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California Lakes and Mountains Fly-Drive Holiday

14 nights

California is a land that is as varied as it is beautiful. Bustling cities, scenic waterfront, dense woodland and sparkling lakes are just a taste of what this magnificent state has to offer, and you can experience it all on this fantastic fly-drive holiday.

Discover the culture of the iconic ‘city by the bay’ San Francisco, explore the natural wonder of Yosemite National Park and live out your dreams by the sparkling waters of Lake Tahoe. California is waiting; why not explore it with Frontier America.

The Breakdown

Here's a day-by-day guide to your itinerary. Feel free to ask us to add other days or ideas and excursions by adding them to your wishlist, so we can give you the best price.

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Day 1-4

San Francisco

Your holiday will start in the world famous city of San Francisco to get you in the mood for the...

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Day 4

San Francisco to Sacramento

Collect your hire car this morning in good time to get to the Napa valley in time for lunch and p...

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Day 5-8

Sacramento to South Lake Tahoe

You will want to make quite an early start this morning, as there is a lot to see and do on your...

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Day 8-10

South Lake Tahoe to Mammoth Lakes

Your route today takes you south on the pretty highway 395.  Be sure to stop at Bodie, a onc...

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Day 10-13

Mammoth Lakes to Yosmite National Park

Yosemite National Park is one of the most visited parks in the United States and for a good reaso...

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Day 13-15

Yosemite National Park to Sierra Nevada Foothills

  For the last two days of your holiday you return to Gold County.  This time it...

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Day 15

Sierra Nevada Foothills to San Francisco

It is only a 2 1/2 hour drive back to San Francisco for your homeward flight unless you would lik...

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Day 1-4

San Francisco

Your holiday will start in the world famous city of San Francisco to get you in the mood for the mountains to follow.  Ride the cable cars, explore Fisherman's Wharf, visit Alcatraz and take the ferry across the Bay to Sausalito for a completely different view of the city and the famous Golden Gate Bridge.  Just across the bridge are the Muir Woods, home to the iconic giant redwood trees some of which have grown to an astounding 79 metres.

3 nights in San Francisco. 

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Day 4

San Francisco to Sacramento

Collect your hire car this morning in good time to get to the Napa valley in time for lunch and perhaps a visit to a vineyard or two before driving on to Sacramento, the capital city of California. With over 25 museums, the Delta King Paddle Steamer, art studios and wineries to visit, your stay will go very quickly.  Allow plenty of time for dinner: Sacramento prides itself on its farm to table cuisine.

1 night in Sacramento.

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Day 5-8

Sacramento to South Lake Tahoe

You will want to make quite an early start this morning, as there is a lot to see and do on your way to Lake Tahoe. 60 miles north of Sacramento is Nevada City, one of Gold Country's prettiest towns. You can also tour the inaptly named Bourn Cottage.  You will have to retrace your steps back through Auburn to Coloma and the Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park where you can pan for gold and see the old school house and other buildings from the Goldrush era.  

When you get to South Lake Tahoe, it is time to kick back and relax. Enjoy all the water sports that are on offer, cross the border into Nevada for a flutter on the tables or you tire of the water, you are surrounded by mountains packed with excellent hiking routes.

3 nights in South Lake Tahoe.

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Day 8-10

South Lake Tahoe to Mammoth Lakes

Your route today takes you south on the pretty highway 395.  Be sure to stop at Bodie, a once booming mining city of over 10,000 people but now just an eerie reminder of prosperous days gone by. You can also stop at Mono Lake where ghostlike tufa towers surround the edges of a million year old lake, the salty remnant of an ancient inland sea.  

Mammoth Mountain is actually a massive volcano surrounded by granite peaks, a ski resort in winter and a summer playground in the longer months.  The options are almost endless and range from fly fishing in clear mountain streams, hike and mountain bike through wild flowers in high alpine meadows, and dip into natural hot springs.

Join the locals for craft beer and listen to bluegrass music during summer’s Bluesapalooza festival (typically held in late July). Take the gondola to 11,053 feet for a stunning 360 degree view - one of the best in California.

2 nights in Mammoth Lake.

 

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Day 10-13

Mammoth Lakes to Yosmite National Park

Yosemite National Park is one of the most visited parks in the United States and for a good reason.  Covering over 1100 square miles, you will not be able to see it all.  However, you will be able to marvel at the great granite cliff of El Capitan and Yosemite Falls which are the tallest in the country amongst the many other peaks and lakes. As you will have three full days in the park, you will have time to hike some of the trails and visit the giant sequoias in Mariposa Grove. Do also take the time to visit the Yosemite Museum and the Ansel Adams Gallery.

3 nights in Yosemite National Park.

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Day 13-15

Yosemite National Park to Sierra Nevada Foothills

 

For the last two days of your holiday you return to Gold County.  This time it is the exquisitely beautiful Tuolumne Meadows. The Columbia State Historic Park, a well preserved Gold Rush town with costumed guides and artisans.  Ride an authentic stagecoach and visit the Wells Fargo express office. In Jamestown you will find Railtown 1897 State Historic Park, home to one of America’s last authentic, operating railroad roundhouses.

 If you prefer something more active, you can take to the water.  White water rafting on the Tuolumne River or perhaps follow in the footsteps of Mark Twain to Mammoth Cave. The Emigrant Wilderness is nearby where you ride and there are miles of backroads and old logging roads just begging to be walked or biked.   It would not be California if there were not some wineries to explore and this area is now second only to Napa.

2 nights in the Sierra Nevada Foothills.

 

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Day 15

Sierra Nevada Foothills to San Francisco

It is only a 2 1/2 hour drive back to San Francisco for your homeward flight unless you would like to extend your holiday on the Californian coast.  Do please make use of Frontier America's tailor made service to alter this holiday to suit you.  We are just a phone call or email away. 

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The View

A selection of images representing the areas and places you will be visiting to give you a glimpse of what lies in store during your holiday.

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Now we need to make the perfect holiday for you and give you a quotation.

 

Whether you would like to book this exact holiday or to tailor-make it to better suit you, please give one of our knowledgeable experts a call on 020 8776 8709 or send us an email.

 

Alternatively, take advantage of the Wishlist facility; simply add this itinerary, or any particular destinations or hotels to My Wishlist by clicking on the ADD TO WISHLIST buttons on all pages. To make it easier to save and change the details on your Wishlist at any time, why not register with us? You can also just send your completed Wishlist to us at any time; we will then contact you to discuss your holiday further and send you a detailed quotation.

 

We are here to make sure we tailor-make your holiday to suit your specific requirements and our friendly, knowledgeable staff are all ready to help.

 

Booking your holiday with us doesn't end when we send your confirmation out to you, either. Talk to us about adding excursions or room upgrades or even restaurant recommendations; we are here to offer advice all the way up to your departure date. Even when you have left the UK, we are still here to help. For example if your flight that we have booked is delayed or cancelled due to ash cloud, strike, etc, it is down to us to re-arrange your travel. We will do everything we can to make sure your holiday runs smoothly. And better still, we are fully bonded with ATOL and ABTA, so your money is completely protected.

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Tailor-making YOUR perfect holiday

Fully bespoke holidays across America

This suggested itinerary is our recommendation but can be tailored to match your wishes and needs

  • We can change everything from the hotels & tours to the durations & destinations
  • Just give us a call on 020 8776 8709 or Email us and we can help