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Grand Southern

(Start New York City - Apr 2020 - Feb 2021)

4.6
190 reviews
See full itinerary

The one that gives you sizzling BBQ’s, quaint city squares & the sweet sounds of southern jazz

Travel Style

Discoverer

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

  • Duration

    26 days

  • Places

    24 places

  • Meals

    17 Breakfasts, 9 Dinners

  • Transport Style

    Coach

  • Group Size

    Average 45 people

  • Team

    Expert Trip Manager, Driver and Local Guides

New York City, Washington DC, Richmond, Asheville, Savannah, St Augustine, Miami, Orlando, Panama City Beach, New Orleans, Memphis, Dallas/Fort Worth, Amarillo, Albuquerque, Durango, Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Tallahassee, Santa Fe, Monument Valley, Route 66, Mojave Desert

Grand Southern (Start New York City - Apr 2020 - Feb 2021)

21 Inclusions

Experiences that are included with your trip

  • Asheville Food Tour
  • Guided walking tour of charming Savannah
  • Cuban meal group dinner in Miami
  • See the famous Art Deco architecture
  • 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 the John F. Kennedy 6th Floor Museum
  • Visit Dealey Plaza
  • See a Cattle Drive
  • Drive through the Rocky Mountains
  • Entry into Monument Valley Tribal Park
  • See the Painted Desert
  • Sunset along on the Grand Canyon's rim (Seasonal)
  • 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

26 Free Time Add-Ons

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

  • Segway city tour
  • See the Biltmore Estate
  • Thriller speed boat ride in Miami USD $33.00
  • Miami Party Cruise USD $60.00
  • Bike tour of South Beach USD $35.00
  • Universal Studios USD $179.00
  • Taste of New Orleans USD $33.00
  • New Orleans School of Cooking USD $35.00
  • Airboat Swamp Tour USD $60.00
  • Rock & Soul Museum USD $10.00
  • Visit Graceland
  • Cowboy Stadium Tour (including transportation) USD $35.00
  • Hot Air Balloon USD$195.00
  • 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

Where I'll Stay?

Learn more about the accommodation available on this trip

  • 25 nights

    All accommodation is included on this trip

    25 nights in Hotel

About this trip

Travel through the USA doesn't get any grander than this. This sprawling adventure takes you from the grandeur of NYC through DC, the quaint mountain beauty of Asheville, the sun-soaked party scene of Miami, the smooth jazz of New Orleans and the gob-smacking Grand Canyon, before winding up in the glitz and glamour of Vegas. Welcome to the Great American Road Trip - the open road has never felt so good.

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    For a limited time, reserve your space now with a deposit of only $99, pay the rest 45 days before departure

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Map & Itinerary

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

Nights spent per location

  1. New York City

  2. via via

    Philadelphia

  3. 2 2 nights

    Washington DC

  4. 1 1 night

    Richmond

  5. 2 2 nights

    Asheville

  6. 1 1 night

    Savannah

  7. 1 1 night

    St Augustine

  8. 2 2 nights

    Miami

  9. 2 2 nights

    Orlando

  10. via via

    Tallahassee

  11. 1 1 night

    Panama City Beach

  12. 2 2 nights

    New Orleans

  13. 2 2 nights

    Memphis

  14. 2 2 nights

    Dallas/Fort Worth

  15. 1 1 night

    Amarillo

  16. via via

    Santa Fe

  17. 1 1 night

    Albuquerque

  18. 1 1 night

    Durango

  19. via via

    Monument Valley

  20. 2 2 nights

    Grand Canyon

  21. via via

    Route 66

  22. 2 2 nights

    Las Vegas

  23. via via

    Mojave Desert

  24. Los Angeles

+14 more

DAY 1 - New York City to Washington DC via Philadelphia

New York City

Welcome to The Big Apple! Here in stylish New York, we'll do our meet 'n greets before heading to the Nation's capital.

Philadelphia

We couldn't swing by Philly without stopping for some quintessential cheesesteak sandwiches on the way.

Washington DC

Take it all in as we touch down in the beating heart of this great nation. Jam-packed with museums & monuments, we'll all but conquer the endless galleries, tasty eats & historical sites in this amazing city.

DAY 2 - Washington DC

Washington DC

Today we'll get stuck into DC, visiting the world famous Smithsonian museums and soaking up a fascinating all-American story.

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Segway city tour

DAY 3 - Washington DC to Richmond

Washington DC

Leaving DC behind, we're off to Richmond, aka RVA.

Richmond

Capital of the commonwealth of Virginia & home to the iconic University of Virginia Richmond is one of America's quintessential college towns - all pretty brick row houses, a buzzing street art scene and nitro-fuelled nightlife. We'll spend the day sightseeing, checking out the State Capital, historic Monument Avenue and the Poe museum, before hitting the town if you feel like it.

DAY 4 - Richmond to Asheville

Richmond

Richmond, you've been good to us, but North Carolina beckons.

Asheville

We'll leave Richmond behind and head to the hip mountain town of Asheville, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Known for its vibrant arts scene, foodie culture and historic architecture we have two days to explore. Today we'll cruise through the Blue Ridge Mountains, check out the downtown, the Montford District and the Thomas Wolfe district and more.

DAY 5 - Asheville

Asheville

Today we'll take a delectable foodie tour of Asheville, home to a rich culinary scene and heaps of breweries. After that, the day is all yours to explore the beauty of Asheville. Opt for an Electric Bike Tour, hop aboard some segways or even a paddleboard down the French Broad River.

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Asheville Food Tour

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • See the Biltmore Estate

DAY 6 - Asheville to Savannah

Asheville

Leaving the mountains behind we venture to Savannah for a little Southern hospitality.

Savannah

Oak trees & tropical plants line the landscape here, as we head to the riverfront to enjoy the nightlife. We'll soak it all in, including River Street and the City Market.

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Guided walking tour of charming Savannah

DAY 7 - Savannah to St Augustine

Savannah

See ya Savannah! St Augustine beckons.

St Augustine

Welcome to the quaint beaches & quiet allure of America's oldest inhabited city. As romantic as it is charming, we'll head across the cobblestone streets of St Augustine to the Old Spanish Quarter, and visit the iconic Castillo de San Marcos, a 300 year old fortress.

DAY 8 - St Augustine to Miami

St Augustine

Today we leave the quiet charm of St Augustine behind and head to the glitz and glamour of Miami.

Miami

A little mouthwatering Cuban cuisine will get us in the mood with a delicious regional group meal 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.

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Cuban meal group dinner in Miami

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Thriller speed boat ride in Miami

    USD $33.00

DAY 9 - 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.

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • See the famous Art Deco architecture

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Miami Party Cruise

    USD $60.00

  • Bike tour of South Beach

    USD $35.00

DAY 10 - 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 11 - Orlando

Orlando

How you spend today is entirely up to you. Will you be downing butterbeer in the Three Broomsticks at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter? Straining your vocal chords on slides with gradients that shouldn't be legal at a water park? Or cuddling up to childhood friends like Minnie and Mickey at one of Disney World's four parks? Whatever your choice, it's sure to be a ripper of a day, and seeing as most parks also offer themed bars and clubs, it techically doesn't have to end.

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Transfers to the amusement parks

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Universal Studios

    USD $179.00

DAY 12 - 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 13 - 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 14 - 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 French street to 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 a demonstration and sampling of some classic Creole gumbo, or zoom around the bayou and spot baby 'gators on your own Airboat swamp tour.

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • New Orleans School of Cooking

    USD $35.00

  • Airboat Swamp Tour

    USD $60.00

DAY 15 - 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 16 - 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 17 - 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 18 - Forth 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 the John F Kennedy 6th Floor Museum

  • Visit Dealey Plaza

  • See a Cattle Drive

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Cowboy Stadium Tour (including transportation)

    USD $35.00

DAY 19 - 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 20 - Amarillo to Albuquerque via 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.

Albuquerque

DAY 21 - Albuquerque to Durango

Albuquerque

See ya Albuquerque, it's time to head to the Durango.

Durango

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

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Drive through the Rocky Mountains

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Hot Air Balloon

    USD$195.00

  • 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 22 - 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 23 - Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

We're smack bang in the middle of one of the world's' most iconic natural wonders, and while watching the golden sunset reach along the canyon's iconic rim is standard, how you spend your time in this glorious place is completely up to you. Want to take a helicopter flight over the North Canyon or Imperial side? Or maybe you fancy some biking through the canyon for something a bit more hands on? How you opt to experience this gobsmacking canyon is up to you.

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Sunset along on the Grand Canyon's rim (Seasonal)

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Grand Canyon Biking (seasonal)

    USD $45.00

  • Helicopter Flight - Grand Kingdom

  • Helicopter Flight - North Canyon

    USD $186.00

DAY 24 - 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 25 - 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 26 - 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

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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.