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Southern Adventure

(Start New Orleans)

4.7
96 reviews
See full itinerary

The one that gives you the USA’s famous Southern highlights and BBQ aplenty

Travel Style

Discoverer

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

  • Duration

    13 days

  • Places

    16 places

  • Meals

    9 Breakfasts, 6 Dinners

  • Transport Style

    Coach

  • Group Size

    Average 45 people

  • Team

    Expert Trip Manager, Driver and Local Guides

New Orleans, Memphis, Dallas/Fort Worth, Amarillo, Albuquerque, Durango, Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Jackson, Little Rock, Texarkana, Santa Fe, Monument Valley, Route 66, Mojave Desert

Southern Adventure (Start New Orleans)

14 Inclusions

Experiences that are included with your trip

  • Visit Beale Street, home of Blues music
  • Pay tribute to the 'King of Rock & Roll' at Elvis' home Graceland
  • Visit Beale Street, home of Blues music
  • Pay tribute to the 'King of Rock & Roll' at Elvis' home Graceland
  • Cross the Mississippi River
  • Visit Fort Worth Stockyards
  • Experience Big Texan culture & food.
  • Visit the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo
  • Visit Old Town Albuquerque
  • Drive through the Rocky Mountains
  • City sightseeing tour
  • Visit Fremont Street for the light-and-laser show
  • Cross the Mojave Desert
  • See the famous Joshua Trees

20 Free Time Add-Ons

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

  • School of Cooking USD $30.00
  • Taste of New Orleans USD $33.00
  • Visit the legendary Sun Studios USD $12.00
  • Rock & Soul Museum USD $10.00
  • Cowboy Stadium Tour (including transportation) USD $35.00
  • Hot Air Balloon USD$195.00
  • Horse Back Trail Ride (Seasonal) USD $89.00
  • Rafting (seasonal) USD $32.00
  • Snowmobiles - Single or Double Rider (seasonal) Single - USD $88.00, Double USD $101.00
  • Grand Canyon Biking (seasonal) USD $45.00
  • Canyon Jeep Riding (winter)
  • Helicopter Flight - Grand Kingdom
  • Helicopter Flight - North Canyon USD $186.00
  • Group Photo USD $15.00
  • 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

  • 12 nights

    All accommodation is included on this trip

    10 nights in Hotel, 2 nights in Lodge

    Hotels and lodges are the name of the game. Think warm, comfy beds and lively communal areas for you and your new travel buddies to socialise.

About this trip

Take a venture to the 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 New Orleans and ending in Los Angeles, with highlights like Memphis, the Grand Canyon & Texas in between.

Buy With Confidence

  • Only $99 deposit to book*

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

  • Pay over time, interest free

    Can't pay in full? We've got you covered with our Part Pay Program

  • No booking fee, no change fees

    Change your travel dates or even your trip for free

  • Financing available with UpLift

    Book now, pay later when you're eligible for Uplift

Map & Itinerary

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

Nights spent per location

  1. 1 1 night

    New Orleans

  2. via via

    Jackson

  3. 2 2 nights

    Memphis

  4. via via

    Little Rock

  5. via via

    Texarkana

  6. 2 2 nights

    Dallas/Fort Worth

  7. 1 1 night

    Amarillo

  8. via via

    Santa Fe

  9. 1 1 night

    Albuquerque

  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. Los Angeles

+6 more

DAY 1 - Arrive New Orleans

New Orleans

Welcome to the first day of what might just be the best 14 days of your life. It's time to fully immerse yourself in  New Orleans with a whole day to yourself. Start out at Cafe Du Monde for a tasty beignet, and pick up some treasures at the French Market. This diverse city has so much going on; visit the Garden District, spend a few hours in the soul kitchens and jazz clubs of the French Quarter or even hang out in Jackson Square with the musicians, artists and fortunetellers. There's a cooking school on offer for those keen to whip up some Gumbo, jambalaya and creole recipes. Back in the city, the Mardi Gras Museum could be on the cards, and may even convince you to come back another time to experience the real thing first hand.

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • School of Cooking

    USD $30.00

  • Taste of New Orleans

    USD $33.00

DAY 2 - New Orleans to Memphis via Jackson

New Orleans

You've let the good times roll (or “Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler”, as the motto goes). It's time to gather your party beads and empty your hurricane cups, because we're veering north today. 

Jackson

If Jackson was cool enough for Johnny Cash to sing about, then it's sure as hell cool enough for us. We'll drop in to see if we can pick up on some of that Delta blues inspiration before continuing on to Memphis.

Memphis

It's no wonder Memphis, Tennessee, pulls so many pilgrims - not only is it the home of blues, it's also the home of barbecued meat. Now that's a winning combo. Lose yourself to dance on a group night out on Beale Street,  where Blues music was first birthed among its juke joints and honky tonks.

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Visit Beale Street, home of Blues music

DAY 3 - Memphis

Memphis

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.

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Pay tribute to the 'King of Rock & Roll' at Elvis' home Graceland

  • Visit Beale Street, home of Blues music

  • Pay tribute to the 'King of Rock & Roll' at Elvis' home Graceland

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Visit the legendary Sun Studios

    USD $12.00

  • Rock & Soul Museum

    USD $10.00

DAY 4 - Memphis to Dallas via Little Rock and Taxarkana

Memphis

Make like a band and get the show back on the road. Today we'll cross the Mississippi River and head through the Deep South, arriving in the Lone Star state by nightfall.

Little Rock

We'll make a stop here to look around Little Rock Central High School, one of the founding places of 'desegregation' which brought black civil rights issues into peoples lounge rooms at a time when much of the world had no idea what was going down in America's South.

Texarkana

You may be looking at this name thinking what the...and you would be right. After a quick photo op at the border of Texas and Arkansas (aptly named Texarkana) and some lunch, it's back on the road to our next stop. 

Dallas/Fort Worth

We arrive in Fort Worth (think western style with modern vibes), ready to take on anything and everything Texan. Tummies will be rumbling, so we'll 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.

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Cross the Mississippi River

DAY 5 - Dallas/Fort Worth

Dallas/Fort Worth

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.

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Visit Fort Worth Stockyards

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Cowboy Stadium Tour (including transportation)

    USD $35.00

DAY 6 - Dallas to Amarillo

Dallas/Fort Worth

Today we cast the Dallas Cowboys and their cheerleading companions aside and make for the real cowboys of the Texas Panhandle.

Amarillo

Heading west we travel into the heart of cowboy country - yes this really is the way to Amarillo. This town may be little but it sure is mighty when it comes to country living. The old west accommodation even has a Texas shaped pool and a hotel for your horse, if you thought to bring it along. Tonight over dinner, you could try your hat at 'The Big Texan Steak Challenge' - a true Man Vs Food moment for those who have more metabolism than sense.

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Experience Big Texan culture & food.

DAY 7 - Amarillo to Albuquerque via Santa Fe

Amarillo

Leave the dusty plains of Texas behind in the rearview mirror, because we're en route to the mountains of New Mexico. We'll make a stop on the way out of town where it is strictly Americana with a Cadillac ranch full of unique art and a timeline of Cadillac models. Grab a can of spray paint and leave your mark on a Cadillac buried in the sand. 

Santa Fe

Albuquerque

As we pull into New Mexico's largest city sometime in the late afternoon, you'll instantly be hit with the Spanish vibes. Adobe buildings hundreds of years old line Old Town, and hip Nob Hill is peppered with shops, bars and restaurants. 

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Visit the Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo

  • Visit Old Town Albuquerque

DAY 8 - Albuquerque to Durango

Albuquerque

The only way to start your day in Alberquerque is bobbing through the sky in a hot-air balloon, getting snap-happy with the fiery desert vistas below. Quite literally, #nofilterneeded. That being said, a sleep in might be nice too - either way, we'll be on the road to Durango by late morning. 

Durango

The great outdoors is the 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. Durango literally means "water town", and considering the number of microbreweries it has, we might just ditch the water for something a bit stronger. 

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Drive through the Rocky Mountains

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Hot Air Balloon

    USD$195.00

  • Horse Back Trail Ride (Seasonal)

    USD $89.00

  • Rafting (seasonal)

    USD $32.00

  • Snowmobiles - Single or Double Rider (seasonal)

    Single - USD $88.00, Double USD $101.00

DAY 9 - Durango to Grand Canyon via Monument Valley

Durango

This morning we'll leave the Rocky Mountains behind with one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World in our sights.

Monument Valley

Grand Canyon

Nothing can prepare you for the impact of the Grand Canyon - it's a legit 'you had to be there' moment. We'll pull in late today, have a moreish group dinner and check into our lodge to get a good night's sleep before getting up close and personal with the canyon in the morning.

DAY 10 - 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 epitome of a #NOREGRETS moment for you and the squad. 

 

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Grand Canyon Biking (seasonal)

    USD $45.00

  • Canyon Jeep Riding (winter)

  • Helicopter Flight - Grand Kingdom

  • Helicopter Flight - North Canyon

    USD $186.00

DAY 11 - Grand Canyon to Las Vegas via Route 66

Grand Canyon

Immersing yourself in the purity of nature has been magical, but something a little more tainted is calling your name - that's right, we're Vegas bound baby!

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

Viva Las Vegas! And you certainly will live the life of Las Vegas on this extended stop in the place so aptly dubbed ‘Sin City’. A nighttime tour of the famous ‘Strip’, including  a stop for pics at the legendary Vegas sign will show you the after dark offerings of this absolutely outrageous city. Freemont Street is on tonight's agenda, where the main attraction is a super impressive light and laser show, then it's all about hitting the town, Vegas style. 

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • City sightseeing tour

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

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • Group Photo

    USD $15.00

  • VIP club entry

DAY 12 - Las Vegas

Las Vegas

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.

FREE TIME ADD-ONS

  • High Roller Anytime

    USD $32.00

  • Dig This Experience

  • Top Golf Experience

  • Sky Combat Ace Experience

  • Stratosphere Sky Jump

DAY 13 - Las Vegas to Los Angeles

Las Vegas

We are on the home stretch peeps. We’re leaving Las Vegas on a journey through the vast and dusty Mojave Desert and back into unmistakable scenery of Southern California.

Mojave Desert

Los Angeles

Can it be true - is it really over? We'll finish of this truly slife changing trip by book ending it back in Los Angeles where it’s time to say goodbye to you're new best friends (who won't be feeling so new by this point). 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, and we hope you leave with a brand new perspective on travel.

INCLUDED EXPERIENCES

  • Cross the Mojave Desert

  • See the famous Joshua Trees

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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.