An American Road trip- Part One

by Anna Hilley on 19 October 2015, 16:10PM

In the first of a series of blog posts, Travelbag's Pricing Assistant Anna Hilley reports back on her recent California road trip.

Las Vegas and Palm Springs

As cliché as it may sound, a road trip down the West Coast of America has been high on my bucket list for as long as I can remember, or at least as long as I have had the travel bug. The bustle of Vegas and glamour of Los Angeles, in contrast to the desert oasis in Palm Springs and dramatic landscapes of Yosemite makes for an ideal mix of adventure and relaxation with world class food and wine thrown in for good measure. After months of planning, all that stood between me and driving down the Pacific Coast Highway in a Ford Mustang, was a 12 hour flight - a very comfortable flight thanks to Air New Zealand may I add!

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First off, we visited the bright lights of Las Vegas. Vegas really is everything you imagine and more.  We stayed at the New Tropicana Casino & Resort with a view of the Eiffel Tower from our window and the New York skyline just around the corner! There really is something for everyone, with extravagant shows like Cirque du Soleil to world famous DJ's performing at glamorous pool parties, no matter what time of day or night, Vegas is alive. Each hotel and casino really is an attraction in itself. We spent our time during the day visiting the beautiful canals of The Venetian and by the mesmerising fountains of the Bellagio.

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A highlight of our time in Vegas, a helicopter trip to the Grand Canyon, really showed the contrast this amazing country has to offer. We went on the Wind Dancer tour with a great company called Maverick Aviation. We were picked up from our hotel, and taken to the heliport. The tour itself included a champagne landing deep in the canyon and fantastic views of the Las Vegas Strip, the Colorado River and the world famous Hoover Dam. As we were trying to fit as much as possible into a short period of time, this was the best way I can think of to visit this un-missable landmark.

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Leaving Vegas we picked up our car from the airport. We decided to live the Californian dream and hire the original American muscle car- a convertible Ford Mustang, it had to be done really!

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The next stop on our journey was the desert oasis that is Palm Springs, a striking contract to Las Vegas. California is currently in the middle of one of its worst droughts for years, so with this in mind, we tried our very hardest not to be too disappointed when it rained for both days we were there! Palm Springs is normally the place for relaxing by the pool or hiking in nearby national parks, so we made the most of the bad weather and headed to the nearby outlet malls to pick up some bargains!

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Although the weather didn’t go our way, we still had a lovely time in Palm Springs, staying in the quirky Ace Hotel & Swim Club and eating our way through the countless bistro’s and upscale diners this little desert haven had to offer. It was also a great spot to go star gazing with little light pollution and great vantage points all within an easy drive.  With the rugged mountainous backdrop and ‘normally’ sun soaked palm trees, this is a great choice for a stop off after Vegas.

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To plan your next trip to California click here.


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