Journey across America, from New York to Nashville, New Orleans and San Francisco
Travel east to west to discover the best of America. Learn about the nation’s rich history in Washington DC, head into the heart of cowboy country in Houston, Texas, and soak up some southern hospitality in New Orleans over a big bowl of gumbo. Indulge your love of music (and fried foods) in Memphis, then get out into the great outdoors - from the towering redwoods and soaring granite formations of Yosemite to the red-hued rocks and the desolate salt flats of Death Valley. Head underground to explore the labyrinthine chambers of Carlsbad Cavern and try your luck on the casino floor in Vegas. What makes this one of the best countries in the world? Come and see for yourself.
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North to south and coast to coast, this action-packed adventure plays out like a greatest-hits mixtape of classic Americana – all killer, no filler.
See it all, from the high-rises of New York, through to the musical mayhem of Nashville and westwards to the Golden Gate Bridge.
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
Towering granite cliffs, cascading waterfalls, redwood forests and epic night skies - Yosemite National Park feels like utopia. While other tour groups breeze through in a day, you'll spend two nights in the park, allowing for a full day of hiking and exploring
For many, Death Valley conjures up images of a flat and barren wasteland. Be surprised by the park's ethereal landscapes of sand dunes, water-sculpted canyons, extinct volcanic craters and, in the spring, fields of wildflowers
The iconic sandstone formations of Monument Valley have played backdrop to many a cowboy western. Learn about Navajo culture and history during a jeep tour of the park, before spending a unique night in a traditional hogan hut
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.
Death Valley in the summer is extremely hot and dry. It does hold the record as the hottest place on earth after all. Hiking at this time of year isn't recommended. Sometimes in mid-summer we may be unable to visit the Valley itself if we feel that the heat presents a safety risk.
Traffic in and out of the cities of New York City and Washington DC can be hectic, especially during the holiday period. There may be delays, so be prepared to take part in car games to keep you entertained.
You'll be travelling in a van with a group of 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.
The USA is a big country. Distances between destinations may be longer than what you're used to, especially if you're coming from Europe. There are many long days of driving, so expect to spend a lot of time in the van.
Although our vans do have air conditioning, it has to work pretty hard to keep a full group cool. Expect to feel hot during summer and cold at other times of the year, especially at night. Please consider the season and research the weather conditions to determine the best time to travel for you. Remember to come prepared with adequate clothing.
From the steep hiking trails of the various national parks to the towering hills of San Francisco, this trip involves a lot of walking. Please ensure you bring sturdy walking shoes and comfortable clothes. To make the most of the trip, it's best if you have at least a moderate level of fitness.
This trip only allows for one night in Nashville and one night in Memphis. Although you'll get more or less a full day to explore these great cities, you might have to move quickly to see everything on your to-do list.
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There are currently no scheduled departures on our Best of America trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.
1. This trip finishes on arrival into San Francisco in the afternoon on day 22.
Our Best of America trips score an average of 4.85 out of 5 based on 27 reviews in the last year.
This is a great trip to explore a lot of places in the US. You will see a lot of great stuff on this trip, even during the long driving times in between. I can highly recommend doing this trip. The middle part has great views and a lot of stuff to do, don't skip it. As we had fellow travelers, not happy about the camping: This is a camping trip. That means: 1) You will sleep mostly in tents (that you pitch yourself) 2) All camping places have facilities to shower (some of them paid) 3) You will cook, clean up and load/unload the trailer almost daily and 4) Camp sites are usually out of town. All of this extra work is worth it.
Review submitted 08 Jul 2018
Great way to experience different parts and aspects of USA the guide takes away the organising so you can concentrate on the experience. It was action packed we were never bored. Travel companions were like minded and we all helped each other.
Review submitted 04 Jun 2018