Sightseeing:In Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Alcatraz.
Scenic Highlights:Palm Springs, Scottsdale, Sedona, Oak Creek Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park, Historic Route 66, Las Vegas, Sierra Nevadas, and Yosemite National Park.
Services of a professional Tour Director.
- On vacations that include an overnight stay in Las Vegas, at least one member of the traveling party must be 21 years of age or older.
Day 1Los Angeles
Enjoy time at leisure to relax or to do some independent exploring.
Day 2Los Angeles
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. The remainder of your day is at leisure, and your Tour Director will have suggestions for your further exploration of the city. Perhaps visit Hollywood again and the Hollywood History Museum, located in the old Max Factor Building. Stroll down Olvera Street, the heart of the original Spanish Mission, or visit the Getty Center with its wonderful art collection. For the evening, plenty of suggestions for dining and shopping will be available.
Day 3Los Angeles–Palm Springs
Today we make our way to the desert oasis of Palm Springs with its distinctive wind farms, 5,000 swimming pools, and 90 golf courses! Ever since Hollywood stars first came here in the 1930s, laying claim to ranch-style estates and holing up in elite hotels, the clean, dry air and sunshine have made Palm Springs irresistible. The afternoon and evening have been set aside for independent time. Relax by the pool, browse the many shops and galleries, or visit the Palm Springs Desert Museum.
Day 4Palm Springs–Phoenix–Scottsdale
This morning, head to the mountain-ringed desert resort of Scottsdale. A sightseeing tour highlights downtown Phoenix and the Arizona State Capitol Building. Next, experience Old Town Scottsdale, where Western storefronts provide a window into the past.
Day 5Scottsdale–Sedona–Grand Canyon National Park–Williams
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. 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-colored walls plunging 6,000 feet 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.
Day 6Williams–Las Vegas
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 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.
Day 7Las 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 8Las 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 9Mammoth 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 10Sonora–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 the historic Railroad Museum. From here, 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 11San 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$27.
Day 12San 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.
Transportation:Private, deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach while touring.
This Cosmos travel package does not include meals. Most of our hotels offer anything from coffee to a full breakfast, so you can start the day the way you like best. At most lunch stops, your Tour Director will have information on local restaurants. Dinnertime is your chance to sample local cuisine. Sometimes your Tour Director will offer an optional dinner outing.
With Cosmos, there’s no better way to get to know your destination than through the eyes of your Tour Director. Averaging over a decade... we’d like you to meet a Tour Director, who is representative of the type of expert that will be with you on your vacation.
Years of Experience: 18 years
I've been fascinated by travel since the U.S. Air Force sent me to Holland some 40 years ago. When I'm not on tour, I still enjoy traveling. I've played the Old Course at St. Andrews, caught trout in Alaska and New Zealand, and shot photos from Yellowstone to the Galápagos Islands. I am always excited to share this passion with my guests, and to show off the wonders of the American Southwest-places like the Grand Canyon, Moab, Santa Fe, and Durango.