Trip Name: The Best of California & Gand Canyon & Rocky Mountains
Thursday August 10th 2017
Trip Length: 14 days
Trip Type: College
Destination Continent: North America
Destination Country: USA West Coast
Tour Fee: $3200
Tour ID: 170810Td5dd
Upfront Deposit: $300
On this special trip, we explore the historic Presidio and Sausalito and the spectacular landscape of Yosemite National Park. Then, we tour around Silicon Valley followed by relaxing at beautiful beaches of California on our way to Los Angeles. We drive along the breathtaking Monterey Bay Peninsula, known as the 17-Mile Drive. Visit the inspiring Mission San Carlos Borromeo del río Carmelo in Carmel-by-the-Sea. Enjoy famous Beverly Hills and have fun at Disneyland in Los Angeles. We continute our journey in Las Vegas and adventure at Grand Canyon national park. We experience the best of Las Vegas and Grand Canyon such as Mather Point and Bright Angel Lodge as well as South and West Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. We continue our memorable journey with wildlife watching, hiking, and visiting historic sites at the Rocky Mountains. See the continental divide, the backbone of North America and the world’s largest mountain barrier. Enjoy the great outdoors with many stops to view the magnificent views, wildlife, and take pictures of the remarkable scenery.
DAY 01: SAN FRANCISCO (D)
Individual arrival to your hotel in San Francisco. In the evening meet your Tour Manager for a briefing on the tour and see your fellow travelers at the welcome dinner. Overnight stay at San Francisco.
DAY 02: SAN FRANCISCO (B)
A local guide shows us San Francisco including Union Square, Lombard Street and Golden Gate Park. We’ll explore the Presidio - Formerly a military post,
nowadays is a national park and recreational paradise featuring spectacular vistas, meandering trails, and historic and architectural treasures. Then we
head for Sausalito - one of the highlights of the San Francisco Bay area. To see its galleries, shopping, bay views and its many restaurants. Our afternoon includes time for browsing the shops at Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39, plus an invigorating cruise on San Francisco Bay, passing Alcatraz Island and the Golden Gate Bridge. The evening at leisure.
Optional Activity: Nightlife VIP Tour at the California Academy of Sciences.
When the lights go down, the fun begins. Enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour, private viewings and VIP access when the California Academy of Sciences transforms into a lively venue filled with music, provocative science, mingling and cocktails.
Overnight in San Francisco.
DAY 03: SAN FRANCISCO (B)– YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK
Breakfast at the hotel. One full day Yosemite bus tour from San Francisco is a great opportunity to see this spectacular park with a bit more comfort and a relaxed schedule. On this Yosemite National Park tour we take a little more time to stop along the way in the agricultural region of the San Joaquin Valley. Upon arrival in Yosemite you will enjoy a narrated tour of Yosemite Valley with a stop at Inspiration Point (Tunnel View), followed by an extended stop at the Yosemite Lodge where you have two hours or more to relax, take an additional tour (seasonal), have a hot meal, or stroll out to the meadows or Yosemite Falls. Return to San Francisco. Overnight at your hotel in San Francisco
DAY 04: SAN FRANCISCO (B)- SILICON VALLEY
On this day after breakfast at your hotel you are invited to take a private tour to the Silicon Valley. First we stop at the Stanford University. Then we continue our tour and you’ll see the buildings of Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and many more. Take a look at the HP Garage where the Hewlett Packard name was decided. Then the tour will take you back in time during a visit of the Computer History museum where you can see the very first automatic computing machines and their evolution to the super machines we use today. Evening at leisure in San Francisco.
DAY 05: SAN FRANCISCO (B)- MONTERREY
In the morning after breakfast, a drive along the Pacific to stunning Monterey, with its extraordinary coastline and picture-perfect windswept beaches. The drive along the breathtaking Monterey Bay Peninsula, known as the 17-Mile Drive, one of the most scenic roads in the world. The jagged Big Sur coastline runs along the Pacific to the majestic Del Monte Forest with awe-inspiring vistas at every turn. Marvel at some of nature's greatest treasures including the Lone Cypress, one of California's best-known landmarks as well as the enchanting seaside town of Carmel, a haven for writers, artists and celebrities.
The rest of the day is driving along one of the most striking stretches of US #1, the Pacific Coast Highway to Los Angeles. Arrival in the evening, check-in your hotel in Los Angeles, time at leisure.
DAY 06: LOS ANGELES (B)
Breakfast at your hotel. Today is LA! Los Angeles means something different to everyone. LA is second only to New York in terms of population size in the USA and it is one of the most well-known cities in the world. As the center of filmmaking, it is a mecca for all who want to be or rub shoulders with a star! So the tour in this city tends to focus on Hollywood, home to the city’s most popular attractions, but you’ll also get to see the city’s most famous amusement parks. So you will see Hollywood Walk of Fame – here you can search among the over 2,500 five-pointed stars for the one that features your best loved actor, musician or movie character,
Movie Star Homes of Beverly Hills to view the glamorous dwellings of the rich and famous.
Discover Universal Studios. Then, get ready for one of the most memorable experiences of your life as you tour this “larger than life” facility –Disneyland. The rides, the food and all the enchanting characters truly make Disneyland “The Happiest Place on Earth.” Overnight in Los Angeles.
DAY 07: LOS ANGELES & LAS VEGAS (B)
The tour ends after breakfast and check out from your hotel. We visit Getty Center, free admission venue for arts exhibits, then we go to Griffith Park, a large municipal park at the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains, in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. The park covers 4,310 acres of land, making it one of the largest urban parks in North America. Afternoon, we drive to Las Vegas.
Have fun during the night when the Las Vegas or the “Neon City” radiates. Today evening is at your leisure. Relax and enjoy the free entertainment presented on Fremont Street or try to test your chances at the slot machines or gaming tables. Dinner on your own. Overnight stay in Las Vegas
DAY 08: LAS VEGAS (B)
Full day at leisure in Vegas. Be aware that there are plenty of the spots where you can have tons of fun without ever opening your wallet. Watch water dance in a fountain show that's as exquisitely choreographed as a professional ballet. Or lights that fly to music above your head on the world's largest LED screen. You can even witness the fall of Atlantis at Caesars Palace , see a volcano erupt and tour a chocolate factory in one afternoon. Plus you can do it all without ever buying a ticket.
Visit the Aquarium at the cozy Silverton Hotel, a 117,000-gallon saltwater aquarium provides entertainment on a scale one can enjoy only in Las Vegas.
Jugglers, unicyclists, trapeze artists and acrobats perform death-defying stunts and exciting acts every half-hour at the World's Largest Permanent Circus and more, and more, just ask your Tour Manager.
Optional Activity: Vegas by NIGHT Helicopter Tour
Las Vegas lights up at night, and there's no better way to see the neon on the Strip and downtown than from the air. You arrive at helicopters terminal 30 minutes prior to departure time. Start with a champagne toast before your flight. Includes a complete breathtaking night flight over the Las Vegas Strip and downtown Glitter Gulch. Tour includes transportation to and from hotel.
DAY 09: LAS VEGAS (B)- GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK (L)
Today after breakfast in the hotel, we launch a journey to the Grand Canyon's South Rim and capture the beauty this majestic wonder offers. Your tour begins from your hotel by bus. Then, it's off to the Grand Canyon for an adventure of a lifetime. On your way to the destination, your experienced driving tour guide shares fascinating facts of the South Rim's history and geological features.
Upon arrival, enjoy lunch just outside of Grand Canyon National Park. Continue the journey to the Grand Canyon's South Rim and capture the beautiful scenery. The stops include both Mather Point and Bright Angel Lodge. At Bright Angel Lodge, you can take the free shuttles to multiple viewpoints including Mather Point, and many others or you may enjoy walking the beautiful 2.5 mile trail between points. Continue your trip with a visit inside the park and stop at several viewpoints throughout the South Rim. You'll have plenty of photo opportunities, so make sure to have your camera ready. Overnight in hotel near Grand Canyon.
DAY 10: GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK (L)
Today we will discover Grand Canyon West Rim. On your way, you can enjoy delicious breakfast snack. There is also a brief stop at the incredible Hoover Dam for a spectacular photo opportunity.
Once we arrive at the Grand Canyon West Rim you will be dropped at the Welcome Center where you can catch the free hop on/hop off shuttle that will transport you to Eagle Point, where the Skywalk is located (the Skywalk entrance fee is not included in this tour package but is available for purchase at the Welcome Center upon arrival) and of course, the breathtaking Guano Point, where you may choose to use your free meal ticket for the barbecue lunch.
After our group returns to the Welcome Center we will head back to Las Vegas. For one final incredible memory, keep your eyes open and enjoy the breathtaking views of Hoover Dam as we path through the Mike O’Callaghan – Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge and see fabulous Las Vegas lit up as we descend into the valley. Overnight in Las Vegas.
DAY 11: LAS VEGAS & DENVER (B)
Today after breakfast and check-out from your hotel, we head to Denver- the capital of Colorado which is a metropolis dating to the Old West era. We visit Larimer Square, the city’s oldest block, features landmark 19th-century buildings. Museums include the Denver Art Museum, an ultramodern complex known for its collection of indigenous works, and the mansion of famed Titanic survivor Molly Brown. Denver is also a jumping-off point to explore the nearby Rocky Mountains. Overnight stay in Denver.
DAY 12: DENVER (B,L)– ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK
Early in the morning we’ll drive 1.5 hours from Denver through Lyons to the east entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park just outside the town of Estes Park, Colorado. On the drive in, we stop to catch a glimpse of Longs Peak, arguably the most famous of Colorado’s 53 “Fourteeners,” the name mountaineers give to peaks above 14,000 feet. Drive by the Stanley Hotel, a beautiful historic building, famous for its inspiration for the book and movie “The Shining”.
Head into Rocky Mountain National Park which covers a total of 415 square miles. Renowned for its scenery, views and wildlife including elk, deer, moose, black bear, marmots, hawks, eagles and more, incredible alpine and subalpine vistas and 72 peaks above 12,000ft. Drive into the park and follow Trail Ridge Road all the way to the highest point of 12,183 feet. Enjoy a picnic lunch along the way. Stop at many sightseeing spots during this tour, to view and to take pictures of snow capped peaks, meadows and fantastic views of the valley. There are opportunities to walk around at various stops and take in the breathtaking scenery.
Overnight in the hotel at Estes Park.
DAY 13: ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK (B,L)
On this day we go to discover The East Side of the park, known for its beautiful and accessible subalpine lakes, with alpine backdrops that make for prime photo opportunities. Start from the Bear Lake trailhead and hike just the short 0.6-mile loop around popular Bear Lake or weather permitting we continue on to see Bierstadt Lake and Sprague Lake as well.
Now enjoy a magnificent drive over Trail Ridge Road, a true Rocky Mountain experience. A feat of 1930’s engineering, one of 10 America’s Byways in Colorado, and a nationally designated All American Road, Trail Ridge Road reaches from Estes Park to Grand Lake, but the real adventure comes when it climbs up to the tree line and above into the alpine tundra. Be sure to note where the road crosses the Continental Divide at Milner Pass (10,120 feet).
For many travelers, this road offers the best chance to see the alpine tundra up close, to observe its subtle colors and windswept wonders. We’ll stop at the many lookouts and short trails available here, such as the Tundra World Nature Trail beginning at the Rock Cut parking area. Mid-journey, you can take a breather, grab a snack, and learn more about the alpine tundra ecosystem at the Alpine. As the road descends on the west side, you’ll notice subtle differences from the east. This side of the park receives less traffic, and the heavier snows in winter mean greener meadows in summer. After exploring the East Side we head back to Denver. Overnight at Denver.
DAY 14: DENVER (B)
Breakfast in your hotel. After check-out individual transfer to airport to take your plane home. If you have enough time before your return flight you are invited in the morning for an extra tour of Denver.
Optional Activity: Guided downtown scooter tour. Duration is two hours. After a brief orientation by your guide, take some time to get comfortable as you drive around a safe parking lot before venturing out onto the roadways in the downtown of Denver.
After making your trip reservation, on My Account page, you can add any of below supplements to your trip.
An option to have your own room at the hotel while being on the trip and enjoy the total privacy.
- 13 night First Class accommodations- 4 night stay at Inn Marina or similar in San Francisco, 2 night stay at Quality Inn Rosemead or similar in Los Angeles, 3 night stay at Platinum Hotel and Spa Strip Vegas in Las Vegas or similar, 1 night stay at Quality Inn Grand Canyon or similar in Grand Canyon, 2 night stay at Quality Inn Denver Central or similar in Denver and 1 night stay at Discovery Lodge Estes Park or similar in the Rocky Mountain
- All transportation as per itinerary
- Meals as stated on the itinerary (B: Breakfast, L:Lunch, D:Dinner)
- Sightseeing per itinerary in modern AC land transport
- Services of English-speaking tour manager throughout.
- Services of English-speaking local guides.
- Entrance fees per itinerary
- Toll and parking fees
Note: airport–hotel and hotel–airport transfers are not included unless you take a inbound and outbound flight through Above Zest Company
- Tour Fee
The total tour supplement fee for a single occupancy traveler is $790
- Roommate Matching
If you have a preference for a roommate, please let us know full first and last name. Otherwise, we will match you up with a roommate as long as you're a non-smoker. You must book at least 90 days prior to the tour date to take advantage of our free roommate match up service. Don't let not having a roommate keep you from going on this amazing trip!
- Flight Reservation Instructions
Depending on your departure point, you may experience a long flight, so we advise you to arrange your flight early enough to get to the San Francisco Airport (SFO) and to book a return flight from the Denver International Airport, often referred to as DIA, but the official code is DEN.
We advise all travelers to have travel insurance- Travel Insurance Options- InsureMyTrip
You can go to the below pages to learn more about our tour terms, policies, and tips: