USA & Canada
Antarctica & Arctic
Three states, four major cities and a stunning coastline are waiting for you during this trip. Seemingly endless, the Pacific Coast Highway winds its way along spectacular beaches and picturesque fishing villages.
Destinations > West Coast USA > Pacific Coast Sampler
14 nights accommodation, meals as indicated and 14 days car rental
*Price is per person based on twin share. One way car hire fees apply and must be paid direct. Please speak to our team or view our terms and conditions for more information
Daily, Apr - Oct
Discover the beautiful trails of Mount Rainier and explore 800,000 hectares of wilderness in Olympic National Park, see the towering trees of Redwood National Park and take a drive through California's wine country and along the Pacific Coast Highway.
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Redwood National Park
Stunning coastal scenery
California wine country
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An urban city amidst unmatched natural beauty, Seattle is surrounded by water, mountains and evergreen forests and is an adventure lover's paradise. Arrival day is perfect for some relaxed exploring of the city.
Seattle has so much to offer, so the day is at leisure to discover it's highlights. Perhaps visit Pike Place Market early as the vendors lay out farm-fresh goods and artisan products. Be sure to see the famous 'fish-throwers' and the original Starbucks. Later, visit Chihuly Garden & Glass, the Museum of Pop Culture, get spectacular views from the Space Needle, tour the Boeing Factory, or enjoy a pro sporting event.
A short trip from the coffee bars of Seattle, three major volcanoes - Mounts Rainier, St. Helens and Adams - rise like immense pyramids from the surrounding hills. Today would be perfect for a day trip to visit Mt. Rainier. Many people don't realize that Mount Rainier has a vertical rise comparable to that of Mount Everest. Maintained trails amid wildflowers eventually give way to snowfields, then glaciers on the way toward the summit.
The vast and road-less Olympic National Park, combined with Olympic National Forest, totals more than 800,000 hectares of protected nature. Ecological and geological extremes coexist in close proximity. Whether you're equipped to scale the sharpest peak, or simply seek the peace of a groomed path to a waterfall in the forest, you must explore it for yourself. Deer and bear are plentiful and the Roosevelt elk population is the largest anywhere. Bald eagles ride the skies and salmon fight their way upstream from the Pacific.
The eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980 created the greatest landslide in recorded history. Visitors can now see the green of rebirth emerging from the ash amid a surreal moonscape of forests blown over in the blast. Many trails and several informative visitor centres give different perspectives on the mountain, and on the unbelievable forces that coincided that Sunday morning.
Continue onwards to Portland, a quirky city worth exploring. Downtown Portland boasts an amazing array of attractions, including an outstanding collection of cast iron and terra cotta architecture, the largest new-and-used
bookstore in the world, a nationally acclaimed art museum, and many great restaurants. It's also a haven for craft beer lovers, and easy to explore by bicycle. visit to Portland is not complete without a stop in the famous Rose Garden.
Continue your travels to Oregon's rugged coast. Surrounded by the Pacific shoreline with its beautiful dunes and lovely beaches, the Coos Bay Area is located between the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area on the North and Shore Acres State Park, an impressive botanical garden on a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, on the South.
Take your time exploring more of Oregon’s coast before crossing the border into California.
Today visit Redwood National Park, home to some of the world’s tallest trees - old-growth coast redwoods. They can live to be 2000 years old and grow to over 300 feet tall. Spruce, hemlock, Douglas-fir, berry bushes, and sword ferns create a multiple canopied understory that towers over all visitors.
Continue to Eureka. Of all the early logging and lumber towns of northwestern California, Eureka is the most
interesting to visit. Part of the downtown core of Eureka is "Old Town," several blocks of restored and recreated buildings from the late 1800s, which are positioned near the waterfront. (B)
Take your time visiting the Avenue of the Giants. Possessing an impressive series of 70 memorial groves, this park is the best-known of California's redwood parks.
Afterwards take a detour along California's northern coast to Fort Bragg in Mendocino County. Visitors can enjoy Glass Beach or the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. Cut across the coastal mountains to Willits, home of the famous "Skunk Train".
Drive through California’s Wine Country, perhaps stopping for a tasting or two at one of Napa's famous vineyards. Cross over the inconic Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco, the "City by the Bay'. (B)
Although it's known for it's hills, San Francisco is still one of America's best cities for walking. Alcatraz, Golden Gate Park, Fisherman's Wharf, Union Square and Chinatown, just to name of few of the "most-see" sights - explore it by foot or catch a ride in one of the city's famous Cable Cars.
Continue south along the coast to Monterey. In Monterey, Steinbeck's "Cannery Row", Fisherman's Wharf and the Monterey Aquarium are all worth a visit. Then travel along the world-famous 17 Mile Drive with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean to Carmel, a quaint little artist's town where Clint Eastwood served as a major once.
Continue along the famous Pacific Coast Highway with its twin bridges and vistas, turns and grades. Travel via Big Sur, Morro Bay and Pismo Beach to San Luis Obispo. There is still so much to see! Stop in Solvang, the Danish Capital of America with gentle rolling hills, windmills, quiet streets, horse drawn carriages and Danish bakeries. Then it's on to Santa Barbara, also known as the American Riviera. Santa Barbara is nestled between the Santa Ynez mountains and a sweeping shoreline overlooking the nearby Channel Islands. It's unique south-facing position results in a temperate climate with sunshine from dawn to dusk. Take some time to explore State Street, Santa Barbara's mission and the main beach.
Continue along the Malibu Coast, home of the rich and famous before reaching Santa Monica, one of Los Angeles' famous beach towns, and the final stop on this Pacific Coast road trip.
Today marks the end of the journey south on the Pacific Highway. Still keen for more? Take some extra time and continue down to San Diego. Otherwise, it's time to farewell the coast for onwards travels.
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