The Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge
The Big Sur, the 17-mile drive, and Bixby Bridge
The Big Sur, the 17-mile drive, and Bixby Bridge
Monterey Bay & Big Sur, California
Monterey Bay & Big Sur, California
Bike Riding in San Francisco
Bike Riding in San Francisco
Cable cars on the streets of San Francisco
Cable cars on the streets of San Francisco
Best Western Sonoma Valley Inn, Hotel & Pool and Vineyards in Sonoma Valley at Sunset
Best Western Sonoma Valley Inn, Hotel & Pool and Vineyards in Sonoma Valley at Sunset
Autumn in Sonoma County
Autumn in Sonoma County
Monterey coast
Monterey coast
Bixby Bridge, Monterey
Bixby Bridge, Monterey

Self-Drive Gems of Northern California

9 nights from €1,899 per person Including Flights

Overview

Explore this beautiful Californian self-drive over 9 nights taking in some hidden gems throughout. In San Francisco, spend three nights exploring the city's iconic landmarks, such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, and Fisherman's Wharf. Indulge in the diverse culinary scene and enjoy cultural attractions like the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Golden Gate Park.

Head to Monterey for three nights, stroll along the historic Cannery Row, and immerse yourself in the stunning coastal beauty. Explore nearby attractions such as Carmel-by-the-Sea and the picturesque 17-Mile Drive. During your three-night stay in Sonoma, delve into the region's rich wine culture by visiting its vineyards and wineries. Discover the charming town of Sonoma, explore its historic plaza, and savour the farm-to-table cuisine. Don't miss the opportunity to take in the breathtaking landscapes and explore the artisanal beverage scene of Sonoma County. (ATI/ TM)

Highlights

  • Visit iconic landmarks in San Francisco including the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, and Fisherman's Wharf.
  • Discover the enchanting Monterey Peninsula, boasting stunning beaches, delightful towns, and a plethora of family-friendly attractions.
  • Embark on a picturesque drive to Big Sur, traversing the renowned 17-Mile Drive, where the iconic Lone Cypress stands. Enjoy the breathtaking coastal views and the splendid landscapes as you make your way to the captivating region of Big Sur.
  • Discover Sonoma’s renowned wine culture, offering a multitude of vineyards and wineries where visitors can indulge in tastings and tours. The region's picturesque landscapes, including rolling vineyards and scenic countryside, further enhance the Sonoma experience.

Itinerary Overview

Fly into San Francisco 3 nights – Monterey 3 nights – Sonoma 3 nights – Fly home from San Francisco

 

 

Our holidays include
  • Flights & taxes
  • Accommodation
  • Checked baggage
  • CAR licensed & bonded
  • In resort assistance & 24 hour contact centre
Why Book with American Sky?
  • Hassle-free - book direct quickly and easily
  • Choice of airlines and the option to switch
  • A friendly, family run business with a wealth of experience.
  • Great deals on offer for multiple destinations
  • Low deposits
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Day 1

Fly into San Francisco

Welcome to the home of the Golden Gate Bridge, iconic cable cars with their imposing hills and Fisherman’s Wharf! Instead of picking up your rental car we advise taking the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) train from the airport straight into the heart of the city for just $10 and just over 30 minutes. San Francisco is an easily walkable city with fantastic transport links throughout.

Check into your hotel, we recommend staying in either Union Square or Fisherman’s Wharf – both are great locations with many shops, restaurants and abundance of hotels to choose from.

Day 2

San Francisco

Experience San Francisco's bike-friendly paths and waterfront leading to the Golden Gate Bridge with an all-day bike rental and ferry ticket. How about crossing to Sausalito for bay views and dining, then relax in Golden Gate Park, home to museums, a Ferris wheel, and the diverse San Francisco Botanical Garden, perfect for a picnic.

Day 3

San Francisco

Indulge in shopping or a historic cable car ride from Union Square to Nob Hill, leading to Russian Hill's scenic Coolbrith Park with views of the Financial District. Visit Lombard Street, capturing its famous curves and stunning bay views. Walk to Fisherman's Wharf, home to seafood, sea lions, and attractions like PIER 39, and ferries to Alcatraz. Stroll west to Ghirardelli Square, and onwards to Marina Green and Crissy Field for sweeping views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Sausalito across the bay. Carry on west to explore the Palace of Fine Arts with its beautiful architecture and serene atmosphere.

Day 4

San Francisco – Monterey (120 miles)

Pick up your rental car this morning and embark on a scenic drive from San Francisco to Monterey, passing Pacifica and Half Moon Bay's beaches and art scene. Journey through Santa Cruz, featuring the famed Beach Boardwalk, then through the Santa Cruz Mountains and Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Arrive in Monterey, where a stroll along the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail reveals stunning sand dunes, marine life, and the transformed Cannery Row, now lined with eateries, shops, and galleries.

Day 5

Monterey

Discover the bohemian charm of Carmel-by-the-Sea, famed for its top shopping scene. Explore Ocean Avenue's boutiques and visit nearby Point Lobos State Natural Reserve for coastal hikes and wildlife spotting. Experience the breathtaking Sea Lion Point trail and consider the Cypress Grove trail. Later, perhaps enjoy a whale watching tour from Monterey Fisherman's Wharf, witnessing the seasonal migrations of these magnificent creatures.

Day 6

Monterey

Consider a drive to Big Sur via the scenic 17-Mile Drive, passing the iconic Lone Cypress. Take a detour to Pacific Grove for its Victorian charm and the historic Point Pinos Lighthouse. Traverse Garrapata State Park, featuring dramatic cliffs and Bixby Creek Bridge's awe-inspiring panoramas. Admire McWay Falls and Ragged Point's stunning vistas before reaching Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park for a redwood adventure and picnic.

Day 7

Monterey – Sonoma (160 miles)

Today, depart Monterey for the Salinas Valley, famed for its vineyards and farms. Discover wineries in Soledad and Greenfield, known for their Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Continue through Salinas and Gilroy, celebrated for garlic cultivation, then transition to suburban life in the Santa Clara Valley. En route, explore Petaluma's blend of country charm and trendy shops, offering a unique culinary experience. Finally, arrive in Sonoma to savour its historic plaza, wineries, and culinary delights.

Day 8

Sonoma

Take a scenic drive on Highway 12 from Sonoma to Santa Rosa, immersing yourself in the picturesque vineyards of Sonoma Valley. Delight in Sonoma's culinary scene, vineyards, and historic sites, centered around the vibrant town of Sonoma. Savour renowned Chardonnays and other varietals before exploring Sonoma Plaza, an expansive hub for community events and local businesses, offering charming cafes, boutiques, and farm-to-table eateries.

Day 9

Sonoma

Explore Sonoma County's burgeoning artisan beverage scene, encompassing craft breweries, cider works, and distilleries. Immerse yourself in the traditions and craftsmanship of these boutique industries. Discover the stunning California Coast, adorned with charming sea villages like Bodega, Bodega Bay, and Jenner in Sonoma County. Enjoy a waterfront breakfast before embarking on a coastal journey, perhaps catching a glimpse of migrating whales from the scenic Bodega Head overlook.

Day 10

Sonoma to San Francisco airport (65 miles)

Today, relish the splendour of California's wine country as you head south. Embrace the transition from the scenic vineyards to the vibrant cityscape of San Francisco, culminating in the return of your rental car at San Francisco Airport.

 

  • International return flights
  • 9 nights accommodation as described or similar
  • Fully inclusive car hire starting from Day 4
  • Electronic Roadbook

What’s Not Included

Resort fees and parking fees where applicable
Car hire drop off fees paid locally
Optional excursions

 

Riu Plaza Fisherman’s Wharf

San Francisco

The Riu Plaza Fisherman’s Wharf is set in the heart of one of San Francisco's most popular regions. Known for its historic waterfront, delicious seafood and spectacular sights, this is a must for any visitor.

The Handlery Union Square Hotel

San Francisco

Right in the heart of downtown San Francisco sits The Handlery Union Square, a welcoming hotel offering comfortable suites and delicious food for when you want to relax from the liveliness of the city.

Holiday Inn Express at Fisherman's Wharf

San Francisco

Staying at this location puts you in the heart of Fisherman's Wharf and within walking distance of Ghirardelli Square, the Cannery, Pier 39, Aquarium of the Bay and the Wax Museum.

Hotel Zephyr San Francisco

San Francisco

The Hotel Zephyr is a fun, quirky hotel set just a short stroll to Pier 39 and is close to the surrounding attractions, from the Fisherman’s Wharf area to Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge.

The Argonaut

San Francisco

The Argonaut Hotel in San Francisco is a luxury boutique hotel in the heart of Fisherman’s Wharf where guests can experience the essence of San Francisco and its rich maritime history.

Westin St Francis

San Francisco

The Westin St. Francis is conveniently located in the heart of the city, only moments from the theatre district, world-class shopping and countless superb restaurants, galleries and museums

Monterey Plaza Hotel and Spa

Monterey

Blending European elegance with friendly and attentive service to create a world-class experience, this hotel dramatically overlooks the Monterey Bay with wide-sweeping coastal views from a perfect vantage point

Portola Hotel & Spa at Monterey Bay

Monterey

A nautically inspired hotel in Monterey Bay, closeto shops and restaurants, this waterfront hotel boasts an ideal location near Carmel, Big Sur and the world-class Pebble Beach Golf Links.

InterContinental The Clement Monterey

Monterey

Located on beautiful Monterey Bay, InterContinental The Clement Monterey is a contemporary, luxury hotel and spa resort with magnificent ocean views, stylish ambiance and cutting-edge facilities.

Post Ranch Inn

Carmel

The Post Ranch Inn has stunning ocean and mountain views, embracing the dramatic beauty of the California coastline. The Inn is ideal for romance, relaxation and rejuvenation, making it the ultimate destination for a luxurious escape.

Carmel Valley Ranch

Carmel

Immerse yourself in the verdant woodlands, magnificent cuisine, and championship golf of captivating Carmel Valley Ranch – a place of idyllic beauty and peace, embodying the rich blend of culture, hospitality, and nature of the region.

Farmhouse Inn Sonoma

Sonoma Valley

A beautiful, rustic country-chic hotel nestled along Russian River Valley, offering incredible moments including warming up by your own fireplace, drinking decadent wine on sommelier-led tours, dining al fresco under the stars, and relaxing with friends by the firepit.

Best Western Sonoma Valley Inn

Sonoma Valley

Best Western Plus Sonoma Valley Inn provides comfort and convenience to wine country visitors seeking hotel accommodations close to Napa area wineries, shopping and fine dining.

Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn

Sonoma Valley

A luxurious resort, in the heart of Sonoma Valley, you will love championship golf course, extensive spa and fabulous choice of restaurants. With daily wine-tasting and daily guided-hikes, you still need to find time to relax by the pool with a cocktail from the Water Tower Bar.

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