Arrive in California. You’ll collect your car – a luxury SUV-style vehicle – from Avis Airport depot and drive off to your hotel.
You’ll be staying in San Francisco’s SoMA area, so Union Square and the financial district are on your doorstep, and the city’s great sightseeing opportunities are all easily accessible.
Stay: One night in a grand deluxe room in the St. Regis Hotel.
Now your great American road trip really begins. You head off through the rolling Californian countryside to one of the USA’s most acclaimed wine growing regions. You’ll pass majestic mountains and wineries with rank after rank of profuse grape vines, to arrive in a secluded canyon in the Upper Napa Valley. The countryside is strewn with ancient oak trees, streams that carve through solid rock and a scenic lake. You’ll stay on a ranch with its own vineyard.
Stay: Two nights in a Bay Forest Lodge at Calistoga Ranch.
Now the ocean calls you. Leaving the fertile Napa Valley you drive along the coast of the mighty Pacific Ocean, following the rugged yet achingly beautiful coastline past hidden beaches, craggy inlets and towering cliffs giving eye-stretching seascape views. You’ll want to stop often to exercise your camera.
Stay: Two nights in a deluxe ocean king room in Heritage House.
Crater Lake Lodge
Follow the trail into Oregon and you’ll be treated to some jaw-dropping scenery, and none more spectacular than your destination. Crater Lake was formed when a volcano literally exploded and left a huge caldera. That was way back in around 4680 BC – today, the resulting lake with its 2000 foot high cliffs is the very picture of deep blue tranquillity and the surrounding Crater Lake National Park is one of the USA’s lesser-known jewels.
Stay: Two nights in a partial lake view room at Crater Lake Lodge.
The next step of your journey in Oregon takes you to another famous vineyard region. The long and fertile Willamette Valley area of the Pacific Northwest produces some classic and extremely palatable wines – a superb pinot noir being amongst the most notable. And potable!
Stay: Two nights in a grand deluxe king room in Allison Inn.
From volcanic caldera lakes and gentle vineyards to superb beaches – Oregon continues to deliver unforgettable destinations. The town of Cannon Beach is one of the most picturesque seaside settlements along the Pacific coast, and the surrounding scenery is awe-inspiring. Expect great rock formations rising enigmatically out of a mist-shrouded sea and sweeping, deserted beach panoramics.
Stay: Two nights in an ocean king studio at Ocean Lodge.
Today you say goodbye to Oregon and drive into Washington State, heading for Walla Walla. This oddly-named town is the largest city in Walla Wala County and is surrounded by rolling fields of sweet onions and wheat, punctuated by over 100 wineries producing fine vintages. In fact, you’ll stop at an inn in the midst of 35 acres of vines, gardens, lawns and creeks.
Stay: Two nights in a farm suite at the Abeja Inn.
Now you head into the famous coastal city of Seattle. Your hotel is easy to find – it’s the only one standing in the city’s renowned Pike Place Market, just a couple of minutes’ easy walk to the busy Seattle Waterfront, the town’s most upscale restaurants and iconic sightseeing opportunities.
Stay: One night in a water view room at the Inn at the Market.
Seattle - Home
It’s time to bid the USA farewell until the next time and fly back home.
It was a great experience and now I have dipped my toes in the Ultimate waters I shall be back for more.- JE, October 2014