Mix the bustling cities and peaceful parks and countryside of the Pacific Northwest on this exciting Journey, ...
... taking you from the hilly streets of San Francisco to the towering skyscrapers of Seattle. Along the way you’ll stop off to explore wine regions, rugged coastlines, raging rivers and quaint little towns, with plenty of time for outdoor adventures and wildlife watching too.
Some of the highlights included are:
- Tour the infamous prison of Alcatraz in San Francisco
- Explore Oregon’s Deschutes River on a white water rafting trip from Sunriver
- Ride to the top of the Space Needle for spectacular views across Seattle
- Look out for the black dorsal fins of the orca off the coast of Orcas Island
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- All international flights
- 12 nights in 3-4* hotels
- 13 days car hire
- San Francisco highlights tour with Alcatraz
- Seattle CityPASS
Need to know+
- Arrives: San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
- Time difference: GMT-8
- Visa requirements: British passport holders require an electronic travel authorisation (ESTA), available online
- Language: English
- Currency: US dollar (USD)
- Flying time from UK: around 11 hours direct
- Plug type: 2 flat pins
- Voltage: 120V
- A one-way fee applies for the car hire in this Journey in the months of July & August; please ask us for details
Fly from UK to San Francisco
Discover the delights of San Francisco: wander the many hills or take the historic cable cars, cycle across the Golden Gate Bridge or simply watch it emerge from the morning mists and check out the wide sandy beaches. Later, hop across to the infamous island of Alcatraz, included in your City Highlights Tour. This notorious prison, now a museum, once incarcerated Al Capone. And don’t forget to try the delicious local food, including fresh sushi and steaming noodles in Chinatown.
Continue to Sonoma County and Santa Rosa, the gateway to the vineyards and wineries of the Napa Valley and where you can visit the museum of Charles M Schulz, creator of the comic strip Peanuts. If wine is your thing then a wine-tasting trip around the vines is a must-do, as you can sample some of the regions finest vintages, or perhaps even purchase a bottle or two to take home. If you’re here in July, do not miss the Sonoma County Fair, a celebration of local produce that involves a carnival and plenty of eating and drinking.
Cross into Oregon and Ashland, a pretty little place with a lovely creek and plenty of wildlife and nature watching opportunities. This town is also home some lovely boutique shops, and hosts the annual Oregon Shakespeare Festival. This runs for most of the year (between February and November) and sees 11 of Shakepeare’s plays shown on three stages. It’s very popular, with over 15 million people having watched a play since the festival began in 1935.
Your next stop, Sunriver, is an outdoorsy sort of place, with a wide range of activities on offer. Choose from white water rafting, fishing, biking, hiking and golf in summer, and skiing and snowboarding in winter. Do not miss a trip to the Nature Center, where you can follow the trails and look for eagles, owls, and frogs or, if you’re here on a clear night, try the Sunriver Observatory, where you can gaze at the twinkling stars through the many high-spec telescopes.
Drive on to Portland, the largest city in Oregon. Here you’ll find a delightful mix of the old and new architecture, funky coffee shops and craft breweries, as well as various parks, galleries and museums. It’s a surprisingly nature-filled place too, with neat rows of trees and flowers along the Willamette River, plus some excellent city views from the Portland Aerial Tram. Top things to do include admiring the roses in the International Rose Test Garden and taking a stroll around Washington Park.
Seattle isn’t known as the Emerald City for nothing; it’s full of leafy parks, evergreen trees and views of the distant Cascade and Olympic Mountains. Ride to the top of the Space Needle observation tower, which at 184m tall offers the city’s most famous vistas, as well as a rotating restaurant, SkyCity. For something a little different take a look around Chihuly Garden and Glass, where a garden and eight galleries display the artworks of Dale Chihuly.
The largest of Washington’s San Juan Islands, Orcas is a great spot to get outdoors and try some sea kayaking, especially if you go with a biologist guide. There’s opportunities for bird-watching and hiking around here too, or you can head out to sea and look for orcas, the island’s namesake whale. For a great view, climb to the top of Mount Constitution the highest point at 731m, where you’ll find sweeping views of the sea and the snow-capped peak of Mount Baker in the distance.
Depart Orcas Island and return to the UK
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