1st Day: Today we begin our journey out west to see two of the most magnificent National Parks in the U.S. - Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Canyon National Park, as well as many other sights and attractions. We’ll travel through West Virginia and into Ohio for our first night’s stay in Dayton, OH.
2nd Day: En route today we will stop at the internationally famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the racing capital of the world. Enjoy a narrated lap around the 2.5-mile oval. Our destination today is Madison, WI. (CB)
3rd Day: After breakfast we depart for Sioux Falls, South Dakota. We will travel through lower Minnesota and then enter South Dakota. This evening, we’ll visit the gorgeous Falls Park, which covers 123 acres. An average of 7,400 gallons of water drop 100 feet over the course of the Falls each second. There is a visitor information center and observation tower, the Queen Bee Mill, several permanent sculptures as well as some of the first buildings built in Sioux Falls. (CB)
4th Day: Today is going to be a most interesting one with such highlights as the Corn Palace in Mitchell, the South Dakota Badlands with the colorful hills and canyons, plus the world famous Wall Drug, in Wall, South Dakota. Then on to the town of Deadwood, South Dakota for our next two nights stay. Evening is free. You can rest and relax at the hotel, enjoy the casino, or venture out into Deadwood. (CB)
5th Day: Have your camera ready this morning because we are headed for Crazy Horse Monument and Mount Rushmore, to see two of the greatest marvels of all time. The Crazy Horse Monument is the world’s largest mountain carving now in progress. Awesome in scale, this mountain-sized sculpture of Sioux leader Crazy Horse astride his warhorse is a tribute to the American Indian. After our visit, we will travel to the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, known all over the world for its dedication to the hopes, dreams, will, and determination of a nation. Carved from a mountainside of solid granite, the gigantic busts of four great American presidents - Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln, stand above the land they loved. We will also visit Bear Country, U.S.A. where you can see the many animals as we ride through on our motor coach. After this, we will return to Deadwood and you will have an opportunity to visit Saloon #10 where Wild Bill Hickok was killed, or go up to Mount Moriah where Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane are buried. There is a lot to see and do in Deadwood.
6th Day: Today, we’re on our way to Cody, Wyoming, passing through some of the most beautiful country you will ever see. On our way we will travel through Sheridan, Wyoming, and then head into the Bighorn Mountains, passing over Granite Pass (8,950 ft.), then down through Shell Canyon (a photographer’s paradise). In Cody, we will visit the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. The center houses five world-class museums and a research library—all under one roof, and is dedicated to the American West...its history, art, Native American heritage, the natural science of the Yellowstone region, and the development and importance of firearms to the West. This evening, at 8:00 PM, there will be a Rodeo (optional).
7th Day: We depart this morning for Yellowstone National Park. We will pass through Shoshone National Forest and Sylvan Pass (8,350 ft). We will enter Yellowstone at the East Gate and proceed to the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. You’ll see the lower and upper Falls. The colors are magnificent. After the Falls, we will head back by Lake Yellowstone to Old Faithful. This is the most famous geyser in the world. Our home for the next two nights will be at a Yellowstone National Park Lodge.
8th Day: Our second day at Yellowstone will be a day of discovery. We will get to see the Fountain Paint Pots, Gibbon Falls, and the Mammoth Hot Springs. The wild animals are in abundance and hopefully we will see our share of bison, elk, and birds. After our all day tour of this famous park, we will return to our National Park Lodge.
9th Day: This morning we will depart Yellowstone, going through the South Gate, and head to Jackson Hole. The Grand Teton Mountains will come into view, north of Jackson, and we will ride beside them for over 40 miles. Jackson Hole is a quaint little western town. We will have plenty of time in Jackson to shop and look around for the remainder of the day. The town square is very unique with an archway at each corner made of antlers. Tonight, we will go to the Bar J Chuckwagon Supper & Western Music Show. Originated on a working cattle ranch, the Bar J Chuckwagon takes you back to the spirit of the old west with a relaxing atmosphere, rib stickin’ meal, and authentic cowboy entertainment. The Bar J Wranglers will entertain the entire family as they take you down memory trail with songs, stories, comedy, yodeling, fiddling, and more! This is an evening you will never forget. (D)
10th Day: Depart en route to the Mormon Capital of the world, Salt Lake City. We head into Idaho, through Idaho Falls, Pocatello, and past the Great Salt Lake. This afternoon, a historical tour of the thirty-five acre historic Temple Square is a must-do on any visit to Salt Lake City. The 45-minute guided tour will begin at the North Visitors’ Center and includes why it took 40 years to build the Salt Lake Temple; the wonder of the Tabernacle, home of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir; the Faith and Fortitude of the Mormon Pioneers; and the 11 foot marble Christus statue. Evening is free. (CB)
11th Day: We’ll travel to southern Utah, to the beautiful Canyonlands area. Today, we’ll be going to Bryce Canyon National Park, known as “a forest of stone”. There is no place like Bryce Canyon. Hoodoos (odd-shaped pillars of rock left standing from the forces of erosion) can be found on every continent, but the largest collection of hoodoos in the world is located here! Descriptions fail. Photographs do not do it justice. Bring your sense of wonder and imagination when visiting Bryce Canyon National Park.
12th Day: We visit Zion National Park today, which was Utah’s First National Park. Zion means “the heavenly city” and the park’s Kolob Canyons are named after a place described in Mormon scripture as being near God’s throne. Follow the paths where ancient native people and pioneers walked. Gaze up at massive sandstone cliffs of cream, pink, and red that soar into a brilliant blue sky. Experience wilderness in a narrow slot canyon. Zion also has a unique array of plants and animals. After visiting this magnificent Park, we’ll head to Las Vegas, the Entertainment Capital of the World. Las Vegas is a playground of fantasy-themed mega-resorts, theme parks, entertainment and more.You will see pyramids, Roman temples, volcanoes and medieval castles. In addition to the many casinos, there are a vast array of production shows, big-name artists, comedy clubs and lounge acts. There is so much to see and do. The remainder of the day is free. (CB)
13th Day: This morning we will head out to the spectacular Hoover Dam, a National Historic Landmark, and the highest concrete dam in the Western Hemisphere, standing at more than 725 feet above the Colorado River. Included is the Powerplant Tour, which is one way to see, learn and appreciate what Hoover Dam is all about. The tour offers a combination of presentations by Reclamation guides, audio and film presentations, exhibits and other media that provide a comprehensive view of the massive dam and its operations, as well as highlight many of the unique features around the site. We’ll return to Las Vegas after visiting the Dam. The remainder of the day is free for your enjoyment. (CB)
14th Day: Today, our drive to the Grand Canyon West Rim will take us over the Mike O’Callaghan–Pat Tillman Memorial Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge. We’ll be heading to Eagle Point at Grand Canyon West. Eagle Point contains the most notable attraction, the Grand Canyon Skywalk, a glass bridge that suspends 4,000 feet above the Grand Canyon floor. Some are calling it the eighth wonder of the world. This unique glass bridge has outstanding views of the Grand Canyon, Colorado River and Eagle Rock. Walking out on this horseshoe-shaped structure provides an experience and views not found anywhere else. Nervous about walking on glass almost a mile above the Grand Canyon? Have no fear; the Skywalk is strong enough to bear the weight of seventy 747 passenger jets. Lunch is also included. Departing for the magnificent Grand Canyon National Park after our visit to the Skywalk. Lodging for the next two nights will be at a Grand Canyon National Park Lodge. (CB) (L)
15th Day: The Grand Canyon is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. This is your day to visit all the look-outs, and take pictures, on a tram that runs from one end of the South Rim to the other. You can catch the tram in front of the Lodge (about every 15 minutes) that traverses the rim of the Canyon, getting on and off as you wish. You may attend Free Ranger Programs and learn more about the nature, science, history and culture of the Grand Canyon. Or, visit an Information Center or Museum, which houses exhibits and provides park information. The day is free to spend as you wish.
16th Day: Departing the Grand Canyon this morning, we will stop by the Desert View Watchtower. Enjoy some of the finest views of the Colorado River and canyon geology, as well as the historic Watchtower designed by Mary Colter. Next, we visit one of the most unique landmarks – The Four Corners Monument. This is the only place in the United States where four states intersect at one point: Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Colorado. The original marker erected in 1912 was a simple cement pad, but has since been redone in granite and brass. The Visitor Center features a Demonstration Center with Navajo artisans. Navajo vendors sell handmade jewelry, crafts and traditional Navajo foods nearby. We continue on to Durango, CO for the night. This evening, we’ll go to the Diamond Belle Saloon, revered as one of the most famous original ragtime piano bars in the Old West, where a delicious dinner is included. (D)
17th Day: This morning we will ride a historic train, the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railway, on 45 miles of rails originally laid in 1882 between the mining town of Silverton and the railroad-built town of Durango, Colorado. Travel along the Animas River through wilderness unaccessible by any road! Upon arrival in Silverton, you’ll have a little free time to explore and have lunch on your own. Our coach will meet us in Silverton and we will continue on to Montrose, CO for the night. (CB)
18th Day: Today we will travel across Colorado to Canon City, and the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park. Marvel at awe-inspiring panoramic views from one of the world's highest suspension bridges, standing 956 feet above the wild Arkansas River, and enjoy miles of eye-popping natural Colorado beauty. Our home tonight is in Pueblo, CO. (CB)
19th Day: Our destination today is Dodge City, KS. Upon arrival we’ll go to the Boot Hill Museum, located on the original site of Boot Hill Cemetery. The museum highlights the glory days of the Queen of the Cow towns with creative, lively, interactive displays and activities. Relive the legend of the old west, where you can belly up to the bar for a cold sarsaparilla, enjoy some of grandma’s homemade fudge in the General Store or take home a lasting memento of your old west experience from the Boot Hill gift shop. This evening, we will return to the museum to enjoy a Country Style Dinner served at the Occident Banquet Room. The menu includes slow roasted Kansas fed beef, oven fried tators n’ onions, sweet cream & butter corn, creamy coleslaw, biscuits and Grandma Sally’s apple crisp. It will satisfy your craving for a down home country dinner. Following dinner, enjoy the Long Branch Variety Show! Featuring Miss Kitty and her Can Can Dancers, Mr. Beeson and the Singing Bartenders, and more! The Long Branch Variety Show is the longest running seasonal theatrical show in the nation. (CB) (D)
20th Day: We continue towards home today crossing Kansas and into Missouri. Our destination is Branson, MO, America’s Showplace. Branson is famous for it’s music shows and great entertainment. We will attend one of the fabulous shows tonight. (CB)
21st Day: We depart Branson and head for Clarksville, TN today. Tonight, enjoy dinner and entertainment at a local venue. The Sounds of Yesterday show is a tribute to days gone by. With music from the Andrews Sisters to Elvis Presley, mixed with Broadway hits and a patriotic salute, there is truly something for everyone. And, of course, being in Tennessee, there are a few country music hits in the line up. A delicious meal is served prior to the performance. (D)
22nd Day: Board the coach today en route home. This will be a wonderful time to think back on all the wonderful sites and places we visited on this fabulous tour. Arriving back at approximately 9:30 PM. (CB)
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Deluxe Motorcoach transportation; (21) nights lodging; (12) continental breakfasts; (1) lunch; Indianapolis Motor Speedway; Corn Palace; Badlands National Park; Wall Drug Store; Mount Rushmore National Memorial; Crazy Horse Monument; Bear Country USA; Buffalo Bill Museum; Yellowstone National Park; Bar J Chuckwagon Supper & Western Music Show; Temple Square Guided Tour; Bryce Canyon National Park; Zion National Park; Hoover Dam; Grand Canyon Skywalk; Grand Canyon National Park; The Four Corners Monument; Diamond Belle Saloon Dinner and Entertainment; Durango to Silverton Train Ride; Royal Gorge Bridge & Park; Boot Hill Museum, plus a Country Style Dinner and the Long Branch Variety Show; Branson Show; The Sounds of Yesterday Dinner Show; and baggage handling.