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Grand Southern

(Start Miami - From April 2021)

4.6
190 reviews
See full itinerary

The one that heads West via the soulful South, kicking off in Miami

Travel Style

Discoverer

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

  • Duration

    21 days

  • Places

    16 places

  • Meals

    17 Breakfasts, 6 Dinners

  • Transport Style

    Coach

  • Group Size

    Maximum 54 people

  • Team

    Expert Trip Manager, Driver and Local Guides

Miami, Orlando, Panama City Beach, New Orleans, Memphis, Dallas/Fort Worth, Amarillo, Santa Fe, Durango, Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Tallahassee, Monument Valley, Route 66, Mojave Desert

Grand Southern (Start Miami - From April 2021)

17 Inclusions

Experiences that are included with your trip

  • Cuban meal group dinner in Miami
  • See the famous Art Deco architecture
  • Check out Wynwood Walls and Little Havana
  • One-way transfers to the amusement parks
  • Walking Tour of the French Quarter with tasting of pralines & beignets
  • Enjoy the nightlife of Bourbon Street
  • Visit the legendary Sun Studios
  • Visit Little Rock High School Historic Site
  • Visit Little Rock High School Historic Site
  • Visit Fort Worth Stockyards
  • Visit the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo
  • Entry into Monument Valley Tribal Park
  • See the Painted Desert
  • Visit Fremont Street for the light-and-laser show
  • Evening tour of the famous Vegas 'Strip'
  • See the Seven Magic Mountains
  • See the famous Hollywood sign, Mann's Chinese Theatre & Hollywood's Walk of Fame

27 Free Time Add-Ons

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

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

Where I'll Stay?

Learn more about the accommodation available on this trip

  • 20 nights

    All accommodation is included on this trip

    20 nights in Hotel

About this trip

Travel through the USA doesn't get any grander than this. This sprawling adventure takes you from the sun-soaked city of Miami, through the smooth jazz and intoxicating charm of New Orleans, the gob-smacking Grand Canyon, and ends in the hotspot city of Los Angeles. 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

    Miami

  2. 2 2 nights

    Orlando

  3. via via

    Tallahassee

  4. 1 1 night

    Panama City Beach

  5. 2 2 nights

    New Orleans

  6. 2 2 nights

    Memphis

  7. 2 2 nights

    Dallas/Fort Worth

  8. 1 1 night

    Amarillo

  9. 1 1 night

    Santa Fe

  10. 1 1 night

    Durango

  11. via via

    Monument Valley

  12. 2 2 nights

    Grand Canyon

  13. via via

    Route 66

  14. 2 2 nights

    Las Vegas

  15. via via

    Mojave Desert

  16. 2 2 nights

    Los Angeles

+6 more

DAY 1 - Miami

Miami

Welcome to Miami, with its sprawling beaches, art-deco masterpieces, tropical charms and buzzing party scenes. We could take a thrilling boat ride today, or maybe learn to salsa? There's no better way to bond with your new crew.

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Cuban meal group dinner in Miami

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Thriller speed boat ride in Miami

    USD $33.00

  • Learn how to salsa dance in Miami

DAY 2 - Miami

Miami

The day is ours to explore sun-soaked Miami. For anyone looking for an adrenaline rush, the option is there for a Thriller Speedboat across the bay. Alternatively, 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 live out their Will Smith dreams circa 1998.

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • See the famous Art Deco architecture

  • Check out Wynwood Walls and Little Havana

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Bike tour of South Beach

    USD $35.00

  • Clear water kayaking

DAY 3 - Miami to Orlando

Miami

Another slightly cleaner type of fun awaits us today - Orlando, the home to more than a dozen theme parks and belly screams a-plenty. 

Orlando

Orlando was once a farming town but has since undergone a transformation into the most visited place in Florida. It is now home to the happiest place on earth, Disney World. Walt Disney’s imagination was instrumental in turning this place into the fun, fantasy and amusement-loving spot that it is today. Savvy shoppers, this place has many an outlet mall just waiting for you to flex your credit card in - think rock-bottom prices on Nike, Ray-Ban, Lululemon and more - so prepare to do some serious bank balance damage.

DAY 4 - 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.

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • One-way transfers to the amusement parks

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Universal Studios

    USD $179.00

DAY 5 - Orlando to Panama City Beach via Tallahassee

Orlando

You can leave your Mickey ears on, but we're on the move again today, this time westward. We'll be turning the clocks back an hour as we journey to Tallahassee, which means an extra hour in Florida's vibrant capital. 

Tallahassee

Panama City Beach

Tonight we'll settle in at one of "The World's Most Beautiful Beaches" - Panama City Beach, testing out the hype with a dip in the clear blue waters.

DAY 6 - Panama City Beach to New Orleans

Panama City Beach

Tear yourself away from the beach - a feast of music, food and culture awaits!

New Orleans

A melting pot of French & Caribbean infusions, New Orleans will steal our hearts as soon as we arrive. We'll kick off the festivities today with a swoon-worthy walking tour of the French quarter, jamming in Jackson Square before sampling beignets & marveling at Antebellum mansions, all to the sweet sounds of Southern jazz, of course.

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 7 - 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.

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • New Orleans School of Cooking Demo & dinner

  • Airboat Swamp Tour

    USD $60.00

DAY 8 - New Orleans to Memphis

New Orleans

Leaving New Orleans won't be easy, but we're heading to somewhere with an equally meaty musical heritage.

Memphis

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

DAY 9 - 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.

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Visit the Legendary Sun Studios

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Rock & Soul Museum

    USD $10.00

  • Visit Graceland

DAY 10 - Memphis to Dallas

Memphis

 Swinging past Little Rock High School, a historic site of the Civil RIghts movement, we'll head to Dallas.

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 ranch experience.

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Visit Little Rock High School Historic Site

  • Visit Little Rock High School Historic Site

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.

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Visit Fort Worth Stockyards

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Cowboy Stadium Tour (including transportation)

    USD $35.00

DAY 12 - Dallas to Amarillo

Dallas/Fort Worth

Is this the way to Amarillo? We'll visit the quirky Cadillac Ranch today before taking the Amarillo steak challenge, if you have the stomach for it.

Amarillo

DAY 13 - Amarillo to Santa Fe

Amarillo

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

Santa Fe

Santa Fe calls, a city rich with Native American and Hispanic influences. We'll have the chance for an epic hot air balloon ride and refuel with some enchiladas.

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Visit the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Visit to Meow Wolf in Santa Fe

DAY 14 - Santa Fe to Durango

Santa Fe

See ya, Santa Fe, we're headed to Durango.

Durango

Welcome to Colorado's adventure capital! This historic mining town is packed with gorgeous scenery, buzzing nightlife and excellent eateries.

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Hot air balloon in Santa Fe

  • Rafting (seasonal)

    USD $32.00

  • Horse Back Trail Ride (Seasonal)

    USD $89.00

  • Snowmobiles - Single or Double Rider (seasonal)

    Single - USD $88.00, Double USD $101.00

  • Jeep ride (Seasonal)

DAY 15 - Durango to the Grand Canyon Via Monument Valley

Durango

Bidding farewell to Durango, We'll journey past the ‘Wild West' landscapes to...

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.

Grand Canyon

Finally our journey takes us to showstopper: The Grand Canyon National Park (entrance included, naturally)

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Entry into Monument Valley Tribal Park

  • See the Painted Desert

DAY 16 - 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 17 - Grand Canyon to Las Vegas via Route 66

Grand Canyon

With the timeless beauty of the Grand Canyon imprinted in our brains forever, we'll swap hiking boots for dancing shoes as we pull up in Sin City via the historic Route 66.

Route 66

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.

Las Vegas

We've reached the one and only Sin City. Upon 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.

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

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

  • Evening tour of the famous Vegas 'Strip'

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • VIP club entry

DAY 18 - 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.

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • High Roller Anytime

    USD $32.00

  • Dig This Experience

  • Top Golf Experience

  • Sky Combat Ace Experience

  • Stratosphere Sky Jump

DAY 19 - Las Vegas to Los Angeles via Mojave Desert

Las Vegas

After partying it up in Las Vegas, we'll take the scenic route through the Mojave Desert, where you'll get acquainted with the famous Joshua trees.

Mojave Desert

Los Angeles

It's time to say our farewells and wrap up this epic adventure!

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • See the Seven Magic Mountains

  • See the famous Hollywood sign, Mann's Chinese Theatre & Hollywood's Walk of Fame

DAY 20 - 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.

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Food tour in downtown LA

DAY 21 - Depart Los Angeles

Los Angeles

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 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.