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Holiday Season on the California Riviera

Plus Los Angeles & Palm Springs
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  many landmarks of Los Angeles and  Hollywood such as Walt Disney Hall, old downtown LA,  Walk of Fame, Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills and we’ll visit the Getty Centre with it’s world class Art collection, stunning views and unique architecture. 

DANA POINT (9 nights) The seaside town of Dana Point is ideally located between Los Angeles and San Diego on the California Riviera. Set in a natural cove between dramatic cliffs and the clear waters of the Pacific, it is the perfect place to enjoy strolling in the parks along the shoreline and enjoying the beauty of the ocean. The town hosts a large marina with yachts and pleasure boats- some offering whale watching, as well as 2 tropical-style shopping villages with many restaurants. We will stay at the Marina Inn – a charming hotel with a relaxed atmosphere, perfectly situated close to the water, shops and restaurants. The spacious rooms offer either a balcony or patio close to the heated swimming pool. 

Touring Highlights on the California Riviera    
• Laguna and Newport Beach    
• The Mission Inn Festival of Lights    
• A trolley tour of San Diego    
• Historic San Juan Capistrano.

PALM SPRINGS (5 nights). This oasis in the desert, popular for its’ healing mineral waters has became a retreat for many. From Hollywood stars to US Presidents, the “Rich and Famous” continue to find the unique location of Palm Spring’s surrounded by splendid mountains, canyons and palm trees, along with its warm and balmy year-round weather, a wonderful place to visit.

Touring Highlights from Palm Springs    
• “Rich and Famous” tour    
• Indian Canyons    
• Joshua Tree National Park 

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, enjoy the celebrations of the holiday with your fellow travelers followed by a visit to the “Festival of Lights” at an  historic landmark.  The  festival features an illumination of 5.5 million lights, animated characters, the world’s largest human made mistletoe, romantic horse-drawn carriage rides and vendors selling holliday treats are all part of this    long-standing California tradition. Our holiday dinner will be on the premises. 
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.  
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.
A full-day tour to San Diego - birthplace of California. We will discover the city’s old and new - Point Loma, Cabrillo  National Monument, Mission Bay, Balboa Park and a walking tour of Old Town where the first Europeans settled. Old Town is rich with historic architecture, museums and galleries.  
We depart Dana Point and head for Palm Springs. Upon arrival we will enjoy an orientation tour before checking into our centrally-located hotel. 
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 starstudded 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, followed by a wonderful matinee performance. 
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. Your Tour Manager will be on hand with suggestions. This evening is our Farewell Dinner. 
We fly home direct from Los Angeles.
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