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Western USARegional Journey
Duration: 8 days Visiting: United States
A holiday for the adventurous, delve into the USA’s desert lands with your travel companions, as you journey from the Golden State to Arizona. Along the way taste and create your own Southwestern flavours, learn about the lives and homes of Hollywood greats and take in the wild terrains and untamed beauty of its national parks. You'll be joined by your expert Travel Director who will be on hand to guide you throughout your trip.
Arrive in Palm Springs.
Welcome to Palm Springs. A star-studded city nestled in the Sonoran Desert of southern California, it was the getaway for Hollywood legends Frank Sinatra, Elvis, Dean Martin and Loretta Young in the 1950s and 60s. It now prides itself on its glory years with a nod to its glitzy past evident in its retro architecture. Once you have arrived at the airport a transfer will take you to your hotel, where you will meet your Travel Director and fellow travellers at 18.00 for a Welcome Dinner.
Out and about in Palm Springs.
Start the day with a tour of Palm Springs’ mid-century architecture with a history and architectural expert. Learn about the architects that have shaped the landscape of Palm Springs, including Richard Neutra, John Lutner, Donald Wexler and the Alexander brothers. Enjoy some time at leisure. The afternoon presents an exhilarating optional drive in four-wheel Jeeps(8) along the San Andreas Fault Line. It is one of the most famous sections of the Ring of Fire in North America. View the most recent uplifting of the earth’s crust creating some extraordinary slot canyons. Discover how the Cahuilla speaking an Uto-Aztecan language came to call the Coachella Valley their home. Roam around giant native palm in a desert oasis located within the Indio hills. Gain new insights as you experience the spectacular landscape shaped by mighty geologic forces. Tonight, a selection of restaurants is available on your Dine-Around evening in Palm Springs.
Exploring Joshua Tree National Park.
This morning you’ll depart from your hotel for an excursion to Joshua Tree National Park, which is characterized by the strangely shaped Joshua trees, rugged rock formations and stark desert landscapes. Your knowledgeable Travel Director will bring the park’s history and geology to life. Later, you’ll experience the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, the world’s largest rotating tram car, as it travels over two-and-one-half miles along the breathtaking cliffs and transports you to the pristine wilderness of the Mt. San Jacinto State Park. As you ascend on your ten-minute journey, the tram car rotates slowly, offering amazing vistas of the valley floor below. In the evening head to Palm Springs Village Fest, a street fair featuring arts, crafts, food and entertainment, based on Palm Canyon Drive.
Palm Springs and Scottsdale.
Today you’ll move from Palm Springs to Scottsdale. Once you’re in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area stop at the Heard Museum for a guided tour. The museum is dedicated to the advancement of American Indian art.
Flavour of Arizona.
Start the day with a guided tour of your famous hotel, Valley Ho. Meet a Local Expert who will take you on a guided tour of the property and talk to you about its glitzy Hollywood history and architecture. Later, meet with the chef of this evening experience for a walk through the stalls of the Old Town Farmers Market. This afternoon enjoy an Insight Choice between a small-group tour of Old Town Scottsdale on golf carts or a meeting with artists at Cattle Track, an artist compound. In the evening, you’ll be introduced to the authentic flavours of the region as you head to a cooking demonstration and hands on experience. You’ll learn to cook classic Southwestern and Mexican staples such as enchiladas, spicy meat dishes and Spanish rice. Once you’ve learnt from the expert, sit and indulge in your tasty masterpiece.
Wake for a hearty meal at your hotel before joining a Taliesin West guided tour and moving on to Tucson. Named as the first UNESCO City of Gastronomy, you day of tasty treats continues. Meet a Local Expert who will guide you through the city on a Foodie Tour, which will be included as your lunch. Tucson is known for its farmer’s markets, annual food festivals and fairs that specialise in their southwestern food options. Later, check in to your hotel and enjoy a leisurely evening. Ask your expertly trained Travel Director for tips on where to head or for places to eat.
Start the day with a morning visit to Saguaro National Park. Situated in southern Arizona, this beautiful park seduces visitors with its wild, rugged land and striking views of the desert landscape. The park is split into two sections on either side of the city of Tucson. In the afternoon you’ll make your way to Kartchner Caverns State Park. Once here you’ll explore the park’s fascinating show cave, which holds 2.4 miles of passages to explore. Originally discovered in 1974 by local cavers, the park’s caverns are Arizona’s largest living cave system. Enjoy leisure time in the afternoon back at your hotel before heading to your Celebration Dinner. Toast to your travels with your new friends before your trip comes to an end tomorrow. There will also be time for stargazing after dinner with a professional astronomer. Look up to the stars through the largest moving compound telescope in the world, as an expert explains the science behind what you’re seeing.
It’s time to say goodbye to your fellow travellers as your trip comes to an end. Take our organised transfer to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport arriving at 11:00.
Most Insight trips already include a host of bonus highlights and comprehensive sightseeing. There may also be an exciting array of Optional Experiences which will turn an already amazing experience into the trip of a lifetime! These are entirely optional and can be booked through your Travel Director/Local Representative at the commencement of your trip. Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations.
Prices and availability of Optional Experiences are subject to change.
Palm Springs (Boutique) - USA
The newest hotel in Palm Springs is the heart of downtown. Discover vintage boutiques, fine dining destinations, and the mid-Century modern landmarks of the Uptown Design District, all walking distance from your hotel, which is conveniently situated upstairs from luxury retailers and Exhale Spa.
Scottsdale (Resort) - USA
Experience Hotel Valley Ho, a mid-century modern oasis in the heart of Downtown Scottsdale with plenty of amenities and nearby attractions.
Tucson (Resort) - USA
A magnificent view of the Catalina Mountains and indigenous saguaro cactus greets you from the moment you arrive at this luxury resort in Tucson. With the distinct Sonoran Desert smell filling the air around you, you get a sense that Loews Ventana Canyon is a luxury hotel unlike any other. Here, you’ll find amenities and services that make you feel like you’ve just checked into paradise. During your stay, we encourage you to enjoy the sunshine, the miles of hiking trails, the 80-foot waterfall, and all of our other relaxing, indulgent offerings. Find your perfect balance at the Lakeside Spa & Fitness Center, where we invite you to escape everyday distractions and discover a haven for rejuvenation, restoration and indulgence.