From west to east, see the best of the United States
Discover a chain of magnificent national parks in California, Arizona and New Mexico, Then travel through the southern stylings of New Orleans, Memphis and Nashville and on to the glitz and glamour of New York City. It's almost hard to believe that such diversity can be found in one nation. Indulge in nachos in Texas, gumbo in New Orleans and a shot of wheatgrass in California and meet city slickers in Times Square, Elvis impersonators in Vegas and members of the Navajo Tribe in Monument Valley and forever be confounded by the extreme diversity found in each and every state of this great nation.
The flexibility of this trip allows you to do what you want, when you want, without the restrictions of an overly packed itinerary
Enjoy a full day to explore Washington DC. There's lots to see and do in the US capital, and most of it is free. Visit the White House, Capitol Hill and the National Mall, and feel small next to the statue of Abraham Lincoln
The cities of Nashville, Memphis and New Orleans are notorious for their rich music and nightlife scenes. See live performances of blues, jazz, country and rock in celebrated musical venues
Towering granite cliffs, cascading waterfalls, redwood forests and epic night skies - Yosemite National Park feels like utopia. While other tour groups breeze through in a day, you'll spend two nights in the park, allowing for a full day of hiking and exploring
For many, Death Valley conjures up images of a flat and barren wasteland. Be surprised by the park's ethereal landscapes of sand dunes, water-sculpted canyons, extinct volcanic craters and, in the spring, fields of wildflowers
The iconic sandstone formations of Monument Valley have played backdrop to many a cowboy western. Learn about Navajo culture and history during a jeep tour of the park, before spending a unique night in a traditional hogan hut
This is a participatory trip. That’s a fancy way of saying you’re not just along for the ride – you’re part of a team! You know the phrase ‘the more you put in, the more you get out’. Well that’s extra true on this trip. Be prepared to roll up your sleeves and help out with camp activities like food prep and washing up. It’s all about giving your new travel mates a hand – everyone knows there’s nothing worse than trying to put up a tent on your own!
That teamwork also extends to our optional food kitty of approximately US$10 per day, run to cover the cost of meals. This kitty saves you worrying about stuff like where to get food or what exactly sales tax is, and actually helps keep your costs down. Instead of paying individually as you go, it means we can bulk purchase items and cook our own food – though there’s always the chance to use it for the occasional pizza night! The kitty is optional and for your convenience, so if you've got specific dietary requirements you can opt out and purchase (and cook) your own food.
The United States is a world of endless possibilities – that’s why our Basix trips are designed so they fit together as (not quite endless) combinations. That means while you might just be starting your trip, some of your new travel mates may have been travelling together for a week or more (and so have some great tips for you). You can see how our trips fit together and all the different possible combinations at www.intrepidtravel.com/brochures. Simply click view/download on the North America brochure and look at the combo map on page 12.
Traffic in and out of the big cities can be hectic, especially during the holiday period. There may be delays, so be prepared to take part in car games to keep you entertained.
You'll be travelling in a van with a group of travellers, so conditions may feel a little cramped. This is all part of the adventure, however, and you might even make some long-term friends.
The USA is a big country. Distances between destinations may be longer than what you're used to, especially if you're coming from Europe. There are many long days of driving, so expect to spend a lot of time in the van.
Although our vans do have air conditioning, it has to work pretty hard to keep a full group cool. Expect to feel hot during summer and cold at other times of the year, especially at night. Please consider the season and research the weather conditions to determine the best time to travel for you. Remember to come prepared with adequate clothing.
From the steep hiking trails of the various national parks to the towering hills of San Francisco, this trip involves a lot of walking. Please ensure you bring sturdy walking shoes and comfortable clothes. To make the most of the trip, it's best if you have at least a moderate level of fitness.
This trip only allows for one night in Nashville and one night in Memphis. Although you'll get more or less a full day to explore these great cities, you might have to move quickly to see everything on your to-do list.
Death Valley in the summer is extremely hot and dry. It does hold the record as the hottest place on earth after all. Hiking at this time of year isn't recommended. Although our vans do have air conditioning, it has to work pretty hard to keep a full group cool so expect to be hot. Sometimes in mid-summer we may be unable to visit the Valley itself if we feel that the heat presents a safety risk. At other times of the year, it might be quite cold, especially at night. Please consider the season and research the weather conditions to determine the best time to travel for you. Remember to come prepared with adequate clothing.
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There are currently no scheduled departures on our San Francisco to New York trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.
1. This trip finishes on arrival into New York in the afternoon on day 22.