Day 1: Arrive in Los Angeles
Arrive in Los Angeles and collect your hire car from the airport depot. Los Angeles is the entertainment capital of the United States. Home to famous movie stars and the legendary Hollywood sign, this city is positively brimming with culture and excitement.
Hotels: (Standard) Holiday Inn Express & Suites LAX (1 night)
(Budget) Best Western Plus South Bay or similar (1 night)
Day 2: San Simeon (241 miles)
Take a scenic drive up Highway 1 on the beautiful Pacific Coast to Santa Barbara. The beaches here are pristine and all have their own allure, East Beach attracts the young and trendy, while fishing and whale watching are the favourites at Arroyo Burro. If you’re a lover of seafood, head to Stearn’s Wharf, it’s here you’ll find the best. After a great stop, continue on to San Simeon for the night.
Hotels: (Standard) Cambria Pines Lodge or similar (1 night)
(Budget) Silver Surf Motel or similar (1 night)
Day 3: San Francisco (210 miles)
Continue on the coastal drive and be swept away by the stunning views on your way to Monterey; spend an afternoon enjoying this artisan city, the bay is a fantastic place to spot whales when they’re passing. Consider taking the famous scenic 17-Mile drive up the coast. Stop at renowned Pebble Beach and enjoy the sights before arriving in the “City by the Bay”, San Francisco.
Hotels: (Standard) Carriage Inn (2 nights)
(Budget) Americania or similar (2 nights)
Day 4: San Francisco (210 miles)
Today, you are free to enjoy the many sights and sounds of San Francisco. Take a cable car ride from Fisherman’s Wharf, visit Alcatraz, bike the Golden Gate Bridge or visit Chinatown and Union Square for some shopping. There’s plenty to see and do here, something for everyone.
OPTIONAL EXPERIENCE – Golden Gate Bike Tour
After a proper bike fitting the tour begins 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 ends in Sausalito where riders can enjoy the shops, the many art galleries, and the delicious food. You then have the option to keep the bike until closing hours enjoying an additional adventure ‘biking the bay’!
Day 5: Yosemite National Park (188 miles)
Leave the hustle of San Francisco behind, and head to the striking beauty of Yosemite National Park. Gaze upon the parks iconic sequoia trees, granite cliffs of El Capitan and Half Dome and the iconic vista of towering Bridalveil Fall from Tunnel View.
Hotels: (Standard) Yosemite View Lodge or similar (1 night)
(Budget) Cedar Lodge or similar (1 night)
Day 6: Las Vegas (467 miles)
Take the breathtaking Tioga Pass out of Yosemite and head toward the bright lights of Vegas. Along the way, you may want to drive through the dramatic scenery of Death Valley National Park, America’s lowest, hottest and driest national park.
Hotels: (Standard) Gold Coast Hotel (2 nights)
(Budget) Mardi Gras Hotel & Casino or similar (2 nights)
Day 7: Las Vegas
Today you have the choice to explore this electric city, or take to the skies in a helicopter for a glimpse at one of the great natural wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon. In Vegas, each hotel and casino has a distinctly different theme and all offer wondrous displays. For a different side of Vegas, visit Fremont Street; this historic street is where it all began.
OPTIONAL EXPERIENCE – Valley of Fire Tour
Come with us to explore one of Nevada’s most visually stunning sites! The surroundings are loaded with vibrant colour, fantastic rock formations, and world-class petroglyphs. You’ll see nature’s work-of-art at Rainbow Vista, Atlatl Rock, and Fire Canyon with petrified sand dunes sculpted into amazing shapes and contours only wind, water, and time could create. Through your travels, you’ll experience the magnificent backdrop of the Mojave Desert and learn about many Native American cultures.
Day 8: Bryce Canyon National Park (249 miles)
Leave the Vegas excitement behind and drive toward Zion National Park. You will be greeted by gigantic sandstone monoliths and hear the soft rush of the Virgin River. Take in the breathtaking scenery of the Emerald Pools, Weeping Rock and Angels Landing before continuing on to Bryce Canyon.
Hotels: (Standard) Best Western Plus Bryce Canyon or similar (1 night)
(Budget) Bryce View Lodge or similar (1 night)
Day 9: Salt Lake City (271 miles)
This morning spend some time in Bryce Canyon National Park. A landscape like no other, the colourful hoodoos are what make Bryce Canyon so special, the way the light reflects at different times of day is something that needs to be experienced, photographs just don’t do it justice. When you’re done exploring the park, make your way to Salt Lake City.
Hotels: (Standard) Little America Hotel or similar (1 night)
(Budget) Crystal Inn Hotel Salt Lake City or similar (1 night)
Day 10: Yellowstone National Park (353 miles)
Next up it’s the world’s first ever national park, the example on which all national parks toward, Yellowstone! Famous for its wildlife, 1000’s of miles of walking trails and most importantly its geothermal activity, watch as ‘Old Faithful’ erupts in front of your eyes.
Hotels: (Standard & Budget) Gray Wold Inn & Suites or similar (2 nights)
Day 11: Yellowstone National Park
Continue the exploration of Yellowstone’s wildlife, water and wilderness. You can also drive the Beartooth Scenic Byway, dubbed ‘the most beautiful road in America’. The drive reaches heights of nearly 11,000 feet as it crosses the backbone of the Beartooth Mountains.
Day 12: Cody (133 miles)
Drive to Cody for an intimate look at the history of the American West and to uncover the story of W.F. ‘Buffalo Bill’ Cody. Billing itself as the ‘Rodeo Capital of the World’, Cody provides a unique opportunity to capture the excitement of a real rodeo in a dramatic western setting. Seasonally, the Cody Nite Rodeo is a fantastic way to become part of the west.
Hotels: (Standard) Comfort Inn Cody E Yellowstone or similar (1 night)
(Budget) Holiday Inn Cody E Yellowstone or similar (1 night)
Day 13: Cheyenne (392 miles)
Depart Cody this morning and begin the drive toward the capital of Wyoming, Cheyenne. Built on cattle ranching and the railroad system, here, rodeo is king! Look out for the city’s biggest event, a weeklong cowboy extravaganza called Cheyenne Frontier Days. If you’re not so lucky, don’t worry, a visit to one of the cities galleries will show you the history of this great event.
Hotels: (Standard) Little America Hotel or similar (1 night)
(Budget) Red Lion Hotel Cheyenne or similar (1 night)
Day 14: Denver (163 miles)
Take a scenic drive through pine forests and fields of wildflowers on your way through the spectacular Rocky Mountain National Park, the views here are nothing short of spectacular. The Trail Ridge Road, which cuts through the middle of the park, is even rated among the most scenic highways in America and a prime wildlife-viewing area. Arrive in Denver and make your way to the hotel for the evening.
Hotels: (Standard) Doubletree Curtis Hotel or similar (2 nights)
(Budget) Quality Inn & Suites Denver Stapleton or similar (2 nights)
Day 15: Denver
Denver has the urban charms of an industrious city, combined with all of the mystery and romance of the old West. Wander the Downtown area of ‘Mile High City’, it’s bursting with pretty parks, pedestrian areas and picturesque tree-lined boulevards packed with shops, restaurants and great nightspots.
Day 16: Durango (412 miles)
Leave Denver for Durango and enjoy its cowboy history and culture. Take a ride back in time behind a historic steam-powered locomotive, enjoy the sights and sounds of yesteryear on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad or take a trip deep into old gold and silver mines. You might also enjoy horseback riding at one of the local ranches.
Hotels: (Standard) Historic Strater Hotel or similar (1 night)
(Budget) Durango Downtown Inn or similar (1 night)
Day 17: Lake Powell (292 miles)
Pass through the stunning Mesa Verde National Park and dramatic Monument Valley on your way to Lake Powell today. Over the years, Monument Valley has been the setting for more Western movies than any other site in the United States. At dawn and dusk, the park comes to life when the sun transforms it into a bright canvas, painting the monoliths with light and colour.
Hotels: (Standard) Lake Powell Resort or similar (1 night)
(Budget) Travelodge or similar (1 night)
OPTIONAL EXPERIENCE – Canyons Adventure Cruise
Canyons Adventure Cruise is a 2.5-hour tour that encompasses both Navajo and Antelope Canyons for a truly ‘best of the Southlake’ experience. The cruise includes an excursion through twisting Antelope Canyon, and a great view of Glen Canyon Dam. But the highlight is Navajo Canyon and its beautiful Navajo Tapestry laden walls. Navajo legend tells us that the colours were formed by the blood of a monster killed in this region.
Day 18: Grand Canyon (145 miles)
Take time this morning to explore the contrasting blue waters and red cliffs of Lake Powell. You may wish to visit the magnificent Rainbow Bridge, one of the largest natural bridges and one of the natural wonders of the world. Onward next to another of the worlds natural wonders, the Grand Canyon. The overwhelming size and brilliant colours of the Grand Canyon easily make it one of the most impressive sights in the world and sits on many a bucket list.
Hotels: (Standard) Yavapai Lodge Grand Canyon or similar (1 night)
(Budget) Red Feather Lodge or similar (1 night)
Day 19 Phoenix (220 miles)
Begin the day with a scenic drive through Oak Creek Canyon, look out for Sliding Rock a smooth rock surface that you can glide down into the water below. Travel onwards to Sedona and stop for photos at Bell Rock and Cathedral Rock, then finish up in Phoenix this afternoon where you will stay the night. This evening, visit the ‘Old Town’ area of Scottsdale to enjoy the regional flavours of the southwest cooking style at one of the many restaurants in the area.
Hotels: (Standard) Embassy Suites Phoenix or similar (1 night)
(Budget) Hotel Bixby Scottsdale or similar (1 night)
Day 20: Los Angeles (374 miles)
Drive away from the Valley of Sun toward the fashionable resort community of Palm Springs. Here date palms grow wild and natural springs have attracted visitors for years. Now known for its golf and upscale lifestyle, tourists and celebrity visitors enjoy the luxurious amenities. Continue to Los Angeles for a two-night stay.
Hotels: (Standard) Hollywood Hotel or similar (2 nights)
(Budget) Best Western Plus Dragon Gate or similar (2 nights)
Day 21: Los Angeles
Visit the glitz and glamour of Hollywood and shop on the famous Rodeo Drive, where luxury retail commands the street. Or, you can choose to 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 with a range of activities on offer. Swimming, surfing, volleyball, skating and biking are among the favourite beach-side past times of this area.
Day 22: Depart Los Angeles (21 miles)
The journey around Americas National Parks comes to an end today. You can choose to stay a little longer in L.A. to soak up more of the city, or depart at your leisure to Los Angeles Airport for your flight home.
22 day Self Drive - from £2168
With flights from £2585
Our Budget option includes all the benefits of our standard but offers a lower category of accommodation for the more budget conscious.
- Budget accommodation – from £1,699
- Add a Golden Gate Bike Tour – from £49
- Add a Valley of Fire Tour – from £159
- Add a Canyons Adventure Cruise – from £85