Hidden coves and ocean beaches give way to desert vistas as you take in the best that Southwest USA and California has to offer. Unwind on San Diego’s beaches, follow snaking trails into the Grand Canyon, be dwarfed by towering Sequoia trees in Yosemite, discover Universal Studios and visit the neon desert city of Las Vegas. This all-encompassing California tour showcases the gems of Western USA, leaving you with amazing memories of a very special family holiday.
TOUR HIGHLIGHTS: Admission to Universal Studios in Los Angeles • Sunset pizza dinner overlooking the Grand Canyon • San Diego beach time and optional water sports • Visit Seligman on the Route 66 • Cruise the Las Vegas Strip • Swim in the Keough Hot Springs • Two nights exploring Yosemite National Park trails and searching for wildlife • Sightseeing in San Francisco • National Parks: Yosemite and Grand Canyon • Two UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Tour Facts and Features: 7 nights camping with equipment (except sleeping bag) • 4 hotel nights in 3 star accommodation (some with swimming pools) • All transportation by private vehicle • 7 breakfasts • 9 lunches • 7 dinners • Services of a professional tour leader • Group size: Maximum 13 • Age range: 8+ • Free Wi-Fi available in your vehicle (USA only). Maximum of five users at one time.
Dag 1. ANKOMST LOS ANGELES
Welcome to the ‘City of Angels’, Los Angeles. Feel the California sunshine on your face as you have a free day to take a bus over to Venice Beach and enjoy some family time on the shore. Visit the Venice Skatepark to watch the skaters’ tricks, then stroll to Santa Monica Pier to ride the giant ferris wheel. A welcome meeting will be held at 18:00 hrs, where you meet your tour leader and fellow travelling companions.
Dag 2. LOS ANGELES
Today will bring out the child in everyone! Enjoy an included visit to Universal Studios where you can take a behind-the-scenes studio tour and ride the most exciting roller coasters on the planet. This is entertainment central for the whole family and the perfect way to experience Los Angeles after touring Hollywood.
Dag 3 – 4. SAN DIEGO
Our California tour continues with a visit to the golden sandy beaches of San Diego. If you’re looking for the perfect place to relax, but with enough activities to keep the kids entertained, then make sure you visit Mission Beach. Rent bikes, or rollerblades to cruise around on. Alternatively, for the more adventurous, try your hand at surfing the Californian waves. Enjoy an included picnic dinner on the beach – the perfect end to a perfect day.
Dag 5. LAKE HAVASU
Home to the original London Bridge and designated as a recreational area, this desert oasis has become a mecca for water sports enthusiasts throughout the Southwest. With 300 days of sunshine a year and all the adventure you could possibly wish for, Lake Havasu is a great way to keep the kids entertained. Simply relax and go for a swim to cool off after a long day.
Dag 6 – 7. GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK
Desert turns to pine covered plateaus as the earth opens to reveal one of the world’s natural wonders, the Grand Canyon. This incredible spectacle is something truly special to witness, especially through the eyes of a child. Whether you decide to hike along the rim or take the more adventurous route into the canyon itself, you’ll be amazed at the sheer beauty of the place. Carved over several millennia, this massive wonder of nature is 277 miles (445 kilometres) long, up to 18 miles (29 kilometres) wide and over a mile deep (1.6 kilometres). Snaking through the canyon floor is the mighty Colorado River, which runs 1450 miles (2330 kilometres) through seven American states and two Mexican states.
You can explore the park at your own pace and we highly recommend a scenic helicopter flight over the canyon, which offers a unique bird’s eye view that will amaze the whole family. Pop in to the Grand Canyon Visitor Centre to learn how the canyon was formed, then venture down the Bright Angel Trail to Plateau Point to let off some steam, or just stroll along the more leisurely West Rim Trail and catch the shuttle bus to Hermit’s Rest. Finish off the day by enjoying a dinner with a view as you tuck into pizza and watch the sunset over the canyon, perfection!
Dag 8. ROUTE 66 – LAS VEGAS
Before arriving to the ultimate desert show stopper, Las Vegas, you’ll travel down a section of the original Route 66 and stop at the town of Seligman, filled to the brim with pure Americana. Why not try a super thick milkshake at the all-American Snow Cap Diner? Next is the desert city of Las Vegas – the ultimate entertainment experience. With its roller coasters, thrill rides, magic shows, amazing swimming pools and all-you-can-eat buffets, there’s plenty for the whole family to see and do. Family friendly recommendations include Circus Circus and Treasure Island which are guaranteed to be a hit. In the evening walk the Strip and enjoy the bright lights and fountain displays.
Dag 9. KEOUGH HOT SPRINGS
Make your way across the desert towards Keough Hot Springs, one of the largest natural hot springs in the Eastern Sierras. After all the excitement and the hustle and bustle from the previous day, this is the perfect place to relax and cool off in the sunshine.
Dag 10 – 11. YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK
Yosemite is one of California’s most treasured national parks and it’s easy to see why. Nestled high in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, this is a natural playground of unspoilt forest and sheer granite walls rising thousands of feet over the valley floor. There’s also plenty of wildlife to be spotted, including bears and coyotes. Whether inner-tubing down the meandering Merced River (in season) or hiking to the top of thundering Nevada Falls, Yosemite’s towering cliffs, waterfalls and Giant Sequoias are sure to impress the entire family.
Yosemite embodies the spirit of America’s natural parks and its rugged, towering peaks and magnificent waterfalls have been immortalised by countless photographers. Trails throughout the park are as varied as the landscape and you’ll no doubt find a trail that will appeal to you and your family. Take in the quintessential vistas of El Capitan, a 3,000 foot sheer rock face famous with rock climbers the world over. Other popular spots in the park are Bridalveil Falls, one of the most prominent waterfalls in Yosemite, and the famous granite Half Dome, a rock formation you will have seen before on countless postcards. At night, it’s the ideal place to stargaze around the campfire as you toast marshmallows.
Dag 12. SAN FRANCISCO
Continue on to San Francisco, or the `City by the Bay’, as it is commonly known. Why not stay on a few extra days and hop on a cable car, taking in Chinatown, before visiting the Aquarium of the Bay and the city’s playful sea-lions at Pier 39? Head over to Golden Gate Park with a picnic and stroll across Golden Gate Bridge for inspired views of the city. A `must do’ in San Francisco is the offshore prison of Alcatraz, where you can learn all about the infamous inmates and their failed escape attempts. If you plan on doing this, you’ll need to book in advance directly with the Alcatraz Cruises as it tends to book up fast.
Your California family holiday ends at our gateway hotel at approximately 17:00 hrs. We can book you post-tour accommodation at our gateway hotel if required. If you are planning to fly tonight, please do not book a flight that departs before 21:00 hrs.
Optional Activities (paid locally)
Our optional activities offer the flexibility to do the things you want to and leave out the things you don’t. Below are the main optional activities for this trip which can be arranged once you are on tour via your tour leader and paid for locally. Please note that not all optional activities may available on every tour and prices are subject to change.
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