Take an epic adventure to USA’s most quintessential highlights.

Cut through the heart of the United States between two of its most iconic cities – New York and Las Vegas. This epic 14-day whirlwind adventure gets you to all of the highlights without missing a beat. Snake through the Appalachian Mountains via the nation’s capital, hit the musical hubs of Nashville, Memphis and New Orleans, people watch on Santa Monica beach in LA, and take a classic road trip past the Grand Canyon and Joshua Tree to hit Vegas baby. For those who just want to hit the sights and leave the world in their dust, the New York to Vegas adventure is just the ticket.


Start
Newark, United States
Finish
Las Vegas, United States
Destination
United States
Style
Basix
Theme
Explorer
Code
SSRLC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 13

Why you'll love this trip

  • Enjoy a full day to explore the USA capital, Washington DC, at your leisure. See the White House, Capitol Hill and the National Mall, and feel small next to the statue of Abraham Lincoln.

  • The hubs of Nashville and Memphis are celebrated for their rich music and nightlife scenes, with unforgettable performances of blues, jazz, country and rock.

  • Lively New Orleans is a delight for the senses – grab a beignet and walk through French, Creole and American influences in the Big Easy's lively downtown.

  • Hike through other-worldly Joshua Tree National Park among the park's desert cactus gardens and unusual rock formations, before hitting the road to eclectic Seligman on Route 66.

  • Fly like an eagle and treat yourself to a scenic helicopter flight over the winding gorges of the Grand Canyon – an optional experience you’ll never forget.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Less time spent in a vehicle; more time to explore each destination. This trip has been carefully designed to give you the best experience of a region by reducing the number of one-night-only stops, giving you extra time in the places that matter.

  • This trip involves either a partial or full camping experience, giving you access to more remote destinations at close proximity, and the joy of camping under the night skies and beside a campfire. This is a participatory trip – a fancy way of saying you’re not just along for the ride, but you are part of a team! 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, and 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 USD $10 per day to cover the cost of meals. This means you don’t have to worry 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 or s’mores by the campfire! The kitty is optional and for your convenience, so if you've got specific dietary requirements you can opt out to purchase (and cook) your own food.

  • The USA is a big country. Travel times between some destinations can be long. You'll be spending a fair amount of time in a van with other travellers, so conditions may feel a little cramped. On one of the days of the trip, for example, the total driving time to and then through Joshua Tree National Park is about seven hours. This allows you to see some stunning scenery and is all part of the adventure - you might even make some long-term friends.

  • Traffic in and out of the cities can be hectic, especially during holiday periods. 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.

  • As this trip spends very little time in New York, we recommend you arrive a few days earlier before your trip begins if you want to experience all the city has to offer.

  • Washington DC is a city that's best explored on foot, which means a lot of walking. A moderate level of fitness will help, but there are also optional city bike tours available.

  • This trip only allows for one night in Nashville. Although you'll get more or less a full day to explore this great city, you might have to move quickly to see everything on your to-do list.

  • Temperatures in Grand Canyon National Park can be high, especially when hiking in the summer. Make sure that you wear sturdy walking shoes, use sun protection and drink plenty of water.

Itinerary

Welcome to the Big Apple. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting in the hotel lobby at 6 pm. New York is a huge metropolis and seeing as though you’ll start your adventure south tomorrow, we suggest that you arrive at least a couple of days early to experience some of what the city has to offer. There’s the manic buzz of Manhattan, the boroughs of the Bronx and Queens, the trendy Williamsburg and Greenwich Village and the seasonal splendour of Central Park. If you don’t have a lot of time spare, we recommend to stick mostly to Manhattan: catch a trip on the free Staten Island ferry past the Statue of Liberty, take the Subway from Wall St up to Central Park, and weave your way down 5th Avenue to Times Square, where you might catch a Broadway show. Better yet, consider doing an Urban Adventures sightseeing tour of New York like Midtown Sights & Bites Food Tour, which takes you past some iconic NYC landmarks and feeds you along the way. See urbanadventures.com/destination/new-york-tours for more information.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details, food kitty and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place. If you arrive a couple of days earlier to see the sights, we'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
You’ll drive south towards the nation's capital of Washington DC, stopping at Philadelphia on the way for a look at some of the highlights of its Old City, including the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and the Rocky steps. After taking a look around Philly, continue onto DC. The total travel time for the day is up to 7 hours, including the stops. Once arrived, your group leader will take you on an orientation walk around Washington DC to help you decide the best way to experience the city tonight, and for your free day tomorrow.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Philadelphia - City highlights stop
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today is free to explore Washington DC, a city best discovered on foot. To see as much as you can, it may be a good 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 United States 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 historic buildings, so be sure not 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 wear your walking shoes, and 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 Appalachian Mountains. Shenandoah National Park is one of the highest and most scenic portions of the Appalachians, and you’ll see all its beauty when taking Skyline Drive along its crest. Weave through the woods and past spectacular lookouts, and stop to stretch your legs under the impressive oak trees. Later in the afternoon, drive to your campsite for the night. The total driving today will be around 8 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 approximately 6 hours further south to Nashville, Tennessee. Once settled into the hostel, the group leader will orientate you with a short walk around Broadway and Downtown. After this, perhaps visit the Country Music Hall of Fame, which contains the golden Cadillac that once belonged to the King of Rock and Roll, 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
  • Hostel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Nashville - Country Music Hall of Fame - USD26
  • Nashville - Ryman Auditorium Tour - USD14
  • Nashville - Tennessee State Museum - Free
  • Nashville - Wildhorse Saloon cover charge & line dancing - USD10
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Head west this morning to Memphis, which should take approximately 4 hours. Your group leader will point you in the right direction around the central Beale Street to make sure you know the way around. There is a lot to do in Memphis, and that’s why you’ve got some time to explore some optional activities at your own pace. 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. If you have time, a must-see in Memphis is Sun Studio – the 'Birthplace of Rock', boasting the first recordings of legendary performers like Elvis, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis. For those with an interest in history, there's the National Civil Rights Museum where Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated. However, be sure to make room in your day to tuck into an included fried chicken and biscuits lunch at Gus's – it's world famous for a reason.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Memphis - World Famous Fried Chicken Lunch
Optional Activities
  • Memphis - Graceland Museum - USD35
  • Memphis - Sun Studio tour - USD14
  • Memphis - National Civil Rights Museum - USD16
Meals Included
  • Lunch
Wake up in Memphis and spend time exploring what you missed out on yesterday. Perhaps head to the Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, which tells the complete Memphis music story. For something a bit unusual and out of place, take a visit to the Peabody hotel and experience their famous Duck Parade, which happens every day at 11 am and 5 pm. 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.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Memphis - Peabody Hotel Duck March - Free
  • Memphis - Rock 'n' Soul Museum - USD11
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today, make the long 8-hour drive across the state of Mississippi to find yourself in a city known as the Big Easy, New Orleans. If there’s time, your group might like the chance to stop by Honey Island for a swamp tour down one of the least-altered river swamps in the country. It's pretty much in its original condition; almost an untouched wilderness. Otherwise, head straight to New Orleans and get acquainted with an orientation walk of the city. Perhaps take a walk down colourful Bourbon Street or through the former plantation area of the Garden District, and be sure to head with your group for an included po'boy dinner at Johnny’s. It's a quintessential New Orleans experience, and Johnny's po'boys is one of the best.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • New Orleans - Po'Boy dinner
Optional Activities
  • Honey Island Swamp Tour - USD25
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Today, you’ve got some time to kick back, relax and explore the Big Easy. As you’ll be heading off to continue your USA adventure in Los Angeles tomorrow, it might be time to say your goodbyes to some of your east coast crew that may not be making the cross-country flight. If you didn’t yesterday, why not book yourself in to a swamp tour, or hit up some of the malls around town.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Take a flight today from New Orleans and touch down in the City of Angels, Los Angeles. Tonight, gather together for another meeting, this time with a new group leader. There will be a meeting at 6 pm where you’ll welcome some new travellers on the next stage of your USA adventure. If you do arrive early, perhaps take a stroll down the Hollywood Walk of Fame, or spend some time learning about the lives of the rich and famous on a celebrity homes tour. After the welcome meeting, you’ll head beachside and visit Venice and Santa Monica beaches for a stroll and some people watching. Tonight is again all about introductions, so why not spend some time getting to know your fellow travellers with an optional group dinner.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Please note: your group will not be accompanied on your flight, but will be met in Los Angeles by a new tour leader. Your new tour leader will meet the group outside the baggage claim at LAX airport.

As this is a combination trip, the travellers in your group and your group leader are likely to change today. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary so please attend, and this is also a great chance to meet the new group. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.
Today, you’ll head away from the coast and drive to Joshua Tree National Park. Sitting between the Mojave and Colorado Deserts, the park is famous for its spectacular desert plants – including the park’s namesake Joshua trees – along with cacti and Mojave yuccas. The area is also home to striking rock formations and mountain ranges, so you might like to head out on a scenic hike around the park or take a refreshing dip in the Colorado River. You’ll head to Lake Havasu City later on to your accommodation for the night, and check out London Bridge: a 280-metre structure rebuilt in Arizona in 1971 after being transported, piece by piece, from the banks of the Thames in London.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Joshua Tree National Park - Entrance Fee
Optional Activities
  • Colorado River - Swimming - Free
  • Joshua Tree National Park - Hiking - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Drive for 6 hours to Grand Canyon National Park, along a section of the famous Route 66, stopping in at the eccentric town of Seligman. Once we arrive at the Grand Canyon National Park, be ready to visually delight in the natural beauty for hours. This stunning gorge is 1.5 kilometres deep, formed by over six million years of erosion from the Colorado River. You'll spend two nights here, and you’ll need it, to allow for a full day of exploration tomorrow.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Grand Canyon National Park - Entrance Fee
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today is a free day to explore the Grand Canyon, one of the largest canyon systems in the world. Stroll along the meandering South Rim Trail or hike your way down to Plateau Point. With eagles soaring overhead and chasms extending as far as the eye can see, it’s so important for you to experience its vast gorges from multiple viewpoints. If you're feeling adventurous, you can choose to take a scenic helicopter flight over the area (for an extra cost). In the early evening, relax at the canyon's edge and enjoy a spectacular sunset over one of the world's natural wonders.
Accommodation
  • Camping (with facilities) (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Grand Canyon - Helicopter flight (45 mins) - USD284
  • Grand Canyon - Hiking - Free
  • Grand Canyon - IMAX movie - USD10
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Head out of the Grand Canyon and cross the western deserts of Arizona to Las Vegas, which takes around four hours. Las Vegas may be the gambling capital of the world, but there's plenty to do if gambling isn't your thing. Hit the shops, feel your stomach drop on a rooftop roller coaster or simply stroll along the Strip, soaking up the glitz and gaudiness. As there is no accommodation organised for tonight, you are free to leave at any time upon arriving in Las Vegas. If you would like to spend some more time here, we'll be happy to organise additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Optional Activities
  • Las Vegas - Limo (per group) - USD300
  • Las Vegas - Big Apple Express roller coaster - USD15
  • Las Vegas - Helicopter Tour of The Strip - USD104
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.

Meals

3 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Transport

Private vehicle

Accommodation

Camping (with facilities) (7 nights), Hotel (4 nights), Hostel (2 nights)

Included activities

  • Philadelphia - City highlights stop
  • Shenandoah National Park
  • Memphis - World Famous Fried Chicken Lunch
  • New Orleans - Po'Boy dinner
  • Joshua Tree National Park - Entrance Fee
  • Grand Canyon National Park - Entrance Fee

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. PASSPORT DETAILS REQUIRED
Full passport details including date of birth are required at the time of booking in order to book included flight.
2. BAGGAGE
Please note that in North America, the cost of checked baggage usually is not included in the price of an airline ticket and is subject to additional payment at check-in. If you wish to check in luggage on the internal flights on this trip then you will need to pay for this on arrival at each airport. Each airline calculates fees differently, sometimes on the number of bags, sometimes by weight, however the fee is usually in the vicinity of US$25 per bag payable by credit card.
3. INCLUDED FLIGHT
Please note: your group will not be accompanied on your flight, but will be met in Los Angeles by a new tour leader. Your new tour leader will meet the group outside the baggage claim at LAX airport.

Essential trip information

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