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USA Family Holiday: San Francisco, Vegas & the Desert

A fabulous family holiday taking in some of the most magnificent places & activities in Western USA. Cycle the Golden Gate Bridge, raft the Colorado River, admire the Grand Canyon & then enjoy the bright lights of Las Vegas.

Tailor-made Classic 2 weeks

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Itinerary

Overview

  • Cycle the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco
  • Private Guided hike in Arches National Park
  • White Water Rafting on the Colorado River
  • Visit The Grand Canyon
This holiday begins in one of the most enjoyable and family friendly cities in the world; San Francisco. During your time in this laid back city, you can cycle the Golden Gate Bridge, visit Alcatraz and take a ride in the world-famous cable way. Once you have had your fill of city life and recovered from your jet lag, you will fly out to Utah where you will then transfer to Moab, a real jewel in Utah's desert land. Here we will base you in a riverside cabin, where you can sit in the evenings and watch relax to the sound of the water. During the days, we have a fun array of activities for you to enjoy, from white water rafting, to a guided tour of the famous Fiery Furnace in Arches National Park, to a half day's mountain biking on Moab's slick rocks.

From Moab, you will then drive along one of the USA's most scenic roads to Bryce Canyon, home of the unique 'hoodoo' rock formations. You can explore this awe-inspiring park on foot or on horseback. From here, the views will only get better as you drive south towards the Grand Canyon. Visiting the quieter north rim of the Canyon, you will only have to share the jaw-dropping views with a handful of other visitors, unlike the much more popular south rim.

Your holiday ends in Las Vegas, home to the bright lights and plenty of glitz. Based in a hotel just off the strip, you can relax by your pool, try out the roller coaster at New York New York, or perhaps take in a show before you fly back home.

Day-by-day

Itinerary in Brief
DAY 1 Arrive San Francisco
DAY 2 San Francisco
DAY 3 San Francisco
DAY 4 Fly to Salt Lake City & Drive to Moab
DAY 5 Guided Fiery Furnace Walk
DAY 6 White Water Rafting
DAY 7 Moab at leisure
DAY 8 Drive to Bryce Canyon
DAY 9 Bryce Canyon
DAY 10 Drive to Kanab
DAY 11 Grand Canyon North Rim
DAY 12 Kanab
DAY 13 Drive to Las Vegas
DAY 14 Las Vegas
DAY 15 Departure

Full Itinerary
DAY 1 ARRIVE SAN FRANCISCO
You will be picked up at the airport and transferred to your hotel

DAY 2 SAN FRANCISCO
Today you are at leisure in San Francisco. You might want to catch a cable car up to Fisherman's Wharf and wander down to pier 39 to see the sealions. In the afternoon, you might want to go for a ferry ride in the bay. If you want to visit Alcatraz, make sure you have booked in advance.

DAY 3 SAN FRANCISCO
Today is another day at leisure in San Francisco. Today you might want to hire bikes and cycle across the Golden Gate Bridge. If you have the energy, we suggest cycling all the way to Sausalito, where you can enjoy a relaxing lunch with fabulous views of San Francisco across the water.

DAY 4 MOAB
Today you will go back to the airport and catch a flight to Salt Lake City. You will then pick up your hire car and drive to Moab, a lovely town with an independent vibe. The afternoon is at leisure.

DAY 5 GUIDED FIERY FURNACE WALK
This morning you will get up early to go and meet your guide, who will take you for a guided hike in the fiery furnace in the spectacular Arches National Park. This hike is only available as a guided option and takes you away from the crowds of tourist to hidden arches and a unique landscape. Your experienced guide will explain the geology to you and walk you through this fascinating rocky labyrinth.
The rest of the afternoon, you may want to explore the park in more detail before going for your pre-rafting trip briefing. On the way back, you might want to stop off at the Moab Brewery for dinner and to pick up some beers to take rafting with you.

DAY 6 RAFTING
Today you will spend the day on the Colorado River rafting Grade 3 and 4 rapids including Little Hummer, Funnel Falls, Last Chance Rapid, and of course, the infamous Skull Rapid. Lunch is a fresh buffet on the riverbank. There will be chance to swim and enjoy the river as you float out of Westwater Canyon. The ride back to Moab will be filled with stories of the hole in 'Sock-It-To-Me' and the beautiful sunset the night before. The van returns you to Moab around 6-6:30 PM

DAY 7 MOAB
Today is a day at leisure in Moab. You may want to relax around the pool in your hotel, or perhaps do some guided mountain biking on Moab's world famous slick rock. Later on, you could drive to Canyonlands National Park for some amazing views and gorgeous walking trails.

DAY 8 DRIVE TO BRYCE CANYON
Today you will drive along one of the area’s most scenic roads to reach the highway that will connect you to Bryce Canyon. Driving through Capitol Reef National Park and then the mountains, the views are amazing. You might choose to stop off in Capitol Reef Park for a hike, or just detour to one of the many viewpoints along the way. There are some interesting petroglyphs to see which makes for a useful stop to stretch your legs. If you are not stopping off to hike, there is a great burger stop (try the chocolate milkshakes) in Hanksville.

DAY 9 BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK
Today is free to explore Bryce Canyon. The stunning colours and unique ‘hoodoo’ rock formations are truly impressive. As ever with the popular national parks, an early start is highly recommended to beat the crowds. Most people explore by car and then go on one of the many hikes on offer. With a higher altitude than Zion and consequently slightly lower temperatures, this is a more comfortable place to hike. You may want to take a picnic and find a solitary spot from where you can take in the magnificent views.
There is also the option to book yourselves a horse ride. Please be aware that no riding hats are provided, so this at your own risk.
In the evening, you might want to go to watch a rodeo at the entrance to the park. This is run mainly for tourists, but is still a fun activity for all the family.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Best Western Bryce Canyon Grand
Transport (where relevant): n/a
Meals Included:
Accommodation: Best Western Bryce Canyon Grand
Transport (where relevant): n/a

DAY 10 BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK - KANAB
This morning is free again for you to explore Bryce Canyon. After lunch, you will drive over to Kanab. Kanab is a self-styled 'Little Hollywood' and they even have a small old set from a Western movie that you can visit. It's a friendly little town with a few accommodation options to choose from. There is also a small, eccentric museum where you can see dinosaur footprints .
Most people staying in Kanab use it as a base for exploring the North rim of the Grand Canyon, as well as Zion and the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Holiday Inn Express, Kanab
Transport (where relevant): 1 ½ hours

DAY 11 NORTH RIM GRAND CANYON
Today you will drive to one of the seven natural wonders of the world: The Grand Canyon. The North Rim is visited less than the busy South Rim, meaning that there will be far fewer people there, so you should be able to take in the views without being in a jostle. When you arrive at the park gates, you will be given a map of where to go. Your best bet is to head first to the Grand Canyon Lodge, where there is a visitor center and toilets. Walking options include a short and easy walk to the Bright Angel Lodge, for views of the south rim. Longer options include the Transept Trail and the Widforss Trail. Speak to the rangers on duty to get an idea of what would be the best option for you.
Mule rides are available to book through Canyon Trail Rides. No helmets are provided, so this is at your own risk.
There isn’t a great choice of eateries at the North Rim, so you may want to bring a picnic with you.

DAY 12 KANAB
Today is a day at leisure. You might want to visit Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, or perhaps go further afield and visit Zion National Park.

DAY 13 DRIVE TO LAS VEGAS
After you check out of your hotel, you drive to Las Vegas. The rest of the day is at leisure. You may want to go to one of the discount ticket booths and pick up some tickets for a show on your last night in Vegas - Cirque du Soleil, Blue Man Group and Tournament of the Kings are all popular family shows.

DAY 14 LAS VEGAS
Las Vegas is full of sights and given the right attitude, is a fun place to explore. Children are allowed to walk through casinos, but are not permitted to gamble, or stop and watch gambling. Activities families may enjoy include visiting a water park, watching the circus acts at Circus Circus and visiting the Adventure Dome theme park.

DAY 15 DEPARTURE
Today is your departure day. You will need to drop your car off at the airport before catching your flight home

Accommodation


Guide price is based on recommended accommodations. Alternative accommodations and upgrades are available. Please get in touch or click on 'alternatives' below for alternatives and upgrade options.

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating

- Fisherman's Wharf Location
- Nautical style decor
- Family friendly rooms

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

- Beautiful river views
- Spacious cabin accommodation
- Good sized pool

Our rating

7/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

- Convenient location
- Swimming pool & hot tub
- Breakfast included

Our rating

7/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- Convenient Location
- Swimming Pool

Our rating

9/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

- Excellent family choice
- Walking distance from the strip
- Sophisticated, smart and safe
- Roof terrace & pool

Details

Getting there

This holiday begins in San Francisco, which is served by several airlines offering direct flights, including British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. You will return from Las Vegas which, again is served with direct flights with both British Airways and Virgin Atlantic. It is possible to pick up some good air fares, especially in the sales. A normal fare during school holidays will usually cost £1,000. We can arrange your flights for you, please contact us for more information.

Price includes

Price is based on a family sharing 1 room. Upgrades to 2 rooms are available.

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 605 reviews

(4.93/5)

  • Everything worked perfectly! We all found our trekking experience to be the best part of our adventures in Morocco. We were particularly pleased with our guide, Hussain; he did a brilliant job. He is thoughtful, knowledgable, and sweet. He represents you well.

    MissingJacob Moffat reviewing Atlas Valleys & Villages Comfort Treks on 09 March 2017

  • Thanks for organising an excellent holiday for us. It's my first time using Tourdust and I've been really impressed and will certainly be recommending you to friends and family. You provided an excellent level of service all the way through, and the bespoke nature of the trip was fantastic whilst being really good value for money.
    Key highlights:
    - Le Kasbah de Toubkal blew us away - one not to miss!
    - The trek was amazing and my kids loved it. The camping was really fun, the food was excellent, and I'd particularly call out our guide Rashid who was fantastic show especially with my kids.
    - Riad Adore was outstanding - far exceeding my expectations - it was beautiful and we were very well looked after
    - Le Doux Tour was luxurious and a nice relaxing way to end the holiday.
    - Logistics were great and our main driver Mustapha was brilliant

    If there was one build / thing I would change, it's a very small one but some candles / lanterns to use in the evening whilst camping would have made it easier to stay outside for a bit longer.

    MissingMark Dilley reviewing Boutique Marrakech & Atlas Mountains on 07 June 2016

  • Truly another world. The sky was enormous and the summits snow covered. Blue irises, wild herbs and fruit trees flowered on the slopes. Even as I toiled up the dry river bed I gazed in admiration.

    Without exception, everyone was courteous and welcoming. Food was good ( and far too plentiful); accommodation clean. Above all-everything worked! A pick-up was promised for 9.00am. At 8.55 the doorbell rang. Impeccable.

    No praise is too high for the organisation and staff. I am definitely going back.

    MissingTerence Humphreys reviewing Classic Atlas Valleys & Villages Trek on 16 May 2016

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