8. San Francisco: 6-Day Excursion of Southwestern United States
Enjoy a 6-day excursion departing from San Francisco to some of the best sites in the Southwestern United States! Your first day will begin with an exploration of San Francisco, including a cruise in the bay, a visit to the Golden Gate Bridge, and China Town, before heading off to your first night in Modesto at the Best Western Palm Court Inn. Your second day, if it is the summer, will be spent exploring Yosemite National Park, a 1,200 square mile wonderland of forests, lakes and waterfalls located in the Sierra Nevada. Here you'll be able to witness such iconic sites as the highest waterfall in North America at Yosemite Falls, El Capitan, Bridal-Viel Falls and the Half Dome. In the winter, the route will explore Monterrey (including the wharf and Cannery Row), then a visit to Hearst Castle, filled with antiques and amazing stories of the rich and famous how have frequented the grounds. Following an exciting day in Yosemite or Big Sur, you will head south toward Las Vegas, where you'll spend the night at the Comfort Suites Stevenson Ranch.
Your third day will take you east through the dessert and Death Valley National Park, toward the gambling capital of the world: Las Vegas. You will have time following lunch to shop at the outlet mall in Barstow, before continuing onto the Las Vegas Strip to explore some of the most glamorous hotels and venues in the world including Ceasar's Palace, Luxor, Mirage, Paris, the Venetian, Bellagio, New York New York, Treasure Island and more. The evening will conclude at one of the world-class shows, and a chance to try your hand at one of the casinos before spending the night in the Ling Hotel.
On your fourth day you'll travel south through the desert toward one of the seven wonders of the world: the Grand Canyon. Tour along the south bank and learn how throughout the years the Colorado River carved its way down to the sea and created the wonderland for geologists. After lunch you will continue east along the canyon stopping at some of the many native American market places to browse the handmade arts and crafts, before settling in for the night at the Clarion Inn Page.
Your fifth day will begin with a tour of the Lower Antelope Canyon and a visit the spectacular dunes created by the wind, water and sand. You will then head west to Bryce Canyon, home to the most amazing natural sculptures of the world. The tour will take you to see amazing rock and sand sculptures honed to perfection over thousands of years of rain wind and sunshine. Experience the unique changing of the colors during the sunset from one of the vista points in the park (may change due to changing sunset times). Following this action packed day, settle in at the Days Inn in Kanab or the Comfort Inn in Cedar City, depending on the time of year.
Your sixth and final day will take you to Zion National Park. This park got its name from the Mormon’s who settled in the area. They gave it this name after claiming that visiting the park is like a religious experience, the majesty of the mountains and silence of the wilderness make you feel like you have been transported to another place. Tour the park and enjoy a short walking trail along the Virgin River that runs through the park, before leaving this amazing area for an early evening arrival in Las Vegas, with an option for a late night return to Los Angeles.