Best of America's Southwest Overview

Embark on a classic American road trip from New Orleans to San Francisco and visit Santa Fe and Yosemite.

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There is a later version of this trip also available for travel from Jan 1, 2015 to Dec 31, 2015. View later Best of America's Southwest.

Trip Validity

  • 2014-01-01 - 2014-12-31

Explore the USA from New Orleans to San Francisco

Set out eastbound across the USA's great southwest for a sampling of the classic American road trip. Journey from the vibrant jazz and colourful Creole scene of New Orleans through the deserts of New Mexico to the Carlsbad Caverns and Santa Fe's artsy hub. Learn about Anasazi Indian culture in Mesa Verde National Park, be dwarfed by the towering sandstone structures of Monument Valley, live it up in Las Vegas then wander through Death Valley and into the wilds of Yosemite. With a perfect blend of natural wonders and urban treasures, this is the perfect trip for understanding the diversities and contrasts that make up this larger-than-life nation.

  • Seek out New Orleans' world-renowned jazz clubs
  • Wander through history at Alamo
  • Soak up the eclectic atmosphere of Santa Fe
  • Learn about the history of the Anasazi Indians in Mese Verde National Park
  • Gaze out over the Grand Canyon
  • Explore the city sights of San Francisco

What's included in this trip

  • Start:

    New Orleans, United States
  • Finish:

    San Francisco, United States
  • Group size:

    Min 1 , Max 13
  • Ages:

    Min 15
  • Meals:

    No meals included
  • Accommodation:

    Camping (with facilities) (11 nts), Hostel (2 nts), Hotel (1 nt)
  • Transport:

    Private vehicle
  • Included activities:

    Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Death Valley National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, Mesa Verde National Park, Monument Valley National Tribal Park, Yosemite National Park

  • Carbon emissions offset:

    1094kg pp per trip
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About United States

Best of America's Southwest Summary

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Day 1 New Orleans

Take in the sights and sounds of a town they call 'The Big Easy'. Whether its intriguing history, hearty Creole cuisine or a night on the town you're after, this Southern city has it all.

Day 2 Houston

Make tracks for Houston and the hallmarks of Southern culture with an optional swamp tour or Tabasco sauce factory tour on Avery Island.

Day 3 San Antonio

Begin the day exploring the multi-cultural city of Houston before heading to San Antonio. Set out on a stroll along the delightful riverfront before visiting the 18th-century Spanish-Mexican fort, Alamo.

Day 4 Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Head underground to navigate the extensive tunnel network of the Carlsbad Caverns. Come sunset, watch as an immense colony of bats stream out - an impressive sight to behold.

Day 5 Santa Fe

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 browsing the numerous markets and take some time out to visit some of the city's weird, wonderful and just downright bizarre museums and art installations.

Day 6 Mesa Verde National Park

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.

Day 7 Monument Valley

Take in the iconic landscape of Monument Valley – a location which has served as the dramatic backdrop to countless movies over the years. Learn about Navajo culture and customs on a jeep guided tour with a Navajo guide.

Days 8-9 Grand Canyon

Swap one monumental wonder for another and journey 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.

Days 10-11 Las Vegas

Travel on to Las Vegas, and perhaps jump in a limo and head to one of The Strip's legendary party spots.

Day 12 Death Valley

Descend into the desert heat of Death Valley and, if the conditions are favourable, take a small walk onto the sand to see how life manages to survive in such extreme conditions.

Days 13-14 Yosemite National Park

From giant granite peaks to gushing waterfalls to dense redwood forests, Yosemite National Park is a joy to explore. Set out for a hike along any number of nature trails, pop into the park's museum or just float down tranquil Mirror Lake.

Days 15-16 San Francisco

Arrive in stunning San Francisco, finishing point of this fantastic American adventure. Perhaps gather the group and head out for a final dinner or a sunset sail beneath iconic Golden Gate Bridge – the perfect way to wind up this classic road trip.
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