Explore some of America’s most iconic cities on this 14-day adventure

Brush up on your music knowledge, practice your ‘yeehaws’ and your ‘howdys’ and bring your taste for adventure (and citrus) as we travel from New York City to Miami, via the south. Explore the birthplace of rock and roll in Memphis, wander past historic monuments in the nation’s capital, and wake up in the Appalachian Mountains after an evening camping under the stars. Spend some time soaking up the country music history of Nashville – where everyone’s got a song to sing – and take it easy in the Big Easy, aka New Orleans. No need to practice your Southern drawl; the correct way to pronounce the city’s name is New Or-linz, not N’awlins. Watch the ocean flash by as you drive the endless highway to Key West and seek out a six-toed cat before you dance the night away in Miami.


Start
Newark, United States
Finish
Miami, United States
Country
United States
Style
Basix
Theme
Explorer
Code
SSREC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 13

Why we love this trip

  • Enjoy a full day to explore Washington DC. There's lots to see and do in the US capital, and most of it is free. Visit the White House, Capitol Hill and the National Mall, and feel small next to the statue of Abraham Lincoln

  • The cities of 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 musical venues

  • Summon your inner child in Orlando with a visit to Universal Studios or Disney World

  • The tropical island of Key West may be known for its idyllic snorkelling and diving spots, but its also home to the delicious key lime pie. You'll have enough free time to search out the best pie in town, even if every shop in the Keys claims to sell the original recipe

  • Throw yourself into Miami's world famous nightlife. The city's Cuban population, beachside setting and balmy nights set a sultry scene

  • Soak up the sun on Panama City Beach and paddle in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. If you’re looking for space to spread out, there’s 27 miles of white sandy beach along which to do it

Is this trip right for you?

  • This is a participatory trip. That’s a fancy way of saying you’re not just along for the ride – you’re part of a team! You know the phrase ‘the more you put in, the more you get out’. Well that’s extra true on this trip. Be prepared to roll up your sleeves and help out with camp activities like food prep and washing up. It’s all about giving your new travel mates a hand – everyone knows there’s nothing worse than trying to put up a tent on your own!

  • That teamwork also extends to our optional food kitty of approximately US$10 per day, run to cover the cost of meals. This kitty saves you worrying about stuff like where to get food or what exactly sales tax is, and actually helps keep your costs down. Instead of paying individually as you go, it means we can bulk purchase items and cook our own food – though there’s always the chance to use it for the occasional pizza night! The kitty is optional and for your convenience, so if you've got specific dietary requirements you can opt out and purchase (and cook) your own food.

  • The United States is a world of endless possibilities – that’s why our Basix trips are designed so they fit together as (not quite endless) combinations. That means while you might just be starting your trip, some of your new travel mates may have been travelling together for a week or more (and so have some great tips for you). You can see how our trips fit together and all the different possible combinations at www.intrepidtravel.com/brochures. Simply click view/download on the North America brochure and look at the combo map on page 12.

  • On this trip you'll be spending a fair amount of time in a van with other travellers, so conditions may feel a little cramped. This is all part of the adventure, however, and you might even make some long-term friends.

  • Travel times between some destinations can be long and tiring, taking between five and seven hours in some instances. The journey through the Appalachian Mountains is particularly long, but the scenery is spectacular.

  • The weather in Key West can be extremely hot and humid, so it’s a good idea to bring sun protection and drink plenty of water.

  • As we’ll be travelling between multiple locations at a fairly quick pace, there won’t be too much time spent at Panama City Beach. While there will be some time to relax on the beach, you won’t get a full day here.

Itinerary

Welcome to the USA. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting in the hotel lobby at 6 pm. 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: urbanadventures.com.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today, drive south towards the nation's capital of Washington DC, stopping at Philadelphia on the way for a quick look at some of the highlights of the Old City, including the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and the 'Rocky' steps. After touring around Philly, continue onto DC. The total driving time from New York to Washington DC will take about seven hours.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Philadelphia - City highlights stop
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
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.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Washington DC - Arlington National Cemetery - Free
  • Washington DC - Bike and Roll Tour - USD45
  • Washington DC - International Spy Museum - USD21
  • Washington DC - National Air & Space Museum - Free
  • Washington DC - National Archives - Free
  • Washington DC - National Gallery of Art - Free
  • Washington DC - National Museum of American History - Free
  • Washington DC - National Museum of Crime and Punishment - Free
  • Washington DC - National Museum of Natural History - Free
  • Washington DC - Newseum - USD22
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Journey into the breathtaking scenery of the Blue Ridge Mountains, part of the Appalachian 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 eight hours including stops.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Shenandoah National Park
Optional Activities
  • Shenandoah National Park - Hiking - Free
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Drive for around six hours further south today to Nashville, Tennessee. Once settled into the campground 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.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Nashville - Country Music Hall of Fame - USD25
  • Nashville - Ryman Auditorium Tour - USD14
  • Nashville - Tennessee State Museum - Free
  • Nashville - Wildhorse Saloon - USD10
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Head west this morning to Memphis, which should take around four 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 W.C Handy, Howlin' Wolf 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.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Memphis - Graceland Museum - USD35
  • Memphis - Sun Studio - USD12
  • Memphis - Sun Studio tour - USD13
  • Memphis - National Civil Rights Museum - USD13
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today make the long drive across the state of Mississippi to New Orleans - the 'Big Easy' (approximately 6.5 hours). Founded by French traders in 1718, there are many layers of history in this city and its many attractions combine to make it one of the most visited cities in the USA – a trend that was momentarily halted by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Use your free time in the late afternoon/evening getting to know the city. 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.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today is a free day for you to explore New Orleans. There's a welcome meeting at 6 pm to introduce the second leg of your trip, so please make sure you attend this. Before the meeting, perhaps head out on one of the many optional activities in the city. If the weather is nice, venture out on a Mississippi Riverboat Cruise, comb the French Market among the shops and flea markets or take a walk around the Preservation Hall for a history in jazz. In the evening, try some of the Cajun style food and beignets that New Orleans is famous for.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • New Orleans - Presbytere - USD6
  • New Orleans - French Market - Free
  • New Orleans - Voodoo Museum - USD7
  • New Orleans - Cemetery Tour - USD25
  • New Orleans - Preservation Hall Jazz - USD15
  • New Orleans - Ursuline Convent Tours - USD5
  • New Orleans - Mississippi Riverboat Cruise - USD70
  • New Oleans - Cabildo - USD5
  • New Orleans - Bourbon Street - Free
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group may change at this location. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and you're welcome to attend, as this is a great chance to meet any new travellers that join the group.
It's quite a long drive today to Panama City Beach, which should take around six hours. Once there, the best way to recover is to flop on some of the 27 miles of white sand beach, or go for a dip in the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Panama City Beach is also renowned for its night clubs and parties, so if you have enough energy left at the end of the day you may choose to hit the town.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Leave Panama City Beach behind today for another long drive of around seven hours, as we head into the heart of Florida to Orlando. With its large Latino population, including many from Cuba, Orlando has an exciting and varied nightlife, as well as a plethora of shops and outlet malls. If there's time on arrival, you may like to go out and explore the town.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today is a free day to explore the amusement parks and attractions of Orlando. Most people opt for Walt Disney World or Universal Studios, but there are a host of other parks that might take your fancy. Islands of Adventure is one of the world's best theme parks and if the weather is nice, Orlando has a handful of water parks such as Wet'n Wild, Disney's Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. Each park is a full day's worth of action, so choose wisely.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Orlando - Walt Disney World Day Pass - USD110
  • Orlando - Walt Disney World Park Hopper - USD140
  • Orlando - Universal Studios - USD100
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Get comfortable today for a long drive to Key West, which can take up to eight hours. As Florida's southernmost point, you'll travel across the Oversees Highway to this little slice of American paradise. On arrival to the island city, use your free time in the evening to recharge after a long day's drive.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today is free to explore. Key West is a town that has long been a haven for artists. The local area is famous for its pastel houses and laid-back attitude, and this combines to give the whole area a bohemian and relaxed feel. With the tip of Key West sitting around 90 miles north of Cuba, the water is warm and perfect for snorkelling and swimming among the reefs.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Key West - Hemingway House - USD13
  • Key West - Sunset Sail - USD35
  • Key West - All Day Action Watersports Adventure - USD140
  • Key West - Glass-bottom boat tour - USD40
  • Key West - Snorkelling (half day) - USD49
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Drive back across the Overseas Highway this morning to Miami, which will take around four hours.

The trip finishes on arrival into Miami 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 8pm. 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 in town for the evening, get another fix of sandy beaches and glorious sunshine down at SoBe (South Beach), stroll the art deco seafront or pose with the beautiful people in ultra-cool nightspots. This is a great way to spend the last night of your trip.. If you do wish to spend extra time in Miami we'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Optional Activities
  • Miami - Venetian Pool - USD12
  • Miami - Miami Beach Botanical Garden - Free
  • Miami - Swimming at South Beach - Free
  • Miami - Vizcaya Museum & Gardens - USD15
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.

Meals

No meals are included on this tour

Transport

Private vehicle

Accommodation

Camping (with facilities) (10 nights), Hotel (3 nights)

Included activities

  • Philadelphia - City highlights stop
  • Shenandoah National Park

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. This trip finishes on arrival into Miami in the afternoon on day 14.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides 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.

Reviews

Our New York to Miami trips score an average of 4 out of 5 based on 2 reviews in the last year.

New York to Miami, September 2017

Julia Studer

New York to Miami, August 2017

Lauren Bell