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California Highlights (Until Dec 2016)
SAVE UP TO 15% on this tour

See what the Golden State of California has to offer! From the City by the Bay known as San Francisco to the beachside city of Santa Barbara to the entertainment capital of the world Los Angeles, get the full experience of California. And if you're still beggin' for more, be sure to check out the Western Highlights tour where you'll see one of the awe-inspiring natural world wonders (the Grand Canyon in Arizona) and indulge in your guilty pleasures in sin city Las Vegas.

North America

Duration: 7 Days Guaranteed Departure: Yes
For lovers of: Physical rating: Easy
Accommodation standard:   Budget% Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
Your Guide: English speaking Tour code: 160223
Starts: Las Vegas, United States Finishes: Burbank, United States
You will visit
  • Las Vegas
  • Bass Lake
  • Yosemite National Park
  • San Francisco

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Arrive Las Vegas

This afternoon, meet up with your Contiki crew and Tour Manager in larger-than-life Las Vegas – a manmade entertainment oasis smack in the middle of the desert. 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. Get a real feel for this outrageous town and keep an eye out for Elvis impersonators and fast-paced chapel weddings! Explore 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 an “only in Vegas” experience, choose our optional Las Vegas show. Then get some pointers on Las Vegas’ hot spots from your Trip Manager and make the most of this towns’ 24/7 action with some of your travel buddies. Please note: Departures from April 12th 2016, will feature an altered itinerary and will be 7 days instead of 8, going straight from San Francisco to Los Angeles on Day 7.

02

Day 2: Las Vegas to Bass Lake

Today, it’s a total change of scene when leave behind flashy Vegas and the desert to arrive in the outdoor capital of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Make the most of picturesque Bass Lake and wind down in your chalet. With two nights at this lakefront resort, you can unpack your things, kickback on your chalet’s deck and soak up the views.

03

Day 3: Yosemite National Park

Get back to nature with a day in Yosemite National Park. This place has a reputation for a reason – it’s absolutely stunning. With a dramatic combination of waterfalls, woods, towering mountains and wildlife, Yosemite will take your breath away. Keep an eye out and a camera handy in case you’re lucky enough to see black bears, deer and coyotes. Your Trip Manager will tell you all about Yosemite as you check out the massive El Capitan rock and the sheerest cliff in the USA, Half Dome. It’s guaranteed to impress. You’ll also see the breathtaking Yosemite and Bridalveil Falls. Add to your time here and hike or bike along the park’s trails to experience this unique environment first hand and close up. Tonight, if the weather is good, cook up a BBQ on your chalet’s deck and enjoy eating under the open night sky.

04

Day 4: Bass Lake to San Francisco

Cruise on through the San Joaquin Valley to free-wheeling San Francisco, via Oakland. Colourful, 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 Trip 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. This afternoon, take it down a notch & soak up the sunset on out included catamaran cruise around San Francisco Bay.

05

Day 5-6: San Francisco

With a couple of days 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. Thriving with activity, Chinatown is a fun, kitsch experience. Choose the optional trip there with your Trip 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. 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.

06

Day 7: San Francisco to Los Angeles

This morning you can choose to end your adventure in San Francisco or head south and finish up in Los Angeles.

Inclusions:
      Accommodation
    • 6 nights accommodation: 2 nights in at the Pines Resort overlooking Bass Lake, 4 nights in twin share hotels
    • An experienced & professional Trip Manager & Driver team
    • Modern, air-conditioned coach with powerpoints for charging
      Staff
    • An experienced & professional Trip Manager & Driver team
      Food
    • 9 meals: 4 breakfasts & 5 dinners
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Tour Highlights:
  • Experience some of the world's largest hotels & casinos
  • Non-stop nightlife
  • Las Vegas Limo Ride
  • See the famous Joshua Trees
  • Relax in the stunning mountain paradise of Bass Lake - swim, catch some rays & enjoy watersports (seasonal)
  • See Yosemite's famous rock formations, El Capitan & Half Dome
  • See incredible Yosemite & Bridalveil Falls
  • Hike around Yosemite Valley's Park trails (seasonal)
  • 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
  • Sit back, chill & enjoy the San Fran sunset on a catamaran cruise