Professional Aussie foodies Hayden Quinn and Dan Churchill love food, travel and getting outdoors. So when the two chefs went on a Northern Califoria road trip together, there was lots of great feasting and adventuring on the menu! After flying into San Francisco with Qantas and checking out the city’s culinary scene, they drove two hours south to Santa Cruz and two hours north to America’s Farm-to-Fork capital, Sacramento.
Check out their road trip itinerary below, or follow our map directions, and see what they got up to in our delicious new video series!
DAY 1: SAN FRANCISCO
Morning: Grab bikes from Blazing Saddles and ride over Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito.
Lunch: Bistro Boudin at Fisherman‘s Wharf to try its iconic Clam Chowder in a Sourdough Bread Bowl.
Afternoon: Visit nearby Pier 39 to see the sea lions. Then go for a wander around Chinatown – don’t miss the awesome Bruce Lee street art mural
Dinner: China Live in Chinatown serves up some of the best dumplings and modern Chinese food in town. Top tip: grab a pre-dinner cocktail at its secret hidden bar.
Stay at: Hotel Spero near Union Square
DAY 2: SAN FRANCISCO
Lunch: Head to the Mission District’s Taqueria La Cumbre, where the classicMission-style burrito was born.
Afternoon: Explore the Mission District’s amazing street art and murals.
Dinner: Head toTony’s Pizza Napolitana in North Beach. Tony is the first world champion pizza maker outside of Naples. Dan and Hayden tried the Margarita, the New Yorker, and the Cal-Italia.
Stay at: Hotel Spero
DAY 3: SAN FRANCISCO -> BIG BASIN REDWOODS STATE PARK -> SANTA CRUZ (179km)
Morning: Head off early and drive 1.5 hours to Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Stop for a hike through the majestic giant trees before driving the remaining 40 minutes to Santa Cruz.
Lunch: Grab a late lunch at Charlie Hong Kong in Santa Cruz, which has lots of options for vegans.
Afternoon: Ride the Giant Dipper at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, one of the oldest wooden roller coasters in the world.
Dinner: Eat by the beach at Jack O’Neill Restaurant & Lounge, named after the surfing legend.
Stay at: Dream Inn Santa Cruz, the only hotel in town located right on the beach.
DAY 4: SANTA CRUZ COUNTY
Lunch: Try the tastiest tacos in town at Snap Taco
Dinner: Go for craft beer tasting and yummy food at Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing.
Stay at: Dream Inn Santa Cruz
DAY 5: SANTA CRUZ COUNTY -> SACRAMENTO (240KM)
Lunch: Lupulo Craft Beer House for Spanish-Mexican fare and a range of local and global craft beers.
Dinner: Head to Mulvaney’s B&L for seasonal New American cuisines in a converted historic firehouse.
Stay at: Kimpton Sawyer Hotel in downtown.
Day 6: SACRAMENTO -> SAN FRANCISCO (141KM)
Morning: Sacramento is known for its year-round food markets. If you can, try to time your visit on a Sunday to catch the famous Sacramento Sunday Farmer’s Market. Then head off for some sight-seeing and check out the big white Capitol Building.
Lunch: No road trip would be complete without a visit to California classic, In-N-Out Burger! The closest branch to downtown is in West Sacramento (780 Ikea Court).
Afternoon: Head over Tower Bridge and explore Old Town Sacramento for shopping and some vintage Western cowboy vibes.
Drive 2 hours back to San Francisco.