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

Cut through the heart of the gigantic United States and hit the open road between two of its most iconic cities – New York and New Orleans. 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 York, United States
New Orleans, United States
United States
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 13
Carbon offset
408kg pp per trip


  • Delve into the chaos of New York City
  • Get lost among Washington DC's many monuments
  • Camp in the Appalachian Mountains
  • Visit Nashville, the home of country music
  • Listen to the blues in Memphis
  • Sample Creole cuisine in New Orleans


This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2015 to 31 December 2015. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2016 - 31 December 2016

Welcome to New York, USA. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. Please ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details, food kitty and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. If you arrive a couple of days earlier to see the sights (recommended), we'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). Consider doing a one-day sightseeing tour of New York by visiting:
Today, drive south towards the nation's capital of Washington DC, stopping at Philadelphia on the way (approximately six hours). With its tourist-friendly local environment landmarked by historical monuments and cultural centers, visitors to Philly can virtually tour the city on foot for miles. After some time wandering around Philly, continue onto DC. Your day is free to explore this compact city, before meeting up with your guide in the evening for the Monuments by Night Urban Adventure. Climb aboard an open-air electric vehicle for a tour around some of the city's most iconic sights. Cruise by the Washington Monument and the Lincoln, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Jefferson Memorials, which all look spectacular when they’re lit up at night. You'll be on your own tomorrow, so if you want any recommendations about what to see and do in town, now's a good time to ask your guide.
Today is free to explore Washington DC on your own. Perhaps head to the White House, take a tour of the National Museum of Natural History or stroll through the manicured park of the National Mall. Discover the cobbled streets, harbour or university in the historical district of Georgetown. In the evening, perhaps try some authentic American food at one of the many grill joints in town.
Journey into the breathtaking scenery of the Appalachian Mountains, also called the Blue Ridge Mountains (500 km). Shenandoah National Park is one of the highest and most scenic portions of the Appalachian Mountains. 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. Total driving today will take around five and a half hours.
Drive for around six hours further south today to Nashville, Tennessee. Once settled into the campgrounds perhaps visit the Country Music Hall of Fame, which contains the golden Cadillac that once belonged to Elvis. Another point of interest is Music Row, where more than 50 recording studios and approximately 200 music publishing houses are located. The Wildhorse Saloon is a great spot in the evening to experience authentic southern food and live music.
Head west this morning to Memphis, which should take around three and a half hours. Just out of the city you can visit Graceland, Elvis Presley's former home and the site of his tomb. Here you can see the famous jungle room, as well as his cars, private planes and much more. In the evening, consider heading down to check out Beale Street's traditional blues clubs, made famous by legends such as Louis Armstrong, Muddy Waters and B.B. King. For those with an interest in history, there's the National Civil Rights Museum (at the former Lorraine Motel) where Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. If you have time, a must-see in Memphis is Sun Studio - the 'Birthplace of Rock'. It boasts the first recordings of legendary performers like Elvis, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis.
Today make the long drive across the state of Mississippi to New Orleans (the 'Big Easy'), which usually takes around six and a half hours. After checking in to your hotel in the French Quarter, use your free time getting to know the ‘Big Easy’. An eclectic mix of European, Creole and Cajun culture manifests in the city's architecture, cuisine and music scene. Possibly take a walk down rowdy Bourbon Street or through the former plantation area of the Garden District. Perhaps join the rest of the group tonight for a typical Cajun-style dinner and toast to your adventure.
After breakfast today, your 'Big Apple to Big Easy' adventure comes to an end. There are no activities planned for the final day and you're able to depart the accommodation at any time. As there's a great deal to do in New Orleans, we recommend staying a few extra days to make the most of this exciting city. If you need help booking extra accommodation, our reservations team will be happy to assist (subject to availability).
View trip notes to read full itinerary


Private vehicle
Camping (with facilities) (5 nights), Hotel (2 nights)
Included activities
  • Shenandoah National Park


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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 Apple to Big Easy trips score an average of 4.74 out of 5 based on 85 reviews in the last year.

Big Apple to Big Easy , September 2015

Big Apple to Big Easy , September 2015