December 26 – January 11 Tour #20171226 17 Days
Double: $2649 Triple: $2489 Single: $3829 Deposit: $400
You won’t want to miss this opportunity to welcome the New Year by attending Pasadena’s annual Rose Parade. Actually being there in Pasadena for this great parade and experiencing the tradition and pageantry of this event surpasses what you have ever seen on television. This magnificent parade and other great activities await us on this once-in-a-lifetime southwestern adventure.
Day 1 – MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE – We travel through Kentucky and Tennessee with a stop at the Casey Jones Village in Jackson, Tennessee on the way. Our first overnight will be in Memphis, Tennessee. Dinner is included this evening.
Day 2 – GRACELAND – MERRIAM, KANSAS – This morning, we will tour Graceland, the beautiful mansion of Elvis Presley. Here, we will see his home, the Auto Museum featuring his motorcycles and legendary “Pink Cadillac”, his airplanes and memorabilia spanning his entire career: dazzling costumes, gold records, gifts, cards, a 17-carat diamond studded ring and 24-carat gold leaf piano. Next, we continue to our overnight accommodations in Merriam, Kansas.
Day 3 – OKLAHOMA CITY NATIONAL MEMORIAL – NATIONAL COWBOY HALL OF FAME – Today we travel to Oklahoma City, where we visit the Oklahoma City Bombing National Memorial, created to honor those who were killed by the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. Next, we visit the National Cowboy Hall of Fame Center. While there be sure to see the famous “End of the Trail” statue. Next, we continue to our overnight accommodations in Tucumcari, New Mexico.
Day 4 – OLD TOWN ALBUQUERQUE – SANDIA PEAK TRAMWAY – Today we travel to Albuquerque, New Mexico, where we will enjoy shopping in Old Town, a truly delightful experience. Old Town Plaza is the heart of the city’s heritage and now offers a variety of arts, crafts and delicacies in a multitude of shops and boutiques. Next, you will gently soar over the mountains in the Sandia Peak Tramway. The enclosed tramway takes you two miles up to the stunning mountain peak to see one of the most beautiful views in all of New Mexico. Our hotel accommodations will be in Holbrook, Arizona.
Day 5 – PAINTED DESERT – PETRIFIED FOREST – GRAND CANYON – This will be a beautiful day of touring! Our drive takes us through the Petrified Forest National Park and the Painted Desert. The Petrified Forest features an abundance of colorful petrified logs. Our next stop is Grand Canyon National Park to view this amazing natural wonder created by the Colorado River. The park covers about 1,200,000 acres and includes cliffs, valleys and rock formations reminiscent of ancient temples. It is an awesome sight! We overnight in Grand Canyon, Arizona.
Day 6 – LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – Today we head to California across the great Mojave Desert with its large variety of plant life, including the unique Joshua Tree cactus. Our hotel accommodations for the next two nights will be in Los Angeles, California.
Day 7 – ROSE PARADE – Since 1890, the Rose Parade in Pasadena, California has been a tradition celebrating the start of the new year. This morning, we will become a part of this festive event as we join the thousands of people who come out to watch this grand parade. There will be marching bands and high stepping equestrian units from all over the nation, but the real stars are the magnificent floral floats covered in millions of flowers of every color, including roses, carnations, orchids and mums. Overnight same hotel.
Day 8 – LOS ANGELES CITY TOUR – PALM SPRINGS, CALIFORNIA – This morning, a local guide will board our coach for an informative tour of the Los Angeles area. Highlights of the tour include Mann’s Chinese Theater (to see the handprints of the stars) Rodeo Drive, Sunset Strip, the Farmer’s Market and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Next, we continue to Palm Springs, California, where we overnight. Pasadena Rose Parade and The Great Southwest Painted Desert and marvel at the Petrified Forest Graceland Carlsbad Caverns 49
Day 9 – SAGUARO NATIONAL PARK – This morning, we depart Palm Springs and head through Phoenix to the Saguaro National Park, a forest of stately saguaro cactus standing like sentinels, guarding the desert floor. The huge saguaro cactus grows only in the Sonora Desert, can live more than 200 years and grow as tall as 30 to 40 feet. Dinner is included this evening. We overnight in Tucson, Arizona.
Day 10 – WHITE SANDS NATIONAL MONUMENT – Today, we will visit a great natural wonder, the wave-like dunes of gypsum sand found at White Sands National Monument. We continue to Alamogordo, New Mexico to overnight.
Day 11 – CARLSBAD CAVERNS – FORT STOCKTON, TEXAS – Today, we make our way to Carlsbad Caverns, one of the largest and most beautiful caves in the world. Walking is easy with its paved lighted pathways. Next, we cross New Mexico and enter Texas. We overnight in Fort Stockton, Texas.
Day 12 – SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS – depart our hotel and continue to San Antonio, one of America’s most unique and beautiful cities. Here, time-worn adobe and stone buildings stand in the shadows of towering modern structures, while a feeling of intimacy prevails along the Paseo del Rio that leisurely meanders through the heart of San Antonio. Everywhere you look, there are signs of the “old” and the “new” – all of which mold, shape and create this exciting city. We spend the next two nights in San Antonio, Texas. Dinner is included this evening
Day 13 – ALAMO – MARKET SQUARE – Today, we explore this stately old city of San Antonio. First, we visit the Alamo, the “Cradle of Texas Liberty.” We will have time for lunch on our own and shopping at Market Square before returning to our hotel. This evening is free to visit the Paseo Del Rio, or Riverwalk, where you may choose to have dinner in one of the quaint little restaurants along the Riverwalk area (meal on own). Overnight same hotel.
Day 14 – LBJ HISTORIC PARK – This morning, we depart for Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park, where we will tour the LBJ Ranch and see the “Texas White House.” We continue on to Houston, Texas, where we overnight. Dinner is included this evening.
Day 15 – MARTIN ACCORDIONS – BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA – Today, we visit Martin Accordions to learn about how these handmade instruments are created for musicians around the world. We continue to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to overnight. Dinner is included this evening.
Day 16 – VICKSBURG NATIONAL MILITARY PARK – USS CAIRO – This morning, we travel to Vicksburg, Mississippi, where we visit Vicksburg Military Park. Forts, trenches and artillery positions, visible both within and outside the park, have been re-created on actual sites. The USS Cairo, a Civil War era ironclad gunboat is preserved as a special display on the battlefield. Next, we drive to Birmingham, Alabama, where we overnight. Dinner is included this evening.
Day 17 – HOME – Today we arrive home with memories of the great state of California, and a better understanding of so many places different from our own. Meals: 11B, 1L 8D