Tournament of Roses Parade
Dec 28, 2021-Jan 7, 2022
Southern California in the winter…what more needs to be said? The elaborate floats are unbelievable. It is one thing to see them on TV but to see and smell these glorious creations in person is amazing! We have reserved grandstand seating along the parade route. Other highlights include a behind-the-scenes look at the floats, L.A. city tour, Catalina Island, whale watching cruise, San Diego city tour & Harbor Cruise, and more!
Day 1: We make our way across the plains of Western Kansas and Oklahoma and into New Mexico for our first-night stay in Albuquerque.
Day 2: Continuing west today, we get acquainted with our fellow travelers. We make a brief stop at the Petrified National Forest Park. Lunch is in the park before we continue west. By late evening we arrived in Needles, CA for our overnight stay. (B, L)
Day 3: Today we reach Pasadena CA and preview the floats by visiting the Floats on Display. Get a close-up look at what goes on behind the scenes and the impressive detail and engineering that goes into these elaborate floats. You can watch as they put those finishing touches on the floats. Tonight, we check into our hotel which is home for 4 nights. (B)
Day 4: This morning enjoy free time to dine, shop, and explore LA's world-famous Original Farmers Market. This market features more than 100 vendors, including grocers, ready-to-eat foods, and tourist shops. This afternoon we have an interesting L.A. City Tour with a local step-on-guide. We hit the highlights we’ve heard about or seen on TV like the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Mann’s Chinese Theater, Beverly Hills, and Rodeo Drive just to name a few. Tonight we celebrate with a New Year’s Eve dinner. (B, D)
Day 5: We have an EARLY morning departure to Pasadena for our reserved grandstand seats at the Rose Parade. Enjoy first-hand the extravaganza of the floats, smell thousands of roses, and see other colorful items that go into each float. This afternoon view the individual floats in the Post-Parade Viewing area. For many, this is the highlight of the entire event, as you get up-close-and-personal and smell the roses. Be sure to bring your camera! Then it’s back to the hotel for a free evening.
Day 6: What a day is in store for us as we head out by boat to Catalina Island. Following the boat ride to the island, we learn about the history of the island and the rich and famous that visit there on our Trolley tour. There is free time to explore the shops, visit with the locals, and choose from the many restaurants for lunch. The ferry takes us back to the mainland. (B)
Day 7: After our busy days in the L.A. area, we head south along the coastline to San Diego. San Diego ranks among the world's most incredible places for viewing marine wildlife. More than 20,000 gray whales migrate along the coast. During our 4-hour Whale Watching Tour, we cruise alongside these magnificent mammals in their natural environment with our knowledgeable guide who gives us a deeper understanding of the ocean ecosystem. (If you would rather visit the animals at the famous San Diego Zoo or enjoy the marine life at the world-renown SeaWorld, we can help make those arrangements instead of the whale watching tour.) Our hotel is located in Old Town San Diego which is home for the next two nights. (B)
Day 8: Today a local step-on guide joins us for a city tour of San Diego including Old Town and Gas Lamp Quarters. This afternoon enjoy a narrated Harbor Cruise, taking in the San Diego skyline, U.S.S. Midway Aircraft Carrier, U.S. Navy Surface Fleet, Naval Amphibious Base Coronado (home of the Navy SEALs), and many more sites on this 2-hour cruise. There is free time tonight to explore Old Town or just relax at the hotel. (B)
Day 9: This morning we drive east and leave the coast behind. On the way, watch for the beautiful crops growing in the Imperial Valley. The barren desert has been transformed into fruitful, productive land by irrigation. Next, we visit Martha’s Garden, a family date farm, for a tour of their operation. Tonight we stay near Tucson AZ. (B, L)
Day 10: Today we continue our trek towards home. This afternoon we stop at the Geronimo Springs Museum in Truth or Consequences NM. This venue has fossils, arrowheads & Apache artifacts, plus a windmill & old-time log cabin. We reach Albuquerque NM for the night. (B)
Day 11: Our final day of driving gets us back in Yoder by evening. (B)