Chicago to the Golden Gate
Chicago-Sioux City-Badlands National Park-Mt Rushmore-Rapid City-Bighorn Mountains-Cody-Yellowstone National Park-Salt Lake City-Bryce Canyon National Park-Lake Powell-Grand Canyon-Williams-Flagstaff-Seligman-Route 66-Las Vegas Mojave Desert-Los Angeles-Santa Barbara-Pismo Beach-Carmel-Monterey-San Francisco
14days/13nights, Chicago/San Francisco
2018 depart Wed: May 16. Jun 06. Jul 04. Aug 01, 15. Sep 05, 26.
Child rates 07-12 years on request.
day 01 Chicago Arrival
Arrive in Chicago and transfer independently to your hotel where you will meet with your tour escort in the evening.
day 02 Chicago
Today we will enjoy a short tour of the city’s highlights including Lake Shore Drive, the Magnificent Mile and Navy Pier. The Windy City’s stunning high rise architecture and one of the world’s tallest buildings, the Willis Tower provide a dramatic backdrop for this cultural and financial centre. The rest of the day is at leisure.
day 03 Chicago-Mississippi River Crossing-Sioux City
Travel through Midwest farm country abundant in corn fields, wheat fields and dairy farms. Then we cross the mighty Mississippi River and travel into the state of Iowa to arrive just as Lewis & Clark did 200 years ago on the banks of the Missouri River. Overnight in Sioux City.
day 04 Sioux City-Badlands-Mt. Rushmore-Deadwood/Rapid City
Travel westward through the grasslands of South Dakota and onwards to Badlands National Park, once home to the buffalo and antelope, and filled with strange shaped and colourful rock formations. Then we continue on to the Black Hills, sacred to the Plains Indians and home to Mount Rushmore, an enormous monument to four of the great presidents of America: Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt. Spend an evening at leisure.
day 05 Deadwood/Rapid City-Bighorn Mountains-Cody
Enter the “Equality State,” Wyoming, which has twelve mountain ranges intermixed with deserts and rolling grasslands, and continue to Cody for the night. If overnight in Cody is not possible due to weather or adverse road conditions in Yellowstone, overnight will be in Billings/ Livingston, Montana.
day 06 Cody-Yellowstone National Park
Drive past the mountains in Wyoming to Yellowstone, America’s first National Park, and enjoy a sightseeing tour of this immense geothermal wonderland including: geysers, waterfalls, wildlife and canyons. Highlights will include Yellowstone Lake, Old Faithful, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone Canyon’s majestic falls, and the beautiful Hayden Valley.
day 07 Yellowstone National Park-Grand Teton-Salt Lake City
Travel through Grand Teton National Park (weather permitting) and see awesome mountain peaks towering over 13,000 ft. (4,000 meters). Visit the Snake River Outlook and try your eye at capturing the stunning landscape made famous by Ansel Adam’s iconic shot. This prairie land is home to wild buffalo (Tatonka!), moose and elk. Later, arrive in the Mormon State of Utah and take a short city tour of its capital, Salt Lake City. The followers of Brigham Young built one of the best-planned cities in the country. See the State Capital building and visit famed Temple Square and the Tabernacle before arriving at the hotel for the evening. May we suggest dinner at the Rooftop Restaurant for panoramic views of Temple Square (optional).
day 08 Salt Lake City-Bryce Canyon National Park
Continue today to spectacular Bryce Canyon, where a tour through a multi-coloured world of sandstone spires and pinnacles, “hoodoos”, will dazzle the eye. This evening, weather permitting, be sure to gaze upon the spectacular night sky filled with sparkling stars & brilliant constellations and the aroma of pinewood campfires.
day 09 Bryce-Lake Powell-Grand Canyon-Flagstaff
Depart Bryce Canyon this morning and journey to stunning Lake Powell, where crystal blue water laps against towering red-rock canyon walls. Lake Powell is the second-largest man made lake in America, and one in a series of lakes formed by the damming of the Colourado River. Then visit colossal Grand Canyon National Park, one of the seven great natural wonders of the world. Stop at the East Rim to fully experience this mile-deep canyon’s plunging gorges, rising spires, extinct volcanoes and, below the rim, the winding Colourado River. Overnight in Flagstaff, a famed stop on Historic Route 66.
day 10 Flagstaff-Seligman-Route 66-Las Vegas
This morning depart Flagstaff and travel on to Las Vegas, the dazzling “Entertainment Capital of the World”. Along the way, pass through Seligman, a town built along the famed Route 66 that looks as if it were frozen in time sixty years ago. The remainder of the day is at leisure for you to explore the famous Las Vegas Strip.
day 11 Las Vegas-Mojave Desert-Beverly Hills-Los Angeles
Travel to Los Angeles via the Mojave Desert, home of the world’s tallest thermometer, at 134 feet (41 meters) high. Clusters of unique Joshua trees dot the mountainous landscape. Upon arrival in Los Angeles you will enjoy a tour through the City of Angels including star studded Hollywood, Sunset Strip and parts of Beverly Hills, before reaching your hotel.
day 12 Los Angeles
Today we suggest an optional full-day tour visiting the world’s largest movie studio and theme park Universal Studios, where Hollywood puts you so close you can hear the cameras rolling. Get an inside look at the sets and uncover the behind the scenes secrets of legendary films or perhaps, for the more adventurous, take one of the Studio’s feature rides including Jurassic Park and Revenge of the Mummy. A universe of excitement awaits in one of California’s premier attractions.
day 13 Los Angeles-Santa Barbara-Pismo Beach
Leave Los Angeles in the morning and travel north through one of California’s favourite vacation spots, Santa Barbara, where palm-lined walkways border white sandy beaches. The city is famous for its mission and Spanish heritage. Along the way, stop at an iconic California lifeguard tower made famous in “Baywatch”. Continue along the coast to Shell/Pismo Beach.
day 14 Pismo Beach-Carmel-Monterey-San Francisco
Dip your toes in the cool, refreshing waters of the Pacific during an early morning beach stroll, then we leave Shell/Pismo Beach and make our way north to Carmel, home of actor/director Clint Eastwood. Enjoy browsing the shops and galleries of this famous artists’ colony. Traveling further north, visit Monterey’s Old Fisherman’s Wharf. Stroll the Pier to Cannery Row, brought to fame by John Steinbeck’s novel. In the afternoon pass the fertile valleys of Castroville and Santa Clara en route to San Francisco, the “City by the Bay.” Tour concludes upon arrival at the hotel.
Inclusions: twin share, tour director, deluxe coach, porterage, service charges, taxes.
Sightseeing: Temple Square Salt Lake City, Take a walk along the rim of Bryce Canyon National Park, travel along Route 66 and stop in the historic town of Seligman, Los Angeles, stop at an iconic California lifeguard tower, early morning stroll along Shell/Pismo Beach, Visit the famous Cannery Row in Monterey and shops of Carmel.
Hotels: Chicago-South Lopp hotel Chicago, Sioux City-Marina Inn & Suites, Rapid City-Howard Johnson Rapid City, Cody-Comfort Inn at Buffalo Bill Village Resort, Yellowstone-Gray Wolf Inn/ Brandin Iron Inn, Salt Lake City-Little America hotel, Bryce Canyon-Bryce View Lodge, Flagstaff-Days Hotel Flagstaff, Las Vegas-Luxor Las Vegas- pyramid rooms, Los Angeles-Crowne Plaza Los Angeles Harbor, Central Coast-Holiday Inn Express Solvang (or similar).
Notes: All bookings are made only on English spoken tour departures, however some tours may be modified to multilingual (2 languages) at short notice. Tours are subject to change without notice pending climatic and local traffic conditions.
Optional excursions: architectural river cruise in Chicago, visit the Willis Skydeck, Santa Monica visit with dinner, tour Universal Studios and learn how movies are made and “All-American” Picnic at a surprise destination en route.
Optional excursions need to be arranged with the tour director at the start of the tour.