Northern California with Kids

The Sonoma Coast, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite National Park, Monterey Bay & Big Sur National Park
9 nights private tour from $10,000 per person

Discover Northern California in style and take in its natural wonders through hiking, kayaking or rafting and enjoy other unique, private experiences through Sonoma, Yosemite, Lake Tahoe and the Monterey Peninsula.

Best of NorCal for Families
At a glance
  • A shorter version of the classic route, ideal for families

  • Drive down the iconic Big Sur to explore secret beaches, watch sealions play, or hike inland through ancient redwood forests

  • Explore the waters of Monterey Bay and experience a private behind-the-scenes tour of Monterey's famous aquarium

  • Kayak through the crystal-clear waters of Lake Tahoe

Journey highlights
  • A shorter version of the classic route, ideal for families

  • Drive down the iconic Big Sur to explore secret beaches, watch sealions play, or hike inland through ancient redwood forests

  • Explore the waters of Monterey Bay and experience a private behind-the-scenes tour of Monterey's famous aquarium

  • Kayak through the crystal-clear waters of Lake Tahoe

Our tailor made journeys include:
  • Your dedicated Travel Consultant who will take care of arrangements
  • Private international airport transfers in destination
  • Your own private, English-speaking local guides
  • Unique experiences, hand-picked by our Journeys team
  • Entrance to must-see local sites
  • Dedicated 24/7 team providing in-country support and guidance
  • Complimentary access to My Scott Dunn – industry-leading travel app providing pre-departure information and in-journey support

When to visit

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Best time to visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit

The California coast has a year-round climate. Summer (June - September) is the peak-tourist season, this is when the weather is hottest but beaches and roads can be crowded. April and October are good times to visit for fewer crowds. May and June bring a morning marine layer, a cloudy overcast, fog-like cloud which can affect the beach in the mornings, but this usually clears in the afternoon. January and February are the rainiest months, and although still a spectacular drive and far less crowded,  the weather can be unpredictable.   

Itinerary

Day 1-3

Sonoma

Departing from San Francisco, cross the Golden Gate Bridge en route to the Sonoma Coast. After getting settled at your hotel, meet a local guide for a private hike through Sonoma County’s stunning wilderness. Follow an enchanting trail as you learn about the hulking redwood trees that anchor this unique ecosystem before emerging from the woods and feeling the salty spray of the ocean at a scenic cliffside overlook.

Accommodation: Farmhouse Inn ( 2 nights )
Day 3-5

Lake Tahoe

Leave the coast behind as you proceed inland through California’s fertile central valley to the picture-perfect shores of Lake Tahoe. Explore the lake’s crystal-clear waters on a private guided kayak tour where you'll have time to enjoy lunch on a relaxed beach and soak up the sunshine. Drawing on your local guide’s insider knowledge, visit hidden beaches and secluded coves in this undeveloped section of the lake.

Accommodation: The Ritz Carlton Lake Tahoe ( 2 nights )
Day 5-7

Yosemite National Park

Trace a scenic route along California’s eastern border en route to Yosemite National Park. Explore Yosemite with a local conservationist guide and private driver, enjoying a route customized to your physical abilities and interests. Gaze at majestic cliffs, giant sequoia trees and tumbling waterfalls as your guide explains the region's geography, wildlife, and ecology.

Accommodation: The Redwoods in Yosemite ( 2 nights )
Day 7-10

Monterey and Carmel

Depart Yosemite and soak in the scenic Carmel Valley. Along the way, you may opt to stop by America’s technology hub, the Silicon Valley for a self-guided exploration. Stroll across Facebook’s high-tech campus and walk through the beautiful sculpture garden at the prestigious Stanford University.  

Then head to Moss Landing where you will speed through the waters of the bay on an exciting private eco-raft ocean safari. Get up close and personal with the region's magnificent residents, including humpback and blue whales, dolphins, otters, and seals. Then head into town for a behind-the-scenes tour of the fabulous Monterey Bay Aquarium that will allow you to visit areas off-limits to the general public.  

Later, navigate south to Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, travelling along California’s breathtaking Highway 1. Meet your private guide for a scenic hiking tour that will reveal the spectacular beauty of this park, such as old-growth redwoods, mountain streams, and rugged ocean coves.   

Finally, make your way to Monterey, San Francisco or San Jose airports to drop off your rental car in time for your flight. Safe travels!

Accommodation: Carmel Valley Ranch ( 3 nights )
We design each itinerary around you, so this suggested itinerary is a starting point that we can tweak or transform into something completely bespoke to you.
Call us on 858 523 9000 to start planning your holiday.

Your Hotels


When to visit

  • J
  • F
  • M
  • A
  • M
  • J
  • J
  • A
  • S
  • O
  • N
  • D
Best time to visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit

The California coast has a year-round climate. Summer (June - September) is the peak-tourist season, this is when the weather is hottest but beaches and roads can be crowded. April and October are good times to visit for fewer crowds. May and June bring a morning marine layer, a cloudy overcast, fog-like cloud which can affect the beach in the mornings, but this usually clears in the afternoon. January and February are the rainiest months, and although still a spectacular drive and far less crowded,  the weather can be unpredictable.   

Northern California with Kids
Northern California with Kids

We design each itinerary around you, so this suggested itineraryis a starting point that we can tweak or transform into something completely bespoke to you. Call us on 858 523 9000 to start planning your holiday.

Plan your trip

Why Scott Dunn?

At Scott Dunn, we live and breathe travel. An insatiable appetite to discover the world runs through everything we do. We relish the planning and revel in the detail. We know it’s the smallest touches that make the biggest difference, and we stop at nothing to make every trip not only exceptional but totally unique.

  • Every itinerary is crafted from scratch, based around exactly what’s important to you
  • Packed full of unique experiences, hand-picked by our journeys team
  • Expert local guides enrich your experience in every destination
  • Your own dedicated Travel Specialist who will take care of every detail of your trip
  • We have a 24/7 team providing in-country support and guidance
  • We offer flexibility and financial protection to give you total peace of mind

Plan your trip

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