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Western USA Circuit Overview
Travel from San Francisco to see the highlights of western America. Visit Sonoma for some wine tasting, roll the dice in Las Vegas, stand in awe of the Grand Canyon and walk across the Golden Gate Bridge.
- 2015-01-01 - 2015-12-31
Discover the glories of the West on an exciting round-trip journey from San Francisco
When travelling on the Western USA Circuit, discover gourmet delights in California, beat the unruly heat of the Nevada desert, feel the call of the wild in Utah and engage with some small-town locals in Arizona. Then take the road back to the coast to finish up in vibrant San Francisco. A journey of epic proportions, see all the icons of the West, including the Grand Canyon, Yosemite National Park, the Golden Gate Bridge and, of course, the fabulous lights of Las Vegas.
What's included in this trip
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The chilled-out, cosmopolitan city of San Francisco deserves more than a sweet sampler. To check out all the spectacular sights of the city, including incredible Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge, come to town a few days early.
Small but historically significant, Sonoma is the site of the rebellion which saw California break away from Mexico and become part of the US. It’s also home to some of the best wineries around and the final resting place of the great Jack London.
One of America’s most spectacular national parks (and there are quite a few!), Yosemite offers cascading waterfalls, dramatic cliffs, deep valleys, lush vistas and some of the biggest trees on the planet. Perhaps hike out to tranquil Mirror Lake or the impressive Nevada Falls. Keep your eyes peeled for squirrels and maybe even the odd bear along the way.
Journey to the Giant Forest, where sequoia trees tower over you like skyscrapers. Sequoias are the largest living tree, and organism, on the planet, which makes a walk through here one jaw-dropping experience. If you can draw your eyes away from the leafy towers, keep an eye out for some local natives, including foxes, bobcats, skunks and even the occasional black bear.
Leave the lush green behind and head into the heat of the desert. Death Valley, despite its sombre name, buzzes with life and offers an array of geological phenomena – from volcanic craters to isolated valleys. Endure the heat and venture out for a walk on the incredible salt flats.
Cross the border into Nevada to discover the extravagant, glitzy city of Las Vegas. Best known as the gambling capital of the world, there is plenty more to do in this bustling neon city than just play the roulette wheel. Explore everything ‘The Strip’ has to offer – from dance clubs and amusements rides to ‘all you can eat’ buffets.
With its rugged red cliffs, stunning waterfalls and mystical pools, Zion National Park is one of the most spectacular and dramatic landscapes in the southwest. Hike up to the Emerald Pools, or maybe dare the knife-edge ridgeline of ‘Angel’s Landing’ for extraordinary panoramic views of the park.
With a shoreline that stretches further than the western coast of the US, Lake Powell is a geographical gem and a paradise for water sport fanatics. Perhaps hit the water on a kayak or boat, or don some flippers and go for a swim. Or just chill out in one of the many sandstone coves. Spend the evening in a ranch hand’s bunkhouse and discover your inner cowboy.
The backdrop to countless westerns, Monument Valley is part of the biggest Indian reservation in the US and home to more than 200,000 Navajo Indians. Admire the valley’s enormous sandstone pillars and witness how the movement of the sun changes the colour of this incredible landscape.
Up to 29 km wide, nearly 450 km long and over 1.6 km deep, the Grand Canyon is one of the most remarkable natural wonders in the world. Those keen to explore on foot can stroll along the South Rim Trail or trek down to Plateau Point. Alternatively, opt for a scenic flight over this phenomenal landmark.
Situated on the edge of Prescott National Forest, Arizona’s former capital and one-time hotspot for notorious outlaws is now a charming little township. Head down for a drink at one of the many bars or saloons on Whiskey Row and maybe catch some live music.
From Venice Beach to Disneyland, the 'City of Angels’ is a genuine smorgasbord for the senses. Be immersed in the vibe of the city; people watch in Beverley Hills, shop like a star on Rodeo Drive, stare up at the Hollywood sign or chase down one of the city’s delicious food trucks like a true local.
Take a train up the Californian coast to the ‘American Riviera’, Santa Barbara. With its Mediterranean climate, beautiful white beaches and Spanish Colonial-style architecture, it’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy a free afternoon. Explore the coastline by bike, foot or rollerblade, or just sit and enjoy a beer by the bay.
Reportedly the happiest place in the US, San Luis Obispo offers a thriving arts scene and a multitude of outdoor activities. Perhaps hike up to Bishop Peak for a panoramic view of the city or explore the many chic cafes and boutiques around town. With a smile, of course.
The attractive coastal town of Monterey is a gateway to one of the world's most diverse marine ecosystems. Explore the waters by kayak, visit the aquarium, sample the delicious local seafood or venture down the coast to admire impressive landscapes.
Head north to the ‘City by the Bay’. A relaxed, charming city offering a feast of iconic sights, San Fran is one of the most visited places in the world. Discover some quirky art at SoMa, check out The Castro or meander down to Fisherman’s Wharf.
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