• John and Shirley Gibbings: California and the Golden West

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    It was John and Shirley Gibbings’ 54th wedding anniversary in 2012, and we are greatly honoured that they chose to take one of our favourite tours to celebrate: California and the Golden West.

    John Gibbings postcard

    Now one of our Signature Tours – and by far one of our most popular holidays – California and the Golden West has been inspiring people to visit the sights of California for over 20 years. Over time it has changed a little bit, as we have made improvements, but at its heart remains the driving force of its popularity – the joy of discovering somewhere new with California’s legendary spirit.

    For us, choosing just a few highlights of this tour is incredibly difficult – as it is for people that have been on it. With everything from the cactus-studded landscape of Scottsdale, Arizona, to the natural beauty of the Big Sur coast and the man-made triumphs of Hollywood and the Golden Gate Bridge, this is a truly spectacular region.

    Whilst the tour visits some of the region’s largest attractions – like Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, Los Angeles and San Francisco – and these are all undoubtedly  incredible destinations in their own right, our tour also visits some lesser know places along the way. Calico, for example, is on California’s eastern side, away from the Pacific Coast, where you get to experience one of the places that was once the heartland of the silver and gold mining that made this part of the US’s wealth. Here, in the Mojave Desert sun, you get a sense of what life was like when cowboys roamed the streets.

    Calico Cemetery Calico Cemetery Gate

    In the North, after two days in San Francisco, we also tour the Big Sur coastline and 17 Mile Drive. All along the Monterey Peninsula and beyond, this stretch of coastline has become one of California’s most admired regions. The stunning natural beauty, wildlife and dramatic vistas make for a beautiful trip and some truly unforgettable memories.

    John and Shirley have been to the USA and Canada with us nine times now, and we are really looking forward to welcoming them travelling us again in the near future. If you would like to find out more about California or California and the Golden West, then please head to our website.

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    Nicola considers herself very lucky to have had the opportunity to visit a number of places around the world and these experiences usually involve searching for as many kinds of wildlife as possible. Recent highlights include penguins in Antarctica, bears and whales in Canada and Alaska and sea otters in California - but there are always more animals to search for.

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