Day 1Los Angeles
Enjoy time at leisure to relax or to do some independent exploring.
Day 2Los Angeles–Palm Springs–Scottsdale
Begin the day with a sightseeing tour of the world’s “Capital of Glamour,” including a drive through Hollywood and famous Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. Stop in the desert oasis of Palm Springs with its distinctive wind farms, 5,000 swimming pools, and 90 golf courses! This afternoon, head to the mountain-ringed desert resort of Scottsdale.
The morning is free for independent activities. You may choose to join the optional 4-wheel-drive tour, where you will experience incredible views of backcountry Arizona in specially equipped open-air Jeeps. Afterward, venture out on a sightseeing tour that highlights downtown Phoenix, the Arizona State Capitol Building, and an included visit to the HEARD MUSEUM, where exhibit galleries feature a variety of historic, traditional, and contemporary Native American art. Next, experience Old Town Scottsdale, where Western storefronts provide a window into the past. The remainder of the day is at leisure to relax at your desert oasis resort and feel truly invigorated. Perhaps you would like to play a round on one of Arizona’s famed golf courses, or maybe slip into rejuvenation mode and relax poolside as you soak up the desert sun and take in the restful landscape.
Day 4Scottsdale–Sedona–Grand Canyon–Flagstaff
Travel to Sedona, a thriving center for New Age arts set in Canyon Country. On to the weather-sculptured rock formations of Oak Creek Canyon. Alongside the San Francisco Mountains and beautiful pine forests to the South Rim of the GRAND CANYON. Time to stroll the canyon rim. For a once-in-a-lifetime experience, take our optional helicopter flightseeing excursion for incomparable views of flame-colored walls plunging 6,000 feet into the Colorado River.
Day 5Flagstaff–Las Vegas
Leave the mountain town of Flagstaff on historic Route 66 and cross the old Mojave gold strike country, which still bears 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 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 colorful “Strip.” This evening, we highly recommend a night out to a dazzling stage show featuring top Vegas entertainment. (Breakfast)
Day 6Las Vegas
The morning and afternoon are free for you to swim and sunbathe at the hotel pool or explore the varied casinos and shopping plazas. Your Tour Director will have more suggestions to fill your day. Consider a river float trip through the Black Canyon.
Day 7Las Vegas–Mammoth Lakes
A day of striking natural contrasts as the journey continues across the desert landscape of Nevada before crossing into California and ascending into the snowcapped Sierra Nevadas. Overnight in Mammoth, a popular alpine resort area surrounded by beauty and majesty—and within easy reach of Yosemite National Park. Note: Tioga Pass is typically closed from November to the end of May due to snow. When Tioga Pass is closed, this tour is rerouted to overnight in Fresno instead of Mammoth Lakes. Departures from the end of May through mid-October are expected to overnight in Mammoth Lakes; however, weather may affect the routing of tours to Fresno during these times.
Day 8Mammoth Lakes–Yosemite National Park–Sonora
Cross the high Tioga Pass and enter YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, a wonderland of spectacular lakes, giant granite domes, towering pinnacles, cascading waterfalls, and lush forests. It’s a beautiful drive from the park to Sonora, once a thriving center in the Gold Rush era.
Day 9Sonora–Sacramento–San Francisco
Head toward Sacramento, capital of California, with time to explore Old Sacramento. “Old Town,” as the locals call it, features a Wild West ambiance. During your visit, see the country’s largest collection of Gold Rush-era buildings, a Wells Fargo museum, and a historic Railroad Museum. From Old Town, continue west to reach San Francisco by early afternoon. Cross the splendid bay with vistas of the San Francisco skyline and its magnificent harbor. On your city tour, see the main sights, including the renowned Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Nob Hill. Tonight, you may choose to join your traveling companions for an optional evening in Chinatown. Explore this vibrant historic section of San Francisco that houses the largest Chinese community outside of Asia. Enjoy a lavish 4-course dinner at an authentic Chinese restaurant. End with a short walking tour of Chinatown, plus a ride on one of San Francisco’s famous cable cars.
Day 10San Francisco
This morning, visit the famous and fascinating ALCATRAZ PRISON. Get a close-up look at the infamous federal penitentiary that was off limits to the public for years. Afterward, the day is yours to do some more exploring in the “City by the Bay.” Ride San Francisco’s historic cable cars or take a walking tour of one of the city’s diverse neighborhoods.Note: The National Park Service requires the disclosure value of the Alcatraz Prison visit is US$26.
Day 11San Francisco
The trip ends today with guests departing on individual schedules. Transfers to San Francisco International Airport are included. Extend your vacation with extra nights and explore the “City by the Bay” further with a variety of exciting optional activities.
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