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20 Years The American Dream, 20 Days USA: Discover the Southwest

20th badge jubilaeum webThe American Dream wants to thank you for 20 wonderful years in business! In those 20 years we helped more than 18,000 Green Card winners make their way to the USA and we are looking forward to guiding many more Green Card winners as they immigrate to the United States. Among our Green Card customers who signed up for the DV-18 lottery we raffled a 20-day dream trip in the USA!

The lucky winner is Marco C. from Switzerland, wo will visit America this summer! With a little luck, you have the chance to win more than a trip to the U.S. - a U.S. Green Card will grant you a stay for life!

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We partnered up with travel agency "America Unlimited" and put together a “fictional trip” for you to give you an idea of what this dreamtrip could look like! But who knows what Marco C. is up to... We'll have to wait and see when he let's us know about his American adventure! We will try to fulfill his individual wishes and travel times in the best way possible.

20 days in the USA could look like this:

  • Saturday June 3rd, 2017 Depart from your home country – Arrive in San Francisco

Your adventure in the land of unlimited possibilities first starts with getting there! Which is why your dream trip includes an airport transfer. In San Francisco, you will stay three nights in The Pickwick in a room with a king-sized bed.

Location: This hotel built in the French country house style is located in the South of Market district in the heart of San Francisco. It is only a few minutes’ walk away from the Westfield Shopping Centre and the Museum of Modern Arts. The Powell-Market Cable Car Turntable is located only a street away.

San Francisco Golden Gate USASan Francisco is the most loved city on the Pacific coast! Discover this city’s charm on foot or by (cable) car. San Francisco’s Scenic Drive leads you through the city and past all of its top attractions. If you need more information, visit the Visitor Center located on Market Street. Take a stroll along the San Francisco Bay and enjoy a nice meal in Fisherman’s Wharf. Don’t forget to climb Nob Hill and visit the prisoner island of Alcatraz.

Since this is an adventure, you need some wheels to get you from place to place. That is why we are going to provide you with a rental car from Alamo. You can choose from, for example, a classic compact car, automatic, air conditioning, radio and stereo system, and all the usual suspects. Choose a car suitable for two adults and three children and with enough space for one large piece of luggage and two carry-ons – or even a large shopping bag!

  • San Francisco - Monterey, ca. 115 miles / 190 km

The southward trip along the Pacific coast towards Monterey Bay is impressive and an overnight stay in The Stevenson Monterey with breakfast will give you enough time to enjoy the views.

Location: The hotel lies in the heart of downtown Monterey. The Monterey Conference Center and Fisherman's Wharf are only a walk away and nearby are over 40 local restaurants and even the cinema. With the car, you can take a short drive to Cannery Row, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the 17 Mile Drive, the Pebble Beach Golf Course and Carmel-by-the-Sea.

  • Wednesday June 7th, 2017 Monterey - Pismo Beach, ca. 154 miles / 246 km

As you make your way further south, you are accompanied by enchanting coastal landscapes. In San Simeon, you have the chance to visit the famous Hearst Castle. Do you know the movie “Citizen Kane”? Then you should definitely not let this attraction pass you by! After staying the night in the Oxford Suites your trip continues …

  • Thursday June 8th, 2017 Pismo Beach - Los Angeles, ca. 200 miles / 320 km

Along this route, you will pass by some of California’s most famous bathing spots: Santa Barbara, Ventura, Oxnard and Malibu to just name a few. We recommend planning to stay for two nights in the Best Western Plus Dragon Gate Inn to get some good sleep and recuperate after a long day of swimming. You will surely be hungry enough to enjoy a complimentary breakfast buffet in the morning.

Hollywood HillsLocation: The Dragon Gate Inn is located a stone-throw’s away from Chinatown, one of the city’s most important tourist attractions. The Hollywood Dream Factory is less than 10 km away and Universal Studios is about 14 km away. Even downtown, the Amtrak Union Station, the LA Convention Center, LA LIVE and the Disney concert halls are not too far away. Sport enthusiasts can visit the sport arena dedicated to the city’s professional team. Or maybe you want to observe the Hollywood sign up close?

On Friday June 9th, 2017, your trip continues with a burst of energy: The most famous highlights in Los Angeles are Disneyland and the Hollywood studios located in Anaheim. This city, however, has a lot more to offer. It has beautiful beaches in Santa Monica, Marina del Rey and a number of charming city districts. There are enough museums for every taste and last but not least, a lot of shopping malls where you can shop your heart out. Visiting the wealth of Beverly Hills is even worth your while.  

  • Saturday June 10, 2017 Los Angeles - San Diego, ca. 130 miles / 200 km

We have calculated around two to three hours for this short drive. We have done this, so that you have the choice to either stay in Los Angeles a bit longer or arrive earlier in San Diego. In San Diego, you will stay in the Days Inn San Diego Hotel Circle Near SeaWorld.

San Diego USS Midway YRLocation: Lying directly in Mission Valley, this hotel has great connections to the surrounding attractions. SeaWorld and the San Diego Zoo and Art Museum are only around 6 km away. San Diego’s old city center is also popular and the perfect place to take a stroll and do some window-shopping.

Sunday June 11, 2017 – San Diego SeaWorld, the Coronado Peninsula, the Old Town, the endless beaches and a visit to the harbor are all essential parts of the complete tourist experience in San Diego. Incredibly impressive is the Scenic Drive from San Diego. If you drive the complete stretch, you will not miss out on a single attraction. We recommend making a round-trip around the harbor or a trip with the trolley. A visit to the USS Midway Museum will leave you fascinated with what San Diego has to offer in particular.

  • Montag June 12th, 2017 San Diego - Lake Havasu City, ca. 330 miles / 530 km

The next length of the trip will take you along the Mexican border to Yuma before finally heading north. Following the border between California and Arizona to Lake Havasu City, you will head through the famous London Bridge. If you are interested and have the time, there is the possibility to take a boat tour of the lake. Be aware that you will cross over the state line and thus travel into another time zone. Get a good night’s rest in the Quality Inn and Suites Lake Havasu in the double room, RUN OF THE HOUSE ROOM, including a continental breakfast.  

Location: London Bridge is only 15 minutes away from the hotel on foot. You will need the car and 15 minutes to get to Lake Havasu State Park. The English Village where you can explore many shops and restaurants is only 2.5 km away.

  • Tuesday June 13, 2017 Lake Havasu City - Grand Canyon, ca. 230 miles / 370 km

Interstate 40 will take you eastwards and through endless barren landscapes. Those who have the time and are interested can make a small detour at Kingman and drive on the original Route 66. Once you reach Seligman, you will be taken back to the interstate. Have a cozy night at the Yavapai Lodge West.

Grand Canyon USA LandscapeLocation: The family-friendly Yavapai West Lodge is half a mile, so only a few minutes away on foot, from the South Rim in the Grand Canyon. The Market Plaza is nearby and here you can go grocery shopping and find a bank and a post office. You can also exchange money at the National Park Visitor’s Center which is only a half a mile away from the Yavapai West Lodge Inn.

Wednesday June 14th, 2017 – The Grand Canyon National Park is top priority for the day! Even though it may seem as if you are all alone in the park, the Grand Canyon is the world’s most visited natural landscapes. Experience one of the most breathtaking sights you will ever see! Take the time to hike a little ways away from the most popular tourist areas – we guarantee you will experience the most grandiose views and feel in harmony with nature.

Light plays with the Grand Canyon the whole day. Watching the sun rise and set is a must-do and a highlight of the day. The canyon not only has beautiful landscapes to offer, but has many stories to tell. Learn more about how the canyon was formed as well as its plants and animals at the Visitor Center.

  • Grand Canyon - Bryce Canyon, ca. 290 miles / 470 km

Experiencing the sun rise over the Grand Canyon will be the first highlight of your day before setting off to drive through the spectacular Bryce Canyon National Park. Your tour guide today is the Scenic Highway 89 that leads you northwards through Page. Depending on how you want to schedule your time, we recommend taking a break at Lake Powell. Arriving just in time in Bryce Canyon to watch the sun set will give a magical feel to the end of your day. After watching the sunset, rest-up and have sweet dreams in the Best Western Plus Ruby’s Inn.

Location: On Highway 63 about 3 km from Bryce Canyon National Park. The hotel has 2 restaurants, an indoor swimming pool and spa, a whirlpool, a thermal pool, a large souvenir shop, a grocery store with camping equipment and a wide selection of clothing. It offers helicopter rides, horse-riding and bike rentals (mountain biking) as well as serving as a post office, ATM, and money exchange. Parking is included and you will find a gas station nearby.

Thursday June 15th, 2017 – doing a little canyon hopping, you are now ready for a day in Bryce Canyon National Park. Sunrises and sunsets at Bryce Canyon will be part of your most cherished memories long after you return. Taking a hike or hikes through this wonderful and yet bizarre landscape is a must-do. We recommend taking the Queens Garden Trail and the Navajo Loop Trail. Over the course of 60 million years, the weather has been responsible for shaping the canyon’s enormous amphitheater and impressive sculpture garden. If you want to get off the beaten track and get away from the more touristy areas, take an excursion to Kodachrome Basin State Park.

  • Day Destination: Las Vegas, 263 miles / 421 km

Sunrise in Bryce Canyon – now that will be an unforgettable experience! Ideally, you should break up your drive to Las Vegas and stop in Zion National Park. It is amazing how different the landscapes are here compared to Bryce Canyon! Stay the night in the luxurious Luxor Hotel & Casino in the Tower Deluxe Room.

Valley of Fire Las Vegas Marriage YRLocation: The Luxor Hotel & Casino lies directly on the southern strip. This 30-story pyramid has seven restaurants, bars, a nightclub, a currency exchange, 24-hour reception, a shopping mall, 24-hour room service, a coffee shop, lounges with live evening entertainment, a casino, a "Fantasy" show (only for adults), IMAX Cinema, Atrium Showroom, hairdressers, a safe at the reception, an outdoor pool, a wellness center and a golf course. You will need to pay for parking. Room: The hotel’s 4,408 rooms and suites are located either in its Egyptian style pyramid (110 meters high) or in the twin 22-story ziggurat towers right next door. The rooms in the pyramid are more gallery-like as their outer walls narrow towards the back and are reached by using elevators set at a 39 degree angle.

Friday June 16th, 2017 – There are a variety of ways to plan your day in Las Vegas. You could combine a day excursion to the Hoover Dam with a trip to the Valley of Fire. We “heartily” recommend this because of the good experiences our employees here at The American Dream have had at these places … and even one got married here!

Those who are not exactly ready for marriage or the nature types can alternatively choose to visit some of the many super-hotels or you could relax at your hotel’s pool. There are also many adventure companies offering a wide-range of day-excursions and adventures starting from Las Vegas, such as a helicopter or a small plane rides. Or perhaps a show in Las Vegas? With the Las Vegas Power Pass, you can enter the city’s top attractions free of charge.

  • Saturday June 17th, 2017 Las Vegas - Death Valley, ca. 140 miles / 230 km

The best route to Death Valley is the drive over Highway 95 and 373-190. You will spend the night at the Ranch at Furnace Creek.

Location: The hotel lies in the heart of Death Valley National Park 60 meters below sea level. Amenities include 2 restaurants, a bar, a heated swimming pool with spring water, 4 tennis courts, a golf course, horse-riding (for a price), a beach volleyball and basketball court and a playground.

  • Sunday June 18th, 2017 Death Valley - Yosemite National Park, ca. 300 miles / 480 km

Driving towards Sierra Nevada, you are making the first stretch of today’s drive. The mountain chain is just as spectacular as the later trip through the Tiogo Pass into Yosemite National Park. Definitely start today off early because there will be many attractions along the way. Before driving over the pass, always make sure that you check if it is really open (especially in May/June & September/October). Sometimes the pass is closed due to winter-like weather conditions. We would recommend staying for 2 nights in Oakhurst at the Yosemite Southgate Hotel. The Shilo Inn Oakhurst includes a complimentary buffet breakfast to prepare for a day of sightseeing.

Location: The hotel is in Oakhurst only a few minutes away from the southern entrance into Yosemite National Park. On the other side of the street, you will find the Yosemite Sierra Visitor’s Center. There are also many restaurants nearby.

Yosemite Nationalpark Waterfalls WanderlustMonday June 19th, 2017 - Yosemite National Park: Glacier Point is definitely one of the most spectacular sights in Yosemite National park. The far-stretching views of the cliff landscape surrounding the Half Dome are something you will never forget. We recommend taking a small hike through the valley. Park your car in the parking lot and use the shuttle service at no cost. There are also many hotels outside of the national park, for example in Mariposa and Oakhurst. Please note that the drive into the park takes around one hour.

The waterfalls in the park are just as breathtaking, especially Yosemite Falls. Yosemite Falls belong to the biggest waterfalls in North America and cascade 740 meters down into the valley. A bit further away from the valley, you will run into crystal clear mountain lakes, meadows blooming with wildflowers and hiking trails covering a total of 1200 km. The selection of adventures to go on are endless – rafting, mountain biking, guided climbing tours, day hikes and horse-riding excursions!

  • Tuesday June 20, 2017 Yosemite - San Francisco, ca. 170 miles / 280 km

You will need around three to four hours for this stretch of the trip. It is best when you get to decide for yourself when you want to arrive in one of America’s most beautiful cities. In San Francisco, stay at the Best Western Plus El Rancho Inn in Millbrae.

  • Wednesday June 21, 2017 Depart from San Francisco – Arrive back home

Sad but true: After a filling breakfast, you will have to return your rental car and begin your trip back home from San Francisco.

Adventure America

Even though your dream trip ends here, you shouldn’t be sad because the results of the next Green Card Lottery will be announced shortly afterwards. Your true USA adventure will really begin once you win a Green Card! Did you run into your dream city during your dream tour of the USA? Can you imagine living there for the rest of your life?

We are keeping our fingers crossed that you will be amongst the Green Card Lottery DV-18 winners. You can rely on us for all of your Green Card and U.S. immigration questions! Those of you who have not yet applied to the lottery should do so immediately! Register now! We wish you the best of luck! Your The American Dream Team