USA West Coast Wanderer
14 days from £2,279
- Chill out in the sunshine on Mission Beach in San Diego
- Trek through one of the seven natural wonders of the world at the Grand Canyon
- Journey along the famous Route 66 and explore the wonders of Yosemite National Park
- Soak up the atmosphere as you cruise down Las Vegas Strip in a limo
- Walk with your head in the clouds along San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge
- Feel like a superstar as you mingle with A-listers on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
America’s west coast – vibrant, yes; beautiful, absolutely; wild, the wildest! On this exceptionally fun tour, you’ll get to explore the pristine Californian coastline, rugged Arizona desert, and bright lights of Nevada’s famous Vegas Strip, all while staying in a mix of comfortable hotels, motels, and hostels. You’ll get to see one of the world’s natural wonders as you trek through the colossal red rock of the Grand Canyon, cruise the city streets of Las Vegas by limousine, marvel at the breathtaking scenery in Yosemite National Park, and live the high life in San Fran and LA. If you want to see the very best of America’s West Side – this trip has it all; beaches, desert, city scenes, and a whole lot of fun to be had on the way.
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Day 1-2: Los Angeles to San Diego
We’ll be setting off bright and early on day one to make our way to sunny San Diego in good time. This chilled out city offers a multitude of pretty awesome things to do, including a long list of water activities, which is necessary in an area with more than 60 beaches on its doorstep! Laze on Mission Beach between stints on the surf, take a trip to the world-famous San Diego Zoo, or stroll through the surrounding 1,200 acres of the rather picturesque Balboa Park. Make time for a bit of museum mooching (there are 15 in Balboa Park alone) and get the lowdown on America’s Finest City’s military and maritime heritage. In the evening, explore the pretty Gaslamp Quarter which is crammed full of unique bistros and bars – perfect if you’re looking for a bit of a party vibe.
Day 3: Prescott
Heading east through the incredible open landscape of the Mojave Desert today, we’ll be making the journey to Prescott, Arizona. Keep your eyes peeled on the way for Salvation Mountain – the colourful tribute to God from one man’s dedication to his religion (it’s really quite a sight to behold!), and the Original 1830s London Bridge, which was relocated brick-by-brick to Arizona and reconstructed in the desert over Lake Havasu in the sixties.
Day 4-5: Grand Canyon National Park
Today we’ll venture out into the utterly amazing Grand Canyon National Park to step foot inside one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. At an estimated 6 million years old, the Grand Canyon is a spectacularly mammoth rocky site, with some of its deepest valleys seeing cliff edges rising to a monumental height of 1,857 metres, a width of up to 18 miles, and covering a length of 277 miles – it’s no wonder it’s a prominent landmark on earth from space. An incredible place to explore on foot, by bike, or on horseback, you’ll get to discover this marvel at whichever pace suits you best. Not content with hiking the Kaibab Trail? Take a helicopter flight over instead! Later on you could visit the IMAX Theatre and learn just how the canyon was formed.
Day 6-7: Route 66 to Las Vegas
Making tracks along the famous Route 66, we’ll take in the sights before stopping off at the quaint little town of Seligman (when we say little there are only around 500 residents, so pretty small), where life has seemingly stood still for the past fifty years. Make sure you collect an armload of American memorabilia before we depart for the bright lights of Las Vegas. On our arrival we’ll climb into a stretch-limo for a tour of the city in true Vegas style. Afterwards we’ll let our hair down as we make for the strip to indulge in food, fountain shows, and fun on the famous New York New York rollercoaster.
Day 8-9: Yosemite National Park
On day eight we’ll head north to California’s magnificent Yosemite National Park. Full of breathtaking vistas at every glance, the park is famous for its healthy population of sequoia trees – red trunked giants that range from hundreds to a couple of thousand years old and stretch to a colossal 60 metres in height. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for some of America’s iconic wildlife while you’re here – Yosemite is home to the black bear and coyotes as well as mountain lions, the Sierra Nevada red fox, and deer. There are both easy and more challenging trails to hike through, which will bring you face-to-face with stunning glacier-carved granite monoliths, deep valleys, and spectacular waterfalls. Take to two wheels and explore Yosemite Village with the wind in your hair, or for a slightly different perspective, hop in a rubber ring and float down the Merced River.
Day 10-11: San Francisco
Discover the lure of one of America’s most vibrant cities in San Fran. An exciting and bustling place to explore, you’ll get a full tour of the Haight-Ashbury area with a guide before cycling or walking across the famous Golden Gate Bridge. During your own time in the city, you could take a cable car tour, visit the sea lions at Pier 39, or jump on a sailboat for a sunset cruise in San Francisco Bay. You’ll be spoilt for choice for places to dine out, and the rest of the city’s nightlife is pretty spectacular too. If you’re hoping to visit Alcatraz for some exciting stories of escape and misfortune while you’re here, you’ll need to book in advance.
Day 12: California Coast
Day twelve sees us coasting down the pristine Pacific coastline of California – with some absolutely glorious scenery to view on the way. We’ll be making our way to San Luis Obispo (or SLO for short) – one of California’s oldest communities and friendliest towns set amid the rolling valleys that surround the county. Once rested up, you’ll have the opportunity to take a dip in the ocean, or enjoy the simple delights of a fine coffee house or bar – as there are plenty to choose from here.
Day 13: Santa Barbara
We’ll have a free afternoon today in Santa Barbara – thought of as the Californian Riviera. With beautiful beaches set against a mountain backdrop, colourful red tiled houses, and palm-lined streets, you won’t be stuck for nice views. Chill out on the beach, visit the exotic gardens of Lotus Land, go and see the animals at Santa Barbara Zoo, take a wine tour of one of the local vineyards, or explore the famous Spanish Mission and soak up the Mediterranean vibe. Toast the sunset with a drink or two, then carry on the party into the night.
Day 14: Santa Barbara to Los Angeles
Making the final leg of our journey today, we’ll head on back to the City of Angels where you can stroll along the Walk of Fame and take some snaps with views of the iconic Hollywood sign in the background – keep a lookout for the countless A-listers that frequent the area. The trip comes to an end at approximately 5pm, but we recommend you stay in LA for another night before returning home, which will give you the chance to explore this amazing city for longer and no complications getting to the airport in time – we can help you arrange accommodation if you like.
Please note itineraries and activities are subject to change.
- All accommodation
- Private transport between destinations
- Free Wifi on private transport
- An experienced tour guide
- Super-stretch limousine tour in Las Vegas
- Grand Canyon sunrise or sunset tour
- Seligman stop on the original Route 66
- Yosemite tour
- Walk on the Golden Gate Bridge
- City tours of San Francisco
- Admission to Grand Canyon and Yosemite National Parks
- 24/7 emergency support
- Extra nights’ accommodation in LA
- Optional activities
Your accommodation will consist of a mix of hostels, motels, and hotels. All rooms will be fairly basic, but clean and comfortable, and in the best locations for the travel and activities mapped out on your itinerary. If you’re travelling with a friend or partner, let us know when you book so we can make sure you get a room together.
Meals aren’t included as part of this trip, which gives you the freedom and choice to eat where and when you like – America has heaps of cool and quirky restaurants, diners, and bars, and you’ll have a huge choice of world cuisine to choose from – don’t be surprised by the supersized portions, American’s know how to eat!
You’ll need to arrange your flights to arrive at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) the day before your programme start date. As your tour begins at 7:30am on the first day of the itinerary, you’ll need to book accommodation in LA for the night before – we can help you arrange this. Free airport transfer will be available to you if you book in with one of our associated hotels.
Your tour finishes in LA at approximately 5pm on day 14 and we recommend you book another night’s accommodation before returning home – again we can help to arrange this.
The minimum age for this trip is 18. Do bear in mind that the legal drinking age in the US is 21, so if you are younger than 21 at the time of travel, you will not be allowed entry into bars, casinos, or clubs.
British Nationals visiting the USA will be able to travel (for tourism purposes) under the US Visa Waiver Programme for up to 90 days. If you intend to stay for longer than this, plan to work, have ever been arrested or hold any criminal convictions, you will need to apply for a visa. American immigration procedures can be a little confusing, so for full and further details please either call us, or contact the US Embassy.
How Many People Will Be In My Group?
This can vary from trip to trip, but the maximum number in one group is capped at 13 people.
How Much Spending Money Should I Bring With Me?
Prices of food and drink can vary from place to place along the west coast, and in cities and tourist areas expect to pay a little more – although having said that, there are always budget-friendly options to be found throughout America. As a rough guide, an average meal will cost between $10-$25/£7.50-£20, and drinks between $2-$6/£1.50-£4.50. Have a think about the sorts of activities you’ll want to try before you travel and budget accordingly – don’t forget to factor in a little extra cash for tipping. $1100-$1300/£850-£1000 should be a good amount to see you through two weeks.
What Do I Do About Tipping?
As you may be aware, it is customary in North America to tip waiting staff, bar staff, porters, taxi drivers, and guides (plus a whole host of other service staff). As a general rule 15%-20% of your bill in a restaurant or the cost of a taxi ride should be added as a tip. When you don’t have a bill for a service – say a hotel porter taking your bags to your room, or your tour guide making that included tour a brilliant experience for you, it’s difficult to work out how much you should be tipping, so give a porter $2-$5 and $5 upwards to your tour guide – you may want to give more if you’ve had exceptionally good service.