, Wasco and Paiute tribes. Descendants of those who welcomed the explorers Lewis and Clark still live here today. The Cascades Lakes Highway out of Bend is a 66-mile journey that incorporates some of Oregon’s finest scenery. Along the route there are dozens of lakes and frequent views of the jagged Three Sisters Peak and Mount Bachelor.
Two nights Bend.

Day 7: Crater Lake National Park
Drive south through the Deschutes National Forest and onwards to Crater Lake National Park
Two nights Crater Lake.

Day 9: Bandon
A short and scenic drive will take you to quaint seaside town of Bandon on the Pacific Coast. The Oregon coastline is truly stunning: marshes, seaside cliffs, dunes, temperate rainforests, whale-watching, surfing, large colonies of seals and sea lions, rocky coastlines and vibrant old-style resort towns…
One night at Bandon.

Day 10: Florence
Continue up the scenic Pacific Coastline to Florence. The vibrant waterfront district has many shops and fine restaurants
One night in Florence.

Day 11: Newport
Continue north hugging the Pacific coastline to the picturesque little fishing village of Newport.
One night in Newport.

As with so many self-drive tours, there are many different options. It would be lovely to add in a few extra nights to Oregon and return to Portland here for your flight home, or to continue into Washington State to drive the Olympic route……

Day 12: Nahcotta
Continue North into Washington State where you will stay for 2 nights on the coast.
Two nights in Nahcotta.

Day 14: Quinault
Drive the scenic route to Quinault on the edge of The Olympic National Park and the Quinault Indian Reservation. Here you spend time visiting this vast park.
Two nights at Quinault.

Day 16: Port Angeles
Drive to Port Angeles this will give you easy access into the Park and to Hurricane Ridge.
Two nights at Port Angeles.

Day 18: Seattle
Continue the scenic route around the Park to Bainbridge Island. From here you can take the ferry over to Seattle, a delightful city. Take a city tour, visit the famous Pike Place Market, take a day tour of Mount Rainier..
Three nights in Seattle.

Day 21: Return to UK
Your return journey will be an overnight flight – arriving the following day.

Oregon - Mount hood

Credit Hood River Chamber

 

Oregon - Multnomah1 no credit

Credit Oregon Tourism

 

Oregon - CrownPoint.tif

Credit Larry Geddis

 

Oregon coast 1 web

Credit Oregon Tourism

      

Little Gems

Little Gems

Crater Lake – in the words of the National Parks Service – 

‘Like No Place Else On Earth – Crater Lake has inspired people for thousands of years. No place else on earth combines a deep, pure lake, so blue in color; sheer surrounding cliffs, almost two thousand feet high; two picturesque islands; and a violent volcanic past. It is a place of immeasurable beauty, and an outstanding outdoor laboratory and classroom.’

What our clients say

Client Feedback

“Being uncertain what to do for a holiday, I contacted Experience Holidays who recommended a fly-drive trip to Oregon.  I was certainly not disappointed!……..

……………The highlight of my trip was a visit to Crater Lake – I was stunned by the perfect azure water with snow capped peaks surrounding it.  I was sad to leave Oregon and hope to return at a later date.  My grateful thanks to Experience Holidays for such a memorable trip.”

San Francisco

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Spend time in this fabulous city.

Summary

San Francisco

Arguably, one of the most popular and beautiful cities in the States. Visitors cannot fail to be impressed by its steep streets, cable cars and the spectacular Golden Gate Bridge. Add to this a high concentration and variety of fine restaurants and shopping centres, a diverse ethnic mix, museums, art galleries and famous visitor attractions and you have the ingredients for a perfect city break. Here is just one suggestion for a 3 night stay in this wonderful city:-

Day 1: Transfer to your chosen hotel where you will be based for your 3 night stay.
Day 2: This morning take a deluxe orientation tour of the city.
Day 3: Full day to explore more of this city.
Day 4: Time for some last minute shopping before checking out of your hotel

Description

Description

Arguably, one of the most popular and beautiful cities in the States. Visitors cannot fail to be impressed by its steep streets, cable cars and the spectacular Golden Gate Bridge. Add to this a high concentration and variety of fine restaurants and shopping centres, a diverse ethnic mix, museums, art galleries and famous visitor attractions and you have the ingredients for a perfect city break. Here is just one suggestion for a 3 night stay in this wonderful city:-

Day 1
On arrival in San Francisco, transfer to your chosen hotel where you will be based for your 3 night stay. Tonight you are free to dine at leisure in one of the many restaurants on offer.

Day 2
This morning take a deluxe orientation tour of the city. Your tour takes in all the familiar sights of the city including Fisherman’s Wharf, Lombard Street, the GoldenGate Bridge, Nob Hill and Chinatown – this will help you plan the rest of your stay. You can combine this tour with a 45 minute cruise of San Francisco Bay.

Day 3
Full day to explore more of this city. With so much to do and see, you might consider the purchase of a city pass which, in addition to discount vouchersincludes unlimited use of cable cars and public transport for the duration of your stay (excluding the BART). The pass includes entry to four or San Francisco’s most popular attractions, California Academy of Science, Blue & Gold Fleet Cruise Adventure, Aquarium of the Bay and the De Young Museum (or the Exploratorium)

In the evening join a tour of Chinatown by night including dinner in an authentic Chinese restaurant. The tour concludes with a drive across Bay Bridge to get a view of the city by night (only available on Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays)

Day 4
Time for some last minute shopping before checking out of your hotel and taking the shuttle back to the airport for your onward or return journey.

San Francisco - Cable Cars SFCVB photo

Credit San Francisco CVB


San Francisco - Alcatraz SFCVB photo by Lewis Sommer

Credit Lewis Sommer

            Mission Dolores SFCVB Mami Miyata

Little Gems

Little Gems

The evening tour to Alcatraz – numbers are limited at this time of day, giving you a true feeling of isolation and if you are lucky with the weather, you may get a lovely sunset to the west.

What our clients say

Client Feedback

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California’s Redwood Highway

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Amanda Skingle

 

Picture credit Yvonne Dann

Picture credit Yvonne Dann

Mention California and immediately San Francisco, the Big Sur, Hollywood, Yosemite, Lake Tahoe and Death Valley may come to mind.

But there’s another California that lies to the north of the Golden Gate just waiting to be explored; a landscape of rugged coastlines, towering forests, sparkling lakes and rivers – a California which is unspoiled, uncrowded and relatively undiscovered.

The Redwood Highway connects the Golden Gate Bridge to the Oregon border and passes through some of California’s best unspoilt quaint towns, scenic coastline, mountains, family owned vineyards and wineries and gourmet local organic food.  And, as its name implies, you will find yourself amongst the magnificent California Redwoods, the tallest trees in the world, driving along secluded scenic roads, far removed from the busy interstates.

The Highway  which started  in the 19th century as a patchwork of stagecoach  and logging trails connecting the rural communities scattered throughout the forests of the north coast, began to attract tourists after the Golden Gate Bridge opened in 1933,

For outdoor enthusiasts the area offers incredible walking opportunities, kayaking, river rafting, mountain biking and wildlife viewing. In addition to The Redwoods National Park and Point Reyes National Seashore, the route passes through numerous state parks and reserves. 

Include the Highway as part of your holiday to Northern California or continue up the coast in neighbouring unspoilt Oregon.

To start planning your bespoke, tailor made California holiday contact us on 01323 446550 or email us at info@experienceholidays.co.uk

San Francisco to Las Vegas

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Take in the breathtaking scenery along this route between San Francisco and Las Vegas.

Summary

San Francisco to Las Vegas

There are so many ways to combine a driving holiday in California with the glitzy city of Las Vegas.  This is just one and takes in a stop in Death Valley as well as the magnificent Tioga Pass through Yosemite.

Day 1: San Francisco
Day 4: Monterey
Day 5: Big Sur Coast Highway
Day 6: San Luis Obispo North Coast Byway
Day 7: Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park
Day 8: Yosemite
Day 10: Death Valley
Day 11: Las Vegas

Description

Description

There are so many ways to combine a driving holiday in California with the glitzy city of Las Vegas.  This is just one and takes in a stop in Death Valley as well as the magnificent Tioga Pass through Yosemite. 

Day 1: San Francisco
Fly to San Francisco, the beautiful ‘City on the Bay’. Spend at least 3 nights here with time to relax after your flights and enjoy this wonderful city. Ride the cable cars from Union Square to Fisherman’s Wharf, take a cruise around the harbour, visit Alcatraz, museums, art galleries, Chinatown, Grace Cathedral, Lombard Street – the famous crooked street….
San Francisco 3 nights

Day 4: Monterey
This morning pick up your hire car and head south out of the city along the Pacific Coast Highway. First stop Monterey, a fascinating town with a lively Fisherman’s Wharf – home to the acclaimed Monterey Bay Aquarium and Cannery Row (made famous by John Steinbeck). The famous 17-mile drive from Monterey to Carmel winds through pine forests and along the rocky shoreline where many bird species and sea lions may be viewed.
Monterey 1 night

Day 5: Big Sur Coast Highway
This spectacular route, south of Carmel and Monterey, hugs the Californian coast and provides wonderful hiking and photo opportunities. Rugged Canyons, towering redwood and cypress trees, crashing surf and diverse marine life. The road then drops down into San Simeon – on the approach to San Simeon, stop off at the Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Colony, then perhaps take time to visit Hearst Castle, a magnificent house built on a mountainside by the newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst.
San Simeon 1 night

Day 6: San Luis Obispo North Coast Byway
Along this short stretch of the coastal highway, in addition to scenic ocean views, you will enjoy many historical and cultural sites before arriving in San Luis Obispo. With its lively down town area, centred around the Mission, this make the perfect place for an overnight stop.

Day 7: Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park
Start your journey east to the Sierra Nevada Mountains, which form the backbone of California. Here you will find yourself in the company of giants – from General Sherman Tree, the biggest tree in the world to Mount Whitney, the highest mountain in the lower 48 states.

Day 8: Yosemite
On to Yosemite, quite simply breathtaking – from the magnificent granite domes and spires, to thundering waterfalls, to stunning meadows carpeted with a wonderful array of wild flowers, this is a hiker’s paradise.
Yosemite 2 nights

Day 10: Death Valley
Drive up through the Tioga Pass to the eastern Sierras (this pass is usually closed from October through to June – if you travel at another time an alternative, longer route will be planned).
Death Valley 1 night

Day 11: Las Vegas
Continue to Las Vegas to spend a few days at the end of your holiday.

More time? – then continue your adventure taking time to explore some of the amazing National Parks of the West including Zion, Bryce and the Grand Canyon…

Las Vegas - Death Valley

Credit Helen Wibley


Las Vegas - Yosemite Dear

Credit Helen Wibley        


Las Vegas - Yosemite Falls

Credit Helen Wibley


Las Vegas - Yosemite Half Dome

Credit Helen Wibley

           

Little Gems

Little Gems

Yosemite National Park is a true gem and should not be missed.  If you can spare the time to stay another night (or possibly two), you won’t be disappointed.

What our clients say

Client Feedback

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Pacific Coast

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Travel the west coast between Seattle and Los Angeles on this itinerary.

Summary

Pacific Coast

A diverse coastline of rugged headlands, giant trees and expansive beaches…

Day 1: Seattle
Day 3: Olympic Peninsular
Day 5: Astoria
Day 6: Oregon Coastline
Day 8: Northern California Coast
Day 9: San Francisco
Day 11: The California Coast from San Francisco to Los Angeles
Day 14: Los Angeles

Description

Description

A diverse coastline of rugged headlands, giant trees and expansive beaches, this itinerary takes you from north to south through west coast USA.  There are many opportunities to add to or amend this itinerary, for example, returning north using Amtrak’s Coast Starlight train. 

Day 1: Seattle
Fly from London to Seattle. At least 2 nights here to rest after your flights and explore this great city.
Seattle 2 nights

Day 3: Olympic Peninsular
Pick up your hire car then start your journey with a ferry across to the Olympic Peninsular. Drive along the Straits of Juan de Fuca where glimpses of diving eagles, gray whales, sea otters are common. Walk, kayak or explore the wild shoreline and forests. Explore rain forest valleys, glacier-capped peaks and a stunning variety of plants and animals.
Olympic National Park 2 nights

Day 5: Astoria
Head south crossing the Columbia River into Oregon.
Astoria 1 night
If time allows then it well worth spending a couple of days in the wonderful city of Portland and the surrounding area. Explore the Columbia River (last leg of the Lewis and Clark Expedition) and the Mount Hood area – waterfalls, magnificent overlooks, wild flowers, wild rivers…

Day 6: Oregon Coastline
Stretching over 350 miles, the Oregon section of Pacific Coast Scenic should not be rushed. Allow yourself at least 2 days to enjoy the amazing scenery. Endless beaches, with wind-sculpted dunes, waterfalls cascading over rugged cliffs, charming small towns, dramatic overlooks, historic bridges, lighthouses and estuaries teeming with wildlife. Overnight stop half way down Florence before heading into Northern California

Day 8: Northern California Coast
Continue your drive south taking time to visit Humboldt Redwood State Park – drive along the Avenue of the Giants looking for wildlife – deer, bear, foxes and osprey can be seen here. Overnight in Marin County, home to the giant redwoods in Muir Woods and the picturesque waterfront village of Sausalito. More time? – why not take a detour to the Napa Valley.

Day 9: San Francisco
Over the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco – at least 2 nights here; take a city tour, ride the cable cars, cruise around the harbour, visit Alcatraz, museums, art galleries, Chinatown…
San Francisco 2 nights

Day 11: The California Coast from San Francisco to Los Angeles
The drive from San Francisco to LA along the old coastal road, the Cabrillo Highway, is gorgeous and not be rushed. Here we suggest 3 overnight stops en route (take longer if you can) First stop Monterey, a fascinating town with a lively Fisherman’s Wharf – home to the acclaimed Monterey Bay Aquarium and Cannery Row (made famous by John Steinbeck). The famous 17-mile drive from Monterey to Carmel winds through pine forests and along the rocky shoreline where many bird species and sea lions may be viewed. South of Carmel, Highway 101 passes though the spectacular Big Sur area before dropping down to San Simeon. On the approach to San Simeon, stop off at the Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Colony. In San Simeon, take time to visit Hearst Castle, a magnificent house built on a mountainside by the newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. A night in this area is recommended. Then continue on along the San Luis Obispo North Coast Byway before perhaps an overnight stop at the delightful and vibrant town of Santa Barbara

Day 14: Los Angeles
Continue to LA for a day or two in this exciting city before heading home. If time allows a few days relaxation on a Southern Californian beach may be welcome at the end of your trip.

Pacific Coast - Big Sur - Kym Bannister

Credit Kym Bannister


Pacific Coast - GGB cr SFCVB by Carl Wilmington

Credit Carl Wilmington


Pacific Coast - California

Credit Helen Wibley

  

 

Pacific Coast - Oregon coast 2 web

Credit Oregon Tourism


Pacific Coast - Pike Place Market (2)

Credit Helen Wibley


Pacific Coast - Humboldt Redwoods CTTC - Andreas Hub

Credit CTTC

  

Little Gems

Little Gems

The Olympic Peninsular was the setting for the Twilight series of books.  For enthusiasts of these books, many local names will appear familiar.

What our clients say

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Northern California Discovery

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This itinerary explores coast and scenery, and a chance to enjoy some of the regions wineries. The beautiful North Coast, California’s Redwoods, wild and scenic rivers, and its fiery volcanic interior begin just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Summary

Northern California Discovery

Experience the best that nature can provide, a chance to see some of California’s most distinctive wineries and sparkling wine cellars, and enjoy a California small town experience offered in the numerous Northern California communities highlighted on this itinerary. The beautiful North Coast, California’s Redwoods, wild and scenic rivers, and its fiery volcanic interior begin just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Day 1: San Francisco
Day 4: San Francisco to Marin County
Day 5: Sonoma
Day 6: Mendocino
Day 7: Eureka
Day 9: Redding
Day 11: Lassen Volcanic Park
Day 13: Lake Tahoe
Day 15: Depart San Francisco

Description

Description

Experience the best that nature can provide, a chance to see some of California’s most distinctive wineries and sparkling wine cellars, and enjoy a California small town experience offered in the numerous Northern California communities highlighted on this itinerary. The beautiful North Coast, California’s Redwoods, wild and scenic rivers, and its fiery volcanic interior begin just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Day 1: San Francisco
Arrive in San Francisco and transfer to your central hotel. We would suggest a minimum of 3 nights in this fantastic city. Take a city tour, ride the cable care, take a cruise around the harbour, visit Alcatraz, museums, art galleries, Chinatown.
San Francisco 3 nights

Day 4: San Francisco to Marin County
This morning pick up your hire car and drive out over the Golden Gate into beautiful Marin County. Explore the pretty little bay side town of Sausalito, famed for its galleries and restaurants, take a ferry over to Angel Island for some of the best views of the Bay area, explore legendary Muir Woods National Monument, a remnant of the ancient coastal redwood forests that blanketed many Northern California coastal valleys before the 1800s, travel north on coastal Highway 1 and explore the Point Reyes National Seashore…
Novato 1 night

Day 5: Sonoma
Marin County is the gateway to the Sonoma Wine Regions. Spend the day exploring the rolling hills of this beautiful region, driving along winding county roads through vineyards and orchards, visiting some of the famous wineries and restaurants. Or sit back and enjoy a guided winery tour, complete with gourmet picnic lunch at a scenic winery overlooking the vineyards. Depending on where you want to wander you can spend the night in either Santa Rosa or Ukiah in neighbouring Mendocino Country.
Santa Rosa 1 night

Day 6: Mendocino
Today drive over the coastal mountain range to the coast taking time to visit family owned wineries, microbreweries or some of America’s best sparkling wine houses. Visit the historic village of Mendocino on bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, stop off at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens, take a ride through towering redwoods on the historic “Skunk Train”, then visit a local fishing harbour to sample some of the region’s seafood.
Mendocino 1 night

Day 7: Eureka
Drive along California’s North Coast on Highway 1, adjacent to the rocky shoreline, before heading inland to rejoin Highway 101. Visit the Humboldt Redwoods State Park and the world-famous Avenue of the Giants to walk among the world’s tallest trees. Continuing north, take a short detour to the Victorian village of Ferndale, often used as a film set. Just north of Ferndale is the City of Eureka with its historic Old Town district and waterfront boardwalk, your base for 2 nights. Head north, exploring some of the gorgeous beaches along this lovely stretch of coastline. Explore Redwood National Park and enjoy one of the many hiking trails through the Redwoods. This area also includes spectacular Fern Canyon featured in one of the Jurassic Park films.
Eureka 2 nights

Day 9: Redding
Drive inland along the beautiful Trinity Scenic Byway – this will take you through quaint towns such as Willow Creek, home of the Bigfoot Museum, Weaverville and Whiskeytown. Enjoy some of Shasta Cascade’s most spectacular scenery, perhaps take a rafting trip on the Trinity River, stop off for a swim or a kayak tour on Whiskeytown Lake. The area around Redding and Mount Shasta is known for its pristine sapphire blue mountain lakes and rivers, dramatic waterfalls, forests, and miles of backcountry trails; the area offers exceptional skiing and snowboarding during the winter with fly fishing, cycling and mountain biking, horseback riding, rafting and hiking during the summer. Shasta Lake is considered the best boating lake in California and numerous marinas provide the opportunity to rent a boat for the day.
Redding 2 nights

Day 11: Lassen Volcanic Park
Today drive east to Lassen Volcanic National Park for a 2 night stay in the heart of the National Park. Here you will experience the authentic Old West – the accommodation is quaint and rustic, most has no electricity. Spend a day exploring the park, renowned for its clear mountain lakes, numerous volcanoes, smoking fumeroles and beautiful wildflower meadows. Try horseback riding, hiking, swimming, fishing… or just relax. Lassen 2 nights

Day 13: Lake Tahoe
And finally on to Lake Tahoe for a 2 night stay. The drive takes you along part of the Feather River Scenic Byway – pass waterfalls, forested slopes, gigantic rock outcrops and beautiful meadows. You will then join the Yuba Donner Scenic Byway, the route travelled by the ill-fated Donner party and other California 49er’s. Take time to visit the Donner Memorial State Park where the Emigrant Trail Museum and the Pioneer Monument tell the stories of those who emigrated to California from the east in the mid-1800’s. Drive along Lake Tahoe’s West Shore Drive, viewed by some as the “most beautiful drive in America”, for breathtaking views of the crystal blue lake.
Lake Tahoe 2 nights

Day 15: Depart San Francisco
Back to San Francisco, arriving in time for your onward or return flights. If time allows, visit the State Capitol, Sacramento; the historic Old Town is now home to galleries, restaurants, boutiques and shops – a great place for last minute souvenirs.

More time? – then consider adding a day or two in Yosemite or drive down the stunning California coast to Los Angeles.

California - Coast Photo

Credit Oregon Tourism

California - Mt. Shasta

Credit California Tourism

Little Gems

Little Gems

The Avenue of the Giants is a fabulous drive and Lassen National Park deserves a two night stay especially if you are keen hikers.

What our clients say

Client Feedback

‘All in all, a fantastic holiday – probably the best ever.  Had loads of fun and our friends loved it as we had such a diverse range of great experiences.  California rocks!… What next?’

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