Northern California Gems

Redwoods, Lake Tahoe & Wine Country

  • Date

    September 8-15, 2020 | Tue / Tue – 8 Days

  • Location

    Sacramento | South Lake Tahoe | Fort Bragg | Eureka | Redwood National and State Parks | Sonoma County


Few natural things in the world are larger than the Northern California redwoods. Some of the remaining old-growth trees in Redwood National Park are five times taller than the Statue of Liberty! A trip to Northern California takes you from Sacramento to Mendocino and Humboldt Counties where these giants survive in lush forests like nowhere else on the planet. See these magnificent redwoods from the ground on short hikes, a train ride, and scenic drives, and from the canopy heights of a gondola ride.

Visit old logging towns and quaint Victorian villages along the way and admire the Pacific coast, which has its own attractions, too — from the rugged, rocky coastlines to its breathtaking beaches. With a day trip to Lake Tahoe, wine tasting in Sonoma County and exploring Sacramento, this is the vacation you’ve been waiting for!


  • Visit Redwood National Park
  • Drive through the Avenue of the Giants
  • Ride the Skunk Train through a redwood forest
  • Ride a sky tram over a redwood forest canopy
  • Climb to the top of one of the tallest Pacific coast lighthouses
  • Visit the quaint Victorian town of Eureka
  • Cruise Humboldt Bay


  • Roundtrip commercial air from Indianapolis to Sacramento, California
  • Escorted
  • 7 nights accommodations
  • Breakfast daily
  • 4 lunches, 3 dinners
  • Sightseeing and admissions per itinerary
  • Ground transportation
  • Hotel baggage handling


This itinerary covers areas of higher altitudes and includes activities where moderate walking, possibly on uneven terrain, is required.

Tue, Sep 8: Fly to Sacramento, California and transfer to Old Sacramento Waterfront for a Welcome Lunch. Enjoy a visit to the California State Railroad Museum before checking in to your hotel in Folsom. The rest of the evening is at leisure. (Meal: Lunch)

Wed, Sep 9: Enjoy the scenic drive through El Eldorado National Forest on the way to South Lake Tahoe. Located in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, this fresh water lake is the nation’s second deepest lake and has long been a sought-after vacation destination. Take a lunch cruise and appreciate the 360 degrees of scenic views, before continuing to the historic town of Truckee. With a quaint downtown with charming shops and restaurants set in authentic buildings, Truckee is known for it’s logging and ice manufacturing. Discover the unfortunate story of the Donner Party and the Emigrant Trail at the nearby Donner Memorial State Museum. Return to Folsom via Tahoe National Forest, which contains the same routes over 200,000 people travelled through on their way to California prior to and during the Gold Rush in the 1840s and 1850s. (B,L)

Thu, Sep 10: Check out of the hotel and begin a day of explorations along the Pacific coast. The thunderous ocean breakers crash against rocky headlands, and the expansive sandy beaches make the coast a destination for hiking and bird watching. Transfer to Bodega Bay for lunch and then proceed to the Point Arena Lighthouse and Museum in Manchester State Park. At 115 feet, the lighthouse is one of the tallest in the West. You may climb to the top of the lighthouse for incredible views of coastal mountains and the Mendocino coast. After your tour of the lighthouse, travel to Fort Bragg for the night.  (B,D)

Fri, Sep 11: Check out of the hotel and take a ride on the famous Skunk Train, departing from Fort Bragg. Built as a logging railroad, the Skunk line began in 1885 as a logical vehicle for moving massive redwood logs to the Mendocino coast sawmills from the rugged backcountry. Steam passenger service was started in 1904, extended to the town of Willits in 1911, and discontinued in 1925 when the self-powered, yellow “Skunk” rail cars were inaugurated. The little trains were quickly nicknamed for their original gas engines, which prompted folks to say, “You can smell ‘em before you can see ‘em.” Today, the shortened route still offers the same views from the restored rail cars and is pretty much unchanged from the last century: towering redwoods, deer drinking from the Noyo River, an isolated fisherman’s cabin peeking from the forest. Enjoy an included lunch at the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens before continuing on to Eureka for three nights. (B,L)

Sat, Sep 12: It’s vacation — why not start the day with a delicious chocolate tour. The owners of Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate have a background in woodworking and boat building, and saw the common threads in working with wood and crafting chocolate from the bean. Tour the factory and enjoy a tasting in the new Chocolate Boutique. This afternoon, head north to Redwood National & State Parks, stopping along the way to marvel at these giants. Some of the redwoods are as tall as 375 feet! Take a gondola to see the forest canopy from the treetops. Return to Eureka for dinner at the Samoa Cookhouse, the last surviving cookhouse of the West. Meals are served “lumber camp” style in large bowls and platters for sharing. Following dinner, browse the museum full of relics and photographs form the old logging and cookhouse days. (B,D)

Sun, Sep 13: After breakfast at the hotel take a guided tour of the Blue Ox Millworks. Victorian craftsmanship techniques of the 1800s are utilized to produce authentic custom quality products for homes around the world. Watch antique woodworking machinery in operation, visit a skid camp, learn about traditional boat-building, and meet the blue oxen, Babe and Blue. Later, tour Old Town Eureka and see the Victorian residential district and Fort Humboldt State Historic Park. Following lunch, explore Woodley Island before a narrated cruise on Humboldt Bay. Dinner and evening are at your leisure. (B,L)

Mon, Sep 14: Travel along the Avenue of the Giants from Eureka to Weott as you head to Sonoma. Stop at Founders Grove for a short walk to Founders Tree. Proceed to the Visitor’s Center at Humboldt Redwoods State Park to learn about the park. A short detour provides the opportunity to view the Chandelier Drive-Thru Tree. Transfer to Sonoma County for the evening and enjoy wine tasting at a vineyard and a Farewell Dinner. (B,D)

Tue, Sep 15: After breakfast, check out of the hotel and transfer to Sacramento for your flight home. (B)

Hilton Garden Inn, Folsom. Contemporary hotel with modern conveniences, located near several dining options. Highlights: in-room coffee/tea maker, refrigerator, microwave • complimentary WiFi Internet access • restaurant • outdoor pool and hot tub • fitness center.

Beachcomber Motel, Fort Bragg. Cozy rooms on the beach with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and magnificent sunsets. Highlights: in-room coffee/tea maker, refrigerator, microwave • nearby bike & pedestrian trails • fitness center.

Best Western Plus Humboldt Bay Inn, Eureka. Located in the heart of Northern California’s Redwood Empire, walking distance to the center of town. Highlights: in-room coffee/tea maker, refrigerator, microwave • complimentary WiFi Internet access • outdoor pool • fitness center.

Double Tree Sonoma County. Highlights: in-room coffee/tea maker, refrigerator, microwave • complimentary WiFi Internet access • restaurant • bar • indoor/outdoor pool or hot tub • fitness center.


  • Package with Air*
  • Double (2 people sharing a room) – $2,749 per person
  • Triple (3 people sharing a room) – $2,589 per person
  • Single – $3,299
  • Land Only
  • Double (2 people sharing a room) – $2,379 per person
  • Triple (3 people sharing a room) – $2,219 per person
  • Single – $2,929

*Price subject to change due to fuel surcharge.

Documents Required: Valid U.S. government issued photo I.D.

Deposit Per Person: $300

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