Upcoming Trips

Las Vegas for the Holiday

Las Vegas Holiday Extravaganza!

December 11th-13th  Monday-Wednesday

$499 (Based Upon Double Occupancy)

Day One:  We’ll leave the Valley with a stop for coffee & goodies on our way to enjoy lunch on self at Mr. D’z Route 66 Diner, a true Travel Club favorite!  After lunch, it’s back on the bus and we’ll hightail it for Las Vegas, where we’ll check into the newly  renovated Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino.  We’ll have plenty of time for a refresh before gathering again for the award winning buffet dinner at the Golden Nugget, included.  After dinner the fun really begins.  Las Vegas ranks high as one of the nation’s top holiday destinations.  We’ll head for the Las Vegas Strip to tour the casinos, all trying to out-do each other with holiday decorations, lights and mega trees.  We’ll spend some time at the Bellagio, where the light show is performed to Christmas music and the atrium is done up so extravagantly for the holidays.  Over 140 horticulturists design and maintain the holiday display at the Bellagio—a dazzling arrangement of lit trees, ponds lined with poinsettias, bridges manned with life-sized carolers, and gazebos decked with flowers.  Later the evening is free to enjoy as you like and you know that what happens in Las Vegas, stays in Las Vegas!

Day Two: We’ll have breakfast on self at the hotel, and then it’s back on the bus and we’re off to enjoy a spectacular scenic drive through Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.  Just 15 miles west of Las Vegas, Red Rock Canyon offers the most incredible views of desert beauty, towering red cliffs and abundant wild life—a stark contrast to the bright lights and glitz of Las Vegas!  The sandstone rocks in the conservation area get their color from iron oxide, that has built up over the centuries to create the vibrant crimson colors that the canyon shows today.  This gorgeous conservation area is home to about 200 different animals, which include: burros, rabbits, coyotes, bighorn sheep, red tailed hawks, golden eagles, hummingbirds, wild horses, bobcats, and mountain lions, just to name a few!   Bring your cameras, because this beautiful canyon, located in the Mojave Desert, offers many lovely photo opportunities.  From here it’s just a hop, skip and a jump to Bonnie Springs Ranch.  This colorful and entertaining tourist attraction was originally built in 1843, as a stopover for the wagon trains going to California down the Old Spanish Trail. In 1846 General Fremont stopped by the Ranch to gear up for his trip through Death Valley.  Nowadays Bonnie Springs Ranch is known for their fantastic steak house and charming cocktail lounge.  We’ll swing through there to enjoy lunch on self, and then after lunch it’s back on the bus and we’ll head to our hotel for a refresh.  Later we’ll visit The Mob Museum, The National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement.  This nonprofit is dedicated to the history of organized crime and it is a world-class destination in downtown Las Vegas!  We’ll take an interactive journey through true stories from the birth of the mob, up until today’s headlines.    Like it or not, this is American history, the continuing battle between the Mob and the law.  Early evening, we’ll head back to the Bellagio for the incredible buffet dinner, included.  Later still, we’ll enjoy a free evening, and with so much to do in Las Vegas, you might like to take in a show, do a little gambling—you name it!  

Day Three:  We’ll enjoy breakfast on self and then it’s bags out, and we’re back on the bus headed for the Ethel M Chocolate Factory and Botanical Gardens, for an all out chocolate experience!  We’ll sample, we’ll see how chocolates are made, we’ll walk the paths of the garden, all done up for the holidays!  We’ll visit Ethel’s trendy chocolate lounge, sample the chocolate collection, gourmet apples, warm fondues, and chilled beverages!   From here, we’ll club style our way home, with a stop for lunch on self, and plenty of great sightseeing along the way.  Our holiday tours to Las Vegas are always a complete blast—don’t miss out on the fun!

 

 

Costa Rica Adventure

Costa Rica Adventure

Featuring Three Multi-Night Stays

January 17th-25th, 2018

$3245 (Based on Double Occupancy)  Includes Round Trip Airfare from Phoenix

Highlights:

* Paos Volcano National Park

* Coffee Plantation Visit

* Jungle Crocodile Safari Cruise

* Arenal Volcano National Park

* Monteverde Cloud Forest

* Selvatura Park & Hanging Bridges

* Butterfly Garden

* Hummingbird Garden

* Orchid Garden Tour

* Sarchi Artisan Village

* Three Multi-Night Stays, Including 2-Night Coastal Resort Stay

Inclusions:

* Roundtrip Airfare

* 16 Meals: 8 Breakfasts, 1 Lunch, 7 Dinners

* Professional Naturalist Tour Director

* Motorcoach Transportation

* Hotel Transfers

* Admissions Per Itinerary

* Comprehensive Sightseeing

* Baggage Handling  

Day One:  Depart Phoenix—Arrive San Jose, Costa Rica

Arrive in San Jose, meet your Professional Naturalist Tour Director and transfer to you hotel.  In 1502, on the fourth voyage of Christopher Columbus, the explorer and his crew discovered the Caribbean side of a beautiful territory that he called “Costa Rica” or “Rich Coast.”  Costa Rica is Central America’s greatest hidden gem, a haven for eco-tourism, offering lush forests, magnificent waterfalls, rumbling volcanoes and diverse ecosystems.  Overnight: San Jose

Day Two: San Jose—Poas Volcano National Park

Today enjoy the scenery of the Central Valley, surrounded by soaring mountains, strawberry plantations and flower farms.  Visit a coffee plantation to sample fresh Costa Rican coffee and learn about the history and cultivation of the coffee bean.  Later travel past tropical landscapes for a visit to Poas Volcano National Park, and view the dramatic mile-wide crater from an overlook.  Also stop at the Sarchi Artisan Village, known as the cradle of craftsmanship and an ideal place to shop for an oxcart, Costa Rica’s best known craft & souvenir.  Overnight in the Arenal Volcano National Park area (La Fortuna) for the next two nights.  Tonight join your traveling companions for a Welcome Dinner.  Meals: B, D  Overnight: La Fortuna 

Day Three:  La Fortuna—Day of Leisure

Today enjoy the amenities of your resort and spa hotel.  The resort features a wonderful viewing angle of the Arenal Volcano and is surrounded by lush gardens, walking paths, excellent bird watching, swimming pools and hot springs.  Enjoy dinner at the resort.  Meals: B, D  Overnight: La Fortuna 

Day Four:  Arenal Volcano National Park—Monteverde

This morning visit the Arenal Volcano National Park, one of the ten most active volcanoes in the world.  Its constant emissions of gases and lava will amaze you.  Later check into your hotel in the Monteverde Cloud Forest area for a two night stay and enjoy dinner.  Meals: B, D  Overnight: Monteverde

Day Five:  Monteverde

Today experience the conservation project at Selvatura Park.  Enjoy a unique opportunity to walk across Hanging Bridges & discover first hand the natural beauty of Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, one of the largest and most enchanting wildlife sanctuaries in the Americas.  Enjoy interesting visits to the Butterfly Garden, home to 50 different species, and the Hummingbird Gallery, home to many species from the cloud forest.  Meals: B, D  Overnight Monteverde

Day Six:  Monteverde—Jaco Beach/Puntarenas

This morning travel west via motorcoach to the Jaco Beach/Puntarenas Beach area, located on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, for a two-night stay.  Jaco Beach/Puntarenas area is one of the most visited coastal destinations in Costa Rica, and is well known for wildlife viewing, sport fishing and surfing.  Enjoy a visit to the Carara National Park, a tropical bird and wildlife sanctuary and one the world’s few nesting places for the scarlet macaw.  Meals: B, D  Overnight: Jaco Beach/Puntarenas

Day Seven:  Morning at Leisure—Crocodile Cruise

Enjoy the morning at leisure to relax and enjoy the amenities of the resort complex.  Maybe take an optional excursion view Tranopy or Zip Line.  Later set out for an exciting Jungle Crocodile Safari Cruise.  The 2-hour cruise highlights crocodiles and spectacular bird-viewing, while cruising the Tarcoles River.  Meals: B, D  Overnight: Jaco Beach/Punarenas

Day Eight:  Jaco Beach/Punarenas—San Jose

This morning enjoy a bit of  leisure time before departing for San Jose.  Enroute visit an Orchid Garden and gain insight into the stunning diversity of orchids.  Tonight enjoy a special Farewell Dinner.  Meals B, D  Overnight: San Jose

Day Nine:  San Jose—Return to USA

Fly home filled with wonderful memories of Costa Rica.  Meal: B

 

 

Another Thanksgiving in Bisbee

Thanksgiving in Bisbee

November 23rd-25th, 2017

$559 Per Person (Based Upon Double Occupancy)

The Copper Queen Hotel was built in the late 1800’s by the Phelps Dodge Mining Company, to host the increasing number of dignitaries and investors visiting the booming mining town of Bisbee.  Despite the use of the most modern equipment and materials available at the time, construction of the hotel took four long years, and involved blasting much of the mountainside, and pumping water uphill to mix concrete.  The Copper Queen was famously opulent, with Italian tile installed throughout the lobby, a Tiger Oak front desk surrounded by a wrought iron security cage, and two-foot thick walls with an open-air hallway that acted as climate control.  In 1902, when the doors finally opened, the Copper Queen Hotel was the most modern in the American West. 

Day One: We’ll hit the road headed for Bisbee on Thanksgiving morning, with a stop for coffee & goodies, as we make our way to Tombstone to enjoy lunch on self.  After lunch we’ll take some time to explore the streets of Tombstone before jumping back on the bus for the last leg of the journey. Upon arrival in Bisbee we’ll check into the historic Copper Queen Hotel—our headquarters for the next two nights—we’ll take some time to refresh and then gather again in the hotel dining room for Thanksgiving dinner in the Copper Queen Café.  The Café should be looking sharp, having undergone an impressive dining room remodel, and a newly modernized kitchen.  Famous for their Thanksgiving buffet, we’ll settle into a private dining room to enjoy the traditional turkey and ham spread, with all the side dishes and pies galore.  Later we’ll enjoy a free evening, always fun in lively downtown Bisbee.

Day Two: Coffee is available on the second floor, and the restaurant opens at 7:00 a.m. for breakfast on self.  Later we’ll set out to enjoy the 35th annual Bisbee Historic Home & Building Tour.  We’ll stay together on our bus to explore ten homes, all remarkable, including a rammed earth and straw bale house, a Christmas house, and a historic Territorial home… just to name a few.  This fun treasure hunt of a tour always takes us into the most hidden and historic corners of Bisbee, once the richest and largest community in the west.  Bisbee’s mining boom led to the construction of many buildings, using several different architectural styles that are now historic and considered to be very special.  Volunteer docents will be onsite to explain the features of the homes and share some of the history.  We’ll also spend some time exploring historic downtown Bisbee, where we’ll enjoy lunch on self, at the restaurant of your choice.  Bisbee has many great restaurants to choose from, along with several art galleries, interesting  book shops, cozy coffee houses, antique stores and so much more.  Later we’ll enjoy dinner on self and a free evening, along with an opportunity to join the locals for the Festival of the Lights, an annual street party kicking off the holiday season. 

Day Three: Breakfast is on self at the hotel.  After breakfast we’ll gather again to explore the Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum.  Not just any small town museum, this National Registered Landmark was once the headquarters for the Copper Queen Consolidated Mining Company, later to be known as Phelps Dodge Corporation.  Although the mines closed in the 1970’s, the town’s legacy has been preserved not only in its architecture, but in the Bisbee Mining & Historical Museum—a prestigious member of the Smithsonian Institution’s Affiliations Program.  Now that we’ve seen how it was done, we’ll head over to the Queen Mine Tour, get into our hard hats, headlamps and slickers and head into the mine.  Retired Phelps Dodge employees will lead us 1,500 feet underground and recount mining days, techniques, dangers and dramas.  Afterwards we’ll begin our journey back to the Valley, with a stop for lunch on self, and plenty of great sights along the way.  Our Thanksgiving in Bisbee Tour is always a great success, and it fills quickly, Don’t wait to call in your reservations! 

 

Lake Havasu Balloon Fest

Havasu Balloon Festival!

January 19th-21st, 2018 Friday-Sunday

$525 (Double Occupancy)

Day One:  We’ll leave the Valley with a stop for coffee and goodies, on our way to Quartzsite for lunch on self.  After lunch we’ll sightsee our way to beautiful Lake Havasu City. We’ll check into our hotel—our headquarters for the next two nights—and after a refresh, we’ll gather again to head-out for the balloon grounds and the incredible Glow Spectacular.  This is one of the most dramatic events of the Balloon Festival—when pilots ignite the burners of their tethered balloons simultaneously—and the colorful balloons glow like enormous holiday ornaments—a fabulous way to kick-off the weekend.  Later we’ll head out to enjoy dinner on self at Shugrue’s, offering stunning views of  Bridgewater Channel and the world-famous London Bridge.  Shugrue’s is an American grill, known for their seafood and chops.  On Friday nights they offer a fantastic fish fry—moderately priced—complete with a big baked potato and slaw.  Later we’ll enjoy a free evening. 

Day Two: Breakfast is included at the hotel, and after breakfast we’ll travel the short distance to the balloon field for the breathtaking morning mass ascension.  Afterwards we’ll spend the day enjoying the festivities offered around the fairgrounds, including an arts & crafts show, great vendor’s booths, live music and so much more.  The bus will be available to shuttle from the balloon field to the hotel and back throughout the day.  As the sun sets we’ll rally again to enjoy dinner on self at Javelina Cantina—offering fantastic Sonoran style Mexican food and wildly creative margaritas!  Weather permitting, we’ll relax on the large outdoor patio dining area. After dinner we’ll enjoy a free evening. 

Day Three:  We’ll enjoy breakfast at the hotel, included, and then it’s bags out and we’ll head for one of Arizona’s most interesting ghost towns—Oatman!  This crazy town began as a mining tent camp, over 100 years ago, but quickly became a flourishing gold mining center in 1915, when two miners struck a ten million dollar gold find!  Mining in Oatman was short lived, but Oatman survived by catering to travelers on old U.S. Route 66.  The town nearly died when the route became what is now Interstate 40.  Today tame burros roam the streets, descendants of the early mining burros.  We’ll check out the Oatman Hotel, where Clark Gable and Carol Lombard honeymooned in 1939, and we’ll enjoy a little lunch on self.  Then it’s back on the bus, as we head for home, with plenty of great sightseeing along the way! 

 The Havasu Balloon Festival just keeps getting bigger and better every year.  Don’t wait to call in your reservations, as hotel rooms in Lake Havasu City are very limited the weekend of this popular festival! 

 

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