Touring the Byway
9 Days/ 8 Nights | Gateway City: San Francisco, California
We recommend starting your journey in San Francisco, where you can learn about the city and its role in California’s Gold Rush. The Barbary Coast Trail takes you through the city. Experience the world from the oceans to the stars at the California Academy of Sciences, take a walk through the beautiful Golden Gate Park, say hi to the sea lions at Fisherman’s Wharf, and taste some of the most exciting cuisine on the West Coast, before staying at one of the city’s most historic hotels.
On Day Two, you’ll travel to Sacramento, a city filled with sunshine and delicious farm-to-table restaurants. See the California State Capitol Museum and the Crocker Art Museum, stroll the Old Sacramento Waterfront, get your fill of local and seasonal produce, and spend the night in a converted paddlewheel riverboat. The next day, Day Three, you’ll head deep into Northern California for a tour of Redding, home of one of the world’s largest sundials. Learn the area’s story at the Turtle Bay Exploration Park and Museum and explore Shasta State Historic Park.
View the Detailed Itinerary below to see the full route, which is complete with dining, shopping, and lodging recommendations!
Native Americans witnessed the formation of Crater Lake 7,700 years ago when a violent eruption triggered the collapse of Mount Mazama, a tall peak that was half a million years old. On the east side of Crater Lake, rocks that are 430,000 years old form Mount Scott. Pristine waters fed by rain and snow filled the caldera (Spanish for “kettle” or “boiler”), the deepest lake in the United States. It was established as a national park in 1902. Spend the day exploring Crater Lake National Park. Start at Rim Village, where you can take a self-guided tour through the village, a walking tour of Kiser Studio, now the Rim Village Visitor Center and the Crater Lake Natural History Association Bookstore. See exhibits at the nearby Sinnott Memorial Overlook. From there, take the Scenic Rim Drive around the lake, which offers views of the park’s volcanic formations. If you prefer to ride rather than drive the 33-mile Rim Drive, take a trolley tour that makes stops at the significant overlooks. Rangers on board offer narration, trivia, and a dash of fun. Trolley tours start in front of the Rim Village Community House. Mazama Village is located just inside the south gate entrance. Here, you’ll find the Annie Creek Restaurant and Gift Shop, Mazama Village Camp Store, and Mazama Village Campground and Cabins. Eight daily boat tours on the lake to circumnavigate the caldera are on offer, plus two shuttles to Wizard Island. For a close up view, take the Cleetwood Cove Trail, the only legal access to the shore of Crater Lake. This steep and strenuous 2.2 mile round trip hike begins at the East Rim Drive.
A 300-acre campus on the banks of the Sacramento River interprets the relationship between man and nature and celebrates the story of far Northern California. Art, science, history, forestry, and horticulture meet at the Turtle Bay Museum. The McConnell Arboretum and Botanical Gardens feature over 200-acres of native and non-native trees and plants, and Paul Bunyan’s Forest Camp is modeled after an old-time forest camp similar to ones that were all over the region 100 years ago.
Constructed in 1905 as the centerpiece hotel of downtown Klamath Falls, the Baldwin Hotel Museum now features 40 rooms filled with antiques and artifacts. Originally built as a hardware store, the building was converted into a hotel in 1911 that was to be located right across the street from the railroad, when George Baldwin sought to profit from the coming of the railroad. Unfortunately, the railroad was built at the other end of Main Street. Nonetheless, thanks to the hotel’s very unique characteristics of almost all rooms connected in order to create the ability to rent out either one room or an entire suite of rooms, the hotel thrived.
Over 100,000 artifacts illustrate the lives of indigenous tribes from North and South America, including collections of arrowheads, obsidian knives, spear points, primitive ancient stone tools, native clothing, intricate beadwork, basketry, pottery and more, some more than 12,000 years old.
This site has witnessed fire and flood, saw the streets raised, the terminus of the Pony Express, and the founding of the Transcontinental Railroad. Today, more than 50 historic buildings in Old Sacramento State Historic Park, including the 1849 Eagle Theater; the 1853 B. F. Hastings Building, once home to the California Supreme Court; and the 1855 Big Four Building, tell the story of California’s early gold rush days, surrounded by a once again bustling waterfront of shops, restaurants and more. You can also enjoy an underground tour under the hollow sidewalks, to see firsthand how the city counteracted the forces of nature by building levees, rerouting the river, and physically raising the streets over 20 feet above the floodplain.