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Southern Cross Country Westbound
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Until Dec 17 From Jan 18

Can one 22-day trip define the elusive essence of a complex nation with centuries of incredible history? Probably not, but it’d be a blast to try, no? Designed specifically for curious travellers with a passion for real experiences and lots of time, this adventure takes you from the busy streets of New York to the shores of San Francisco Bay, with just about every shade of Americana thrown in along the way: the Washington Mall, Music City USA, the French Quarter, Tex-Mex, Yosemite, the Vegas Strip… forget e pluribus unum; America’s real motto is “go big or go home.”

North America
  • Duration: 22 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of: Hiking, Local Culture & Cuisine, Sightseeing, Walking Tour
  • Physical rating: Average
  • Accommodation standard:   Not Rated%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: NUCW.B/201690
  • Starts: New York, United States
  • Finishes: Yosemite National Park, United States
You will Visit
  • New York City
  • Washington DC
  • Appalachia
  • Nashville
  • Memphis
  • New Orleans
  • Austin
  • Carlsbad
  • Santa Fe
  • Cortez
  • Monument Valley
  • Grand Canyon
  • Las Vegas
  • Bishop
  • Yosemite National Park
  • San Francisco

Itinerary

01

Day 1: New York

Arrive at any time. Consider arriving a few days early to see more of this famous city.
Arrive to the joining hostel at any time. Welcome meeting at 7:00pm.

From the Statue of Liberty to Ground Zero to Chinatown, New York City is full of things to do and see. We recommend spending extra time here; please speak to your sales agent to book pre-trip accommodation.

02

Day 2: New York/Washington DC

Spend the morning exploring one of the Big Apple, then arrive to the US capital in time to wander the monuments by moonlight.
Dive into the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple on a brief orientation to the city with the CEO. Arrive at the capital of the USA, Washington DC, in the late afternoon.

03

Day 3: Washington DC

Enjoy a free day to explore.
Today is all about the capital of the United States. There is so much to see and do in Washington DC that you can't see it all in one day. Take your time spending a full day exploring this fascinating city.

04

Day 4: Washington DC/Appalachia

Continue through Shenandoah National Park, a truly beautiful, historic national treasure.
Standing on top of the peaks of Shenandoah National Park while gazing across the silent mountains, it's hard to believe Washington DC is just a short distance away.

Opt to take a short hike on the many trails throughout the park.


05

Day 5: Appalachia/Nashville

Drive through the Appalachian Mountains. Travel to the country music capital of the world.
Continue through the Appalachian Mountains, a perfect place to relax. Enjoy the fresh, clean air and see the true beauty of North America. Travel to the country music capital of the world, and be immersed in the local music scene in downtown Nashville at night.

06

Day 6: Nashville/Memphis

Explore the vibrant cultural and musical melting pot of Memphis. Take an optional tour of Graceland, opt to relive history at the National Civil Rights Museum, or tour the Rock 'n' Soul Museum. Head to Beale Street at night for great food and live music.
In the afternoon, opt to walk in the footsteps of the King of Rock ‘n' Roll at Elvis Presley's home, Graceland. See how the legend lived and discover videos, pictures, stage costumes, and much more. Then hear the music in Memphis, Tennessee! Explore the birthplace of Rock 'n' Roll, Home of Blues, and the starting point of soul. Music legends, including Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and B.B. King, made their marks on Memphis.

Opt to check out the National Civil Rights Museum, located where Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated.

07

Day 7: Memphis/New Orleans

Crank up the jazz and drive into the home of Mardi Gras. Explore the French Quarter, and join the revellers on Bourbon Street 'til the early hours.
The CEO will point out a few things on the drive in, then get out and experience the city at its best. Enjoy a night out with the group.

08

Day 8: New Orleans

Enjoy a free day to explore New Orleans.
New travellers may join you today for the rest of the adventure. You are welcome to join them at a group meeting this evening, followed by an optional dinner.

09

Day 9: New Orleans/Austin

Drive across Louisiana into Texas and take in the scenery on the way to Austin.
Travel day from New Orleans to Austin. Sit back and gaze at the scenery while travelling through the southern United States. Upon arrival in the 'Lonestar' state, settle in at the campsite for a night under the stars.

10

Day 10: Austin

Spend a free day in Austin. Opt to visit the SoCo area for thrift shopping, take a dip in the Barton natural pool, or let loose at a local country bar in the evening.

11

Day 11: Austin/Carlsbad

Explore Carlsbad Caverns, dodging the 400,000 bats heading out to hunt at sunset.
Travel to one of the oldest and most famous cave systems in the world. Explore a cave on self-guided trails and be fascinated by the largest underground chambers and countless formations. In the evening, witness a stunning spectacle as nearly 400,000 Mexican free-tail bats exit Carlsbad Cavern.

12

Day 12: Carlsbad/Santa Fe

Stop by infamous Roswell before taking in Southwest culture in Santa Fe.
On the night of July 2nd in 1947 something (or someone) crashed into the desert outside of Roswell, New Mexico. Was it a balloon, or really extra-terrestrial life? Find out what all the hype is about when passing through this funky town.

Continue the journey back in time and explore one of America's oldest and most beautiful cities, Santa Fe.

13

Day 13: Santa Fe/Cortez

Explore Santa Fe in the morning before travelling towards Cortez for the night.
Free morning to explore Santa Fe's downtown and enjoy some world-famous roasted green chilies before continuing on to Cortez.

14

Day 14: Cortez/Monument Valley

Wind up the side of a mountain through Mesa Verde National Park's rocky slopes and inspiring vistas. Hike to ancient cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde. Opt to discover one of the most majestic places on earth, Monument Valley.
Hike through history while exploring Mesa Verde National Park – it offers a spectacular look into the lives of the Ancestral Puebloans.

In Monument Valley, opt to explore on a 4x4 tour led by a Navajo guide. Stay overnight in the Tribal Park to see the sun rise from a perspective very few ever experience!

15

Day 15: Monument Valley/Grand Canyon

Hike the trails of the Grand Canyon before enjoying a sunset at the rim.
Considered among nature's most spectacular offerings, the Grand Canyon provides spectacular opportunities for exploration. Return to the campsite and recapture the experiences from this memorable day!

16

Day 16: Grand Canyon

Free time in Grand Canyon NP.
Enjoy a free day to discover the Grand Canyon. Opt to wander throughout the park and take a hike. Hire a bike, check out a museum or see the canyon from the sky by helicopter.

17

Day 17: Grand Canyon/Las Vegas

Travel Route 66 and stop at a wacky burger joint. Explore Las Vegas and stroll along the famous Vegas Strip. Take an optional VIP party limo.

18

Day 18: Las Vegas

Free time in Las Vegas.
Full day to explore Las Vegas. Walk the strip and try your luck at the tables or slot machines. Or spend the day shopping, dining or chilling poolside. In the evening, opt to see one of the wildly entertaining shows Vegas is known for.

19

Day 19: Las Vegas/Death Valley

Visit a land of extremes in Death Valley National Park.
Visit one of the country's most rugged landscapes, the legendary Death Valley – the hottest and driest spot on earth and home to the lowest point in North America.

Surrounded by peaks which soar more than 14,000 ft (4,267m) in elevation, Bishop, one of "America's Coolest Mountain Towns" sits directly in the centre of an incredible area of natural beauty.

20

Day 20: Death Valley/Yosemite National Park

Morning trip to Mono Lake; walk among the tufa towers. Discover Yosemite's peaks, granite domes, and giant sequoias. Marvel at majestic waterfalls, lakes, and meadows.
In the morning, visit ancient Mono Lake and walk among dramatic and fascinating tufa towers.

Be in awe of the spectacular views of Yosemite National Park's magnificent peaks and granite domes while enjoying one of the most scenic drives in California: the Tioga Pass!

Hike one of the many trails Yosemite has to offer and be inspired by this beautiful and amazing landscape.

21

Day 21: Yosemite National Park

Enjoy free time in Yosemite NP for hiking and exploring.
Admire spectacular views of Yosemite National Park's magnificent peaks and granite domes. Yosemite has many trails to offer. Be inspired by this beautiful and amazing landscape and opt to rent a bike to better explore the Yosemite Valley.

22

Day 22: Yosemite National Park/San Francisco

Catch a glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge on the way into one of America's most popular cities. Trip ends upon arrival to San Francisco. Take an optional cable car ride over the steep hills or set sail into the setting sun.
There's a lot to see and do in San Francisco, and we recommend spending extra time here if you'd like to explore the city. Speak to your sales agent to book extra accommodation. Haight-Ashbury, Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman's Wharf and the city's famous cable cars await you.

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Entrance fees to all national parks with hiking and walking excursions
    • Orientation to Las Vegas and Washington DC
    • Carlsbad Caverns visit
    • Sunset at the rim of the Grand Canyon
    • Death Valley visit
    • Self-inflating mattresses and dome tents while camping
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    Accommodation
    • Hotels/hostels (5 nts, some multi-share), participation camping (16 nts)
    • 17 breakfasts, 12 lunches, 9 dinners
    Transport
    • Air-conditioned private vehicle, walking
    Group Leader
    • 1 or 2 Chief Experience Officers (CEOs) throughout, depending on group size
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Tour Highlights:
  • Get wild in San Francisco and Las Vegas
  • Embrace nature in Monument Valley and Yosemite
  • Learn about America’s history in Washington DC
  • Feel the beat in Memphis and Nashville
  • Witness a gorgeous sunset at the Grand Canyon.