The Riviera Travel Blog

01283 742 300

Explore California and America’s Golden West

  • Head west to experience California’s stunning landscape and the ultra-cool cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles
  • Discover incredible natural wonders and iconic sights on a tour of California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona
  • Travel Route 66 to the Grand Canyon, explore Yosemite Valley and even ride a gondola in Las Vegas

Would you love to visit California and America’s Golden West, but think it’s a logistical nightmare to plan a holiday there? Think again. With our California and the Golden West escorted tour, it’s easy to travel to glitzy, star-studded locations, hip cities and see the all wondrous landscapes and iconic sights the region offers. Here are some of the highlights of our escorted tour of California and America’s Golden West.

Experience the magnificent Grand Canyon, glitzy Las Vegas and the incredible sight of the towering El Capitan mountain in Yosemite Valley on our 16-day California and the Golden West escorted tour.

Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a must-see California destination, especially if you’re a movie buff. And a highlight of any visit is sure to be strolling along the Hollywood Walk of Fame in front of the legendary Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. From Marilyn Munroe to Michael Caine, handprints of celebrated stars of the stage and screen are there for all to see. Equally exciting is a stroll along Sunset Boulevard, taking a detour into Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive. For those looking for extra movie magic, we offer the chance to personalise your holiday and take in the iconic Warner Bros Studio Classics tour that explores the Golden Age of Hollywood, starting with silent movies from the 1920s to legendary films that graced the silver screens in the 1960s.

visit california los angeles golden hour

The golden hour in Los Angeles

San Diego

In southern California, only an hour’s drive from the Mexican border is the city of San Diego, which boasts over 260 days of sunshine a day with an average daily temperature of 21°C. One of San Diego’s must-see sights is the beautifully restored Gaslamp Quarter. The Maritime Museum and Balboa Park are popular attractions too, and you have free time to jump on a ferry across the water to beach-front Coronado. The red-roof Victorian Del Coronado Hotel here was the setting for the classic film Some Like It Hot.

Grand Canyon

Is there any more iconic way to visit the majesty of the Grand Canyon National Park than to approach it via the legendary Route 66. Our California and the Golden West tour traces the original section of Route 66, threading our way between Kingman and Seligman before reaching the panoramic spectacle of the Grand Canyon. Standing on the rim of the canyon will imprint a lifelong memory as you gaze over its incredible rock formations, deeply carved valleys and sheer cliffs of red rock, that have been formed by billions of years of erosion by the Colorado River. You’ll get a different view of the canyon from the many viewing points along the South Rim. Don’t spend all your time looking down – incredible wildlife such as the California Condor can be spotted soaring high above the canyon.

visit california grand canyon

The vast wonder of the Grand Canyon

Bryce Canyon

Famous for its delicate, eroded spires of rock known as hoodoos, Bryce Canyon National Park delivers a spectacular vision of the geological history and a reminder of nature’s timeless beauty. Gaze on Bryce Canyon’s rugged, natural reddish, orange and white rock bowls carved over millennia through a combination of frost weathering and stream erosion, and you’ll be transported to a surreal, almost alien landscape set 8,000 feet in southwestern Utah. Look closely to spot some of the 400 native plant species to the park, including Great Basin bristlecone pine – some examples are over 1,600 years old. Its remote location means fewer crowds than the Grand Canyon, and our tour stays overnight just a mile outside the park for easy access.

Las Vegas

Our tour of America’s Golden West takes you to the self-styled entertainment capital of the world, Las Vegas. There’s so much see along the city’s main strip – from hotels that recreate Paris, Venice, and the Pyramids – all sporting lavish entertainment, attractions, and vibrant casinos for those looking to try their luck. It’s a city packed with often jaw-dropping spectacle. The New York, New York hotel thrills with its famed rollercoaster that weaves its way in and out of the hotel, or you can take a peaceful gondola ride at the Venetian – each hotel has a different theme, and all are richly realised. Las Vegas is best explored on foot and at leisure, and it’s easy to be absorbed in all it has to offer, including opulent dining and magical evening shows featuring some of the biggest stars of Hollywood and music.

visit california las vegas

The bright lights of Las Vegas

Yosemite National Park

Our California & the Golden West tour also takes in the splendour of Yosemite National Park. Home to soaring granite rock formations – the park is dominated by the granite monolith of El Capitan on one side and the instantly recognisable Half Dome on the other. You’ll also find mighty waterfalls, ancient giant sequoias, and the world’s biggest and oldest trees. Note that the park attracts millions of visitors from April through to October.

San Francisco

One of the best places to visit in California is San Francisco. With its iconic Golden Gate Bridge and famous cable cars – a fun and memorable way to travel around the incredibly hilly city – our San Francisco tour Fisherman’s Wharf, Union Square, Golden Gate Park, and Twin Peaks from where you’ll get a spectacular 360-degrees view.

visit california golden gate bridge san francisco

The famous Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco

Alcatraz Island

If you’ve ever watched the 1979 classic Escape from Alcatraz starring Clint Eastwood, then a trip to see Alcatraz Island prison in San Francisco Bay is an option on our California and the Golden West tour – and a valid reason for a film fanatic to visit California. The island is only 1.25 miles from the mainland (a 15-minute ferry ride), so it’s no great surprise that inmates planning a great escape believed they’d swim ashore. An entertaining Alcatraz experience sheds light on the history of ‘The Rock’ and introduces you to America’s most notorious criminals, including Al Capone and George ‘Machine-Gun’ Kelly.

Looking to visit California?

Escorted tours are a hassle-free joy when it comes to exploring a destination such as California. With an excellent itinerary already planned, taking in iconic landmarks and must-see sights, you can rest assured you’ll visit the best places that a city, region, state, or country has to offer – with an expert tour manager on hand. Our escorted California & the Golden West tour explores the best California has to offer over 16 days, including the Grand Canyon, Yosemite Valley, San Diego, Las Vegas, and even stroll the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.