SOUTHERN BLT Trip Notes

 

At Imaginative Traveller we always aim to provide accurate information for our travellers. Unfortunately information such as the price of optional activities is occasionally subject to change, and this means that we are constantly revising our trip notes. In order to ensure that you have the most up to date information for your trip we suggest that you check the trip notes for your tour around one month before departure.

  • Trip code : ASNB
  • Trip length : 21 days
  • Trip starts in : New York Area
  • Trip ends in : Los Angeles
  • Maximum group size : 13
  • Ages : Min 18-38
  • Meals : 2 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners included at ranch. All other meals paid locally.
  • Accommodation : 7 hotel, 7 hostel, 3 motel, 2 cabin & 1 guesthouse nights.
  • Transport: Private transportation with free Wi-Fi
  • Pre-tour accommodation: As this tour departs at 07:30 we recommend that you book pre-tour accommodation. Please request hotel details at the time of booking.
  • Post-tour accommodation: This tour ends at approximately 17:00 hrs. We can book you post-tour accommodation at our gateway hotel if required. If you are planning to fly straight after the tour, please do not book a flight that departs before 21:00 hrs.

your-trip-overview1

  • Visit the Navajo tribal lands in Monument Valley
  • See the sights of Nashville, Memphis and New Orleans
  • Watch a stunning sunrise over the Grand Canyon

Take the southern route through sun-drenched San Diego, the mighty Grand Canyon, the exciting neon desert city of Las Vegas and tribal lands of the Navajo in Monument Valley. You'll cross the wild Texan plains and experience Austin's world-renowned nightlife, soak up the southern charm in New Orleans, Nashville and Memphis and see the enormous mountainous spine that is the Appalachian Mountains. Have your fill of history in Washington D.C and finish up your epic trip by the Big Apple, New York!

daily-itinerary1

Day
1-2

New York Area, Philadelphia & Washington DC

Leave the New York area and travel to Philadelphia where you can climb the famous 'Rocky' steps for your own movie moment, see the iconic symbol of American independence the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. Head to Reading Terminal Market on an empty stomach and be prepared to be overwhelmed with delicious smells and flavours, one you have to try is the famous Philly cheese steak lunch. Then it's onto Washington DC for an introduction to the political, social and cultural history of the United States of America. Take time to explore the very best of America's capital city by people watching in one of the many green parks or explore the Smithsonian National Museum. Hit the bars and clubs of Georgetown and discover not only the treasures of this town by day, but also by night. A great way to pack in all of the city highlights is by renting a bike and riding around at your own pace.
Accommodation: Budget lodging included

Day
3-4

Virginia & Nashville

Next, touch down in the Appalachian Mountain Range and the gorgeous pine-clad foothills. Then along comes Nashville, Tennessee - the shining star of the country music scene. Hit 'The District' - the nightlife hub of Nash-ville, laze in the city's parks, trawl the malls or learn to line dance, the opportunities are endless here.
Accommodation: Budget lodging included

Day
5-6

Memphis

Memphis is the birthplace of Rock & Roll, and you won't want to miss out on an included visit to Sun Studios (2015 only), where the likes of Johnny Cash and BB King recorded their most famous records. Head on down to Beale Street where music is literally playing around every corner. There is more to Memphis than just music, pay a visit to the National Civil Rights Museum located in the former Lorraine Hotel and see the place where Martin Luther King was assassinated. But, you can't go home without a trip to the former home of `The King' Elvis Presley in Graceland.
Accommodation: Budget lodging included

Day
7-8

New Orleans

Welcome to the country's Deep South, where life moves at a much slower pace. Why not spice up your trip with lip-smacking Cajun and Creole fare, ride a steamboat on the Mississippi River or relax to the sounds of a Jazz or Dixieland band in the French Quarter. For a really authentic southern experience check out a voodoo and graveyard tour or grab yourself a big ole' bowl of gumbo!
Accommodation: Budget lodging included

Day
9-10

Louisiana & Austin, Texas

You can take a swamp tour into the alligator habitat of southern Louisiana, and see all sorts of wildlife in the mysterious wetlands of Cajun country. The Lone Star State then bids you a big-hearted welcome. Austin is the "Live music capital of the world" and home of great BBQ cuisine. This city is packed with "Texas sized" excitement and is sure to impress.
Accommodation: Budget lodging included

Day
11-12

Texas & Carlsbad Caverns National Park

The birthplace for Buddy Holly and the world's largest cotton growing region. This is the best of Texas. Head out of the largest State into 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 all who walk through this incredible place.
Accommodation: Budget lodging included

Day
13

Santa Fe

With 325 days of sunshine per year and bright blue skies, plus some of the best Mexican food in the USA, Santa Fe won't disappoint. For all the art lovers out there Santa Fe is the one for you, visit Canyon Road, home to art galleries, cultural treasures such as hand-woven Navajo rugs, historic adobe buildings and a vibrant restaurant scene. Santa Fe will definitely win you over with its laid back charm and with tons of festivals and events throughout the year, you're bound to stumble upon something interesting.
Accommodation: Budget lodging included

Day
14

Monument Valley

On the road again and off to one of North America's most iconic landscapes, used as the set for countless Western movies, including the recent remake of The Lone Ranger. Immerse yourself in the native culture on an optional guided jeep tour of the Navajo Reservation and back roads. As you marvel at the sight of towering buttes and mesas which dominate the awe-inspiring landscape during the day, wait till the sun goes down and you're swapping camp fire stories under a blanket of stars.
Accommodation: Budget lodging included

Day
15-16

Grand Canyon National Park

Today will define the word `epic' as you stop off the mighty Grand Canyon National Park. Nothing you have ever seen before will prepare you for this spectacular site, it will simply blow your socks off. Hike from the forest above to the desert below, red rock to white powder, or take an optional helicopter flight above it all and marvel at the brilliant colours from the ultimate birds eye view. To really see the Grand Canyon in all its glory wait for sunset or sunrise where the colours really do amaze!
Accommodation: Budget lodging included

Day
17-18

Route 66 & Las Vegas

En route to Las Vegas we'll drive along a section of the original Route 66, stopping at the town of Seligman; a town frozen in time and full of old Americana, so grab a root beer and have a look around! Head back to the modern world with a bang, it's Vegas, baby! Nowhere on earth is quite like it. Why not treat yourself to a high-rolling 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. And if that's not enough, take an optional helicopter flight down The Strip or just gamble the night away in one of the world class casinos. If after all that you're still left wanting more, head on over to a chapel and get hitched by the one and only Elvis. Just remember what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
Accommodation: Budget lodging included

Day
19-20

San Diego

Head to San Diego where it is all about bronzed bodies, big shades and baggy shorts. Visit the famous San Diego Zoo with over 3,000 animals or simply laze in grassy Balboa Park. It's now time to top up your tan with a trip to Mission Beach one of the nicest beaches on the west coast and a must see when in San Diego. Later, cruise the Gaslamp Quarter and the heart of San Diego's nightlife and soak up a blazing Californian sunset as the sun goes down on the penultimate day of your American adventure.
Accommodation: Budget lodging included

Day
21

Los Angeles

The final leg of your journey takes you up the coast to the 'City of Angels', but it's not over just yet! With the Cali-fornia sunshine on your face visit Hollywood Boulevard for a stroll along the Walk of Fame and grab yourself a photo of that massive Hollywood sign and make the most of your last few hours on the Californian Coast with a stroll along Venice Beach, you now have 21 days of action packed memories!

This tour ends at approximately 17:00 hrs. We can book you post-tour accommodation at our gateway hotel if required. If you are planning to fly tonight, please do not book a flight that departs before 21:00 hrs.

included1

  • Services of a TrekAmerica tour leader
  • All accommodation - 7 hotel, 7 hostel, 3 motel, 2 cabin & 1 guesthouse nights
  • Private transportation with free Wi-Fi
  • Grand Canyon sunrise or sunset
  • Las Vegas limousine tour
  • Sightseeing in Nashville, Memphis, Austin and Los Angeles
  • New Orleans Bourbon Street jazz and blues music
  • California's white sandy beaches in San Diego
  • Travel along the original Route 66
  • Visit Philadelphia's top highlights
  • Sun Studios in Memphis (2015 only)
  • View of the Hoover Dam (2015 only)
  • National Parks - Carlsbad Caverns, Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon

optional-extras

  • New Orleans jazz clubs US$10-$20
  • Mississippi steamboat ride US$60-$70
  • Smithsonian National Museums US$FREE
  • Grand Canyon helicopter flight US$254-$284
  • Tour of Elvis' Graceland in Memphis US$33-$70
  • Navajo guided 4x4 tour of Monument Valley US$45-$55
  • Grand Canyon IMAX theater US$15
  • Las Vegas clubs & casino shows US$10+
  • Limo ride in Las Vegas US$25-$30
  • San Diego Zoo US$44
  • Watersports in San Diego US$10-$75
  • Las Vegas helicopter flight: US$115
  • New Orleans Voodoo & Graveyard tour US$20
  • Bike rental in Washington DC US$15-$35
  • Civil Rights Museum in Memphis US$10
  • Las Vegas rollercoasters US$4-$30
  • Country Music Hall of Fame, Nashville US$24-$35
  • Country Western Saloons in Nashville US$varies
  • Alligator swamp tour, New Orleans US$23-$49
  • Las Vegas Gun Range from US$50
  • Johnny Cash Museum, Nashville US$14
  • Las Vegas VIP Club Tour (includes 4 clubs & limo) US$100
  • Drive-in Cinema, Lubbock Texas US$8
  • Get married in Las Vegas (not legally binding) US$221

tripgrade1

Discovery

Discovery tours are all about exploring & experiencing the world with like-minded people, dipping your toe beneath the usual tourist surface & discovering the real essence of a region. They are genuinely innovative, exciting & imaginative tours that offer that little bit more to travellers.

Style Facts

  • Enjoy a destination in depth and comfort
  • Tourist class hotels and family homestays
  • Both private and local transport
  • A number of included activities and meals throughout
  • Fully trained and experienced leader.

Plus

Our Plus tours allow you to immerse yourself within a destination or culture whilst travelling and sleeping in comfort. They are packed with highlights to ensure you get the most out of your valuable time away yet are also slower paced allowing you time to savour the culture, traditions and sights of your destination – the perfect balance.

On some trips we’ll push you out of your comfort zone to ensure an authentic experience, on other trips you will stay in amazing places where there is no ‘roughing it’ involved. There is plenty of choice so you can select a trip with as much activity or as little as you wish. Our small groups ensure a more intimate experience and that the impact on the local environment and community is kept to a minimum. Extra Comfort tours offer rich and rewarding adventures and are stress-free, safe and, most importantly, fun!

Style Facts

  • Innovative itineraries offering authentic travel encounters
  • A mix of active adventure, culture, wildlife, sightseeing and relaxation
  • Well appointed, quality hotels in central locations
  • Arrival transfers, transport (mostly private) and accommodation included
  • Many meals and adventure activities also included
  • Fully trained and experienced local leaders

 This tour is operated by our partners Grand American Adventures

visa1

A necessary bugbear of adventure travel, visas can appear complicated, costly and confusing to apply for. Imaginative Traveller recommend applying for visas with a professional visa service who can guide you though the process and take care of lodging and collecting your passport with multiple embassies, so we have teamed up with The Visa Machine.

The Visa Machine ‘live and breathe’ visas and have the expertise to provide current and accurate information and arrange the correct visas for your trip, quickly and at a good price.

Please click here for more information

health-and-fitness

If you have any medical condition such as diabetes, epilepsy, asthma, take prescribed  medicines, or have a condition that will affect your participation in the trek, you must tell us at the time of booking. Please be aware we may require a doctor’s note prior to travel for some conditions. This information is essential in case of emergency. All the vehicles carry a basic first-aid kit, but for everyday use you should bring your own medical supplies, such as, pain relievers, antibiotic cream, upset stomach relievers, in addition to sunscreen and insect repellent.

Money1

Your spending money needs to cover meals not included in the tour, drinks personal expenses such as laundry, souvenirs and snacks along the way. For hotel based tours we recommend you take at least US$50 dollars per person per day, but it’s better to bring more than you need rather than run short on tour. You will also need to budget for any optional activities you wish to do. ATM/Cash points are widely available in all major cities and small towns, but may be limited in some off the beaten track destinations, so we suggest you have US$150 with you in cash. Please ensure that your credit or debit cards have international access and a PIN number to access your funds at the start of the tour.

travel-insurance

You must have extensive travel insurance as a condition of booking with us, and without evidence of a valid policy you won’t be allowed to start your trip. Please click here for more information

responsible-travel1

Responsible tourism is at the heart of Imaginative Traveller. For 20 years we have taken customers to places around the world in social and environmentally responsible manner, ensuring everyone involved respects and maintains the natural and often delicate balance of the destination.

As travellers ourselves we are well aware of the impact that tourism can have and whilst economic gain from tourism is often fundamental to a country, it should never be at the expense of its culture or the environment. It is our aim to provide journeys that have minimal negative and maximum positive impact on the places we visit. We do not believe that, as visitors, we should impose our own cultures on others; rather that we should experience foreign cultures and appreciate them for what they are.

We believe giving something back is essential. We therefore work with our customers and the people we visit to ensure the benefits go directly to contribute to local cultures and environmental conservation. This is not only good the communities we visit but it also gives our travellers more enriched adventures.

For further information about responsible travel please click here.

other-important-information

As this tour departs at 0730 we recommend that you book pre-tour accommodation. Please request hotel details at the time of booking.

This tour ends at our gateway hotel at approximately 17:00 hrs. We can book you post-tour accommodation at our gateway hotel if required. If you are planning to fly tonight, please do not book a flight that departs before 21:00 hrs.

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