From east to west, see the best of the United States

Travel from the glitz and glamour of New York City through the southern stylings of Nashville, Memphis and New Orleans. Then discover a chain of magnificent National Parks between New Mexico and California before finishing up among the free-thinkers of San Francisco. 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.

Start
New York, United States
Finish
San Francisco, United States
Countries
United States
Themes
Explorer
Code
SSRXC
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 13
Carbon offset
1 174kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • See why New York is nicknamed the 'city that never sleeps'
  • Take a history lesson while touring Washington, DC
  • Pay respects to the king of rock 'n' roll in Nashville
  • Sample Creole food in the French Quarter of New Orleans
  • Learn about the history of the Ancestral Pueblo people in Mese Verde National Park
  • Stare into the mouth of the Grand Canyon in Arizona
  • Roll the dice in Las vegas
  • Float down the Merced River in Yosemite National Park

Itinerary

See why the pulsing urban mass of New York has earned itself the moniker 'capital of the world'.
Roll into Philadelphia en route to the nation's capital. Perhaps discover the regal architecture of Washington, DC, including the White House and the Capitol Building, on a night bike ride through the city.
Escape the city grind and cross the jagged Appalachian Mountains, stopping at Shenandoah National Park and setting up camp in the heart of the great outdoors.
Keep cruisin' in the heart of Tennessee. Country music fans can't afford to miss Nashville's Country Music Hall of Fame – the home of Elvis's gold Cadillac. There may also be the chance to catch a show at the legendary Wildhorse Saloon.
Get into the groove of Memphis, the 'home of the blues'. Perhaps pass time by shuffling over to Graceland, chilling out to some Mississippi blues in a Beale Street bar or dropping by Sun Studios – the birthplace of rock n' roll.
Head south to New Orleans and get ready to boogie down in a town they call the 'Big Easy'. Get acquainted with an optional tour of the French Quarter, browse the local shops, taste a delicious po'boy and perhaps head out for a drink on the always memorable Bourbon Street.
Hit the road for Houston and perhaps jump straight into Southern culture with a chance to learn about Tabasco sauce on Avery Island.
Begin the day exploring the multi-cultural city of Houston before heading to San Antonio. Take a stroll along the energetic riverfront before visiting a true American icon, the one and only Alamo.
On the surface, the desert of New Mexico can look like a pretty barren place. But beneath the surface of Carlsbad Caverns National Park it's a completely different story. With over 118 known tunnels, the caves are also home to a huge colony of bats that make a spectacular exit each night come sunset.
Welcome to a place that the locals call 'city different', where New Mexico's artists and culture-buffs flourish under the hot desert sun and year-round blue skies. Spend plenty of time strolling the numerous markets and take some time out to visit some of the weird, wonderful and just downright bizarre museums and art installations.
Get a sense of the incredible human history of North America in Mese Verde National Park. The former home to the Ancestral Pueblo people, the park's 600 cliff dwellings offer a great opportunity to learn about this ancient culture.
If Monument Valley seems a little familiar, that's because this American icon has made its fair share of appearances on the silver screen – appearing in everything from old Westerns to Sci Fi.
Swap one monumental wonder for another by journeying into Arizona to marvel at the mighty Grand Canyon. After getting your bearings, perhaps embark on an energetic hike among the canyon walls or take an optional scenic helicopter flight.
Welcome to Vegas – a hedonistic, hell-raising, party town. Perhaps arrive early and get a few hangovers under the belt before you hit the road, or simply enjoy this crazy place at a pace that suits you.
Brave the scolding desert heat of Death Valley and, after sweating it out a little, come to terms with one of the United States' most unique ecosystems. If the conditions are favourable, take a small walk onto the sand to see how life manages to survive among the inhospitable terrain.
It might be a little tough to pronounce at first, but Yosemite is arguably the United States' premier national park. From the giant granite domes to the gushing waterfalls that feed the stunning forests and lakes below, Yosemite will take your breath away at every turn. Enjoy free time in the park to tackle some of the hiking trails, hire bikes or just bliss out at the tranquil surrounds of Mirror Lake.
Be romanced by the incredible Bay Area, including its crown jewel – the progressive and popular city of San Francisco. Time-permitting, consider sticking around for a few days after the trip's end to check out some of this great city's other attractions.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
n/a
Transport
Private vehicle
Accommodation
Camping (with facilities) (16 nights), Hostel (3 nights), Hotel (3 nights)
Included activities
  • Carlsbad Caverns National Park
  • Death Valley National Park
  • Grand Canyon National Park
  • Mesa Verde National Park
  • Monument Valley National Tribal Park
  • Shenandoah National Park
  • Yosemite National Park

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Trip notes

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