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Explore the Pacific Northwest on this 11-day trip travelling from Seattle to San Fran. You'll pass through lush national parks and stunning wildernesses, and indulge in a surprisingly unique food, beer and wine scene. With glacier-capped mountains and old-growth forests, Mount Rainier National Park is a natural paradise, and progressive Portland is vibin' in all its quirky hipster glory. Tread the trails through the world's tallest trees in Redwood National Park, follow the Wild Rivers Coast Food Trail and finish up in cosmopolitan San Francisco. Let the cooler climate delight you and a lesser-known USA route surprise you on a memorable small-group adventure.
Day 1: Seattle
Welcome to Seattle! The Pacific Northwest is all about the outdoors, good food, better beer and all the arts and culture you could ever want. You'll meet your leader at 6 pm, but there's plenty to see if you happen to arrive early. Take a walk around the waterfront and the renowned Pike Place Market, which is nearby to the original Starbucks store. Otherwise, head to the popular Starbucks Reserve Roastery or go visit the towering Space Needle for views of the surrounding mountain ranges. After your important meeting, why not grab a feed and try a local beer at one of the many microbreweries in the city.
Day 2: Mt Rainier National Park
This morning, head out to Mount Rainier National Park – home to the highest mountain in both Washington and the entire Cascade Ranges. Rainier was the fifth national park to be created in the US and is popular with hikers, alpinists, climbers and tourists thanks to its varied landscape, from its ice-capped volcano namesake to subalpine meadows filled with wildflowers. Stop in at the Henry M. Jackson Visitor Centre to check out the trails and work out what hikes you’d like to tackle. You’ll have time to do a small amount of walking. Afterwards, head to your accommodation for the evening.
Day 3: Columbia River Gorge / Portland
Leave Mount Rainier, and head to Columbia River Gorge. The Columbia River provides a natural border between the states of Washington and Oregon and is home to some stunning scenery of flowing rivers, verdant forests and cascading falls. Take some short walks in the surrounding countryside and then head to the Multonomah Falls – a beautiful cascading stream that can be viewed from below, or higher up on a pedestrian bridge lookout. Later in the afternoon, travel to the indisputable hipster capital of the west, Portland. You’ll take a late afternoon walking tour and get shown the ropes – from Pioneer Square to the renowned donut stores like Voodoo and Blue Star, and the absolute book-lover’s heaven at Powells, this progressive city has got you covered. Portland is yours to explore in the evening, so hit the breweries, check out the music and theatre scene or simply find a good spot to people-watch.
Day 4: Portland
Jump on the saddle and get pedalling, as you’re off on a Food Carts of Portland bike tour. Portland is known for its varied cuisine, and today, you’ll cycle past some of the 60 pods (food cart collections) of the city, filled with over 600 food stalls! The focus of your tour is on locally owned businesses with a great story, so meet the vendors, hear their stories and get the chance to taste the delicious food on offer. This will cover your lunch for the day. Later in the afternoon, have some time to explore Portland at your own pace. Depending on the time of year, there might be a local ice hockey or basketball game on at the Moda Center – best to book in advance if this interests you.
Day 5: Silver Falls State Park / Newport
Bid farewell to Portland and transfer to Silver Falls State Park. This park is home to the acclaimed South Falls, which has a direct plunge of 54 metres (177 feet) and is surrounded by plenty of walking trails to see this natural beauty from all angles, even from behind! It’s a sight to behold. Take some short hikes around the park before continuing on a drive through the Willamette Valley. Stop by a local vineyard for a tasting, then head to Newport on the Oregon coast. This evening, head to Rogue Brewery for an included dinner. You may have noticed a similar brewery in Portland; however, this is Rogue’s world headquarters, which looks out into Yaquina Bay.
Day 6: Oregon Dunes / Bandon
This morning, visit Yaquina Head Lighthouse – the tallest on the Oregon coast. Walk up the circular stairs to the top of the lighthouse for panoramic views over the Pacific Ocean. Continue your drive south to the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, where you’ll have time to walk through the expansive dunes which stretch for over 64 kilometres (40 miles) along the coast from Florence to Coos Bay. Afterwards, head to Bandon – a small coastal town with some incredible ocean vistas. Visit the Face Rock Scenic Viewpoint, to see the rock formation of a head jutting out of the ocean, and if you’re lucky, view the Circles in the Sand art installation on the beach from above. Bandon is also part of the Wild Rivers Coast Food Trail that you’ll be enjoying over the next few days, so start that off with an included visit and cheese tasting at the Face Rock Creamery.
Day 7: Redwood National Park
Today you’ll head south into northern California, hugging the coastline on stretches of road and stopping at cranberry and blueberry fruit farms along the way. The Wild Coast Trail is a foodie gift that keeps on giving. Continue across the Oregon-California border and stop at Crescent Beach Overlook for a view of the Pacific, before ending the day with sunset on the beach and a night near the Redwood National Park. This area of the coast is home to some of the tallest and oldest trees in the world.
Day 8: Redwood National Park
Take a full day to hike and explore the Redwood National and State Parks. Go looking for elk in Prairie Creek then walk through the incredible ridge-top redwoods at the Lady Bird Johnson Grove of Tall Trees. The scenes on Endor with the Ewoks in ‘Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi’ were filmed in this area, and you really will feel like you're on another planet. The brisk clean air, the filtered sunlight and the verdant tree canopies – this part of the world is truly a nature lover’s paradise.
Day 9: Mendocino, Northern California
Rise and shine early and depart Crescent City for a morning stop in Arcata. This hippie college town has a laidback vibe and is a perfect place for a coffee and a walk around the downtown main square. Continue your drive south to Mendocino, just in time to get yourself some lunch. Afterwards, take a walk around the Mendocino Headlands and the downtown area. Later in the afternoon, head to the unique Glass Beach in Fort Bragg – a colourful shore made from years of people dumping waste on the beach in the early 20th century. In 1967, the North Coast Water Quality Board closed the area and many clean-up programs have taken place, and now what is left is different coloured glassy beads on the shores that make this beach an attraction. Tonight, head to North Coast Brewing for dinner.
Day 10: San Francisco
Make your way to the City by the Bay, San Francisco. With one of the most iconic bridges in the world, San Francisco is a photographer’s dream. Arrive in the late afternoon and stop by the Golden Gate for some photos and, depending on the season, understand what the fuss is about with the infamous San Francisco fog. In the evening, go out exploring the city with your group, and perhaps head into Chinatown for a meal. There are some great nightlife options in Union Hill and the Mission District, or better yet, book yourself in for a sunset cruise on the bay. There’s no shortage of things to do in this lively, eclectic city.
Day 11: San Francisco
There are no activities planned for today and you're free to depart at any time. That being said, we recommend staying for a few extra days as there's so much to see and do in San Francisco and the surrounding area. If you would like to spend more time in San Francisco, we’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability).
- Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
- Mt Rainier National Park
- Walking tour of Portland
- Columbia River Gorge visit
- Portland - Food Carts of Portland bike tour
- Silver Falls State Park - Entrance Fee
- Newport - Rogue Brewery dinner
- Willamette Valley - wine tasting and vineyard visit
- Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area
- Newport - Yaquina Head Lighthouse
- Bandon - Face Rock Creamery visit
- Redwood National Park
- Mendocino Headlands walking tour
- Fort Bragg - Glass Beach
6 Breakfast(s) Included
1 Lunch(es) Included
1 Dinner(s) Included
Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?
Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?
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The trip was both both educational and exciting. I very much enjoyed the sights and culture.
The itinerary was just as I expected! The guide was very good as were the accomodations
Intrepid did such a great job. I never had to worry about where I was supposed to be and it felt so good not to worry about a thing but just to enjoy myself. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable about culture and history.
Taiwan people very friendly. Accommodation were centrally located and easily accessible. Did extra activities then in brochure which was greatly.
Larus our tour guide did an excellent job and was very attentive to our needs. He is very knowledgeable and has a great sense of humor.
Our guide Tarang chandola was exceptional. Courteous, knowledgeable, organized, polite, professional and went above and beyond taking care of our needs and requests offen anticipating what that might be. He made sure we all had the best possible time and offered suggestions to meet the needs of everyone on the tour. This made the trip even more enjoyable.
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