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Holiday Season Southwest Explorer

• Phoenix  •  Grand Canyon  •  Las Vegas
• Palm Springs  •  Southern California 
On this leisurely Holiday Season tour we’ll enjoy the best of the American Southwest, with its dry, warm and sunny climate, spectacular landscapes, fascinating history and diverse culture. Our overnights are as follows:    

Las Vegas (2 nights). “The Entertainment Capital of the World”.  Our hotel, the First Class Bally’s Resort and Casino. is perfectly located on “The Strip”. The hotel has a tranquil spa area offering various treatments, and an outdoor pool surrounded by lush palm trees.
Grand Canyon (2 nights)  We stay in Flagstaff, and from here we’ll also visit Sedona - “Red Rock Country”.

Phoenix (4 nights). The “Valley of the Sun” is one of America’s most popular vacation areas with its spectacular desert scenery and mountains.  We will stay at the Embassy Suites by Hilton - Biltmore, located close to downtown Scottsdale – a lively pedestrian area with art galleries, boutiques and restaurants..

Palm Springs (3 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.
California Riviera (4 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 natural cove between dramatic cliffs and the clear waters of the Pacific - the perfect place to stroll in the parks along the shoreline and enjoy 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, informal 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.

All hotels offer spacious rooms with complimentary WIFI, fitness/exercise rooms, heated outdoor pools and some have Jacuzzis.

Itinerary / Excursions

We depart on our direct flight to Las Vegas, and transfer to our hotel located right on “The Strip”. Our Welcome Dinner is tonight.
We begin with a visit to scenic Red Rock Canyon - a striking contrast to the nearby big city of lights. After our scenic drive by dramatic sandstone rock formations, we return to the city and see Glitter Gulch – the older downtown section, and “The Strip” with all its theme hotels. Volcanoes, a spectacular water fountain show and replicas of the Colosseum, the Eiffel Tower and Pyramids are some of the sites here! After some free time in the afternoon, we’ll enjoy a production of “Vegas! The Show” - the story of how it all began with Las Vegas legends such as The Rat Pack, Gladys Knight & The Pips and Tom Jones.
We drive across the Mojave Desert past the famous Hoover Dam and beautiful Lake Mead to Flagstaff, Arizona for a 2-night stay.
A full-day tour to the magnificent Grand Canyon. There will be free time to wander along the brink of the chasm and marvel at the spectacular views of one of the Great Natural Wonders of the World, whose walls change hue all day with every change of light!
We proceed to the magnificent Red Rock town of Sedona. A guided tour will show us the spectacular scenery including Oak Creek Canyon, views of the marvelous strands of red rocks and picture book valleys. There will be time at leisure to stroll in the artist colony before heading to Phoenix in the “Valley of the Sun”. This evening we enjoy Christmas Eve Dinner at a fine restaurant.
We enjoy a special Christmas Day Brunch with all the trimmings at the Hilton Hotel. Afternoon at leisure.
Morning at leisure. Our afternoon tour of Scottsdale and Phoenix will include a walking tour of historical Old Town Scottsdale with its many art galleries, boutiques and cafes. We’ll see the beautiful campus of Arizona State University, Camelback Mountain and more. This evening we enjoy entertainment with dinner, followed by a Christmas Lights tour!
We visit the Musical Instrument Museum – the world’s only global musical instrument museum. With state-of-the-art technology you can hear, see and feel the sounds of more than 6500 instruments from all over the world. Then we will enjoy some excellent western entertainment, line dancing and a western style dinner!
A drive across the desert brings us to Palm Springs and our centrally located hotel.
Morning at leisure. Our afternoon guided tour of Palm Springs shows us the homes of some of the movie stars who have lived and live here, as well as some of the beautiful desert scenery for which this area is famous, including a walk in Indian Canyon.
This morning we ride the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway - the world’s largest rotating tram car. The tram will take us more than two miles along the breathtaking cliffs of Chino Canyon, to the pristine wilderness of Mt. San Jacinto State Park. Tram cars rotate slowly, offering spectacular vistas of the valley floor below. At the top you can enjoy two restaurants, observation decks, a natural history museum, two documentary theaters, gift shop and over 50 miles of hiking trails.
We depart our desert oasis for Los Angeles, where we will have a guided tour of Hollywood, before continuing to Dana Point down the coast. This evening we enjoy a special New Years Eve Dinner, with party favours, champagne and celebrations!
Morning at leisure with an afternoon visit of historic Mission San Juan Capistrano – one of the largest and most important of the 18th century Franciscan missions in California.
San Diego is the birthplace of California, and our full-day tour takes us through the city’s old and new - Point Loma, Cabrillo National Monument, Mission Bay, and a walking tour of Old Town where the first Europeans settled, which today is rich with historical architecture, museums, art galleries and more. A light lunch is included today.
On our guided tour along the beautiful coast of the California Riviera we’ll stop along the way in the quaint coastal towns of Laguna and Newport Beach, and enjoy a leisurely cruise in the harbour before returning to Dana Point. Tonight is our Farewell Dinner.
Air Canada takes us home from Los Angeles.
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