From a mix of glamour and bohemian charms in San Francisco, to the lush landscapes of the Sierras, this unique trip takes you on an eclectic journey through the heart of America's West. A combination of our Enchanting Canyonlands and American Parks Trail trips, you'll experience everything from the mystical healing powers of Sedona, to the world famous Grand Canyon and the Japanese tea gardens of Golden Gate Park. You'll enhance your experience by staying at lodges within the National Parks themselves, allowing you to not only witness, but wake up to show stopping views.
Tour Operator: Insight Vacations
- Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas
- Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom
- Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary
- We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door
- Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency
- We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels
- Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available)
- From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination
- If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times
- If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.
Please note: while prices are accurate at time of loading they are subject to change due to currency fluctuations and currency surcharges may apply.Please check price at time of booking
23 Aug 19
14 Sep 19
30 Aug 19
21 Sep 19
13 Sep 19
5 Oct 19
Day 1 - San Francisco, the City by the Bay.
California here we come. A mix of modern glamour and bohemian charms, you’ve arrived in the Golden Gate City, a location famous for its rolling hills, colourful houses and eclectic architecture. You’ll be picked up at San Francisco International Airport and whisked straight to your centrally located hotel, the Westin St. Francis, situated in the vibrant heart of the city and the only one on Union Square. There you’ll be left to settle in or go for a quick wander, before joining your Travel Director and fellow travellers at 18:00 for a Welcome Dinner and wine.(Dinner with Wine)
Day 2 - Exploring San Francisco.
Get ready for a fun-filled day exploring the city. Experience the bustling activity of Union Square, famous for its shopping, theatre and dining options. Head to the iconic Golden Gate Park. Rich in culture, the park boasts 10 lakes and more than 1,000 acres of land. This striking landmark is modelled on New York City’s Central Park and includes a wide range of show stopping features. From a Japanese tea garden to its botanical garden and conservatory of flowers, you won’t be disappointed.(Breakfast)
Day 3 - Haight-Ashbury and a Taste of Wine Country.
Delve into San Francisco’s flower power history and revisit the ‘Summer of Love’ with a former hippie, your Local Expert. Tour Haight-Ashbury, the original iconic hippie district, where you’ll find colour and charm aplenty. Move on to California wine country, where you’ll walk through one of the state’s lush vineyards and enjoy a private wine tasting. End your day with a Highlight Dinner served with a local wine.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day 4 - Yosemite National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Say goodbye to the city lights of Sonoma and embrace the mountainous scenery of Yosemite National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Travelling through California’s Gold Country, you’ll drive through the imposing Sierra Nevada mountains. Explore the valley floor with its spectacular waterfalls and striking rock formations of El Capitan and Half Dome. The park is abundant in wildlife, so look out for Mule deer, and if you’re really lucky you may catch a glimpse of a black bear. Rest up at Yosemite Valley Lodge, located inside the park and close to Yosemite Falls, North America’s highest waterfall.(Breakfast)
Day 5 - Monterey, the Cradle of History.
Take in the lush landscapes of the Sierras before you are swept through the fertile San Joaquin Valley to Carmel-by-the-Sea. There you will have the opportunity to browse a range of art galleries, local shops and the chance to stock up on souvenirs. Enjoy a relaxing drive across the Monterey Peninsula and along 17-Mile Drive, where you can take in the stunning ocean views, Pebble Beach Golf Links and multi-million dollar mansions, before arriving in the city of Monterey. Enjoy a delightful Highlight Dinner this evening.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day 6 - Hearst Castle and the American Riviera.
Today you’ll move south to La Cuesta Encantada, otherwise known as 'The Enchanted Hill', which rests high above the ocean at San Simeon. Once there you’ll join a guided tour of Mediterranean-style Hearst Castle, the grandiose estate of publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst. The residence was also the inspiration for the Xanadu mansion in the famous movie classic, Citizen Kane. Make your way to sunny Santa Barbara and check in to your idyllic beachfront hotel, ideal for making the most of your stay in the grand ‘American Riviera’. You’ll be presented with white buildings, terracotta rooves, beautiful weather and an array of bars and restaurants.(Breakfast)
Day 7 - Santa Monica and the City of Angels.
No trip to Santa Barbara would be complete without a visit to the iconic Mission Santa Barbara. Here you’ll learn about the chain of 21 missions along California's El Camino Real and explore its blooming grounds. Journey along the spectacular Santa Monica Bay, passing the hidden coves and coastal mountains of Malibu as you make your way to Santa Monica, L.A.’s exciting upscale counterpart. Continue on to your modern L.A. hotel, in the city's entertainment destination.(Breakfast)
Day 8 - The Glitz and Glam of L.A.
Channel your inner movie star and join a Local Expert on a private tour of a historic theatre in Hollywood. You’ll then join your Travel Director for some more exploring. This includes Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, a movie palace where stars leave their shoeprints in cement. This is situated on the legendary Hollywood Walk of Fame, where you can walk in the steps of icons including Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable. Feeling peckish? Head to the renowned historic L.A. Farmers Market on your own and delve into fresh local delicacies. End the day with a Highlight Dinner and wine at Café Pinot.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day 9 - Across the Mojave to Scottsdale.
Experience the rugged charms of the Mojave Desert wilderness as you make your way to Scottsdale. Look out for the Joshua trees and wildlife found in the National Park, you might just spot a jackrabbit or coyote. Once in Scottsdale you can relax in the hotel after a long day and replenish for your upcoming adventures.(Breakfast)
Day 10 - Sedona and the Wonders of the Mighty Grand Canyon.
Journey north to the bohemian colony of Sedona. Attractive to healers, this spiritual town’s vortexes are rumoured to offer alternative medicines and practices. If retail therapy is more your thing, explore Sedona’s shops and galleries, or simply take in its natural rugged beauty, which makes it a hotspot for hikers, swimmers and eager campers. Journey on to Grand Canyon National Park, where you have the opportunity to take an optional, once-in-a-lifetime, flightseeing tour by helicopter or plane. Join a Local Expert for an informative presentation about the wonders of the Grand Canyon before ending your day with a tranquil night inside the park and an appetizing Highlight Dinner with wine in the inviting Thunderbird Room of your lodge. Located on the South Rim, this beautiful venue offers a wet-bar, barbeque and private balcony, so you can feast on hearty food while taking in the stunning views.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day 11 - Monument Valley and Lake Powell.
Head through striking crimson landscapes to the historic Cameron Trading Post where you will find Native American arts and crafts. Journey on through the barren beauty of the desert to Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, where you will board all-terrain vehicles to explore the valley with your Navajo guide. Stop at the Glen Canyon Dam to learn about its impact on the Colorado River before arriving at your lakefront resort.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day 12 - Leisurely Lake Powell.
Start the day at leisure by enjoying your resort’s facilities. Later take a cruise through the narrow sandstone turns of Antelope Canyon, one of the top-rated highlights on the trip. End the day with a breathtaking sunset from your lake view or marina view room.(Breakfast)
Day 13 - Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks.
Prepare for a day of Norse legend, as you head to the sandstone cliffs of Bryce Canyon National Park in Southern Utah. Here you will be met by pine trees, red rock pillars and Thor’s hammer. You’ll take a leisurely walk along Sunset Point to view the great amphitheatres of the odd-shaped monoliths, known as hoodoos, before travelling through more amazing scenery to the lush cliff-and-canyon landscape of Zion National Park. A day of sightseeing deserves some evening festivities. Join your Travel Director and new friends for a Highlight Dinner and wine to discuss your take on the ethereal characters of Utah’s famous canyon.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day 14 - Zion to Las Vegas, From Nature to Neon.
Depart the tranquil ambiance of Zion National Park Lodge and board a private Zion Canyon Shuttle. Live commentary will take you through the scenic highlights of the park, followed by some downtime to explore on your own. Depart the natural beauty of the park to arrive in the bright lights and glamour of Las Vegas. With an array of shopping malls, live shows and dining opportunities, this dazzling destination is sure to entertain. And for those looking to hit the casinos, make sure you come with your poker face ready.(Breakfast)
Day 15 - Salt Lake City.
Today you’ll travel to Utah’s capital, Salt Lake City, where you’ll spend the night. Lying between Wasatch Range and the Great Salt Lake, this mountainous city is perfect for outdoorsy types, with a strong focus on skiing and fishing. It is also the headquarters of the Mormon faith.(Breakfast)
Day 16 - Jackson and Grand Teton National Park.
As you move on from Salt Lake City, take in iconic Temple Square and State Capitol building, before heading north across the Oregon Trail to historic Jackson. Have your cameras ready for the famous elk antlers that adorn the central square, and for eager shoppers there are a number of charming traditional boutiques to browse. Relax at Jackson Lake Lodge, where you’ll be presented with the stunning peaks of Grand Teton National Park.(Breakfast)
Day 17 - Yellowstone National Park.
Wake up to a mountainous view like no other and witness the striking Grand Tetons thrust skyward 6,562 feet (2,000 metres) from the valley floor. In keeping with today’s rustic country charm, you’ll enter Yellowstone, the world’s first National Park. Known for its unique geothermal activity, spectacular landscapes and abundant wildlife, you’ll experience Wyoming in all its glory. Keep an eye out for black bears or wolves. Tonight you’ll stay in the National Park Lodges, allowing you to experience the park after hours, in its natural glory.(Breakfast / Dinner)
Day 18 - Geysers and Colourful Mudpots at Yellowstone.
Savour the surreal surroundings of Yellowstone with a relaxed start. Walk among the rainbow tinted hot springs and watch the erupting geysers as you take in the history of the park on an informative stroll with your Travel Director. Catch the renowned colourful bubbling mud pots and observe Old Faithful geyser shooting water over 120 feet (37 metres) into the air. You’ll behold the powerful roar of Lower Yellowstone Falls, before heading back to your Park Lodge rooms. The National Park is also famous for its wildlife, so keep an eye out for the Yellowstone ram, wolves, bears and elk.(Breakfast)
Day 19 - The Ranch at Ucross.
Set off on your travels through the stark Shoshone Canyon and Absaroka Rocky Mountains to the Wild West Town of Cody. Channel your inner showman and learn more about America’s great Western legends at the Buffalo Bill Centre. End the day in Clearmont, Wyoming where you’ll check in to your abode for the night. Here you’ll enjoy a ranch style Highlight Dinner with wine.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day 20 - Devils Tower into the Black Hills.
Live the American frontier dream and begin your day with a scenic country horseback ride (waiver required). If playing cowboy isn’t your thing, perhaps go fishing or merely relax and take in your beautiful surroundings, the choice is yours. Make your way to Devils Tower, an astounding geological feature that protrudes out of the surrounding the Black Hills. This symbolic landmark is considered sacred to the Lakota and other tribes. Experience Spearfish Canyon, a favoured spot among wildlife enthusiasts and one famous for its elvish woodland beauty. The limestone palisades of this creek-carved gorge are more ancient than the Grand Canyon.(Breakfast)
Day 21 - Custer and the Wild, Wild West.
A day for those looking to explore the wild west, try to spot pronghorn antelope as you cross the great high plains to the Black Hills of South Dakota. Once in Deadwood, you’ll also get to speak to members of the Lakota tribe as they share a fascinating live narrative of the Great Sioux Nation. You’ll have the opportunity to join Kevin Costner’s Original Deadwood Tour, while a Local Expert will talk about the days of Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane, who made this once lawless town famous during the Gold Rush of the 1870s. Continue on to Custer State Park, renowned for its beautiful landscape and abundant wildlife.(Breakfast)
Day 22 - The Mountain Monuments of the Black Hills of South Dakota.
What better way to spend your last full day than delving further into the history of this fascinating country? You’ll start by viewing Crazy Horse Memorial which is dedicated to all Native Americans, before moving on to the iconic Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Here, carvings of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt dominate the Black Hills. The rest of the day is yours to explore in Custer State Park. Join your Travel Director and newfound friends for a Celebration Dinner with wine, as you reflect on your adventure across the wide open spaces of America’s national parks.(Breakfast / Dinner with Wine)
Day 23 - Depart Denver.
Travel south from Custer State Park where your tour ends on arrival in Denver. A transfer is available to Denver International Airport. Airport arrival in Denver will be at 16:30.(Breakfast)