Chicago to the Golden Gate Escorted Tours

13 Nights

Chicago, IL

The journey takes in plenty of agricultural regions before you arrive at Mount Rushmore where four US Presidents are carved in the rock. The lawless ‘’Wild West’’ has changed somewhat and as you pass through Deadwood, allow your imagination to take you back to the days of Wyatt Earp. Today there is perhaps more interest in places like Yellowstone with its famous Springs, including of course’’ Old Faithful?’’ Passing through Salt Lake City, you will not be disappointed by Bryce Canyon and certainly not the Grand Canyon although you will find it difficult to take a photograph to do it justice. It is a stark contrast from Las Vegas, a city successfully built in the Mojave Desert. You head west to Chicago and Hollywood before heading north. The Pacific Coastal route is stunning in itself as is the road you take to reach San Francisco. It is the city made famous by the Gold Rush, the 60s Flower Children, the Golden Gate and Alcatraz. A wonderful city in which to finish your holiday.

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Highlights

  • Explore Chicago, the USA’s third largest city by population.  Its highlights include the Willis Tower, once the tallest building in the world, just one of the city’s architectural gems.
  • Marvel at the project of carving 4 US Presidents on Mount Rushmore originated in the 1920s. It was not without problems over the 14 years it took to completion but the results are amazing. 
  • Visit Yellowstone Park, a protected wilderness park over three States, mostly Wyoming. ‘’Old Faithful’’ is the most famous of its many geezers and all visitors want to see an eruption while there.
  • Fully absorb the Grand Canyon, a natural creation that has few equals.  It has been created by the Colorado River over time and if you want an even closer look, take a short helicopter ride.
  • Take in Las Vegas, a city in the middle of a desert. While it made its name from gambling, it is now home to a range of tourist attractions by day and night, everything from golf to shows.
  • Travel through the Mojave Desert, the most arid desert in the USA, with about 5 inches of rain annually, primarily in the winter months. Look out for the giant Joshua Trees on the higher parts.
  • Discover Los Angeles, more than just Hollywood and Disney. There are lovely coastal areas and of course Rodeo Drive has some of the best shopping in the world. Rub shoulders with the stars!
  • Take Pacific Coast Highway running the length of California parallel to the Ocean. It is a great drive of 400 miles to San Francisco. Highlights include Santa Barbara, Carmel and Monterey.
  • Enjoy San Francisco, the City in the Bay, famous for many things; the Golden Gate, Alcatraz, Chinatown and Fisherman’s Wharf. It is a city that provides a splendid finale to a wonderful tour.

 

  • Day 1 - Chicago Arrival
  • Day 2 - Chicago
  • Day 3 - Chicago - Mississippi River Crossing - Sioux City
  • Day 4 - Sioux City - Badlands - Mt. Rushmore - Deadwood/Rapid City
  • Day 5 - Deadwood/Rapid City - Bighorn Mountains - Cody
  • Day 6 - Cody - Yellowstone
  • Day 7 - Yellowstone - Grand Teton - Salt Lake City
  • Day 8 - Salt Lake City - Bryce Canyon
  • Day 9 - Bryce Canyon - Lake Powell - Grand Canyon - Flagstaff
  • Day 10 - Flagstaff - Seligman/Route 66 - Las Vegas
  • Day 11 - Las Vegas - Mojave Desert - Beverly Hills - Los Angeles
  • Day 12 - Los Angeles
  • Day 13 - Los Angeles - Santa Barbara - Central Coast
  • Day 14 - Central Coast - Carmel/Monterey - San Francisco
  • Additional Information

Arrive in Chicago and transfer independently to your hotel where you will meet with your Tour Director in the evening.

Meals Included: Ro

Chicago South Loop Hotel

Property Location With a stay at Chicago South Loop Hotel in Chicago (Bronzeville), you'll be close to McCormick Place and University of Illinois Chicago. This hotel is close to Willis Tower and Skydeck Ledge.

Today we will enjoy a short tour of the city’s highlights including Lake Shore Drive, the Magnificent Mile and Navy Pier. The Windy City’s stunning high rise architecture and one of the world’s tallest buildings, the Willis Tower (admission not included), provide a dramatic backdrop for this cultural and financial center. The rest of the day is at leisure.

Meals Included: Ro

Chicago South Loop Hotel

Property Location With a stay at Chicago South Loop Hotel in Chicago (Bronzeville), you'll be close to McCormick Place and University of Illinois Chicago. This hotel is close to Willis Tower and Skydeck Ledge.

Travel through Midwest farm country abundant in corn fields, wheat fields and dairy farms. Then we cross the mighty Mississippi River and travel into the state of Iowa to arrive just as Lewis & Clark did 200 years ago on the banks of the Missouri River. Overnight in Sioux City.

Meals Included: Ro

Delta Hotels By Marriott South Sioux City Riverfront (ex. Marina Inn Hotel & Conference Center)

Property Location Centrally located in South Sioux City, Delta Hotels by Marriott South Sioux City is minutes from Tyson Event Center and The Sioux City Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. This family-friendly hotel is within close proximity of Sergeant Floyd River Museum and Welcome Center and Sioux City Art Center.

Travel westward through the grasslands of South Dakota and onwards to Badlands National Park, once home to the buffalo and antelope, and filled with strange shaped and colorful rock formations. Then we continue on to the Black Hills, sacred to the Plains Indians and home to Mount Rushmore, an enormous monument to four of the great presidents of America: Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt. Spend an evening at leisure.

Meals Included: Ro

Howard Johnson Inn & Suites - Rapid City

Property Location Located in Rapid City, Howard Johnson Inn & Suites - Rapid City is convenient to Berlin Wall Exhibit and Flags and Wheels Indoor Racing. This hotel is within close proximity of Main Street Square and The Journey Museum.

Enter the “Equality State,” Wyoming, which has twelve mountain ranges intermixed with deserts and rolling grasslands, and continue to Cody for the night.
If overnight in Cody is not possible due to weather or adverse road conditions in Yellowstone, overnight will be in Billings/ Livingston, Montana.

Meals Included: Ro

Buffalo Bill Village Cabins

As the original portion of the Buffalo Bill Village Resort complex, Buffalo Bill [Cabin] Village offers an authentic experience steeped in the history and legends of Cody, Wyoming.

Drive past the mountains in Wyoming to Yellowstone, America’s first National Park, and enjoy a sightseeing tour of this immense geothermal wonderland including: geysers, waterfalls, wildlife and canyons. Highlights will include Yellowstone Lake, Old Faithful, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone Canyon’s majestic falls, and the beautiful Hayden Valley.

Meals Included: Ro

Gray Wolf Inn & Suites

Conveniently located adjacent to the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, this Montana hotel features an indoor heated pool, hot tub and sauna. All guest rooms include free Wi-Fi.

Travel through Grand Teton National Park (weather permitting) and see awesome mountain peaks towering over 13,000 ft. (4,000 meters). Visit the Snake River Outlook and try your eye at capturing the stunning landscape made famous by Ansel Adam’s iconic shot. This prairie land is home to wild buffalo (Tatonka!), moose and elk. Later, arrive in the Mormon State of Utah and take a short city tour of its capital, Salt Lake City. The followers of Brigham Young built one of the best-planned cities in the country. See the State Capital building and visit famed Temple Square and the Tabernacle before arriving at the hotel for the evening. May we suggest dinner at the Rooftop Restaurant for panoramic views of Temple Square (optional)

Meals Included: Ro

Little America Hotel - Salt Lake City

Among Salt Lake City hotels, Little America stands apart as a superior choice—and not just because it's one of Salt Lake’s most luxurious four-diamond hotels.

Continue today to spectacular Bryce Canyon, where a tour through a multi-colored world of sandstone spires and pinnacles, “hoodoos”, will dazzle the eye. This evening, weather permitting, be sure to gaze upon the spectacular night sky filled with sparkling stars & brilliant constellations and the aroma of pinewood campfires

Meals Included: Ro

Bryce View Lodge

The Bryce View Lodge offers the finest in Bryce Canyon lodging. Located next to Bryce Canyon National Park on Highway U-63 in Southern Utah, this perfect Bryce Canyon lodging is nestled at the edge of a pine forest on a high plateau that overlooks the beautiful Bryce Canyon National Park.

Depart Bryce Canyon this morning and journey to stunning Lake Powell, where crystal blue water laps against towering red-rock canyon walls. Lake Powell is the second-largest man made lake in America, and one in a series of lakes formed by the damming of the Colorado River. Then visit colossal Grand Canyon National Park, one of the seven great natural wonders of the world. Stop at the East Rim to fully experience this mile-deep canyon’s plunging gorges, rising spires, extinct volcanoes and, below the rim, the winding Colorado River. Overnight in Flagstaff, a famed stop on Historic Route 66.

Meals Included: Ro

Days Hotel Flagstaff

Enjoy the natural beauty of northern Arizona when you stay at our Days Hotel Flagstaff, near Northern Arizona University.

This morning depart Flagstaff and travel on to Las Vegas, the dazzling “Entertainment Capital of the World”. Along the way, pass through Seligman, a town built along the famed Route 66 that looks as if it were frozen in time sixty years ago. The remainder of the day is at leisure for you to explore the famous Las Vegas Strip

Meals Included: Ro

Luxor Hotel and Casino

In addition to a full-service spa, Luxor Hotel and Casino features a sauna and a fitness centre. Dining is available at one of the resort's 8 restaurants, and guests can grab a coffee at the coffee shop/café. Guests can unwind with a drink at one of the resort's bars, which include 5 bars/lounges and A poolside bar. Wireless Internet access is available at a surcharge. Business-related amenities at this 3.5-star property consist of a business centre and meeting rooms. This eco-friendly resort also offers a casino, a seasonal outdoor pool and spa services. Parking is available on-site at a surcharge. Luxor Hotel and Casino has designated areas for smoking.

Travel to Los Angeles via the Mojave Desert, home of the world’s tallest thermometer, at 134 feet (41 meters) high. Clusters of unique Joshua trees dot the mountainous landscape. Upon arrival in Los Angeles you will enjoy a tour through the City of Angels including star studded Hollywood, Sunset Strip and parts of Beverly Hills, before reaching your hotel.

Meals Included: Ro

Crowne Plaza Los Angeles Harbour Hotel

In this Los Angeles seaport town, you can enjoy cultural attractions, thriving businesses and a great coastal climate year-round. At the Crowne Plaza Los Angeles Harbor hotel you are near the Port of Los Angeles, USS IOWA Battleship and Long Beach Convention Center

Today we suggest an optional full-day tour visiting the world’s largest movie studio and theme park: Universal Studios, where Hollywood puts you so close you can hear the cameras rolling. Get an inside look at the sets and uncover the behind the scenes secrets of legendary films or perhaps, for the more adventurous, take one of the Studio’s feature rides including Jurassic Park and Revenge of the Mummy. A universe of excitement awaits in one of California’s premier attractions.

Meals Included: Ro

Crowne Plaza Los Angeles Harbour Hotel

In this Los Angeles seaport town, you can enjoy cultural attractions, thriving businesses and a great coastal climate year-round. At the Crowne Plaza Los Angeles Harbor hotel you are near the Port of Los Angeles, USS IOWA Battleship and Long Beach Convention Center

Leave Los Angeles in the morning and travel north through one of California’s favorite vacation spots, Santa Barbara, where palm-lined walkways border white sandy beaches. The city is famous for its mission and Spanish heritage. Along the way, stop at an iconic California lifeguard tower made famous in “Baywatch”. Continue along the coast to Shell/ Pismo Beach.

Meals Included: Ro

Holiday Inn Express Solvang

Come discover the preferred destination of travelers visiting the Santa Ynez Valley, the Holiday Inn Express Solvang.

Dip your toes in the cool, refreshing waters of the Pacific during an early morning beach stroll, then we leave Shell/Pismo Beach and make our way north to Carmel, home of actor/director Clint Eastwood. Enjoy browsing the shops and galleries of this famous artists’ colony. Traveling further north, visit Monterey’s Old Fisherman’s Wharf. Stroll the Pier to Cannery Row, brought to fame by John Steinbeck’s novel. In the afternoon pass the fertile valleys of Castroville and Santa Clara en route to San Francisco, the “City by the Bay.” Tour concludes upon arrival at the hotel.

Meals Included: Ro

Optional experiences:
- Architectural river cruise in Chicago
- Visit the Willis Skydeck
- Santa Monica visit with dinner
- Tour Universal Studios and learn how movies are made
- “All-American” Picnic at a surprise destination en route