Jazz Hands & Badlands
Cajun superstitions are the best superstitions. If you’re at a picnic and it starts raining, make a cross with two sticks and sprinkle salt on it - the rain will stop immediately. If you get bitten by a snake, race it to the water and if you win the snake will die and not you. If you accidentally put your undies on inside out you should spit on them or risk bad luck for the rest of the day.
Day 1-2 - Los Angeles - Las Vegas
The last time you were in a stretch limo was probably your high school formal. We guarantee that cruising down Las Vegas Boulevarde will be better. This is the home of the all-you-can-eat buffet, the world's biggest neon sign and free booze for gamblers. There's worse places you could be (your high school formal, for example).
- Morning group meeting at 7:30am
- Head out of LA on Day 1 to start our adventure with a sudden burst of neon - Vegas is right in your face
- Why not cruise "The Strip" in a super-stretch limo, indulge in an all-you-can eat buffet, take in a show or just watch the amazing crowds and neon signs as the glitzy hotels try to out do each other with spectacular attractions
- Perhaps take a helicopter flight back down The Strip or just gamble the night away in one of the world class casinos
Day 3-4 - Zion National Park - Lake Powell
Like animals? Good, because Zion is home to bats, jackrabbits, chipmunks, squirrels, gophers, beavers, porcupines, coyotes, skunks and mountain lions. Hike to Angels Landing then cool down in Lake Powell.
- Journey further east to Zion National Park
- Explore the hidden canyons or maybe hike to Angels Landing - getting up there can be devilish, but the famous trail puts on a full 360-degree display of this magnificent national park
- Swim the deep blue waters of Lake Powell, formerly the great Glenn Canyon, or just sit back on the shore and soak up the powerful rays of this beautiful and surreal man-made desert oasis
Day 5-6 - Grand Canyon National Park
The only thing better than hiking the rim of the Grand Canyon at sunset is hiking it at sunrise. Thankfully you'll have the chance to do both if you're keen. There's even a helicopter flight for anyone who wants it.
- No trip west is complete without a stop at the Grand Canyon
- You have a full day to experience the grandeur of one of the Earth's natural wonders
- Pack your best boots and don't forget your camera for a sunrise/sunset hike along the rim
- For the more ambitious take the long hike down Bright Angel Trail to Plateau Point or choose the "bird's eye" view on a scenic flight
Day 7 - Monument Valley
Look familiar? Monument Valley has been in loads of movies, like Easy Rider, Forrest Gump, National Lampoon's Vacation, Back to the Future III. Probably because it looks a bit like Mars. And it's really good at learning lines.
- Hit iconic Monument Valley, used in countless Hollywood scenes from Westerns to 2001: A Space Odyssey.
- Get 4x4-bound and flit between towering buttes and massive mesas
- This is sacred Navajo land; take home their secrets, legends and the odd handcrafted keepsake
- Tonight, experience a stunning sunset overlooking the valley
Day 8 - New Mexico
There's a bit of choose-your-own-adventure action today. Will it be spotting aliens in Roswell or stuffing yourself with the country's best Mexican food in Santa Fe? Bizarro or burrito? Quesadilla or creep-a-rama? UFOs or nachos? OK we'll stop there.
- A little alien spotting in Roswell could be on the cards today
- If you choose Santa Fe for the night, enjoy the artsy vibe and the best Mexican food in the USA
Day 9-10 - Carlsbad Caverns National Park - Texas
The Dutch have a saying to help you remember the difference between stalactites and stalagmites. It's roughly translated as "Stalactite = tit. Stalagmite = you already remembered the tit one". We think it has something to do with hanging? Anyway, you'll see them both in the 100 limestone caves of Carlsbad Caverns.
- Carlsbad Caverns boasts over 100 limestone caves sporting glinting minerals and telling names like the Hall of the White Giant and Green Lake Room
- The Lone Star then bids you a big-hearted welcome for four nights in the mighty Texas
- Spicy fajitas and tacos are on the menu tonight
Day 11-12 - San Antonio
Colonel William Travis, commander of the Alamo defense force, might have been the first person to "draw a line in the sand". He pulled out his sword, made a mark and told anyone who wanted to stay and fight for Texan independence from Mexico to step over it. All but one of his troops did and they won.
- Why not don your Davy Crockett hat and check out the Alamo, symbol of Texan pride and independence from Mexico
- Perhaps stroll the Paseo del Rio, the cobbled 'river walk', bursting with greenery, cafes and boutiques
Day 13 - Louisiana
Cajun food, gumbo, crawfish, swamps, alligators, jazz, Mardi Gras, bayous...if you don't already love Louisiana you will after a night of camping here.
- Farewell the biggest state of continental USA, and goodbye to the home of 'Tex-Mex' cuisine and a big hello to Louisiana, the home of gumbo stews and all that jazz
Day 14-15 - New Orleans
Po' boys have been around since the late 1920s. They started out as free sambos given to poor (po') streetcar conductors who went on strike. Nowadays they're filled with everything from roast beef with gravy, ham and cheese (aka "a combination"), fried seafood, hot sausage and meatballs to French fries. Ask for it "dressed" and you'll get shredded lettuce, tomatoes, mayonnaise and pickles. Drooling yet?
- Look for gators on an optional swamp tour through the mysterious bayous of Cajun country
- Head to the home of the Big Easy & Bourbon Street, New Orleans
- Spend time in the enchanting French Quarter of New Orleans and hear the real deal at Preservation Hall, echoing with chirpy trumpets and smooth sax
- New Orleans has more than just food, drink and music to offer, so after sampling a Hurricane at Pat O'Brien's, do the Huckleberry Finn thing and chug along the Mississippi River
Day 16 - Birmingham
Don't try and pronounce the following place names: Tchoupitoulas, Thibodeaux, Opelousas, Pontchartrain, Ouachita, Atchafalaya. You're in the deep south now. Keep things simple. Shut your mouth and dance to Cajun music instead.
- Travel into the 'Deep South' to Alabama for a taste of true southern hospitality
- License plates proclaim you're in the 'Heart of Dixie', and the radio pumps out a hatful of country tunes to back this up
Day 17-18 - Ocoee and Appalachian Mountains
Google "Ocoee Tennessee" and you'll quickly learn that it's famous for one thing - whitewater rafting. Google "Appalachian Mountains" and you might regret it, cos it's famous for heaps of different stuff and you'll end up being on Google all day.
- Perhaps to don a lifejacket, grip a paddle and bounce along a churning stretch of white water on an optional rafting trip
- Appreciate the grand views of the rolling green slopes of the Appalachian Mountains in Virginia
- Go on a short guided walk in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest to a series of cascades in the forested hills
Day 19-20 - Washington D.C.
Do your best Rocky impersonation up the 72 steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Once you're in Washington DC, check out the Lincoln Memorial where Martin Luther King, Jr. made his "I Have a Dream" speech in 1963. If you won big in Vegas, hopefully you saved a few pennies to shout everyone a drink in Georgetown tonight.
- Explore the best of America's Capital - from the Smithsonian Museum to the Lincoln Memorial on a guided tour
- Once you're done with sightseeing, go people watching in the parks
- Perhaps take advantage of the great nightlife in Georgetown
Day 21 - New York Area
Your trip ends around 5pm but you'd be crazy not to hang around and take a bite out of the Big Apple (yeah, we went there).
- Head north through Pennsylvania to the New York Area and the end of our cross country adventure
- This tour is not scheduled to spend any time in New York City so make sure you book extra hotel nights and explore the sights and sounds of the Big Apple on your own
- Perhaps splurge along Fifth Ave, hit the top of the Empire State Building, or soak up the trendy, laidback vibe of Greenwich Village before heading home
- This tour ends at approximately 5pm, if you are planning to fly tonight, please do not book a flight that departs before 9pm
What to Know
Tour leader, transport and sightseeing.
- International flights, airport transfers, departure taxes, visas, insurance (compulsory on all trips), meals not listed (lunches and dinners), any optional tours or activities during free time, camera fees, excess baggage charges, tips and items of a personal nature.
Safety InformationUNFENCED CAMP SITES:
On some trips you will at times stay in unfenced camp sites within national parks. While this is a fantastic experience, there are a few safety rules to follow. While staying in national parks it's important that you listen to any advice given by your tour leader and the park rangers regarding responsible and safe behaviour.BEARS:
Whilst travelling throughout North America it's not uncommon to encounter bears within campsites and national parks. Your group leader has been specifically trained for these situations and, if camping, will inform the group on how to 'bear proof' the camp in the evenings or when the site is unattended. There's absolutely no reason to be alarmed by this possibility as it is extremely rare for bears to attack humans.
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