Trace the Pacific Coast from the Mexican border at San Diego to the 'Emerald City' of Seattle. Visit cosmopolitan San Francisco, and gaze in amazement at the majestic Redwood Trees of Oregon.
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16 days from
(based on 24/05/2015 departure date)
Fly to San Diego where you will transfer to your hotel for two nights.
Known as the 'Birthplace of California', San Diego has a strong Spanish influence. This morning, a comprehensive sightseeing tour includes the stunning downtown area, Gaslamp Quarter, Balboa Park, Coronado Island and Old Town San Diego. The afternoon is at leisure.
Today, start your epic coastal journey travelling to Los Angeles, the 'City of Angels'. During your tour of the city, visit TCL Chinese Theatre, the popular Hollywood Walk of Fame, and the Dolby (formerly Kodak) Theatre, home of the Oscars. Other highlights include Beverly Hills and the legendary Sunset Strip.
The day is free for your own exploration. Visit Hollywood and the Hollywood History Museum, located in the old Max Factor Building. Stroll Olvera Street, the heart of the original Spanish Mission or visit the Getty Centre with its wonderful art collection.
This morning follow the shore line from Santa Monica to Santa Barbara where the Spanish influence is obvious, with quaint whitewashed and tile-roofed buildings. Visit the impressive 200 year-old Mission, with its world-famous twin bell towers. Afterwards, enjoy a leisurely stroll along the wharf and lunch on your own. Next you travel to Solvang, the Danish Capital of America. Enjoy free time to browse around the town's picturesque buildings, windmills and charming shops featuring Danish imports and rich pastries. Overnight in San Luis Obispo.
This morning, journey to San Simeon and visit Hearst Castle, the opulent mansion of the wealthy newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst. Next visit Carmel, known as 'California's Jewel' which attracted many artists, poets, musicians and actors. Make sure you do not miss the Cottage of Sweets and famed Hogs Breath Inn before travelling the 17 Mile Drive along the famous Pebble Beach to Monterey, made famous by John Steinbeck's novel 'Cannery Row'.
This morning leave Monterey and journey to San Francisco, one of the America's most charming cities. A guided sightseeing tour lets you take in the breathtaking Golden Gate Bridge, bustling Fisherman's Wharf and the hills that make San Francisco so iconic. Afterwards, take a boat trip to Alcatraz Island, and discover the history of this notorious former prison.
The day is yours at leisure. Return to Fisherman's Wharf to enjoy its multitude of stores, markets and excellent waterside eating spots, perhaps stroll along Grant Street or ride the historic cable car. Tonight, join our optional evening out with dinner in Fisherman's Wharf followed by an illumination tour of San Francisco.
Bid farewell to San Francisco as you travel to the fertile wine-growing valley of Sonoma, crossing the Golden Gate Bridge en route. In Sonoma, enjoy a guided tour and wine tasting at one of the well-known wineries, before hitting the Avenue of the Giants, a 31-mile section of Highway 101 curling through soaring giant redwood groves. In the evening arrive at Eureka, hub of California's lumber industry, viewing Carson Mansion, the elaborate Victorian home of a lumber baron on the way.
Today, take the coastal highway through Redwood National Park, a magnificent amphitheatre of towering sequoias. Enter Oregon and continue along the coastal road to the pretty seaside town of Bandon-by-the-Sea. A sightseeing tour will show you its scenic beauty and charm, then enjoy a photo stop at the Bandon lighthouse. Tonight stay in Coos Bay.
An exciting day awaits as we journey to Florence, one of Oregon's most beautiful and charming coastal settlements where you're free to explore the historic Old Town. From Florence, continue through the Siuslaw National Forest, past popular beach resorts to one of Oregon's favourite holiday spots - Newport. Late this afternoon enjoy an included visit to the Oregon Coast Aquarium.
An enthralling day travelling the dramatic Three Capes Scenic Route to Tillamook. Along the route, don't miss the reading of signs telling the story of the ghost community that existed there 35-55 years ago. First stop is Cape Kiwanda with its spectacular views. Next, Cape Lookout State Park, then on to Three Arch Rocks. The last stop takes us to Cape Meares State Scenic viewpoint, 200 feet above the ocean. A must see is the Cape Meares Lighthouse at 38 feet high - it is the shortest lighthouse in the state. After visiting Tillamook Village, known for its cheese and salt-water taffy, arrive at Portland, dubbed the 'City of Roses', taking in Washington Park International Rose Test Garden.
Cross the mighty Columbia River into Washington State, stopping at the Mount St Helens Volcano Visitor Centre to learn of the dramatic eruption of 1980. Later this afternoon we reach Seattle - surrounded by the waters of Lake Washington and Puget Sound - the city also enjoys spectacular mountain views. Your sightseeing includes the Seattle Centre and a stop at vibrant Pike Place Farmers Market. Tonight an unmissable optional outing - a waterfront meal and panoramic views from the observation deck of the 605 feet high Space Needle.
The whole day free to enjoy the 'Emerald City'. Why not stroll the International District to absorb its Asian influences or take a cruiseboat across Puget Sound?
Transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK, or extend your stay in Vancouver, Seattle or with an Alaskan cruise.
Maximum elevation on this tour is 1,250 ft.
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