Summary of the stay

  • 26 days
  • Spring
  • Summer
  • Autumn
  • Solo
  • Couple
  • Friends
  • Culture / Heritage
  • Faune and flora
  • Discovery
  • Adventure / Sports & Leisure
  • Free time
  • Relaxation / Well-being
  • High

A 3-week stay in California and the Great West will allow you to visit San Francisco, Las Vegas, the major national parks such as Bryce Canyon or Zion, Los Angeles, the Pacific Coast and the Wine Valley. Note that the distances between each site are long enough and it takes long hour drive each time. America is the country of the road trip…

Map, Itinerary of the stay and pictures

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Itinerary of the stay
  • San Francisco
  • Berkeley
  • Oakland
  • Sausalito
  • Monterey
  • Carmel
  • Big Sur
  • Yountville
  • Calistoga
  • Yosemite National Park
  • Valley Of Fire State Park
  • Los Angeles
  • Santa Barbara
  • San Luis Obispo
  • Las Vegas
  • Bryce Canyon National Park
  • Zion National Park
  • Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park
  • Kayenta
  • Flagstaff
  • Petrified Forest National Park
  • Grand Canyon National Park
  • San Simeon
  • Bolinas
  • Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
  • Pismo Beach
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Detail of the stay : Discovering the Western American legends. - 26 days

Day 1: Arrival in San Francisco

You probably landed late in the day, put your luggage at the hotel and reach Union Square for dinner.

Day 2: San Francisco must-sees

Visit Union Square, the heart of the city, then Chinatown. You have to leave early in the morning, the atmosphere is very picturesque. Then discover the Financial District: architectural curiosities such as the Bank of America, the Wells Fargo Museum, the Russ Building and the Transamerica Pyramid. Then head for Telegraph Hill: the Coit Tower and its exceptional panorama, Lombard Street, the most winding road in the world. Take a detour to Fisherman's Wharf and Marina: fishing and yachting harbour, promenade, old boats, shops and restaurants. Lunch on site. The afternoon will be devoted to Pacific Heights and its Victorian houses. Nob Hill for its magnificent view of the bay, which is best reached by the famous cable car. Afterwards, visit the Opera House and the department stores. Finish by Union Square: shopping and night on the spot.

Day 3: Mission and Sausalito

Visit the very lively Mission and Castro, gay and lesbian neighbourhood. Relax at Golden Gate Park and have lunch on site. Join Highway 1 to take the Golden Gate Bridge towards Sausalito and its marina, traditional wooden houses, houseboats (floating houses), art galleries and trendy boutiques. The end of the day will be devoted to Bolinas, the last true hippie community in San Francisco. If you have some time left, make a stop at the beach to surf. Spend the evening in San Francisco in the South of Market area of Castro and Mission. Night on site.

Day 4: Entering in the Yosemite National Park

This day is devoted to Yosemite Valley (entrance by south of the Arch Rock Entrance), start with Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias (a very beautiful forest), then Pioneer Yosemite History Center (an open air museum), El Capitan and Cathedral Rocks (two beautiful rocks), Glacier Point (a promontory on the valley), Yosemite Village (a Indian civilization museum), end with Yosemite Falls and Bridalveil Fall (among the tallest waterfalls in the world). Night in campsite or a lodge. 

Day 5: Promenade in Tuolumne Meadows

The second day in the park will be devoted to the discovery of Tuolumne Meadows, the wider subalpine meadow of Sierra, famous for its many hikes or cycling. Leave by the Big Oak Flat Road: two huge sequoias. Night in San Francisco.

Day 6: To Las Vegas

The day is entirely dedicated to the transfer to Las Vegas. It takes about 8-hour drive. Spending the night in Las Vegas.

Day 7: Las Vegas and its casinos

Admire the stunning architecture of hotels and casinos on the Strip. Sleeping the night in Las Vegas (the luxury hotels are much cheaper than elsewhere).

Day 8: Zion National Park

On the road and arrival for lunch. In the afternoon, visit Kolob Canyons, the most wild part. Night in campsite or a lodge.

Day 9: Zion National Park

In the morning, go to Mount Carmel. And in the afternoon, walk between the white, pink and red rocks. At the end of the day, go to Bryce Canyon National Park. Arrival for admiring the sunset.

Day 10: Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon and its pine forest offer some of the most striking panorama of the South-west American. Night on site, in campsite or lodge.

Day 11: Lake Powell

In the early morning, leave Bryce Canyon to reach the beautiful Lake Powell located at some 200 km to the east. The lake displays its turquoise waters among the sandstone cliffs and the arches. Make a boat trip or go down the river.

Day 12: Monument Valley

Again, drive to Utah and the majestic western landscape of Monument Valley. You can hike on the footsteps of Navajo Indians.

Day 13: Navajo National Monument and Window Rock

About one hour's drive north of Monument Valley is the remembrance place. Admire the well-preserved remains of the late 13th century, the great era of the Anasazis Indians.

Day 14: Petrified Forest National Park

Today, you will discover this incredible fossilized forest located three hours south of the Navajo Monument. See also the Painted Desert National Park for its colourful hills. Spending the night at Flagstaff, nicknamed the entrance door of the Grand Canyon.

Day 15: Flagstaff and preparation for the Grand Canyon

Visit the city and university and then do your last shopping for the next day's hike. At the end of the day,, go to the Grand Canyon to sleep near the site.

Day 16: Hiking on South Rim Trail

Go to the South Shore to walk along the South Rim Trail (along the canyon over 20 km) and in Indian crafts galleries. Sunset at Grand View or Yavapai, and spending the night in one of the lodges.

Day 17: Trekking along Bright Angel or Kaibab Trail

Early rising and great hiking on Bright Angel or Kaibab Trails (between 4 and 7 hours depending on the hike).

Day 18: Head to Los Angeles

Drive to Los Angeles. The road trip will take one day (7 h) and you should plan several breaks on the way. For example, you can have a picnic along the Mojave desert. Arrival in the evening in Los Angeles. Night on site.

Day 19: Los Angeles, the sweetness of life

In the morning, enjoy the relaxation on the beach of Venice. Visit the Getty Center, the Museum with beautiful gardens and architecture. In the afternoon, discover Hollywood Boulevard and its famous Chinese Theater, and admire the sunset at Griffith Park's observatory, where you have a 180° view.

Day 20: Los Angeles, Downtown

Start off by going to Pueblo of Los Angeles and Olvera Street, the historic heart of the Angels' City. Continue to the Art Deco station of Union Station. Finish your visit by the famous Walt Disney Concert Hall, whose construction was completed in 2003 by Franck Gehry. Before leaving, go to panoramic bar The Rooftop at the top of Standard Hotel. Road to Santa Barbara late in the afternoon.

Day 21: Santa Barbara

In the morning: Red Tile Walking Tour, walk to see the main civilian buildings of the Spanish era. The afternoon will be devoted to Santa Barbara Mission, Botanic Garden and one strolls on foot at the oldest wooden pier of California. Night in Santa Barbara.

Day 22: Bay to San Luis Obispo

In the morning, enjoy Pismo Beach famous for its dunes and clams. Then schedule San Luis Obispo, its mission and the Farmers Market on Thursday night in Higuera Street. Night at the Madonna Inn hotel, very original.

Day 23: Hearst Castle, Big Sur, Carmel and Monterey

In the morning, go to Hearst Castle, an amazing property of a billionaire, opulence and eccentricity are guaranteed... Take the beautiful Highway 1 to Big Sur, a Bohemian green place, and do enjoy the raw nature. There are also beautiful walks and many sports activities to do, if you still have some time, visit Henry Miller Library, a small museum. Once in Carmel, make a stop in San Carlos Borroméo, one of the most beautiful Spanish missions. Enjoy the beautiful beaches and coves. Do a little shopping in the elegant shops. Finally, Monterey, famous for its beautiful landscapes and beautiful strolls (wooden houses, seals, seals, sea elephants, in mid-September: World famous jazz festival) will be your stop for the night.

Day 24: Napa Valley

In Yountville, you can make an original visit of the vineyards: flying in a balloon. By going to Santa Helena, you will discover the museum dedicated to the writer Stevenson. Finally, a spa resort known for its mud and algae baths in Calistoga awaits you.

Day 25: Berkeley

Berkeley is known for its prestigious university. Don't miss the magnificent view on the Bay and Telegraph Avenue: record stores seventies, merchants, street vendors and restaurants. Night in San Francisco.

Day 26: San Francisco and trip back

This last day will allow you to do a little shopping or relax before you start the long journey.

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