Ready to follow in the footsteps of our epic Insta-Agent fam trip through Northern California? This seven-day road trip is one of the most gorgeous and diverse in the state. Let’s go!
The northern-most stretches of California are some of the most beautiful, and under-rated parts of the state.
On any road trip north from San Francisco, rolling green meadows give way to rugged, spectacular mountains and towering Redwood forests in only a short distance.
This seven-day road trip takes you to, through and between some of the most Instagrammable and exciting spots in San Francisco, Shasta Cascade and Sonoma County.
Day 1: San Francisco
Morning: Take in the technicolour explosion of art and flavour in the Museum of Ice Cream’s installations.
Lunch: Grab some refreshments at the Commons Club at the Virgin Hotels San Francisco before continuing your exploration.
Afternoon: Glide through one of the city’s most iconic winter activities – ice skating at Union Square – before warming up with your credit card for the neighbouring boutiques. (Ice rink open November – January).
Dinner: Taste a sample of San Francisco’s representation in the 2019 California Michelin Guide at Gibson.
Stay At: Virgin Hotels San Francisco.
Day 2: San Francisco
Morning: Walk the city stretch including The Castro, Haight-Ashbury, the Painted Ladies, and Golden Gate Park for an Instagram-able adventure.
Hint: If you’d prefer an alternative walking tour, consider going from the Ferry Building to Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf, Ghirardelli Square and the Palace of Fine Arts.
Lunch: Fill your tummy on a food tour of North Beach with Avital Food Tours.
Afternoon: Take in the views of the city skyline from a private tour of Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill.
Evening: Learn something new or have fun at the Exploratorium After Dark. A hands-on museum for children during the day, it opens each Thursday night for adult play – complete with cocktails.
Day 3: San Francisco -> Chico
Transit: Hit the road towards Chico (approx. 3h 45m total) after a quick breakfast.
Morning: Shop ’til you drop at The Vacaville Premium Outlets with high-end brands.
Lunch: Grab a bite at California’s favourite pit-stop, Nut Tree Plaza, with 26 casual dining options.
Afternoon: Discover how some of California’s pioneering craft beer is brewed at the Sierra Nevada Brewery.
Dinner: Grab a brew and a bite at the Sierra Nevada Brewery Taproom.
Stay At: Oxford Suites Chico.
Day 4: Chico -> Redding
Transit: Drive towards Redding (approx. 1h 20m)
Morning: Discover Northern California’s wilderness at Turtle Bay Exploration Park – a great activity for families. Don’t miss taking a stroll across the iconic Sundial Bridge.
Afternoon: Tour Lake Shasta Caverns, one of the oldest and most visited natural landmarks in Upstate California.
Dinner: Devour some hearty food at C.R. Gibbs American Grille.
Stay: Hilton Garden Inn, Redding.
Day 5: Redding -> Corning -> Sonoma County
Transit: Drive from Redding to Corning (approx. 45mins)
Lunch: Taste some of the U.S.A’s best olives at the Olive Pit, in a town known for its fresh produce.
Afternoon: Taste drinks at Spirit Works Distillery, where some of Sonoma’s best local concoctions are created.
Dinner: Eat, drink and be merry at Fern Bar, a part-restaurant drinking establishment that takes inspiration from the county’s biodiversity. Don’t miss strolling around The Barlow before or after dinner!
Stay At: Vintner’s Resort.
Day 6: Sonoma County
Morning: Soar over the wineries, parks and towns of Sonoma County with Up & Away Ballooning.
Afternoon: Sample world-famous Sonoma County wines without worrying about your calorie count on a Sip ‘n’ Cycle Tour with Getaway Adventures.
Dinner: Taste the sustainable Sonoma County culinary style at Bricoleur Winery.
Day 7: Sonoma County
Morning: You’ve heard of Downward Dog, but try a whole different experience at Goatlandia’s goat yoga.
Lunch: Enjoy the great outdoors with a picnic at Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve, amongst some of the tallest trees on earth.
Afternoon: Hike the walking trails around Bodega Bay to see some of Sonoma’s exquisite and rugged coastline (hint: there are great photo ops).
Ready to Dream big? Check out this itinerary in more detail and so many more epic California itineraries at: www.visitcalifornia.com/au
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