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Holiday Season on the California Riviera

Plus Los Angeles & Palm Springs, USA
Southern California - so much to do and see, an excellent climate year-round and the spectacular scenery of coastline and desert. 
LOS ANGELES (1 night).  We’ll see  well known  landmarks of Los Angeles and Hollywood such as Walt Disney Hall, Walk of Fame, Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills and the Getty Centre with its art collection and stunning views.

DANA POINT (9 nights). The seaside town of Dana Point is ideally located between Los Angeles and San Diego on the California Riviera. It is set in a cove between dramatic cliffs and the clear waters of the Pacific - a perfect place to stroll the parks along the shoreline and enjoy the beauty of the ocean. The town hosts a large marina with pleasure boats- some offering whale watching, as well as 2 tropical-style shopping villages with many restaurants, and a unique historic core (Lantern Village). Highlights of our touring here will include Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, the Mission Inn Festival of Lights (one of           America’s largest collection of lights), San Diego and       historic San Juan Capistrano and it’s iconic mission. We will stay at the Marina Inn - a charming, informal hotel with a relaxed atmosphere, perfectly situated near the ocean, shops and  restaurants. The spacious rooms offer either a balcony or patio near the heated swimming pool. 

PALM SPRINGS (5 nights). A resort oasis with sunny weather year-round, that lures the rich and famous, and the nature lover. Around Palm Springs are canyons,  splendid mountains and countless palm trees. Our hotel, the Palm Mountain Resort and Spa, is in the heart of town, just steps away from the famed Palm Canyon Drive with its great boutiques, restaurants, galleries and casinos. The hotel has a heated outdoor pool, and whirlpool.

Itinerary / Excursions

We depart for Los Angeles, where we are met and transferred to our centrally located hotel.
Our full-day tour includes downtown LA and Olvera Street (oldest section of LA), Beverly Hills, Sunset Boulevard, the Farmers’ Market and a walk along the Hollywood Walk of Fame. We will enjoy a tour of the Getty Center - home to one of the world’s largest art collections. The Centre has unique architecture and gardens that offer breathtaking views of the mountains and ocean! After our tour we continue to Dana Point for our 9-night stay.
Our Orientation Tour of the area includes a visit to the Ocean Institute, where we can observe ocean animals in their natural habitat.
We travel along the picturesque California Riviera, and first enjoy a casual harbour cruise at Newport Beach. After a stop in the artistic resort town of Laguna, we’ll visit Sherman Gardens - a museum devoted to the study of the local flora and fauna.
Morning at leisure. In the afternoon, we step back to the time of Dickens to enjoy our Carolers’ “Heavenly Voices” dazzle us with their holiday musical arrangements. In the evening, we enjoy a special Christmas Eve dinner!
 Today we enjoy Holiday celebrations with our fellow travellers, followed by a visit to the “Festival of Lights”, featuring an illumination of 5.5 million lights, animated characters, winter decorations, the world’s largest human made mistletoe, romantic horse-drawn carriage rides and vendors selling hot chocolate and more - all part of this long-standing California tradition. Our holiday dinner will be here.
Enjoy the natural beauty of the area. Stroll on the endless beaches, take a cruise and discover the whales or Catalina Island, or perhaps a little shopping at the local shops? Your Tour Manager will be on hand for suggestions.
A full-day tour to San Diego – the birthplace of California. We will discover the city’s old and new – Point Loma, Cabrillo National Monument, Mission Bay, Balboa Park and we’ll have a walking tour of Old Town where the first Europeans settled. Old Town today is rich with historic architecture, museums, galleries and more. A light lunch is included.
Close by is the Mission San Juan Capistrano - one of the most important of the 18th century Franciscan missions. The mission is known for its legendary cliff swallows, which migrate from Argentina to San Juan Capistrano in large groups each year! After some free time in the town, we head off to one of the Shopping Centers for browsing or shopping.
We depart Dana Point and head for our lunch matinee performance prior to arrival in Palm Springs. Tonight is the city’s famous “Village Fest”, a street fair featuring arts, crafts, food and entertainment!
Since the 1930’s, Palm Springs has been the playground of the rich and famous.  On today’s “Rich and Famous” Tour we’ll visit famous neighbourhoods of star-studded homes such as Las Palmas with its vast collection of fascinating architecture. We’ll hear stories and secrets of the stars that frequented here like Bing Crosby, Hedy Lamarr, Elvis Presley, the Rat Pack, Marilyn Monroe, Liz Taylor, Zsa Zsa Gabor and more! We’ll enjoy a gentle hike into the beautiful Indian Canyons, and as the Coachella Valley is known as the Date Capital, we’ll visit a date garden. This evening we enjoy a special New Years Eve Dinner with party favours, champagne and celebrations!
A leisurely day with an included lunch at a local restaurant.
Today we visit the stunning Joshua Tree National Park - a veritable treasury of wildlife and plants. The wildflowers, palm groves, colourful canyons, unique geological features and breathtaking vistas make this one of the world’s richest living museums. Lunch is included.
Our final day in Palm Springs, followed by our Farewell Dinner tonight.
We fly home direct from Los Angeles.
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