Explore The Golden State With This 2-Week Luxury Itinerary
California is a state of diverse landscapes, vibrant cities, and a laid-back lifestyle. With endless possibilities for adventure, it can be overwhelming to plan the perfect road trip itinerary. But don't worry, we've got you covered! This two-week road trip will take you through the most iconic and picturesque destinations in California. Get ready to hit the open road and explore the beauty of the Golden State.
Our private tours typically range from $500 - $1000 per person/per night depending on chosen hotels and room categories, vehicles used, types of tours, flight cost, time of year and other factors. Make an inquiry for a customized trip quote.
On arrival in San Franciso, meet your private guide at the airport who will transfer you to your cozy hotel. Spend the day exploring the city's famous landmarks, such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman's Wharf, and Alcatraz Island. Grab some fresh seafood for lunch at Fisherman's Wharf, and indulge in some local delicacies such as clam chowder and sourdough bread. In the evening, head to North Beach, the city's Italian neighborhood, for a delicious dinner and some live music before returning to your hotel for rest.
Day 2: Journey to Yosemite National Park
Leave San Francisco early in the morning and get a private drive to Yosemite National Park. It's a 3.5-hour drive, but the stunning scenery along the way is worth it. Once you arrive at Yosemite, spend the day hiking and exploring the park's breathtaking landscapes, such as Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, and El Capitan. For lunch, pack a picnic and enjoy it by the Merced River. In the evening, head to the campsite for a relaxing night under the stars.
Day 3: Exploring Lake Tahoe
Leave Yosemite in the morning and drive east to Lake Tahoe. It's a 4-hour drive, but the views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and Lake Tahoe make it a scenic journey. Once you arrive at Lake Tahoe, spend the day swimming, kayaking, or paddleboarding in the crystal-clear waters. For lunch, grab a bite at one of the lakefront restaurants, and enjoy the view of the surrounding mountains. In the evening, head to your hotel or for a cozy night by the fireplace.
Day 4: Another day at Lake Tahoe
Spend another day at Lake Tahoe, exploring the area around the lake. You could take a scenic drive around the lake. Hike to Eagle Falls and catch the sunset over the lake before heading back to your accommodation.
Day 5: Drive to Napa Valley
Leave Lake Tahoe in the morning and drive south to the beautiful Napa Valley, a must-visit destination. Its a 3.5-hour scenic drive with views of vineyards and rolling hills. Spend the day wine tasting at some of the best wineries in the region. Enjoy a picnic lunch in a vineyard. Spend some leisurely time in the evening, then enjoy a gourmet dinner at one of the many Michelin-starred restaurants in the area.
Day 6: Visit Sonoma County
Head north from Napa Valley to Sonoma County (a 2-hour private drive), another wine region known for its charming towns and picturesque vineyards. Visit the historic Buena Vista Winery and enjoy some farm-to-table cuisine at one of the many restaurants in the area. In the evening, explore the charming town of Healdsburg and indulge in some artisanal cheese and wine. Return to your hotel in Napa Valley for rest.
Day 7: Exploring the town of Mendocino
Leave Sonoma County in the morning and drive north to Mendocino, a quaint coastal town known for its rugged cliffs, stunning views, and artistic community. Along the way, make a stop at the historic Point Arena Lighthouse for some breathtaking views of the coastline. Once you arrive in Mendocino, spend the day exploring the town's art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants. For lunch, grab some seafood at the iconic Little River Inn. In the evening, head to your cozy bed and breakfast or cottage for a relaxing night by the fire.
Day 8: Redwood National and State Parks
Leave Mendocino early in the morning and drive north to Redwood National and State Parks, home to some of the world's tallest trees and diverse wildlife. Spend the day hiking through the park's ancient redwood forests such as the Fern Canyon Trail. For lunch, pack a picnic and enjoy it in one of the park's scenic areas. In the evening, head to your camping and enjoy a delicious dinner under the stars.
Day 9: Mendocino Coast
Today, visit the Russian Gulch State Park and the Point Cabrillo Light Station. For lunch, enjoy some local seafood at one of the many restaurants in the area. In the evening, relax in your cozy accommodation and enjoy the sounds of the ocean.
Day 10: A day of adventure at Eureka
After breakfast, head to the charming town of Eureka (a 3.4 hours drive), known for its Victorian architecture and historic old town. Spend the day exploring the town's art galleries, antique shops, and restaurants. For lunch, try some local specialties, such as oysters or fish and chips. In the evening, return to your hotel for a relaxing night.
Day 11: Journey to Santa Cruz
After breakfast, today you will leave the Mendocino Coast in the morning and drive south to Santa Cruz (4 hours scenic drive), a vibrant beach town known for its surf culture and boardwalk amusement park. Spend the day surfing, paddleboarding, or kayaking in the Pacific Ocean. For lunch, grab a burrito or some fish tacos at one of the many beachfront restaurants. In the evening, explore the Santa Cruz boardwalk and its attractions, such as the Giant Dipper roller coaster or Neptune's Kingdom arcade. Check into your luxury California hotel for dinner and rest.
Day 12: Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea
Leave Santa Cruz in the morning and drive south to Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea, two charming coastal towns known for their natural beauty and rich history. Spend the day exploring the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Cannery Row, or the 17-Mile Drive. For lunch, grab some seafood at one of the many restaurants in the area. In the evening, head to the quaint town of Carmel-by-the-Sea and enjoy some wine and cheese in a cozy bistro.
Day 13: Exploring Big Sur
Today, take a scenic drive along the stunning Big Sur coastline, known for its towering cliffs, turquoise waters, and breathtaking views. Stop at some of the area's best viewpoints, such as Bixby Bridge, McWay Falls, or Pfeiffer Beach. For lunch, enjoy a picnic with some local wine and cheese at one of the many scenic spots in the area. In the evening, head back to San Francisco.
Day 14: Departure
After breakfast, your private guide will transfer you to the airport while you reminisce about the amazing two-week road trip you just had. Happy Departure!
Tips To Remember When Going For A Road Trip In California
If you're planning a road trip in California, there are a few tips you should keep in mind to make sure your trip is as smooth and enjoyable as possible. Here are some tips to remember for your California road trip:
Check the weather forecast: California weather can be unpredictable, so make sure to check the forecast before you leave. Bring appropriate clothing and gear for the weather conditions you're likely to encounter.
Pack smart: Don't overpack, but make sure to bring all the essentials, including a first-aid kit, plenty of water, snacks, and a map or GPS device.
Stay alert and focused: Long road trips can be tiring, so make sure to take breaks and switch drivers if possible. Avoid driving while drowsy or distracted.
Be prepared for emergencies: Have insurance before taking the flight. Familiarize yourself with the basic rules and regulations of the country.
Respect the environment: California has many beautiful natural areas, so be sure to respect the environment and leave no trace. Follow posted signs and stay on designated trails.
Embrace the local culture: California has a rich cultural heritage, so take the time to learn about the history and traditions of the places you visit. Try local cuisine and immerse yourself in the local culture.
What's the best time of year to take a road trip through California?