You've seen it in the movies, now it's time to kick-start your epic cross country American road trip in the 'City of Angels'. Visit Hollywood Boulevard for a stroll down the Walk of Fame and grab that all important photo in front of the gigantic Hollywood sign. Things are about to get a whole lot hotter as you travel east to the desert city of Las Vegas and cruise down The Strip like a total legend in a party bus. With all this excitement you'll definitely be feeling hungry, so treat yourself to an all-you-can eat buffet! For your next course, you might like to take in a show, or just watch the amazing crowds and neon signs as the glitzy hotels try to outdo each other with spectacular attractions. And if that's not enough you can take a helicopter flight down The Strip. Don't forget, ??What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas'. We promise!
One visit to Zion National Park and you'll be left feeling super inspired! Zion is definitely one of the most stunning national parks in the USA. The Virgin River runs through the very heart of the park and an afternoon spent relaxing here and enjoying the views is an afternoon well spent, yes indeed! For the best views in the park hike to the famous Angels Landing which offers 360 degree views of the entire park. Trust us when we say the effort is definitely worth the awesome views as you reach the top! If you prefer to take the low road explore The Narrows with its soaring walls, sandstone grottos and natural springs. It truly is a unique experience with great views of Zion from the valley floor.
Wanna see some crazy rock formations? Well, you're in the right place! Bryce Canyon National Park is famed for its hoodoos - weird and wonderful tall rock spires shaped by the elements and arranged in rows. Native Americans believe these crazy shapes to be ??Legend People' who were turned to stone for their sins, but we'll let you decide. Start with epic views from the top of Bryce Canyon, then venture down into the canyon on the park's system of walking trails to encounter the kaleidoscope of colours up close.
The scenery just keeps getting better with an included stop at Antelope Canyon. Explore the incredible curved canyon walls and see shafts of light coming down through the rocks from the heavens. Antelope Canyon is one seriously incredible place. After all that exploring, there may be time to wash off the desert dust in the refreshing waters of Lake Powell. Straddling the border of Utah and Arizona, Lake Powell is a desert paradise with a long list of things to do.
Without a doubt one of the most beautiful viewpoints in the Southwest, Horseshoe Bend makes for an impressive stop. Next up, you'll witness the epic Grand Canyon, one of the ??Seven Wonders of the Natural World'. With two days to explore, you have plenty of time to hike the rim trails for those incredible views, looking down into the belly of the canyon. Or hike down into the canyon for a different perspective, and become one of only 5% of visitors to venture inside. If you want to get a little more extreme, opt for a helicopter flight over the Canyon for the ultimate bird's-eye view! Ready for the best bit? Waking up to the most stunning sunrise that nature can throw at you!
You're on the road again, and off to one of North America's most iconic landscapes, Monument Valley, used as the set for countless Western movies. It's the incredible Navajo people who really make Monument Valley the super special place it is today. Immerse yourself in their culture on an optional guided jeep tour of the Navajo Reservation and backroads. Marvel at the sight of towering buttes and mesas which dominate the awe-inspiring landscape during the day, and when the sun goes down, swap campfire stories under a blanket of stars. Now that's what we call an adventure!
Visit Moki Dougway for a view of an awesome switchback road before reaching Moab - which is one for all you adventure junkies! Utah's undisputed adventure capital guarantees non-stop fun, and with two days here you'll have plenty of time to explore this incredible place. For the action lovers, hire a mountain bike for some adrenaline pumping cycling along Moab's slick rock path. If you're still craving adventure then head down the Colorado River on an optional float trip and see this stunning place from a different perspective.
Adventure is well and truly alive in the Colorado Rockies, so get out there and get amongst it! Walking and biking in the craggy scenery will blow your mind as you explore some of the world's most loved hiking trails. With two nights you'll really appreciate why people travel from all corners of the globe to the Colorado Rockies, as the scenery is simply magnificent!
For a whole array of arty gifts and cultural treasures, make your way to Canyon Road in Santa Fe and treat yourself to an authentic Navajo keepsake. Enjoy wandering around the historic buildings, and we highly recommend you check out Meow Wolf, a trippy immersive art experience set in a nondescript building, bound to leave you baffled. Santa Fe will undoubtedly win you over with its laid-back charm and quirky character.
Check out the International UFO Museum and Research Centre (and gift shop) in Roswell. They say aliens crashed to earth and they have proof! Make up your own mind. Head on to New Mexico and Carlsbad Caverns National Park to explore one of the largest cave systems in the world. Gnarled limestone stalactites hang from the ceiling like icicles, and stalagmites that look like twisting totem poles reach upwards creating a unique and interesting experience for those who walk through this incredible place. Did you know that when bats fly out of their cave they always turn left? Put this fact to the test with an optional Bat Flight Amphitheatre visit tonight.
The second biggest state has plenty of cacti, cowboys and southern hospitality to offer; there really is nowhere else like it.
The music keeps on flowing as you arrive in Austin, another place which vies for the title of capital of America's music scene. It's is an electric, cultural and artistic city which packs a punch. Austin is a great place to listen to music, but Austin has many other amazing attractions including the state capitol tour, Barton Springs and sampling cuisine at the food trucks.
As you leave Texas behind and enter Louisiana you'll be greeted with the distinctive sounds of zydeco music and the sweet, sweet smells of Creole cuisine. Louisiana is a place where cultures merge and nature is right on your doorstep. Get up close and personal with gators and critters on our optional swamp tour and learn all about this unique ecosystem.
New Orleans simmers with Deep South charm, so pull up a chair in the French Quarter to watch the world go by and grab a po-boy, a bowl of gumbo or some home-cooked jambalaya for a taste of the South. Or a delicious sugary beignet if you've got more of a sweet tooth! If the food of the Deep South gets your mouth watering, why not join a cookery course at the New Orleans School of Cookery, so you can make life back home a little tastier with your new-found skills? For something a little different, opt for a 'Voodoo and Graveyard' tour or cruise along the Mississippi River on a traditional steamboat. By night, party hard in legendary Bourbon Street, hear the world-class jazz for which New Orleans is renowned at Preservation Hall, or explore the bars in Frenchmen Street for live music and dancing without the crowds.
After all the partying in New Orleans it's time to chill out. What better place to do so than on 27 miles of pristine white sand beaches alongside the turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico? Enjoy a lazy beach afternoon lying in a hammock with the sun on your face. Tonight's the night to let your hair down, as you hit the hottest haunts on the Emerald Coast. So kick back and relax in this stunning, chilled out city.
Embrace your inner child as you have the chance to explore Orlando's theme and water parks. The thrills and excitement come in thick and fast as you hit up Disney's Magic Kingdom, Universal Studios or the Kennedy Space Center. Orlando is one big playground and after a full day satisfying your thirst for fun, you'll sleep like a baby.
Hit the water and swim, snorkel or go diving to explore the crystal clear waters of Key West, where the possibilities for water based fun are endless. If you simply want to relax then you're definitely in the right place for that too. More of a culture vulture? We've laid on a tour of this eclectic area, finishing with an optional visit to Ernest Hemingway's House. While you're here, we seriously recommend you try some Key Lime Pie, then sample the nightlife on Duval Street underneath another amazing southern sunset.
The wonderful city of Miami beckons with miles of golden sandy beaches and palm trees; it's easy to see why people flock here. Seek out SoBe (aka South Beach) and stroll along the art deco seafront or pose with the beautiful people on sugary sand before heading to the ultra-cool nightspots. We're pretty sure you'll never tire of seeing the palm trees blowing in the summer breeze.
St Augustine is more commonly known as the ??Nation's Oldest City' and has a strong European influence. Wander down the narrow lanes, visit the many museums and explore some of the city's iconic landmarks such as the Plaza de la Constitucion and the ??Fountain of Youth'.
The oldest city in South Carolina, this place just oozes character and what better way to experience it than with a stroll along the coast. Take photos of the Morris Island Lighthouse that stands several hundred feet offshore or jump aboard an optional Charleston water taxi where you could spot some interesting wildlife. Experience the ultimate taste of the South with a Charleston Nasty Biscuit; a chicken biscuit (which is actually more like a scone) covered in gravy. Sounds gross, right? But, it's delicious and a favourite with the locals.
Watch as palms, swamps and plantations begin to morph into mountain views as you head north through the Carolinas. Set up camp and devour some s'mores around the campfire. What are s'mores? Melted chocolate and marshmallow sandwiched between two plain biscuits. They're delicious!
It's on to Washington DC for an introduction to the political, social and cultural history of the USA. A biking tour of Washington DC is included, where you can tick off all the top monuments - a great way to explore a new city! Enjoy people watching in one of the many green parks of America's capital city or explore the Smithsonian National Museums. Hit the bars and clubs of Georgetown and discover not only the treasures of this town by day, but also by night.
Leaving the nation's capital behind you travel to Philadelphia where you'll have the chance to break a sweat climbing up the famous 'Rocky' steps, see the symbol of American independence, the Liberty Bell, and be amazed by Independence Hall. It was here that brave men gathered at the Pennsylvania State House and defied the King of England, an event that shaped the US Constitution and eventually created one unified nation. Hit the Reading Terminal Market to sample everything on offer or opt to tuck into a Philly cheesesteak lunch. Next, it's off to the New York area where you have the next two nights to explore New York City. Splash your cash along Fifth Ave, venture to the top of the Empire State Building or soak up the trendy, laid-back vibe of Greenwich Village before heading back out west though Northern USA.
Departing the big city, the sensation of crashing water is stupendous at one of America's greatest national attractions, Niagara Falls. Wait until you're down on the water aboard the included 'Maid of the Mist' boat, where the cascades pound, churn and foam right before your eyes. Now that's what you call a front row seat! Head back to the falls at night to see the fall's illuminations.
It's on to Ohio, where you can ask a ??Buckeye' to tell you all about their state nut or how cool they think Cedar Point Amusement Park's roller coasters are! It's probably better to find out for yourself by riding the Millennium Force - the ??greatest roller coaster in the world'! That's enough thrills and excitement for one day, so settle down for a night next to the beautiful Lake Erie, one of America's five Great Lakes.Please note: Cedar Point in Ohio is open all of June, July and August and on certain days during May, September and October. It may not always be possible to visit Cedar Point Amusement park.
Next up is the ??Windy City', home to some of the greatest blues music in America. Soar up Willis Tower for dizzying views over the city. Shopaholics make sure you get your fix at Magnificent Mile before taking to pedal power on the famous ??Bobby's Bike Hike' tour (includedl). For awesome views of the city skyline, head down to Lake Michigan and take in the laid-back city vibe before grabbing yourself a slice of Chicago's world-famous, deep-dish pizza. After all, you deserve it!
It's cheese and beers galore in Wisconsin, so you can rest assured you and your fellow Trekkers won't get hungry or thirsty here! An all-American road trip is all about the quirky roadside attractions you come across, so say a big ole' howdy to the Jolly Green Giant statue in Blue Earth. Head out across the great prairies of America's original western frontier, where resident coyotes may utter the occasional howl as you settle down for some shut-eye under canvas.
Touching down in the unique lunar landscape of Badlands National Park feels more like a moon landing due to its bizarre low slung buttes, chiselled spires and saw tooth ridges. This definitely isn't the moon though, and the odd sighting of bison, Bighorn Sheep and Prairie Dogs only confirms this.
Enjoy a morning exploring the Badlands, then meet the faces of America's presidents as they peer out from the granite face of Mount Rushmore. The sculpture features presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln; you'll have to see it to believe it! Close by, another rock-carved epic is waiting. The impressive Crazy Horse Memorial was created in memory of the famed Lakota Indian war leader and is a sight not to be missed.
Wild Wyoming is up next as you head to Cody in the heart of cowboy country. Embrace the cowboy roots, shake a leg and try some two-step as the buckin' bronco rears its massive head! Nothing says Wyoming more than a good dose of ??yee-has' and a Stetson or three, so why not visit the summer rodeo (June-August)?
The scenery just keeps getting better as you reach Yellowstone National Park. View explosive geysers including ??Old Faithful' and colourful waterfalls, while exploring the world's oldest and most famous national park. There's an abundance of wildlife here so keep your camera at the ready. If you're lucky you may spot bison, elk and bear - and if you're really lucky you may even spot a wolf as they have recently been re-introduced to the park. There is no doubt about it, the next couple of days in Yellowstone National Park will be awesome!
This area sure adds a healthy dose of the ??wow factor'. Montana is often referred to as ??Big Sky Country' because of its numerous stars. Glacier National Park is a trekker's paradise and with two days in Glacier, you'll have plenty of time to explore the alpine meadows and shimmering lakes. With bear sightings possible and other awesome wildlife in an abundance, it won't just be the snow-capped mountains that'll leave you awe-struck.
Packed full of showstopping trails and incredible wildlife for you to enjoy, Banff is Canada's first national park and the crown jewel of the Canadian Rockies. It's no surprise this spot is a favourite with locals and tourists alike. If it's a relaxing time you're after, chill out by one of the picturesque lakes and the local hot springs; or if you simply can't sit still, there are heaps of trails just waiting for you to explore.
The stunning Lake Louise has been given the nickname ??Gem of the Rockies' and boy does she live up to it! The imposing chateau looks on as mountains cluster round the turquoise lake. We recommend you hike out to the Plain-of-Six-Glaciers or inspect the scene by paddle power on an optional canoe trip. Next head through British Columbia where you'll no doubt be impressed from the word go! In every direction you'll see incredible scenery from mirrored lakes, snowy peaks and huge forests of conifer. We know, we're spoiling you, but we just can't help ourselves!
Along the highway, prime vistas escort you right the way into Vancouver. With its stunning combination of mountains and coastline, the city boasts outstanding views. Take to Stanley Park on two wheels, treat yourself to some moreish maple cookies or head to Prospect Point for the best views in town. Known for being a city rich in culture, why not head for Gastown with its award-winning galleries and tons of cafes and restaurants serving delicious food? Your day in Vancouver is set to be a blast!
You're back in the USA and headed for Seattle! Soar to the top of the iconic Space Needle in a glass-fronted elevator to enjoy incredible views of this cool city - on a clear day you may even be able to see Mount Rainier across the Puget Sound. Visit Pike Place Market for local food and to watch market stallholders 'toss the Pike fish'. If you need a caffeine kick, Seattle has tons of great cafes, but it is most famous for introducing Starbucks to the world. So grab yourself a latte! Later, check out the bohemian Fremont neighbourhood for trendy drinking spots and a renowned foodie scene, or if it's cocktails and secret bars you're after, make sure to check out Capitol Hill.
Call it what you want – ??City of Roses', ??Bridge City', or ??Beervana' - Portland is simply awesome! It's a vibrant city full of quirky cafes and cool hipster folk, so grab yourself a flat white and enjoy some people watching.
Take in the stunning scenery as you drive down the California Coast to Redwood National Park. Get out and stretch those legs with a hike through Tall Trees Grove and keep an eye out for elk and bear who can be found hiding under the canopy of the Redwoods. These trees are in fact the tallest trees on earth, so be prepared to spend a lot of time looking up. As you explore more of the park you might start to recognise the canyons covered in fern and moss from Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park 2: The Lost World. After an amazing day in Redwood National Park watch the sun set over the Pacific Ocean on what is virtually your own private beach.
Come fog or shine this city is a stunner! Start with a tour of Haight-Ashbury, a street oozing with hippie vibes and plenty of quirky shops and cafes. Head down to Pier 39 to see the resident sea lions who flock there in their hundreds, then grab yourself a delicious crab roll at Fisherman's Wharf. The highlights keep coming, with an included trip to the city's most famous attraction, Alcatraz (US$33). Learn all about the prisoners who spent their lives trying to escape, with a superb audio tour. You can't go all way to San Francisco without a stroll across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, but better yet, why not set sail on an optional sunset cruise for a different perspective of the famous bridge? This is a city that has inspired movie-makers, artists and poets for years, and you're bound to have an incredible time!
There's beautiful scenery aplenty here in Yosemite National Park, as you drive past rolling green meadows and underneath the canopy of the park's famous Giant Sequoias. Grab your hiking boots and let's go explore! Yosemite National Park is nature's greatest backyard and with both easy and strenuous hikes you're bound to find a trail that suits your ability. Whichever trail you choose you'll be amazed at the magnificent waterfalls and epic cliff faces. Famous for its Giant Sequoias and abundance of incredible wildlife such as bear and coyotes, you should keep your camera to hand at all times. If you need more, you can even float down the Merced River on a rubber ring for a different perspective of this truly awesome landscape.
As the highway snakes further south down the California coastline, it's time to change gears to end the penultimate day under a blanket of stars. Life doesn't get much better than this so sit back, relax and watch the rugged coastline of the Pacific Coast roll right by!UPDATE: Due to recent storm damage, the Pacific Coast Highway (Hwy 1) is closed in the Big Sur area south of Monterey. Until further notice we will not be visiting McWay Falls, and will instead drive directly from San Luis Obispo area to Yosemite National Park.
Uncover more of the sparkling Californian coastline as you head down to Santa Barbara, a beautiful town surrounded by mountains, rolling valleys and miles of gorgeous beach. With the Californian sun on your face, you're off to Hollywood where you'll find the famous sign and the Walk of Fame, where you can spot the handprints of your favourite celebrities. Finally it's time to call it a wrap, on what has been one heck of an adventure through the best of the USA. This tour ends at our gateway hotel at approximately 17:00 hrs. We recommend booking post-tour accommodation if time allows. If you are planning to fly tonight, please do not book a flight that departs before 21:00 hrs.