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Grand Southern

(Start Los Angeles - From Feb 2021)

4.6
190 reviews
See full itinerary

The one that’s the ultimate American road trip, including the Grand Canyon, Vegas, Miami & New Orleans

Travel Style

Discoverer

Take your time and explore in-detail each destination on this trip. Find out more

  • Duration

    21 days

  • Places

    13 places

  • Meals

    18 Breakfasts, 7 Dinners

  • Transport Style

    Coach

  • Group Size

    Maximum 54 people

  • Team

    Expert Trip Manager and Driver team

Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Durango, Santa Fe, Amarillo, Dallas/Fort Worth, Memphis, New Orleans, Panama City Beach, Orlando, Miami, Monument Valley

Grand Southern (Start Los Angeles - From Feb 2021)

21 Inclusions

Experiences that are included with your trip

  • See Beverly Hills
  • See Mann's Chinese Theatre, Walk of Fame and drive along the famous Sunset Strip
  • Visit Santa Monica & Venice Beach
  • Evening tour of the famous Vegas 'Strip'
  • Visit Fremont Street for the light-and-laser show
  • See the Seven Magic Mountains
  • Stop for photos & souvenirs along Route 66
  • Entry into Grand Canyon National Park
  • Entry into Monument Valley Tribal Park
  • See the Painted Desert
  • Visit the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo
  • Visit Fort Worth Stockyards
  • Visit Beale Street, home of Blues music
  • Visit the Civil Rights Museum
  • Visit the legendary Sun Studios
  • Walking Tour of the French Quarter with tasting of pralines & beignets
  • Enjoy the nightlife of Bourbon Street
  • One-way transfers to the amusement parks
  • See the famous Art Deco architecture
  • Check out Wynwood Walls and Little Havana
  • Cuban dinner

28 Free Time Add-Ons

Optional experiences that you can choose from and pay for on your trip

  • Sip & Slide at OUE Skyspace
  • Food tour in downtown LA
  • VIP club entry
  • High Roller Anytime USD $32.00
  • Dig This Experience
  • Top Golf Experience
  • Sky Combat Ace Experience
  • Stratosphere Sky Jump
  • Grand Canyon Biking (seasonal) USD $45.00
  • Helicopter Flight - Grand Kingdom
  • Helicopter Flight - North Canyon USD $186.00
  • Horse Back Trail Ride (Seasonal) USD $89.00
  • Rafting (seasonal) USD $32.00
  • Jeep ride Seasonal
  • Snowmobiles - Single or Double Rider (seasonal) Single - USD $88.00, Double USD $101.00
  • Visit to Meow Wolf in Santa Fe
  • Hot Air Balloon in Amarillo
  • Cowboy Stadium Tour (including transportation) USD $35.00
  • Rock & Soul Museum USD $10.00
  • Visit Graceland
  • Taste of New Orleans USD $33.00
  • New Orleans School of Cooking Demo & dinner
  • Airboat Swamp Tour USD $60.00
  • Universal Studios USD $179.00
  • Thriller speed boat ride in Miami USD $33.00
  • Bike tour of South Beach USD $35.00
  • Learn how to salsa dance in Miami
  • Clear water kayaking

Where I'll Stay?

Learn more about the accommodation available on this trip

  • 20 nights

    All accommodation is included on this trip

    19 nights in Hotel, 1 night in Lodge

About this trip

Travel through the USA doesn't get any grander than this. This sprawling adventure takes you from the glitz of Vegas through the gob-smacking Grand Canyon, the smooth jazz and intoxicating charm of New Orleans to the sun-soaked party scene of Miami. Welcome to the Great American Road Trip - the open road has never felt so good.

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Map & Itinerary

  • Start location
  • End location
  • Trip day
  • Via location
  • River route
  • Plane route

Nights spent per location

  1. 2 2 nights

    Los Angeles

  2. 2 2 nights

    Las Vegas

  3. 2 2 nights

    Grand Canyon

  4. via via

    Monument Valley

  5. 1 1 night

    Durango

  6. 1 1 night

    Santa Fe

  7. 1 1 night

    Amarillo

  8. 2 2 nights

    Dallas/Fort Worth

  9. 2 2 nights

    Memphis

  10. 2 2 nights

    New Orleans

  11. 1 1 night

    Panama City Beach

  12. 2 2 nights

    Orlando

  13. 2 2 nights

    Miami

+3 more

DAY 1 - Arrive Los Angeles

Los Angeles

Get into the city that mixes up glamour, grit and the American Dream: Los Angeles. It’s packed with legends, full of energy and there are loads of things to do. Head to mythical Hollywood and walk across the holy ground for stars. Check out the Kodak Theatre, where the Oscars are held every year and Mann's Chinese Theatre, where so many greats have pressed their hands into the cement. Cruise down the hottest shopping street in LA, Melrose Avenue, and one of the best areas for nightlife, the Strip (Sunset Boulevard), with its billboards, clubs and eateries, before getting a glimpse at one of the world’s wealthiest suburbs in Beverly Hills. A little further west discover Santa Monica, LA’s oldest beach resort. Known for its liberal vibes, art galleries and wide sand beaches, Santa Monica is all about the California coast lifestyle. See the famous pier, which serves as a permanent amusement park, complete with a solar powered Ferris wheel. Maybe later travel out to LA’s quirkiest suburb where anything goes: Venice Beach. A favourite hang out spot for locals, colourful Venice Beach attracts all sorts of people. Get a feel for street life when you hit the buzzing broadwalk, where performers, tattoo artists, hair braiders, musicians and roller bladders gather. Make sure you check out the markets and stalls, as well as the greased-up body builders pumping iron at the famous open air gym, Muscle Beach. Later head out and hit the town's hottest bars and clubs.

Stay

Kawada Hotel

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • See Beverly Hills

  • See Mann's Chinese Theatre, Walk of Fame and drive along the famous Sunset Strip

  • Visit Santa Monica & Venice Beach

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Sip and Slide at OUE Skyspace

DAY 2 - Los Angeles

Los Angeles

The day is yours to explore the City of Angels. Opt to visit Universal Studios or Disneyland or check out LA Live entertainment venue.  The shopping goes off, so look for deals in the garment district. Visit the Grammy Museum and for the foodies among us there's a downtown LA food tour to taste all of the wonders of the multicultural food Mecca.

Stay

Kawada Hotel

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Food tour in downtown LA

DAY 3 - Los Angeles to Las Vegas

Los Angeles

We'll kick things off today in the famed City of Angels, where we'll set off through the Mojave Desert, marvelling at the majestic Joshua Trees, before reaching the one and only Las Vegas.

Las Vegas

On arrival we'll cruise the iconic strip & check out the Vegas sign. Tonight, choose to hang out around Fremont Street or opt for a VIP nightclub experience for the kind of glitzy night out that only Vegas can provide.

Stay

Rio Hotel & Suites

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Evening tour of the famous Vegas 'Strip'

  • Visit Fremont Street for the light-and-laser show

  • See the Seven Magic Mountains

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • VIP club entry

DAY 4 - Las Vegas

Las Vegas

You're in Vegas, baby! And the city's weird & wonderful charm isn't going to uncover itself. Experience the grandeur of the city's opulent casinos before joining our famed party bus. As we cruise down the strip and dance the night away, this is the perfect way to bond with your Contiki family, Vegas style.

Stay

Rio Hotel & Suites

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • High Roller Anytime

    USD $32.00

  • Dig This Experience

  • Top Golf Experience

  • Sky Combat Ace Experience

  • Stratosphere Sky Jump

DAY 5 - Las Vegas to The Grand Canyon

Las Vegas

Today we'll leave the glittering lights of Vegas behind for something even more jaw-dropping.

Grand Canyon

Cruising the historic route 66, we'll stop for some photo ops before reaching the Grand Canyon National Park (entrance included, naturally).

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Stop for photos & souvenirs along Route 66

  • Entry into Grand Canyon National Park

DAY 6 - Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

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 image with plaster a wide grin on your face for years to come. 

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Grand Canyon Biking (seasonal)

    USD $45.00

  • Helicopter Flight - Grand Kingdom

  • Helicopter Flight - North Canyon

    USD $186.00

DAY 7 - Grand Canyon to Durango via Monument Valley

Grand Canyon

With the beauty of the Grand Canyon imprinted on our brains forever, we'll journey past some Wild Western landscapes towards...

Monument Valley

...this monumental place has an iconic cluster of sandstone buttes, and we'll get a chance to visit the Monument Valley Tribal park as we wind our way through the Rocky Mountains.

Durango

We've arrived in our home for the evening, Colorado's adventure capital: Durango

Stay

Days Inn

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Entry into Monument Valley Tribal Park

  • See the Painted Desert

DAY 8 - Durango to Santa Fe

Durango

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.

Santa Fe

Boasting influences from Mexico, Spain, and Native American cultures, historic Santa Fe is a true melting pot of 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.

Stay

The Lodge at Santa Fe

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Horse Back Trail Ride (Seasonal)

    USD $89.00

  • Rafting (seasonal)

    USD $32.00

  • Jeep ride (Seasonal)

  • Snowmobiles - Single or Double Rider (seasonal)

    Single - USD $88.00, Double USD $101.00

  • Visit to Meow Wolf in Santa Fe

DAY 9 - Santa Fe to Amarillo

Santa Fe

Rise and shine! Does anyone know the way to Amarillo? We're headed to this larger than life city this morning.

Amarillo

In true Americana Style, we'll visit Cadillac Ranch, a unique art exhibit celebrating the golden age of Cadillacs. Our accommodation tonight even has a Texas shaped pool and a hotel for your horse if you thought to bring it along. Tonight, try your hat at the "Big Texan Steak Challenge" for a true man vs food moment. Eternal glory awaits anyone who can finish this Texas sized meal in one hour or less.

Stay

The Big Texan

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Visit the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Hot Air Balloon in Amarillo

DAY 10 - Amarillo to Fort Worth

Amarillo

We'll say farewell to Amarillo and sweet Marie today as we head towards a Texan icon.

Dallas/Fort Worth

Here in the land of leather boots & Cadillacs, you'll soon learn that ‘bigger is better' is a way of life. An overnight stay in the cowboy town of Fort Worth will give you the full Texan experience.

Stay

Sheraton Fort Worth

DAY 11 - Dallas/Fort Worth

Dallas/Fort Worth

Today we'll dive deep into the Texan way of life. We'll see a cattle drive, visit the Dealey Plaza and have options to tour the iconic home of the Dallas Cowboys or see the 6th floor museum.

Stay

Sheraton Fort Worth

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Visit Fort Worth Stockyards

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Cowboy Stadium Tour (including transportation)

    USD $35.00

DAY 12 - Fort Worth to Memphis

Dallas/Fort Worth

Swinging past Little Rock High School, a historic site of the Civil Rights movement, we'll head to a place with a big rock heritage.

Memphis

We'll get a city orientation of musical Memphis this afternoon, with a whole day of sightseeing awaiting us tomorrow.

Stay

Crowne Plaza Memphis

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Visit Beale Street, home of Blues music

  • Visit the Civil Rights Museum

DAY 13 - Memphis

Memphis

Today's the day to get into the history of music your way. We'll start with a visit to Sun Studios where Elvis recorded his very first song. Want more? Why not check out Graceland, the home of the King, or the Rock and Soul Museum.

Stay

Crowne Plaza Memphis

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Visit the Legendary Sun Studios

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Rock & Soul Museum

    USD $10.00

  • Visit Graceland

DAY 14 - Memphis to New Orleans

Memphis

We'll say farewell to Memphis today as we head to somewhere with a meaty musical heritage of its own.

New Orleans

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. This evening, why not opt for a Taste of New Orleans dinner, to taste all the melting pot of flavours this fascinating place has to offer?

Stay

La Quinta

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Walking Tour of the French Quarter with tasting of pralines & beignets

  • Enjoy the nightlife of Bourbon Street

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Taste of New Orleans

    USD $33.00

DAY 15 - New Orleans

New Orleans

Now that you know New Orleans like one of the locals, it's your day to do your own thing. Stroll down Frenchmen street for the sounds of jazz and funk, head to the vast grassy oasis of the city park or check out the New Orleans museum of art for an extensive collection of gorgeous French masterpieces. Our recommendation? Head to the New Orleans school of Cooking for some classic gumbo, or experience your own Airboat adventure.

Stay

La Quinta

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • New Orleans School of Cooking Demo & dinner

  • Airboat Swamp Tour

    USD $60.00

DAY 16 - New Orleans to Panama City Beach

New Orleans

Leaving New Orleans won't be easy, but knowing we're bound for one of the “world's most beautiful beaches” helps.

Panama City Beach

There's only one way to test the rumours, so we'll take a dip in the crystal clear waters and kick back on the pure white sands of Panama City Beach.

DAY 17 - Panama City Beach to Orlando

Panama City Beach

Tear yourself away from the beach, there are exciting times ahead!

Orlando

We arrive in Orlando today with a trip to Universal Studios on the cards. We hope you budgeted for butterbeer.

Stay

Baymont Hotel

DAY 18 - Orlando

Orlando

Today is your opportunity to visit the epic Universal Studios, where you can visit Diagon Alley, splash around in the vast water park or visit the islands of adventure. There's something for everyone in this dizzying spectacle of rides, film and entertainment.

Stay

Baymont Hotel

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • One-way transfers to the amusement parks

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Universal Studios

    USD $179.00

DAY 19 - Orlando to Miami

Orlando

We'll venture south to glamorous Miami today.

Miami

A little mouthwatering Cuban cuisine will get us in the mood with a delicious regional group deal setting the scene for two full days of art deco & celeb-spotting in this tropical paradise.  For anyone looking for an adrenaline rush, the option is there for a Thriller Speedboat across the bay.

Stay

Washington Park Hotel

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • See the famous Art Deco architecture

  • Check out Wynwood Walls and Little Havana

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Thriller speed boat ride in Miami

    USD $33.00

DAY 20 - Miami

Miami

It's time for some magical Miami sightseeing today. We'll head downtown, hit the Bayside Marketplace, Wynwood Walls and of course the South Beach. Options for a bike down the beach or a Party Boat adventure are on the cards for anyone who wants to party in the city where the heat is on.

Stay

Washington Park Hotel

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Cuban dinner

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Bike tour of South Beach

    USD $35.00

  • Learn how to salsa dance in Miami

  • Clear water kayaking

DAY 21 - Depart Miami

Miami

Time to say goodbye to your crew. It's been a blast, but all good things must come to an end. With our sun-kissed skin and eyes on the next horizon, it's time to plan our next Contiki. Peru, anyone?

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Frequently Asked Questions

Questions group

What health and hygiene protocols are in place on trip?

The health and wellbeing of everyone who travels with Contiki has been, and always will be, our top priority. That’s why we’ve rigorously evaluated our experiences, training and protocols to make sure we not only meet our travellers wellbeing expectations, but exceed them in every single way. We sought guidance from the World Health Organisation and government agencies, and, as members of the World Travel and Tourism Council, we’ve been involved in defining global protocols. Due to our diligent work during this time, we’ve been awarded the WTTC safe travels stamp - meaning we’re a business which has adopted global, standardised health and hygiene protocols. You can find details about how we’re prioritising your wellbeing when you travel with us here.

What documents do I need to travel?

Depending on your nationality, you may require visas to enter the USA and Canada on your trip. You are fully responsible for obtaining all necessary visas prior to the departure of your trip. You can find more info at https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov. Contiki is not legally permitted to knowingly allow anybody who does not have a valid visa to join a trip. Visa and other entry & exit conditions (such as currency, arrival/departure taxes, customs and quarantine regulations) do change regularly.

Your passport must have at least six months’ validity remaining when you arrive. Local immigration authorities may deny entry and deport people who do not meet this requirement, even if they only intend to stay for a short period. Important to consider:

• Visas can take up to six weeks and a fee is normally charged
• Failure to obtain all necessary visas could cause you to miss part of
your trip and will result in you incurring considerable expense and
inconvenience
• It is better for you to apply for all visas before you leave home
• It is essential that the entry and exit dates are correct on the visa

What are the luggage restrictions?

On our American trips you can bring one bag or suitcase of 73 x 50 x 25 cm (or 29” x 20” x 10”), with a max weight of 20 kg (44 lbs) & one piece of hand luggage.

What do the Contiki team do?

People are at the heart of everything we do, and our team is what makes our trips the best. Our worldwide On-Road Team, locally based staff & network of Local Guides are all extensively trained & widely travelled, & are the best in the business. But we know it’s not just about training, it’s about passion & our team have it in their blood. Their passion for getting you in the know on every single detail of America is what makes our travellers walk away from their experience knowing that they made every moment count. Your Trip Manager is like your walking, talking guidebook – just for you. They plan your itinerary every day, organise your food and accomodation and book your Free Time Add ons, and because they know everything about where you’re going, you will too. Your Drivers are the experts on getting you from A to B efficiently and safely in North America. They know their way around like the back of their hands & they’ll drop you at your door & unload your bags for you. Local guides provide specialist knowledge when you need it and will always help you avoid the tourist traps.

What's not included that I should budget for?

Aside from essentials like flights, how much spending money you’ll need will depend on the duration of the trip and how much you anticipate spending on personal expenses like alcohol or shopping. Before you travel, it’s also a good idea to read up on and get an idea of the Free Time Add-Ons you think you’ll want to do on trip, as these will form part of your overall budget. We’d advise doing some research on your chosen destinations beforehand, looking at things like:
 
- Cost of a local lunch
 
- Cost of a local dinner
 
- Cost of a bottle of water
 
- Cost of entry to a sightseeing spot
 
Tipping is customary in North America. It is an accepted practice in all areas of the service industry, & particularly in restaurants, bars, hotels & taxis. It’s common practice to tip if you feel that the service provided has been excellent.
The same goes for your Contiki Team. If you feel that your Trip Manager & Driver’s service has been exceptional, then feel free to tip them if you feel they’ve done a great job. If you choose to tip, we recommend around US$3 per person per day, however whether or not you choose to tip (& how much) is up to you.

Will I be able to access WiFi on my trip?

We love WiFi, and keeping your accounts updated as you travel is key! The hotels all have WiFi where you can access your email to let your friends & family know you have arrived safely in Los Angeles, or email after your trip with all your stories.

What are Contiki’s sustainability credentials?

We believe that travelling sustainably and consciously, matters. Contiki Cares is our commitment to protecting the communities we visit, the wildlife we interact with, and the planet we all share. Our founding partner, the TreadRight Foundation was established 10 years ago as a not-for-profit organisation focused on promoting sustainable tourism within The Travel Corporation’s family of brands. In the USA & Canada we have programmes such as our Wheels For Change program, FareStart’s flagship restaurant in Seattle, and the Manitobah Mukluks Storyboot in Toronto. To find out more about our conscious travel experiences in North America, visit Contiki.com/about/contikicares.