Friday: June 14 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 14. (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 15 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 16 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 City Place, St. Louis Downtown, 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 17 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 18-19 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. On Tuesday, there will be a tour of the U.S. Air Force Academy. On Wednesday, we will tour Garden of the Gods with step-on guides, then a movie, “How Did Those Rocks Get There?”. We will visit the National Olympic Training Center and conclude the day with a trip to the top of Pike's Peak, 14,110 feet above sea level. (B, D, B, D)
Thursday, Friday: June 20-21 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 22 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 Buca di Beppo restaurant. (B, L, D)
Sunday, Monday: June 23-24 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 close to the center of Jackson Hole. No trip to Jackson Hole is complete without at least one hike to the top of Snow King Mountain. Taking about one hour, it is just under 2 miles and just over 1,500 vertical feet. Those willing, can hike to the top, while others will ride the chair lift. From the top, we will enjoy panoramic views of the Grand Tetons, then everyone will ride the 4,000-ft. chair lift back to the bottom. The students will have free time 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 renowned western themed musical comedy, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, at the historic Jackson Hole Playhouse in downtown Jackson Hole, known for many years as a great destination for family entertainment. (B, D)
Tues., Wed., Thurs.: June 25-26-27 Jackson Hole to 320 Guest Ranch, Big Sky, Montana
The group will leave for an all-day excursion of two of our National Parks, Grand Teton National Park and 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 a black bear! As we continue to the Guest Ranch, we will stop in West Yellowstone, briefly, and then continue to the ranch where the next three nights will be spent in cabins.
On the first morning, we will enjoy an excursion to Earthquake Lake. Quake Lake (officially Earthquake Lake) is a lake in southwestern Montana in the United States. It was created after an earthquake struck on August 17, 1959, killing 28 people. Today, Quake Lake is 190 feet deep and 6 miles long. We will follow along the lake to see glimpses of the effects of the earthquake and landslide, and later enjoy the visitor center. The lake is mostly within Gallatin National Forest.
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 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. A special highlight of activity is our Annual volleyball tournaments when the group is divided into competing teams that design their own ‘uniforms’. We come together for this exciting tradition here at the ranch. Who will win this year? (L, D, B, L, D, B, L, D)
Friday: June 28 320 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. The group will spend the night at the Red Lion Inn, overlooking the beautiful Flathead Lake, the largest fresh water lake between the Mississippi River and the Pacific Ocean. That night our group will dine at the Kwa Taq Nuk having their famous Indian Tacos. (B, L, D)
Saturday, Sunday: June 29-30 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 The Museum of Pop Culture, or MoPOP, a nonprofit museum, dedicated to contemporary popular culture. The museum 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 Pike’s Peak Marketplace. Don’t get hit by a flying fish! On Sunday morning, we will travel to the top of the famous Space Needle overlooking the City, Puget Sound, and hopefully a beautiful view of Mt. Rainier. We will then enjoy a tour of the city, with step-on guides that will take us to the unique sites of Seattle. 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 the Hilton Garden Inn. (B, B, D).
Monday: July 1 Seattle to Gold Beach, Oregon
After breakfast at the hotel, 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 their name on a cake, and our very own D.J. to lead us in the Happy Birthday song. (B, D)
Tues., Wed., Thurs.: July 2-3-4 Gold Beach to San Francisco, California
The drive continues along the coast of Oregon. The California Redwoods are one of the most unique species in Northern California. We will take a side excursion along the way to visit Grieg-French-Bell Grove. It is most remarkable for its incredibly thick and dense groundcover of redwood sorrel, the unusually lush groundcover. The sorrel completely covers a forest floor that, unusually, consists of little rolling mounds, and also covers fallen logs. It is here that we will enjoy walking the trail and completely enjoying the scenery. Because it's both visually striking and conveniently located next to a major road, the grove is often used for movies and TV commercials. In between the trees, it’s cool and dark and the air is pungent with damp earth and tree smells. There are virtually no birds, no bugs, and no hint of wind. The daylight streams through in weak beams of light, fighting its way to the forest floor. In the Redwoods, it’s almost always dawn or dusk. Along the way, we will enjoy a picnic lunch, and drive through the wine valleys of Northern California.
In San Francisco, three nights will be spent near the Fisherman's Wharf area at the Comfort Inn by the Bay. Dinner the first night will be at the renowned IN.N.OUT Burgers, world famous for its made-fresh-to-order hamburgers and fries. A special treat for the group will be the July 4th fireworks on the San Francisco 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 step-on guides will conduct a tour of the city. We will enjoy 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 have some time to shop in its unique shops in this eclectic and picturesque community. The group will then head for the ballpark as their tickets include lunch. We will then enjoy watching the Oakland A’s play a major league baseball game. Dinner on Wednesday night in San Francisco will be at the famous Chinatown Restaurant that has been in business since 1919.
On Thursday, 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.
The students are encouraged to visit tourist areas that are unique to that area, although they may choose to use the time for shopping also. The following are areas of interest in the San Francisco area:
- Fisherman's Wharf
- Ghirardelli Square
- Lombard Street
- China Town
- Pier 39
- Coit Tower
- Ride the Cable Cars
- Union Square
- Alamo Square
- California Academy of Sciences
(B, L, D, B, L, B, D)
Friday, Saturday, Sunday: July 5-6-7 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. Three nights will be spent at the beautiful Anaheim Desert Inn & Suites. 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 the Pizza Press. 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 Rodeo Drive and the popularity centered around Grauman's Chinese Theater. Be sure to place your footprints and handprints in those of your favorite Hollywood Star.
While in Los Angeles, we will visit the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum. It is one of the world’s most famous fossil localities, and displays Ice Age fossils — including saber-toothed cats, dire wolves and mammoths — from 10,000 to 40,000-year-old asphalt deposits. There is a tremendous collection of more than three million Ice Age specimens. Outside the Museum, you can view iconic life-size replicas of extinct mammals that depict their life in the Los Angeles Basin.
In the afternoon, the group will visit Laguna Beach for swimming and beachcombing. Laguna Beach is a seaside resort city located in Orange County, CA. It is relatively isolated from urban encroachment by its surrounding hills, limited highway access and a dedicated greenbelt. Tourism is the primary industry. (B, D, B, B)
Monday: July 8 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 its 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 at the famous Casa Guadalajara restaurant!
The name La Jolla is Spanish for "the jewel" and is thought to be inspired by the beauty of the area. The Ramada Hotel and Conference Center 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 at the Cove in La Jolla. While there, they will assemble to view the beauty of the sunset over the Pacific Ocean, the largest and deepest of the world’s five oceans. (B, D)
Tuesday: July 9 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 then drive down the strip where the spectacular lights will be enjoyed by all. Our final destination that evening will be our hotel, La Quinta Inn & Suites. (B, D)
Wednesday: July 10 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 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, a charming resort town surrounded by towering red rock monoliths that have served as the backdrop for many western movies. We will be staying 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 all of us to enjoy. We will take a stunning hike along the base of weathered red rock sculptures. The trail parallels the colorful Crimson Cliffs and their chiseled geometric formations. The trail ends on large slabs of red rock in a bowl surrounded by magnificent mountains. (B, L, D)
Thursday, Friday: July 11-12 Sedona to Tucson, Arizona
A 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 US. 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 Westward Look Wyndham Grand Resort & Spa - a beautiful resort/spa offering a variety of activities for our students from swimming, tennis, hiking, biking, horseback riding, fitness center, spa, or simply gazing at the desert night stars. 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 is one of the largest cacti in the world and its pure white waxy blossom is the State flower of Arizona. (B, D, D)
Saturday: July 13 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 14-15 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. In the afternoon, we will have special step on guides as we tour the city of San Antonio. 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 16 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 Coterie Restaurant. (B, D)
Wednesday: July 17 New Orleans to Winston-Salem, North Carolina
The Grand Western Tour will leave New Orleans and stop in Atlanta for lunch at The Varsity, known as the World’s largest drive-in restaurant which was first opened in 1928. We will 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 17.
**Meals included in the tour are indicated in the itinerary as follows:
(B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner