New York, Arizona, Texas, Florida - you may need a nap by the time we reach LA! If you're hoping for authentic America, we'll drive through the Rocky Mountains, eat local dishes & visit Elvis' home of Graceland. After almost a month on tour y'all be feelin' right at home.
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.
After breakfast, it's time to leave the political stage behind (sigh) in favour of some good ol' fashioned Southern charm.
Tonight we'll be slumbering in the town of Raleigh - a blossoming metropolis that happens to be home to the North Carolina State University. De-bunk the day over a tasty group dinner, then feel free to prowl the nightlife downtown.
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.
How you spend today is entirely up to you. Will you be downing butterbeer in the Three Broomsticks at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter? Straining your vocal chords on slides with gradients that shouldn't be legal at a water park? Or cuddling up to childhood friends like Minnie and Mickey at one of Disney World's four parks? Whatever your choice, it's sure to be a ripper of a day, and seeing as most parks also offer themed bars and clubs, it techically doesn't have to end.
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.
With a full day to yourself, it's time to get fully immersed in everything New Orleans. Start out at Cafe Du Monde for a tasty beignet, and pick up some treasures at the French Market if you're feeling like dropping some dollar. This diverse city has so much going on; visit the Garden District, spend a few hours in the soul kitchens and jazz clubs of the French Quarter or even hang out in Jackson Square with the musicians, artists and fortunetellers. There's a cooking school on offer for those looking to fine-tune (or learn) their Gumbo, jambalaya and creole recipes, or for those keen to get on the mighty Mississippi, why not zip down the river on an air boat cruise and spot some baby gators in the wild. Back in the city, the Mardi Gras Museum could be calling, most likely tempting you to come back to the city and experience the event first hand.
You've let the good times roll (or “Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler”, as the motto goes). It's time to gather your party beads and empty your hurricane cups, because we're veering north today.
If Jackson was cool enough for Johnny Cash to sing about, then it's sure as hell cool enough for us. We'll drop in to see if we can pick up on some of that Delta blues inspiration before continuing on to Memphis.
It's no wonder Memphis, Tennessee, pulls so many pilgrims - not only is it the home of blues, it's also the home of barbecued meat. Now that's a winning combo. Lose yourself to dance on a group night out on Beale Street, where Blues music was first birthed among its juke joints and honky tonks.
Today we pay homage to Elvis, the late and great King of Rock’n’Roll. We'll visit and tour his former home, Graceland, where you will get up close and personal with his fabulously flamboyant jumpsuits and many gold records. The afternoon is then yours to do with Memphis what you will - we recommend a visit to the Sun Studios where many of the greats have recorded albums over the years.
Make like a band and get the show back on the road. Today we'll cross the Mississippi River and head through the Deep South, arriving in the Lone Star state by nightfall.
We'll make a stop here to look around Little Rock Central High School, one of the founding places of 'desegregation' which brought black civil rights issues into peoples lounge rooms at a time when much of the world had no idea what was going down in America's South.
You may be looking at this name thinking what the...and you would be right. After a quick photo op at the border of Texas and Arkansas (aptly named Texarkana) and some lunch, it's back on the road to our next stop.
We arrive in Fort Worth (think western style with modern vibes),ready to take on anything and everything Texan. Tummies will be rumbling, so we'll dive mouth first into an over-indulgent big BBQ feast of ribs, sausages, chicken and more - not for the faint-hearted (veggies don't worry, you won't be going hungry). A night out with the locals will get you in the Texan spirit, before falling into a blissful sleep which will probably having you dreaming of BBQ.
Dallas is home to Oil Tycoons, rich ranchers, a thriving tech industry, and of course the Dallas Cowboys, also known as ''America's Team''.Feeling like an investigation? We include a visit to the 6th floor museum where you can learn more about the assassination of President John F Kennedy and try your hand at figuring out 'whodunnit.' Back in Fort Worth, enjoy lunch and sightseeing around Sundance Square, try a craft beer on the Ale Trail or pick up some genuine leather boots and hats at the world famous Justin's Boots. You will be looking good tonight as we head to the Fort Worth Stockyards, home of the cowboy hall of fame and the world's largest honkey tonk, Billy Bob.
Today we cast the Dallas Cowboys and their cheerleading companions aside and make for the real cowboys of the Texas Panhandle.
Heading west we travel into the heart of cowboy country - yes this really is the way to Amarillo. This town may be little but it sure is mighty when it comes to country living. The old west accommodation even has a Texas shaped pool and a hotel for your horse, if you thought to bring it along. Tonight over dinner, you could try your hat at 'The Big Texan Steak Challenge' - a true Man Vs Food moment for those who have more metabolism than sense.
Leave the dusty plains of Texas behind in the rearview mirror, because we're en route to the mountains of New Mexico. We'll make a stop on the way out of town where it is strictly Americana with a Cadillac ranch full of unique art and a timeline of Cadillac models. Grab a can of spray paint and leave your mark on a Cadillac buried in the sand.
As we pull into New Mexico's largest city sometime in the late afternoon, you'll instantly be hit with the Spanish vibes. Adobe buildings hundreds of years old line Old Town, and hip Nob Hill is peppered with shops, bars and restaurants.
The only way to start your day in Alberquerque is bobbing through the sky in a hot-air balloon, getting snap-happy with the fiery desert vistas below. Quite literally, #nofilterneeded. That being said, a sleep in might be nice too - either way, we'll be on the road to Durango by late morning.
The great outdoors is the way of life in Durango with adrenaline pumping river rafting on offer to you and your fellow thrill seekers. If you’d rather explore the region on horseback then pick your trusty steed and be on your way in true old school traveller style. Durango literally means "water town", and considering the number of microbreweries it has, we might just ditch the water for something a bit stronger.
This morning we'll leave the Rocky Mountains behind with one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World in our sights.
Nothing can prepare you for the impact of the Grand Canyon - it's a legit 'you had to be there' moment. We'll pull in late today, have a moreish group dinner and check into our lodge to get a good night's sleep before getting up close and personal with the canyon in the morning.
You will be contemplating life, existence, and the immense size of the Grand Canyon with a free day to spend in Grand Canyon National Park. You can spend your day feeling a part of the wilderness as you go hiking through the exposed rock,but by far the most spine tingling experience at this natural wonder is one of our optional chopper rides through the UNESCO World Heritage site. Indulgent sure, but one of those life moments you deserve to treat yourself to. Tonight settle in to watch the sunset on the rim - the epitome of a #NOREGRETS moment for you and the squad.
Immersing yourself in the purity of nature has been magical, but something a little more tainted is calling your name - that's right, we're Vegas bound baby!
Following the legendary Route 66, we stop off for a souvenir hunt in the old historical town of Seligman. You’ll be transported back to the 1940s while you stroll past the original facades of shops and motels.
Viva Las Vegas! And you certainly will live the life of Las Vegas on this extended stop in the place so aptly dubbed ‘Sin City’. A nighttime tour of the famous ‘Strip’, including a stop for pics at the legendary Vegas sign will show you the after dark offerings of this absolutely outrageous city. Freemont Street is on tonight's agenda, where the main attraction is a super impressive light and laser show, then it's all about hitting the town, Vegas style.
You have today all to yourself but you’ll need to run to a tight schedule to fit in all of Vegas' weird and wonderful charms. Travel the world in a day, taking in the Eiffel Tower, a Venetian gondola and even an Egyptian pyramid, all whilst staying firmly within the city. Feeling romantic? Stop by and see one of the many Elvis impersonators for a shotgun wedding ceremony, and maybe even get hitched yourself...(joking). Tonight live like a baller while you cruise along the 'Strip' in a party bus and don't stress, the bill is on us. Later, you’ll witness the 24-hour party scene first hand when you head out for a night with the crew.
We are on the home stretch peeps. We’re leaving Las Vegas on a journey through the vast and dusty Mojave Desert and back into unmistakable scenery of Southern California.
Can it be true - is it really over? We'll finish of this truly slife changing trip by book ending it back in Los Angeles where it’s time to say goodbye to you're new best friends (who won't be feeling so new by this point). Many a teary hug will be had with the people you have made unforgettable memories with. What a truly once in a lifetime opportunity for adventure, and we hope you leave with a brand new perspective on travel.
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Trip Name: Grand Southern
Duration: 26 Days
From Price: $5,354
Supplier Tour ID: 106.209B/225892
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