Say goodbye to LA and hello to the city of San Diego. Laze in grassy Balboa Park or explore the famous San Diego Zoo with over 3,000 animals. San Diego is home to some awesome beaches so no trip would be complete without feeling the sand between your toes at Mission Beach and topping up your Californian tan. If you're feeling a tad more active, San Diego has the perfect environment for beachfront activities; go rollerblading, cycling or take to the water for a spot of surfing. At night, the Gaslamp Quarter is the place to experience the city's live music and bar scene.
Today you'll receive your first introduction to the diverse landscapes of the American West. Head out of ??America's Finest City' and wave goodbye to the sun-soaked beaches on the California Coast. Today's drive brushes by the Mexican border, through the awesome Algodones sand dunes, and into Arizona's Mojave desert. Spend the night camping near to the Colorado River.
Enjoy a stop at Lake Havasu and see the original London Bridge. From here nothing you have ever seen will prepare you for what you're about to see next; the mighty Grand Canyon! You can hike from the forest above to the desert below to get an insider view on the canyon. Or take an optional helicopter flight for a birds-eye view and marvel at the brilliant colours. The canyon depths are nothing short of mind-blowing! As for the sunrise, you will never have seen such an incredible sight!
Travel along a section of the original Route 66, which at one time was the only way to travel on the great American road trip. You'll stop off at the quirky little roadside town of Seligman, full to the brim with vintage Americana and plenty of souvenirs. Next up is the city of Las Vegas where neon lights guide your path on an included party bus tour of The Strip. You may wish to indulge in an all-you-can-eat buffet, take in a show, enjoy the attractions that many of the glitzy hotel resorts have to offer, or simply sit back and people watch! For the best view of 'Sin City', take to the sky on an optional helicopter flight down The Strip.
Today you're in Death Valley National Park and we're not exaggerating when we say it's hot! This is one of the hottest, driest and lowest places on earth. The mercury tips at over 130 degrees in the summer, but it's this heat that has created the spectacle that everyone comes to see. This is a barren (but geographically awesome!) landscape, so brave the heat and check out the incredible Badwater Basin salt flats, and experience otherworldly views from Zabriskie Point. You'll spend the night in nearby Bishop, where thankfully it's not quite as hot!NB: Due to extremely high temperatures in the summer, it may not be possible to visit Death Valley National Park, for safety reasons. We will continue to monitor this situation and an alternative will be offered. We are confident any changes will have minimal impact on your tour.
You won't know where to focus your gaze as you drive along winding roads that look out across the beautiful Sierra Nevada range. The scenery you pass by will have you itching to get your hiking boots on and go explore, or rent a bike and pedal along the trails. Yosemite National Park is nature's greatest backyard and with both easy and strenuous hikes on offer, you're bound to find a trail that suits your ability. Whichever trail you choose you'll be amazed at the magnificent waterfalls and epic cliff faces. Keep your camera to hand at all times as this park is famous for its epic Giant Sequoia trees and abundance of incredible wildlife including bears and coyotes. If that isn't enough you can even float down the Merced River on a rubber ring for a different perspective of this truly awesome place.
Fall for San Francisco's charm with a tour of Haight-Ashbury, home to the original hippy movement and some great boutique shops and cafes. No visit to the ??City by the Bay' would be complete without a stroll over the iconic Golden Gate Bridge - it's a 'must do'. Head to Fisherman's Wharf and perhaps grab a bowl of clam chowder, before heading over to Pier 39 to see hundreds of sea lions just chilling out. Enjoy an included, locally guided tour of Union Square, Pier 39, Chinatown and Lombard Street; one of the steepest and most crooked streets in the city. In your free time why not jump on a cable car and explore the hillside heights, as well as the 'speakeasy' bars which keep going until the small hours. You'll never be bored in this chilled out West Coast city. If you're interested in visiting Alcatraz we recommend you book your tickets well in advance, directly with Alcatraz Cruises. For this tour you should book your ticket for day 12 (1pm onwards).
Departing San Fran, it's time to hit the road again. You'll be stopping over in the beautiful San Luis Obispo County, located on California's sun-soaked central coast. Along the way, admire the rocky outcroppings that the puncture the serene blue of the ocean as you drive alongside the Pacific Ocean.
Before you head back to LA make sure you make the most of California's beautiful beaches with a stop at Santa Barbara. With miles of sandy white beaches, streets full of unique shops and art galleries, you really won't want to leave. Head back to Los Angeles where your American adventure ends, but if you still haven't had your beach fix then be sure to stop off at Venice Beach to people watch and see the cool kids on their boards.This tour ends at approximately 17:00 hrs. We can book you post tour accommodation at our gateway hotel if required. If you are planning to fly tonight, please do not book a flight that departs before 21:00 hrs.