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Southern Sun from New York
SAVE UP TO $769 on this tour

This is one varied snapshot of the States! Experience the fast paced East, the slow moving South and the laid-back West Coast, with exciting optional activities along the way like white water rafting, horseback riding and hiking, plus the awesome nightlife of cities like New Orleans and Las Vegas. This is our most popular tour and you'll soon see why as you explore from east to west on this epic road trip!

North America
  • Duration: 21 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of: Walking Tour, Sightseeing, Trekking, Parks & Nature Reserves
  • Physical rating: Average
  • Accommodation standard:   Not Rated%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 80.0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: SN/208511
  • Starts: New York Area, United States
  • Finishes: Los Angeles, United States
You will Visit
  • New York Area
  • Philadelphia
  • Washington
  • DC
  • Appalachian Mountains
  • Ocoee
  • Nashville
  • Memphis
  • New Orleans
  • Louisiana
  • East Texas
  • Austin
  • Amarillo
  • Santa Fe
  • Monument Valley
  • Lake Powell
  • Zion National Park
  • Las Vegas
  • Los Angeles

Itinerary

01

Day 1-2: New York Area - Philadelphia - Washington, DC

Departing from the New York area, strap on your boxing gloves and head for Philadelphia's famous ‘Rocky' steps to recreate a piece of movie history. Cast your eyes on the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, where brave men gathered and defied the King of England to help shape the US Constitution. Reading Terminal Market is waiting for you to explore and you're in the right place if you're feeling a little peckish; grab yourself a Philly cheesesteak from one of the many famous local joints. Culture vultures rejoice, as next up is Washington DC where you'll enjoy soaking up all the history of the nation's capital. From the impressive Smithsonian Museums and the White House to Georgetown's trendy bars, the capital has something for everyone. A locally guided bike tour of Washington DC's monuments is included and it’s the perfect way to see the city and the famous sights like the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument.

Meals Included: Camping food kitty applies to this tour

Optional Activities:

  • Philly cheesesteak US$10
  • Smithsonian National Museums FREE

02

Day 3: Appalachian Mountains

Swap city life for views of the rolling green Appalachian Mountains as you cruise through Virginia. The scenery is spectacular and gives you some idea of why locals travel for miles to hike the trails. Although today is a fairly big drive day, there may be time for a short walk to breathe in the sweet mountain air if time is on your side!

Meals Included: Camping food kitty applies to this tour

03

Day 4: Ocoee

Next up is Tennessee. In 1996 the world's eyes were on Ocoee as it hosted the world's first Olympic white water event and this stretch of river boasts some of the world's best rafting. Now it’s your chance to hit the water, so grab a trusty life jacket and paddle and get your thrills on an optional white water rafting trip. Whilst you're holding on tight, don't forget to look around you as you'll fly past some pretty awesome scenery. For those of you not keen on the rapids, there are a number of surrounding trails to explore.

Meals Included: Camping food kitty applies to this tour

Optional Activities:

  • White water rafting US$40-$60

04

Day 5: Nashville

From honky-tonk bars to the Grand Ole Opry, they don't call Nashville 'Music City' for nothing! This place is full of life and you'll be hotfooting your way from one country bar to the next. Find out all about the history of music at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, home to the largest collection of country music memorabilia in the world. Even if country isn't your thing, there are live bands everywhere, so you're sure to be toe-tapping by the end of the day.

Meals Included: Meals paid locally

Optional Activities:

  • Country line dancing US$10
  • Grand Ole Opry US$32-$90
  • Country western saloons US$varies
  • Johnny Cash Museum US$19
  • Ryman Auditorium tour US$20-$30

05

Day 6: Memphis

Turn up that radio, you're about to hit Memphis, the birthplace of rock 'n' roll! With that in mind why not visit the home of Elvis in Graceland, or head to Sun Studio, where many of the greats cut their early records, from BB King to Elvis and Johnny Cash. Stroll along Beale Street where the electric atmosphere will keep you entertained for hours as you listen out for some of the best blues music in town. There's more to Memphis than just music, so pay a visit to the National Civil Rights Museum, located in the former Lorraine Hotel, and see the place where Martin Luther King was assassinated. 

Meals Included: Camping food kitty applies to this tour

Optional Activities:

  • Visit the Peabody Hotel FREE
  • Sun Studio US$14
  • Stax Museum of American Soul Music US$12
  • Elvis Experience US$44
  • Civil Rights Museum US$19
  • Graceland entrance only US$35
  • Gibson guitar factory US$10
  • Rock 'n' Soul Museum US$12

06

Day 7-8: New Orleans

Here in the 'Big Easy', sultry bass and chirpy rhythms are king. New Orleans is definitely a city every music fan must make a pilgrimage to at least once in their lifetime! Head into the enchanting French Quarter and hear the real deal at Preservation Hall, before tucking into some classic and delicious Southern cuisine. If you don't want to stop at just eating the likes of gumbo and jambalaya, why not take part in an optional New Orleans cookery class so you can really impress the folks back home. Make a beeline for the legendary nightlife of Bourbon Street, where almost anything goes. New Orleans is a place full of life and is an experience you won't forget in a hurry!

Meals Included: Meals paid locally

Optional Activities:

  • Jazz clubs US$10-20
  • Preservation Hall US$15-$20
  • Mississippi steamboat ride US$30-$80
  • Voodoo & Graveyard tour US$20-$40
  • School of Cooking US$28-$150
  • Mardi Gras World US$20

07

Day 9: Louisiana - East Texas

Search for gators and other wildlife on our optional Louisiana swamp tour, where you'll slowly drift past ancient Indian burial mounds and fishing villages while taking in the unique scenery of the mysterious bayous of Cajun country (it’s a must do!). Then the ‘Lone Star State’ bids you a big-hearted welcome for the first of your nights in mighty Texas, a state which is larger than some countries!  

Meals Included: Camping food kitty applies to this tour

Optional Activities:

  • Alligator swamp tour US$23-$40

08

Day 10-11: Austin

You’d better not have had your fill of music, as the tunes keep on flowing in Austin, claiming the title for ‘live music capital of the world’. Austin is an electric, cultural and artistic city that packs a punch. Live music can be heard almost any night of the week, so get an enjoy the vibrant atmosphere. During the day check out Barton Springs or hit up one of the city’s local food trucks for some tasty cuisine.

Meals Included: Meals paid locally

Optional Activities:

  • Barton Springs US$4

09

Day 12: Amarillo

The biggest state in continental USA is home to some of the best steaks in the world, which obviously you’ll need to sample! Spend the night in Amarillo and make sure you head out for an evening meal at the Big Texan Steak Ranch, they’ll even pick you up in a swanky limousine (free with group bookings) for that 100% real Texas experience. Yeehaa!

Meals Included: Camping food kitty applies to this tour

Optional Activities:

  • Spray graffiti at Cadillac Ranch - FREE

10

Day 13: Santa Fe

Follow part of Route 66 and pay a visit to Cadillac Ranch for a quirky take on desert art and one of the most talked about roadside attractions in the US. For all the art lovers out there, Santa Fe is for you. Visit Canyon Road, home to art galleries, cultural treasures such as hand-woven Navajo rugs, historic adobe buildings and a vibrant restaurant scene. Our top tip here is to visit the brilliantly weird Meow Wolf, an immersive art experience like no other.

Meals Included: Camping food kitty applies to this tour

Optional Activities:

  • Meow Wolf US$20

11

Day 14: Monument Valley

Monument Valley, made famous in Westerns and Hollywood films such as Forrest Gump, is unsurprisingly one of the most recognisable landscapes in America. Immerse yourself in the native Navajo culture on an optional (and highly recommended) guided jeep tour of the Navajo Reservation. Experience the real 'Wild West' as you marvel at towering buttes and mesas which dominate the awe-inspiring landscape. After a day of exploring this American wonderland, gather around the campfire and swap stories under a blanket of stars, perfection!

Meals Included: Camping food kitty applies to this tour

Optional Activities:

  • Navajo guided 4x4 tour (day) US$55

12

Day 15-16: Grand Canyon National Park

Your next road trip highlight is the epic Grand Canyon. As soon as you reach the rim and gaze across the vast canyon you'll be lost for words, this place is so awesome! Pack your boots and don't forget your camera for a sunrise or sunset walk along the rim for that extra wow factor! For the more ambitious, take the long hike down Bright Angel Trail to Plateau Point or take to the sky and see the Grand Canyon in all its glory on an optional helicopter flight. Magnificent from any angle, but one thing's for sure you'll never forget your first glimpse of the Grand Canyon.

Meals Included: Camping food kitty applies to this tour

Optional Activities:

  • Helicopter flight US$254-$284
  • IMAX Theater US$15

13

Day 17-18: Lake Powell - Zion National Park

Without a doubt one of the most beautiful viewpoints in the Southwest, Horseshoe Bend makes for an impressive stop, before a chance to wash off the desert dust in the refreshing waters of Lake Powell. Straddling the border of Utah and Arizona, Lake Powell is desert paradise. Go for a swim in the crystal clear water or simply sit by the shore and relax. Then it's on to picture-perfect Zion National Park where you can get stunning 360 degree views of the entire national park if you take on a challenging hike to the viewpoint at Angels Landing.  Whether you're up top or down below, Zion National Park will blow your mind as you're surrounded by brilliant red rock and bright blue skies; you're guaranteed one heck of a great time here.

Meals Included: Camping food kitty applies to this tour

Optional Activities:

  • Swimming US$FREE
  • Western horseback riding US$45-$90

14

Day 19-20: Las Vegas

Next up, it’s the one and only Vegas. Time to put those lucky numbers to the test, not to mention your energy levels, in this 24/7 party town. Feel like a celeb for the evening with a cruise along The Strip in a party bus. All-you-can-eat buffets are famous here, so it would be rude not to tuck into lots of tasty food on the cheap; just make sure you don't ride the roller coasters straight after! Vegas isn't all about gambling and clubs, so why not check out a show, take an evening flight down The Strip or get yourself hitched by Elvis Presley (don't worry, it's not legally binding... unless you want it to be!).

Meals Included: Meals paid locally

Optional Activities:

  • Clubs & casino shows from US$10
  • Roller coasters US$25-$40
  • Helicopter flight US$124
  • Get married in Las Vegas (not legally binding) US$220
  • Go karting US$45
  • Gun range US$20-$100
  • VIP club tour (includes 4 clubs & limo) US$100

15

Day 21: Las Vegas - Los Angeles

Say goodbye to the bright lights of Las Vegas and hello to the beautiful Californian sunshine with your final stop in glitzy Los Angeles. Check out the Walk of Fame and head for a sweet lookout spot to see the famous Hollywood sign, before your epic road trip sadly comes to an end. Don't worry though, you'll have 21 days of awesome memories to take home with you! If you're spending a few extra days, why not check out Venice Beach and hang out with the cool kids of LA, or stop by Santa Monica Pier and have your fortune told.This tour ends at approximately 17:00 hrs. We can book you post tour accommodation at our gateway hotel if required. If you are planning to fly tonight, please do not book a flight that departs before 21:00 hrs.

Meals Included: Camping food kitty applies to this tour

Inclusions:
  • Services of a TrekAmerica tour leader
  • Private transportation with free Wi-Fi
  • All accommodation, camping fees & equipment (except sleeping bag)
  • Accommodation: Camping 13, Budget Lodging: 3, Hotel: 4
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Tour Highlights:
  • Guided bike tour of Washington DC's monuments & museums
  • Cruise the Las Vegas Strip on a party bus
  • Climb Philadelphia's famous 'Rocky' steps & visit the Liberty Bell
  • The sweet sounds of Nashville, Memphis, New Orleans & Austin
  • Navajo culture & famous scenery of Monument Valley
  • Awe-inspiring sunset / sunrise over the Grand Canyon
  • Dip your toes in the refreshing waters of Lake Powell
  • Discover red canyons & hanging gardens of Zion National Park
  • Explore Hollywood Boulevard
  • Admission to national parks & monuments - Monument Valley, Grand Canyon & Zion


Reviews (7)
GEORGIABH. Posted on: 

This trip was such an amazing experience and i would recommend for anyone and everyone to experience it, even if you are travelling by yourself! The trip itinerary is amazing and you get to really experience so many states and different activities (white water rafting, monument valley, line dancing, hiking the grand canyon, swamp tours, philly cheese steaks, venice beach, lake powell etc). However, it could be tough at times with some looooong drives. Although, in order to see so many amazing sights it is necessary and well worth it. All the van games we played helped us get through the long drives and brought the group closer! This really was one of those 'life changing' experiences for me and my boyfriend. We made so many awesome memories and experienced so many amazing things that it is something we will remember forever! Not to mention, the life long friendships we forged on this trip with some amazing people! Definitely do this trip and make sure you camp! It makes the experience so much more special and unique!

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Laura Posted on: 

I loved the Southern Sun tour! It was one of the most popular treks for a reason! There is so much to do and see and somehow we managed to fit it all in in 3 weeks! Every place is amazing and everywhere and everything exceeded my expectations. I especially loved Monument Valley, the Grand Canyon, Texas, Vegas and basically everywhere else too. I made some really amazing friends (who I am still in touch with now) and have so many fun and happy memories from this trip. I actually extended my trip as I did not want to go home, plus I have just booked another trek for this summer! My trek leader Peter O'Donnell was brilliant and definitely made sure we all had an amazing experience, going out of his way for all of us! Definitely recommend this trip to all!

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Sean S Posted on: 

It was a great experience from start to finish was lucky enough to have travelled with a nice group of people that I'm now made life long friends with You do have to make the most of your time seen as though 2 days is the most you have in one place but all in all would recommend it to anyone

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SOFIE M. Posted on: 

If you are thinking about going this trip, stop thinking and just book it! It might be a lot of money, you might need to work extra hard and save up for a long time but it is totally worth it! I would do the trip all over again if I could! This trip will be an experience of you life time trust me! You start in New York, you go to Philly, you get to see all the monuments and famous buildings in Washington DC, white water rafting in Appalachian Mountains, you get to line dance in amazing Nashville, walk around in Memphis, eat some southern food in New Orleans, eat a hell lot of meat in Texas and you get to keep Austin weird! And to not even talk about running where Forrest Gump ran and sleep under the stars in Monument Valley and after you wake up from your night under the stars you get to watch the sunset over Grand Canyon! From the great Grand Canyon you go creek walking in Zion National Park an hike the Angels Landing trail. And from Zion you go to the weirdest place on earth, Las Vegas! And as you know, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas! And then after three weeks on the road you finally make your way to the Hollywood sign in Los Angeles! Even though this is the end of an amazing trip and you might be very sad that it's over, you will still have all amazing memories and a bunch of new friends! There is no way to describe how awesome this trip is, you just have to experience it your self! So all I can say is, just go! There is no way in the world that you will regret it

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DANNI Posted on: 

The southern sun trek for 3 weeks has been the absolute highlight of my life so far, and I have traveled some bit before! The trek group of 13 are now my closest friends, I went alone and knew they'd be others like me doing the same thing. The good thing with a trek is the people on the trek love travel as much as you do! There were optional extra activities in every single state and all reasonably priced, our tour guide Blake was insane! He knew the good places to go, advised on anything we asked about and most of all became one of us- a great friend. Monument Valley was the highlight for me, we camped in the middle under the stars with the Navajo tribe which isn't something anyone else I know has done. Every day we were on the move, more driving than I expected but it was awesome. We'd play games, have a sleep, chat, and listen to music so the journeys felt like nothing...and anyway the scenery through the drives are incredible! I went for Trek because I wanted to jam everything into 3 small weeks and that's certainly what I got! I couldn't speak highly enough of this trek and my group, and it has provided me with very precious memories that I will treasure for the rest of my life.

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sarahjenkinss_ Posted on: 

This trip was my first time to the states as a solo traveler and I literally could not have asked for a better time. I was incredibly lucky to be in a group mixed with boys and girls who who were all completely different, but got along super well due to our common interest in travel. Most of us were Brits (which I didn't expect!) and one from Aus. I had my apprehensions about coming on the trip as it is 21 days - but I couldn't have asked for a better group of people. We made the long van driving days fly by with lots of regular stops and each person took their turn at being Quiz Master (who knew Georgia is the Peach state?!) along with each of us channeling our inner DJ as we picked a new playlist each day. There was so many highlights for me - My first would be finding out how beautiful and diverse America really is. Every state is completely different - seriously! Each has its' own quirks, however every American we met was super friendly and were so interested in all our individual stories. My second highlight was camping in Utah with the Native American people (Navajos) it was the most breathtaking experience of my life. The views of Utah were unbelievable, and the food was to die for. Getting up at 5am to watch the sun rise was beautiful, and added so much to our already amazing trip. My third and final highlight was Vegas with the group. We didn't just party on the strip, we were lucky enough to be invited to our Trek leaders' relatives house for a BBQ. I had never

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B.Morris Posted on: 

Honestly, if I could do this trip all over again, I absolutely would. I couldn't recommend it more. Our tour leader was brilliant and took us to interesting, lesser known locations during the long driving days that I never would have seen, experienced or known of otherwise. I met lovely friends who I have since stayed in contact with - you can't have the experiences you do together and not stay in touch to relive them! What a privilege. Trek America's support staff (the ones you talk to on the phone with your long list of endless questions, worries and problems) - I could not praise more. Each time I called, no matter whom it was I spoke to, they were friendly, patient, understanding and just all-round brilliant. I know it's easy to read these reviews and think 'yeah, they all say the same thing, what's new?', but if you're even considering doing this trip, the final thing I will say, is to just do it. Press the button. I can promise you that I didn't regret it

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