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.
If you ever played cowboys, it’s time to live the real thing. Jetting into Las Vegas, you’re set free to live out your fantasies in landscapes featuring vast plains and deserts, virtually bottomless canyons, and mysterious rock formations.
Little patches of civilisation emerge among the Wild West terrains made famous by the countless Westerns filmed in the old studios of Tucson, where you spend the night.
On Route 66, a night in bona fide cowboy town Williams puts you just an hour from the Grand Canyon. Not quite a ‘one horse town’, little Kayenta’s your stepping stone for the sculptural rocks of Monument Valley; while vibrant Durango, with its gallery and café scene, is your springboard for Mesa Verde, Hovenweep National Monument, and Chimney Rock National Park.
Reminding you of their native souls, Santa Fe doesn’t just host upscale shopping and spas, it hosts old Indian pueblos, while a night in Las Cruces adds a touch of New Mexico at Old Mesilla Village, and staying in Scottsdale gives time to see Frank Lloyd Wright’s desert-inspired home.
Every good cowboy needed a little downtime, so Las Vegas offers all the world-class dining, shows, and attractions you can lasso at the start and end of your trip.
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.