Specacular scenery & iconic cities
Discover America's glorious western states on this fantastic escorted tour. Californian sunshine, stunning Pacific coastlines, visits to four of America's most famous cities - cosmopolitan San Francisco, starstruck Los Angeles, all American San Diego and glitzy Vegas - as well as to the awesome Grand Canyon - make this the trip of a lifetime.
WHAT DOES THE PRICE INCLUDE?
Day One: Fly to the USA
Fly to San Francisco and transfer to your first hotel for a three-night stay.
Day Two: Optional San Francisco city tour
On this morning's optional guided tour you'll see Union Square, quirky North Beach, 1960s hangout Haight-Ashbury and stylish Nob Hill. We'll then head across the photogenic Golden Gate Bridge to the bay-side artists' town of Sausalito. Return via the Bay Ferry, taking in the sight of infamous prison-island Alcatraz.
This evening, why not head to bustling Chinatown, or to Fisherman's Wharf's shops, bars and restaurants?
Day Three: Day at leisure
This morning, you're free to do as you please in San Francisco. Perhaps board one of the "little cable cars" to "climb halfway to the stars", which takes you from Market Street over Powell and Hyde.
Day Four: Travel down the Californian Coast
Today's journey south takes us to Steinbeck's Cannery Row in the coastal town of Monterey. We'll also travel along scenic 17-Mile Drive, and visit exclusive Carmel-by-the-Sea, known for its pretty, fairy tale-like cottages. Continue south to spend the night in the classic Californian resort, Pismo Beach.
Day Five: Included Santa Barbara visit
Continuing along California's dazzling coastline, we'll make a call in palm-fringed Santa Barbara, a trendy city with Spanish colonial heritage and a wealth of trendy boutiques to explore. We'll then continue our scenic journey to Los Angeles for a three-night stay in the suburb of Buena Park.
Day Six: Optional Palm Springs tour
Today's optional excursion offers the chance to visit sunny Palm Springs, the playground of the rich, home to Bob Hope and a host of Hollywood stars. Enjoy a ride on the world's longest revolving cable car or browse the desert city's iconic shops and boutiques.
Day Seven: Included San Diego city tour
Discover the laid-back, southern California city of San Diego on today's full-day excursion. Highlights include the historic Santa Fe Railroad Depot and the Gaslamp District. Cross the Bay Bridge to Coronado Island and you'll discover famous Hotel del Coronado, where 'Edward' first met 'Mrs Simpson', and Marilyn Monroe filmed 'Some Like it Hot'.
Day Eight: From Los Angeles to Laughlin
Today we cross the desert for the journey to Laughlin for a two-night stay. Perching on the banks of the Colorado river, this resort-town is nicknamed 'Vegas in miniature', a result of its many casinos, restaurants and bars.
Day Nine: Included Grand Canyon day trip
One of the tour's most unforgettable days awaits us, as we visit the Grand Canyon. We'll stop on the South Rim to take in the astonishing views across this immense chasm, formed over millennia by the Colorado River that still flows along the Canyon floor a mile below. Take an optional helicopter flight for yet more stupendous views, before returning to Laughlin for a second night.
Day 10: Coach travel to Las Vegas
Today we head to Las Vegas, for a three-night stay in the world's capital of entertainment. Spend your first evening soaking up the electrifying atmosphere in this city of spectacular hotels, glittering casinos and sparkling show lounges.
Day 11: Optional Las Vegas dinner show
Today, you're free to explore Vegas' countless attractions. Check out the gaming rooms, vast shopping malls, diverse entertainments and endless dining opportunities of the Strip's mega-resorts. This evening, don't miss your chance to join us for an optional dinner show - 'The Rat Pack is Back'.
Day 12: Optional Las Vegas helicopter ride
Enjoy another day at leisure, perhaps choosing to relax by the pool or at the spa. This evening, don't miss an incredible opportunity to see Vegas by night on an optional helicopter ride over the Strip.
Day 13: Included Hollywood tour
Returning to Los Angeles, we'll enjoy a brief tour of the star-studded streets of Hollywood. Visit Mann's Chinese Theatre and chart the history of the city's film industry along the Hollywood Walk of Fame, before continuing to the airport for your return overnight flight.
Day 14: Land in the UK
Arrive back in the UK, at the end of a wonderful Californian holiday.
Golden West Touring Hotels
Passports and visas
When travelling to the USA, British citizens require passports with an integrated chip (shown on the front by a small rectangular symbol beneath the word PASSPORT), valid beyond the return date from the USA. Visas are not normally required for entry, but visitors must apply for an ESTA online with US Immigration at least 72 hours before departure at www.cbp.gov/esta . The current charge is $14 for British Citizens. British subjects and anyone who has a criminal record or has ever been arrested should consult the US Embassy as a visa may be required. Note too that if you have visited Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Somalia or Yemen since March 2011, or have dual nationality with any of these countries, you do require a US visa and cannot travel on the Visa Waiver Program.
Foreign Office travel advice
Visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out the latest Foreign And Commonwealth Office travel advice for your holiday destination, as well as information about passports and visas.
Hotel transfer times
The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately 45 minutes.
Smoking is not permitted on any coach forming part of your holiday; regular stops will be made though for your comfort en route. The majority of hotels in North America are non-smoking throughout including in all bedrooms. In general smoking outside is acceptable, but do look out for signs prohibiting this close to public entrances or bus stops.
Gratuities are a way of life in North America, and it is generally accepted that they form part of a person's earnings. The customary gratuity for a coach driver or Tour Manager is about $5 per person per day. It is normal to tip 15-20 per cent of the bill for a taxi or in a restaurant, and to leave a dollar or so per drink in a bar.
On your flight
All outbound flights depart and arrive on the same day. All return flights leave in the evening and land in the UK the next day. On-board meals will usually include lunch and a snack on outward flights, and dinner and breakfast on flight home. Soft drinks are complimentary, but some airlines will charge for alcoholic drinks.
Casino age restrictions
Local laws stipulate that that there must be at least one person aged 21 or over occupying each room booked. Casino floors cannot be entered by under 21s unless they are accompanied by an adult aged over 21.
You are permitted to take one suitcase per person on the aircraft, which should not exceed 23kg.
Sightseeing flights by helicopter are weight controlled and balanced. Please contact us if you wish to book a helicopter flight and your bodyweight exceeds 250lb. (In such cases, a seat may have to be left empty, and some companies may charge a premium.)
If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.
The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.
Palm Springs Aerial Tramway Closure - 9th and 23rd September 2018 departures
The Palm Springs Aerial Tramway will be closed due to annual maintenance in September and early October. As a result, we have withdrawn the Palm Springs and Aerial Tramway optional excursion for the above tour departures. We will be replacing this optional excursion with an included full-day excursion to Santa Monica and Hollywood at no additional cost. This excursion will replace the visits to Santa Monica on Day Five and Hollywood on Day 13, giving you longer to enjoy these iconic destinations.
Changes to your hotels
Should circumstances require, we reserve the right to accommodate you in alternative hotels, of a similar standard, nearby. Full details of your hotels will be sent with your Final Travel Documents.
Standard hotel rooms in North America will contain one or two double- or queen-sized beds, and it is not possible to add extra beds to the room. Parties consisting of more than two travellers, but who have only booked one room, will be expected to make use of the two beds provided. If this is a concern, you may wish to consider booking more than one room for your group.