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 colorful 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.

Start
New Orleans, United States
Finish
San Francisco, United States
Countries
United States
Themes
Explorer
Code
SSRWC
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 13
Carbon offset
1 094kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • 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

Itinerary

Take in the sights and sounds of a town they call 'The Big Easy'. Whether you're after history, word-class cuisine or a night on the town, this Southern city has it all.
Hit the road for Houston and jump straight into Southern culture with an optional swamp tour, and 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) (11 nights), Hostel (1 night), Hotel (3 nights)
Included activites
  • Carlsbad Caverns National Park
  • Grand Canyon National Park
  • Mesa Verde National Park
  • Yosemite National Park

Dates

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Important 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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