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Palm Springs

Desert to coast: Southwest USA self-drive tour

12 days from £4,440pp

Palm Springs
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Tour highlights

  • Experience the bright lights and dazzling sounds of Las Vegas.

  • Admire the unique mid-century modern architecture in Palm Springs.

  • Marvel at the natural beauty of Joshua Tree National Park.

  • Indulge in San Diego's sun-soaked beaches.

Price includes:

  • Scheduled international flights
  • Fully insured vehicle hire
  • All accommodation
  • 24-hour support while you travel
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Itinerary idea in detail

Includes international flights from a choice of UK airports, including London, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

  • Today you begin your journey by boarding your international outbound flight to Las Vegas. As you arrive in Las Vegas, you'll be immediately captivated by the city's dazzling lights and vibrant energy. The iconic Las Vegas Strip beckons with its world-renowned casinos, extravagant shows, and lavish dining options. This evening we can highly recommend enjoying dinner in one of the city’s fine dining restaurants, or alternatively, admire the daredevil acrobatics at one of Cirque du Soleil’s famed shows.

  • Spend the morning embracing the desert heat with some poolside relaxation and perhaps a spa treatment to ease into the time difference. This afternoon you’ll embark on a culinary adventure in Las Vegas with a downtown food tour. Heading off the strip and entering rediscovered ‘Old Vegas’, you’ll delight your taste buds with a visit to two or three celebrated restaurants for a sample of their menus. As you stroll through the city’s regenerated heart, your guide will provide a fascinating insight into its resurgence and the future of cuisine in Las Vegas.

  • Leave the city behind and experience an exhilarating helicopter tour over the iconic Hoover Dam, before reaching the mighty Grand Canyon. On the way, you’ll enjoy panoramic views of Lake Mead, Temple Rock, and Fortification Hill. Descend into the Grand Canyon for a unique landing 3,500 feet below the rim to enjoy this once in a lifetime experience. Conclude today's adventure with a flight back over the dazzling Las Vegas strip.

  • Collect your car to begin your California road trip. Today’s four and a half hour journey takes you past the serene Mojave National Preserve. Enveloped by its rugged beauty, you'll witness the landscape change as the vast desert expands, opening up to Joshua trees, and unique rock formations. Upon reaching Palm Springs, you'll be greeted by an oasis of luxury and relaxation. This desert paradise boasts palm-lined streets, stylish boutique shops, and panoramic mountain views; the perfect balance of rejuvenation and exploration.

  • In Palm Springs, a day at leisure promises endless possibilities. Soak up the Southern Californian sun lounging around the pool at your hotel or explore the town’s vibrant art scene. With over fifty golf courses in the area, there is an excellent chance to enjoy a round of golf on a course designed by the likes of Jack Nicklaus or Arnold Palmer. The natural landscapes around Palm Springs are perfect for adventure, and we recommend embarking on a scenic hike in the nearby San Jacinto Mountains for the best views over the area. You can easily take the cable car to the top of the mountain if you’d prefer an easier ascent. This evening try one of the area’s many exquisite restaurants that offer worldwide cuisine, created using the freshest Californian ingredients.

  • Head north from Palm Springs on today's tour to Joshua Tree National Park, a truly unique wilderness area. Your experienced jeep driver will traverse a rugged trail from the Colorado Desert to the Mojave Desert, reaching over 4000 feet in elevation. Once you’re in the National Park you’ll marvel at the unspoiled desert vistas, spectacular rock formations, and diverse plant and animal life. Explore the park's outstanding geology and one of a kind botany, as you wind through the landscapes of Joshua Tree.

  • Begin today with a leisurely breakfast at your hotel, before enjoying a captivating guided architecture tour in Palm Springs. Delve into the city's rich mid-century modern design legacy, as your expert guide unveils iconic structures and local hidden gems.

  • Set off further south on today’s picturesque drive between Palm Springs and La Jolla, which will take around three hours but can be longer if you choose to stop along the way. There are several places we can recommend to break up the drive. Temecula Valley, is famed for its wine production, but even if you aren’t drinking you can enjoy the scenic rolling hills. Another place to visit is the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, which has a huge variety of unique plant and wildlife. Once you’re at the coast you’ll enjoy sweeping ocean views at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve before arriving into La Jolla, a small oceanside community in the north of San Diego.

  • Begin your day first day in San Diego with a refreshing stroll along the beach, taking in the soothing sounds of crashing waves and the invigorating sea breeze. Today, you’ll set off on an exciting whale watching trip, where you can witness majestic marine creatures in their natural habitat.

  • For your final day in San Diego, start with a visit to Balboa Park, where you can immerse yourself in its cultural offerings. Explore museums, lush gardens, and historic architecture, followed by a delightful lunch at one of the park's charming cafes. In the afternoon, head downtown to experience the USS Midway museum or hop on and off one of the local trolley tours. For golf enthusiasts, we can highly recommend a round at the world-renowned Torrey Pines Golf Course, which boasts wild coastal views and challenging fairways.

  • On your last morning in San Diego, head over to the famed Coronado island to enjoy a delightful breakfast experience overlooking the ocean. Wander along the golden sands as you pass the famous Hotel del Coronado and enjoy the morning on the beach before catching your flight home later this afternoon.

  • Arrive home today to complete your journey.

Accommodation options

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

What our clients say about us

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The specialist who designs your trip to the USA 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)
Las Vegas
Palm Springs
San Diego

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