Friday: June 15 Winston-Salem, North Carolina
The Gathering: All tour members and their families will be invited to a get-acquainted supper at Salem College on Friday evening, June 15. (Details will be given in the final Departure Notice mailed in February.) At the supper, baggage tags, backpacks, and a list of tour members will be distributed. Rooms will be tentatively reserved at the Brookstown Inn for those who wish to register for the night but reservations will need to be made as soon as possible (336-725-1120). When calling, ask for the rooms reserved for Winston-Salem Grand Western Tours and request written confirmation.
Saturday: June 16 Winston-Salem to Louisville, KY
Promptly at 6:00 a.m., members will assemble at Brookstown Inn, 200 Brookstown Ave., Winston-Salem, where the buses will be loaded. Luggage will be packed on the bus at that time. The Grand Western Tour, traveling by chartered air-conditioned buses, will leave promptly at 6:30 AM. En route the group will enjoy a picnic lunch.
The first night will be spent at the Best Western Plus in New Albany, IN. The group will visit
Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby Museum in Louisville, KY. On the site is the oldest continuously held horse race in the country. If our luck continues, we will be able to see a horse race in action! We will spend the evening having dinner at Joe Huber Family Farm & Restaurant, where everything is made fresh from scratch. After dinner, we will be able to enjoy the family friendly farm. (L, D)
Sunday: June 17 Louisville to St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is one of the oldest settlements in the Mississippi Valley. It is known as one of the greatest industrial centers of the nation and a leading world market. Sunday afternoon we will view “Monument to the Dream”, a movie chronicling the construction of the Gateway Arch and follow that with a tour of the famous archway. A special highlight while here will be a cruise down the Mississippi River featuring musical entertainment on the riverboat "Tom Sawyer". The Crowne Plaza, on the Mississippi River waterfront, will be our hotel. Dinner that evening will be at The Old Spaghetti Factory where we will enjoy their famous Three Course Meal where every meal is complete with bread, soup or salad, and dessert in a charming atmosphere. (B, D)
Monday: June 18 St. Louis to Salina, Kansas
The group will be traveling through the state of Missouri and will spend the night at the Comfort Suites located in Salina. The city is in an area of historic landmarks and is also the geographical center of the continental United States. It is the heart of the Kansas hard-wheat belt and one of the leading flour-producing cities in the country. The evening will include a movie and a visit to a mid-western mall. The Staff will conduct our first group meeting. (B)
Tuesday, Wednesday: June 19-20 Salina to Colorado Springs, Colorado
Two nights will be spent at the Quality Inn in Colorado Springs, a resort city that is noted for its magnificent scenic features. Dinner the first night will be at Fargo’s Pizza Company, the world’s largest pizza parlor with 500 seats on two levels. Dinner the second night will be at Chick-fil-A where everyone will be given a coupon. There will be a tour of the U.S. Air Force Academy, a trip to the top of Pike's Peak via a 3.5 hour round trip on Pikes Peak Cog Railway, and a visit to the National Olympic Training Center. (B, D, B, D )
Thursday, Friday: June 21-22 Colorado Springs to Durango, Colorado
The group will leave Colorado Springs Thursday morning for a spectacular ride to Silverton. The group will have time to explore this unique old mining town before boarding the train to Durango. This is one of the last of the narrow gauge railroads still in operation in the United States, traveling through the beautiful San Juan Mountains.
On Friday, a step-on guide will lead the group on a tour of Mesa Verde, site of the preserved cliff dwellings of the Pueblo Indians, and then enjoy a picnic lunch. The travelers will have supper at the Bar "D" where chuck wagon style food and entertainment are featured. Two nights will be spent at the Quality Inn in the quaint town of Durango. (B, B, L, D)
Saturday: June 23 Durango to Salt Lake City, Utah
En route to Salt Lake City, the travelers will pass through Canyonlands National Park, known for its preserved scenic beauty. A visit will be made to Arches National Park where a picnic lunch will be provided. Here they will be able to take a scenic trip of The Windows that includes three massive arches. The group will spend the night at the Comfort Inn Downtown, Salt Lake City. The Mormons under Brigham Young founded Salt Lake City in 1847. We will have the opportunity to view the Great Salt Lake for which the city is aptly named. After breakfast at the hotel, the travelers will visit Temple Square, Utah's most celebrated historical spot and the center of Mormon activities. They will also have the pleasure of hearing the famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir perform during the National Sunday Morning Broadcast. Dinner that evening will be at the Blue Lemon restaurant. (B, L, D)
Sunday, Monday: June 24-25 Salt Lake City to Jackson Hole, Wyoming
The next stop will be Jackson Hole, Wyoming. This colorful resort town is the southern entrance to the Grand Teton National Park and is the supply point for ranches of the Jackson Hole Country. While there the group will stay in the Antler Motel, ideally situated in the center of Jackson Hole. Everyone will ride the 4,000-ft. chair lift that provides access to the top of Snow King Mountain and affords a panoramic view of the Grand Tetons. The students will have free time during the day to explore the quaint town – a perfect spot for souvenir and t-shirt shopping. We will enjoy a lively reenactment of frontier justice on the Jackson Town Square in what is the longest, continuously running shootout in the country! We will also enjoy dinner and a western theme musical comedy at the historic Jackson Hole Playhouse, known for many years as a great destination for family entertainment. (B, D)
Tues., Wed., Thurs.: June 26-28 Jackson Hole to 320 Guest Ranch, Big Sky, Montana
The group will leave for an all day excursion of Yellowstone National Park, traveling along the Snake River at the base of the majestic Grand Teton Mountains. The day will be spent exploring Yellowstone, including a picnic lunch, viewing the lakes, the mud pots, and the geysers, including Old Faithful. The travelers will see buffalo, elk, and possibly a wolf or wolf or a black bear!
As we continue, we will stop in West Yellowstone and attend the Yellowstone IMAX Theatre showing “Yellowstone”, the history of the park. We will continue our drive to 320 Guest Ranch, Gallatin Gateway, Montana, near Big Sky Country. The first morning at the Ranch, we will return to West Yellowstone and visit the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center. We will be able to view live animal demonstrations and learn how the grizzly bears, birds of prey, and wolves live. The three nights at the ranch will be spent in cabins.
When returning to the Guest Ranch, we’ll enjoy some western entertainment and outdoor activities, including horseback trail riding and an organized hike where there is a possibility of viewing wildlife along with all of the beautiful scenery. We will be following many of the same principles and attitudes that were central to the ranch’s philosophy at the turn of the last century. Our annual volleyball tournament that divides the group into competing teams, dressed in their own designed ‘uniforms’ happens here! (L, D, B, L, D, B, L, D)
Friday: June 29 320 Guest Ranch, Big Sky, Montana to Polson, Montana
After breakfast, the group will depart 320 Guest Ranch and will reach Polson about midday and enjoy a picnic lunch. This will allow time for the traditional white water rafting trip on the Flathead River which traverses the Flathead Indian Reservation. While staying at the Best Western Kwa Taq Nuk Hotel, which is located on the shore of the beautiful Flathead Lake, our group will dine on their famous Indian Tacos. Flathead Lake is the largest fresh water lake between the Mississippi River and the Pacific Ocean. (B, L, D)
Saturday, Sunday: June 30-July 1 Polson to Seattle, Washington
This drive will proceed through Montana, Idaho, and Washington. Upon arrival in Seattle, we will embark on an educational exploration at Experience Music Project that provides an opportunity to understand and appreciate American musical heritage, history, and the role of technology in our culture. Time will be allotted to visit the Marketplace and tour Seattle with trained step-on guides. On Sunday morning breakfast will be at the famous Space Needle overlooking the City and Puget Sound and hopefully a beautiful view of Mt. Rainier. Dinner on Sunday night will be served at Ivar's Salmon House, a beautiful cedar replica of the Northwest Indian Longhouse. In this setting filled with native artifacts and historical photographs, the group will enjoy a memorable meal surrounded by views of Lake Union and the skyline of Seattle. Our lodging in Seattle will be at Hotel Deca located near the campus of the University of Washington. (B, B, D).
Monday: July 2 Seattle to Gold Beach, Oregon
After a continental breakfast, the group will leave Seattle and travel along the Pacific coastline of Oregon, famous for its phenomenal scenic beauty. This is a beautiful drive enhanced by magnificent beaches where mountains give way to the Pacific Ocean, leaving us time to create a leisurely evening in Gold Beach. The night will be spent at Jot's Resort Hotel highlighted with a barbeque, karaoke, and dancing on a beautiful outside area overlooking the Rogue River and the Pacific Ocean! A special time is set aside for those that will have birthdays on the trip to be recognized with a cake, including the names of those celebrating birthdays, and our very own D.J. to lead us in the Happy Birthday song. (B, D)
Tues., Wed., Thurs.: July 3-4-5 Gold Beach to San Francisco, California
The drive continues along the coast of Oregon, through forests of redwood, where they will enjoy a picnic lunch, and into the wine valleys of Northern California. In San Francisco, three nights will be spent at colorful Fisherman's Wharf in the Holiday Inn Express. Dinner the first night will be at the renowned IN.N.OUT Burgers, world famous for its made-fresh-to-order hamburgers and fries. After dinner, the group will be able to enjoy the famous July 4th fireworks on the Bay. San Francisco is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world; an important financial center, a leading industrial city, and a great port. Its charm and beauty appeal to all ages. Experienced guides will conduct a tour of the city. We will take a walk across the famed Golden Gate Bridge, one of the longest single spans in the world, on our way to visit the scenic artists’ colony of Sausalito. The group will be able to have lunch in this eclectic and picturesque community, with time allowed for stops at some of its unique shops.
In San Francisco, time will be spent visiting the historical Alcatraz Island. From the mid 1930's until the mid 1960's, Alcatraz was America's premier maximum-security prison, the final stop for the nation's most incorrigible inmates. Today, Alcatraz is a place of contradictions with a grim past and an enduring future as one of San Francisco's most prominent landmarks. Afterwards, travelers will be allowed to go shopping or sightseeing in specified areas, in groups of five or more, unaccompanied by a staff member. For transportation in the city, students may use (at their own expense) cable cars, taxis and the municipal bus system. They will be carefully instructed about these shopping tours. Free time will be available in the City by the Bay, where diverse neighborhoods provide a plethora of good food, interesting sights and beautiful scenery.
While in San Francisco, the students will attend a major league baseball game, either at San Francisco or Oakland. Dinner on Wednesday night in San Francisco will be at the famous Chinatown Restaurant that has been in business since 1919. (L, D, B, B, D)
Friday, Saturday, Sunday: July 6-7-8 San Francisco to Anaheim, California
The drive to the Los Angeles area will give the travelers an idea of the variety of terrain and lifestyles in the state of California. Ample free time will be arranged for all to roam and ramble around the fabulous Downtown Disney District the first night with a special dinner at Dave and Buster’s, and the latest interactive arcade and video games. The second day, each person will be given a one day "passport'" to Disneyland. The third day, a trip is planned that morning to Hollywood where everyone is sure to enjoy visiting Grauman's Chinese Theater. Be sure to place your footprints and handprints in those of your favorite Hollywood Star. In the afternoon, the group will visit Laguna Beach for swimming and beachcombing. (B, D, B, B)
Monday: July 9 Anaheim to La Jolla/San Diego, California
Spanish missionary Father Sera founded his first mission in San Diego in 1769. Some of the city's past is preserved in this Old Town Section, but more than a century ago, San Diego’s focus moved closer to the water. Visitors enjoy the historical sites from Mexican and Victorian times as well as the lovely beaches. We will enjoy lunch in the historic Old Town San Diego!
The name La Jolla is Spanish for "the jewel" and is thought to be inspired by the beauty of the area. The King’s Inn will be our place of lodging. That morning a visit will be made to the San Diego Zoo, one of the largest zoological parks in the world. In the afternoon, we will be touring the USS Midway aircraft carrier in San Diego, which was in service longer than any aircraft carrier in our history. That night, the group will have a special catered barbecue dinner on the beach while they assemble to view the beauty of the sunset over the Pacific Ocean, the largest and deepest of the world’s five oceans. (B, L, D)
Tuesday: July 10 San Diego to Las Vegas, Nevada
In Las Vegas, the group will eat dinner at Planet Hollywood Miracle Mile. The group will then attend “V-The Ultimate Variety Show”. This traditional style variety show has Las Vegas written all over it. From acrobats to comedians to magicians, there is something in the show to please almost anyone. After the show, we will the drive down the strip where the spectacular lights will be enjoyed by all. Our final destination that evening will be our hotel, Laquinta. (B, D)
Wednesday: July 11 Las Vegas via Grand Canyon to Sedona, Arizona
The Grand Canyon is one of the world's most remarkable, awe-inspiring spectacles; in form, size, glowing color, and majestic splendor, nothing else approaches its beauty. From rim to rim, the park portion varies from 4 to 14 miles in width. It is 5,700 feet deep measured from the North Rim. The Canyon possesses five out of seven botanical life zones ascribed to the North Hemisphere. As one ascends, the climate changes from warm and desert-like to cool with sparse vegetation. Animals will not usually migrate from one area to another since the plant life varies. At no other place is there such a vast panorama of time displayed so clearly; each stratum of rocks distinctly marks a period of earth’s history. It is said that when the upper-most stratum of kaibab limestone was 170 million years old, the meandering Colorado River began its work that continues even today. We will enjoy a picnic lunch while exploring the Grand Canyon. The night will be spent in Sedona, Arizona at the Arabella Hotel where we will gather around the pool for pizza before the evening ends. Conveniently located adjacent to the hotel is the beautiful Marg's Draw Trail, an unforgettable nature adventure for anyone who goes on its red dirt path. Sedona is a charming resort town surrounded by towering red rock monoliths that have served as the backdrop for many western movies.
(B, L, D)
Thursday, Friday: July 12-13 Sedona to Tucson, Arizona
A continental breakfast will be provided at the Arabella Hotel in Sedona. Before leaving Sedona, we will have a blast riding in the jeeps on the Pink Jeep Scenic Rim Tour. The group will tour the stunning and diverse landscape of Arizona. Established in 1960, Pink Jeep Tours is the oldest Jeep tour company in the U.S. This 1.5-hour tour will ascend an amazing 1,500 feet above Sedona along the Mogollon Rim. Majestic red rock formations blaze the trail for scenic beauty and rugged exploration. Two nights will be spent in Tucson at the Omni Tucson National Golf Resort – a beautiful resort/spa offering a variety of activities for our students from swimming, tennis, volleyball and golf. Dinner the first night will be a cookout and pool party, and on the second night, the group will have an Italian meal in the Resort’s dining room. On Friday there will be a visit to the famous Desert Museum where wild life of the Sonoran Desert is sheltered in natural habitat. The drive to the museum will take the students through the Saguaro National Monument . The Saguaro stands as one of the largest cacti in the world and it’s bloom is the State flower of Arizona. (B, D, D)
Saturday: July 14 Tucson to EI Paso, Texas
EI Paso is the cultural center of the Southwest, enriched for more than four centuries by contributions from Native Americans, Spanish Settlers, Europeans and Asians. The city's international flavor is apparent in the variety of cultural facilities and events, 18 museums, more than 35 art galleries, and 28 resident visual artists of national acclaim. Beyond this southwestern Texan city and across the Rio Grande, lies Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. The night in EI Paso will be spent at the Quality Inn. An exceptional dinner of local heritage will be enjoyed at the famous Carlos & Mickey's Casa Souza. (B, D)
Sunday, Monday: July 15-16 EI Paso to San Antonio, Texas
After having breakfast at the Quality Inn, the tour will continue to San Antonio where the group will stay two nights at the historical Menger Hotel. The travelers will be close to the center of the city's attractions such as Las Villita, the Paseo del Rio Hub, The Alamo, and the Spanish Governor's Palace. Before visiting The Alamo, we will attend a viewing at the IMAX Theatre entitled “The Price of Freedom”. This movie tells all about The Alamo and the historical impact of the site. There will be adequate time to explore the historical spots of this wonderful city and to discover the unique shops specializing in southwestern themes. Dinner Monday night will be at the first Fuddruckers, a world famous restaurant that was founded in San Antonio in 1979. (B, D)
Tuesday: July 17 San Antonio to New Orleans, Louisiana
In New Orleans, the tour group will stay at the Hilton Inn, adjacent to the French Quarter. There will be a visit to the French Quarter and the group will have the perfect ending to our Grand Western Tour at The Grand Isle Restaurant. (D)
Wednesday: July 18 New Orleans to Winston-Salem, North Carolina
The Grand Western Tour will leave New Orleans and stop in Atlanta for lunch at the The Varsity, known as the World’s largest drive in restaurant which was first opened in 1928. We will then continue toward Winston-Salem, arriving between 7:00 and 7:30 PM at Brookstown Inn, from where they departed. In the event of an unexpected delay, parents will be informed when they come to meet the bus on Wednesday, July 18.
**Meals included in the tour are indicated in the itinerary as follows:
(B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner.
Call (704) 637-6873 today to learn more about our Grand Western Tour!