The Great West
- 21 Days
- 21 Days
- Prices From:
- US$ 3,983
DELUXE | SELF-DRIVE: The name of this trip says it all. Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Las Vegas provide urban atmosphere and glitz, while the vistas you encounter at the Grand Canyon, Bryce, Zion, Yosemite, and Death Valley are a dazzling mix of breathtaking and enchanting. Add intriguing drives through desert landscapes and a delightful coastal journey along the Pacific.
This 21-day journey through America’s great west gives you the flexibility to linger where you desire and fulfill your thirst for adventure as you cruise through four states. You begin in Los Angeles and drive south to Orange County where Anaheim offers fun for all styles; from dramatic Disneyland to the trendy Packing District, a utopian haven where Southwestern cuisine, local beer and innovative vendors rein supreme. On to the birthplace of California, San Diego, for a day and a half to stroll the 17km of beaches, sampling fresh fish tacos and the city’s signature carne asada fries as you ponder the Spanish explorers who landed on this white sandy coastline in the 14th century. Check out the famous San Diego Zoo or the streets of romantic Old Town before heading to the San Jacinto Mountains and Palm Springs to ride a tram above the Chino Canyon or relax pool side and watch the palms sway. Cruise through Coachella Valley to Phoenix’s Scottsdale, full of old west charm and nestle in beside Camelback Mountain. Succumb to the greatness of The Grand Canyon, which earns its title as a natural wonder of the world and meditate at the Montezuma Castle National Monument where ancient preserved cliff dwellings take you to another time. The rich red-rock monoliths above Sedona and the multicoloured stone of Oak Creek Canyon make it hard to decide which spot is most beautiful.
On through the largest land area retained by a Native American tribe in the United States, the Navajo Nation Indian Reservation, and conclude the day by the sandstone walls and blue waters of calm Lake Powell. Cruise the lake or explore the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park and see why these red rocks have been the backdrop for countless Western films. Breathe in the clear air in the ranching town of Kanab and hunt down fossils and petroglyphs on a slot canyon tour. Compare the swirling sunset coloured stones to those of Bryce Canyon National Park where towering pinnacles called hoodoos are art by nature. Utah’s oldest park, Zion, has trails for all levels with stunning canyons, caverns and cliffs of ruddy swirling colours and deep blue skies. Drive west where Las Vegas personifies a lust for life with dramatic shows, luxury cuisine and opulent casinos to impress even the non-gamblers. Every day is certainly diverse as you’re on to Death Valley where the Mojave Desert is simply magical and the stars are so close at night, you could almost catch one.
Into the High Sierra, a land of dramatic and wild beauty and onto Yosemite National Park, a World Heritage Site with wonderous waterfalls, where you can reflect under a towering sequoia or explore endless paths in this enormous eco-wonderland. When Mark Twain said the air around turquoise Lake Tahoe was “pure and fine...it is the same the angels breathe,” he was not exaggerating as you will discover when you arrive at this natural gem. The Gold rush is long over but the feeling remains as you make your way to Sacramento and San Francisco, where edgy galleries, live jazz, fresh seafood along Fisherman’s Warf, resident sealions, the world’s most infamous island prison, Alcatraz, and the endlessly photographed, with reason, Golden Gate Bridge make for a legendary experience.
The sky over the cliffs of the Pacific Coast Highway are endless on your way to Carmel-by-the-Sea, which is as quaint and romantic as Big Sur is dramatic with fine dining offered in restaurants cliff side over the ocean. The American Riviera leads through Mediterranean-styled Santa Barbara to the laid-back beach town of Ventura where the fresh oysters along Pierpont Bay are sublime. Judge for yourself if National Geographic was bang on when they ranked Santa Monica one of the top "10 Beach Cities in the World" and stroll the Hollywood Walk of Fame or Rodeo Drive in the City of Angels, Los Angeles, to round out your great west adventure before heading home.
- 21 Days
- 21 Days
- Prices From:
- US$ 3,983
Itinerary View Trip Map
Arrive at Los Angeles International Airport and transfer independently to your hotel. Depending on your time of arrival and the location of your hotel, you might be able to explore a little bit of the city. Venice Beach or Santa Monica would make a great start.
Overnight Los Angeles
Los Angeles - Anaheim
This morning, pick up your rental car and make your way south to Anaheim, Orange County's headquarters for fun. You can spend the day surrounded by icons and classic characters at the original Disneyland Park or at its companion park, Disney California Adventure Park. Visit the nation's oldest theme park, Knott's Berry Farm, filled with old west history and thrill rides, or one of Anaheim's many other fun-filled attractions.
Anaheim - San Diego
Today, head further south, stopping at Mission San Juan Capistrano for a snapshot of California's history. Continue to the scenic coastal community of San Diego. With near perfect weather year-round, 70 miles of spectacular coastline, world-class attractions, and a thriving urban core, complete with a sophisticated art, dining and nightlife scene, San Diego has earned the name California’s beach city. Depending on your interests, consider a visit to SeaWorld, the San Diego Zoo, Seaport Village, Mission Bay, the Gaslamp Quarter, or the Old Town.
Overnight San Diego
San Diego - Palm Springs
Enjoy more of San Diego's blue skies and beautiful surroundings before heading northeast to Palm Springs for superb scenery of a different kind. This ultimate desert playground, nestled at the base of the majestic San Jacinto Mountains, offers the perfect blend of outdoor entertainment and casual relaxation. Spend the day lounging by the pool, walking along palm tree lined streets, or exploring countless shops, art galleries and museums. Consider taking a breathtaking journey up the sheer cliffs of Chino Canyon aboard the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, which offers stunning desert views.
Overnight Palm Springs
Palm Springs - Phoenix / Scottsdale
This morning, set out east through the Coachella Valley to Phoenix and Scottsdale, two of Central Arizona's top destinations. With Phoenix's skyscraper-filled skyline complemented by famed Camelback Mountain and Scottsdale's Old West charm, this is the perfect introduction to this uniquely Southwestern playground.
Overnight Phoenix / Scottsdale
Phoenix / Scottsdale - Grand Canyon
Today, head north to Grand Canyon National Park, the world-famous natural wonder that defies description until you see it with your own eyes. Before reaching your ultimate destination, your drive is full of enjoyable scenic detours, such as Montezuma Castle National Monument, one of the best-preserved cliff dwellings in North America. Alternatively, stop in Sedona, a picturesque city surrounded by rich red-rock monoliths that rise high above the city, or nearby Oak Creek Canyon, with its densely forested gorge and colorful rock formations.
Overnight Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon - Lake Powell / Page
Arise early to see the sunrise then spend the morning discovering the distinct South Rim of the Canyon. Stop at one of the numerous lookouts, walk part of the Rim Trail or along the historic Hermit Road, visit a Photo Hot Spot, or climb to the top of a stone Watchtower for panoramic views that extend over 100 miles on a clear day. When you've had your fill of magnificent images, continue further north through the Navajo Nation Indian Reservation, and on to Lake Powell, a vast blue man-made lake surrounded by beautiful sandstone walls.
Overnight Lake Powell / Page
Lake Powell / Page
Enjoy a full day exploring Lake Powell and its surrounding areas. Consider taking a cruise along 50 miles of Lake Powell shoreline to Rainbow Bridge National Monument, the largest known natural bridge in the world, or visit Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, where sandstone pinnacles, arches, and mesas of rich red and orange rise out of the barren, sandy landscape.
Overnight Lake Powell / Page
Lake Powell / Page - Bryce Canyon
In the morning, set out west for Kanab where the exhilarating scent of sage and cedar fills the clear southwest air, then head north to Utah's enthralling Bryce Canyon National Park. Famous for its unusual geology, Bryce Canyon consists of a series of horseshoe-shaped amphitheaters where the power of wind, water and other geologic mayhem has etched the pink cliffs and shaped the colorful limestone rock into thousands of spires called ‘hoodoos’.
Overnight Bryce Canyon
Bryce Canyon - Zion National Park - Las Vegas
Spend the morning exploring more of Bryce Canyon before heading west to similarly breathtaking Zion National Park. In Zion, Utah's oldest national park, spectacular views abound, and you can follow the paths of ancient native people, gazing at massive sandstone cliffs of cream, pink, and red that soar into the bright blue sky. Consider challenging your courage in a slot canyon, gorges of narrow width that often squeeze down to a sliver. Later in the day, continue west to Las Vegas, a city that surely needs no introduction.
Overnight Las Vegas
Enjoy a full day Las Vegas style. Walk the famous Strip lined with mega-resorts and flashing neon lights, place a bet at one of the many casino tables, dine in world-class restaurants, catch the latest must-see show, shop designer boutiques, ride a rollercoaster, lay by the pool ... the list goes on. With so much to do, 24 hours in a day hardly seems like enough.
Overnight Las Vegas
Las Vegas - Death Valley
Today's journey west takes you to the lowest elevation in North America, Death Valley National Park. Here, the Mojave is at its most magnificent with geological history on full display in this section of California that is as sublime as it is rugged and severe. Enhance your desert experience with a stop at Zabriskie Point offering spectacular views of the eroded and vibrantly colored badlands. Don't miss the opportunity to enjoy some of the world's best stargazing this evening.
Overnight Death Valley
Death Valley - Yosemite**
In the morning, travel north into the High Sierra where Tioga Road, the highest drivable pass in California, leads you into Yosemite National Park. Best known for its impressive waterfalls, grand meadows, and dramatic rock formations, Yosemite was one of the first wilderness parks in the United States.
**From early November to late May, Tioga Pass may be closed due to weather or road conditions, in which case you will need to drive the southern route through Bakersfield and Fresno into the Yosemite area.
Enjoy the outdoors today and delve into the depths of the park. Walk to a waterfall, learn about the many natural wonders during a ranger-guided stroll, or explore a giant sequoia grove. With approximately 800 miles of trails, Yosemite is a fantastic place to hike.
Yosemite - Lake Tahoe
Leave the magic of Yosemite behind as you journey north via Bridgeport and Devil's Gate Pass en route to Lake Tahoe. Here, where California and Nevada meet, you can discover a true jewel of nature, surrounded by the Sierra Nevada mountains.
Overnight Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe - San Francisco
Today's journey east takes you through Gold Rush-era attractions, California's State capitol, Sacramento, and on to San Francisco. Considered one of the greatest cities in the world, San Francisco offers an incredible range of sightseeing possibilities and fabulous iconic views.
Overnight San Francisco
With 49 square miles of amazing sights, scenes, and destinations, you won’t run out of things to do in San Francisco. Spend a full day exploring this captivating City by the Bay's neighborhoods including Fisherman's Wharf, Chinatown, Union Square, Nob Hill, the Embarcadero/Financial District, and Golden Gate Park. To experience something truly unique, walk along the railings of the Golden Gate Bridge or take a ride on its world-famous Cable Car.
Overnight San Francisco
San Francisco - Central Coast
Start the morning, heading south for an exhilarating trip along 17-Mile Drive from Pacific Grove to Pebble Beach. Continue south along central California's delightfully scenic Pacific Coast Highway. This twisting, cliff-hugging route starts in Monterey and takes you through the quaint village of Carmel-by-the-Sea and on to Big Sur, where mountains plunge into the Pacific Ocean. Farther south, the landscape mellows to oak-studded hills as the road passes famous Hearst Castle.
Overnight Central Coast
Central Coast - Santa Barbara - Ventura
Your drive today takes you south to Ventura passing through Pismo Beach, agricultural valleys of rolling countryside, and Santa Barbara, often described as the American Riviera. Located along the southern-most part of California's Central Coast, Ventura is a classic beach town, a popular spot for surfing and windsurfing, in a delightful setting.
Ventura - Los Angeles Area
Today, travel further south through Oxnard, yet another beautiful stretch of coast in Malibu, and the seaside town of Santa Monica. Arrive in the Los Angeles area with enough time to glimpse some of the glitz and glamour of the City of Angels. Check out the Hollywood Walk of Fame, TCL Chinese Theatre, formerly Grauman's Chinese Theater, the Sunset Strip, Beverly Hills, and Rodeo Drive which are among the best sights Los Angeles has to offer.
Overnight Los Angeles
Return to Los Angeles International Airport for your return flight home unless you plan to stay in the area.
Daily departures: October 1, 2022 - March 31, 2024
** From early November to late May, Tioga Pass may be closed due to weather or road conditions, in which case, drive the southern route through Bakersfield and Fresno into the Yosemite area.
- 21 days Intermediate Car Rental with unlimited mileage (Chevy Cruze or similar)
- Detailed day by day itinerary
- 1-night deluxe accommodations in Los Angeles
- 1-night deluxe accommodations in Anaheim
- 1-night deluxe accommodations in San Diego
- 1-night deluxe accommodations in Palm Springs
- 1-night deluxe accommodations in Phoenix/Scottsdale
- 1-night deluxe accommodations in Grand Canyon
- 2 nights deluxe accommodations in Lake Powell
- 1-night deluxe accommodations in Bryce Canyon
- 2 nights deluxe accommodations in Las Vegas
- 1-night deluxe accommodations in Death Valley
- 2 nights deluxe accommodations in Yosemite
- 1-night deluxe accommodations in Lake Tahoe
- 2 nights deluxe accommodations in San Francisco
- 1-night deluxe accommodations in Central Coast
- 1-night deluxe accommodations in Ventura
- 1-night deluxe accommodations in Los Angeles Area
- Car rental insurance
- Travel insurance
- International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
- Entrances fees to sites not explicitly listed as included
- Meals and beverages not mentioned
- Road tolls
- Items of a personal nature
- Visa fees if applicable
- Enjoy Old Town San Diego, the birthplace of California
- Journey up the sheer cliffs of Chino Canyon aboard the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway (optional)
- Bask under sunny skies in Phoenix/Scottsdale
- View one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon
- Discover Lake Powell’s natural stone bridge, Rainbow Bridge
- Behold the rich colors of Bryce Canyon’s famous spires, called “hoodoos”
- Gaze at Zion’s massive sandstone cliffs of cream, pink, and red
- Partake in primetime entertainment all along the Las Vegas Strip
- Stand at the lowest land elevation in North America in Death Valley
- Touch monoliths of exposed granite in Yosemite
- Dip your toes in Lake Tahoe, the deep blue jewel of the Sierra Nevada Mountains
- Walk along the railings of San Francisco’s world-famous Golden Gate Bridge
- Marvel at 17-Mile Drive’s the Lone Cypress
- Explore Santa Barbara, the American Riviera
TERMS AND CONDITIONS:
Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request. Additional terms and conditions apply for car rental - please inquire.
1 Oct 2023