Take a venture to the deep south where a distinctly different American culture will lure you in. Deserts and canyons will pleasure your eyes while cowboys and jazz bars will liven your nights. Kicking off in LA and ending in New Orleans, with highlights like Vegas, the Grand Canyon & Texas in between.
We'll get 15 of your meals and you get the rest. You can refuel over breakfast and grab some authentic American dinners from us but you'll also get an opportunity to sample some of this country's best gourmet fare.
Los Angeles to Las Vegas via Mojave Desert
Welcome the City of Angels and the start of your epic travel adventure. Your excitement will reach new heights as you meet your brand new Contiki Fam on our way to Las VegasThe first leg of the journey will take your group through Southern California and the vast Mojave Desert. Here, you will hear all about the iconic Joshua Trees, for which the National Park and a famous U2 album are named.Viva Las Vegas! You will certainly live the life of a high roller over the next few days in Sin City. We will head out on a nighttime tour of the famous strip so that you can get your bearing in this outrageous city. We will stop for pics at the legendary Vegas sign before heading to Fremont Street where the main attraction is a super impressive light and laser show, before hitting the town, Sin City style.
You have today all to yourself but you’ll need to run to a tight schedule to fit in all of Vegas' weird and wonderful charms. Travel the world in a day, taking in the famous Bellagio fountain, a Venetian gondola and even an Egyptian pyramid, all whilst staying firmly within the city. Feeling romantic? Stop by and see one of the many Elvis impersonators for a shotgun wedding ceremony, and maybe even get hitched yourself...(joking). Tonight live like a baller while you cruise along the 'Strip' in a party bus and don't stress, the bill is on us. Later, you’ll witness the 24-hour party scene first hand when you head out for a night with the crew.
Las Vegas to Grand Canyon
Today we are on the move through the desert of Nevada, heading into Arizona’s high country. You will have some down time on the coach, so kick-back, relax, and take in the surroundings as you watch the big ol' US of A fly by.Following the legendary Route 66, we stop off for a souvenir hunt in the old historical town of Seligman. You’ll be transported back to the 1940s while you stroll past the original facades of shops and motels.Prepare to have your mind blown as we continue on to the unforgettable landscape of the Grand Canyon. This location is one of the world’s most recognizable natural wonders and the pride of Arizona. We'll settle in for the night at our comfy Lodge in the heart of the National Park. Take a step outside and marvel at the endless starry skies. Tomorrow promises to be a day to remember.
You will be contemplating life, existence, and the immense size of the Grand Canyon with a free day to spend in Grand Canyon National Park. You can spend your day feeling a part of the wilderness as you go hiking through the exposed rock,but by far the most spine tingling experience at this natural wonder is one of our optional chopper rides through the UNESCO World Heritage site. Indulgent sure, but one of those life moments you deserve to treat yourself to. Tonight settle in to watch the sunset on the rim - the epitome of a #NOREGRETS moment for you and the squad.
Grand Canyon to Durango via Monument Valley
It is undoubtedly difficult to leave the Grand Canyon, but it is time to enter the Wild, Wild West! Onwards to Monument Valley! But first, one last stop for photos at the red rockin' canyon before it's time to hit the road.An iconic desert backdrop that has been home to countless movie sets, Monument Valley serves up mesas and stone spires as far as the eye can see. You'll recreate the world famous running scene from Forrest Gump, because Life is Like Box of Chocolates! You'll get to know the Native American history of the area as you learn about the Navajo way of life in the largest reservation in the United States. Later, we will head through a narrow gorge to the striped walls of the Painted Desert where you'll even see a rock shaped like a sombrero - hola!Next it's on to Colorado’s adventure capital, our home for the night. Set amidst a mountainous backdrop, Durango is a cute old mining town where the terrain is rugged, the trees are abundant and quaint gets a whole new meaning. This college town has young blood running through it's veins, so a great place to head out and explore when the sun goes down.
Durango to Albuquerque
The great outdoors is a way of life in Durango with adrenaline pumping river rafting on offer to you and your fellow thrill seekers. If you’d rather explore the region on horseback then pick your trusty steed and be on your way in true old school traveller style. This afternoon it’s a total change of scenery when we enter New Mexico, where sunbaked earthen brick buildings stand out against the bright blue sky.Albuquerque isn't just about Breaking Bad, it is also famous for its historic old town and beautiful mountain landscape. Albuquerque is also home to the world famous International Balloon Fiesta, where every October thousands of people take to the skies in true French tradition. Tomorrow morning, you will get your chance to fly high above the Rio Grande in a balloon ride of your very own.
Albuquerque to Amarillo via Santa Fe
Rise and shine with the larks for an experience to remember- an optional hot air balloon ride that will have you drifting over the mighty Rio Grande. Albuquerque is legendary for its perfect ballooning conditions so get out there and experience the incredible vistas from such great heights.Safely back on land, we will head towards the delightful melting pot of Santa Fe. America's oldest capital city boasts influences from Mexico, Spain, and American Indian cultures, a true melting pot of history, food, and culture! Take a walk around town to see interesting styles of architecture, shop for beautiful turquoise jewellery in the market and sample all of the different types of regional food on offer. This is one seriously tasty stop. Today we head east into the heart of cowboy country-yes, this really is the way to Amarillo. What this town lacks in size, they truly make up for in big country pride. In true Americana Style we will visit the Cadillac Ranch, a route 66 roadside art installation dedicated to the classic age of the American Cadillac. Our hotel tonight even has a Texas Shaped pool and a hotel for your horse if you thought to bring it along. Feeling like a champion? Try your hat at 'the Big Texan Steak Challenge'- a true Man vs Food experience where you will pit your metabolism against a Texas Sized Steak. Eternal glory waits for the 10% of challengers able to complete the meal in under an hour. Are you texan enough?
Amarillo to Dallas/Fort Worth
After sleeping off that gigantic Texan steak dinner it's time to head somewhere BIG, because everything is bigger in Texas.Today we arrive in Fort Worth, ready to take on anything and everything Texan. Still hungry after last night's feast? We've got you covered. Dive mouth first into an over-indulgent big BBQ feast of ribs, sausages, chicken and more - not for the faint hearted (veggies don't worry, you won't be going hungry). A night out with the locals will get you in the Texan spirit, before falling into a blissful sleep which will probably having you dreaming of BBQ.
Dallas is home to Oil Tycoons, rich ranchers, a thriving tech industry, and of course the Dallas Cowboys, also known as ''America's Team''.Feeling like an investigation? We include a visit to the 6th floor museum where you can learn more about the assassination of President John F Kennedy and try your hand at figuring out 'whodunnit.' Back in Fort Worth, enjoy lunch and sightseeing around Sundance Square, try a craft beer on the Ale Trail or pick up some genuine leather boots and hats at the world famous Justin's Boots. You will be looking good tonight as we head to the Fort Worth Stockyards, home of the cowboy hall of fame and the world's largest honkey tonk, Billy Bob.
Dallas to Memphis via Little Rock
We'll farewell Dallas as we head on to the border of Texas and Arkansas where you can literally be in two places at once. Stand with one cowboy boot planted in Texas and one in Arkansas when we visit the town of Texarkana (see what they did there). See Little Rock the capital of Arkansas, and the infamous Central High School, the scene of a major turning point of the Civil Rights movement before continuing on to MemphisThis afternoon we cross over the Mississippi River and pull in to the musical mecca and BBQ capital of Memphis. Memphis moves to its own rhythm; blues, soul and rock’n’roll to be exact. Get a feel for this historically musical place as we start out with a city tour. See the Lorraine Motel (now the Civil Rights Museum), where Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated back in 1968. See Mud Island, the Gibson guitar factory, the Orpheum Theatre, Rock’n’Soul Museum and the buzzing hub, Beale Street just to name a few. Get geared up tonight for a night to remember on world famous Beale Street.
Today we pay homage to Elvis, the late and great King of Rock’n’Roll. We'll visit and tour his former home, Graceland, where you will get up close and personal with his fabulously flamboyant jumpsuits and many gold records. The afternoon is then yours to do with Memphis what you will - we recommend a visit to the Sun Studios where many of the greats have recorded albums over the years.
Memphis to New Orleans
After feasting on BBQ delights and visiting Beale St in Memphis it's time to move it right along, heading to New Orleans via Jackson Mississippi.This city will romance you with its soul and have you swooning over its spiritual heart - the French Quarter. The main drag culminates at Jackson Square with the iconic wrought iron balconies lining the streets. You’ll be hard pressed to pick which you find more enchanting, the European/Caribbean fusion food or the non-stop jazz festival vibe. No matter which, tonight we turn up the volume and hit Bourbon Street to sample the live music and bar culture that New Orleans has to offer.
Depart New Orleans
It is true, it’s over. We finish of this truly spectacular trip this morning, where it’s time to say goodbye to your new friends. Many a teary hug will be had with the people you have made unforgettable memories with. What a truly once in a lifetime opportunity for adventure!