Last year I visited the US for the very first time on Trafalgar’s Golden West Contrasts trip through Los Angeles, San Diego and Las Vegas.

Nothing can prepare you for the decadence and excess of Vegas. The whole time I was there, I couldn’t believe my eyes. From the stunning Bellagio fountains which ‘dance’ to famous tunes, to the erupting volcano at the Mirage – the enormity of everything is unbelievable. I’ll never forget the night our Travel Director Todd, surprised us with a visit to Graceland Wedding Chapel and staged a mock wedding with two members of our group. And yes Elvis was there! I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so much!

Our French inspired Highlight Dinner at Paris Las Vegas consisted of crepes, cheese and champagne (my top choices) with an endless array of dishes – there was so much variety that most of us struggled to sample half of what was on the menu. For a moment, you actually think you’re outdoors in Paris. From the painted sky on the ceilings to the cobbled streets and authentic French signs – the theming and detail is amazing.

Another great place Todd took us to for dinner was a lively Mexican restaurant in Old Town San Diego. The salsa and guacamole dip, burritos, salads and crème caramel for dessert were all nicely complemented with authentic margaritas the size of fish bowls! And who could forget the Mexican Mariachis who took time out to serenade us.

One of my highlights from this trip was without a doubt a visit to the Grand Canyon by helicopter. It’s a once in a lifetime experience that I recommend everyone should do. It’s not until you get there that you can really appreciate the sheer size of it all. I also really enjoyed our visit to Universal Studios in Los Angeles. Being a huge movie buff – it really doesn’t get any better than this and being there really did bring out the inner child in me.

Todd our Travel Director was superb and he was a huge part of what made this trip so fantastic. I definitely can’t wait to plan my next trip to the US – east coast here I come!

By Claire Garrety from Australia

Claire Garrety at the Bellagio – Las Vegas

Claire Garrety at the Bellagio – Las Vegas

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  1. coastcontact

    Even us Angelenos (A native or inhabitant of Los Angeles) are amazed when we visit Las Vegas.

    Visiting Boston, NYC, Philadelphia, and Washington will give you an entirely different perspective. That is where you really learn about America’s history. The Smithsonian American History Museum in Washington and the Freedom Trail in Boston are my two favorites.


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