Sightseeing:In Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Alcatraz. Inside visits as shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.
Scenic Highlights:Palm Springs, Scottsdale, Old Town Scottsdale, Sedona, Oak Creek Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park, Historic Route 66, Las Vegas, Sierra Nevada Mountains, and Yosemite National Park.
Services of a professional Tour Director.
NOTE: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
Welcome to Los Angeles! Your Tour Director is on hand late this afternoon to answer any questions.
Day 2Los Angeles
Begin the day with a sightseeing tour of the world’s “Capital of Glamour,” including a drive through Hollywood and the famous TCL Chinese Theatre. The remainder of your day is at leisure, and your Tour Director will have suggestions for your further exploration of the city. Stroll down Olvera Street, the heart of the original Spanish Mission, or visit the Getty Center with its wonderful art collection.
Day 3Los Angeles–Palm Springs–Scottsdale
Stop in the desert oasis of Palm Springs, an area sprinkled with Hollywood stardust. This afternoon, head to the mountain-ringed desert resort of Scottsdale. Later tonight, join the optional excursion to one of Arizona’s cowboy steakhouses, which, according to legend, was once a hideout for cattle rustlers.
This morning begins with a Phoenix sightseeing tour that includes downtown and Old Town Scottsdale. Afterward, free time to explore the Old West, with restaurants, shopping, and Western bars. With wooden beams, wagon wheels, and cowboy hats, you’re sure to feel like you’ve traveled back in time to the era of outlaws and swing-door saloons.
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. Expect Tioga Pass to be closed for the following departures: 11, 25 March; 15, 29 April; 13 May; and 28 October. These departures will be routed to overnight in Tulare instead of Mammoth Lakes. Departures from the end of May through end of October are expected to overnight in Mammoth Lakes, however, weather may affect the routing of tours to Tulare during these times as well.
Day 9Mammoth Lakes–Yosemite National Park–Modesto
Cross high Tioga Pass and enter YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, a wonderland of spectacular lakes, giant granite domes, towering pinnacles, cascading waterfalls, and lush forests. Afterward, drive to Modesto.
Day 10Modesto–San Francisco
This morning, head for San Francisco, crossing 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. (CB)
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 we disclose that the value of the Alcatraz Prison visit is US$31.
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: 17 years
My favorite things to do include travel and meeting wonderfully interesting people from around the world. Luckily, I get to do both as a Tour Director! What I love most about my job is the chance to be an ambassador for the United States. To see the smiles on my travelers' faces at the end of a tour and to know they had a great time and learned a little something about our country is priceless.