Good Times Travel
17132 Magnolia St., Fountain Valley, CA 92708
Featuring A Single-Resort Stay, Kartchner Caverns, Tombstone, Bisbee, Saguaro National Park, Tucson, No Flying Required
Activity Level 3
Pace Level 2
Escape to the rugged and bold southwest on this 6-day desert escape that requires no air travel and features a single-resort stay at a luxurious AAA Four Diamond resort. From the “Wild West” atmosphere of Tombstone and the copper mining history in Bisbee, to downtown Tucson, Saguaro National Park, Kartchner Caverns and Cold War history, this new tour features a kaleidoscope of experiences in this legendary region with a storied past and filled with historic, natural, architectural and cultural wonders.
We’ll set out from our departure points this morning and make several rest stops and a stop for lunch on your own before arriving this evening in Tucson, nestled in a valley surrounded by five mountain ranges, Saguaro forests and the lush Sonoran Desert. We’ll enjoy a five-night stay at the AAA Four Diamond Loews Ventana Canyon Resort – a luxurious desert oasis tucked into the stunning Catalina Mountain range. Situated on 100 secluded acres, this stunning natural retreat will leave you feeling like you’ve just checked into paradise. Each beautifully appointed guest room features a large soaking tub, spacious sitting area and private patio or balcony, perfect for taking in the magnificent views of the mountains and saguaro cactus, as well as Arizona’s vibrant star-filled sky. Enjoy the balance of the evening at leisure with dinner on your own at one of the resort’s two restaurants.
Following an included breakfast, we’ll join a local guide for a driving tour of Historic Downtown Tucson, an area that features a diverse blend of cultures, including Native American, Mexican, Spanish and western pioneer. We’ll visit the Presidio District, travel past the Historic Block and explore the Congress Street District, where there’s a variety of stunning murals. After an included lunch at a locals’ favorite, we’ll continue to Mission San Xavier del Bac, known as the “White Dove of the Desert.” Founded in 1692 and featuring a graceful blend of Moorish, Byzantine and late Mexican Renaissance architecture, this is the oldest intact European structure in Arizona and one of the finest examples of Spanish mission architecture in the U.S. At the Titan Missile Museum, we’ll go 35 feet underground and back in time on a docent-guided tour of this National Historic Landmark and the only publicly accessible Titan II missile site in the nation. See the launch control center, three-ton blast doors, eight-foot-thick silo walls and a Titan II missile in the launch duct. Experience a simulated launch and America’s Cold War paranoia while walking in the footsteps of the brave men and women who operated America’s largest land-based missile ever deployed. Guests unable to descend/ascend the 55 stairs on the tour can still explore the exhibits on ground level. (Breakfast, Lunch)
We’ll join a local guide and travel south past Davis-Monthan Air Force Base to see the “Boneyard,” the largest aircraft storage facility in the world! In Tombstone – known as “The Town Too Tough to Die” – we’ll step back in time to the rough and tough Wild West days and walk the same wooden sidewalks as the Earps and “Doc” Holliday when they strolled the streets of Tombstone to a gunfight that made them legends. See a re-enactment of the gunfight at the O.K. Corral, where the original buildings still have bullet holes. Enjoy time at leisure to visit Tombstone’s Historama, explore the many historic sites and shops and enjoy lunch on your own at one of the saloons. We’ll visit Boothill Graveyard, where cowboys who “died with their boots on” lie next to miners, gamblers, ladies of the “red-light district” and all the famous (and not so famous) residents of early Tombstone. We’ll continue south to Bisbee, named ‘Best Historic Small Town in America’ by readers of USA Today. Once the richest city between St. Louis and San Francisco, this former copper mining town founded in 1880, is now a thriving arts colony with tons of rich history. Enjoy time at leisure exploring Bisbee’s early 20th century downtown filled with historic sites, galleries and boutiques. At the Copper Queen Mine we’ll don hard hats and miner’s head lamps and board an original mine train to descend 1,500 feet into the depths of the Queen Mine on a fascinating and immersive underground experience. (Breakfast)
We’ll join a local guide and visit Saguaro National Park, home to the giant saguaro – the largest cacti species on Earth and the universal symbol of the American West. On a scenic drive through the national park, we’ll see impressive forests of these enormous sub-tropical giants which can only be found in the Sonoran Desert, live for 200 years and grow to 50 feet tall! And a short walk on the paved Desert Ecology Trail will allow us to get up-close to the majestic “Kings of the Sonoran Desert.” At Kartchner Caverns State Park we’ll enjoy an included picnic lunch and then head underground to discover this massive cave, considered by many to be one of the most beautiful caves in the world. A guided walking tour (approximately 90 minutes and ½ mile in length) of this fascinating underground world will showcase a delicate ecosystem that is filled with captivating formations with quirky monikers – like “cave bacon,” “soda straw stalactites,” and “turnip shields.” (Breakfast, Lunch)
Enjoy an entire day at leisure taking advantage of all the services and amenities at the resort. This nature lover’s paradise features an 80-foot waterfall, half-mile paved nature trail, koi pond and butterfly garden. The resort features two 18-hole golf courses, tennis and pickleball courts, a 1.1-mile fitness trail, nearby hiking trails, and more! Enjoy the two heated swimming pools, Jacuzzi, full-service spa and a variety of our other activities and indulgent offerings designed to relax, energize and inspire. OR take advantage of an optional, full-day “Desert Discovery” excursion for an additional $95 per person (minimum of 10 guests required; payable with your tour payment; the optional excursion requires extensive walking). Those guests on the optional “Desert Discovery” excursion will travel with your tour director to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, that is part zoo, aquarium, botanical garden, natural history museum and art gallery that features more than 300 species of animals and 1,400 species of plants indigenous to the Sonoran Desert. Enjoy time at leisure for lunch on your own and exploration of the 21 acres and two miles of walking trails with live animal presentations, Stingray Touch, the Hummingbird Aviary, Warden Aquarium and a world-class mineral collection. Also included in the optional excursion is a docent-guided tour of Biosphere 2, the unique facility dedicated to the research and understanding of global scientific issues. We’ll explore this University of Arizona-owned laboratory used for controlled scientific studies and learn about its remarkable 30-year history. Guests on the excursion will return to the resort in the late afternoon. (Breakfast)
After an included breakfast, we’ll begin our return journey to southern California, with a stop for
lunch on your own enroute. We’ll return to our drop-off points in the early evening with many fond
memories of our time exploring the many remarkable gems in Southern Arizona. (Breakfast)
While we make every effort to operate our tours as outlined in the itinerary, we ask for your patience, understanding and flexibility and to retain a sense of adventure while traveling with us. Situations may arise that necessitate changes to the itinerary. Should we need to adjust the itinerary either prior to or while on tour, these changes will be communicated to you and only done when absolutely necessary.
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