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This trip combines all of the best and unique National Parks California has to offer from Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Park to stargazing and learning about early life in the Sierras, Mammoth Lakes and Death Valley.
You'll enjoy Insider moments like... enjoying the delicious smoky smells and tastes of BBQ lunch, made with the freshest of ingredients. A history actor takes you back to the times of early settlement in the Californian mountains.
Welcome to glittering Las Vegas. Get acclimated and relax at your hotel situated on the famous Las Vegas Strip. At 6 p.m. meet your Travel Director and travelling companions for a Welcome Reception at your hotel.
Today, discover North America's lowest, hottest and driest point as you enter Death Valley National Park, the largest National Park in the contiguous United States. Enjoy scenic views at Zabriskie Point over the inferno that is Death Valley, learn about the valley's unique geological features, enjoying sweeping views of desert gorges and miles of sand dunes as your Travel Director shares fascinating facts about the area's unique history and intriguing weather patterns. Dip 282 feet (86 meters) below sea level at the Badwater Basin, the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere. No putter required at Devil's Golf Course, a massive saltpan of jagged spires where "only the devil could play golf on such rough link". After lunch at Furnace Creek, continue through the desert landscape of Death Valley and start the ascent on the eastern Slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Arrive in Mammoth Lakes for a relaxing two-night stay and enjoy dinner.
Enjoy a full day in Mammoth Lakes, California's premier mountain resort. The Sierra Nevada Mountain Range offers some of the most spectacular scenery in the world and Mammoth Lakes is right in the heart of it all. See for yourself with a ride up the Scenic Gondola to the top of Mammoth Mountain (when operating), where you'll enjoy 360-degree views of the Sierras. Next is Devils Postpile National Historic Monument, resembling a tidy 60 foot (18 meter) tall lumber pile created by giants. Continue on a short trail down to Rainbow Falls and indulge in the beauty that this area has to offer. The rest of the day is free to do as you please.
Head north, travelling across the Tioga Pass and enter Yosemite National Park, one of the crown jewels in the National Park system and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (Weather conditions may cause the Tioga pass to be closed to traffic, typically mid-Oct to the end of May. An alternate route and a hotel in Lake Tahoe will be used.) Drive past Tenaya Lake and Tuolumne Meadows as you make your way down to Yosemite Valley. Discover the natural wonders of Yosemite National Park aboard a special valley floor tour, with opportunities to explore. Led by a Park Ranger and Local Specialist, you'll get to see all of the valley highlights, as you learn about the natural history, indigenous peoples, the first non-indigenous settlers, flora and the fauna throughout the park. Then head to your accommodation, located inside the National Park, giving you more time to enjoy the park when the day visitors have left.
As you leave Yosemite National Park, stop at one of the most photographed vistas in the world, providing a panoramic view of Yosemite Valley, including El Capitan, Half Dome, Cathedral Rocks, and Bridal Veil Falls. Stop at the Kings Canyon Visitor Center and stretch your legs on a short hike to the General Grant Tree, the second largest tree in the world. Today, these two National Parks protect nearly half of the remaining sequoias in the world. Stop at Kings Canyon Lookout for a bird's eye view of the canyon and continue along the Majestic Mountain Loop, winding through groves of majestic sequoias before arriving at Sequoia National Park, a stunning area near the southern end of California's famous mountain range. This evening, after dinner, immerse yourself in a stargazing program as a naturalist and Local Specialist guides you through the star spangled sky, far away from the city lights.
Explore this "Land of Giants" further with a walk along the General Sherman Tree Loop trail which culminates at the base of the General Sherman Tree, estimated to be over 2,200 years old. Stop at the Giant Forest Museum, where you learn about the history and enjoy a short movie presentation about the ecology and fire inside the replica of a burned-out giant sequoia. Walk the Big Trees Trail while enjoying the fresh air of the giant redwood forest. Old West grilling doesn't get any more authentic as you enjoy a barbecue lunch with a living-history reenactor, and Local Specialist, who tells stories of early life in the mountains. After lunch, use the park's complimentary shuttle system to explore further on your own.
Descend through the spectacular Sierra Nevada and the Los Padres National Forest before arriving in Los Angeles, the City of Angels. Cruise down Sunset Boulevard as you make your way to Tinseltown, Hollywood. Here you'll be joined by a Local Specialist for a guided walking tour taking in Hollywood's most famous icons: the Hollywood Sign, Grauman's Chinese Theatre and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Tonight, join your Travel Director and newfound friends for a Farewell Dinner.
Today, a transfer is provided to Los Angeles International Airport or perhaps extend your stay.
7 nights' accommodations, 7 full breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 dinners.
|Depart Date||Return Date||Price||Discount||Availability||Price|
|19 May 18||26 May 18||$2,595$2,336pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|16 Jun 18||23 Jun 18||$2,595$2,336pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|21 Jul 18||28 Jul 18||$2,595$2,336pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|11 Aug 18||18 Aug 18||$2,595$2,336pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|8 Sep 18||15 Sep 18||$2,595$2,336pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
|6 Oct 18||13 Oct 18||$2,595$2,336pp||Early PaymentPay by Jan 11||Request Quote Book Now|
Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.
Single Room Supplement: from $1,125.
Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $80 per person.
Early Payment Discount: Pay in full to save the amount listed above. For details, click here.
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..
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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