18 January 2017
Many travellers firmly believe that the West is the best when taking any touring holiday in the United States. And on this exciting driving holiday you will certainly get to experience the best that the West has to offer. Beginning in stunning San Francisco you will travel down the Pacific coast to Monterey, drive through beautiful Yosemite National Park, and awesome Death Valley before arriving in glittering Las Vegas. Then you leave Nevada and drive back across California to Los Angeles to see all the highlights of this pulsating city.
Arrive at San Francisco International Airport and drive to your hotel. San Francisco is one of the most beautiful cities in the US. It’s a compact and approachable place, where downtown streets rise on impossible gradients to reveal stunning views of the city, the bay and beyond. San Francisco is culturally vibrant and ethnically diverse and as a result has evolved into the urban jewel of California’s coast. Ride one of the cable cars past rows of elaborate redwood Victorian-Style houses. Visit China Town and explore its streets where exotic ingredients, silks and jade are sold and great native food is served at the many restaurants.
Get to know this exiting city today. Visit the dramatic curves of Lombard Street, one of San Francisco’s most photographed sites. The beautifully landscaped, one-block descent from Hyde Street to Leavenworth Street, has given Lombard the title of “crookedest street in the world.” Along the way there are spectacular views of Alcatraz, Angel Island, Coit Tower, Yerba Buena Island and the Bay Bridge. Spend some time in Golden Gate Park and Fisherman's Wharf and this evening enjoy dinner at an Italian restaurant in North Beach.
A morning drive will bring you to Monterey, an artisan city on the water famed for the abundance and diversity of its marine life. Here you will see Cannery Row, an old sardine packing plant and many historic buildings depicting its Spanish past. Travel the famous 17-Mile Drive, a scenic road that winds through the prestigious gated community of Pebble Beach, past ocean-front mansions, secluded coves, pristine beaches, and famous golf courses. This drive is home to natural attractions including the Lone Cypress tree. Once in the area, visit picturesque Carmel then continue to Modesto for an overnight stay
Enjoy another scenic drive this morning as you head toward the country’s most famous National Park, Yosemite, which offers breathtaking views and a natural variety of plants and animals. Within the Park, Yosemite Valley’s seven square miles is the best known area and encompasses Yosemite Falls, the famous El Captain and Half Dome granite monoliths, and foggy Bridalveil Falls. The overall scenery is spectacular, with thundering waterfalls, alpine peaks, giant sequoia trees, glaciers, and flowered meadows. You can rent a bike for a short tour or hike one of the trails. In the afternoon, continue to Bakersfield.
Death Valley is a desert of streaming sand dunes, snow-capped mountains and multicoloured rock layers. It is also one of the most arid places on earth and the hottest and driest of America's national parks with temperatures reaching 134°F (56.6°C) in summer. Stop at Father Crawley and Zabriskie Point for spectacular views of the Panamint Mountains and Sand Dunes and at Furnace Creek where you can relax and have lunch. Then drive on to Las Vegas, one of the most the most dynamic and spectacular cities on earth.
Today is yours to explore this electrifying city. Make sure not to miss the nightly fountain show at the Bellagio Hotel, take a trip up to the top of the Stratosphere hotel tower and enjoy dinner at the Top of the World, or simply admire the view. Visit any of the premier hotels and casinos including Caesars Palace, The Venetian and Paris for luxury shopping and if you’re searching for a bargain, drive to one of the outlet malls. For a different side of Vegas, visit historic Fremont Street which has shops, restaurants and casinos under a canopy screen where more than 12 million lights put on a spectacular show.
Leave the glitz of Las Vegas and continue to Los Angeles for a two-night stay. Los Angeles is the entertainment capital of the United States. Home to famous movie stars and Hollywood, it is a city brimming with culture and happenings. This big metropolis has many regions with distinct flavours and communities. Take a stroll along the Walk of Fame and see the names of celebrities commemorated in pink stars, visit Mann’s Chinese Theatre and see the famous hand prints on the pavement outside and take a drive along Sunset Strip and see the homes of the stars in Beverley Hills.
Today is yours to explore the City of Angels. Visit the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, shop along famous Rodeo Drive, have lunch in Venice Beach, visit Santa Monica Pier, once known as the “finish line” of legendary Route 66, or make your way to Anaheim and visit the “Happiest place on earth.” Disneyland is home to your favourite characters like Mickey Mouse and here you will find entertainment for the young and the young at heart. For a behind the scenes look at movie making, visit Universal Studios, tour the sets and experience thrilling rides. Then enjoy Universal City Walk, filled with restaurants and nightclubs.
Today your wonderful Western Panorama tour of the United States comes to an end. Time to see a few more of the sights before driving to Los Angeles International Airport to catch an onward flight or begin your journey home taking with you so many memories from this magical part of America.
Standard fr £408pp
Superior fr £633pp
Rates based on twinshare
International flights not included unless otherwise stated