Day 1 - Arrive Los Angeles - Transfer to Long Beach. Welcome to sunny California! At 6 pm, meet your traveling companions for a welcome drink. Your Tour Director will prepare you for your upcoming adventure.
Day 2 - Long Beach - Excursion to Catalina Island. This morning, board a high-speed ferry for beautiful Catalina Island. Located just 22 miles off the coast of Southern California, the island has a rich and colorful past. On an island TOUR, you'll learn the history of this unique place, admire beautiful scenery, and perhaps see some of the island's most famous residents: bison. Afterward, there is time to explore on your own. Stroll along palm-lined streets, shop for unique island gifts, or enjoy a delicious lunch at a seaside restaurant. Later this afternoon, return to Long Beach and have dinner at a waterside restaurant. (B,D)
Day 3 - Long Beach - San Diego. Travel this morning along the stunning California Coast to San Diego. Upon arrival, enjoy a city SIGHTSEEING tour featuring Old Town, Balboa Park, Gaslamp Quarter, and [FP] CABRILLO NATIONAL MONUMENT. End your tour in Coronado, home to beautiful beaches and elegant mansions. Lunch will be served at the impressive [LF] HOTEL DEL CORONADO, San Diego's legendary seaside resort. Afterward, a scenic FERRY ride brings you back to San Diego. (B,L)
Day 4 - San Diego. A full day to explore San Diego on your own. You may wish to explore the world-famous San Diego Zoo, relive history on the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier, spend time at Mission Beach, San Diego's sun-"n'-fun playground, enjoy an Italian feast in the Little Italy neighborhood, swing a 9-iron at one of the area's 90 golf courses, or do some window shopping in one of the city's neighborhood shopping districts. Your Tour Director will have additional ideas for sightseeing, shopping, and dining. This evening, why not join our optional dinner cruise, taking in some of San Diego's most famous sights? (B)
Day 5 - San Diego - Temecula - Palm Springs. Today, head into the interior of California, stopping in historic Temecula for a tasting of some of the region's best wines at a local [LF] VINEYARD. Continue to the desert playground of Palm Springs. Take the Palm Springs AERIAL TRAM to the top of Mount San Jacinto for amazing views of the valley below. Then, sit back and relax as you hear tales of the town's famous celebrity residents, past and present, and learn about the city's colorful past on an orientation tour. (B,D)NOTE:On the September 24 departure, the Palm Springs aerial tram is not available.
Day 6 - Palm Springs - Excursion to Joshua Tree National Park. Adventure awaits today as we explore the fascinating landscape of [FP] JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK. The park contains more than 700,000 acres, two deserts, two ecosystems, and unique habitat including the ancient Joshua trees. See the park on a JEEP TOUR and learn about the area's rich history, as well as the geology, flora, and fauna of the California desert. Return to Palm Springs, where the remainder of the day is yours. Relax by your hotel's pool, stroll the Palm Springs Walk of Fame, or join the locals at the popular Villagefest, offering more than 200 booths of beautiful art, handcrafted items, and unique food. (B)
Day 7 - Palm Springs - Barstow - Death Valley National Park. Leave the desert oasis of Palm Springs and travel to Barstow on the famed Route 66. Take a step back in time with a visit to the ROUTE 66 MOTHER ROAD MUSEUM, home to vintage cars, signs, photos, and other memorabilia. Continue to [FP] DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK, the hottest place on earth and the driest, lowest place in North America. (B)
Day 8 - Death Valley National Park. A full day to explore the wonders of Death Valley. Visit Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America (282 feet below sea level) and home to a surreal landscape of vast salt flats. At Stovepipe Wells, witness the ripples and patterns of the breathtaking sand dunes that rise 100 feet above the Mesquite Flat. This afternoon is yours to explore on your own, enjoy a dip in the pool, or play a round of golf. After a BBQ dinner this evening, enjoy a [LF] STARGAZING PROGRAM with a local expert. Due to its vast area and absence of man-made light, Death Valley National Park is the world's largest International Dark Sky Park and one of the best places to star gaze. Stand in awe as daylight fades and the planets, stars, and constellations come into view. (B,D)
Day 9 - Death Valley National Park - Ash Meadows National Refuge - Las Vegas. A morning stop is made at ASH MEADOWS NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, a desert oasis with a rare and unique ecosystem. The refuge is home to nearly 30 species of plants and animals that do not exist anywhere else on earth, including desert fish that have existed since the time of the mammoths. Stroll the boardwalks and learn about the early pioneers, gunslingers, and the mysterious Devils Hole that has never been found. It's then on to the bright lights of modern Las Vegas. Your Tour Director hosts a festive farewell dinner this evening"the perfect ending to your vacation. (B,D)
Day 10 - Las Vegas. The tour ends today with guests departing on individual schedules. Transfers are provided to Las Vegas McCarran Airport. (B)