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Southern California and Joshua Tree National Park

Operated by: Insight Vacations

7 Days from $3,863 per person
OCT 2022 - JUN 2023
Usa Southern California Joshua Tree National Park

Countries Visited

United States ...more United States

Locations Visited

Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Crystal Cove, Laguna Beach, Orange County, San Diego, Julian, Borrego Springs, Anza Borrego State Park, Palm Springs, Joshua Tree National Park, Thermal ...more Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Crystal Cove, Laguna Beach, Orange County, San Diego, Julian, Borrego Springs, Anza Borrego State Park, Palm Springs, Joshua Tree National Park, Thermal
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Industry leading 3-step protocols

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Entry Guide

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FAQ’s on traveling now

COVID-19 Requirements

FAQ’s on traveling now

  1. Day 1 Arrive Newport Beach

    With beautiful beaches, superb scenery and stunning sunsets, the coastal city of Newport Beach embodies the true spirit and beauty of Southern California. Your airport transfer will take you to your waterfront hotel, Lido House. In the evening, join your Travel Director and fellow travelers for a delicious Welcome Dinner.

    meals Dinner with Wine
    hotel Lido House
  2. Day 2 Orange County Beach Sightseeing

    Join your Travel Director for a walking tour of Balboa Island this morning. After a ferry ride, stroll the pier for magnificent views and enjoy the Balboa Fun Zone, made famous in the TV program "Arrested Development". Enjoy stunning coastal views as you drive along the scenic Pacific Coast Highway to the surfing mecca of Huntington Beach. Immerse yourself in “Surf City USA” at the intriguing International Surfing Museum. Later, enjoy some time at Crystal Cove State Park, one of Orange County's most scenic and pristine stretches of beach and ocean. After some free time at Laguna Beach, return to Newport Beach where the rest of the day is at leisure.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Lido House
  3. Day 3 Orange County To San Diego Via Scenic Amtrak Train

    Start the day with stunning ocean views on board the scenic Amtrak train to San Diego, "America's Finest City". Then spend the afternoon exploring the famous Old Town. Dating back to 1769 it is California's oldest settlement and today is still considered the heart of San Diego. This evening is then yours to explore the Downtown dining scene. From the trendy Gaslamp Quarter to oceanfront Seaport Village to Little Italy, you won't have any problem finding a restaurant tonight.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Kimpton Hotel Palomar
  4. Day 4 San Diego Sightseeing

    Your Travel Director will lead you on a tour of some of the city's iconic sites this morning, including the Gaslamp Quarter, Balboa Park and Coronado Island. This afternoon, explore San Diego with Insight Choice. Choose to visit to the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier along with an audio guided tour. Or alternatively, choose to take a one-hour boat cruise to tour the spectacular harbor. Enjoy dinner tonight at a local restaurant and taste the flavors that are making San Diego one of the newest foodie cities in America.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Kimpton Hotel Palomar
  5. Day 5 Visit Anza Borrego State Park

    Step back in time in Julian, a small Gold Rush community dating back to the 1870s and taste their famous apple pies. Next travel to Borrega Springs and enter the fascinating world of artist and welder Ricardo Breceda. See his astonishing metal animal sculptures that mark the way to Anza Borrego State Park. Enjoy a picnic lunch in the park then lace up your hiking boots for a hike along the Borrego Palm Canyon Trail. Look out for bighorn sheep and birds, before indulging in more amazing views as you travel the Borrego Salton Scenic Seaway. The evening is at your leisure in Palm Springs.

    meals Breakfast, Lunch
    hotel Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel
  6. Day 6 Thermal and Joshua Tree National Park

    This morning we take a short drive to the agricultural town of Thermal and discover the world of Medjool dates, a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience. Meet Saralyn Delk, owner and farmer at the Regulus Date Ranch, taste dates straight from the trees and see for yourself how good the biodynamic and organic produce tastes. This afternoon, visit the vast Joshua Tree National Park. Explore the visitor’s center and enjoy a moderate hike, keeping an eye out wildlife. Toast your travels this evening, along with your travel companions, at a delicious Celebration Dinner at a local restaurant in Downtown Palm Springs.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Renaissance Palm Springs Hotel
  7. Day 7 Farewell Southern California

    This morning, make the most of your last hours in Palm Springs and join your Travel Director for sightseeing tour highlighting the city's residential architecture. A transfer will take you to John Wayne Airport in Orange County (SNA), arriving at approximately 13:00.

    meals Breakfast
Map Southern California Beach Desert Escapes
Price Includes

Choice Highlights

  • Choose between two carefully selected activities
  • San Diego: Commissioned eight days after WWII, Midway was the longest service aircraft carrier in the 20th century. Explore the decks and listen to tales from her pilots. Venture below deck to learn all about life in the galley and engine rooms.
  • San Diego: The view of both San Diego’s skyline and waters whilst on a harbor cruise is spectacular and brings the city’s history to life. Look out for the Navy ships that are usually dotted around on the water, highlighting the city’s naval presence.

Authentic Dining

  • Newport Beach: Join your fellow travelers for a savory 3-course welcome dinner with wine.
  • San Diego: San Diego’s culinary scene is burgeoning these days. Known for its emphasis on great seafood, local wines, craft breweries and incredible southwest flavors, thanks to its proximity to Mexico.
  • Palm Springs: Dine at a local restaurant in Downtown Palm Springs. The affluent and diverse population here has attracted dozens of locally owned restaurants, featuring everything from iconic steakhouses to authentic Mexican cuisine.
  • Dining Summary: 3 Dinner with Wine (DW), 6 Breakfast (B), and 1 Lunch (L)

Top Rated Highlights

  • Balboa Island: Explore this quaint harborside community with your Travel Director. A man-made treasure, Balboa Island is home to some of the most expensive homes in California. A walk along the pier offers glorious views of the hillside, town and ocean.
  • Huntington Beach: Huntingdon Beach is known as “Surf City USA’ and every year hosts the “U.S. Open of Surfing”, the world’s largest surfing competition. This fascinating museum is dedicated to Hawaiian legend Duke Kahanamoku, who popularized the sport. Browse a fascinating collection of memorabilia, including some of surfing history’s most significant artifacts.
  • Crystal Cove: Crystal Cove offers sand, surf, rocky reefs, ridges and canyons, with over three miles of beach and 2,400 acres of backcountry wilderness. Be sure to wander around the intriguing historic district dotted with 46 rustic coastal cottages that date back to the 1930s.
  • San Diego: The views of the ocean are simply breathtaking as you travel south to San Diego. Sit back, relax and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Southern California.
  • San Diego: The location of the first European settlement in California, Old Town San Diego is full of historic sites and reconstructed buildings. Be sure to visit the 1825 Casa de Estudillo, one of the finest haciendas in the state. Or drop into the Wells Fargo Museum to admire a rare original stagecoach.
  • San Diego: Join your Travel Director and learn about the Gaslamp Quarter, dating back to 1850. Visit the vast Balboa Park which houses no less than 16 museums, numerous gardens, the Old Globe outdoor Theatre, and San Diego Zoo. Finish with a trip over the Coronado Bridge and a walk through the legendary Hotel Del Coronado.
  • Julian: Be transported back in history in the charming town of Julian. A vibrant example of a California frontier town, with pioneer store fronts, historic sites and mines, Julian first became a mining camp when gold was discovered there in 1869. The entire township is now a Designated Historical District.
  • Borrego Springs: Get a close look at the works of artist and welder Ricardo Breceda, who has curated a fascinating collection of rust metal sculptures in the town of Borrego Springs. This amazing site is home to nearly 200 pieces with Elephants, sloths, camels, raptors, horses, and tortoise sculptures all represented.
  • Anza Borrego State Park: Located within the Colorado Desert, California’s largest state park includes dramatic badlands, cool palm oases, twisting slot canyons and cactus-studded slopes. Start your visit at the fascinating Visitor's Center, built underground for cooling efficiency.
  • Anza Borrego State Park: Enjoy a tasty picnic lunch before you take a moderate hike along the Borrego Palm Canyon Trail. A you walk through the palm tree groves and waterfalls, keep an eye out for bighorn sheep and migrating birds. Some 80 species use the canyon as a watering stop on their flight through the desert.
  • Anza Borrego State Park: Stretching from the town of Borrego Springs to the Salton Sea, this desolate county road offers some of the most scenic views of Anza Borrego, including the stunning Borrego Badlands.
  • Joshua Tree National Park: Named for the region’s twisted bristled Joshua trees, the park combines two distinct desert ecosystems, the Mojave and the Colorado. Home to a fascinating variety of plants and animals, the park is larger than the state of Rhode Island. Lose yourself in rich cultural history, surreal geological features and unique vegetation.
  • Palm Springs: Join your Travel Director for a sightseeing tour featuring the city's residential mid-century architecture. Architects such as Donald Wexler built homes featuring Southern California Modernism (a lot of steel, a lot of glass) that were popular with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Marilyn Monroe.

Insight Choice

  • San Diego: Commissioned eight days after WWII, Midway was the longest service aircraft carrier in the 20th century. Explore the decks and listen to tales from her pilots. Venture below deck to learn all about life in the galley and engine rooms.
  • San Diego: The view of both San Diego’s skyline and waters whilst on a harbor cruise is spectacular and brings the city’s history to life. Look out for the Navy ships that are usually dotted around on the water, highlighting the city’s naval presence.

Make Travel Matter

  • Thermal: Meet Saralyn Delk, (to date) the only female date ranch owner/farmer in America. Regulus Date Ranch is a biodynamic and organic boutique date farm producing arguably the finest Medjool dates in the state. Take a journey through the groves as Saralyn treats you to some dates straight off the tree. Learn how roosters and abandoned feral cats work in tandem to rid the grounds of bugs, gophers, rats, and other pests that would normally destroy the crops.

Dates & Prices

Prices shown are per person based on two people sharing a twin room. To request a personalized travel quote, click "Request Quote" and a Travel Specialist will send your custom quote including airfare if requested.

Online Booking Process

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October 2022
AARP Members Save $100
Oct 22 Sat
Oct 28 Fri
AARP Members Save $100
DOUBLE OCCUPANCY PRICE/PERSON
$3,914
November 2022
AARP Members Save $100
Nov 19 Sat
Nov 25 Fri
AARP Members Save $100
DOUBLE OCCUPANCY PRICE/PERSON
$3,914
December 2022
AARP Members Save $100
Dec 17 Sat
Dec 23 Fri
AARP Members Save $100
DOUBLE OCCUPANCY PRICE/PERSON
$3,863
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