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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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  • 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.


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
You will be picked up at the airport and transferred to your hotel

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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


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.

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

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Price guide

Price rating 4

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

Our rating


Price guide

Price rating 4

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

Our rating


Price guide

Price rating 3

- Convenient Location
- Swimming Pool

Our rating


Price guide

Price rating 4

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


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.


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What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 494 reviews


  • Everything was fab, I especially loved Tuningi such a special place and my son got to see his favourite animal the cheetah (after a bit of time hunting about on foot!). Mauritius is lovely we saw quite a bit of the island in the end.

    MissingLaura L reviewing South Africa Safari and Mauritius on 12 December 2018

  • We had a wonderful trip to Morocco. What a fascinating country. Thank you so much for all of your help making things smooth and less stressful!

    Here are a few things we wanted to pass on:

    Dar Housnia was absolutely delightful. It was like an entire wing of a house to ourselves with perfect Moroccan decor. The private area where we ate was so cute, the riad staff so accommodating. I loved waking in the cozy space with our family and hearing both call to prayer as well as roosters. Just perfect.

    I was a little unclear how to ask what time we were being picked up etc, but your office promptly replied to my emails - even on weekends- when we had these questions about transport times. Once, we met our guide in Imlil these details we not problematic as our guide “Abraham” totally took care of us. Abraham was awesome. You should definitely request him again in the future. He was young (29)and energetic. He had a ton of hiking experience in Imlil as he was from there. He also seemed to know everything else about morocco, the desert, the culture, etc, etc. He was approachable, kind, patient, great with our kids and answered SO MANY of our questions.

    The hike was lovely - after rain the day prior in Marrakech - there was snow in the mountains. It was gorgeous. We may have been up for a longer hike up Mt Taboukel if I had known this was a realistic option for families ( I thought from reading that it was too technical for us). Yet not sure we had enough days for all these things always since getting in the desert was a priority.

    The mountain house, Dar adar, was just as described… very basic. The wifi was broken (which was a nice break when you have pre-teens addicted to phones, plus my husband called no wifi an amenity to not be available by email for his work!)). There was no heat and the fireplace helped a tad - but was so very cold in the rooms. My husband loved the rustic space, I may have gone up one step in niceness of mountain accommodation if I had to do it over again. Yet, meeting the other families in this Dar Adar (including another Tourdust family from England) made this house very memorable.

    We were then joined by our driver for the next several days, Jamal. What a fun guy and a perfect driver. He could joke with my kids, he had a fun smile, and he had worked with Abraham before so they were a great team. The drive to desert was long as I knew it would be. It was nice to have the stop on way there near Ait Ben Haddu. The drive back from desert was long. It was more near 10 hours of driving (plus 1 hour at lunch = 11 hours) but I wouldn’t have made any different choices.

    The luxury desert camp was far and away the highlight of our trip. The tents were adorable, I was sufficiently warm even at night inside the tent. We loved the camel riding, the ATV vehicles at a nearby camp, sunsets on the dunes, music around the camp fire, meals with others at the camp and more.

    The last night was at Riad Jona. This was so very very lovely. The food was amazing - such a good idea to eat here after our long drive back to Marrakech. They had a small dining pool plus a hot tub which was delightful. It was almost more of a boutique hotel as it had several rooms.

    MissingGwyneth R reviewing Luxury Family Desert Holiday on 11 December 2018

  • The trip was amazing everything was better than we could have imagined.
    There was a moment climbing the mount Kenya where my wife accused me of tricking her into doing this (half kidding) as some of the nights got pretty cold, but we were dressed well and the sunrise at the peak was astonishing.
    Safari was spectacular, Ben who was our main guide and driver was awesome! We saw everything excepts rhinos which were more of a hope than a reality. We also were able to watch a rock python eat a Thompson gazel live. It was one of the most interesting and unsettling things I have ever seen.
    Just overall, so many moments that make you think wow or I can't believe I am here. Thank you for your help in getting everything set up. I don't believe I could have booked the trip without your help and guidance. It was an amazing way to start our marriage and truly the trip of a lifetime!

    MissingWilliam K reviewing 11 Day Mount Kenya Trek and Masai Mara Safari Combined on 29 October 2018

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Alternative Itineraries

Our itineraries are carefully designed by our experienced travel designers based on years of experience and customer feedback. For a custom itinerary tailored to you, please enquire giving as much detail as possible on your brief.

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