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California and the Golden West

Operated By:
Tour Pace: Active
San Francisco
Tour Style: Value
14 Days from $2,050 per person

Discover what makes California and the Golden West so incredibly special as you take in the stunning scenery of the awe inspiring Grand Canyon, the barren beauty of its deserts and the grandeur of the Sierra Nevada. Compare the cultures of the iconic Californian cities from laid back San Diego, to glitzy Los Angeles and cosmopolitan San Francisco. Travel back through the scenic wine country of the central coast as you reflect on your wonderful experience.

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  1. Welcome to Los Angeles, the city of glitz and glamour. Get settled in at your hotel before meeting your Travel Director this afternoon.
    hotel:Red Lion Anaheim
  2. This morning, see the best Los Angeles has to offer. Stop at the Hollywood Walk of Fame in front of the legendary Grauman's Chinese Theater. Drive along the Sunset Strip and stop in Santa Monica. The afternoon and evening are free.
  3. Head along the coast to charming San Diego, set around a sweeping bay. Enjoy a sightseeing tour and discover the beautifully restored Gaslamp Quarter, Balboa Park and Historic Old Town San Diego. It was here in 1769 that Father Junipero Serra came to establish the first of 21 missions that became the cornerstones of California.
    hotel:Clarion San Diego South
  4. Leaving the coast behind you, pass through the Cleveland National Forest. Cross the Arizona state line and Colorado River before heading to the Valley of the Sun and fashionable Phoenix.
    hotel:The Saguaro Scottsdale
  5. Head for the Grand Canyon and meet with a Local Specialist who walks you through the geological life of the canyon. Examine the multicolored rocks from different eras of the canyon's formation. This UNESCO Site and Natural Wonder of the World was formed by pinnacles of rock interspersed by jutting promontories. Later this afternoon, arrive in Flagstaff, a famous outpost on Historic Route 66.
    hotel:Ramada Flagstaff East
  6. Call in at Seligman and Kingman, two iconic outposts along the celebrated "Mother Road." Arrive in larger-than-life Las Vegas—a man-made neon oasis right in the middle of the desert.
    meal(s):CB
    hotel:Gold Coast Hotel and Casino
  7. Enjoy a free day in Las Vegas to pursue your own interests. Explore this city with its grand hotels and shops. Consider trying one of the many optional activities available.
  8. Drive through the stark Mojave Desert before climbing up to the Great Basin Desert through the magnificent mountains of the Sierra Nevada. Continue through the vast plains of the San Joaquin Valley and arrive in Visalia.
    hotel:Wyndham
  9. Nothing can quite prepare you for the incredible scenery of Yosemite National Park. Be surrounded by breathtaking panoramas of lush forests and verdant meadows framed by El Capitan and iconic Half Dome. Overnight in Modesto, the heart of one of the greatest agricultural areas in the nation.
    hotel:Baymont Inn and Suites
  10. Travel back toward the California coast, across the Bay Bridge and into San Francisco. Enjoy a city tour that includes some of the most famous sites in this fascinating city.
    meal(s):CB
    hotel:Holiday Inn Golden Gateway
  11. In the morning, enjoy an Iconic Breakfast at Boudin Bakery, a San Francisco institution since 1849. The rest of the day is free; your Travel Director will be happy to assist you in planning your day.
    meal(s):IC
  12. Today, head for Monterey, California's first capital. Stop in charming Carmel-by-the-Sea and enjoy a stroll down Ocean Avenue. Drive along renowned 17 Mile Drive. Enjoy some of the most beautiful coastal scenery anywhere and watch for sea lions, sea otters and other marine life along the way. Take in the views of Pacific Grove and soak in a bit of California history at Monterey's Cannery Row before arriving at your hotel in Pismo Beach.
    meal(s):FB
    hotel:Oxford Suites Pismo Beach
  13. Travel through the scenic wine country of the Central Coast before arriving at the popular Mediterranean resort town of Santa Barbara. This old mission town is famous for its Spanish look of red tiled roofs and bougainvillea-covered walls. Stroll down the main street before settling in at your hotel.
    hotel:Best Western Plus Carpinteria Inn
  14. Continue down the coast and back to Los Angeles. Soak in the sun and sea air with a stop in Venice Beach before your trip comes to an end at Los Angeles International Airport.
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We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.
  • Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
3 May 18 16 May 18 checkmark $2,050pp Request Quote Book Now
17 May 18 30 May 18 $2,050pp Request Quote Book Now
14 Jun 18 27 Jun 18 $2,050pp Call 1-877-622-9109
21 Jun 18 4 Jul 18 checkmark $2,050pp Request Quote Book Now
5 Jul 18 18 Jul 18 $2,075pp Request Quote Book Now
9 Aug 18 22 Aug 18 $2,075pp Request Quote Book Now
6 Sep 18 19 Sep 18 $2,075pp Request Quote Book Now
13 Sep 18 26 Sep 18 $2,075pp Request Quote Book Now
11 Oct 18 24 Oct 18 $2,050pp Request Quote Book Now

All prices are per person twin-share. Single rooms available at a supplement.

Single Supplement from: $875

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay tips to Travel Director and Driver $151 per person.

Airport arrival will be at approximately 2 pm. Please be aware when booking your flights.

AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift! Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.

Past Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the Land Only price of the vacation.

Meal Summary

4 Breakfasts, .

Sightseeing Highlights

  • Feel like a movie star as you stroll down the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Santa Monica
  • Visit the Gaslamp Quarter, Balboa Park and Historic Old Town
  • Witness the grandeur of the Grand Canyon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with your Local Specialist
  • Explore this entertainment-filled city with its grand hotels and shops
  • Take in the breathtaking views of the valley floor
  • Iconic Breakfast at the famous Boudin Bakery, a local institution since 1849
  • Discover Fisherman's Wharf, North Hill, Golden Gate Park, Union Square and Chinatown
  • Visit Carmel-by-the-Sea and stroll down Ocean Avenue
  • Learn about Steinbeck's infamous Cannery Row
  • Unwind in this Mediterranean resort town along the coast and discover the downtown area

Reviews

Trip not yet reviewed
  • We suggest bringing a variety of lightweight clothing items that can be layered to save space in your suitcase and give you more options for how to dress. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.

  • At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity.  We recommend $4-5 per person/per day for your driver and $6-7 per person/per day for your Travel Director.  Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is 1-2 dollars per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit.  A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.

  • Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.

  • You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions.  All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers.  In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group. 

    If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.

  • We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 48 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.

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