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Best of the West

20 days from CAD5,810pp

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Tour highlights

  • Explore the glamour of Hollywood and chic Beverly Hills in Los Angeles.

  • Follow walking trails and see incredible geological formations in California and Arizona’s national parks.

  • Drive the iconic Pacific Coast Highway for dramatic views over the ocean and rugged coastline.

  • Soak up the electric atmosphere of Las Vegas.

Price includes:

  • All accommodation
  • Vehicle rental
  • 24-hour support while you travel
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Itinerary idea in detail

Private customized tour. Ask us about booking your international flights at our preferred rates.

  • On arrival make your own way to your downtown hotel. The remainder of the day is free to relax and begin exploring your new surroundings. You could browse the local shops, museums and art galleries, take a taxi into Hollywood or indulge in a spa treatment at your hotel.

  • Enjoy a full day exploring California's largest city under your own steam. Los Angeles offers a vast array of attractions to suit all interests; spot the stars on Hollywood's Walk of Fame, indulge in the boutique shops of Beverly Hills, sip cocktails on Sunset Boulevard, take a backstage tour at Universal or Warner Brothers Studios, hike in the Hollywood Hills or simply relax on the golden sands of Santa Monica Beach.

  • Make your own way to your nearest car hire depot, where your car will be ready to collect. All insurances, road maps and a sat-nav are included. The first leg of your drive takes you around five hours north on the world-famous Pacific Coast Highway. As you weave your way along the dramatic coastline you'll pass plenty of scenic viewpoints, so keep your camera close to hand. Santa Barbara is a great place to stop for lunch, followed by a stroll on Butterfly Beach, before continuing your journey north to Pismo Beach.

  • Continue your journey north, driving for around six hours as you take in the beautiful panoramas of Big Sur, Monterey and Carmel. Your destination today is San Francisco, and you have the rest of the afternoon to begin exploring this beautiful city. Take a stroll along Fisherman's Wharf and pay a visit to the resident sea lions on Pier 39, or take a traditional tram ride through the city's steep streets.

  • Today you are booked on a tour of the legendary Alcatraz prison! The ferry to Alcatraz Island leaves from Fisherman's Wharf. After you arrive you will walk around the prison with your own personal headsets (with voice-overs from real ex-inmates!) that tell you all about the fantastic history.

  • Your three-hour drive today takes you inland to beautiful Yosemite National Park. The mountains, sheer cliff faces and tree-laden valleys are a sight to behold, and, along with crashing waterfalls, create a memorable spectacle. Rangers at the visitor center in Yosemite Valley will tell you all about the park and the many activities you can enjoy there, from rock climbing to wildlife talks.

  • Spend the day exploring Yosemite National Park. There are a number of activities available, including walking and hiking for all abilities, climbing and mountain biking, or you may wish to take one of the many ranger guided tours to view the park's prolific wildlife, which includes bald eagles, mule deer, bobcats and black bears.

  • Leaving Yosemite behind, today's three-hour drive takes you south to the plains of California's oil region and the town of Bakersfield. There is a worthwhile detour east to see the enormous trees of Sequoia National Park, but this will turn your journey into a full day. Here you'll find the famous General Sherman Tree — at almost 84 m (276 ft) and over 2,000 years old it's the tallest and oldest tree on Earth.

  • Continue your journey for four hours through the stunning Sierra Nevada Mountains east to Death Valley National Park, stopping to explore scenic mountain villages and admire the breathtaking views on the way. The afternoon is free to explore the dramatic desert landscape of Death Valley, perhaps visiting Badwater Basin — the lowest point in North America at 86 m (282 ft) below sea level.

  • Leave the arid, otherworldly landscape of Death Valley behind and drive for around three hours through southern Nevada to the bright lights of Las Vegas. Once you've arrived you can make use of your hotel's many facilities, try your luck in a casino or head out to explore the bizarre sights of The Strip.

  • Spend a full day at leisure exploring Las Vegas. You may wish to see the spectacle of the city's many themed hotels and casinos, watch the impressive fountains shoot up to music at the Bellagio Hotel, or watch a world-class show, which include anything from music performances to circus acts.

  • Your three-hour drive today is filled with spectacular mountain vistas as you wind your way toward Zion National Park. You may wish to stop for lunch and a spot of shopping in the delightful town of St George before arriving in Springdale, where you can make yourself at home at your hotel and enjoy views of the red rocks peaks of Zion National Park.

  • Zion National Park awaits your discovery today. The highlights of Zion are easily seen by taking a 9.7 km (six mile) scenic drive, but it's certainly worthwhile spending time on foot exploring the park's many beautiful walking trails.

  • Depart the lush green trees of Zion National Park and venture for two and a half hours into the arid desert scenery around Page, Arizona. This afternoon you may wish to take a boat trip on nearby Lake Powell, a vast reservoir on the Colorado River, which straddles the state border between Utah and Arizona.

  • Continue your journey east and make the two-hour drive from Page to Monument Valley. Here you have the afternoon free to explore this dramatic copper landscape, an iconic panorama synonymous with the American Wild West. The highlight of the area is the ancient Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings and long-abandoned adobe and stone houses, which are surrounded by vertiginous cliffs.

  • Take a native Navajo-led guided tour through the valley this morning. The Navajo Nation have lived in the region for hundreds of years and your guide will explain the history, geology, flora and fauna of Monument Valley from a Navajo perspective. This afternoon, drive three and a half hours west to the Grand Canyon. There are many breathtakingly beautiful spots to stop for views of the Colorado River en route. The rest of the day is free for you to take in the amazing views from the many viewpoints along the canyon's edge.

  • Spend a full day at leisure exploring the Grand Canyon National Park. Don't miss an exhilarating helicopter trip over the canyon for an incredible bird's eye perspective of this natural wonder. Alternatively you may wish to take a hike down into the valley. It's definitely worth gazing out over the canyon at sunrise or sunset, when the park's at its most beautiful.

  • Depart the Grand Canyon and drive for two hours through the lush forests to the red rock region of Sedona. You could stop en route in the town of Flagstaff, which has several museums detailing the lives of the region's indigenous cultures and early settlers.

  • A day at leisure to explore Sedona where we highly recommend taking a 4x4 trip to explore the region's remarkable red rock scenery, or simply spend the day relaxing at the hotel. Nearby is Boynton Canyon, considered to be the birthplace of Yavapai Apache, and you'll find more well-preserved ancient cliff dwellings.

  • The final 185 km (115 miles) of your grand American road trip take you two hours south through the arid and rocky landscape of Arizona to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Drop your car off at the depot in time for your return flight home.

Accommodation options

While the itinerary price reflects the suggested accommodations, Audley trips are 100% tailor-made, and a specialist can help you select the option best suited to your tastes and budget.

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The specialist who designs your trip to the US will have explored the country many times and, in some cases, lived there. Their first-hand knowledge gives us the belief that no other travel company can match our expertise in helping you plan your trip.

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When to go

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Place Daily max temperature (°C) Monthly rainfall (mm)
Los Angeles
 
Pismo Beach
 
San Francisco
 
Yosemite National Park
 
Death Valley National Park
 
Las Vegas
 
Page
 
Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park
 
Grand Canyon National Park
 
Sedona
 

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