Explore Southern California (or ‘SoCal’ as those in the know call it) and the bright lights of Vegas on this 10 day USA adventure. Roadtrip through iconic deserts, spend a day in one of the fascinating National Parks in the USA and try your luck on the Strip all whilst soaking up some much needed winter sunshine.
Highlights: San Diego, Palm Springs, Joshua Tree National Park, Las Vegas
Travel dates: November 2021 (selected departures)
Duration: 10 days
USA Holiday Offer price: £1,750 per person (includes saving of £300 per person)
Offer includes: International flights, accommodation, tours, a few days of car hire.
Dive in to the adventure that awaits you below….
Day One – Fly to San Diego
Today, your USA holiday begins with a flight from London Heathrow to San Diego. You’ll then make your own way to your hotel via a taxi or uber (so easy to find from the airport!)
Day Two – Hop on Hop off trolley tour and harbour cruise
Today you’ll hop on (and off) the San Diego trolley tour for a fantastic adventure around this bustling city. The entertaining trolley conductors will colour your two-hour tour with anecdotes, stories and historical information, making this tour as fun as it is informative. Take today at your own pace, it’s your choice which stops you get off at and where you get back on. Indulge in a spot of shopping, amble through Old Town State Park or take in some culture at the San Diego Museum of art. The options are endless and when you’re ready, just re-board the trolley and it’s on with the tour.
Day Three – Old Town Tortillas and Tequila Walking Tour
Today you’ll take off on a walking tour of San Diego Old Town. Take in the open-air market that is full to bursting with artwork, crafts and souvenirs, before indulging in handmade tortillas, a dish that dates back to even before Columbus landed in North America. After taking in more historic sights in San Diego Old Town, you’ll finish your tour at a local Tequileria where you’ll be taught all about the different types of tequila and how they’re made. And after all of that, it would be rude not to have a taste wouldn’t it?!
Day Four – Roadtrip to Palm Springs via Temecula
On day four, you’ll road trip south to iconic Palm Springs. We’d recommend a stop off in Temecula Valley enroute. With a Mediterranean climate, over 30 wineries and an abundance of activities such as hiking, biking and even hot air ballooning, it’s one of southern California’s best hidden gems.
After you’ve stocked up on wine, continue your journey to Palm Springs. This quintessential California town nestled in the desert will have you reaching for your camera as much as it will have you soaking up the sun under its palm-lined streets. Packed full of mid-century modern architecture and a good old dollop of old Hollywood glitz and glam, Palm Springs is the ‘desert escape’ of celebrities from yesteryear (Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley no less!), and still has the old school charm to it.
With great shopping, amazing restaurants, quirky hotels, fantastic golf courses and a constant supply of sunshine, the city is surrounded by the beauty of the Californian desert, making it a hit with locals and travellers alike. We would challenge anyone not to feel well and truly chilled out after visiting.
Day Five – Mount San Jacinto
You won’t be short of things to do in the Palm Spring area. It’s home to the world’s largest rotating aerial tramcar, which glides for roughly two and a half miles along the Chino Canyon, taking in views of deep caverns and jagged cliffs. We recommend spending today exploring what the heights of Mount San Jacinto have to offer.
Once you make it to the top, you’ll find views for days and more than 50 miles of trails into the Mount San Jacinto State Park and Wilderness Area. You might even choose to tackle the hike to the top of Mount San Jacinto, which sits an impressive 10,834 feet above sea level
Day Six – Joshua Tree National Park
Known as ‘J-tree’ by locals, the Joshua Tree National Park is a fascinating mix of strange looking flora, gold mining ruins, mountains and boulders: all with an authentic wild west town thrown in for good measure! This unique protected national park in California, found between two deserts, won’t fail to mesmerise you. You’d be forgiven for expecting Fred and Wilma Flintstone to fly by at any minute whilst exploring this almost unreal landscape. With endless hiking trails to tackle, local plant species and wildlife to discover, and the chance to find out more about the role the Gold Rush played in this region.
If you’re the active type, this is a rock climber’s paradise, with more than 400 unique formations and 8,000 known climbs. Beginners can start at Echo Cove and all your equipment can be easily rented once here. Hiking and walking through the trails and cactus gardens, you will be transported back to nature, with the warm desert wind complementing the most amazing, star-studded sky.
Not to be missed is sunset at Keys View, where the desert sky becomes a stunning artwork of fiery oranges and reds. For wildlife lovers, there are over 200 species of bird in the park, including the golden eagle, whilst other wonderful, wild animals such as the road runner, coyotes, bighorn sheep, Californian tree frogs and black-tailed jackrabbits can also be found here.
Day Seven – Roadtrip to Las Vegas
Today you’ll pick up a car and roadtrip your way to the bright lights of Vegas. Love it or loathe it, Las Vegas is a city that was made for entertainment. Carved out of the Mojave Desert in Nevada in the early 20th century, the city was designed for the influx of workers travelling from Los Angeles to build the Salt Lake City rail road and the magnificent Hoover Dam (originally called the Boulder Dam).
Today, an incredible 42 million people visit Las Vegas every year (recent times are obviously the exception!) to dine, shop, watch performers, relax, experience the nightlife and of course, enjoy a flutter at the gaming tables. In the more historic downtown area, Fremont Street dates back to 1905, when Las Vegas itself was founded.
This USA holiday offer includes accommodation in a strip hotel. We’d recommend either The Venetian or Caesar’s Palace for a slice of that real, lavish Vegas experience.
Day Eight – Explore the Strip and desert adventures
There is so much to keep you busy in Vegas, but it isn’t all about bright lights and gambling. It’s also a gateway to some breath-taking scenery and outdoor adventures, such as Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area, Death Valley National Park and of course, the mighty Grand Canyon.
After a day of exploring, why not take in a show on the Strip? Famous for its wonderful performances, including the Cirque Du Soleil, singers, magicians, dancers, adult themed shows and much more, we feel like a show is a bit of a right of passage for any time in Vegas. Your specialist will be able to chat you through what’s on when and find you a show sure to tickle your fancy.
Day Nine – See the strip from the skies
Today you’ll take to the skies to see the Vegas Strip from new heights. This is a fantastic experience not to be missed and is included in the cost of this USA holiday offer.
However, if you fancied upgrading your flight plan, we’d hugely recommend extending your experience to fly over the spectacular Grand Canyon. This exhilarating helicopter tour flies you over Las Vegas, Lake Mead, the Hoover Dam, an extinct volcano and ultimately, the Grand Canyon itself. You’ll descend 3,500 feet deep into the Grand Canyon, landing in Hualapai Indian Territory to jump off and take in the breathtaking views surrounding you. Sparkling wine, soft drinks and a light snack will be served as the mighty Colorado River flows beneath your lookout point. Fly back through the colossal Grand Canyon, viewing the red rock formations in the Bowl of Fire and concluding your adventure with an exciting flight over the downtown area and the Las Vegas Strip.
Day Ten – Time to head home
Today it’s time to count up your chips, pack your bags and head to the airport to fly home. A bitter-sweet day for sure after such a wonderful self-drive adventure, but you’ll be returning home with so many happy memories and moments to remember.
It’s so rare we do offers here at HA as we’re always working our hardest behind the scenes to ensure we’re offering the very best price possible to you. However, due to the impact of Covid-19 on the tourism industry in the USA, we’ve been able to work closely with our ground agents to secure this fantastic USA holiday offer. The availability is very limited, so we recommend getting in touch as soon as you can to chat to Fenton or Sophie, our USA specialists, more about this holiday if it tickles your fancy! You can give them a call on 01242 253 073 or email [email protected] if you want to chat more about it!