Highlights Of The West

15 day Self Drive - from £1338

Explore the highlights of California, Nevada and Utah’s best National Parks before returning to Los Angeles via the Grand Canyon and the desert community of Palm Springs.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • California’s Pacific Coast
  • San Francisco city
  • Yosemite National Park
  • Grand Canyon National Park
  • Las Vegas Strip
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Your Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Los Angeles

Collect your car from the Los Angeles Airport depot and make your way to your chosen Los Angeles hotel.

Hotels: (Standard) Hilton Los Angeles Airport or similar (1 night)
(Budget) Best Western Plus South Bay or similar (1 night)

Day 2: San Simeon (257 miles)

Head out of L.A and pick up Highway 1 North towards Santa Barbara. On the beautiful Pacific Coast, Santa Barbara is a gem. The pristine city’s climate gives rise to a number of natural attractions. Stroll through the Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens to view breathtaking flora or hike a scenic nature trail in Los Padres National Forest. Continue on to San Simeon, the home of Hearst Castle. Enjoy an overnight stay in the San Simeon area.

Hotels: (Standard & Budget) Cambria Pines Lodge or similar (1 night)

Day 3: San Francisco (214 miles)

Enjoy a luxurious drive up the Pacific Coast toward Monterey. After being swept away by the stunning Pacific coast views, spend the afternoon enjoying this artisan city. Monterey Bay is a fantastic place to whale watch and tours are offered locally. Consider taking the famously scenic 17-Mile drive up the coast, stopping at renowned Pebble Beach on the way to enjoy the sights of lavish mansions along the coast. Continue on to San Francisco for a two-night stay.

Hotels: (Standard) Carriage Inn or similar (2 nights)
(Budget) Best Western Plus Americania or similar (2 nights)

Day 4: San Francisco

Today, you are free to enjoy the many sights and sounds of San Francisco; take a cable car ride from Fisherman’s Wharf, visit the famous Alcatraz Island or spend some time in Golden Gate Park. This evening, dine in one of San Francisco’s many distinctive neighbourhoods; from Chinatown to the very Italian flavoured North Beach, each offers its own distinctive culture and cuisine.

OPTIONAL EXPERIENCE – San Francisco Hop on Hop off Bus Tour
See San Francisco from the top of an authentic English Double Decker Bus! This is a fully narrated sightseeing tour. Enjoy the city lights and skyline on the Night Loop. Valid for 48 hours from time of first use, 25+ Hop On – Hop Off locations & a bus every 15-30 mins.

Day 5: Yosemite National Park (311 miles)

Gaze upon the mist over the Golden Gate Bridge before you depart the bustle of San Francisco. Head towards the natural beauty that is Yosemite National Park. Take your time and enjoy the meandering drive into the park, the views get better with every turn. Photo opportunities are aplenty as you drive through Yosemite, capture the iconic sequoia trees, granite cliffs of El Capitan and Half Dome and the iconic vista of towering Bridalveil Fall from Tunnel View.

Hotels: (Standard) Best Western Plus Town & Country or similar (1 night)
(Budget) Best Western Village Inn or similar (1 night)

Day 6: Bakersfield (172 miles)

Today 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 unique place. Spectacular views can be seen from Moro Rock, guided cavern tours are available and the visitor centre contains much information about the park history and seasonal activities. After enjoying the park, return to the Yosemite area for the second night of your stay.

Hotels: (Standard) Hampton Inn & Suites or similar (1 night)
(Budget) Quality Inn & Suites Bakersfield or similar (1 night)

Day 7: Las Vegas (368 miles)

Depart the Bakersfield area and drive towards Nevada. Today is a long day so an early start is a good idea. 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) Platinum Hotel or similar (2 nights)
(Budget) Gold Coast Hotel or similar (2 nights)

Day 8: Las Vegas

From the outrageous live shows to the excitement of casinos, it’s time to visit the city that never sleeps, next stop, Vegas! Stroll down ‘the strip’ to visit the famous Caesars Palace, MGM Grand and The Venetian, and make sure you get a good spot outside the Bellagio to watch the majestic fountains dance.

Day 9: Bryce Canyon (244 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. Zion’s famous slot canyons known as ‘Narrows’ are a hiker’s paradise but there are a variety of trails and paved pathways for explorers of all skill levels. In addition, you can visit Zion’s other major attractions using the complimentary shuttle system. After leaving Zion, head to Bryce Canyon for the night.

Hotels: (Standard) Best Western Plus Bryce Canyon or similar (1 night)
(Budget) Bryce View Lodge or similar (1 night)

Day 10: Lake Powell (151 miles)

Enjoy a morning in wonderful Bryce Canyon National Park; take this opportunity to get up close with the scenic wonders that make this area one of America’s masterpiece locations. Amphitheatres of colourful eroded rock set Bryce apart from anywhere else. Light reflecting on the hoodoos at different times of day change the colourful scene of the park. Consider a drive to Rainbow Point where, from some of the overlooks, you can see more than 100 miles on a clear day. Later, stop at Lake Powell, and head to Rainbow Bridge for spectacular views, it’s the largest natural bridge in the world.

Hotels: (Standard) Lake Powell Resort or similar (1 night)
(Budget) Marriott Courtyard Page or similar (1 night)

Day 11: Grand Canyon (209 miles)

Continue on to the Grand Canyon today. The overwhelming size and brilliant colours of the Grand Canyon easily make it one of the natural wonders of the world. Visit the South Rim where an assortment of viewing areas can be reached by car.

Hotels: (Standard) Little America Hotel Flagstaff or similar (1 night)
(Budget) Greentree Inn or similar (1 night)

Day 12: Palm Springs (402 miles)

Take a scenic drive through Oak Creek Canyon, stopping for a photo opportunity at picturesque Bell Rock and Cathedral Rock along the way. Phoenix will also make a nice stop for lunch before continuing on to the fashionable resort community of Palm Springs.

Hotels: (Standard) Renaissance Palm Springs or similar (1 night)
(Budget) Palm Mountain Resort & Spa or similar (1 night)

Day 13: Los Angeles (122 miles)

Los Angeles is the entertainment capital of the United States. Home to famous movie stars and the infamous landmark, the Hollywood sign; it’s a city brimming with culture. On route to your hotel, take a drive through Beverly Hills, the most famous neighbourhood in the United States and glimpse the exclusive homes.

Hotels: (Standard) Hollywood Hotel or similar (2 nights)
(Budget) Dunes Inn Sunset or similar (2 nights)

Day 14: Los Angeles

It’s time to explore the City of Angels; visit the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, shop the famous Rodeo Drive, have lunch in Venice Beach and visit famous Santa Monica Pier, once known as the “finish line” of legendary Route 66. Or, make your way to Anaheim and visit the ‘Happiest place on earth’, Disneyland.

OPTIONAL EXPERIENCE – Hollywood City Stars Homes and Beach Tour
This is the best way to see it all! You will have a great time visiting the world’s most beautiful and glamorous homes of the rich and famous in Beverly Hills, then you will go on an enjoyable day of sightseeing through the ‘City of Angels’ to visit Venice Beach, Avenue of the Stars, Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive, Sunset Street, Farmer’s Market, The Grove, Hollywood, Mann’s Chinese Theatre, Walk of Fame and The Kodak Theatre (home of the Oscars).

Day 15: Depart Los Angeles (21 miles)

Enjoy the last morning in L.A before your depart to the airport for your journey home or onward to your next destination.

15 day Self Drive - from £1338

With flights from £1758

Optional Experiences

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 £1004
  • Add a San Francisco Hop on Hop off Bus Tour – from £64
  • Add a Hollywood City Stars Homes and Beach Tour – from £75

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Price is per person, based on 2 sharing a double or twin room and include pre-booked accommodation, air-conditioned car and unlimited mileage. One-way fees charged locally. Hotels specified are subject to availability and may be substituted by one of a similar or higher standard.

SELF DRIVE TOURING

Enjoy independent touring at its very best. Book our self drives as they are or add extra days in the places you choose. Normally available in both directions.

Your self drive includes:

  • Well planned, easy to follow route
  • Travel guide and maps
  • 14 nights pre-booked hotel accommodation
  • A choice of standard or budget hotels
  • Modern air-conditioned car
  • Unlimited mileage
  • Roadside assistance
  • Car upgrades available upon request

See more self drives in the USA…

For advice or to start planning your holiday

talk to an America Expert on 0333 234 0922