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  • Departing from?Dublin + 3
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  • When?March 2015
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Home / Highlights of California & the Golden West
Highlights of California & the Golden West
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Highlights of California & the Golden West

  • 14 Night Holiday
  • B&B
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Go West on this once-in-a-lifetime trip to California and the Golden West. On this 14-night holiday to the United States, you will travel down the west coast, taking in Californian highlights such as San Francisco, 17-Mile Drive and Los Angeles.

Begin your unforgettable journey by taking in the famous Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, then take a walk along the waterfront at Fisherman’s Wharf and stroll through the bustling streets of Chinatown.You will then travel through California's Central Valley, which is bordered on the west by the coastal mountain ranges and on the east by Yosemite National Park. In Yosemite, gaze upon towering rock formations and beautiful waterfalls, taking in views of Half Dome and the 3,000 foot vertical monolith of El Capitan.

There is no other experience quite like travelling the length of 17-Mile Drive, widely recognised as one of the most scenic drives in the world. Enjoy awe-inspiring vistas and legendary sites such as Spanish Bay and Carmel Bay as you travel along the dazzling Pacific Ocean Coast.

Enjoy the playground of the rich and famous in Los Angeles, where you can spend your time shopping, sightseeing or just taking in the sights and sounds of Hollywood. Finally, place your bets in the ever-changing, fantasy land that is Las Vegas where you can spend your time visiting casinos, sipping drinks by the pool or strolling down the glittering Las Vegas strip.

 

Practical Information for this holiday

Currency
Dollar ($)   
Local Time
Ireland/UK Time -8 Hours
Passport

Irish / UK citizens are required to carry a machine-readable passport when travelling to the US. All passengers travelling to the United States are now required to complete an online form used to screen passengers under the Visa Waiver Program.  This is called ESTA - The Electronic System for Travel Authorization. Click here for more information

Vaccinations

Vaccinations are not required before your departure.

Airport
San Francisco International Airport is approximately 20 minute drive from the hotel.
Food & Drink

California is famous for many things, including wine, crab salad, burgers, tacos and all traditional American foods. 

Packing List
  • Your valid passport
  • A Northern American adaptor
  • Sun cream
  • A small backpack
  • A light coat
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Camera
Recommended Reading

Big Sur by Jack Kerouac

Bringing Down the House by Ben Mezrich

The Big Sleep by Ramond Chandler  

 

Holiday highlights

San Francisco

This beautiful city hugs the slopes of a hilly peninsula on the shores of a vast blue bay. Less metropolitan than Los Angeles, it is much more picturesque. Fisherman’s Wharf is a particularly popular tourist destination, known for its historic waterfront, delicious seafood, spectacular sights and unique shopping.

Los Angeles
It is home to Hollywood movie stars, business moguls, California surfers and four million inhabitants. Some of the main highlights are Hollywood’s film studios, Beverly Hills, and Mann’s Chinese Theatre where many film premieres are hosted. The famous cement forecourt of the theatre contains hand and footprints of numerous screen legends.
Las Vegas Strip
This strip stretches on for more than 6 km and boasts many of the world’s largest hotels, casinos and resort properties.

Practical Information for this holiday

Currency
Dollar ($)   
Local Time
Ireland/UK Time -8 Hours
Passport

Irish / UK citizens are required to carry a machine-readable passport when travelling to the US. All passengers travelling to the United States are now required to complete an online form used to screen passengers under the Visa Waiver Program.  This is called ESTA - The Electronic System for Travel Authorization. Click here for more information

Vaccinations

Vaccinations are not required before your departure.

Airport
San Francisco International Airport is approximately 20 minute drive from the hotel.
Food & Drink

California is famous for many things, including wine, crab salad, burgers, tacos and all traditional American foods. 

Packing List
  • Your valid passport
  • A Northern American adaptor
  • Sun cream
  • A small backpack
  • A light coat
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Camera
Recommended Reading

Big Sur by Jack Kerouac

Bringing Down the House by Ben Mezrich

The Big Sleep by Ramond Chandler  

 

Trip Itinerary - Day by day

Day 1 – Depart for California

Afternoon

Depart for California

Depart Dublin for your flight to San Francisco. On arrival you will be met by your local expert guide and transferred to your hotel in Marin County, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Day 2 – San Francisco

Morning

Sausalito & San Francisco Bay

Enjoy a guided excursion to Sausalito, an enchanting waterfront town with a rich maritime history. From the shops and artwork to the restaurants and outdoor activities, it’s hard not to be reminded of the close ties to the San Francisco Bay. From there you will ferry across the Bay from Sausalito to San Francisco, with views of Alcatraz, Angel Island, and the Marin and Tiburon headlands en route. This is a wonderful way to get a feel for the scope and history of the famous San Francisco Bay.

Afternoon

San Francisco city tour

Departing from Pier 33 you will embark on an afternoon city tour of the diverse and exciting San Francisco city. You will have free time for dinner at your leisure in San Francisco before returning to Marin County via The Golden Gate Bridge.

Day 3 – San Francisco at leisure

Full day

San Francisco at leisure

Enjoy a full day in San Francisco at your leisure. You will have ample time to explore the city at your own pace. Ride the trams, visit one of the many museums or even take the ferry to Alcatraz, the infamous prison located in the middle of San Francisco Bay. You can even hang out with the seals at Pier 39 in the Fisherman’s Wharf district. Your guide will be on hand to make suggestions to suit your taste.

Day 4 – Vineyards of Sonoma

Full day

Vineyards of Sonoma

California wine is immensely popular throughout the world so today you will explore the vineyards of Sonoma. Visit the Benziger Estate and join their Vineyard Tram Tour which will give you a close-up look at the Biodynamic vineyards, the fermentation facility, crush pad, and the barrel caves. You will end your tour with a tasting of the final product. Enjoy some free time at your leisure before heading east towards Yosemite National Park.

Day 5 - Yosemite National Park

Full day

Yosemite National Park

Today you will visit one of the jewels of the American National Park Service; Yosemite. Famed for its giant, ancient sequoias, and for Tunnel View, the iconic vista of towering Bridalveil Falls and the granite cliffs of El Capitan and Half Dome, Yosemite offers views unlike anything you have seen before. Remember to keep an an eye out for bears!

Day 6 – 17 Mile Drive

Morning

17 Mile Drive

Journey west along the 17 Mile Drive, located on the Monterey Peninsula, widely recognized as one of the most scenic drives in the world. This famous coastal landmark runs through Pacific Grove to Pebble Beach, from the dramatic Pacific coastline to the majestic Del Monte Forest. Enjoy the awe-inspiring vistas and legendary sites such as The Lone Cypress, Spanish Bay, Cypress Point Lookout and Carmel Bay en route to your hotel in Monterey.

Afternoon

Monterey at leisure

Enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure in Monterey as you get to know your new surroundings

Day 7 – San Simeon & San Luis Obispo

Morning

San Simeon

Depart Monterey and continue down the coast towards San Simeon, home to Hearst Castle. You will explore this incredible home, built by William Randolph Hearst, a hilltop complex including a twin-towered main building, three sumptuous guesthouses, and 127 acres of terraced gardens, fountains, and pools.

Afternoon

San Luis Obispo

Depart San Simeon and head towards your hotel in San Luis Obispo. You will have the remainder of the day at leisure to spend as you wish.

Day 8 - Solvang

Morning

Solvang

Depart San Luis Obispo and journey towards Los Angeles, the center of the nation’s film and television industry. Enjoy a stop en route in Solvang, a village famed for its authentic Danish feel, pretty windmills and wonderful Danish bakeries. Upon arrival in Los Angeles you will have the remainder of the day at leisure. Your guide will be happy to suggest activities to suit your interests in this vibrant city.

Day 9 – Los Angeles

Full day

Los Angeles

Embark on a full day tour of Los Angeles and its surrounding areas to include Beverley Hills, Rodeo Drive, Hollywood, the Walk of Fame and views of the Chinese Theatre. You will also have the opportunity to experience a behind the scenes tour of the Dolby Theatre, home to the Academy Awards and the Oscars.

Day 10 – Los Angeles at leisure

Full day

Los Angeles at leisure

You will have the full day at leisure to explore the star-studded city of Los Angeles further at your own pace.

Day 11 – Mojave Desert & Calico

Morning

Mojave Desert & Calico

Say goodbye to Los Angeles and head inland, travelling through the Mojave Desert, towards the lights and glamor of Las Vegas. En route you will enjoy a visit to Calico, a genuine old West mining town set in the Calico Mountains, which is now a Ghost Town. With a welcome by cowboys and sheriffs in old-style outfits, you will feel like you are going back to the Far West of the 1880s

Afternoon

Las Vegas

You will arrive in to Las Vegas in the late afternoon, checking in to your hotel that is located on the famous strip. You will have the remainder of the day at leisure to discover all this exciting city has to offer. Famed for its buzzing energy, 24-hour casinos and endless entertainment options, you will have ample time to explore the 4 mile long Strip.

Day 12 – Las Vegas at leisure

Full day

Las Vegas at leisure

You will have the full day at leisure to experience Las Vegas at your own pace. From incredible themed hotel casinos, shopping options galore, shows for every genre, not to mention gambling, Las Vegas has it all. Alternatively, you can book an optional helicopter excursion over the Grand Canyon via our Sales team. Advanced booking is essential so please enquire directly for further details.

Day 13 – Hoover Dam & Lake Mead

Morning

Lake Mead & Hoover Dam

Enjoy a trip out to Lake Mead, a 220km long lake that stretches from Grand Canyon National Park to Bullhead City. You will experience a guided tour of the power plant at Hoover Dam, one of the largest dams in the United States, which is situated on the famous Colorado River.

Afternoon

Las Vegas at leisure

Indulge in another afternoon and evening at leisure in the iconic Las Vegas. Why not relax by the pool, enjoy some shopping or try your luck at one of the many casinos?

Day 14 – Return home

Return home

Morning

Bid farewell to the bright lights of Las Vegas as you transfer to the airport in the early morning for your overnight flight home to Dublin.

* Please note that the order of your excursions on the itinerary above is provisional and subject to change

Customer reviews

Hotel & accommodation available for this trip

Four Points by Sheraton 3

Located just a short drive from San Francisco, in the center of beautiful Marin County, the Four Points by Sheraton hotel is surrounded by rolling hills, the scenic north coast and Sonoma and Napa wine country. Guests can enjoy the hotel's facilities which include an outdoor... read more read more read more

Located just a short drive from San Francisco, in the center of beautiful Marin County, the Four Points by Sheraton hotel is surrounded by rolling hills, the scenic north coast and Sonoma and Napa wine country. Guests can enjoy the hotel's facilities which include an outdoor heated pool, restaurant and bar.

 

 

Hotel address
Four Points by Sheraton
1010 Northgate Drive
San Rafael
CA 94903
View available dates for this hotel

Courtyard by Marriott Salinas Monterey 3

The Courtyard by Marriott Salinas Monterey is located in the town of Salinas in Monterey County, within reach of Oldtown Salinas and the National Steinbeck Center. Amenities include complimentary Wi-Fi and an indoor swimming pool, while the Bistro restaurant offers healthy choice... read more read more read more

The Courtyard by Marriott Salinas Monterey is located in the town of Salinas in Monterey County, within reach of Oldtown Salinas and the National Steinbeck Center. Amenities include complimentary Wi-Fi and an indoor swimming pool, while the Bistro restaurant offers healthy choices, a variety of breakfast and dinner options, an evening bar and specialty beverages made with Starbucks coffee.

Hotel address
Courtyard by Marriott Salinas Monterey
17225 El Rancho Way
Salinas
California
View available dates for this hotel

Embassy Suites San Luis Obispo County 3

Situated between the Coast Range and the Pacific Ocean, right in the middle of California’s Central Coast Wine Country, San Luis Obispo has been referred to as the “Happiest Place in America”. Embassy Suites by Hilton is located in the centre of the town, with the attached shoppi... read more read more read more

Situated between the Coast Range and the Pacific Ocean, right in the middle of California’s Central Coast Wine Country, San Luis Obispo has been referred to as the “Happiest Place in America”. Embassy Suites by Hilton is located in the centre of the town, with the attached shopping complex making it extremely convenient and enjoyable for guests looking to get some shopping done.  Guests can take advantage of the indoor pool and hot tub, fitness centre, on-site restaurant and cooked-to-order breakfast.  

Hotel address
Embassy Suites San Luis Obispo County
San Luis Obispo County
333 Madonna Road
San Luis Obispo
View available dates for this hotel

Miyako Hotel 3

Located in downtown LA, 3* Rooms equipped with Complimentary DSL Connection - Work desk - In-room Voicemail - Electronic safety box - Coffee maker - Iron and ironing board - Hair dryer... read more read more read more

Located in downtown LA, 3* Rooms equipped with Complimentary DSL Connection - Work desk - In-room Voicemail - Electronic safety box - Coffee maker - Iron and ironing board - Hair dryer

Hotel address
Miyako Hotel
328 East 1st Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Los Angeles
View available dates for this hotel

Luxor Las Vegas 3 Star

The Luxor  is an Egypt-themed casino resort on the south end of the Strip is housed in a 30-story pyramid topped with a 315,000-watt light beam. Standard rooms have traditional furnishings, flat-screen TVs, and WiFi. Suites offer soaking tubs and separate sitting rooms;... read more read more read more

The Luxor  is an Egypt-themed casino resort on the south end of the Strip is housed in a 30-story pyramid topped with a 315,000-watt light beam. 

Standard rooms have traditional furnishings, flat-screen TVs, and WiFi. Suites offer soaking tubs and separate sitting rooms; some have wet bars. Pyramid rooms and suites have slanted walls.

Hotel address
Luxor Las Vegas
3900 S Las Vegas Blvd
Las Vegas
NV 89119
View available dates for this hotel

Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino Coarsegold County 3 Star

The Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino is located next to the world-renowned Yosemite National Park. Nearby attractions includes majestic lakes and breathtaking nature.... read more read more read more

The Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino is located next to the world-renowned Yosemite National Park. Nearby attractions includes majestic lakes and breathtaking nature.

Hotel address
Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino Coarsegold County
711 Lucky Ln
Coarsegold
CA 93614
View available dates for this hotel

*Some hotel facilities are seasonally operated and may not be available at the time of your stay. Charges may apply for certain facilities.

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Price, taxes, flight times & availability are subject to change. E&OE. Price based on per person, sharing. Single Supplement cost may apply.

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  • Baggage from €40.00
  • Insurance from €12.50
  • Single Supplement from €149.00

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Our guides

  • Friendly and welcoming everywhere you go
  • Local experts, passionate about their area
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  • Innovative itineraries with amazing excursions

 

Our promise

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  • To describe our holidays in an honest manner
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