2018 Tour Details
Experience the best of the West on this thrilling adventure—with its vibrant cities, spectacular mountains, scenic drives, and unique rock formations. This western U.S. tour begins and ends in Los Angeles with overnights along the way in Scottsdale, Flagstaff, Las Vegas, Fresno, Turlock, San Francisco, Monterey, and Solvang. Tour highlights include time spent in stunning Grand Canyon National Park, where you can stroll the rim and witness truly breathtaking landscapes, and Yosemite National Park, with its cascading waterfalls, mountain peaks, ice-sculpted domes, lush forests, and meadows. More beautiful scenery awaits you on the drive between Scottsdale and the Grand Canyon. Witness stunning Oak Creek Canyon, one of the most scenic drives in the U.S., and stop in Sedona, a thriving center of New Age set in massive red-rock formations. In contrast to the desert landscapes, enjoy 17-Mile Drive along the Pacific Ocean, where you’ll witness views of waves, Pebble Beach Golf Course, and million-dollar homes. On this western U.S. tour, spend time in the vibrant cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Las Vegas with plenty of time on your own to explore. Perhaps take a ride on San Francisco’s historic cable cars and enjoy an optional outing to see a Las Vegas show—the choice is yours! In San Francisco, Cosmos has included a visit to captivating Alcatraz Prison, where you can see where famous criminals once lived. Other tour highlights are time in Carmel, a quaint and picturesque town; Monterey, where you’ll visit Fisherman’s Wharf, known for its historic waterfront, and Cannery Row, the famous street that runs parallel to Monterey Bay’s coastline; Solvang, where Denmark has been recreated with scenic buildings and windmills; and Santa Barbara, where sightseeing includes a photo stop at the historic mission. This is the perfect vacation for value-minded travelers!.
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In Los Angeles and San Francisco.Guides:
Services of a professional Tour Director; where information is provided for independent exploration and dining.Scenic Highlights:
Palm Springs, Sedona, Oak Creek Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park, Historic Route 66, Las Vegas, Yosemite National Park, Sausalito, Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, Nob Hill, Monterey, 17-Mile Drive, Carmel, Solvang, and coastal Santa Barbara.Notes:
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.
Private, deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach while touring.
2 continental breakfasts
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.
LOS ANGELES. Welcome to Los Angeles! Your Tour Director is on hand late this afternoon to answer any questions.
LOS ANGELES. Begin 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; your Tour Director will have suggestions so you can further explore the city. Stroll down Olvera Street, or the heart of the original Spanish Mission. This evening, plenty of suggestions for dining and shopping will be available.
LOS ANGELES–PALM SPRINGS. Journey to the desert oasis of Palm Springs, just 120 miles east of Los Angeles. Ever since Hollywood stars first came here in the 1930’s laying claim to ranch-style estates and holding up in elite hotels, the clean dry air and sunshine have made Palm Springs irresistible.
PALM SPRINGS–SCOTTSDALE. Travel through cacti covered desert towards Old Town Scottsdale where Western storefronts create an aura of the past. Afterward, enjoy free time to explore a taste of the Old West with restaurants, shopping, and Western bars. With wooden beams, wagon wheels, and cowboy hats abundant, you will feel like you have traveled back in time to the era of outlaws and saloons.
SCOTTSDALE–SEDONA–GRAND CANYON–WILLIAMS. First stop today is a visit to Sedona, a center for Southwestern and New Age arts. Climb through Oak Creek Canyon with its weather-sculpted formations of dramatic, color-tinted crags. Then pass by the San Francisco Mountains and beautiful pine forests to the South Rim of the GRAND CANYON. 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. Stay overnight in Williams, a picturesque mountain town with Route 66 as the main street.
WILLIAMS–LAS VEGAS. Cross the old Mohave gold-strike country, that still has traces of century-old ghost towns set in the natural desert beauty. Look out for Joshua trees, a species of the lily family that grows to 40 feet high and can live for more than 300 years. Today’s destination is the man-made phenomenon in the Nevada desert that is Las Vegas, a fantastic city of feverish gambling, neon lights, and glamorous shows.
LAS VEGAS. The day is free for exploring on your own. Your Tour Director will have plenty of activities to choose from and will recommend favorite restaurants and shopping areas.
LAS VEGAS–TULARE. Departing the neon lights of Las Vegas, we continue across the desert landscape of Nevada before crossing into California. See the vast Mojave Desert, which covers one-fifth of California. Pass through the agricultural land and overnight in Tulare in the central San Joaquin Valley.
TULARE–YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK–MODESTO. Enter YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, a wonderland of spectacular lakes, cascading waterfalls, lush forests, giant granite domes, pinnacles, and mountains rising more than 4,000 feet above the valley floor. Afterward, drive to Modesto.
MODESTO–SAUSALITO–SAN FRANCISCO. This morning, we continue west to the “Golden Gate City” of San Francisco, famous for its cable cars. Lunch in the pristine waterfront community of Sausalito. Free time to explore this quaint, Mediterranean-style village’s shops, galleries, and breathtaking views. Afterward, included sightseeing takes in the spectacular Golden Gate Bridge, Nob Hill, and bustling Fisherman’s Wharf.
SAN FRANCISCO. The day is free for you to explore more of this fascinating city. Perhaps visit 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 explore the “City by the Bay.” Choose from a variety of optional excursions.NOTE: Consider advance ticket purchase for Alcatraz Island with the National Park Service.
SAN FRANCISCO. Another day at leisure to explore this most beautiful city. Perhaps ride San Francisco’s historic cable cars, take a walking tour of one of the city’s diverse neighborhoods, enjoy an Italian coffee at a sidewalk café in North Beach, or shop for bargains in Union Square.
SAN FRANCISCO–MONTEREY. Today, you travel south to picturesque Monterey, which was once Spain’s Californian capital, and visit historic Fisherman’s Wharf, where you may spot sea lions and otters. This afternoon, travel to Monterey and visit Cannery Row, made famous by John Steinbeck’s novel of the same name. The rest of the day is free, so why not visit Monterey Bay Aquarium known for its interactive exhibits and teeming sea life?
MONTEREY–17-MILE DRIVE–CARMEL–SOLVANG. Today, you’ll take in spectacular 17-MILE DRIVE. Watch Pacific Ocean waves en route to Carmel on Carmel Bay. Nestled in a pine forest, the one-square-mile village of Carmel is incredibly dynamic, yet still quaint and picturesque. Afterward, on to Solvang, where Denmark has been recreated with picturesque buildings and windmills. There’s time to walk the flower-lined village streets and enjoy the “Old World” architecture. Tasty bakery treats and perhaps a Danish smorgasbord for dinner all add to the unique experience.
SOLVANG–SANTA BARBARA–SANTA MONICA–LOS ANGELES. From Solvang, it’s a short drive south to coastal Santa Barbara. Sightseeing includes a photo stop at the historic mission and a visit to the pier. There’s time to wander along the bustling waterfront or do some shopping in some of the most talked-about boutiques in downtown Santa Barbara. Next, we make our way to the Santa Monica Pier and the ultimate Southern California beach. Afterward, return to downtown Los Angeles.
LOS ANGELES. The trip ends today with guests departing on individual schedules. Transfers to Los Angeles International Airport are included. You can extend your vacation with extra nights and explore Los Angeles further with a variety of exciting optional activities.
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.
Escorting tours for more than 10 years
"The West has been my home since I was born, and its incredible diversity has kept me engaged since my earliest memories. It is a world of iconic places and undiscovered gems waiting to be explored. Experience the bustle of its cities and the serenity of its open spaces, hear the stories of its people, and embrace the wonder of its beauty. No matter who you are or where you come from, there is something about the West that will never leave you."
Escorting tours for more than 20 years
"Being a Tour Director has afforded me the opportunity to travel more than I would have ever dreamed. During my many years as a Tour Director, I have had the opportunity to lead tours in Australia, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Hawaii, and the Western U.S. I am extremely proud of my home state of California. Come with me on tour and I will show you the unique beauty, ethnic diversity, tempting local cuisine, and, hopefully, help you spot a celebrity or two!"
LAS VEGAS SLS Las Vegas Hotel & Casino (MD)
LOS ANGELES L.A. Grand Hotel Downtown (SF)
MODESTO Best Western Palm Court Inn (ST)
MONTEREY Monterey Downtown Days Inn (ST)
PALM SPRINGS Palm Springs Courtyard (F)
SAN FRANCISCO Hotel Carlton (MF)
SCOTTSDALE The Saguaro Scottsdale (F)
SOLVANG Holiday Inn Express Solvang (ST)
TULARE Best Western Town and Country Lodge (ST)
WILLIAMS Grand Canyon Railway Hotel (F)