California, Arizona, Texas, Florida - plenty to see before we reach NYC! 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.
Welcome the City of Angels and the start of your epic travel adventure. Energy will be higher than ever as you meet your brand new Contiki family.
The first leg of the journey will take your group through Southern California and the vast Mojave Desert. It is here that you will become acquainted with the iconic Joshua trees, which the National Park and the U2 album are both named after. From here we'll head onwards into Nevada.
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. Fremont Street is on tonight's agenda, where the main attraction is a super impressive light and laser show, before hitting the town, Sin City 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 famous Bellagio fountain, 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.
Today we are on the move through the desert of Nevada, heading into Arizona’s high country. You will have some down time on the coach, so kick-back, relax, and take in the surroundings as you watch the big ol' US of A fly by.
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.
Prepare to have your mind blown as we continue on to the unforgettable landscape of the Grand Canyon. This location is one of the world’s most recognizable natural wonders and the pride of Arizona. We'll settle in for the night at our comfy Lodge in the heart of the National Park. Take a step outside and marvel at the endless starry skies. Tomorrow promises to be a day to remember.
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.
The Grand Canyon is undoubtedly a difficult one to leave, but it is time enter the wild, wild west where the tumbleweeds roll. Onto Monument Valley we head, but first, one last stop for photos at the red rockin' canyon before it's time to hit the road.
With an iconic desert backdrop and home to countless wild western movies, Monument Valley serves up mesas and stone spires as far as the eye can see. You'll also re-create the world's most famous running scene from Forrest Gump, because YOLO. Later in the day we'll get in the know with the history of the area as you learn about the American Indian tribes' way of life at the Navajo Tribal Park. And if ALL THAT wasn't enough, we'll head through a narrow gorge to the striped walls of the Painted Desert where you'll even see a rock shaped like a sombrero - hola!
Next it's on to Colorado’s adventure capital, our home for the night. Set amidst a mountainous backdrop, Durango is a cute old mining town where the terrain is rugged, the trees are abundant and quaint gets a whole new meaning. This college town has young blood running through it's veins, so a great place to head out and explore when the sun goes down.
The great outdoors is a 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. This afternoon it’s a total change of scenery when we enter New Mexico, where sunbaked earthen brick buildings stand out against the bright blue sky.
Albuquerque isn't just about Breaking Bad, it is also famous for its historic old town and beautiful mountain landscape. Albuquerque is also home to the world famous International Balloon Fiesta, where every October thousands of people take to the skies in true French tradition. Tomorrow morning, you will get your chance to fly high above the Rio Grande in a balloon ride of your very own.
Rise and shine for an experience like no other- an optional hot air balloon ride over the mighty Rio Grande. Enjoy the views from high above the city.
Boasting influences from Mexico, Spain, and Native American cultures, historic Santa Fe is a true melting pot of culture. Take a walk around town to see interesting styles of architecture, shop for beautiful turquoise jewellery in the market and sample all of the different types of regional food on offer. This is one seriously tasty stop.
In true Americana Style, we'll visit Cadillac Ranch, a unique art exhibit celebrating the golden age of Cadillacs. Our accommodation tonight even has a Texas shaped pool and a hotel for your horse if you thought to bring it along. Tonight, try your hat at the "Big Texan Steak Challenge" for a true man vs food moment. Eternal glory awaits anyone who can finish this Texas sized meal in one hour or less.
After sleeping off that gigantic Texan steak dinner it's time to head somewhere BIG, because everything is bigger in Texas.
Tonight we will overnight in the cowboy town of Fort Worth, ready to take on anything and everything Texan. We will dive mouth first into a Texan style 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.
We'll farewell Dallas as we head on to the border of Texas and Arkansas where you can literally be in two places at once. Stand with one cowboy boot planted in Texas and one in Arkansas when we visit the town of Texarkana (see what they did there).
See Little Rock the capital of Arkansas, and the infamous Central High School, the scene of a major turning point of the Civil Rights movement before continuing on to Memphis
This afternoon we cross over the Mississippi River and pull in to the musical mecca and BBQ capital of Memphis. Memphis moves to its own rhythm; blues, soul and rock’n’roll to be exact. Get a feel for this historically musical place as we start out with a city tour. See the Lorraine Motel (now the Civil Rights Museum), where Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated back in 1968. See Mud Island, the Gibson guitar factory, the Orpheum Theatre, Rock’n’Soul Museum and the buzzing hub, Beale Street just to name a few. Get geared up tonight for a night to remember on world famous Beale Street.
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.
After feasting on BBQ delights and visiting Beale St in Memphis it's time to move it right along, heading to New Orleans via Jackson Mississippi.
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 find more enchanting, the European/Caribbean fusion food or the non-stop jazz festival vibe. No matter which, tonight we turn up the volume and hit Bourbon Street to sample the live music and bar culture that New Orleans has to offer.
With a full day to yourself, it's time to fully immerse yourself in everything New Orleans. Start out at Cafe Du Monde for a tasty beignet, and pick up some treasures at the French Market. This diverse city has so much going on; from the mansions of the garden district to the soul kitchens and jazz clubs of the french quarter. Spend a few hours in Jackson Square with the musicians, artists and fortunetellers. Explore the bayou with an airboat swamp tour and even have a go at holding a baby alligator. Tonight, explore a local favourite, Frenchmen Street.
There's some coach relaxation time today, which means we're on the road again. We will be travelling though Southern Mississippi and onto Panama City Beach. Hello coastal views...
Arriving in to the heat of Florida today we soak up some sun with an overnight stop at one of "The World's Most Beautiful Beaches" - Panama City Beach, testing out the hype with a dip in the clear blue waters.
With its white sand and aqua blue water, this beach is popular all year round with just about everyone from families to spring breakers. But all good things must come to an end, so onwards we go.
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.
We’ll bid adieu to the happy times had in Orlando with many fun memories and Mickey Mouse memorabilia as we move onto the sweet, sweet heat of marvellous Miami.
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 culture. We'll cruise downtown, taking in the Miami Heat basketball arena and the outdoor shopping mecca, Bayside Marketplace. Why not go a little Miami Vice on a Thriller speedboat tour of the bay? After experiencing a slice of the city's Cuban side with a mouthwatering dinner tonight (on us), 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. Want to make it a night to really remember? Opt for our boat party and cruise around Miami harbour, spending your evening like a celebrity.
You’ll discover energetic Miami today with free time to do as you please. This urban tropical paradise is a fabulous place to people watch, so head down to Ocean Avenue and drink it all in. Swimming, bike riding tours or museum visits are also on the cards this afternoon. Little Havana is a must see with Cuban flavours to taste, dominoes to be played and salsa music to be danced to. Tonight, get into the nighttime vibes once again, because well, why not?
We'll be leaving Miami this morning, but Florida, we're not done with you yet...
It’s all about fast cars as we make our way to 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.
Next up, you can opt to visit the Kennedy Space Centre, where we make contact with planets far, far away. Home to NASA, the space centre represents a very important part in intergalactic exploration history. Here you’ll see the space shuttle launch pad, the massive buildings that make up the centre, and all the astronaut gear you could dream of.
We head though a wild life reserve and arrive in the picturesque city of St. Augustine, a true hidden gem in every sense of the word. This is America’s oldest inhabited city complete with cobblestone streets, quaint beaches and a lazy harbor port, and we'll start off with a walking tour to see it up close for ourselves. Spin back the clock a little more with a visit to the Spanish quarter, where you can romanticise about colourful courtyards and visit the 17th Century Castillo de San Marcos National Monument.
Adios St. Augustine, it’s been real nice. But we must push on to freewheeling Savannah where the southern charm will certainly be turned on for you and your fellow globe roamers.
Spared from the destruction of the Civil War, this stunning place still retains its original city squares and mansions, all in mint condition. You will have the chance to visit the beautiful Forsyth Park where oak trees covered in moss stand tall about the grounds, whist sub-tropical plants and flowers grow beneath. As the sun goes down, enjoy the nightlife this evening with a waterfront dining experience complete with the crew.
The southern hospitality is second to none in the delightful Savannah, and after a good rest and some great food its back aboard the coach (is it starting to feel like home yet?) where we travel to Charleston, SC before arriving at our home for the night, Raleigh, situated in the state of North Carolina.
Charleston, the birthplace of the dance craze of the same name. Here, horse and carriages are the norm and the ‘low country’ favourite of shrimp 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.
We pull up the brakes for an over night stop in North Carolina's capital city of Raleigh. Get some good zzz's here before we head on tomorrow for a big day of travel and some more sight seeing.
This morning we leave Raleigh behind and cross over the border into Richmond for a fine slice of history.
As a group we cruise the grand old part of town before heading into Carytown, a young spirited and funky district of Richmond where we'll take our pick of the cafes and settle in for a tasty lunch.
Welcome to this mighty nation’s capital, world travellers. It is the very core of the USA’s political world and is packed full of museums, monuments and some of the most important history in the country. Enjoy an overview of presidential history at the Lincoln Memorial, famous for being the spot where Martin Luther King gave his ‘I have a dream’ speech. With our Trip Manager leading the charge, we'll cruise on the coach under the city's glow, stopping for photos and talks along the way at the most iconic monuments.
With two full days to get around the capital, you’ll not only take in the political history of Washington D.C. including the Arlington Cemetery and JFK's grave, but you will also get to stop in some of the buzzing neighbourhoods around town. It’s a fascinating city with so much to see, but a stand out spot is Georgetown, D.C.’s oldest area, where you’ll find hip galleries, boutiques and oodles of different cuisines. Later on, grab a drink and settle into one of many laid-back lounge bars in the trendy district of Adams-Morgan.
Leaving the capital in our wake, we continue on the road to NYC, stopping off for a visit in Philadelphia.
Wassup Philly! Here we'll check out Independence Hall where the Declaration of Independence was signed, and you’ll see the historic Liberty Bell – Philadelphia’s main landmark - that weighs in at a whopping 2080lb (944kg). Make sure you save room for the local specialty - Philly cheese steak - before channelling Rocky on the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Get some rest on the coach this afternoon, NYC is calling...
Start spreading the news, we're leaving today, to be a part of it in old New York. That's right ladies and gents, your trips comes to an end today so say adios to your Trip Manager and all your new pals. Time to start planning your next holiday, eh! Reunion in Europe perhaps?
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Trip Name: Grand Southern
Duration: 26 Days
From Price: $5,198
Supplier Tour ID: 106.208B/225889
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