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California Split

2 Centre Holiday San Diego and Palm Springs
California is one of North America's most popular holiday destinations for obvious reasons ... pleasant weather, beautiful scenery and so many things to do.
San Diego. The sparkling oceanside city has a wonderful climate year-round and is great for sightseeing with its lovely parks, numerous bays and beaches, museums and art galleries, superb restaurants, excellent shopping and close proximity to Mexico. Our hotel (6 nights) will be the Hacienda Hotel Old Town - in a classic Spanish and Southwestern setting surrounded by colourful courtyards, patios and lush landscaping. The hotel is located in the heart of Old Town - an historic part of the city with many restored buildings, old adobe structures, restaurants, cafes and shops – a wonderful place in which to stroll.

Highlights in San Diego: 

   • San Diego Zoo – a world-renowned icon for 100 years, considered one of the finest in the world
   • Harbour Cruise - perfect way to see the sights, from historic landmarks to marine wildlife
   • Temecula - historic town surrounded by vineyards 
Palm Springs.  The desert resort town is surrounded by splendid mountains, canyons, and countless palm trees.  The desert’s natural beauty coupled with a warm dry climate and clean air makes this the perfect winter getaway. Our hotel (7 nights) is the Palm Mountain Resort and Spa, located in the heart of downtown, just steps away from the famed Palm Canyon Drive with its great restaurants, quaint shops, boutiques, galleries, and casino.

Highlights in Palm Springs:

   • Natural wonders of Indian Canyon and Joshua Tree National Park
   • Living Desert Museum - a desert botanical garden and zoo located in Palm Desert
   • Theatre - professional produced Broadway musical 
Our last overnight will be in Los Angeles, including a tour of the city and Hollywood.
* All hotels have heated swimming pools, whirlpool and fitness rooms, or Health Club privileges nearby.

Itinerary / Excursions

We depart for Los Angeles. Upon arrival we’ll drive along the legendary Pacific Coast Highway with its stunning ocean views (and an included lunch en route) to our centrally located hotel in San Diego.
A full day tour of San Diego and the surrounding area, which will take in Point Loma, Cabrillo National Monument, Mission Bay, Balboa Park and the Old Town. Dinner this evening is at a local restaurant.
This morning we hop on the trolley in Old Town and ride to the waterfront, where we board a narrated cruise on one of the local pleasure crafts touring San Diego Harbour and Shelter Island. On the cruise we will see Point Loma, North Island Naval Station, the Submarine Base, as well as the Coronado Bridge and much more.
As the Mexican border is just a tram ride away, today our guide will touch on the rich history, traditions, culture of Mexico, and how it has influenced San Diego and Southern California. Then we’ll board the trolley and head over to the Mission San Diego de Alcala - the first mission founded by the Franciscans in “Upper California”, and sometimes referred to as the “Plymouth Rock of the West Coast”. The road connecting the missions was known as the El Camino Real, or “The Royal Highway”!
There is much to see and do, especially since your hotel is located in Old Town. You may want to return to Balboa Park’s art galleries, museums, theatres and restaurants, or to Seaport Village – a charming area with a boardwalk, horse-drawn carriages and an 1890 carousel.
This morning we visit the world famous San Diego Zoo, with its renowned 100-acre botanical gardens which is home to more than 777 species of 3,200 animals. A guided bus tour covers most of the zoo grounds and aerial trams allow you to view the animals from a higher altitude. The zoo is classified as a must-see, and one of the world’s finest.
We leave San Diego, and make our first stop and visit in the quaint historic town of Temecula. The town is in an area known as “Southern California’s Citrus and Wine Country”, as there have been hundreds of award-winning wines produced by the 35 wineries in the area. After some free time in town we’ll visit a winery for a Tour and Tasting, as well as a picnic lunch. After our visit we proceed to Palm Springs.
On our morning guided tour we experience the world of the ‘rich and famous’. Relive Hollywood’s golden era as you pass by the former homes of such stars as Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Clark Gable, Bob Hope, Liberace and Frank Sinatra, to name a few. We’ll also enjoy a casual nature hike into the famous Indian Canyon - a lush oasis located within desert scenery. Since the Coachella Valley here is known as the Date Capital, later we will visit a Date Garden!
A morning at leisure to enjoy the spa, shop in town, take a swim in the heated pools or just relax. In the afternoon we’ll enjoy an entertaining performance at one of the local theatres, followed by dinner at a local restaurant.
Another free day to enjoy Palm Springs. One evening per week there is a weekly colourful street fair with craft stalls and food stands.
We visit the Living Desert Museum, where we will enjoy a guided tram tour through this unique wildlife and botanical park. Lunch is included.
Today we visit the stunning Joshua Tree National Park - a veritable treasury of wildlife and plants. The wildflowers, palm groves, colourful canyons, surreal geological features and breathtaking vistas make this one of the world’s richest living museums. Lunch is included.
A final day at leisure in Palm Springs.
We proceed to Los Angeles, where we’ll first have some free time at the Farmer’s Market. Then on our city tour we’ll pass by famous sights such as Rodeo Drive, Sunset Strip, Beverly Hills, Hollywood and more. A walking tour will take us into the heart of Hollywood to see the famous celebrity hand and foot prints on the Walk of Fame, and also Awards Walk - home to the Academy Awards. Tonight is our Farewell Dinner!
It's a sad farewell to the West Coast as we transfer to the airport for our flight home.
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