Yosemite, Sequoia, Grand Canyon
14 Nights From €1499 (Per Person)
Fly Drive Holidays
Los Angeles (California) - Palm Springs (California) -Phoenix (Arizona) - Tucson (Arizona) - Flagstaff (Arizona) - Grand Canyon (Arizona) - Death Vaslley (Nevada) - Yosemite National Park (California) - San Francisco (California) - San Luis Obispo (California) - Los Angeles (California)
They can’t all be wrong. Millions of overseas travelers take a grand tour of the West every year, more than any other trip in the United States. They come to see the majestic Grand Canyon, stand in awe of the waterfalls at Yosemite, descend to the depths of Death Valley and follow the crashing waves along the Pacific Coast Highway. They also live large in Los Angeles and leave their hearts in San Francisco like so many others before them. If you can only take one trip to the United States, this is it!
Los Angeles is America’s largest urban area. It’s the heart of the entertainment industry, but also boasts some of the best museums in the country. Contrast sprawling Los Angeles with compact Phoenix, which sits in the Valley of the Sun where millenniums of wind and water have transformed the desert into a magical landscape. The massive peaks jutting out of lush green redwood forests in Yosemite National Park vie for standing with the Grand Canyon National Park, the granddaddy of all American icons. Some consider the Pacific Coast Highway, which San Francisco and Los Angeles, to be America’s most scenic road. You’ll marvel as you drive along at the craggy coasts that appear to plunge directly into the sea and at William Randolph Hearst’s 167 room “camp,” perched high on a hill overlooking the sparkling Pacific Ocean.
But wait, there’s more! Death Valley National Park not only marks the lowest point on the North American continent, but also offers up some of the most unusual scenery anywhere. You can take it all in on Artist’s Drive. The boulders in Joshua Tree National Park appear to have been placed by giants ever so long ago. Saguaro National Park in Tucson boasts the largest of its namesake cacti in the world. Near Flagstaff, you’ll visit a crater that resembles the surface of the moon. Throughout this journey, we are confident that you will marvel at the majestic landscapes and be inspired by some of America’s most impressive and beloved National Parks. This really is a trip of a lifetime.
View Fly Drive USA - Awesome National Parks in a larger map
Day 1: Arrive Los Angeles
Los Angeles is Hollywood and all the other wonderful Southern California things you’ve heard about! Be sure to visit the Getty Center to enjoy the spectacular views overlooking Los Angeles as well as the great art collection. Take Sunset Boulevard from Hollywood to Beverly Hills and shop Rodeo Drive. You’ll be returning to Los Angeles at the end of your trip, so if relaxation and not exploration is in order today, take the afternoon off and find a great place for dinner.
Day 2: Palm Springs
Palm Springs is a true oasis in the California desert. For a great view over the city, do the “Ride and Dine” on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway. An absolute must see is Joshua Tree National Park, an immense reserve of nearly 800,000 acres with gigantic boulders that appear to have been placed one on top of the other by giants. A myriad of Joshua trees are set starkly against this backdrop. If it rains in the desert, get ready for teeming flora and fauna.
Day 3: Phoenix
As soon as you reach Phoenix, the Valley of the Sun starts to beckon. This is “high desert”, where the sun shines an average of 325 days a year. Heritage Square and parts of Scottsdale are the only remaining groups of structures left from the city’s original settlement in the late 1800s. The Heard Museum reveals incredible insights about the lives of the Native Americans who inhabited the Arizona territory for millenniums. Cooper Square is 90 blocks of urban lifestyle, attractions, shops and restaurants in the heart of the city. You can also stroll the Desert Botanical Garden and the Boyce Thompson Arboretum, climb Piestewa Peak, hike in South Mountain Park and experience Rawhide Western Town.
Day 4: Explore Phoenix or Tucson
On your second day in Phoenix, we suggest you explore Tucson, which was founded before the American Revolution. The city has grown from a dusty frontier town to a Southwestern metropolis of a million people with a postcard image of cactus forests, rolling hills and awe-inspiring mountains. The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum has living exhibits that include more than 1,300 types of plants and 300 species of animals. The DeGrazia Gallery in the Sun is a landmark of both art and architecture. For Western history buffs, gunfights take place daily at the O.K. Corral. And not to be missed is Saguaro National Park, home of the quintessential southwestern cactus.
Day 5: Flagstaff
Today as you move north through “red rock” country, don’t be surprised by the twisted, craggy shapes jutting straight out of the earth. Some of the West’s most beautiful scenery surrounds Flagstaff, from the alpine forests of San Francisco Peaks to the rugged deserts of nearby Native American nations. Flagstaff also boasts Lowell Observatory, the Museum of Northern Arizona, the Arizona Snowbowl ski resort, Pioneer Historical Museum, Riordan Mansion, and genuine Route 66 nostalgia.
Day 6: Grand Canyon
At 277 miles long, 6,000 feet deep and 15 miles across at its widest point, the Grand Canyon is one of the seven wonders of the world. The canyon rim is only a short stroll from the Canyon View Information Plaza, and Hermit Road takes you to great views of the river at Hermit’s Rest, Hopi, Mohave and Pima Points. Be sure to drive 25-mile scenic Desert View Drive, which delivers the best panoramic views of the canyon at Moran Point, Lipan Point, and Desert View. Or, take a 30 minute flight over the canyon for the best view of all.
Day 7: Explore Grand Canyon
Spend one more day exploring this natural wonder. Consider venturing over to the West Rim to step out on the new glass-bottom Grand Canyon Skywalk.
Day 8: Death Valley
Death Valley National Park is the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere and one of the hottest places on earth. A quick rainstorm, though, can turn the vast acres of desert, surrounded by forest and snow covered mountains peaks, into a field of wildflowers and just as fast, the searing heat transforms the landscape back to desert. Take 9-mile Artist’s Drive for the best scenery in the lower portion of Death Valley and explore Scotty’s Castle, actually built by a Chicago millionaire, in the more northern reaches of the park.
Day 9: Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park has been voted a World Heritage Site – a treasure to be preserved at any cost – and as soon as you arrive, you’ll understand why. Majestic mountains, towering redwoods, streaming waterfalls and other awesome natural features await you at every turn. Make a point of visiting the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias and exploring Yosemite Valley before zigzaging your way across the park on the Tioga Road/Big Flat Road National Scenic Byway. From a scenery standpoint, it doesn’t get much better than this.
Day 10: Explore Yosemite National Park
Enjoy another day of exploring this natural wonder of mammoth redwoods and lush old growth forest.
Day 11: San Francisco
You can get to know San Francisco quickly on the Barbary Coast Trail, which connects 20 of the city’s most important historic sites. Be sure to visit Fisherman’s Wharf, Ghirardelli Square and Nob Hill, which was once an inaccessible backwater where four rich industrialists built their mansions high above the city. Consider an evening trip to Alcatraz, an island with a story that goes well beyond its famous prison.
Day 12: Explore San Francisco
Spend another day enjoying this wonderful city. Visit the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which includes The Presidio, Muir Woods National Monument, and Alcatraz Island, or climb aboard historic ships and sailing vessels at the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. If you feel like venturing farther afield, take a tour of Napa and Sonoma wine country!
Day 13: Pacific Coast Highway to San Luis Obispo
As soon as you begin the journey down the Big Sur, you’ll marvel at the rocky windswept cliffs of the Pacific Coast Highway. Two official scenic byways, the San Luis Obispo North Coast Byway and the Big Sur Highway National Scenic Byway, pass by Julia Pfeiffer State Park, Andrew Molera State Park and Point Sur State Historic Park. San Simeon National Historical State Park is better known as the Hearst Castle, with its 158 room “camp” built by William Randolph Hearst. Nearer San Francisco, make time to stop in Monterey, with its quintessential California coast, and Carmel By The Sea, one of the best, if not the best “art town” in America.
Day 14: San Luis Obispo to Los Angeles
There are so many major attractions in Los Angeles that it’s hard to know where to start! Visit Grauman’s Chinese Theater, take a behind-the scenes tour of Universal Studios, visit the Armand Hammer Museum, California Heritage Museum, Autry National Center Museum of the American West, the Aquarium of the Pacific, Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens, California Science Center, Music Center, Japanese American National Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art Grand Avenue, the Simon Wiesenthal Center and so much more!
Day 15: Depart Los Angeles
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