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Wild Western - Optional Excursions


View USA Trip, May 2007 on blue79's travel map.

San Diego
San Diego Harbour Cruise US$12.00
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Everyone did this - mainly because our TM didn't specify it was optional. Cruise was good value, but a lot of people were upset about not being told.

San Diego Zoo US$28.00 or Sea World US$50.00
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I went to the zoo which was nice but not brilliant. The people who went to Sea World apparently froze (sea breeze). Note if you don't leave the hotel with the group in the morning, you can't get to the beach which is on the itinerary for the afternoon, however you can just be dropped at Balboa Park and wander around if you want.

Phoenix
Hot Air Balloon Ride US$155.00
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Very early start to get to this one, but worth it for the views. Included breakfast was poor - but there was (cheap) champagne. Take a bathroom before leaving the hotel! (We had to get the bus to stop after collecting us, because we all needed a bathroom break.)

Sedona
Red Rock Jeep Ride US$48.00
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This was really fun (and there wasn't really that much else to do in Sedona for a couple of hours). Hey, one of the jeeps had a break problem (they had to go and get another one), and even that didn't stop our fun - they were just a little bit late.

Grand Canyon
IMAX Movie US$10.00
Didn't do this one. No-one really raved about it. We took the opportunity to stock up at the general store across the road instead.

Helicopter Flights US$140.00/US$200.00/US$450.00
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Wanted to do the all-day trip, but in the end it was so windy they could guarantee to pick us up in the arvo, so did the 45 min trip instead which was amazing. Definitely do one of these. (By the way, the one guy who did the whole day trip did get back in the end, although they'd already grounded the helicopters when they took off to get him!) If I had the choice again I'd probably do the all-day - there's accomodation at the bottom, and flights to Las Vegas are only $50 or something from GC airport!

Las Vegas
Las Vegas Cabaret US$65.00
Didn't do the Contiki one, organised tickets to another from TKTS for about 1/2 the price. Show we saw was great, only comments on the Contiki one were from the people who had just finished Europe and compared it unfavourably to the Moulin Rouge.

Las Vegas Surprise Optional US$7.00
DO IT!!!!

San Francisco
Sunset Sailing Adventure US$42.00
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This wasn't the best, but that was mainly due to the weather (very windy/choppy). We couldn't get out of the bay because of the waves and the boat was pitching badly at times - note that this is a real sail-boat and it's fairly small. Would have been better if the weather was nicer.

Chinatown Dinner US$25.00
Food was OK (not sure I'd really call it "authentic" though). Definitely a must-do to say goodbye to everyone who's leaving in SF - although they technically weren't supposed to come, our TM organised for them to choose it as well. Note that the "included transport" to this dinner is WALKING (and it takes 30-45 mins). Get the address from your TM, grab a couple of other people and split a cab, then get comfortable in the bar waiting for the idiots who decided to walk.

Alcatraz US$21.75
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DO IT. And book early! It was really interesting, however it does take a good chunk of time to do properly (3 hours approx). Go 1st thing, have lunch at Fisherman's wharf or at one of the stalls further along the waterfront and get out to see the rest of the city. San Francisco was really easy to navigate on public transport.
Booking is at http://www.alcatrazcruises.com

Others
Contiki Shirts US$15.00
Not even offered to us - maybe you had to ask?

USA Group Photo US$15.00
Got one to remember everything. I think it was worth it, but this would be a personal thing.

Posted by blue79 22:11 Archived in USA

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