"If I got to choose a coast I choose East." Ah, the wise words of Notorious B.I.G. still ring in our ears. Here on the east you'll get to experience all things all American, exploring art deco architecture in Miami, visiting the grave of J.F.K. and finally landing in the jazz hub of New Orleans.
A brief foray in the five boroughs will see you meeting the legends you'll be traversing the south with before we hit the road in search of the nation's capital.
From New York, we'll make a cheeky stop in Philadelphia - a city teeming with people and history. See the Liberty Bell, visit the Independence Hall, and we're pretty sure by now you'll be feeling hungry. With lunch the game plan, why not grab a Philly cheese steak (they claim they have the best in the country).This city is where America declared its Independence; they're use to a little rebel-rousing, so feel free to make some noise.
Washington's neoclassical monuments look less far imposing dressed up in lights, so tonight we'll take you on an illumination tour of the city. With a Trip Manager leading the charge, we will cruise on the coach under the city glow, stopping for photos and talks along the way at the most iconic monuments. Thirsty? DuPont nightlife could be calling, so head out D.C style.
Peddle round the city on a pushbike this morning to get your bearings, or take a Segway tour for an almost serious way to get around. Later, you could dose up on intellectualism at one of the 19 Smithsonian Museums. Other history-and-culture must-dos are watching the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, visiting the world-class Holocaust Museum and treating your inner Bond (or Bond girl) at the Spy Museum.
Believe it or not, amid the pomp and ceremony of politics, Washington DC has a tendier side just bursting to get out. Georgetown, its oldest district, has had new life breathed into it with a smattering of uptown galleries, boutiques and eateries and is a great spot by night...but more about that later. Come-as-you-are Adams Morgan is also a definite must: it overflows with hipsters (can't escape 'em, can you?), salsa dancers and patrygoers, and is the perfect spot for a bar hop. Or, if you feel like a round with a future President afterwards, feel free to hit the Georgetown bars - where the people who make the wheels turn hang loose.
We leave hustle and bustle of Washington D.C. for a little Southern Hospitality. Take a break in historic Richmond, a city steeped in American history, before arriving in Raleigh.
From the urban wilds of North Carolina's capital, we continue our journey, heading deeper south toward Savannah via Charleston.
Charleston, the birthplace of the dance craze of the same name. Here, horse and carriages are the norm and the ‘low country’ favourite of shrimps and grits are menu regulars, which should be high priority on your agenda today. Learn some facts from our Local Guide, and visit a historical rice plantation. Later, more beautiful 17th Century buildings will excite the architecture enthusiasts as we stroll along stunning Church Street and the waterside promenade, visiting the 200 year old market.
The oldest town in Georgia, Savannah is charming and free-spirited. Manicured parks give way to cobbled squares, and the town is bedecked with ornate 19th-century architecture. Soak up the old-world charm along River Street, and throw all your calorie concerns out the window with a sundae at the 100-year-old ice-cream parlour, Leopold's.
One last morning under the spell of free-wheeling Savannah, her historic squares and mossy oak trees, then it's on to America's oldest city: St Augustine.
St. Augustine may be part of sun-drenched Florida, but an amble around Old Town will show you it's wildly different from its amusement-park sister cities. Its rich history as a place of early settlement is woven into its streets, from the creepy jail to the old stores and kooky tea shops. That's not to say its beach isn't killer too: you could spend a full day here collecting shells, swimming and getting salty. Tonight get into the sweet city vibes at a local restaurant on the wate - nothing like a sundowner to get you into vacation mode.
It's a verified fact that all children dream of being an astronaut at least once - it's either that or a goldfish, we're not quite sure. Either way, today we leave the cobblestones of St Augustine in our wake and cruise the Space Coast.
With less computing power than you carry in your cell phone, NASA once rocketed men to the moon from the Kennedy Space Center - and they couldn't even Snapchat the landing. We spend a good chunk of today embracing our inner space nerd; you'll even get to see a rocket and a launchpad, 5,4,3,2,1!
It’s all about fast cars as we make our way to the very famous Daytona Beach(for departures from Apr 2019 you will visit Cocoa Beach), most well known as the NASCAR capital of America.
This morning is dedicated to down time, either laying low on the beach or hitting the skies on a parasail, then we're back on the road.
Hot, loud and fabulously flashy, Miami will knock your socks off. This character driven place has so many diverse neighbourhoods, each with their own unique cultures. We'll cruise downtown, taking in the Miami Heat basketball arena and the outdoor shopping mecca, Bayside Marketplace, then why not go a little Miami Vice on a 'Thriller' speedboat tour of the Bay. Want to make it a night to really remember? Opt for our boat party and cruise around Miami harbour, spending your evening like a celeb.
Don't hit snooze too many times, because you've been gifted a full day to explore this glittering metropolis. On bikes, we'll check out Miami's waterfront neighbourhoods, spotting icons like the Versace Mansion. If you'd like to shimmy your way into the local Latin culture, head to Little Havana and verse whoever will take you at street dominoes on Calle Ocho whilst puffing on a cigar. Tonight, experience the city's Cuban side with a mouthwatering dinner where we'll be picking up the bill. Later, take a stroll down the super cool South Beach and peruse the art deco buildings and bright neon lights, finishing up with a night of dancing amidst Miami's uber fun club scene.
Another slightly cleaner type of fun awaits us today - Orlando, the home to more than a dozen theme parks and belly screams a-plenty.
Orlando was once a farming town but has since undergone a transformation into the most visited place in Florida. It is now home to the happiest place on earth, Disney World. Walt Disney’s imagination was instrumental in turning this place into the fun, fantasy and amusement-loving spot that it is today. Savvy shoppers, this place has many an outlet mall just waiting for you to flex your credit card in - think rock-bottom prices on Nike, Ray-Ban, Lululemon and more - so prepare to do some serious bank balance damage.
Free time means a day out in one of the many fun parks located here with some friends. There are loads of options; Disney World with its 4 parks, Universal Studios, SeaWorld and several water parks. The parks also serve up theme-bars and clubs, so if you’re keen, keep it moving tonight at one of them.
You can leave your Mickey ears on, but we're on the move again today, this time westward. We'll be turning the clocks back an hour as we journey to Tallahassee, which means an extra hour in Florida's vibrant capital.
Tonight we'll settle in at one of "The World's Most Beautiful Beaches" - Panama City Beach, testing out the hype with a dip in the clear blue waters.
We rise early this morning to make the most of the afternoon in what they call the Big Easy, where jazz is as much a part of everyday life as breathing.
This city will romance you with its soul and have you swooning over its spiritual heart - the French Quarter. The main drag culminates at Jackson Square with the iconic wrought iron balconies lining the streets. You’ll be hard pressed to pick which you think is more enchanting, the European/Caribbean fusion food or the non-stop jazz festival vibe. No matter which you choose, tonight we turn up the volume and hit Bourbon Street to sample the live music and bar culture that New Orleans is so famous for, indulging in signature cocktails like the hurricane and the sazerac.
Our tour ends after breakfast. It’s time to say goodbye to your new friends and Contiki Crew.
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Trip Name: Eastern Discovery
Duration: 14 Days
From Price: $3,359
Supplier Tour ID: 54.659A/225886
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