Day 1 - Gather at Heathrow airport for your morning flight to San Francisco. On arrival at San Francisco International airport (afternoon, US time), you will be met by our representative and transferred by coach to the Holiday Inn San Francisco - Golden Gateway hotel for the first of your three nights stay.
Day 2 - San Francisco
San Francisco is one of the top tourist destinations in the world and today you will have the opportunity to see its delights for yourself. In the morning you will have a guided tour taking in the city’s highlights including Fisherman’s Wharf, The Barbary Coast, City Hall, Nob Hill, Union Square, Chinatown and the Golden Gate Bridge.
In the afternoon we will take a short boat ride to Alcatraz Island and visit the infamous prison as well as the site of the first lighthouse and US-built fort on the West Coast. Despite its rather gloomy history, there is also a natural side to the Rock – gardens, tide pools, bird colonies and bay views beyond compare.
Day 3 - Sausalito & John Muir Woods National Park
Today we head north across the Golden Gate Bridge to visit the picturesque town of Sausalito and to tour John Muir Woods National Park. Sausalito takes its name from the “little willow” trees (saucelito) which 18th century Spanish explorers found growing along its streams. A pretty town with a population of only 7,500, it has a Mediterranean feel and is best known for its spectacular waterfront views, shopping, art galleries and the fabulous mansions owned by its wealthy residents. In John Muir Woods National Park, located just 17 miles north west of San Francisco, you will marvel at the size of the giant redwood trees (some more than 250 feet tall and 14 feet across) in an outstanding 560-acre forest.
Day 4 - San Francisco to Yosemite National Park
The morning is free for you to spend at leisure; perhaps you may like to spend some time in Golden Gate Park and visit the tranquil Japanese Tea Garden, originally built as part of the 1894 World’s Fair exhibit, or maybe spend the morning at Fisherman’s Wharf on the historic waterfront. In the afternoon we will drive to the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino hotel, Coarsegold, near the entrance to the Yosemite National Park, where you will spend the next two nights. This two hundred mile journey will take approximately 4 hours.
Day 5 - Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park was one of the first wilderness parks in the United States and nearly 95% of its total area is designated wilderness. The Park is perhaps best known for its waterfalls, but within its 1,200 square miles there are also deep valleys, grand meadows, forests of ancient giant sequoia trees and glaciers. We will spend a full day in Yosemite Valley, a deep valley lined with lush forests and overlooked by enormous, 4000 feet high granite cliffs slashed by some of the highest waterfalls in North America. This is truly nature at its most stunning, and you will no doubt be awestruck by the vastness of the landscape, with the mighty peaks of El Capitan and Half Dome overlooking you from either side.
Day 6 - Yosemite National Park to Death Valley
We leave Coarsegold in the morning and begin our journey to Death Valley. The route takes us through Yosemite National Park where we will drive along the impressive Tioga Road, a 50 mile (approximately) mountain road rising to nearly 10,000 feet at the Tioga Pass and considered to be one of the most scenic drives in America. Most of the driving for the day is through the Park, giving you the opportunity to see more of this wonderful area and once again glory in the majestic scenery. Keep your camera handy as there will be plenty of photo stops on the way. Our destination is the Comfort Inn hotel in Lone Pine, at the entrance to Death Valley, for your overnight stay. The journey from Coarsegold (Yosemite) to Lone Pine will take about 5 hours.
Day 7 - Death Valley to Las Vegas
This day of extremes begins with a drive through Death Valley, famous for having the hottest, driest and lowest locations in the United States. Situated within the Mojave Desert, there are barely enough superlatives to describe its varied landscape; streaming sand dunes, snow-capped mountains, multicoloured rock layers, water-fluted canyons and 3 million acres of wilderness. The Timbisha Shoshone people make their home in this hostile environment, which also supports a variety of plant and animal life adapted to the harsh desert terrain. Your arrival in Las Vegas later in the day could hardly provide a greater contrast; the sheer rawness of nature at its most magnificent compared with an entirely man-made confection of glitz and glamour! The journey through Death Valley and on to the Tropicana Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas will take about 4.5 hours.
Day 8 - Las Vegas
You have a free day to explore Las Vegas in all its glory. Known as the ‘entertainment capital of the world’, everything about Las Vegas is big, brash, bright and an assault to the senses. Venice, Paris, New York, and even the Pyramids have been recreated as scaled-down versions, and you will be stunned wherever you look. Your hotel is located in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip, and right opposite the well-known Bellagio fountain display, so is ideally situated for sightseeing on foot. Alternatively, you may wish to indulge in some retail therapy on Las Vegas Boulevard South, perhaps take in one of the many shows on offer, or try your hand in one of the Casinos for which Las Vegas is so famous. Whatever you choose to do, and whatever your opinion of this unique city, you will certainly never forget your time there!
Grand Canyon Helicopter Ride from Las Vegas
Golden Eagle Air Tour
• Breathtaking views of the Grand Canyon West Rim • Flight over and views of Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, Guano & Eagle Points • EcoStar EC130 aircraft designed specifically for air tours • Multi-lingual narration • Hotel to hotel transfers
Price per person: $313.00◊
Grand Celebration Air and Land Tour
• Breathtaking views of the Grand Canyon West Rim • Flight over and views of Hoover Dam & Grand Canyon • Landing at the bottom of Grand Canyon, 4,000 feet below the rim • Enjoy a champagne picnic & refreshments on the Canyon floor • Exploration time in the Canyon • EcoStar EC130 aircraft designed specifically for air tours • Multi-lingual narration • Hotel to hotel transfers Price per person: $404.00◊
Please note; these optional excursions will be available to book via your tour manager.
◊Payment may be made in US$ or by credit card. Credit card payment is subject to a 4% transaction fee.
Day 9 - Las Vegas to The Hoover Dam to Williams
We depart from Las Vegas for the town of Williams, Gateway to the Grand Canyon. En route, about an hour’s drive from Las Vegas, we will visit The Hoover Dam. This magnificent construction project, built during the Depression, is a National Historic Landmark and has been rated by the American Society of Civil Engineers as one of America’s Seven Modern Civil Engineering Wonders. It took thousands of men almost five years to tame the mighty Colorado River and build the largest dam of its time, and it still stands as a world-renowned structure today. A further 3 hour drive takes you to the Best Western Plus Inn in Williams, a picturesque mountain town right on the fabled Route 66, for the first of your two nights stay.
Day 10 - The Grand Canyon
From Williams, a full day tour (1.5 hours drive) takes you to the Grand Canyon South Rim. A hugely powerful and inspiring landscape, the Grand Canyon overwhelms the senses with its gargantuan size; 277 river miles long, up to 18 miles wide, and a mile deep, with rocks as old as the earth itself. Photographs and descriptive prose cannot prepare you for its immense scale, but rest assured it is an experience not to be missed. You will then return to Williams for the second of your two nights stay.
Day 11 - The Grand Canyon to Scottsdale
We leave the majesty of the Grand Canyon behind us and travel south for about 3 hours, through beautiful Sedona, to our next destination, the Arizona town of Scottsdale. This famous Western cowboy town still retains much of the atmosphere of the Old West. Take a stroll down Main Street and visit Cavalliere’s Blacksmiths Shop, the first Post Office, the ‘Lil Red Schoolhouse’, Johnny Rose’s Pool Hall or the magnificent Our Lady of Perpetual Help Mission. We complete the day with a stop at Farmer’s State Bank, now the “world infamous Rusty Spur Saloon”, where you may choose to treat yourself to a tequila…and, yes, they do have it complete with worm! Your overnight stay will be at the Hospitality Suite Resort, Scottsdale.
Day 12 - Scottsdale to Los Angeles
A travelling day today incorporating the long drive west from Scottsdale to Los Angeles. Our route enters the desert just past Phoenix and from there the freeway passes through rural desert for much of the day’s journey. Major desert cities include Blythe, Indio and Palm Springs, before we pass through the narrow San Gorgonio Pass and arrive in the Greater Los Angeles area. Your hotel for the next two nights is the Holiday Inn Anaheim-Resort Area hotel, in the city of Anaheim, located about 25 miles from Los Angeles.
Day 13 - Los Angeles & Hollywood
A full day tour of Los Angeles and Hollywood awaits you. The tour commences with a visit to see the towering skyscrapers of Downtown Los Angeles city centre, where you will see the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, famed for hosting the Academy Awards. You will then visit the famous Hollywood Bowl - used primarily for music performances, and home of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, this modern amphitheatre is constructed on the site of a natural amphitheatre formerly known as Daisy Dell, and now has a seating capacity of nearly 18,000. The tour then takes you to the Chinese Theatre via Hollywood Boulevard, with its iconic Walk of Fame and the hundreds of foot and handprints of stars such as Marilyn Monroe, Eddie Murphy, John Wayne and many more. Your final night’s stay will again be at the Holiday Inn Anaheim-Resort Area hotel.
Day 14 - Los Angeles to Flight Home
After a most enjoyable tour of America’s Golden West, and the gathering of many pleasant memories, it is now time to transfer you to Los Angeles International airport for your overnight flight back to the UK.
Day 15 - After our overnight flight we will arrive at London Heathrow airport around 12 noon. Passengers with an onward connection should transfer to the appropriate terminal for your flight home.