National Park Loop
A sense-assaulting city break favourite, Las Vegas dazzles the eyes with flashing neon, the ears with eternally-chiming slot machines, and even the taste buds with all-you-can-eat ‘global’ buffets.
But don’t think leaving Las Vegas will relieve your senses. This mini city with maximum attitude sits among some of the States’ most awe-inspiring scenery. And this eight day loop takes you to see show-stopping attractions beyond that famous ‘Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas’ sign.
You’ll experience the Grand Canyon from every angle – flying in a private jet over Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, and the Colorado River, before a road trip with stops along the canyon’s rim, and a vintage train journey on the Grand Canyon Railway to Williams. If the scenery doesn’t steal the show, the train’s old-fashioned shootout and railway robbery just might.
Ticking off ‘Route 66’ on your bucket list, you’ll stroll down parts of the historic road in Williams and Flagstaff. But it’s the roads out of town that promise the biggest eye-openers, as you follow them to see the otherworldly slots of Antelope Canyon, the iconic ‘Western film set’ scenery of Monument Valley, the rose-hued hoodoos and amphitheatres of Bryce Canyon, and the paradoxical lush forests and dramatic cliffs of Zion; all before returning to the high-drama of Las Vegas.
Wings Over the West
Cherry-picking only the finest finds in California and Nevada, and travelling like a VIP in a private 16 seater plane, gives you more time to experience each stop. Zigzagging from its cooler-than-cool cities to its hotter-than hot coastal havens, the classics come together to create the definitive guide to the West.
Las Vegas, San Francisco, LA: the golden triangle’s a must for any West coast wanderer. Throwing you in the deep end, Las Vegas comes with an unashamedly flamboyant flurry of pinging slot machines, million-dollar shows, and all-you-can-squeeze-in dining and shopping.
Leaving Las Vegas, its complete antithesis awaits in Yosemite; a serene valley whose flamboyance comes from the drama of sights like Tunnel View, El Capitan, and Bridalveil Falls.
One may be super-sized and the other merely 49 square miles, but sprawling LA and mini San Francisco share one thing: endless attractions. The names trip off the tongue: Hollywood Walk of Fame, Rodeo Drive, and Santa Monica Beach; San Fran’s Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown, and Fisherman’s Wharf. And, linking the two, the Central Coast’s laced with its own attractions, from Morro Bay to Carmel’s stunning 17 Mile Drive.
Casinos and Canyons
If ever two worlds shouldn’t survive side by side, it’s the canyons and casinos of America’s West. Las Vegas’s Bellagio fountains defy its desert setting. Its people-packed Strip defies its remoteness. And its manmade masterpieces defy the natural splendour of its surroundings. But that’s all part of the excitement.
Las Vegas is the ultimate love it or hate it destination. To some it sends shivers of trepidation, to others shivers of excitement, but you’ll never know which until you rock up and ride the experience.
A complete contrast to the encircling wilderness, it’s an unlikely city of faux-global landmarks and genuine luxury. Every inch of its famous Strip is lined with exclusive malls and themed hotels, each vying to beat the next for the best shows and restaurants, the biggest star residencies, the greatest casinos, and the wackiest attractions, from fake beaches to sky-scraping theme park rides.
Step away from the city, and nature, solitude and silence reign. Five nights out in the wilds in three national parks opens your eyes to nature’s own overthe-top creations, like the shadow-throwing hoodoos of Bryce Canyon; the light-catching turrets of Monument Valley; the endlessly changing terrains of Canyonlands; and the eye-defying depths of the Grand Canyon.