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TheBigSurYosemiteandSanDiegoAdventure

The Big Sur, Yosemite & San Diego Adventure

Welcome to California! This exciting new 15 night family friendly tour encompasses all the not to be missed highlights of the 'Golden State', including San Francisco, Yosemite, Anaheim , San Diego and the remarkably stunning Highway 1. Covering a variety of landscapes, these famous sights and familiar named places will become reality and forever etched into your memory. This is a tour full of bright lights, city fun, classic National Parks, stunning landscapes and the excitement of world renowned theme parks like Anaheim's Disneyland and Seaworld in San Diego.

Highlights Include

  • San Francisco - Meet Pier 39's resident Sealions at Fishermans Wharf
  • Yosemite National Park
  • Sequoia National Park & Kings Canyon
  • Universal Studios & Disneyland Resort
  • San Diego - Seaworld, Legoland & World famous zoo
  • World class Monterey Bay Aquarium
  • Hearst Castle
  • Sandy Beaches of Santa Barbara

Itinerary

1

San Francisco

Fly Direct from London Heathrow to San Francisco with Virgin or the airline of your choice.
Arrive San Francisco early afternoon and take a taxi from the airport to your hotel (approx. 40 mins) where you will be spending the next three nights.

Surrounded by San Francisco Bay and The Pacific Ocean, the 'City by the Bay' as it's known is arguably the most friendly and beautiful in America. With many impressive areas like Downtown Union Square, home to fantastic shopping with it's famous cable cars and the attractions of Fisherman's Wharf among them, there is so much to do in this city and you have two whole days to do it all! Perhaps start by taking a tour of the city, which includes the experience of driving over the Golden Gate Bridge. Alternatively, you can explore the city on foot and take the cable car down to Fisherman's Wharf which is packed with shops and restaurants and also home to the city's playful resident sealions at Pier 39. For older children, be sure not to miss Alcatraz - the famous island prison a short boat ride across the bay. If you've time you could also visit 'Exploratorium' - the Museum of Science, art and human perception. With countless weird and wonderful 'hands on' activities to keep the kids fascinated, this leading Museum makes a great day out for all the family.

4

Yosemite National Park

"188 miles"

After a leisurely breakfast, you will need to make your way to a convenient downtown location to collect your hire car before leaving the city and heading east to Yosemite National Park. As you drive through the stunning Yosemite Valley, you will marvel at one of the world's most amazing geological spectacles complete with three thousand foot cliffs, incredible waterfalls and oak, fir and cedar lined grassy meadows. There's plenty to keep the younger members of the family mesmerised too as deer, coyotes and black bears can often be seen here.
Arrive at your hotel by late afternoon in time to enjoy the a leisurely evening at your hotel, where the kids will be more than ready to take a plunge into one of the hotels pools. Stay for three nights.

With two full days to explore the jewel of the Californian wilderness, you can begin to enjoy all it's splendour by taking a slow drive through the park to see amazing scenery like El Capitan, Bridalveil Falls and Half Dome.
Be sure not to miss Mariposa Grove near the park's southern entrance, famed for it's giant sequoia trees. Also visit the historic village of Wawona, and enjoy the vast and fantastic view of the valley from Glacier Point overlook.

You could leave the car at Yosemite Village and instead ride the free shuttle that frequently loops around the valley, making in all the points of interest. Perhaps take a short hike or two to see some of the many waterfalls in the park, or hire bikes to take you around one of the bicycle paths on the valley floor. For the more adventurous you could join a horseback trip through the park or even learn to mountaineer.

7

Sequoia National Park

"186 miles"

Leaving Yosemite you will today be heading further south to Sequoia National Park, which lies sprawled across the heart of the Sierra Nevada along with Kings Canyon National Park.
Your journey down through the mainly agricultural San Joaquin Valley will take you through several towns, home to many an ice cream parlour and a perfect place to break your journey en route. Both parks are home to the largest groves of giant sequoias in the Sierra Nevada. Bears, deer, and numerous smaller animals and birds depend on the parks' miles of wild habitat for year-round breeding and feeding grounds.

Spend the day exploring Sequoia with it's many paths leading through forests and meadows. Be sure to visit the Giant Forest Museum where everybody can learn about the lifecycle of the Sequoias and also Lodgepole Village, host to fascinating geological displays and film shows. Leave plenty of time to see Kings Canyon, with it's maze like canyons and isolated lakes as it's often much less busy than it's neighbour. There are many other activities you can do in these areas, including fishing, canoeing and kayaking.

9

Los Angeles

"218 miles"

An early start today as you have a longer journey onwards towards the bright lights and excitement of Los Angeles. Perhaps break your journey in the oil town of Bakersfield, the unlikely home to one of the liveliest country music scenes in the country! Arrive Los Angeles late afternoon, in time to check into your hotel which will be your base for your 3 night stay in this amazing city.

Otherwise known as the'City of Angels', Los Angeles is a sprawling city of distinctive neighbourhoods, and the undisputed entertainment capital of the world. During your stay you will be conveniently based in Anaheim, just 35 miles southwest of the city and perfectly placed to enjoy all the magic and fun of Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure. Also nearby are the thrills and spills of the white knuckle roller coasters of Knoots Berry Farm, an excellent alternative theme park. you to enjoy the convenience and excitement of Hollywood's Walk of Fame, Universal Studios Hollywood, City Walk, Dodger Stadium, Disney Studios, Warner Brothers Studios, Beverly Hills and many other attractions.

11

Hollywood

There is so much to see in this exciting city so don't forget to leave time for the rest! Start with a tour of Hollywood, including Beverly Hills and a chance to see the exclusive homes of some of the top movie stars. Visit Hollywood Boulevard and Mann's Chinese Theater where you can stand in your favourite stars footsteps, before taking a stroll down boutique lined Rodeo Drive. Also, visit the Hollywood Bowl and have your picture taken at the famous Hollywood sign on Mt. Lee.

13

San Diego

 "121 miles"

Departing Los Angeles this morning after breakfast, your relatively short drive will bring you to the beautiful city of San Diego, just 30 minutes north of the Mexican border. San Diego is the birthplace of California and a centre for ocean science, the Navy and also a hub of Mexican-American culture. Both a modern metropolis and a popular year round resort, the city is spread over more than 20 miles and has many attractions including Mission Bay Park, once a shallow wasteland, and now a 4,600 acre aquatic park which includes Sea World. Along with Legoland California, this wonderful theme park is one of the cities main attractions, along with the world famous San Diego Zoo situated in the true oasis of Balboa Park. The Old Town preserves the areas rich Spanish-American heritage while downtown supports the business community, a convention centre, theatres, great shopping and exciting nightlife.

15

Santa Barbara

 "215 miles"

Before you leave San Diego today, make the most of you final opportunity to explore the city this morning by taking the hop on hop off San Diego Trolley around the city. Visit Colorado Island with its charming cottages, quaint shops and the stunning Del Coronado Hotel, made famous by the film 'Some Like it Hot'. Depart after lunch for Santa Barbara with it's Spanish influence and wide sandy beaches.

16

Monterey

 "237 miles"

Spend a leisurely day in this charming resort, home to the outstanding and world class Monterey Aquarium a must for children of all ages! Also visit the fascinating Maritime Museum. Enjoy a meal and a stroll along Cannery Row, made famous by John Steinbeck where the galleries and restaurants have replaced the original canneries. Along Fisherman's Wharf, art galleries, handicraft shops and the Wharf Theatre have super-ceded the commercial fishing activities of the early 20th century. Enjoy Santa Cruz, which fronts onto fine swimming and surfing beaches at the north end of Monterey Bay. Take a stroll along the historic boardwalk with its 1911 carousel and 1924 roller coaster. At the south end of Monterey bay is the historic town of Monterey.

17

San Francisco/Home

"119 miles"

After breakfast and time for some last minute souvenir shopping in Monterey, you will head a little further north to San Francisco airport to drop off your car and board your overnight flight home.


What's included?

  • Return Flights from London (Please ask about other departure airports)
  • 16 nights accommodation and room tax
  • Fully Insured Compact Car Hire for 2 Drivers
  • A travel pack containing a day by day itinerary, driving instructions, maps & suggested excursions

How to book

Daily Departures 19 May to 30 September.

We can also offer this itinerary in a wide range of other accommodation types, including superior hotels, character properties such as lodges and small inns.

Please call us on (01892) 779900 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. stating your travel dates, and preferred standard of accommodation for a detailed & competitively priced quotation.

TheFreedomTrailforFamilies

The Freedom Trail for Families

Whilst encapsulating rural America, with it's picture postcard seaside villages, historical towns and clapboard houses, New England still offers a perfect setting for a truly unforgettable family holiday. This exciting family friendly itinerary allows you to experience all the highlights of 3 of the area's most southern states; Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut but without the mileage of many other Eastern USA Self drive tours. This self drive tour is ideal for families with children of all ages, especially younger ones.

Highlights Include

  • Boston
  • Providence
  • Mystic Seaport

Itinerary

1

Boston

Begin your stay in this delightful and friendly city by putting on your walking shoes and exploring at your own pace, either by walking along The Freedom Trail, a three mile historic walk through Old Boston or taking 'The Old TownTrolley Tour'. This allows you to hop on or off at any of the scheduled stops, covering over 100 points of interest including Boston Common, Copley Square and the cobbled streets of the pretty neighbourhood of Beacon Hill.

The city is also home to the famous Boston Duck Tour which takes you on an entertaining trip by land and water in a real WWII amphibious landing vehicle! This trip is a must for any family so make sure you book early and be prepared to quack like a real duck when you pass another Duck tour on the river!

Prepare to be amazed by the magnificent Harvard Museum of National History where kids and parents alike can enjoy engaging and thought provoking activities that make natural history really come alive. Then enjoy the 'Covent Garden style' atmosphere of Quincy Market with all it's great shops and irresistible food stalls and restaurants - a perfect place to pick up some delicious muffins and cookies for hungry kids after another fun filled day in this great city.

5

Falmouth

"76 miles"

Departing Boston after breakfast, your short drive onwards to Cape Cod will take you Via Plymouth, about 1 hour south of Boston where you can break your journey for a few hours, and have some fun. Explore Mayflower II, a recreation of the ship in which the Pilgrim Fathers landed back in 1620, and talk to the 'Pilgrims' about their journey. Nearby Plimoth Plantation offers a fascinating glimpse of what life was like for Native Americansand settlers alike. Finally pay a visit to Cranberry World where you can learn all about the area's number one product in a fascinating museum environment, complete with real Cranberry Bogs. After lunch, continue your leisurely journey a little further south onto the Cape along the slightly quieter and more scenic route 6A. This will take you through various pretty seaside villages and winding lanes until you reach Falmouth, a delightful town on the western tip of Cape Cod.

With two full days at leisure, you've plenty of time to explore Cape Cod's hundreds of miles of unspoilt ocean beaches, various bike trails and wildlife refuges as well as experiencing the thrill of a Whale watching trip from famous Provincetown between June and October. Discover it's numerous colourful fishing ports where you may even see the day's catch being unloaded, such as the one in the beautiful seaside village of Chatham. Here you will find many great ocean beaches and a lovely old lighthouse. Also visit Sandwich, the Cape's oldest town and a small community with a town green and a village centre. It is home to the Hoxie House, built circa 1637 and therefore the oldest house on the Cape. The Heritage Plantation encompasses 76 acres of rhododendrons and more than 1,000 varieties of trees, shrubs and flowers. Don't forget to take a ferry over to nearby Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket.

8

Providence

"69 miles"

After breakfast, depart on another short scenic drive today and you will quickly find yourself arriving at your next stop in Rhode Island At only 37 miles wide and 48 miles deep, 'Little Rhody' as it's otherwise known is the USA's smallest state. However, with 400 miles of coastline, and a wealth of interesting things to do, a stay in Providence, one of New England's most historic and lively cities is a must for any family holiday in the area.

This state capital is rich in heritage, and boasts beautiful buildings, great shopping, a scenic riverwalk and an outdoor skating arena. It's also home to the world class Roger Williams Park Zoo - voted one of the top 10 in the country. With over 957 animals representing 156 spieces , it boasts a Tropical Rainforest Building where "spunky monkeys" roam free in a constructed jungle-like environment. The zoo remains one of the city's top attractions and offers hours of entertainment for children and adults alike.

10

Mystic Seaport

"49 miles"

Leaving Providence you can either drive straight to Mystic in Connecticut or take a slightly longer and more leisurely route, exploring the beautiful Rhode Island coastline along the way. Why not stop en route and take the 30 minute catamaran across from Point Judith/Galilee to Block Island, a tiny resort lying twelve miles off shore where the clocks seem to have stopped in 1955! At just 10 square miles in size it's the perfect place for a long leisurely beach picnic and a home made ice cream, before you make your way back to the mainland and continue on to Mystic.

As well as being steeped in history and home to Yale University, Connecticut is also famous for having had The Frisbee, hamburgers and lollipops all invented there. Today the area offers a wealth of attractions that make this southernmost state an essential stop on any New England itinerary. Discover the Mystic Seaport, America's premier maritime museum with an amazing village area of historic buildings and tall ships. Mystic is also known for its exciting new Aquarium, home to over 3500 sea creatures including Beluga Whales, harbour seals, Penguins and most notably Kodiak, the 9 year old male Steller Sea Lion that already weighs over 1700 pounds! Mystic Aquarium is one of only five aquariums in the world where you can actually view the largest known breed of Sea Lion. Here you can also enter the mysterious world of the Rainforest in the 'Hidden Amazon' where you can discover the creatures that live under the canopy of this strange and colourful world. It's filled with creepy tarantulas, poisonous frogs, slithering snakes, fascinating piranha and soaring bats. You will all have fun learning about the animals that live in the Amazon by day and the mysterious creatures that emerge at night. Also spend time exploring Mashantucket Pequot, the worlds largest Native American Indian Museum, where you can stroll through an authentically recreated 16th century Indian village complete with wigwams and lifelike figures. Meantime, Olde Mistick Village offers more than 60 shops and restaurants in a unique shopping environment, with something to appeal to everybody's taste.

13

Sturbridge

Leaving Mystic late morning a leisurely journey today will take you north through the Connecticut countryside and back into Massachusetts, where you will stay in the town of Sturbridge.

Spend a whole day at one of the most visited tourist attractions in the US, Old Sturbridge Village, a recreation of a 19th century New England farming village and surrounding countryside, with more than 40 buildings and working homes from a water powered sawmill to a general store filled with goods. As soon as children step in the Visitors Centre and meet the Costumed greeters dressed in 1830's clothing they will feel like they've actually stepped back in time. They are directed straight to 'KidStory', an interactive touch and feel experience of what they are about to see and do, before they actually set foot in the Village including clothes to try on and a pretend farm complete with animals. There is usually also some kind of craft to try our before entering the 19th century. As soon as families set foot on the other side of the Visitor Centre they are transported to another era. They first see the Village green with where Villagers are plying their daily tasks. Children are encouraged to ask questions and at least one house has children's games and things to play with. On the green in the summer families can participate in 19th century outdoor games and play baseball of the period. The second area of the Village is the farm and mill area where parents and children alike can find out what life was really like in rural New England.

15

Boston

 "60 miles"

Plan to get the most from your day before heading back to Boston's Logan Airport for your Flight home. Head to the north east shore of Massachusetts to Salem - best known for one of the most notorious periods in American history when, in 1692 hundreds of men, women and children had their neighbours put on trial as practising witches and wizards. Whatever the true cause of the accusations the one certain thing is that the phenomenon has become a cottage industry here and is now a home for many psychics. Salem also has its own Heritage Trail that takes you to museums and the Witch House where pre-trial investigations took place.

This is also your last chance to buy souvenirs as you now have to head back to Boston on Route 95 to Logan Airport to drop your car off and catch your flight home.


What's included?

  • 14 nights accommodation and room tax
  • A travel pack containing a day by day itinerary, driving instructions, maps & suggested excursions

How to book

Daily Departures 01 May to 30 October.

We can also offer this itinerary in a wide range of other accommodation types, including superior hotels, character properties such as lodges and small inns.

Please call us on (01892) 779900 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. stating your travel dates, and preferred standard of accommodation for a detailed & competitively priced quotation.

OregonKidsAdventure

Oregon Kids Adventure

Otherwise known as the 'Beaver State', Oregon inspired the largest voluntary land migration in recorded history, and not without good reason. Windswept beaches, verdant forests and snow capped peaks give way to sweeping rangelands, towering rock formations and dramatic river Valleys in this incredibly diverse land. The state is divided into seven distinct regions; the coast, Portland, Mount Hood and the Columbia River Gorge, the Willamette Valley, Southern Oregon, Central Oregon & Eastern Oregon. Each region offers a wide range of activities and things to see and do like a visit to the amazing Crater Lake National Park that will captivate the whole family on this exciting self drive adventure.

Highlights Include

  • Portland
  • Astoria
  • Florence
  • Crater Lake National Park

Itinerary

1

Portland

Depart the UK on your indirect flight to Portland, Oregon's largest city. Collect your hire car on arrival or alternatively transfer to your hotel by taxi(approx 25 mins.

Begin your stay in the delightful 'City of the Roses' by discovering what makes Portland North America's "Best Big City." Visit Portland's most popular attractions for kids and adults. Purchase a Portland Attractions Pass for the family at the Visitors Center in Pioneer Square. With this pass you can visit the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, Oregon Historical Society, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Oregon Zoo, Pittock Mansion, Portland Art Museum, Portland Children's Museum, Portland Classical Chinese Garden, Portland Japanese Garden and the World Forestry Center and Discovery Museum.

Today, take a ride on the Aerial and see Portland from 500 feet in the air. Visit the largest bookstore in the USA, Powell's Books. Walk to a local grocery store or visit one of the many outdoor farmers markets and prepare a picnic lunch to enjoy at Portland's International Rose Test Garden in Washington Park. If you are in the mood for a little more adventure spend the afternoon in on the Columbia River at Scappoose Bay Kayaking. Here they have day trips, lessons, pontoon boat rides and something for all ages. Take a scenic day tour on the Columbia River Gorge! Visit Multnomah Falls, Vista House, Bonneville Dam and Hood River. Finish the loop with a late lunch at Timberline Lodge and head back to Portland.

4

Astoria

"98 miles"

Departing Portland today you will be heading for the amazing Northern Oregon Coast where you will spend the next 2 nights in the delightful town of Astoria , the first European settlement in the Pacific Northwest. Spend the afternoon relaxing at the beach or exploring the surrounding area. Driving on Highway 101, don't forget to visit on of Oregon's nine light houses as some of them are haunted!

Arcades and bumper cards will entertain children of all ages on the Seaside Promenade. Have an educational experience and visit the Maritime Museum in Astoria and don't miss the house of Lewis & Clark from 1805-06 in Fort Clatsop. 33 explorers lived here, and you won't believe how small it is. Nearby you can also visit the life size statue of Sacagawea, the Shoshone Indian woman who accompanied the explorers on their journey to the Pacific Ocean.

Be sure to explore nearby Cannon Beach with its quaint town centre and many art galleries. Nearby Haystack Rock, the third largest monolith in the world is one of the State's most photographed natural wonders.

6

Florence

"183 miles"

Continue your journey south to the Central Oregon Coast and Florence which will be your base for the next 2 nights. Stop en route at the charming Depoe Bay which has the smallest navigable harbour in the world and spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean.

The best thing about the coast is the 363 miles of public beach! Spend plenty of time beach combing, flying kites and building sand castles. You will find kite festivals and sand castle building contests all along the Oregon Coast all throughout the Summer.

Take an interactive tour on the Newport Bay with Marine Discovery Tours, the coastal leader in narrated bay and ocean tours specializing in whales, oyster farming and sea wildlife. You might even be able to help drive the boat!Watch the sea otters zip and play, 500 species of sea life, including jelly fish, seals and sharks or learn the crab dance at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport.

Be sure to stop by the largest sea lion cave in the world at the Sea Lion Caves north of Florence, where the Sea Lions live year round. Be daring and descend in an elevator 208 feet down to the most spectacular natural sea cave.

8

Coos Bay

"48 miles"

Leaving the Central Coast behind and continuing your drive further south you will quickly find yourselves on the Southern Oregon Coast and your next port of call at Coos Bay. Between Florence and Coos Bay, wind and waves have formed large sand dunes which are part of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area with over 47 miles of cream coloured ever shifting sand. Glistening valleys, vast hills and ghost like forests in a desert atmosphere create the largest expanse of coastal sand dunes in the USA.

A perfect location for exploring on foot, by dune buggy or even on a sand board!

10

Grants Pass

 "142 miles"

Finally leaving the coast behind your journey today will take you in land to the Southern Oregon region. Here you will get a chance to explore the underground Oregon Caves National Monument near Cave Junction and see a National Historic Landmark (the Oregon Caves Chateau), and hiking trails through ancient forests.

Take in the majestic Rogue River and sign up for a Jet Boat or river rafting tour. There you can see deer, birds and even take a dip in the chilly water. The Rogue River runs from Crater Lake all the way to the Pacific Ocean, that is 215 miles!

11

Crater Lake National Park

 "94 miles"

A short journey today will bring you finally to some of the highlights of any visit to Oregon. En route stop at the Oregon Vortex near Gold Hill. The vortex is a glimpse of a strange world where the improbable is the commonplace and everyday physical facts are reversed. It is a naturally occurring visual and perceptual phenomenon. You have to see it to believe it! Continue on to Oregon's National Park, Crater Lake and but don't forget to stop at Natural Bridge Viewpoint along the way near Union Creek and Prospect. At Natural Bridge the river is swallowed by an underground maze of lava tubes.

A full day at leisure in the area exploring the National Park. The Lake was created by a volcanic eruption approximately 7,700 years ago when the 4000m high volcano Mt Mazama erupted in an enormous explosion leaving nothing but a crater that filled over hundreds of years with rain water and melted snow. At 592m in depth, Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the US and one of the largest in the world. This incredible natural site has inspired people for hundreds of years. No place else on earth combines a deep, pure lake, so blue in color, with sheer surrounding cliffs almost two thousand feet high! A 33 mile drive around the rim offers glimpses of the intensely blue coloured water which is created by it's clarity and depth. Also. Situated right in the middle of the Lake is Wizard Island. In addition to the breathtaking scenery, this outstanding national park offers many activities in both Summer and Winter.

13

Eugene

 "172 miles"

From Crater Lake your journey back to Portland will take you via the town of Eugene in Southern Oregon. En route visit one of the seven or all the covered bridges in the Cottage Grove area. At one time Oregon had over 400 covered bridges. The covered bridges blended will into the early economy of the Oregon countryside. Explore Oregon's small towns along the way. At the Cascades Raptor Center in Eugene, visitors can get a good look at more than 60 raptors of 33 different species and on a hot day don't miss the RivePlay Discovery Village at Skinner Butte Park. Here children can scale a play replica of Skinner Butte, uncover fossils at an ancient-history sand dig and cool off under a giant rain circle.

Home to the University of Oregon, Eugene is a mix of rural town charm and urban sophistication. This is most evident in the city's attractions, which range from naturally beautiful parks and walking trails to the prestigious Asian art collection at the University's Museum of Art. There are also plenty of trendy shops, delicious restaurants and top-notch entertainment venues to check out. Don't miss the Nike Store where you can buy, and learn about the history of, athletic shoes.

14

Portland

 "109 miles"

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and some last minute shopping in Eugene before heading back to Portland later in the day for your last night.


What's included?

  • Return flights from London (please ask about other departure airports)
  • 14 nights hotel accommodation and room tax
  • Fully Insured Full Size Car Hire for 2 drivers
  • A detailed travel pack with a day by day itinerary, driving instructions and maps

How to book

Daily Departures 01 June to 30 September.

Please call us on (01892) 779900 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. stating your travel dates, and preferred standard of accommodation for a detailed & competitively priced quotation.

FamilyFunintheCapitalRegion

Family Fun in the Capital Region

There are hundreds of great reasons to visit the fabulous Capital Region of the USA. Apart from being home to Washington DC, one of the greatest capital cities of the world and Baltimore, it's funky friendly neighbour to the north, this region offers everything that makes a wonderful family holiday. Children of all ages can enjoy the delights of this area with thrilling rides on offer at four theme parks, interactive fun at great museums ranging from international espionage to aquariums. Not to mention the simple pleasures of building sandcastles on the beach and boardwalks with plenty of ice cream stops. Apart from it's bright city lights and theme parks the region also offers plenty of stunning scenery and mountain air, and endless opportunites for hcycling, hiking and other more active families.

Highlights Include

  • Washington DC
  • Baltimore
  • Annapolis
  • Chesapeake Bay

Itinerary

1

Washington DC

Depart from London on your direct flight to Washington's Dulles Airport and transfer to your hotel by taxi or airport shuttle.

Washington, DC is a cosmopolitan capital city, packed with many famous sights and free attractions and home to some of the world's best-known museums and galleries. Combine this with hip new restaurants and bars, stunning hotels, great nightlife, live music, theatres, charming neighbourhoods and terrific shopping options and you have a fantastic start to your trip through the Capital Region.

During your stay in this great city, be sure to include some of the following Sights and attractions that will entertain all the family.

International Spy Museum - a thrilling window onto the world of international espionage, Newseum - a vast interactive museum of news and journalism, Madame Tussauds, Smithsonian Institution's 14 museums which are all free. If that's not enough there's also the National Zoo, DC by Foot and the DC Ducks. For a great family evening out have an early supper and then hit 'Lucky Strikes' for that great American pastime a spot of bowling! Also out of the city, there is Six Flags America and Hurrican Harbor - just 30 minutes east of DC en route to Annapolis, this is a colossal theme park that is well worth the detour.

4

Baltimore

"40 miles"

After collecting your hire car and leaving Washington today you will now have a chance to get in on the charm of Baltimore where its not so much a place as an experience. For the grown ups and older children who want to do a spot of shopping, Baltimore has an astounding array of choices from upscale malls to antiques and designer shops. Also, check out the city's fantastic restaurants, and the "lively restored area of Fells Point, where many old bars and pubs have been restored. Here you can sample an astonishing array of cuisines, along with world-famous Chesapeake Bay cuisine.

Like it's bigger neighbour, the city has so much to do for families with Younger children and teenagers alike such as Port Discovery - an interactive children's museum designed by Walt Disney imagineers. SeeThe World Trade Centre and experience incredible views from the Top of the World Observation Deck. The National Aquarium has aquatic fun for all the family with it's daily dolphin shows. If you've time there's also Voyages of Discovery with it's simulated interactive dives under the sea and Geppi's Entertainment museum which takes you on a journey through three centuries of American toys. Finally, like Washington & Boston, Baltimore also gives you the chance to 'Ride the Ducks' on an entertaining 80-minute tour on land and water.

6

Annapolis

"31 miles"

Discover the "Yachting Capital of the USA" today - lovely Annapolis. The vibe is laid-back, the scenery is awe-inspiring and the local fare is seasoned with the flavours of the Chesapeake Bay. The narrow streets feature historic homes and restored buildings and the waterfront harbour in Annapolis allows for ship watching, harbuor cruises and the lively cafes and shops are in inviting place to relax. After all the excitement of the city the kids will still enjoy the sights of Annapolis with it's Walking tour that includes the impressive US Naval Academy and for younger children 'Pirate Adventures' a 75 minute adventure filled cruise. Other sailing cruises & kayak rentals are available too.

7

Chesapeake Bay

"51 miles"

Take two days to explore Maryland's Eastern Shore. Visit the beautiful Chesapeake harbor town of St. Michaels's. Here, you can feast on the local specialty, crab - whilst overlooking the small picturesque harbour. Browse through the town with its antique shops, ice cream parlours and cafes and simply sit back and enjoy the delightful ambiance of this quaint town. Visit Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum , hire bikes and explore on 2 wheels or alternatively go on a Crabbin' cruise.

9

Virginia Beach

 "196 miles"

Stroll the 40 blocks of boardwalk or just relax on the vast expanse of soft sand. Virginia Beach is the world's longest pleasure beach! Grab a quick lesson in surfing the Atlantic on Sandridge Beach before you kayak Virginia's coastal waters on a search for dolphins. At night, the beachfront comes alive, as you sit with your cocktail on the boardwalk, watching the sunset, before enjoying a meal at one of the many restaurants.

If the kids tire of the beach there's the nearby Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Museum which allows a chance to touch stingrays, horseshoe crabs and others as well as the unmissable Harbor seal splash. Whale/Dolphin Watching Boat Trips are also available from here as well as Kayaking in Chesapeake Bay or Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

11

Williamsburg

 "60 miles"

Don't miss Colonial Williamsburg, the most extensively restored 18th century town in the US. Nearby, the thrills and spills of Busch Gardens Williamsburg combines 17th-century charm with 21st-century technology to create an ultimate family experience and probably one of many highlights of the holiday for the younger members of the family! As well as the thrills and spills of Busch Gardens, Water Country USA also offers slippery slides galore. Please note both are seasonal. Don't forget Colonial Williamsburg - the world's largest living history museum if you've time to see some more of this fascinating and historic part of the region.

13

Charlottesville

 "120 miles"

Travel through an area which Thomas Jefferson called the "Eden of the United States" You can visit his home, Monticello, atop a mountain in Albemarle County. It is described as one of the country's foremost architectural masterpieces. Today, Charlottesville is a charming college town with many shops, restaurants and tea rooms. If the kids have had enough of The amazing scenery there's the Virginia Discovery Museum - plenty of hands-on experience for children up to 13 years and Chris Green Lake Park Which offers swimming from a sandy beach area as well as canoeing.

14

Shenandoah Valley

 "61 miles"

Today, your route takes you through lush rolling countryside, past gracious horse farms to the splendour of the Skyline Drive. Travel this National Scenic Byway, stopping at overlooks for views of the valley below. With more than 500 miles of hiking trails, you can relax and explore the lush forests, streams, waterfalls and wildflowers. Amble along a beautiful bridle path on a guided horseback ride. Visit Luray Caverns, the largest caverns on the east coast. Visit Luray Caverns and the Shenandoah Valley Discovery Museum in Winchester with it's interactive exhibits. This area also gives the more Adventurous families to try some White water rafting and go on a Shenandoah National Park Ranger tour or try some hiking along the Appalachian Trail.

15

Washington DC

 "99 miles"

After a leisurely start you will need to make you way back to Washington to drop off your car before you catch your flight home. However, the good news is there's still plenty of time to pay a visit to The National Air and Space Museum located near Dulles Airport. This is a must-see for every visitor to Washington and a great way to end a memorable holiday to this lovely part of America.


What's included?

  • 14 nights accommodation and room tax
  • A detailed travel pack with driving instructions and maps

How to book

Departures Year Round.

Please call us on (01892) 779900 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. stating your travel dates, and preferred standard of accommodation for a detailed & competitively priced quotation.

RockyMountainandCoastalFamilyAdventure

Rocky Mountain & Coastal Family Adventure

For the ultimate Family Adventure, experience first the beauty of the Canadian Rockies, before venturing into British Columbia's High Country and Coastal regions on this exciting self drive tour of Western Canada. You will have the opportunity to enjoy an Ice Explorer Ride onto the Athabasca Glacier, Mountain biking and hiking in Sun Peaks, a thrilling whale watching tour on Vancouver Island, and a gondola ride up Sulphur Mountain. This region of Canada offers any family more to see and do than you will have time for in one visit, as well as some of the most spectacular scenery you could wish for!

Highlights Include

  • Banff
  • Jasper
  • Vancouver
  • Victoria
  • Wells Gray National Park
  • Sun Peaks

Itinerary

1

Banff

 "80 miles"

Upon arrival in Calgary in the afternoon you will collect your rental car at the airport, and begin the leisurely drive to Banff. Enjoy the stunning scenery as you leave the rolling foothills of the Canadian Prairies and face the spectacular Canadian Rockies. It should take you under two hours to get to Banff where you will spend your first two nights.

After a leisurely breakfast, you have the whole of today explore Banff, a small town surrounded by one of the most beautiful parks in the world. One of its greatest assets is the accessibility of its natural wonders - most highlights are located close to the road system. There is an excellent system of hiking trails(many of which are short and suitable for families) that lead to alpine lakes, along glacial valleys and to spectacular viewpoints. Enjoy a picnic at Bow Falls located behind the Banff Springs Hotel, and connected to it by a very long stairway through the forest--great for tiring out over-energetic kids. Head to the mountain top by the Sulphur Mountain Gondola for some fantastic views of Banff, Bow Valley, and Cascade Mountain. Lastly take a leisurely drive on the Bow Valley Parkway at dusk to see the wildlife, but importantly be very careful to not approach the animals as they may be resting or feeding. After all this is their home and they are wild.

3

Jasper

"179 miles"

Today leaving Banff, you will slowly head towards Jasper on the Icefields Parkway which is 143 miles long. This road takes about 4-5 hours to travel but try not to rush as it is one of the most scenic and inspiring mountain roads ever built. There are 13 viewpoints along the way, most of which are worth a look at.. Bow Summit is the highest point along the parkway at 2088m and offers great views of Peyto Lake. However, the most popular attractions along the parkway are the glaciers that spill down from the Columbia Icefield. Also make a stop at the Icefields Centre to join an Ice Explorer ride onto the Athabasca Glacier. Don't forget to see who spots the resident Mountain Goats first on the road side, at the aptly named 'Mountain Goat Lookout'.

Stop en route at Lake Louise and visit the park information centre to collect a brochure detailing the places of interest along the way. The actual village is still quite small, with a shopping mall, a few hotels and the visitor centre. The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, situated on the lakes shore, is a tourist attraction in itself and is visited by the millions who come to photograph the lake with Mt Victoria in the background. Rent a canoe from the boathouse and glide through the lake - take care not too fall in as even in August the lake only reaches about 4C!

Nearby Moraine Lake, though half the size of Lake Louise is just as spectacular and provides a perfect place to have a picnic and take a canoe out on the lake. For another fantastic view, take the Lake Louise Gondola on the 20 minute journey up the face of Mt Whitehorn to Whitehorn Lodge where you can see Bow Valley, Lake Louise and the Continental Divide.

Jasper itself is located at the confluence of the Athabasca and Miette rivers and is surrounded by the peaks of Jasper National Park. Here you can take the Jasper Tramway up the Whistlers mountain for great views of the mountain and valley, visit Maligne Canyon and Lake, relax in Miette Hot Springs, or drive out to Mount Edith Cavell - one of the highest peaks in the area . Alternatively visit Patricia and Pyramid Lakes for a relaxing afternoon and a picnic.

Other stunning places to visit along the way include Bow Lake, Sunwapta Falls, Crowfoot Glacier and the Athabasca Falls. You also have time to take one of the many whitewater rafting excursions on offer in this area. Other stunning places to visit along the way include Bow Lake, Sunwapta Falls, Crowfoot Glacier and the Athabasca Falls.

6

Cleawater & Wells Grey

"197 miles"

Leave Jasper early for your drive to Clearwater and Wells Gray Park. It is about 200 miles but there are some fantastic views along the way. As you leave the Jasper you will be heading through Mt Robson Park and will have some fantastic views of Mt Robson. Head south towards Valemount and onto Clearwater at the entrance to Wells Gray. Wells Gray Park is BC's third largest provincial park with an area of 520,000 hectares of wilderness with waterfalls, lakes and the mountain ranges of the Shushwap Highlands and the Cariboo Mountains.

7

Sun Peaks

"81 miles"

Continuing your journey south west and towards the beautiful mountain resort of Sun Peaks, a charming village surrounded on all sides by British Columbia's second largest ski area. As well as proudly boasting 3678 acres of skiable terrain in the winter months, Sun Peaks is also a great place to visit in the Summer months with miles of exciting hiking and mountain bike trails. Here you will get the chance to stay in our very own luxury 3 bedroom townhouse bang in the heart of Sun Peaks. 'The Director's Residence' is fully equipped with all mod cons including a private hot tub on the terrace! Sun Peaks is also a good place to spot a bear or two, especially from behind closed doors of our house!

9

Lake Okanagan

 "166 miles"

Leaving the mountains of Sun Peaks you will continue your journey south and on to the sunny shores of Lake Okanagan, Located on the sunny shores of Lake Okanagan has something for all the family - relax on the beach, play a little golf or spend time exploring nearby nature trails.

The Okanagan Valley, stretching from Osoyoos at the American/Canadian border north to Vernon, British Columbia, is also filled with orchards and vineyards. For adults and older children,The B.C. Orchard Industry Museum is a great place to learn more about the history of farming in the region. As the area is well known for its vineyards, many offer wine tasting and tours. History buffs should make a stop at the Father Pandosy Mission, established in the mid-19th century. Also enjoy one of the many evening cruises on the lake.

12

Vancouver

 "240 miles"

After several days relaxing by the Lake, today it's time to head for the bright lights of Vancouver! Blessed with a spectacular location, set between the mountains and the Pacific Ocean,Vancouver is a modern, friendly and cosmospolitan city blending culture with a spectacular landscape and the great outdoors. Together with an enviable year round climate, the city offers families and singles an amazingy array of exciting experiences. Downtown Vancouver is an intriguing mixture of steel, concrete, mirrored glass buildings, modern sculptures and old-fashioned fountains. There is so much to see and do in the city. Spend an afternoon renting bikes and riding around the lovely Seawall in Stanley Park or try rollerblading if you are feeling a little more adventurous!

Don't miss the panoramic vistas from either the Capilano or Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridges, both in North Vancouver and an easy drive from the city. Children of all ages will love the thrill of walking across the bridge over one of the 2 Canyons. There is also great hiking path around the Capilano Suspension bridge that is both flat and suitable for all the family. Alternatively, Lynn Canyon also houses a great ecology centre with educational displays. Make sure you take along your bathing suit too and you can have a dip in Lynn Creek after a short walk in the forest. Close to Capilano and with a little more to do is also Grouse Mountain. Here you can take a short cable car ride to the top of the mountain and enjoy some spectacular views of Vancouver and the surrounding area. At the top you can also visit the the bear sanctuary, and enjoy a bird of prey and an amusing lumberjack show. Not for the faint hearted, Parascending is also available from here for an extra fee!

Also located to the north, ten minutes from Downtown Vancouver is Maplewood Farm, a firm favourite of families with young children who love animals. Once a thriving dairy farm this 5-acre site has since been taken over and opened to the public. Now housing over 200 domestic animals and birds it also hosts regular special events such as sheep shearing, pony rides and a Fall Fair. Other attractions not to be missed are Vancouver Aquarium, The Children's Farmyard, The Miniature Train, and Science World a wonderful museum with it's many hands on displays to keep the kids occupied!

For older children, a ferry ride across False Creek to Granville Island and a fun day out at the busy outdoor market area is always a treat. Originally just a sandbar that was filled in to create an industial centre in the heart of the city, it is now an immensely popular mixed use space with a popular public market, several theatres and artist studios.

There will also be plenty of time for shopping on Robson Street in its trendy shops and the Robson Public Market. Visit Chinatown - the second largest Chinese community in North America and home to the beautiful and peaceful Dr. Sun Yat-sen Classical Chinese Garden. No visit is complete without wandering through Gastown where Vancouver started. The brightly painted buildings date back to 1886 and old gas lamps and trees line the red cobblestone streets. There are many galleries, restaurants and gift shops here The Boathouse Restaurant is a great place for dinner, while watching the sunset over English Bay and people watching all the evening strollers.

15

Victoria

 "68 miles"

Leaving Vancouver today, a short drive to nearby Tsawwassen and a scenic 95 minute ferry ride across to Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island will bring you to you final port of call, the picturesque city of Victoria. This provincial capital stands at the southern tip of Vancouver Island and offers many downtown attractions, all within a short walk of each other. The city has well preserved inner city streets lined with lovely old buildings, trendy shops in restored historic areas and horse drawn carriages to get you around. One of the main attractions is Butchart Gardens - a must see if you are at all interested in gardening.

Located just north of Victoria, Duncan is known as the city of totems as it display around sixty all over the town. It is also home to the Native Heritage Center and is a good place to buy Indian crafts.

There's no better way to end your Rocky Mountain Coastal Family Adventure than with an exhilarating Whalewatching Excursion. If you want to see some of the world's greatest mammals then Canada is the place to go. The fertile waters of Canada's coastlines attract many types of whales and as there are many Whale/Wildlife Watching companies operating out of the Greater Victoria Area , this is a perfect opportunity to experience some of them. Our immensely popular pre bookable coastal excursion is an exhilarating round trip of 50 to 80 kms in search or orcas, minke and grey whales, as well as porpoises, harbour seals and other marine wildlife. You will ride aboard custom built Zodiac boats that offer high speed with stability giving you a safe and intimate whalewatching experience. Expect the taste of ocean spray at some point along the route! This is one of your many Canadian experiences that the whole family will be talking about long after you get home!

17

Vancouver

 "68 miles"

After some last minute shopping in Victoria, you will depart by ferry from Schwartz Bay back to Tsawwassen and a fairly short drive back to Vancouver Airport where you will drop off your hire car before catching your flight home.


What's included?

  • Return Flights from London (please ask about other departure airports)
  • 16 nights hotel accommodation and room tax
  • Fully Insured Compact Car Hire
  • A comprehensive and detailed travel pack with driving instructions and maps

How to book

Departures Year Round.

We can offer this itinerary in a wide range of accommodation types including Superior Hotels and Small Inns.

Please call us on (01892) 779900 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. stating your travel dates, and preferred standard of accommodation for a detailed & competitively priced quotation.

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