Small Group Tours by STORY

Story Land & Sea®

Northern California Adventure in Delight

Northern California Tour

NorCal: An Adventure in Delight

Is this trip for me?

NorCal, as its referred to, is an amazingly beautiful and resilient area of America and we're excited to discover its beauty in the context of the STORY Way of travel. If you're looking for an authentic Northern California Tour that combines sightseeing with a balance of leisure time, this trip, designed by STORY Expert Trip Planner Dan Dieckhaus, is for you.

Travel Style: Deluxe to Elegant
Our 5-Star hotel in San Francisco delights while the balance of our properties still have that deluxe feel with their own character. Story Way Dining with the incredible tastes of California's Grapes highlight this itinerary.

Service Level: Deluxe
Posh hotel in San Francisco with very comfortable and delightfully upscale properties, private transport in our luxe vehicles, Story Tour Captain throughout.

Activity Level: Balanced
Great walks balanced with leisure time. Some inclines possible on loose terrain for some outings.

Trip Membership: 21+
Only guests over 21 years of age may participate in this adventure. Make note, certain departures are Family Friendly - inquire if you have youngster who would like to participate or consider a private journey.


Complete Trip Details:

The Northern California: Itinerary

  • Coit Tower
  • Golden Gate Bridge
  • Half Moon Bay
  • Pier 39
  • Redwood Forest
  • San Francisco Bay at Twilight
  • San Francisco Skyline
  • Sonoma Wine Vineyard

Story Land & Sea®'s unique Exclusives
highlight this 9 Day Tour of Northern California

Dear Story Traveler,

Tour Captain Dan Dieckhaus, along with my involvement, has hand-crafted this itinerary of Northern California from the Sonoma wine country all the way to the Redwood Forests, Half Moon Bay, and San Francisco. It's not your usual big group tour of California. Read on and discover how we have intertwined the Story Way of dining, immersion sightseeing and luxury accommodations into this fantastic journey.

The trip is fully-hosted by our professional Story Tour Captain complemented by our local, professional tour guides.

DAY 1: Sonoma

Your Story Begins.

Story Land & Sea®'s True Small-Group tour commences with a private drive to Sonoma. Today as you arrive in San Francisco, you will meet your Story Tour Captain and fellow travelers at the San Francisco airport and depart for the Sonoma Area. We will cross over the Bay Bridge with views of the magnificent bay as we leave San Francisco today. Our two-hour drive will take us into the Napa/Sonoma wine regions, our home for the next three nights. We will make a stop in route with time for lunch before arriving the heart of Sonoma to see Sonoma Plaza. It's been the heart of the town for more than 100 years.

Today, the plaza is a tree-filled oasis of soft grass, playgrounds, paths, duck ponds and shade trees. We can also visit Mission San Francisco Solano. The 21st, last and northernmost mission in California. This is the only mission built in Alta California after Mexico gained independence from Spain. completing the scenic drive to our Sonoma area accommodations.

Check In & Leisure. Arriving to our beautiful accommodation we will check-in and relax a bit while taking in the wonderful amenities of the hotel for the afternoon.

Your Small Group Tour Vacation is underway! This evening we will come together for a STORY Exclusive reception and to enjoy an official welcome to California toast!

Story Way Dining: This evening you will join your Tour Captain for a Welcome to California dinner, the STORY Way.

Accommodation, 3 Nights
Hotel Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa or similar.

CELEBRATING THE MAGIC OF SONOMA VALLEY, the iconic AAA Four-Diamond Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa provides an impeccable setting to relish the enviable Sonoma lifestyle. Like the Native Americans who revered the site as a sacred healing ground, you'll live in harmony with nature through vast open spaces, beautifully landscaped grounds, majestic redwood trees and inspiring sunsets. Jack London best describes Sonoma Valley. "The air is wine. The grapes on a score of rolling hills are red with flame. Across Sonoma Mountain, wisps of sea fog are stealing. The afternoon sun smolders in the drowsy sky."


DAY 2: Sonoma

Vineyards Day

Of course enjoy daily included breakfast at our properties.

Sightseeing Immersion
This morning we set off for a delightful day of exploration.

Wine Tastings with Lunch
Sonoma Valley is a wine-growing region and is the birthplace of the wine-making industry in California. Enjoy a private tour of the vineyards and production facilities of beautiful Castello di Amorosa along with their signature wine-tasting experience where the varietals are paired with delicious plates. We plan to make a stop at a Sonoma County landmark, the Jimtown Store for a look around. Their shelves are stocked with house-made treats and local food products, old fashioned toys and candy, housewares, gifts, vintage collectibles and a few distinctive antiques.

Afterwards we will stop at the St Francis Winery and Vineyards as well. Certain departures will include one of our other wineries based on season.

Sonoma Valley
Beautiful Sonoma Valley, California


Sonoma Valley VineyardSonoma Valley Vineyard at Sunset


Sonoma Leisure
After a wonderful day making memories in this unique setting we return to our hotel for a night at leisure.

Guest Choice Dinner
This evening you are free to join your Tour Captain for optional dinner or venture out on your own. Your Tour Captain can drive you into town or you can stay and enjoy dinner at the resort.


DAY 3: Sonoma

Muir Woods, Redwoods & Wine

Muir Woods, Redwoods & Wine
This morning after a scrumptious breakfast we make our way to the Muir Woods, named for noted conservationist John Muir, and home of some of the oldest and tallest trees on Earth.

Muir Woods National Monument contains 6 miles of trails. There is a 1/2-hour loop, a 1 hour loop, and a 1 1/2 hour loop as well as longer hikes on trails that extend into surrounding Mount Tamalpais State Park. View a map of Muir Woods and its vicinity.

All these walks afford views of old-growth coast redwoods, the tallest living things in the world.

Towering Redwoods in Muir WoodsTowering Redwood Trees in Muir Woods


Winery Visit
This afternoon we are off to visit another wonderful winery known as the Jordan Winery. This ivy-covered chateau in Alexander Valley is an impressive sight, modeled after the chateaus of France and surrounded by culinary gardens and vines. There are five unique wine tastings offered, all of which include food pairings, enhanced by the winery's expansive views and quality service.

Sonoma Leisure
Another day comes to an end with a promise of a beautiful California evening. The unrivaled Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa is surrounded by 13 manicured acres and set amidst a background of true California Wine Country splendor. The resort is also blessed by natural mineral hot springs and appropriately boasts four geo-thermal pools. For hundreds of years, ancient thermal mineral waters have graced this site. Today, the resort is proud to be one of the only luxury spa resorts in the country with its own source of thermal mineral water. All the resort's pools, as well as the spa's European-style bathing ritual are fed by these healing waters.

Guest Choice Dinner: This evening you are free to join your Tour Captain for optional dinner or venture out on your own. The TC can drive you into town or you can stay and enjoy dinner at the resort.

DAY 4: Half Moon Bay

To the Coast....Half Moon Bay with Chowder Lunch

Golden Gate Bridge to Half Moon Bay.
This morning after breakfast we say goodbye to Sonoma and head for the coast. We will cross the famous Golden Gate Bridge along this route and take the opportunity to enjoy the views off to San Francisco.

Half Moon BayBeach on Half Moon Bay


Included Lunch Stop
Sam's Chowder House restaurant in Half Moon Bay serves sustainable ocean fresh seafood, reminiscent of a New England style seafood house. Voted "Best Seafood in the Bay Area" by the San Francisco Bay Area A-List, and named "Top Three Outdoor Dining Spots in the Bay Area" by San Francisco Magazine, this iconic Half Moon Bay restaurant serves lobster, crab, fish and chips, fried calamari, fresh oysters and clams from the raw bar, and many fresh fish dishes such as salmon and halibut. NBC-TV's The TODAY Show featured Sam's famous Lobster Rolls, which were selected by the Food Editor as one of the five "Best Sandwiches in America".

Hotel Check In & Leisure
As we arrive to the hotel you are free to relax, or you can venture into Half Moon bay to enjoy this seaside village. Half Moon Bay is a sleepy beach town with a strong connection to the ocean—a perfect place for a walk along the beach or dinner at a local seafood spot.

Guest Choice Dinner
This evening you are free to join your Tour Captain for dinner or venture out on your own. The TC can drive you into town or you can stay and enjoy dinner at the resort.

Accommodation, 2 Nights
Oceano Hotel & Spa or Similar

The Oceano Hotel and Spa is a premier luxury hotel in Half Moon Bay, is surrounded by coastal adventures and breathtaking views of the beautiful Northern California Coast. The Oceano is a favorite escape for those seeking a unique location for romance, business retreats and one-of-a-kind events.


DAY 5: Half Moon Bay & Redwoods

Redwoods Day Trip

Sightseeing Drive
This morning after breakfast on the coast, we set off to explore the area with a drive to witness more of the mighty coastal Redwoods.

Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
The REDWOOD FOREST STEAM TRAIN will be our method of travel through the park today. Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park is in the Santa Cruz Mountains and is most famous for the 40-acre grove of towering old-growth redwood trees. Its historical significance and spectacular scenery draw travelers from around the world. Visitors can enjoy hiking, horseback riding, picnicking, swimming, and camping on more than 4,650 acres of forested and open land.

These skyscraping redwoods were admired by explorer John C. Frémont, President Theodore Roosevelt, and inspired some of California's earliest redwood preservation efforts. Take a walk beyond the redwood grove and you'll find four diverse habitats that this park preserves: grasslands, river/riparian, sandhills, and redwoods. The tallest tree in the park is approximately 277 feet tall, about 16 feet wide, and around 1,500 years old. Keen-eyed visitors may spot banana slugs, black-tailed deer, coyotes, bobcats, or steelhead trout.

Redwoods ParkPeaceful Train through the Redwoods


Winery Visit
As we make our way back to our seaside accommodations, we'll make a stop at the Thomas Fogarty winery just to be able to compare the wines of this area to what we experienced in Sonoma. Thomas Fogarty Winery produces striking, terroir-driven single-vineyard wines in the most exciting mountain region in California.

Half Moon Bay Leisure
Arriving back to your hotel the next couple hours are for you to relax.

Story Way Dining: This evening you will join your Tour Captain for a Coastal California dinner Story style. We'll try for Barbara's Fishtrap tonight.


DAY 6: San Francisco

On to The City By the Bay

On to San Francisco with a Driving City Orientation Tour
This morning we are going to take time for a leisurely breakfast before heading to the magnificent city of San Francisco. After we depart Half Moon Bay we will drive to San Francisco and conduct a nice orientation of the city. We will try to take in Haight Ashbury district and harken back to the time of the 1960's Hippie days. We will also take in Alamo Square, the home of the "Painted Ladies", the beautiful Victorian era homes of the 1870's.

Afterwards we'll make a stop at the Ferry building at the Embarcadero for a lunch break. The Embarcadero, along the city's eastern shoreline, is home to several waterfront attractions. With its iconic clock tower, the 1898 Ferry Building is a major food lover's draw, featuring restaurants such as the acclaimed Slanted Door, plus gourmet shops and a popular farmers' market. A series of piers offers ferries to Alcatraz Island, science exhibits at the Exploratorium, restaurants and Bay Bridge views.

Hotel Check In and Leisure
Arriving to our magnificent Nob Hill accommodations we will get settled in and enjoy a little free time until dinner.

Cable Car in San FranciscoA Typical Cable Car with Bay in Background

Story Way® Dining: Tonight, we will take the cable car to China Town and enjoy dinner at one of the finer restaurants in the area. This is one of the oldest and most established Chinatowns in the U.S. Beyond iconic Dragon's Gate, a bustling maze of streets and alleys brims with dim sum joints and other traditional eateries. Also found are herbalists, bakeries, souvenir shops, and dark cocktail lounges and karaoke bars. There are ornate temples, including the landmark Tien How, as well as the Chinese Historical Society of America Museum.

China TownDragon Gate Entrance to Chinatown


Accommodation, 3 NIghts
The Fairmont Hotel or similar

The world-renowned, Fairmont Hotel San Francisco presents an awe-inspiring picture of historic San Francisco. The grandeur of the best luxury hotel atop Nob Hill coupled with its reputation for impeccable service promises a truly memorable experience during your San Francisco vacation.


DAY 7: San Francisco

San Francisco Immersion

Private San Fran Highlights Tour
Today we will meet our guide in the lobby of the hotel and be driven to the Embarcadero, Coits Tower, Lombard Street, Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf to name but a few of the sights you will see. Along the way we will take in other famous San Francisco sights for photo stops such as Union Square, Golden Gate Park, the Presidio and Civic Center.

Did you know that there is a San Francisco restaurant that is the largest importer of Tullamore DEW Irish whiskey in the United States? Let's make a stop and find out why with a nice Irish Coffee.

Golden Gate Bride at Sunset over the BayGolden Gate Bridge


Leisure Time
The balance of the day is yours to enjoy as you wish. This would be a great time to head to Pier 39. Pier 39 is a shopping center and popular tourist attraction built on a pier in San Francisco, California. At Pier 39, there are shops, restaurants, a video arcade, street performances, the Aquarium of the Bay, virtual 3D rides, and views of California sea lions hauled out on docks on Pier 39's marina.

You might also enjoy renting a bike, ride it over the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito and hop a ferry back over to San Francisco. Along the way you could make a stop at the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company for a decadent treat.

Guest Choice Dinner: This evening you are free to join your Tour Captain for optional dinner or venture out on your own.


DAY 8: San Francisco

Leisure Day with a Sunset Cruise in the Bay

San Francisco as You Wish
Today you can enjoy San Francisco as you wish. With so many wonderful museums and historic sights there will be no end to your options. Maybe you would enjoy a boat tour over to Alcatraz for a look around this infamous prison sight.

Catamaran Cruise at SunsetCatamaran Sailing in the Bay at Sunset

San Francisco Bay Sunset Catamaran Cruise
What better way to end a day in San Francisco than a sunset catamaran cruise? Sail across San Francisco Bay at twilight to admire the city skyline as it begins to light up for the night. With an experienced captain at the helm, you'll glide past Alcatraz Island and cruise underneath the Golden Gate Bridge. Light hors d'oeuvres and two drinks are included.

Story Way Dining: With our Farewell Dinner experience you will enjoy one of our favorite nights of fun and celebration, as we toast one another to a wonderful journey together.

DAY 9: Homeward Bound

Departure Day

Departure Transfer to Airport (optional)
Hopefully you can book a late morning flight so that you can enjoy a wonderful breakfast at the hotel before meeting your driver to set off for home. We can help you arrange a transfer time to suit your needs.

## Tour Ends ##


The Northern California Tour: Story Hotels


Sonoma Hotel - 3 Nights w/buffet breakfasts included

Half Moon Bay Hotel - 2 Nights

San Francisco Hotel - 3 Nights with breakfasts included

The Northern California Tour: What's Included

It's a world-class tour with most inclusions in the company of a few new friends as we journey amoung the beauty of Northern California.

We've tried to include everything, however, make note the following items:

We will have a convenient mid day group transfer included with your Tour Captain. Other private transfers can be arranged at other times at a cost of 199.00 per person.

Departure Transfers are optional at $59 per person.

Four (4) Dinners and two (2) lunches are included featuring Story Way® dining though our Tour Captains will invite you to join them to unique restaurants each night.

Four (4) winery visits (One with a lunch and another with food pairings).

Sunset cruise in San Francisco Bay.

Services of Story's English-speaking local guides - professional, certified guides.

Admission and Entrance Fees per itinerary - you go inside with Story Land & Sea® and No Long Lines!

Welcome Dinner and Farewell Celebration & Feast - total of 4 dinners with wine and gratuities included.

Your choice of queen bed or twin-bedded rooms with private bathroom facilities. Porterage of one (1) piece of luggage. All hotel service charges, baggage handling fees and local taxes included.

Gratuities for local guides, Story arranged Dining Staff and Hotel Porter: Included. Story Tour Captain gratuities are not included: we recommend $8 to $15 per person per day.

Motorcoach Driver (where and when used): Gratuities included. You may tip more at your discretion. Room Steward and Wait Staff (while dining on your own): At your discretion. (not included in tour package).



Story Land & Sea accepts all major credit cards.

© 2014+2017 Queenslander International, llc, Story Land & Sea®, QueensLander Tours, QueensLander® Worldwide Tours, Mark Story Worldwide Adventures® are service marks owned by Queenslander International, llc. The service marks and trademarks of airlines appearing in this brochure and on,, are owned by the respective companies mentioned.



The Northern California Tour

Published Rate: From $6,679 Per Person

Payable by Credit Card or Check. See pricing below.

Single Supplement: $679

2020 Small Group Tour Departures

Already know your date to travel: REQUEST BOOKING now!

October 2020 Departures
Weather in Northern California in October
It's a time to wear that perfect coat while exploring ...

$7,679 $6,679


2021 Small Group Tour Departures

Already know your date to travel: REQUEST BOOKING now!

October 2021 Departures
Weather in Northern California in October
It's a time to wear that perfect coat while exploring ...

$7,679 $6,679

Join us on the Northern California Tour.
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Airfare is not included but it can be quoted here. Remember, you are responsible to arrive at the point of your small group tour origination. If you are delayed for any reason, your vacation may be at risk even if STORY Land & Sea® made your airfare arrangements. Airfare is a completely separate booking from your land tour vacation. You can cancel your vacation with a 100% refund up to 90 days prior to departure. Within 90 days you will begin receiving penalties per the terms of the Tour Application should you have to cancel.