It’s time to stop dreaming and start doing, so settle in and get comfortable - you’re about to cruise the famous Route 66 and experience some of the very best sights the USA has to offer! This epic two-week adventure will have you fully immersed in the varying subcultures across the States. From the neon lights of Las Vegas to the cowboys and BBQ joints of Texas and the soulful Jazz of New Orleans, this unforgettable trip will open your mind to the vastness of this great country, and leave your American wanderlust satiated!
It’s time for the adventure to begin! This morning you’ll meet your new travel companions at our accommodation, before we leave the city of La La Land behind and travel through the Mojave Desert, admiring the rugged dry landscape. After a stop in Barstow for lunch, we arrive in the City of Sin mid-afternoon. You’ll have some free time this afternoon to explore and later we’ll all get together for a drink and visit a couple of casinos. Later we’ll bask in the neon glow of the Strip, head to a buzzing rooftop bar and see where the night takes us!
Today is your free day to explore. Hit the Strip in the daylight and marvel at the famous hotels like The Bellagio, MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay, as well as the numerous attractions in between. For shopping visit the North Premium Outlets, and for museum fans the Mob Museum and the Neon Museum are must-sees! If you haven’t had In-N-Out Burger yet, today’s your chance, with a tonne of other restaurant options in the city to choose from. Tonight head back to the Strip to catch a show, eat dinner, or find a nightclub - the night is yours!
This morning we depart after breakfast towards the Wild West. We’ll jump on Route 66 and cruise on this famous highway for the rest of the day. Later we’ll have lunch in Kingman before an afternoon stop in Seligman. This legendary town will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time! We’ll arrive in Williams mid-afternoon and check in. This small town has more than six blocks of historic buildings and shops bursting with memorabilia.
Today we’ll be ticking off a major bucket list location - the Grand Canyon! We’ll depart early this morning for the full-day experience. After a short drive we’ll arrive at this jaw dropping site, and you’ll be glad you have the entire day to explore. There are optional scenic flights and helicopter rides available for those who want to see the canyon from the sky. For those staying on the ground, there are plenty of hikes and mind-blowing views, so get moving and make sure you capture the moment. In the evening we’ll meet back up and watch the sunset over one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
It’s an early start today as we depart towards Monument Valley. We’ll stop in Cameron, home to one of the few authentic Navajo Trading Posts remaining, then drive the popular main road where you’ll recognise sights from Forrest Gump, Back to the Future 3, Mission Impossible 2, The Lone Ranger and 2001: A Space Odyssey. It’s certainly a popular film location! This afternoon we’ll drive on to Durango, where we’ll arrive in the early evening. Durango is a former railway town that now attracts visitors due to its Old West feel. It’s got a wide array of outdoor activities, and it’s close to the “Four Corners”, where New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado meet. The evening is free for you to explore town, grab a bite to eat at a local restaurant and check out the bar scene.
Spend this morning however you like, in the adventure sport capital of Colorado! There are optional horseback riding or white water rafting trips for those who want to try something a little different. We’ll say farewell to Durango after lunch and drive to Santa Fe. On our arrival we’ll check into our accommodation and get comfortable, then enjoy some free time. One of the oldest sites in the United States, Santa Fe was settled by the Spanish in the 15th century. The look hasn’t changed much in parts of the old city either; the area features pueblo adobe architecture that dates back to the time when Navajo Native Americans co-existed in the city with the Spanish. Tonight you’re free to visit a quirky interactive art space, Meow Wolf, brought to you by Game of Thrones creator, George RR Martin.
This morning we have a couple of hours to explore Santa Fe, the oldest state capital in the USA, before we re-join the historic Route 66! We head for Santa Rosa, where you’ll spot plenty of vintage diners and motels. We’ll grab a photo at the half way point of Route 66 and this afternoon we’ll pass into Texas with a time zone change, as well as a distinct change in feel - everything is bigger here! We’ll make a stop at Cadillac Ranch, a quirky art installation serving as a tribute to the ‘Golden Age’ of American automobiles. After we get to our accommodation in Amarillo, we’ll make our way to the Big Texan Steak Ranch. Here you can take on the 72-ounce (2kg) Steak Challenge – if you finish it in under one hour, it’s free!
Today we make our way to Fort Worth, arriving mid-afternoon. After we check in, you have free time to explore! To step back in time, check out the Stockyards National Historic District. Cowboys strolling the streets, horse-and-cart rides, and a choice of BBQ joints make this the Texan experience many are looking for. The Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame is also worth seeing, and you can go shopping for some boots and a big hat at Wild Bills. This afternoon be sure to catch the cowhands drive a herd of Texas Longhorns down the main street. Tonight, we highly recommend hitting up Billy Bob's Texas - the World's Largest Honky-Tonk. This dancehall is outfitted with over 30 bar stations and can hold up to 6,000 people!
Rise and shine, today we’re off to Austin. Our first stop is in Waco, where Dr Pepper was first sold! We have an hour here, so you can check out the Dr Pepper Museum or wander the Magnolia Markets before we hop back on the coach. We’ll arrive in Austin around lunchtime and you’ll have some time to explore the boutique stores and eateries of South Congress Avenue. This is a perfect opportunity to pick up some Texan boots or a cowboy hat. After checking in it’s time to head out with your guide. Austin is known for its live music and quirky attractions, and has the perfect mix of innovation and old-school culture. We’ll hit up Rainey St where renovated houses have been converted into quirky bungalow bars. Here you’ll be able to get involved in the famous Austin food truck scene before an evening of bar hopping and dancing!
Today you have the whole day to explore Austin at your own pace. This is the fastest growing city in the U.S., so of course there’s plenty to see and do! The quirky city retains its “Keep Austin Weird” motto - a slogan adopted to represent the city’s ongoing support for local artists and businesses, however unique they may seem. Check out the attractions like graffiti parks, the Cathedral of Junk, Zilker Park, and the witness the bats coming out at sunset - the best place to see this is Congress Avenue Bridge. As the sun comes down, 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats come out! Once the sun sets, make sure you head to Sixth Street for a variety of live music acts that make this city famous.
It’s an earlier start today as we depart Austin towards Lafayette. Along the way we’ll stop at an alligator rescue centre where you’ll have the chance to hold a baby gator, and learn about the efforts to reintroduce them to the wild. We arrive at our destination of Lafayette, Louisiana this afternoon! You’ll have the option of joining a swamp tour before we head into town for dinner and some live music. This state is famous for its Cajun and Creole cuisine, and there’s a huge range of restaurants to choose from.
We leave Lafayette early this morning and drive to Avery Island Tabasco Factory. We will have an included tour to learn all about the home of Tabasco sauce! You can have lunch at their onsite restaurant and wander around the Jungle Gardens. We then drive to New Orleans, arriving mid-afternoon to explore. See the French quarter with its cobblestone streets and the historical Jackson Square at the centre. Lined with heritage houses and street performers, there are bars and restaurants spread throughout the area. Jazz music was born in the Big Easy and tonight your guide will take you to their favourite spot to experience some live music.
You have the day to wander New Orleans at your leisure, and it’s hard to go wrong! Why not grab a coffee from the famous Café du Monde, or get a fried chicken and waffle breakfast? Explore the flea markets on Magazine Street, or amble along the lakefront. For lunch we recommend Willie Mae’s Scotch House, which has been around for half a century, serving the best fried chicken in New Orleans and soul-food family style. Try the red beans and rice! Later on, head to Rev. Zombie’s Voodoo Shop to learn more about voodoo in New Orleans. Tonight you can head to Frenchman Street where the locals enjoy live music and casual eateries.
Unfortunately, the time has come to grab your bags, and bid farewell to your new travel buddies. We’re sure you’ve had an incredible time and made a lot of memories on this adventure of a lifetime. Have a final debrief on all the amazing experiences you’ve had over the past two weeks, and make sure you’ve got each other’s Facebooks and Instagrams before the tour wraps up after breakfast. We hope to see you again soon!
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Trip Name: Wild West & City Lights
Duration: 14 Days
From Price: $3,429
Supplier Tour ID: UT2/250995
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