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 Tinseltown. Drive through Hollywood and see the historic TCL Chinese Theatre. A historic gem, this world-famous cinema (formerly, Grauman's) has hosted some of the most exclusive movie premieres in Hollywood history. The Dolby Theater (formerly the Kodak Theater) is the first permanent home of the glamourous Academy Awards. See the Hollywood Walk of Fame where iconic terrazzo stars grace block after city block of Hollywood Boulevard. Explore The Original Farmers Market, with more than 140 shops and restaurants. The remainder of your day is at leisure; your Tour Director will have suggestions for further exploration of the city.
Journey to the desert oasis of Palm Springs. Ever since Hollywood stars first came here in the 1930s, 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 toward 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.
First stop today is a visit to Sedona, a centre for Southwestern and New Age arts. Climb through Oak Creek Canyon with its weather- sculpted formations of dramatic, colour-tinted crags. Then pass by the San Francisco Mountains and beautiful pine forests to the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. For a once-in-a-lifetime experience, take our optional helicopter flightseeing excursion for incomparable views of flame-coloured walls plunging 6,093 feet into the colourado River. Stay overnight in Williams, a picturesque mountain town with Route 66 as its main street.
Cross the old Mohave gold-strike country, that still has traces of century-old ghost towns set in the natural desert beauty. Look out for Joshua trees, a species of the lily family that grows to 40 feet high and can live for more than 300 years. Today's destination is the man-made oasis in the Nevada desert that is Las Vegas, a fantastic city of feverish gambling, neon lights, and glamourous shows. An orientation tour upon arrival shows off many of the themed casino resorts along the colourful "Strip." (CB)
The day is free for exploring on your own. Your Tour Director will have plenty of activities to choose from and will recommend favourite restaurants and shopping areas.
Departing the neon lights of Las Vegas, we continue across the desert landscape of Nevada before crossing into California. 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. Next, drive to Merced. (B)
This morning, we continue west to the "Golden Gate City" of San Francisco, famous for its cable cars. After lunch, included sightseeing takes in the spectacular Golden Gate Bridge, Nob Hill, and bustling Fisherman's Wharf. (B)
The day is free for you to explore more of this fascinating city. Choose from a variety of optional excursions or visit fascinating Alcatraz Prison. Get a close-up look at the infamous federal penitentiary that was off limits to the public for years. NOTE: Consider advance ticket purchase for Alcatraz Island with the National Park Service.
Your holiday ends this morning. Extend your holiday with extra nights and explore San Francisco further.