The most popular selfdrive of Connections, but at a more relaxed pace? "The Best of the West XL" follows the same route, but you reside longer at the different stop in order to balance the ratio kilometers / visits. Perfect for who wants to go on a 3 weeks exploration of Western USA.
Day 1 & 2 - Los Angeles
Los Angeles is the glamour and entertainment capital of the United States. Drive through Beverly Hills, home of many movie stars, stroll along the Walk of Fame and look for the star of your favourite film star, match your hand and feet to those of celebrities in over 200 impressions at the Mann’s Chinese Theatre. Avoid long queues and gain time: just pre-book your excursions. Tomorrow you have all day to go explore. Have fun!
Day 2 - Los Angeles > Palm Springs (171 km)
Take a short drive to Palm Springs, a great place for shopping, eating, or relaxing by the pool. Take a tram ride up to Mt. Jacinto or hike through the beautiful Indian Canyons with waterfalls and palm trees, which smell like butterscotch! Palm Springs is the perfect spot from where to visit Joshua NP, one of the most exceptional parks n California.
Day 4 - Palm Springs > Phoenix (431 km)
Today you will be crossing the Mojave Desert and drive to Laughlin which is located right at the Colorado River. Besides entertainment and gambling water sports are big here, you can swim, boat, water ski or just relax on one of the many beaches. Far niente!
Day 5 - Phoenix > Grand Canyon (368 km)
Continue to Grand Canyon - truly one of the great moments of a trip, or of a lifetime. Drive along the rim in the free shuttle buses, walk between the different viewpoints or just go big and glamorous, the States’ way and fly in a helicopter or plane over this World Wonder? Can you imagine how jealous your kin will be when you send them your cell picture, freshly shot? Curious? Check our website and book your favourite air tour. First come, first serve! You spend the night in Flagstaff.
Day 6 - Grand Canyon
One of the main highlights of your selfdrive is on your programme today: Grand Canyon. Discover this natural wonder on foot or by one of many buses. How about an eagle's view of the mother of all canyons by helicopter? If you want to flyhelicopter, let it be here. It's nothing short of awesome!
Day 7 - Flagstaff > Page (304 km)
The journey continues to Page where you spend the next 2 nights. Time enough for a little ‘excursion’ to Monument Valley. This Navajo Indian National Park brings home the feeling of a Hollywood Western. The '17-mile drive' through this desolate desert landscape can be done individually by car or by guided by an Indian by 4x4. Lake Powell is you rend destination tonight.
Day 8 - Page
A full day at leisure awaits. Feel like a boating on Lake Powell? Gazing in awe at the special light effects of Antelope Canyon? Or hiking to the iconic horseshoe bend? You will be spoilt for choice.
Day 9 - Page > Bryce Canyon (242km)
Bryce Canyon is the next amazing highlight on your programme. En-route make sure to stop at the less crowded North Rim of the Grand Canyon. The short walk to Bright Angel Point will reward you with unforgettable views.
Day 10 - Bryce Canyon > Zion (265 km)
Start your day with a mind-boggling sight? The impressive Amphitheater will gladly oblige. For more astounding views head deeper into the park towards Rainbow Point. Take it easy today. You will be spending the next two nights in Zion. Ample time to take in the Zion national park tomorrow.
Day 11 - Zion
Zion National Park provides shuttles to explore the park and its majestic canyons on wheels. You are spoilt for choice. A visit to the Emerald Pools, a short walk to the Weeping Rock or an attempt to climb the Angels Landing are but a few of the amzing array of choices.
Day 12 & 13 - St.-George > Las Vegas (194 km)
Today you drive to the electrifying entertainment capital of America, Las Vegas, unique for superlative in about all and everything that’s on there. Be it casino gambling, spectacular shows, world-class cuisine, a bustling day-and night life and the most fabulous hotels in the world.
Even around Vegas there is plenty to do and visit! Stand in awe at the engines of Hoover Dam, drive by jeep through the impressive Red Rock Canyon or take a peek in the old city of Las Vegas. In case you didn't have the chance to fly by helicopter over Grand Canyon yet; this is the last opportunity. From Las Vegas you can take a helicopter ride to the West Rim or overfly The Strip!
Day 14 - Las Vegas > Visalia (621 km)
Today you have a long journey ahead of you as you leave Las Vegas and head towards the foot of the Sierra Nevada. Your overnight stay is foreseen in the historic village of Visalia.
Summer route (mid June to late September)
From mid June to late September, the ride from Las Vegas via Death Valley to Yosemite is much shorter as you can drive over the beautiful Tioga Pass. And thus your summer route differs on day 14 as you travel from Las Vegas to Mammoth Lakes (496 km) where you will spend the night. The next day, after a mere 65 km by car will bring you to the entrance of Yosemite NP.
Day 15 - Visalia > Yosemite (224 km)
Build in a stop at the Sequoia National Park and stand in awe in front and under the gigantic trees before you drive on to the refereshing greenery of Yosemite National Park. Tomorrow you can spend a full day enjoying all sights & sounds and activities the park has to offer.
Day 16 - Yosemite
Pop in at the visitor center and explore the national park by car or one of the many trails. Its hard to miss El Capitan and Glacier Point but with a full day ahad lots of other opportunities arise.
Days 17 - Yosemite > San Francisco (316 km)
It is a short drive to San Francisco, where you stay for two nights. Union square, Nob Hill, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Golden Gate Park, all famous landmarks. Too many for one day! Discover them in different ways: take a breath-taking ride on a cable car, rent a bike or cruise the Bay.
Day 18 & 19 - San Francisco
Drive down the dramatic curves of Lombard Street, the "crookest street in the world" – expect a queue, visit Alcatraz or cycle the Golden Gate Bridge and return by boat. Savour exotic ingredients in Chinatown or another funky neighbourhood. Plenty to pick from. Tip: Visit one of the world’s most legendary prisons, Alcatraz during the Alcatraz Island Cruise & Tour. The jail was once home to some of America's most notorious criminals.
Excursions: Hop on Hop off, Alcatraz, Escape from the Rock Cruise, Aquarium of the Bay, Wharf Pass.
Day 20 - San Francisco > Monterey > 17 Mile drive > Santa Maria (425km)
Today you take the luxurious drive up the Pacific Coast towards Monterey, once the sardine capital of the Western Hemisphere. In Cannery Row (made famous by the novelist Johan Steinbeck) old sardine factories have been converted to quaint restaurants and amusing boutique shops. Monterey Bay is a fantastic place to go on a whale watching tour, but don’t forget to take the time out to follow down the scenic 17-Mile drive up the coast. Continue on to Santa Maria.
Day 21 - Santa Maria > Solvang > Santa Barbara > Los Angeles (217km)
On the way to Oxnard, visit the Danish village of Solvang and stop in Santa Barbara which offers a delightful historic Spanish colonial architecture and inviting beaches before heading back to L.A.
Day 22 - Los Angeles
Hotels & Meals
Mainstream American cuisine is similar to that in other Western countries. Wheat is the primary cereal grain. Traditional American cuisine uses indigenous ingredients, such as turkey, venison, potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, squash, and maple syrup, which were consumed by Native Americans and early European settlers.
Slow-cooked pork and beef barbecue, crab cakes, potato chips, and chocolate chip cookies are distinctively American foods. Soul food, developed by African slaves, is popular around the South and among many African Americans elsewhere. Syncretic cuisines such as Louisiana Creole, Cajun, and Tex-Mex are regionally important. The confectionery industry in the United States includes The Hershey Company, the largest chocolate manufacturer in North America. In addition, Frito-Lay, a subsidiary of PepsiCo, is the largest globally distributed snack food company in the world. The United States has a vast breakfast cereal industry that includes brands such as Kellogg's and General Mills.
Characteristic dishes such as apple pie, fried chicken, pizza, hamburgers, and hot dogs derive from the recipes of various immigrants. French fries, Mexican dishes such as burritos and tacos, and pasta dishes freely adapted from Italian sources are widely consumed. Americans generally prefer coffee to tea. Marketing by U.S. industries is largely responsible for making orange juice and milk ubiquitous breakfast beverages.
The American fast food industry, the world's largest, pioneered the drive-through format in the 1930s. Fast food consumption has sparked health concerns. During the 1980s and 1990s, Americans' caloric intake rose 24%; frequent dining at fast food outlets is associated with what public health officials call the American "obesity epidemic". Highly sweetened soft drinks are widely popular, and sugared beverages account for nine percent of American caloric intake.
Travel documents: All Belgian nationals* (children and babies included) must be in possession of an international e-passport (biometric) containing min. 2 blank pages, valid at day of entry and during the entire stay. Connections recommends to let common sense prevail and to build in some slack in terms of validity. Often unforeseen circumstances (weather factors, volcanoes, and threats all kinds) are the cause of a mandatory postponed return date. A credit card is required upon check-in at the hotels and also when renting a car. Please keep this in mind. We strongly recommend you to print out the Esta- or Eta permit and to have it on you while you travel to avoid problems.
All passengers who travel to and /or via the U.S. must apply for an electronic travel authorization at least 72 hours prior to departure. The ESTA procedure must be requested via the official website link https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov and paid by a personal credit card only.
- Travellers with a non-Belgian nationality and / or travellers travelling on a foreign passport are invited to spontaneously report this matter to the Connections travel consultant and shall contact their respective embassy (s) or Consulate (ate) to obtain the latest updates concerning all current travel requirements and documents. They must apply for an electronic travel authorization at least 72 hours prior to departure via the official website link https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov and pay by a personal credit card only.
Have a safe and carefree trip: travel fully insured with our Protections travel insurance! Our Protections insurance policies offer various formulas in order to offer you the widest possible cover (with even a fly-on-time, natural catastrophes and epidemics) for both single journeys or for the entire year. We guarantee you the best protection at the best price.
The tours in our brochures are just a few examples of travel itineraries possible. Our trips can be tailored to suit your specific needs. If you want to book a specific destination or combine it with a mini-tour then we will gladly make you a tailor-made offer. For a personalised day-by-day program please contact our destination experts
Would you like to travel in a group; with your entire family, friends or colleagues? (min. 10 people required). Put our know-how to the test and send us your details and wishes. We will gladly turn the blueprints of your trip into a detailed quote and a lasting memory for you to cherish. Contact our Connections' Group Service by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on +32 (0)2 550 01 65. We would love to hear from you.
No mandatory vaccinations. To verify the latest updates on health requirements, please surf to www.itg.be.
Medical interventions and costs can soon become outrageous in the U.S.A. Reflect before leaving and subscribe a decent travel insurance. Our protections All-in Premier insurance was especially designed specifically for travel to the U.S.A. and provides ample cover for all major calamities (fly-on-time and natural disasters included)!
The United States span 4 time zones:
- Eastern (- 6 h)
- Central (- 7 h)
- Mountain (- 8 h)
- Pacific (- 9 h)
Daylight saving time 2018: In The USA the clock is set forward in the night of Sunday 12 MAR 2017 at 2am. In Belgium, the clock is set forward on Sunday 26 MAR 2017 at 02am. This entails that between 12 and 26 March, the time difference is one hour less than indicated above.
Winter time 2018: Belgium turns the clock back one hour on Sunday 29 OCT 2017 at 02am. The USA turns back the arms of the clock on the night of Saturday, 5 nov at 2am. That entails that during the latter week the time difference is one hour less than indicated above.
US Dollar (USD), 1 USD = 0,92 EUR & 10 EUR = 10.83 USD (01/05/2020)
- A personal credit card is required upon check-in at the hotels and also when renting a car. The most convenient method of payment is by credit card but cash euros and dollars in small amount come in handy. Inform yourself timely, as from January 15, 2015 your Visa and/or MasterCard credit card (and possibly other types of credit cards) has automatically been set to "not for use in the US, for US car rental agencies and during cruises under the American flag".
- You must then apply for a release of your credit card. This may be done prior to your arrival in the U.S. (in your bank branch or via the telephone number listed on the back of your credit card or by means of a special form available for PC banking) as well as after arrival in the US (through a withdrawal at an ATM. Please note, in this case there will be a transaction fee charged to your account). The same applies to the Maestro function in your bank card.
Average Temperatures (°C):
- 21 nights accommodation in listed hotels or equivalent
- Your roadbook (day-to-day itinerary)
What's not included?
Your international return flight and car rental.
The total to be paid will depend on your travel dates/class and the size and category of your rental car.
Good to Know
Summer route: The accommodation on day 14 differs during the summer months. From mid-June to late September you reside in Mammoth Lakes (Standard / Superior / Deluxe: Sierra Nevada Lodge) while the rest of the year you overnight in Visalia.
Start or end your journey with an unforgettable citytrip or extend with another awesome selfdrive.
During peak dates a surcharge will apply. Block out dates are possible. More info in your travel shop.
Standard Price per person
Superior Price per person
Deluxe Price per person