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Southern Cross Country Westbound
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Can one 23-day trip define the elusive essence of a complex nation with centuries of incredible history? Probably not, but itd 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; Americas real motto is go big or go home.

North America

Duration: 23 Days Guaranteed Departure: Yes
For lovers of: Physical rating: Average
Accommodation standard:   Not Rated% Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
Your Guide: English speaking Tour code: 127197
Starts: New York City, Finishes: San Francisco, United States
You will Visit
  • New York City
  • San Francisco

Itinerary

01

Day 1: New York 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.

Included Activities:
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting

02

Day 2: New York City/Washington DC (1L, 1D)

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.

Additional Notes:
This tour departs New York City mid-day on Day 2.

Included Activities:
Orientation Walk
Monuments by Moonlight

Transport:
Private Vehicle (7.00 hour(s), 375km)

03

Day 3: Washington DC (1B)

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 (1B, 1L, 1D)

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.



Included Activities:
Arlington Cemetery Visit

Transport:
Private Vehicle (9.00 hour(s), 480km)

05

Day 5: Appalachia/Nashville (1B, 1L, 1D)

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.

Transport:
Private Vehicle (8.00 hour(s), 575km)

06

Day 6: Nashville/Memphis (1B, 1L)

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.

Transport:
Private Vehicle (5.00 hour(s), 380km)

07

Day 7: Memphis/New Orleans (1B, 1L)

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.


Additional Notes:
For our time in New Orleans, we stay close to the action in a hotel in the city centre (multi-share accommodation).

Transport:
Private Vehicle (8.00 hour(s), 640km)

08

Day 8: New Orleans (1B)

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

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.

Transport:
Approximate distance to Austin: 820km (510 mi)
Private Vehicle (9.00 hour(s), 820km)

10

Day 10: Austin (1B)

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 (1B, 1L, 1D)

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.

Included Activities:
Carlsbad Caverns Tour

Transport:
Private Vehicle (9.00 hour(s), 802km)

12

Day 12: Carlsbad/Santa Fe (1B, 1L)

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.

Included Activities:
Explore Roswell

Transport:
Private Vehicle (8.00 hour(s), 470km)

13

Day 13: Santa Fe/Cortez (1B, 1L, 1D)

Free morning to explore Santa Fe's downtown and enjoy some world-famous roasted green chilies before continuing on to Cortez.


Transport:
Private Vehicle (6.00 hour(s), 350km)

14

Day 14: Cortez/Monument Valley (1B, 1L)

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!

Included Activities:
Mesa Verde Guided Tour

Transport:
Approximate Distance to Mesa Verde NP: 315 km
Private Vehicle (6.00 hour(s))

15

Day 15: Monument Valley/Grand Canyon (1B, 1L, 1D)

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!

Included Activities:
Grand Canyon South Rim Visit

Transport:
Private Vehicle (5.00 hour(s), 290km)

16

Day 16: Grand Canyon (1B, 1L, 1D)

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.

Additional Notes:
Note: If you have pre-booked the Grand Canyon Helicopter Ride you will enjoy your 45-50min ride over the canyon today.

17

Day 17: Grand Canyon/Las Vegas (1B)

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.

Additional Notes:
For the two nights in Las Vegas, we stay close to the action in a hotel in the city centre.

Included Activities:
Vegas Strip Visit

Transport:
Private Vehicle (7.00 hour(s), 475km)

18

Day 18: 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/Sierra Nevadas (1L, 1D)

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.

Additional Notes:
Note: we intend on using the Tioga Pass tomorrow; it's a scenic route through the Sierra Nevada mountain range that connects Bishop with Yosemite NP. In the spring and autumn seasons, there's a chance that the pass will be closed due to poor weather conditions or even snow. In such a case, we use an alternate route, and will spend the night in Lake Isabella instead of Bishop. The status of the road is monitored daily, and our travel plan for the area will be confirmed during the trip.

Included Activities:
Death Valley National Park Visit

Transport:
Private Vehicle (7.00 hour(s), 590km)

20

Day 20: Sierra Nevadas/Yosemite National Park (1B, 1L, 1D)

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.

Included Activities:
Mono Lake Visit
Tioga Pass Drive
Yosemite National Park Visit

Transport:
Private Vehicle (7.00 hour(s), 330km)

21

Day 21: Yosemite National Park (1B, 1L, 1D)

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.

Included Activities:
Yosemite National Park Visit

22

Day 22: Yosemite National Park/San Francisco (1B, 1L)

Arrive at one of the most iconic cities in the world: San Francisco. The CEO will point out some popular sites on the drive into town.

Additional Notes:
For our final night in San Francisco, we stay close to the action in a hotel in the city centre.

Transport:
Private Vehicle (8.00 hour(s), 225km)

23

Day 23: San Francisco

Depart at any time. 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 all await.

Included Activities:
Departure Day

Inclusions:
    Activities
    • Entrance fees to all national parks with hiking and walking excursions
    • Arlington Cemetery visit
    • Orientation to Las Vegas and Washington DC
    • Visit to Carlsbad Caverns
    • Death Valley visit
    • Self-inflating mattresses and dome tents while camping
    • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
    Accommodation
    • Hotels/hostels (6 nts, some multi-share), participation camping (16 nts)
    • 17 breakfasts, 15 lunches, 10 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 Americas history in Washington DC
  • Feel the beat in Memphis and Nashville
  • Witness a gorgeous sunset at the Grand Canyon.