Best of USA (Start New York City)

Tour Length
14 days

Best of USA (Start New York City) » Review by Taylormac

  • Taylormac
  • Taylormac
  • Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 1 Country
Best of USA (Start New York City)

BEST OF USA (start NYC - sept 2012)

13 Sep 2012 - 26 Sep 2012

Well this tour rocked!!
I went by myself and within the first hour I felt like I had made some great friends.
My tour group was only 14 or 17 people plus our tour manager Hannah - so a very small group but still no big issues =]
So lets drop some dot points on some of the things I did on my tour - oh and do as many or as little of the optionals as you want - i ended up doing more of the optionals as I had first intended and I'm so glad i did!!

Day 1 of the tour in NYC!
we met in the lobby of our hotel which was the Sheraton Brooklyn (they had the most comfy beds) where we got to meet Hannah and the rest of the group. In this meeting we filled out forms and signed up for a couple optionals. We then headed out to our first group dinner which was included at a place called Tonic Bar in Times Square which was really good.

Day 2 - NYC
This day we started early for our New York City Tour - our tour guide for NYC's name was Matt, he was very funny and had some cool knowledge of the place.
During this tour we drove around Manhattan, the Trump buildings, 5th ave, Soho, Wall street, checked out the Rockefeller center and had lunch at the Grand Central Terminal. We then went to the 9/11 World Trade Center memorial which was pretty cool. Then a few of us had chosen a helicopter flight over NYC as an optional and we did that this after noon which was worth it as you get to see everything!! That night we had a group dinner at a place at grand central terminal called Naples 45 where we had awesome pizza!! after dinner we headed to the Empire State Building for a look at the city lights before heading out to a club/bar - i think it was called joshua's treehouse or something?

day 3 - NYC
Up early again to grab the ferry out to the statue of liberty. I could not believe how big she was!!!
After that we headed to a place near wall street to get discount broadway tickets and some lunch. Then we headed to central park where most of the group chose to do an optional bike ride... as pedal bikes arnt my thing i chose to walk around.. and did i do some walking!! i think youd need to be seriously fit to walk around that whole place! it is huge!
We then headed down to the warf on 42nd for our optional high speed boat ride on the hudson called "the beast." We then headed back to the hotel to get changed before heading back into manhattan to see a broadway show - we went and saw bring it on! which was pretty good! we then had a very late dinner at the hard rock cafe.

day 4 - NYC
Today we got a sleep in! 9am meet time down in the lobby to do our walk over the brooklyn bridge!
This was actually really good and its not too tiring or long! we met a fantastic artist on the bridge too. We then headed to times square to find out optional TV and movie tour... This drove around new york telling you where things had been shot etc... personally i found this Very Boring! it went for 3 hours and i probably wouldnt do it again.
During the TV and movie tour we did stop for a couple quick breaks though.
After this tour a few of us headed to bubba gumps for a cocktail before going on our next optional bus tour called "the ride." This bus tour was actually really fun and i would defiantly recommend it!! it involves street entertainers etc.
Some of the group then had dinner at applebees in times square before heading back to the hotel to pack for our early flight.

Early start - bags to coach at 630.
We got to the airport and flew southwest airways to vegas via st louis which was pretty good. the airlines were very nice and the staff were great!
once we got into vegas we headed straight to our hotel "Harrahs" which is right on the strip.
We checked out the forum shops in ceasars palace that was right across from our hotel. they were gorgeous.
We then got all dolled up and headed out to dinner before dinner we headed too the welcome to vegas sign for our group photo. Dinner was at a place called Bucca Di Beppo (i think thats what it was called) and they had a drink called "contiki punch" STAY AWAY FROM THE PUNCH!! its soo strong haha trust me, you cant drink heaps of them coz they will put you on your bum =]
After dinner we checked out the freamont experience which is really cool!! its a giant screen that spans a couple blocks and its really cool. a few of us got Giant cocktails. =]
After that we headed to our club for the night called Seville which was at luxor. It was small in there and people can smoke inside...

day 6 - vegas
this morning we got up early and got a coach to our optional helicopter ride over the grand canyon.. which was amazing, we also got to land in the canyon and have lunch!
After the helicopter ride a few of us went out the the premier factory outlets and spent the whole arvo shopping! most of us bought a second suitcase to put all our shopping in.
After our massive shopping spree we headed back to the hotel and got ready for dinner and our night out.
We had dinner at planet hollywood at a place called the cheeseburger factory! which was really yummy! we then went and saw the show V at the V theatre. That was very old school.
we then met up with another contiki group and got into a bunch of hummers, limos and party buses and headed on a drive around the strip before getting to our nightclub of the night - pure which was at ceasars palace.

day 7 - vegas
This day was a pretty free day for us to do whatever we wanted. alot of our group headed to hard rock to lay by the pool, others went shooting, some slept, some shopped. I watched the ballagio fountains and the pirate show at TI.
Later that night we met up with everyone and headed out on our last club night in vegas.. we went to an awesome bar called Ghost Bar which was at the palms and had a great view of the strip!

day 8 - Vegas to San Fransisco
up early to fly to san fran.. once we got into san fran we got on a coach and headed to fishermans warf for a quick look and to try the clam chouder.
We then headed to the goldern gate bridge. We then did a city tour before checking into the hotel. Our hotel was only a short walk to the westfield at market. This night we were meant to do a walking tour but some of us were a bit worse for ware so got public transport to our dinner which was chinese banquet style.

day 9 - san fran
Today was a free day. most of us went to Alcatraz! some people also went on a bike tour this day as well. which was soo good!
i also looked around pier 39 and fishermans warf and had a malt shake at johnny rockets! which was the best shake i have ever had. that arvo we had a cruize with another contiki tour. which was nice before heading to TAD's steak house for dinner. the meals were so big that we had heaps left over so we gave it to the homeless. We then checked out a secret password club =]

day 10 - san fran
this day was a free day to shop, go see the sights.. try get on a cable car.
this night we planned to go to a baseball game. unfortunately we were unable to get any tickets so we decided to head to a bar right near the stadium called lucky strike and we watched it on the big screen, ate some food then had a round of bowling.

day 11 - san fran to Los Angeles
up early for our flight to LA.
Once in LA we headed straight to Venice beach for a bit of a look around.. then we went too santa monica pier for lunch. Then we jumped back on the coach and did a city tour, Beverly hills, rodeo drive, Hollywood blvd etc which was cool. we stopped at the dolby theatre to take a photo of the hollywood sign before checking into our hotel which was the double tree hilton formally known as the kyoto grand. that night we had our dinner at a korean BBQ which was awesome and really yummy.

day 12 - LA
Today half of the group chose to head to Disneyland as part of their optionals but the other half of us chose to head to universal studios.. Universal studios was awesome! and so worth doing, just make sure your there early... do the movie tour then do the wet rides.. then everything else. that way you have time to dry off.

day 13 - LA
Today was the last day of our tour =[
We met up with Hannah in the morning to pay for our optionals before heading out on a walking tour of downtown LA where we were staying. (i think we did this walking tour on this day - i could be wrong) We then headed out to hollywood and i did a hop on hop off tour which was rather boring... But once i got back to the chinese theatre i had a look around there and the dolby theatre... then i headed back to the hotel to go to the grammy museum. It was soo awesome! Then that night we all met up again for one last meeting where Hannah said a few words about her time with us, we received our group photos and gave feedback..then we headed out on our hollywood club crawl.
every place we went was pretty good. we all danced and hugged and said our goodbyes and that was that! =[

Overall was awesome!!
and i miss the friends ive made!

Review written Dec 2012

My Contiki was: BEST OF USA, Awesome, FUN

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