Southern BLT Trip Notes

Viva Cuba OldAt 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
  • Trip starts in : New York Area
  • Trip ends in : Los Angeles
  • Maximum group size : 13
  • Ages : 18 - 34
  • Meals : We run a Food Kitty on this trip - you will need to contribute CA$10 a day which covers all your meals whilst camping.
  • Accommodation : Camping
  • Transport : Private transportation - The vans are also equipped with WiFi (USA & Alaska only) so you can keep in touch from the road
  • Pre-tour accommodation: As this tour departs at 0730 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.

 

highlights1

  • 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
  • National Parks - Carlsbad Caverns, Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon

Travelling cross-country from East to West is synonymous with the original American adventure - the feeling of the open road and the freedom that defines a nation. Take the southern route and have your fill of history in Washington D.C, see the enormous mountainous spine that is the Appalachian Mountains and soak up the southern charm in New Orleans, Nashville and Memphis. You'll cross the wild Texan plains to experience Austin's world-renowned nightlife, visit the tribal lands of the Navajo in Monument Valley, experience the Grand Canyon and the exciting neon desert city of Las Vegas before finishing up your epic trip on the California coast. Phew!

 

daily-itinerary1

Day
1-2

New York Area, Philadelphia & Washington DC

We head out of the New York area and drive towards Philadelphia in Pennsylvania where you visit the Liberty Bell, the steps from the Rocky movies, and can have a Philly cheese steak lunch - delicious! Next up is the Nation's Capital, Washington DC, the centre for cultural and political history. Want to know a secret? Go undercover at the International Spy Museum. Make tracks to the zoo, and then see where big-hitting political animals shape the nation on an included monument tour under an evening neon glow. Why not get up early to beat the crowds to the Lincoln Memorial? It makes for some great photos too!

Accommodation: Budget lodging included

Day
3-4

Virginia & Nashville

Next, touch down in the Appalachian Mountain Range and the gorgeous pine-clad foothills. Next is Nashville, Tennessee - the shining star of the country music scene. Hit 'The District' - the nightlife hub of Nashville, laze in the city's parks, trawl the malls or learn to line dance. Cowboy boots and sequinned denim anyone?

Accommodation: Budget lodging included

Day
5-6

Memphis

Memphis, the Birthplace of the Blues and jazz is next on the list - and what a destination! Strolling along Beale Street must be on your checklist, you'll see influences of Blues and Jazz music everywhere. A visit to the Civil Rights Museum gives you an insight into the history of slavery and the struggles to overcome it. But the top billing has to go to Graceland, former home of 'The King', Elvis Presley.

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, relax to the sounds of a Jazz or Dixieland band in the French Quarter and join the party on Bourbon Street. New Orleans has more than just incredible tasting food, drink and music to offer.
Accommodation: Budget lodging included

Day
9-10

Louisiana & Austin, Texas

Look for gators on our optional Louisiana swamp tour through the mysterious bayous of Cajun country (a must do!). 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. 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 stalagmites like the Witch's Finger reach upwards, while stalactites in the Bell Cord Room hang from the cavern ceilings. You can opt to see the bats flying from the cave at sunset which makes for an interesting experience.

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. Visit Canyon Road; an area of Santa Fe popular for art galleries, cultural treasures (hand-woven Navajo rugs and Southwestern wood carvings), historic adobe buildings, vibrant restaurants and colourful buildings. Roswell's International UFO Museum makes for an entertaining stop, which lays on the Southwestern charm by the bucket load

Accommodation: Budget lodging included

Day
14

Monument Valley

Iconic Monument Valley, used in countless Hollywood Western movies is the most photographed place in America with good reason - but don't be fooled into thinking it's a tourist trap. You can venture well off the beaten track aboard a jeep and let your Navajo guide show off the huge hunks of red rock and share the fables of the sacred lands. Tonight, experience a stunning sunset overlooking the tribal valley and the chance to try the legendary Navajo Taco (if you can finish it that is).

Accommodation: Budget lodging included

Day
15-16

Grand Canyon National Park

Next up, the Grand Canyon should be on everyone's bucket list and once you've cast your eyes upon the deep canyon landscape you'll understand why. Pack your boots, camera and water and venture into the canyon itself along the Bright Angel Trail to Plateau Point or choose the "bird's eye" view on a scenic helicopter flight. Watching the sun rise or set over the canyon with the colours changing from amber, maroon and red is simply breath-taking.

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 -Las Vegas - the greatest show on earth! Cruise "The Strip" in a super-stretch limo, indulge in an all-you-can eat buffet, take in a show, ride a roller coaster and party the night away in a super-club. If you're looking to flash the cash even more, why not take a helicopter ride along The Strip or change those dollars for casino chips and gamble 'til the wee hours. As the saying goes; 'What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas', so enjoy every last second.

Accommodation: Budget lodging included

Day
19-20

San Diego

Head to the California coast and San Diego for some seriously laid back vibes and powder white sand beaches. There's loads to keep you busy in SD, why not pay Shamu a visit at SeaWorld or visit the 'best zoo in the world', San Diego Zoo. Not your thing? Stick by the coast and show off your skills by renting some rollerblades or a surfboard, or simply don your shades and soak up some rays.

Accommodation: Budget lodging included

Day
21

Los Angeles

Our final leg of the journey takes us up the coast to our final stop, the 'City of Angeles'.but it's not over just yet! With the California sunshine on your face you hit visit Hollywood Boulevard for a stroll along the Walk of Fame and photo of that massive Hollywood sign. A quick visit to the sandy shores of Venice Beach makes for awesome people watching before our tour comes to a close, leaving you with 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 tour leader
  • All accommodation - 8 hotel, 7 hostel, 3 motel, 1 cabin & 1 guesthouse nights.
  • Private transportation with free Wi-Fi
  • Evening illumination visit to Washington DC Monuments
  • 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
  • National Parks - Carlsbad Caverns, Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon

 

optional-extras

  • SeaWorld Adventure Park US$88
  • New Orleans jazz clubs US$10-$20
  • Mississippi riverboat cruise US$60-$70
  • Smithsonian National Museums US$FREE
  • Grand Canyon helicopter flight US$244-$274
  • 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$30
  • Johnny Cash Museum, Nashville US$14

 

tripgrade1

RAW

Our Raw tours are best suited for those with a sense of adventure, are willing to step outside their comfort zone and don’t mind being thrown in at the deep end. For independent travellers who want to travel with others. Just the ticket for those aged between 18-35 or anyone young at heart who has an open mind, an eye on the budget and a nose for adventure. Authentic experiences that expand the mind rather than hold the hand.

Style Facts

  • The freedom to explore without breaking the bank
  • Time to do your own thing – or join in optional group activities
  • YOU choose where YOU want to eat
  • Basic accommodation
  • A variety of public transportation
  • Fully trained and experienced leader.

Active

Explore the world on two feet - or two wheels! Our active trips range from classic treks & trips where walking forms an integral part of the itinerary to cycling tours offering a totally new perspective on a destination.

Some of our active adventure tours include the classic treks such as the Inca Trail, Kilimanjaro or Everest Base Camp as well as shorter one day or overnight hikes. Our cycling tours allow you to access hidden corners of a destination, discover remote villages and meet the locals – either en route or even by cycling alongside them. All our active trips are fully supported – with either porters and mules or by a support vehicle.

This tour is operated by our partners Trek America

 

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

Local Payment

We run a Food Kitty on this trip - you will need to contribute CA$10 a day which covers all your meals whilst camping.

 

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 also departs from Los Angeles

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