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Come and explore the Golden West on this affordable vacation through California, Arizona, and Nevada. You’ll begin in Los Angeles for guided sightseeing in the “City of Angels.” Take a drive through Hollywood and see the legendary TCL Chinese Theater, the Dolby Theater, and the Walk of Fame along Hollywood Boulevard. Stroll through Farmers Market, with more than 140 shops and eateries. Travel through the California desert to Palm Springs, and spend the night in this desert oasis. Continue on to Scottsdale in the arid Arizona climate, and visit Old Town where Western storefronts create an aura of the past. Visit the red-rock town of Sedona, and pass through scenic Oak Creek Canyon and the San Francisco Mountains for a day at the glorious Grand Canyon. Cross the Mohave Desert for two nights in the bright lights of Las Vegas. Try your hand at the blackjack table, play the slot machines, or ask your Tour Director for expert suggestions for dining and shopping. Continue to majestic Yosemite National Park to explore its spectacular lakes, cascading waterfalls, giant sequoia trees, and giant granite domes. On to the “Golden Gate City” of San Francisco for sightseeing, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Nob Hill, and Fisherman’s Wharf. Take in the spectacular seaside settings of Monterey and Carmel. Keep an eye out for sea lions and otters off the Old Fisherman’s Wharf, and visit Cannery Row—made famous by John Steinbeck’s novel. Spend free time visiting the outstanding Monterey Aquarium. Drive along legendary 17-Mile Drive to the storybook setting of Carmel by the Sea. Take in the spectacular coastal scenery along the rugged stretch of Big Sur to visit Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park in the cathedral-like beauty of the California Redwoods. Visit the charming Danish village of Solvang with its Dutch windmills, bakeries, and restaurants. Travel further down the Pacific coastline to Santa Barbara for a photo stop at the historic mission and pier. Return to the L.A. area and stroll the boardwalk on the Santa Monica Pier. Celebrate with a walk on the beach to conclude your value-minded vacation in the American West!
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LOS ANGELESSightseeingGRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARKSightseeingWILLIAMSHistoric Route 66LAS VEGASOrientation tour of the famous Las Vegas “Strip”YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARKSightseeingSAN FRANCISCOSightseeing; Golden Gate BridgeMONTEREYSightseeing including Cannery Row, 17-Mile Drive, Carmel, Big Sur Highway, and Pfeiffer Big Sur State ParkSANTA BARBARASightseeingGuides:
Services of a professional Tour Director.Scenic Highlights:
Scenic Highlights:Palm Springs, Sedona, Oak Creek Canyon, Grand Canyon National Park, Historic Route 66, Las Vegas, Sierra Nevada Mountains, Yosemite National Park, 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.
The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on this vacation:
Private, deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach while touring with free Wi-Fi.
4 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 the day with a sightseeing tour of Tinseltown. Drive through Hollywood and see the historic TCL Chinese Theatre. A historic gem, this world-famous cinema (formerly, Grauman’s) has hosted some of the most exclusive movie premieres in Hollywood history. The Dolby Theater (formerly the Kodak Theater) is the first permanent home of the glamorous Academy Awards. See the Hollywood Walk of Fame, where iconic terrazzo stars grace block after city block of Hollywood Boulevard. Explore The Original Farmers Market, with more than 140 shops and restaurants. The remainder of your day is at leisure; your Tour Director will have suggestions for further exploration of the city.
LOS ANGELES–PALM SPRINGS. Journey to the desert oasis of Palm Springs. 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 NATIONAL PARK–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 Grand Canyon National Park. For a once-in-a-lifetime experience, take our optional helicopter flightseeing excursion for incomparable views of flame-colored walls plunging 6,093 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 oasis in the Nevada desert that is Las Vegas, a fantastic city of feverish gambling, neon lights, and glamorous shows. An orientation tour upon arrival shows off many of the themed casino resorts along the colorful “Strip.”
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–MERCED. This morning, we enter Yosemite National Park, a wonderland of spectacular lakes, giant granite domes, towering pinnacles, cascading waterfalls, and lush forests. Afterward, drive to Merced.
MERCED–SAN FRANCISCO. This morning, we continue west to the “Golden Gate City” of San Francisco, famous for its cable cars. After lunch, 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. Choose from a variety of optional excursions or visit fascinating Alcatraz Prison. Get a close-up look at the infamous federal penitentiary that was off limits to the public for years. NOTE:Consider advance ticket purchase for Alcatraz Island with the National Park Service.
SAN FRANCISCO–17 MILE DRIVE–CARMEL–MONTEREY. This morning, travel south to picturesque Monterey, which was once Spain’s Californian capital. Visit Monterey Harbor’s historic Old Fisherman’s Wharf to look for sea lions and otters, then visit Cannery Row, made famous by John Steinbeck’s novel of the same name. During your free time, consider an unforgettable visit to Monterey Bay Aquarium—known for its interactive exhibits and teeming sea life. Later, take in the spectacular Pacific Ocean waves from legendary 17-Mile Drive and the rugged Pacific coastline en route to Carmel Bay. Nestled in a pine forest beside the picturesque coastline, Carmel by the Sea is a storybook setting not to be missed.
MONTEREY–BIG SUR HIGHWAY–PFEIFFER BIG SUR STATE PARK–SAN LUIS OBISPO–SOLVANG. Today, you will experience one of the most beautiful coastlines anywhere in the world—Big Sur. Experience stunning views, redwood forests, and the Pacific Ocean crashing below. Keep your camera handy, as there will be plenty of scenic photo stops. Visit, Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, nicknamed “mini Yellowstone.” Experience the deep shade and cathedral-like beauty of California Redwoods, while surrounded by peaks that tower high above the Big Sur River Gorge. Enjoy time in San Luis Obispo before making your way 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, guests with outbound flights will head to Los Angeles International Airport. Please schedule flights after 5 pm.
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!"