CALIFORNIA DREAMING

SELF-DRIVE

14 DAYS / 13 NIGHTS

Los Angeles | Santa Barbara | Monterey | San Francisco | Yosemite NP | Sequoia NP
Death Valley NP | Las Vegas | San Diego | Santa Monica | Pacific Coast

 

Journey from the glamour of Los Angeles, through the beautiful cities of California’s west coast, for a bit of nature in Yosemite National Park and into the glitz of Las Vegas.

 

INCLUSIONS

  • 13-night accommodation

 

Not included

International and domestic airfare · Car rental · Tolls · Parking fees · National Park admission · Meals · Gratuities to hotel personnel, guides · Beverages · Optional excursions

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DAY 1 LOS ANGELES

Arrive at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and proceed to your hotel in Hollywood. Los Angeles is the entertainment capital of the United States. Home to famous movie stars and the infamous landmark, the Hollywood sign, it is a city brimming with culture and happenings. This big metropolis has many regions with distinct flavors and communities

Accommodation: Los Angeles for 2 nights

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DAY 2 LOS ANGELES

Today, explore the City of Angels. Visit the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. Take a stroll along the Walk of Fame and see the names of celebrities commemorated in pink stars along the sidewalk. Visit Grauman’s Chinese Theater, the best-preserved of the movie palaces from Hollywood’s golden era. Known for its celebrity hand and footprints in the forecourt, over 200 impressions are yours to discover. Drive through Beverly Hills, the most famous neighborhood in the United States and glimpse exclusive homes. Shop at famous Rodeo Drive, where luxury retail commands the street. If movie making is what you fancy, visit Universal Studios. Tour the sets and cast yourself in the thrilling rides, shows and attractions that bring the movies to life. In the evening, enjoy Universal City Walk, filled with restaurants and nightclubs.

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DAY 3 LOS ANGELES · SANTA BARBARA

Depart Los Angeles this morning and drive toward Santa Barbara. On the beautiful Pacific Coast, Santa Barbara is a gem. The pristine city’s climate gives rise to several natural attractions. Stroll through the Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens to view breathtaking flora or hike a scenic nature trail in Los Padres National Forest. The beaches all have their own allure. East Beach attracts the trendy and young while fishing and whale watching are the favorites at Arroyo Burro. Enjoy the fine collection at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art or explore the Old Mission. Fresh seafood can be found in the restaurants on Stearn’s Wharf.

Accommodation: Santa Barbara for 1 night

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DAY 4 SANTA BARBARA · MONTEREY/CARMEL AREA

Leave Seward behind and head North to Denali. Denali is arguably one of the most wild, rugged, and breathtakingly beautiful places on earth. Located in the heart of Alaska’s magnificent interior, this park expands 6 million acres of land bisected by only one road that extends 92 miles (not all open to the public). Low-elevation taiga forests juxtapose high alpine tundra and snowy mountains, crowning with North America’s tallest peak, Mount McKinley at 20,320 feet. Wild animals large and small roam the lands freely, living as they have for ages.

Accommodation: Monterey for 1 night

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DAY 5 MONTEREY · SAN FRANCISCO

Depart Monterey this morning on your way to San Francisco home of majestic Wine Country and the Golden Gate Bridge. Rows of elegant houses, the famous cable cars, clusters of ethnic neighborhoods, and the colorful waterfront all add to the distinctive international flavor of the city. Today, you are free to enjoy one of the many sights and sounds of San Francisco. Take a cable car ride to Fisherman’s Wharf for shopping, great food and entertainment. Another major attraction is Alcatraz, a small island located in the middle of San Francisco Bay. It served as lighthouse, a military fortification and finally as a federal prison until 1963. The rangers give excellent guided tours detailing the history and legends surrounding “The Rock.” Spend the day in Golden Gate Park; it offers dozens of fun things to do. Top sights are the Conservatory of Flowers and the Japanese Tea Garden. Don’t miss the local resident buffalo herd. This evening dine in one of San Francisco’s many distinctive neighborhoods; from Chinatown to the very Italian flavored North Beach, each offers its own distinctive culture and cuisine..

Accommodation: San Francisco  for 2 nights

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DAY 6 SAN FRANCISCO

Visit the dramatic curves of Lombard Street, one of San Francisco’s most photographed sites. The beautifully landscaped, one-block descent from Hyde Street to Leavenworth Street, has given Lombard the title of “crooked street in the world.” At the intersection of Hyde and Lombard, a cable car route provides spectacular views of Alcatraz, Angel Island, Coit Tower, Yerba Buena Island and the Bay Bridge. Consider a visit to Muir Woods National Monument. This grove of coastal redwoods has been protected for a century, and the amazing specimens rank among the tallest trees in the world. Some reach 252 feet are 14 feet across and are more than 1000 years old. Paved trails make for easy exploration and unpaved trails offer more of a challenge for the hiking enthusiast. This evening, explore Chinatown, along its streets, exotic ingredients are sold, silks and jade are tendered, and wonderful native food can be found at the many restaurants.

Today’s Suggested Optional Experience (at an additional cost)
GUIDED BIKE TOUR GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE TO SAUSALITO – COMFORT BIKE (SFO-BIKE):
The up to 3 hr tour begins in Fisherman’s Wharf at our 2661 Taylor Street Tour Center. After a proper bike fitting where guests are outfitted with a current year model bike with front handlebar bag, rear gear rack, and takeaway map. Daily Guided tour guests depart & follow the guide along the San Francisco waterfront past Aquatic Park, Fort Mason, the Marina, and the Presidio, through Crissy Field and to Fort Point. Riders cross the Golden Gate Bridge on wide bike path, then through the Vista Point to Old Fort Baker. The tour finalizes in Sausalito where riders can enjoy the shops, the many art galleries, and the delicious food. Guests may choose to keep the bike until closing hours enjoying an additional adventure out “biking the bay”!

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DAY 7 SAN FRANCISCO · YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK

Depart the bustle of San Francisco and drive toward Yosemite National Park. The striking beauty of Yosemite is due in part to the Yosemite Valley, whose flat floor contrasts with nearly vertical granite walls. The granite cliffs, including the El Capitan monolith, Glacier Point, and Half Dome all tower as major waterfalls tumble over them. In addition to the Valley, Yosemite includes an extensive high-mountain wilderness of peaks, rivers, meadows, and groves of giant sequoia trees. Extensive visitor activities, facilities, and services are available. At Yosemite Village, you can visit the Valley Visitor Center and see its orientation film, publications, theater programs, and exhibits highlighting the natural and human history of the area. Self-guiding trails start nearby. Elsewhere in Yosemite Valley, you can gaze up at the waterfalls; visit Mirror Lake/Meadow in the East Valley and the famous “Tunnel View” of Yosemite Valley at Wawona Tunnel.

Accommodation: Yosemite for 1 night

Today’s Suggested Optional Experience (Bookable Online at an additional cost)

YOSEMITE VALLEY FLOOR TOUR (YSM-TVFT):

On this two-hour tour, Rangers introduce some of Yosemite’s most famous sightseeing points in Yosemite Valley and describe the history, geology, plant and animal life of the region. This year-round Yosemite Valley Floor tour provides a fuller knowledge and enjoyment of the park. Open-air trams operate from late Spring through early Fall. Late October through April, ride in an enclosed and heated motor coach with large windows allowing unimpeded views of Yosemite’s famous sights. Bring your camera along for postcard-perfect pictures.

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DAY 8 YOSEMITE · SEQUOIA / KINGS CANYON NP · BAKERSFIELD

Leave the Bakersfield behind and enjoy a visit to the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. These twin parks hold monuments to nature’s size, beauty, and diversity. Immense mountains, rugged foothills, deep canyons, vast caverns, and the world’s largest trees all reside here making it a very unique place. Located in the foothills and mountains of the south-central section of the Sierra Nevada range, Sequoia is famous for big things—some of the largest trees in the world and some of the highest mountains in the U.S., including Mt. Whitney, at 14,495 ft. Visit the tallest sequoia, 275-foot-tall General Sherman, who has a trunk that weighs 1,385 tons and a circumference of nearly 103 feet. Spectacular views can be seen from Moro Rock. Guided cavern tours are available, and the visitor center contains much information about park history and seasonal activities. Continue to Bakersfield for an overnight stay.

Accommodation: Bakersfield for 1 night

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DAY 9 BAKERSFIELD · DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK · LAS VEGAS

Today is a long day so an early start is a good idea. Leave the Yosemite area behind and drive toward Nevada through Death Valley National Park. Here you will find raw and barren earth as carved by the elements. The visitor center is located at Furnace Creek and will be a good starting point for seeing the park. You will be reaching Las Vegas in the evening. Las Vegas has something to offer everyone; from the outrageous live shows to the excitement of casinos, the action never stops from morning to night. Tonight, stroll down Las Vegas Boulevard, also known as “the strip”, for a foretaste of this spectacular city. This is “the main drag” of this glitzy town and is lined at either side with spectacular hotels, casinos, shops, restaurants and recreational facilities such as Wet n‘Wild, and the Guinness Museum of World Records to name a few. Make sure not to miss the nightly fountain show at the Bellagio Hotel. Using a dramatic combination of music, water and light, the Bellagio delivers spectacular performances nightly with its majestic fountains.

Accommodation: Las Vegas for 2 nights

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DAY 10 LAS VEGAS

Today you have the choice to explore this electric city or take one of the numerous helicopter tours to the Grand Canyon for a glimpse at one of the great natural wonders of the world. In Vegas, each hotel and casino have a distinctly different theme, and all offer wondrous displays. Take a trip up to the top of the Stratosphere Tower, the tallest building west of the Mississippi River. Enjoy dinner at the Top of the World, or simply admire the view from the observation deck. Visit any of the premier hotels including Caesars Palace, The Venetian and Paris for luxury shopping. If you’re searching for a bargain, drive to one of the outlet malls featuring designer names at discounted prices. For a different side of Vegas, visit Fremont Street. This historic street features shops, restaurants, and casinos. Above you hang a canopy screen where more than 12 million lights put on a spectacular show.

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DAY 11 LAS VEGAS · SAN DIEGO

Drive away from the glitz of Las Vegas this morning toward the lovely town of San Diego home to SeaWorld® Adventure Park and the San Diego Zoo. These world-class attractions feature a variety of spectacular sights and activities. A variety of animal-themed shows are featured and it’s even possible to take a behind the scenes tour. San Diego Zoo, known throughout the world for its efforts to recreate the natural habitats of the animals is a first-rate facility. More than 3,800 animals of over 800 different species make their home here. The zoo grounds cover 100 acres which includes more than 6,500 different species of plants. Specialized habitats include Tiger River, Gorilla Tropics, Sun Bear Forest, Polar Bear Plunge and Ituri Forest.

Accommodation: San Diego for 1 night

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DAY 12 SAN DIEGO · SANTA MONICA

This morning, before departing, you may want to visit Old Town San Diego State Historic Park for a taste of history and tradition. Experience the life of the Mexican and early American periods of 1821 to 1872. Even today, life moves slowest in this part of San Diego, where the hustle and bustle is balanced with history and fiestas. Visitors are offered a glimpse into yesteryear, as converging cultures transformed San Diego from a Mexican pueblo (small Town) to an American settlement. The buildings are old or, in some cases, built to look that way and the departure from urban sprawl is preserved. Five original adobe structures are part of this historic park which includes museums, unique retail shops, and several restaurants. Continue to Santa Monica where you will enjoy a two-night stay.

Accommodation: Santa Monica for 2 nights

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DAY 13 SANTA MONICA

Both a seaside town and bustling city, Santa Monica has activities for both young and old, from beach games and bike paths to art galleries and nightclubs, from shopping and fitness to theater and concerts. Santa Monica’s cultural offerings run the gamut, with over 75 museums and art galleries within the walkable 8.3 square mile city limits. Not to mention the array of public art and sculpture exhibited in the streets. Visit Santa Monica Pier, once known as the “finish line” of legendary Route 66. It features an aquarium, an amusement park and the famous Hippodrome building, a mix of California, Byzantine and Moorish architecture that has been featured in many films. Spend some time at the beach; with 3.5 miles of Southern California beaches and over 300 days of sunshine, the Santa Monica Beach is a welcome retreat for vacationers and locals alike with a range of activities for everyone. Swimming, surfing, volleyball, skating and biking are among the favorite beach-side pastimes of this area. In the evening, countless dining experiences are available; Santa Monica is the reputed birthplace of “California” and “fusion” cuisine which is marked by an artistic blending of culinary styles and the freshest of organic ingredients.

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DAY 14 SANTA MONICA LOS ANGELES

Depart Santa Monica at your leisure this morning in route to the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

**Prices in this document are for information only; they were issued at press time, for the current year. Please note that due to exchange rates and temporary promotions, they can increase or decrease at any time. Contact your travel agent for the price and promotion of the moment The prices indicated exclude the contribution to the Customer Compensation Fund of $3.50 per $1,000 of tourism product or service purchased from a travel agent in Quebec.