American Impressions

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Day 01: New York, NY

Welcome to the world-famous Big Apple”! New York City is the ultimate cosmopolitan city in the world; there is lower Manhattan’s Chinatown and Little Italy, the traditionally Jewish Lower East Side, the more artsy concentrations of SoHo, TriBeCa, and the East and West Villages. Of course, there is the celebrated architecture of corporate Manhattan, with the skyscrapers in downtown and midtown forming the most unforgettable images. Tonight, perhaps visit Times Square, named after the New York Times, a vibrant, neon-lit area in the heart of the Theater District. Here you will find megastores and themed restaurants to please all tastes and budgets.

Day 02: New York, NY

Half-Day City tour departs at 8:45 Hrs from the Omni Berkshire Place New York for a comprehensive overview of this exciting city. View the most famous neighborhoods, attractions and places of interest and hear all the spicy details about them as told by a native New Yorker. The tour is designed to make you better acquainted with this vibrant metropolis for you to later explore at your leisure.

Optional activity

Once on your own, consider a bicycle tour through Central Park. Or, take a boat tour of New York Harbor and see New York’s most famous lady up-close, “Lady Liberty”, representative of freedom to the world. For an unforgettable bird’s eye view, you can opt to experience the once-ina-lifetime thrill of a helicopter ride over this magnificent city. Other suggested activities include visiting Radio City Music Hall, home of the world-famous Radio City Rockettes; Rockefeller Center, New York’s most popular destination; watching a Broadway show, day-of-performance tickets can be purchased at the Times Square Booth for half price. The options are endless!

Day 03: New York City – Boston, MA

Base Program and Extended Program participants should meet in the hotel lobby of the Omni Berkshire Place New York at 08:00 Hrs for a 08:15 Hrs departure. Today the tour travels north to the City of Boston, one of the oldest cities in America. Because it was the city most directly affected by the influences of the British Crown, Boston was the natural birthplace for the opposition that resulted in the Revolutionary War. Thus, numerous historical sites from that era are preserved with great dedication. The city of Cambridge, which forms part of the Boston Metropolitan area, is home to some of the oldest and most prestigious Universities in the country such as Harvard University and MIT. We will tour this Historic City by bus. Some of the highlights of this tour include the Boston Commons, Beacon Hill and Cheers Bar, the Botanical Gardens, Newbury Street and will culminate at Copley Square. Immediately after the end of the tour you will have time to explore the sites on your own. You may want to take the time to walk the Freedom Trail; this is one of Americas’ first historic walking tours, it takes visitors to 16 historical sites, covering two and a half centuries of America’s most significant past.

Day 04: Boston – Niagara Falls, ON

Today the tour proceeds west across Massachusetts where we will stop briefly at the quaint artists’ town of Stockbridge. As we continue on our drive the rolling hills of upstate New York will become visible followed by the Finger Lakes Region, famous for its many vineyards. While in this region we will stop at Geneva, this small and picturesque village sits on the shores of Seneca Lake, the largest of the five Finger Lakes from which it takes the name. As we continue on to the Canadian border, we encounter Niagara Falls, one of the world’s most breathtaking natural wonders. The city of Niagara itself offers plenty of fun and entertainment.

Day 05: Niagara Falls –Toronto – Niagara Falls, ON

This morning we depart for a visit to Toronto, this ultra modern city, with its famous structures such as the Skydome Stadium, a marvel of modern architecture; the CN Tower, the symbol of this city, was built as a TV transmission antenna and at 1815 feet, it’s the tallest antenna tower in the world. It contains a range of attractions and exhibits that can be reached via the famous glass-faced elevator, which takes less than a minute to reach the observation deck. The tour will end at the renowned Eaton Centre, with its numerous restaurants, eateries and shops located right on the water in the city’s center. Here you can enjoy lunch on your own while taking in the sights. In the mid afternoon we return to Niagara, to experience the majestic falls.

Optional activity

We recommend taking the Hornblower Niagara Falls Boat Tour. This rugged boat brings you right under the foot of the American Falls, past the Rock of Ages, and to the foot of Horseshoe Falls where the water plunges with tremendous power into the river. There will also be an opportunity to participate in an optional helicopter flight over the falls. Upon take off you will see the Falls and immediately after the Whirlpool Rapids where the river makes a 90 degree turn. Further along you will reach The American Falls as they come down in a straight line; Goat Island in the middle of the river is the border between the two waterfalls. The views as you fly over the edge, and the sounds of the thundering water will create an unforgettable experience! In the evening, also part of the optional excursions is dinner at The Skylon Tower. Located in the heart of the Niagara Falls, the Skylon Tower is the most famous landmark second only to the Falls, it offers visitors unobstructed, 360º views of the Falls; on a clear day you can see all the way to Toronto! Enjoy a sumptuous meal while watching the wonderful spectacle offered by the illuminated Falls.

Day 06: Niagara Falls – Amish Country – Lancaster , PA

Today, after crossing the border back into the US, we continue southward through New York State and Pennsylvania to Lancaster. This is a popular destination due mostly to the many plain-sect residents known as the Amish or Pennsylvania Dutch. They are the descendants of Germans who immigrated in the 18th and 19th centuries in search for freedom of religion and were attracted by the rich soil and mild climate of the area.

Optional activity

Amish Experience & Dinner Visit an Amish homestead and One-Room School, you’ll explore the riddles of Amish culture, including life without electricity in a house where the most important piece of furniture is the kitchen table. Lancaster’s only officially designated Amish Heritage Site House Tour. After tour there will be a dinner buffet.

Day 07: Lancaster – Gettysburg – Baltimore – Washington DC

Today we will tour Gettysburg historic battle field, site of the Civil War’s bloodiest battle with 51,000 casualties over three days in the summer of 1863 and also the backdrop for President Lincoln’s Gettysburg address. Afterwards, we continue on to Baltimore, where everyone can enjoy lunch on their own. In the afternoon we arrive in Washington, DC, the nation’s capital. Washington, DC attracts nearly twenty million visitors each year making tourism the second biggest industry of the area just after the federal government.

Optional activity

Washington Evening Illumination Tour As an option, tonight you may choose a sightseeing tour where you can enjoy the beauty of this nation’s capital after dark. See the monuments and federal buildings flooded in lights, from the illuminated dome of the U.S. Capitol to the breathtaking view from the roof of the Kennedy Center. Ride down Pennsylvania Avenue and see the White House and the Capitol Reflecting Pool.

Day 08: Washington DC

Washington, D.C. has numerous monuments and attractions. Enjoy a half day guided tour of this popular city. Highlights include the White House, The Capitol, the Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery. For the remainder of the day, participants are free to continue taking in the sights. The city is very easy to maneuver and allows visitors to explore museums and the surrounding attractions effortlessly; admission to most major attractions is free. While exploring the sites on your own, you may want to visit the Library of Congress; it is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and serves as the research arm of Congress. It is also the largest library in the world. You may want to also see the National Cathedral; it is the sixth largest in the world and offers a dramatic spectacle to all who visit. You also have the Washington option to visit the Air & Space Museum which is the most visited of all the Smithsonian museums.

Day 09: washington d.c. - air - San Francisco, CA

In the morning fly to San Francisco (flight is not included ).Transfers to Washington airports (DCA –National) or (Dulles – IAD) and from San Francisco International Airport (SFO) are included and will be arranged by the tour guide. Proper advanced flight information is required to make transfer arrangements. The rest of the day is at leisure. San Francisco is one of the most beautiful cities in the US. It’s a compact and approachable place, where downtown streets rise on impossible gradients to reveal stunning views of the city, the bay and beyond. San Francisco is culturally vibrant and ethnically diverse; as a result, it has evolved into the urban jewel of California’s coast. Very typical for this city are the cable cars and rows of elaborate redwood Victorian-Style houses. Curiously, it contains the biggest China Town outside China.

Day 10: San Francisco, CA

Half-Day City tour departs at 08:15 Hrs from the Westin St. Francis. Get to know this exiting city through this half-day tour which will include highlights such as the Civic Center, Japan Town, St. Mary’s Cathedral, the Twin Peaks and the Golden Gate Bridge. The tour will conclude at one of the area’s most popular destinations, Fisherman’s Wharf. The Wharf offers unobstructed views of infamous Alcatraz Island and consists of a long, coast-side row of seafood restaurants, street vendors and entertainers, souvenir stores, and beautiful ocean scenery. You may opt to have lunch while at the Wharf. The rest of the day is yours to explore the city on your own.

Day 11: San Francisco - Monterey/17-Mile Drive – merced, CA

All participants should meet in the lobby of the hotel at 07:00 Hrs. A morning drive will bring the tour to Monterey, an artisan city on the water famed for the abundance and diversity of its marine life. Here you will see Old Fisherman’s Wharf Cannery Row, an old sardine packing plant and many historic buildings depicting its Spanish past. Travel the famous 17-Mile Drive; this scenic road winds through the prestigious gated community of Pebble Beach in Carmel, past the Del Monte Forest, ocean-front mansions, secluded coves, pristine beaches, and esteemed golf courses. This drive is also home to natural attractions including the famous Lone Cypress tree, Fanshell Beach, and Seal Rock. Afterwards we visit the city of Carmel, voted as one of the most beautiful towns in California, and a mecca for the performing and visual arts. In the afternoon our journey continues on to Merced for the night.

Optional activity

Take a Monterey Bay whale watching cruise and enjoy a unique opportunity to view the diverse inhabitants of the Monterey Bay. Depending on the season, you may see Gray Whales, Humpback Whales, Blue Whales, Fin Whales, Minke Whale, Orca (Killer Whales), Bottlenose Dolphins, Harbor Porpoises, California Sea Lions, Pacific Harbor Seals, Southern Sea Otters and many others. While whale sightings are not guaranteed, Monterey Bay and the California coast offer unique opportunities to observe whales and other marine wildlife year round.

Day 12: MERCED – Yosemite National Park – MAMMOTH LAKES, CA

This morning we have a scenic drive toward the country’s most famous National Park, Yosemite. Yosemite offers breathtaking views and natural variety of plants and animals. Within the Park, Yosemite Valley’s seven square miles is the most known area. It encompasses Yosemite Falls, the famous El Captain and Half Dome granite monoliths, and foggy Bridalveil Falls. The overall scenery is spectacular, views of sheer granite walls, ice-sculptured domes, thundering waterfalls, alpine peaks, giant sequoia trees, glaciers, and flowered meadows are a common occurrence here. Leisure time is available; you might want to rent a bike for a short tour. In the afternoon, we continue across the spectacular Tioga Pass to Mammoth Lakes.

Day 13: mammoth lakes – Death Valley – Las Vegas, NV

Today our travels take us through Death Valley on the way to Las Vegas. When temperatures exceed 110º Fahrenheit / 43º Celsius travel through Death Valley will not be possible and an alternate route will be taken to Las Vegas. Death Valley is a desert of streaming sand dunes, snow-capped mountains and multicolored rock layers. It is also one of the most arid places on earth and the hottest and driest of the National Parks within the United States with temperatures reaching 134°F / 56.6°C in the summer. Surprisingly, an average yearly rain-fall of 2 inches/5 cm has proven sufficient for the over 900 species of plants and animals that thrive in this harsh environment. We will stop at Father Crawley and Zabriskie Points for a spectacular view of the Panamint Mountains and Sand Dunes and at Furnace Creek where you may want to have a light lunch. Our journey continues to the exiting city of Las Vegas. Las Vegas is the most dynamic and spectacular city on earth; it boasts the vast majority of the world’s largest hotels which attract thirty-seven million visitors each year who come to see the amazing spectacle, the hotels themselves.

Optional activity

Join us for an optional Las Vegas Night Tour. This tour takes you to Fremont Street with its aluminum barrel vault canopy covered with 12.5 million LED lights, multiple lasers, strobes and a state-of-the-art sound system that come alive several times a night during extravagant themed shows; see the show of water, music and light thoughtfully interwoven at the Bellagio Fountains; experience the Caesar’s Palace, the Luxor Pyramids, the Mirage and other such hotels up-close and personal.

Day 14: Las Vegas, NV

Today you are free to explore the city of Las Vegas. You may want to visit the Stratosphere Tower, the tallest observation tower in the U.S. and one of the most exciting attractions among Las Vegas Strip hotels.

Optional activity

You will have the possibility to join an optional excursion to the Hoover Dam. Designated as a National Historic Landmark, the Hoover Dam is the highest concrete dam in the Western Hemisphere, standing at more than 725 feet.

Optional activity

You will have the possibility to join an optional excursion to the Grand Canyon. (Air and Ground Sightseeing Tour). See the magnificent Grand Canyon National Park. Enjoy a sightseeing tour over Lake Mead, the incredible Hoover Dam, the mighty Colorado River and the Grand Canyon, and a motor coach excursion through the National Park with stops along the Rim for magnificent views and photo opportunities. Enjoy a light meal before flying back to Las Vegas.

Optional activity

No visit to Las Vegas is complete without experiencing one of it legendary shows. There are shows with dancing, singing, acrobatics, magic and more. The variety is endless; we will choose one of these shows based on availability for the tour

Day 15: Las Vegas - Los Angeles, CA

Base Program ends this morning with check out. Transfer on own to airport. Extended Program participants will be transferred (unguided) to Los Angeles by coach or air, for a midafternoon arrival in Los Angeles. Extended Program participants have a two night post-tour stay.

Day 16: Los Angeles, CA

Start the day with a half day tour (English only) of the Los Angeles area. Some of the highlights include Hollywood, famous for its vast film industry, the Walk of Fame, Grumman’s Chinese Theatre, Beverly Hills, home to the rich and famous and the world-famous shopper’s paradise Rodeo Drive! Keep your eyes open and your cameras ready, here you may spot a celebrity around any corner. We will visit other famous landmarks such as Olivera Street and Century City. The afternoon is at leisure for further independent exploration. Santa Monica is a short taxi ride away and very pleasant to spend the afternoon.

Day 17: Los Angeles, CA

Transfer on own, via free hotel shuttle, to Los Angeles International Airport.