You’ll visit two of the West’s most famous and beautiful national parks, Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona and Yosemite National Park in California. Stroll the Grand Canyon’s South Rim and stand in awe as you witness the breathtaking scenery. In Yosemite National Park, have your camera ready for the giant granite domes, cascading waterfalls, lush forests, and more. But that’s not all…you’ll also witness spectacular scenery on your drives. Between Scottsdale and the Grand Canyon, you’ll see Arizona’s Oak Creek Canyon, known as one of America’s most beautiful drives and home to brilliantly hued cliffs and rugged spires of sandstone, and you’ll stop in Sedona, with the massive red-rock formations that make the area famous. Between Williams and Las Vegas, watch for Joshua trees, which can grow to be more than 40 feet tall. Between Las Vegas and Tulare, you’ll witness the vast Mojave Desert.
Enjoy sightseeing in Los Angeles, Phoenix, and San Francisco. Perhaps take a ride on San Francisco’s historic cable cars or enjoy an optional outing to Alcatraz Prison, the federal penitentiary that once housed Al Capone and other notorious criminals—the choice is yours! Free time in each city—including Las Vegas—gives you time to explore on your own or to take optional excursions.
Breathtaking scenery, exciting cities, scenic drives, and more…this western U.S. tour is a perfect vacation for savvy, value-minded travellers.
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.
Welcome to Los Angeles! Your Tour Director is on hand late this afternoon to answer any questions.
Begin the day with a sightseeing tour of the world’s “Capital of Glamour,” including a drive through Hollywood and the famous TCL Chinese Theatre. The remainder of your day is at leisure, and your Tour Director will have suggestions for your further exploration of the city. Stroll down Olvera Street or the heart of the original Spanish Mission.
Journey to the desert oasis of Palm Springs, just 120 miles (193 kilometres) east of Los Angeles. Ever since Hollywood stars first came here in the 1930’s laying claim to ranch-style estates and holding up in elite hotels, the clean dry air and sunshine have made Palm Springs irresistible.
Travel through cacti covered desert towards Old Town Scottsdale where Western storefronts create an aura of the past. Afterward, enjoy free time to explore a taste of the Old West with restaurants, shopping, and Western bars. With wooden beams, wagon wheels, and cowboy hats abundant, you’ll feel like you’ve travelled back in time to the era of outlaws and saloons.
Travel to Sedona, a thriving centre for New Age arts set in Canyon Country. On to the weather-sculptured rock formations of Oak Creek Canyon. Travel alongside the San Francisco Mountains and beautiful pine forests to the South Rim of the GRAND CANYON. Time to stroll the canyon rim- or, for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, take an optional helicopter flightseeing excursion for incomparable views of flame-coloured walls plunging 7,000 feet (2133 metres) into the Colorado River. Overnight in Williams, a picturesque mountain town with Route 66 as the Main Street and the gateway to the Grand Canyon.
Cross the old Mojave gold-strike country, which still has traces of century-old ghost towns set in natural desert beauty. Watch for Joshua trees, a species of the lily family that grows to more than 40 feet (12 metres) in height and can live up to 300 years. By late afternoon, reach Las Vegas, the fantastic city of feverish gambling, neon lights, bars, and glamorous shows. Be sure to explore some of the many themed casino resorts along the colourful “Strip.” This evening, we highly recommend a night out to a dazzling stage show featuring top Vegas entertainment.
The day is free to swim and sunbathe at the hotel pool or to explore the varied casinos and shopping plazas. Your Tour Director will have more suggestions. Consider a river float trip through the Black Canyon.
Departing the neon lights of Las Vegas, we continue across the desert landscape of Nevada before crossing into California. You’ll see the vast Mojave Desert, which covers one-fifth of California. Pass through the agricultural land and overnight in Tulare in the central San Joaquin Valley.
This morning, we enter YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, a wonderland of spectacular lakes, giant granite domes, towering pinnacles, cascading waterfalls, and lush forests. Afterward, drive to Modesto. (B)
This morning, we continue west to the “Golden Gate City” of San Francisco, famous for its cable cars. Lunch in the pristine waterfront community of Sausalito. Free time to explore this quaint, Mediterranean-style village’s shops, galleries, and breathtaking views. Afterward, included sightseeing takes in the spectacular Golden Gate Bridge. (CB)
The day is free for you to explore more of this fascinating city. Perhaps visit the notorious former prison of Alcatraz, which housed famous gangsters such as Al Capone, “Machine Gun” Kelly, and Robert “The Birdman” Stroud. Afterward, the day is yours to do some more exploring in the “City by the Bay.” NOTE: Consider advance ticket purchase for Alcatraz Island with the National Park Service.
The trip ends today with guests departing on individual schedules. Transfers to San Francisco International Airport are included. Extend your holiday with extra nights and explore the “City by the Bay” further with a variety of exciting optional activities.