Visit Washington DC, Nashville and Memphis before travelling to New York

Cut through the heart of the gigantic United States and hit the open road between two of its most iconic cities – New Orleans and New York. Snaking through the jaw-dropping Appalachian Mountains, via the nation's capital, this route encompasses everything from pioneer and political history to the musical legacies of Nashville and Memphis. Featuring a mix of camping and hotel accommodation, plenty of walking tours and more than a few museums, this overland odyssey has something for everyone, so jump aboard and get ready to explore one of the most fascinating nations on earth.

New Orleans, United States
Newark, United States
United States
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 Max 13
Carbon offset
408kg pp per trip


  • Embark on a road trip through one of the most colourful, musical and hospitable parts of the US, cross stunning natural landscape, and end in ‘The Capital of the World’. 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 music venues
  • With so much to see and do, the flexibility of this trip allows you to do what you want, when you want, without the restrictions of an overly packed itinerary
  • Washington DC was built with the blocks of American history. See its famous monuments and memorials lit up in lights, then by day discover the White House, Capitol Hill and the National Mall, and feel small next to the statue of Abraham Lincoln
  • Round off this trip in the perfect place – the Big Apple. Grab your new friends and get a slice of New York pizza, head to a Broadway show, or explore some of the city's famous landmarks and nightlife


Welcome to the USA! Start things off in the Big Easy – mixing European, Creole and Cajun culture, the city revels in the vibrant diversity of its food, music and architecture. Your adventure begins with a Welcome Meeting at 6pm – double check with reception to confirm the time and place. There are no activities planned today so you can arrive at anytime before then. If you can't arrange a flight that arrives on time, you may wish to arrive a day early – we’ll happily book you additional accommodation (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. As there’s so much to do in New Orleans we recommend arriving a few days early anyway! We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at the meeting, so please ensure you have these on hand. Perhaps join the rest of the group tonight for a typical Cajun-style dinner to kick off your adventure.
Head north today and get into the groove of Memphis, the 'home of the blues' (approximately 6.5 hours). Memphis is a paradise for music lovers – feel the blues at live music venues on Beale Street, made famous by legends such as Louis Armstrong, Muddy Waters and B.B. King; visit the cradle of rock n’ roll – Sun Studios – which boasts the first recordings of legendary performers like Elvis, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis; or shimmy out to the pilgrimage site of Graceland, the place where Elvis left the building. The King’s former home and the site of his tomb, you can tour the mansion, including the famous Jungle Room, and also see Elvis' cars and private planes. For a different type of history you can visit the National Civil Rights Museum at the former Lorraine Motel, where Martin Luther King, Jr was assassinated on April 4, 1968. For something completely different, there's the Peabody Hotel’s ‘march of the ducks’. These ducks live in the hotel and perform daily marches from their rooftop palace to the lobby fountain and the reverse at 11am and 5pm.
From the home of blues to the land of country, break out the cowboy hat and boots as you head east to Nashville, Tennessee (approximately 4 hours). Outside of its music credentials, Nashville is also the capital of Tennessee and the state's second largest city after Memphis. Situated on the banks of the Cumberland River, it was established as a major river port by settlers in 1779. Once settled into the campgrounds, use your free time to explore. Country music is built into the foundation of the city, so maybe take a stroll through history at the Country Music Hall of Fame, which contains the golden Cadillac that once belonged to Elvis. Music fans should also make their way to the Grand Ole Opry concert hall and to Music Row, where more than 50 recording studios and around 200 music publishing houses are located. You could also take a walk around the pristine gardens of Centennial Park, or possibly tour Belle Meade Plantation (additional cost). In the evening, the Wildhorse Saloon is a great spot to experience authentic southern food and live music. Or maybe you could catch a show at the legendary Bluebird Cafe or ‘honky-tonk’ between the city’s great selection of bars.
Escape the city, cross into the state of Virginia and traverse the jagged Appalachian Mountains, aka the Blue Ridge Mountains (approximately 6 hours). Shenandoah National Park is one of the highest and most scenic portions of the Appalachian Mountains, one of the most beautiful and iconic parts of the American landscape, with an abundance of flora and fauna peppering the steep slopes. Dating back over 400 million years, the mountain range is home to wildlife, lush forest, scenic peaks, waterfalls and shallow rivers. Taking the Skyline Drive along the crest of the mountains, travel through deep woods and past spectacular vistas. Stop to stretch your legs under the impressive oak trees and admire the gorgeous views. Later in the afternoon, drive to your campsite for the night. You’ll camp here in the heart of the great outdoors for one night en route to Washington DC.
From the heart of nature, head into the heart of politics – Washington DC (approximately 5 hours). You’ll arrive in the capital city of the USA around mid-afternoon. After settling in, take a wander through the manicured park of the National Mall. Discover the cobbled streets, harbour or university in the historical district of Georgetown, and then experience its energetic nightlife, trying some authentic American food at one of the many grill joints. Don't worry about not having too much time to explore today, as you'll have a full free day here.
Today is a free to explore Washington DC, with the city being easily discovered on foot. To see as much as you can today, it may be an idea to get a map and make a plan. Choose from any of DC’s almost 100 world-class museums – the National Air and Space Museum, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the National Museum of Natural History, and the Newseum are just a few. There are also many other small fascinating museums hidden around the city. The city is overflowing with iconic monuments and buildings, so don’t miss the White House, Capitol Building, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, MLK Monument, FDR and Jefferson Memorials. You’ll most likely do a lot of walking today, so maybe reward yourself with a relaxing evening.
Leave Washington DC behind this morning, drive along the Delaware River and pass through the ‘City of Brotherly Love’ en route to New York (approximately 5 hours). Philadelphia is the birthplace of America and the perfect place to brush up on your history. It was here that Thomas Jefferson signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776, and where the United States Constitution was signed 11 years later. You'll have time to see a couple of the highlights of the city’s clustered cultural centre before continuing onto New York.

The trip finishes on arrival into New York and no accommodation is provided tonight. The arrival time depends on each group, but if you decide to fly out on this day, please don't book a flight before 9pm. This will give you enough time to catch a shuttle from the hotel to the airport and be there two hours before departure.

If you are staying on, perhaps see the lights of Times Square, or head out for a slice of New York style pizza. As there's a great deal to do in New York City, staying a few extra days to make the most of this exciting city is recommended. If you need help booking extra accommodation (subject to availability), our reservations team will be happy to assist you. You could also consider doing one of our one-day Urban Adventure sightseeing tours of New York. For more information, visit
View trip notes to read full itinerary


Private vehicle
Camping (with facilities) (5 nights), Hotel (1 night)
Included activities
  • Washington DC city tour
  • Philadelphia city highlights stop


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Important notes

1. This trip finishes on arrival into New York in the afternoon on day 7.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

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Our Big Easy to Big Apple trips score an average of 5 out of 5 based on 8 reviews in the last year.

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