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From the gorgeous national parks to the thrilling cities, this western U.S. tour through California, Arizona, and Nevada features unique rock formations, scenic drives, deep canyons, and sparkling waterfalls and lakes—not to mention fun in some of the world’s most famous cities. Your tour starts in Los Angeles, ends in San Francisco, and overnights along the way in Palm Springs, Scottsdale, Williams, Las Vegas, Tulare, Merced, and San Francisco. You’ll visit two of the West’s most famous and beautiful national parks, Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona and Yosemite National Park in California. Stroll the Grand Canyon’s South Rim and stand in awe as you witness the breathtaking scenery. In Yosemite National Park, have your camera ready for the giant granite domes, cascading waterfalls, lush forests, and more. But that’s not all…you’ll also witness spectacular scenery on your drives. Between Scottsdale and the Grand Canyon, you’ll see Arizona's Oak Creek Canyon, known as one of America’s most beautiful drives and home to brilliantly hued cliffs and rugged spires of sandstone, and you’ll stop in Sedona, with the massive red-rock formations that make the area famous. Between Williams and Las Vegas, watch for Joshua trees, which can grow to be more than 40 feet tall. Between Las Vegas and Tulare, you’ll witness the vast Mojave Desert. Enjoy sightseeing in Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Perhaps take a ride on San Francisco’s historic cable cars or enjoy an optional outing to Alcatraz Prison, the federal penitentiary that once housed Al Capone and other notorious criminals—the choice is yours! Free time in each city—including Las Vegas—gives you time to explore on your own or to take optional excursions. Breathtaking scenery, exciting cities, scenic drives, and more…this western U.S. tour is a perfect vacation for savvy, value-minded travelers.
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*Book a select 2023 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruise to receive $750 off per person on the cruise/land or cruise only price. Booking must be made, under deposit and discount applied between August 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023 for travel in 2023. Promotional discount will apply to Groups of 8 or more who provide their Group Block Deposit within the promotion's booking dates and will apply to all individual members of the Group until the due date of the passenger names/non-refundable individual deposits. Not applicable on TBA space. Offer reliant on space availability at time of booking and may be withdrawn at any time. Offer combinable only with Welcome Back Credit. Applies to new 2023 bookings only and offer will not be applied to pre-existing bookings. Full cancellation penalties will apply. Additional restrictions may apply; see Travel Terms & Conditions for details. May be withdrawn at any time. Offer applies to participating GFOB offices only. PRMW0992
LOS ANGELESSightseeingGRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARKSightseeingWILLIAMSHistoric Route 66LAS VEGASOrientation tour of the famous Las Vegas “Strip”YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARKSightseeingSAN FRANCISCOSightseeing; Golden Gate BridgeGuides:
PROFESSIONAL TOUR DIRECTORNotes:
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.
World Heritage Sites are designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for having cultural, historical, scientific or other form of significance. The sites are judged to contain cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity.
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.
1 breakfasts, 1 continental breakfast
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 1930s, 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 toward 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’ll feel like you’ve 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 its 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. Next, 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 Your vacation ends this morning. Extend your vacation with extra nights and explore San Francisco further.
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 15 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."
Escorting tours for more than 15 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!"