You will visit: California, Arizona & Nevada, including San Diego, Phoenix, Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, Carpinteria & Los Angeles
Get to know the best of the West on this 2 week winter tour of California, Nevada & Arizona. Celeb spot in LA & go beach-side in San Diego. Marvel at the Grand Canyon, cruise down Route 66 & go wild in Vegas. Then lap up the mountain scene in Lake Tahoe and either hit the slopes or find some other mountainside activities to keep you entertained. Finish up your trip with a trolley ride in San Fran before heading back to LA. With so much to experience, this is one winter adventure you won’t want to miss.
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Top Offers & Tour Notes
Itinerary + Backstage Pass & ME Time Optionals
ME Time Optionals
ME Time optionals will take your trip to a whole new level with unforgettable experiences unique to the places you visit. See more, do more, live more & go home completely regret-free. Costs for these aren’t included in your tour cost & are payable to your Tour Manager in local currency.
Your Backstage Pass gives you incredible exclusive experiences you’ll only get with Contiki. From food to accommodation to exclusive access to the best sights, your Backstage Pass gives you unbeatable value & a completely unique travel experience.
Meet up with your Contiki crew and Tour Manager before cruising through Orange County and along the Pacific coastline to laid-back San Diego.
Get a feel for the city’s easy-going vibes with a look around San Diego’s vibrant neighborhoods. In Old Town, your Tour Manager will give you the story behind the original pueblo (village), with its Adobe buildings (made of brick, straw and mud) and show you the 19th century buildings of the Gaslamp Quarter's. You’ll also see Balboa Park, which holds the largest urban cultural park in the USA and the world-famous San Diego Zoo.
Tonight, make your first night on tour one to remember and get to know the group over dinner before heading out for a fun night exploring the Gaslamp District’s funky live music venues or one of the many cool bars.
- Drive through the O.C. & along the scenic Pacific Coast
- See downtown San Diego, the Gaslamp Quarter, Balboa Park, Coronado Island & Old Town San Diego
- Go loco as you feast on traditional Mexican cuisine
- Panoramic view of the city's skyline from Coronado Bridge
- Speedboat Adventure USD $61.00
With a full day in San Diego, live a bit of the California lifestyle and get into some outdoor activities. With 42 miles of beaches, a Mediterranean climate and loads of parks, San Diego is all about kicking back in the pleasant surrounds.
Otherwise, visit the San Diego Zoo, known for its conservation efforts and vast numbers of animals (over 4000) or head to SeaWorld, known for its fun marine animal shows.
If the weather is good, we’ll cruise out to the locals’ favorite spot, Mission Beach, for a few hours soaking up the sun or walking along the boardwalk for views of ocean. Don’t forget your towel and swimmers.
- Visit Mission Beach (weather permitting)
- San Diego Zoo USD $40.00
- Sea World USD $71.00
- Surf Lesson (Seasonal) USD $60.00
Things are about to get hotter as we head to Phoenix, a massive metropolis sitting smack in the middle of the desert. With around 300 days of sunshine per year, this place is all about shopping, sports and nightlife.
- Scenic drive through Cleveland National Forest, the Anza Borrego and Sonoran deserts
Kick start the day with an unforgettable optional excursion: a hot-air balloon ride over the Sonoran Desert and “Valley of the Sun”. The combination of full blown vistas over the desert and a champagne breakfast upon landing make this an amazing experience.
We continue deeper into the Wild West as we head to stunning Sedona. Chill out and watch the region’s recognizable red rock cliffs, rugged spires and mesas (flat-topped rock formations) go by from the coach. Your Tour Manager will tell you about this eco-friendly town that is also known for its high-energy red rocks.
There’s a chance to explore this stunning red rock country with our Local Guide on an optional 4WD tour through the historic canyons. Learn local legends and even pick up a piece of Native American jewelery.
We continue on to the mind-blowing landscape of the Grand Canyon, one of the world’s most recognizable natural wonders and pride of Arizona.
Hotel Breakfast, Dinner
- Drive the scenic route through "Red Rock" country
- Shop for Native American jewelery
- Drive through beautiful Oak Creek Canyon
- Visit Grand Canyon National Park
- Hot Air Balloon USD $167.00
- Jeep Tours USD $48.00
- IMAX Movie USD $11.00
A day here means time to take in the immensity and spine-tingling beauty of the scene-stealing Canyon – it has got a rep for a reason!
This morning get up close to this UNESCO World Heritage site on an optional helicopter ride and get another angle on the Canyon as you fly over it.
Hike along the South Rim for mind-blowing vistas of the dramatic scenery. See some of the oldest exposed rocks on earth, take in the deep abyss and soak up the wildness of the area. There are trails for all levels of hiking, so take it up a notch or cruise along at your own pace.
Wrap up the day with a canyon sunset and take in the stunning changes of light while the sun goes down.
- Hike along the Canyon's South Rim
- Capture incredible photos with a visit to a panoramic viewpoint
- Grand Canyon Biking (seasonal) USD $42.00
- Helicopter Flight - Imperial USD $265.00
- Helicopter Flight - North Canyon USD $195.00
Leaving behind the Grand Canyon, we stop off at Seligman, an historic Route 66 town. Get a feel for the old style as you check out 1940’s shop fronts and motels. Maybe pick up a souvenir for back home.
Then following a section of the legendary Route 66, we head north. With down time on the coach, plug in your MP3, catch on some sleep or chat with your friends.
Get ready to arrive in larger-than-life Las Vegas – a man-made entertainment oasis smack in the middle of the desert. Often dubbed Sin City, it’s all about glitz, neon lights, and excess.
See the bright lights of this city and its world-famous casinos in a first taste of Vegas kitsch as the group heads down the main drag, the “Strip”, and your Tour Manager fills you in on the story behind Vegas.
Then cruise downtown to Freemont Street and experience a slice of the spectacular at a light and laser show in a massive pedestrian mall.
Hotel Breakfast, Dinner
- Stop for photos & souvenirs along Route 66
- Evening tour of the famous Vegas 'Strip'
- Visit Fremont Street & see the light-and-laser show
- Group Photo USD $15.00
With a free day, you’ve got time to get a real feel for this outrageous town, so keep an eye out for Elvis impersonators and fast-paced chapel weddings!
Explore more of the Strip and check out over-the-top versions of international icons, like the Eiffel Tower, Venetian canals and gondolas, a Roman temple or the pyramid, whose nightlight can be seen from the moon. Try your luck at one of the casinos, sit yourself down at a blackjack table and watch the high-rollers or go for a ride at one of the casino’s theme-parks. If you work up an appetite, tuck into an all you can eat buffet, and lunch American style.
For something different, discover Las Vegas’ trademark art at the Neon Museum and for a look into this town’s atomic heyday in the 50s, visit the Atomic Testing Museum.
Tonight, get some pointers on Las Vegas’ hot spots from your Tour Manager and make the most of this towns’ 24/7 action with some of your new friends.
- Experience some of the world's largest hotels & casinos
- Live it up Vegas-style with a limo ride & champagne
- Non-stop nightlife
- V Theater USD $58.00
- Dinner & Cirque du Soliel - Zarkana *December departures onwards Show only USD$90.00 Category D seating) Dinner & Show $150.00
Leave behind the glitz, neon lights and excess as we head to the adventure capital of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Tahoe sits smack on the Nevada-California border and with blue lakes, green pines and tonnes of snow, it doesn’t come short on scenery. Settle into your hotel room and maybe stretch your legs down by the lake – it’s only a short walk.
- Scenic drive through the Sierra Nevada Mountains
- See famous Lake Tahoe
Get into the alpine action and hit the slopes of some world-class resorts over the next two days. Ski and board some supreme powder, or have a go at snowmobiling and explore more of the mountain in a fun optional adventure activity. With hundreds of miles of slopes, there’s something for everyone, so you can slow it down or pick up the pace.
Wind down after a day in the mountains with the group and kick back with a well-earned drink. Check out the movie theater back at the hotel or head into the center for a night out.
Try your luck at one of the casinos, sit yourself down at a blackjack table and watch the high-rollers. If you work up an appetite, tuck into a buffet and eat American style. Get some pointers on Tahoe’s hot spots from your Tour Manager and make the most of this town’s action.
Hotel Breakfast, Dinner
- Visit Lake Tahoe's South Shore
- 1 Day Lift Ticket - Heavenly USD $95.00 *subject to change
- 2 Day Lift Ticket - Heavenly USD $185.00 *subject to change
- Ski or Snowboard Lessons USD $135.00
- Snowmobiles USD $110.00
- Snowmobiling (2 People) USD $150.00
Today, cruise on through the San Joaquin Valley to free-wheeling San Francisco, via Oakland. Colorful, cosmopolitan and creative, San Francisco is packed with characters, free-thinkers, and artists. You’ll see the signs of its recent history where it served as the hub of the gold rush, as well as the center for Beatnik and Hippy cultures.
After crossing over the Bay Bridge for a panorama of the area, get familiar with this buzzing city as your Tour Manager shows you around San Francisco’s key sights. We stop off at Fisherman’s Wharf for a slice of the historic waterfront lifestyle, where you can order some fresh fish or crab from sidewalk stands. Cross San Francisco’s landmark suspension bridge, the Golden Gate, and check out the city’s iconic row houses on Alamo Square.
Thriving with activity, Chinatown is a fun, kitsch experience. Choose the optional trip there with your Tour Manager and see its hidden spots. Learn about the history of the gold rush as you walk through the bustling district, past traditional herb-sops, Buddhas, and flashing neon lights. Then eat together at one of its many authentic restaurants.
Hotel Breakfast, Dinner
- Cross the Oakland Bay & Golden Gate Bridges
- See North Beach, Chinatown, Golden Gate Park, Haight Ashbury & the city's iconic cable cars
- Visit Fisherman's Wharf
With a free day here, get a real feel for San Francisco and its hilly streets. Chalk up a local experience by jumping on a cable car and exploring the city.
If you’ve booked ahead of time, catch a ferry out to Alcatraz, the former island jail that once held A-list criminals like Al “Scarface” Capone, Soviet spies and crime bosses. Walk around the old cells and get the background on these bad boys.
You could turn back the clock to the “Summer of Love” with a visit to cool Haight-Ashbury, the centre point of 1960s alternative culture. Once packed with 75000 hippies, it now has chilled-out cafes, record stores, second hand clothes shops and bookstores to rummage through.
With over 3000 places to eat and drink, San Francisco has more choice per capita than anywhere else. Head to the city’s gritty Latin American quarter, Mission District, for Mexican tacos or El Salvadorian pupusas (corn flat breads stuffed with cheese, pork or beans) or hit North Beach for some Italian.
Hotel Breakfast, Dinner
- Bike the neighborhoods of San Francisco
- California Academy of Sciences USD $25.00
Today we leave San Francisco behind and continue traveling through California. This afternoon, we travel south along the central coast and through the pretty wine country of the region before arriving in Santa Barbara. Experience the Spanish flavor of Santa Barbara and see the pretty white stucco buildings and red tile roofs that give the town its distinctive feel. Hit the main drag of State Street, lined with palm trees and interesting coffee shops, bookstores, and diners. Well-known for its hot shopping, you can find anything from indie clothe boutiques to surfer chic, from locally-made accessories to big label brands. Golden beaches make Santa Barbara a great place to surf, swim or catch some sun. You can also rent bike or roller blades and look around town California style. Later, we arrive in Carpinteria for our overnight stop.
- Visit the famous Stearns Wharf, California's oldest working wharf
Wrap up your tour in the city that mixes up glamor, grit and the American Dream: Los Angeles. It’s packed with legends, full of energy and a bit rough around the edges.
We head to mythical Hollywood and onto holy ground for the stars. Check out the Dolby Theater, where the Oscars are held every year and the Chinese Theater, where so many greats have pressed their hands into the famous cement stars.
For a more in-depth look at movie star glamor and the lifestyles of the rich and famous, choose the optional movie stars’ home tour, where you’ll see over 40 mansions and learn about the celebrities who live in them.
For more history on Hollywood, choose our optional walking tour around the area. Our expert Local Guide will show you the old theaters of Hollywood Boulevard as the group walks down this legendary street. Follow the star-studded Walk of Fame, with its 2000 brass stars, and see the Egyptian Theater and El Capitan Theater.
Then it’s time to say farewell to your new friends, as your tour ends in downtown LA.
- See the Dolby Theater which is home every year to the star-studded Oscar Awards
- Visit Santa Monica and its famous pier
- See famous Malibu & its stunning coastline
- See the famous Hollywood sign, Mann's Chinese Theatre & Hollywood's Walk of Fame
- Hollywood Walking Tour USD $18.00
- TMZ Tour USD $64.00
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