Eureka 2 nights
Redding 1 night
Sacramento 1 night
Day 1 San Francisco/Eureka: Collect your hire car and take less travelled roads to discover California's wild north coast. Stopping points along the way include Point Reyes National Seashore and the charming hamlet of Mendocino. Eureka is the largest coastal city between San Francisco and Portland, Oregon and is an inviting place with hundreds of ornate 19th century homes that reflect the town's formative years when lumber was king (271 miles).
Day 2 Eureka: Start your explorations along the waterfront, where a pretty esplanade provides nice views of the harbour and adjacent Humboldt Bay. Eureka is also the southern gateway to the Redwood National & State Parks, one of California's crown jewels and well worth a visit. This spectacular network of national and state parks has dozens of soft paths letting you walk among the soaring redwoods, which grow over 350 feet.
Day 3 Eureka/Redding: Before you depart, you may wish to visit Eureka's small maritime museum or, perhaps soak up the sense of history in the adjacent Old Town. Your route today takes you through Shasta-Trinity National Forest, a huge wilderness area with lakes and trails. Continue onwards to Redding, an outdoor paradise with mountains all around, miles of hiking and biking trails, a river running through it and national parks nearby. This evening, head to downtown Redding where you'll find historical theatres, live music hot spots, classic and contemporary eateries along with some great bars (147 miles).
Day 4 Redding/Sacramento: Drive south today to the state capital, Sacramento. En route, there are numerous small towns where you can break your journey, including Red Bluff, Corning and Williams. When you reach Sacramento, we recommend you begin your explorations in Old Sacramento, a 28 acre historic riverfront district with shops, restaurants and attractions. Here, you'll find the State Capitol building, Capitol Park, Sutter's Fort and the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park. If you prefer an up to date vibe, head to downtown or midtown Sacramento, where the city's main theatres, art galleries, cultural venues plus shops and entertainment venues can be found (162 miles).
Day 5 Sacramento/San Francisco: Sacramento is regarded as America's farm-to-fork capital due to a setting amid a diverse range of high quality farms, ranches and vineyards. Perhaps visit one of the fantastic wineries before returning to San Francisco where your tour concludes (88 miles). Alternatively, carry on exploring and visit Yosemite National Park.