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Welcome to the land where it's always 70 degrees and sunny, Los Angeles. The place where dreams are made (and broken), La La Land is a city that exudes talent, creativity and drive, spilling out into its abundant offering of theatres, galleries, museums and street art hubs. Arriving today you'll meet up with your Travel Director in the afternoon before hitting the streets to explore LA, your way. Perhaps the lure of the illustrious Venice neighbourhood will pull you in, where you can wander down Venice Beach and explore its many boutiques and seaside bite cafes, or maybe head to Griffith Observatory for a spot of star gazing. Feeling hungry? LA's food scene needs little introduction, offering California's best tacos, tasty Korean food and more health food offerings than anywhere else in the country.
Ready to get stars in your eyes? This morning's tour will show you the all out glitz and glamour of LA, visiting the palm lined streets of Santa Monica, the iconic Sunset Boulevard, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which is just a stone's throw from the beacon of Hollywood, the Dolby Theatre, home of the Academy Awards. Leaving your dreams of fame and fortune behind, you'll then head on to the neon lights of Las Vegas, an entertainment oasis surrounded by dry desert with a reputation almost as big as the fortune's many have made (and lost) here. Tonight, why not see the city at its finest on our 'Sights and Lights' tour.
With a free day in Sin City, it's entirely up to you how to explore the entertainment capital of the world. The casinos, the all you can eat buffets, the glittering roof top pools, the biggest names in show business - they're all here for the taking. You could get out of town on our excursion to Hoover Dam for the chance to admire the USA's biggest man made reservoir Lake Mead, or enjoy a singalong at Vegas! The Show, crooning to the best loved hits of Sonny & Cher, Elvis and the Rat Pack. Tonight, head over to the Downtown area to explore the artsy Freemont East district.
Ready to get your kicks on Route 66? Today's the day to do it. A symbol of the American dream, Route 66 has been eternally immortalised by literature and movies and still to this day represents the ultimate American road trip. You'll be stopping by Kingman and Seligman en route to Flagstaff, two iconic outposts that are a real taste of all things Americana complete with classic motels, kitsch petrol pumps and steaming slices of apple pie. Feeling like you've taken your place in American history, you'll finish up this evening in the Arizonan escape town of Flagstaff.
Nothing can quite prepare you for your first glimpse of the Grand Canyon. One of the world's 7 natural wonders and a UNESCO World Heritage site, it's estimated to be around 2 billion years old, with a layer of rock at the bottom of the canyon said to be some of the oldest exposed rock on the planet. Take your time exploring the incredible geology of the land, or to make your visit extra special why not treat yourself to our Optional Experience that could see you soaring in a helicopter or aircraft over the North and South rims.
This morning, you'll then head on to explore a Hollywood great, Monument Valley. Immortalised as the setting for countless movies and TV shows, Monument Valley is an emblem of the wild west, its rusty red spindles and grand buttes thrusting 1200 feet skyward from the barren valley below. Named the 'Valley Between the Rocks' by the Navajo people who arrived here centuries ago, you'll likely feel very small and insignificant here as you learn about the geology and history of the area from a local Navajo guide on an open-air vehicle tour. This evening, join in the Earth Spirit Theater and view an original John Wayne movie filmed in and around Monument Valley.
Stand in the exact spot where Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico meet at Four Corners, your first stop today, before heading on to the UNESCO World Heritage listed Mesa Verde National Park. Home to the Pueblo people for over 700 years, Mesa Verde protects nearly 5000 archeological sites including 600 cliff dwellings and offers a fascinating insight into Native American history. Not done with historical insight just yet you'll then finish today in the old Colorado mining town of Durango, which boasts tasteful hotels, lovely tree lined streets and Victorian-era saloons reminiscent of the town's wild west history. Railway fans, this is also the place where you can board the famous coal-fired and steam-powered locomotive that winds through the remote wilderness of the San Juan National Forest.
Leaving Durango behind, head deeper into wild west country today as you journey towards one of America's oldest and most beautiful cities, scorching Santa Fe. Founded by Spanish missionaries in 1610 and the capital of New Mexico, Santa Fe claims the title of the nation's highest state capital, sitting at an elevation of 7000 feet. With the towering Sangre de Cristo mountain range surrounding you, admire the rambling abode houses and baroque churches as you explore this timeless, soulful city. Have time for lunch in Taos, NM before heading to the Santa Fe Plaza,the city's cultural heart, to admire crafts and jewellery sold by Native American sellers, or dive in to the Mexican infused culinary scene as you sip margaritas and toast to the electric sunset.
Slap on the sunscreen and head out on a sightseeing tour this morning, learning more about the 400 year old history of The Plaza before stopping by the Palace of the Governors, the oldest public building in the US. Visit St. Francis Cathedral where European and New Mexican influences collide, then this afternoon and with time to yourself why not get to grips with Santa Fe's famous art scene. The distinctive neighbourhoods of Barrio Analco and Canyon Road are both well worth a visit, then finish the day eating tacos on Guadalupe Street.
Cruising along Route 66 once again, you'll be heading on to the Cadillac Ranch, just outside of Amarillo. An emblem of Route 66 and a testament to America's long standing love affair with wheels, the Ranch features 10 Cadillacs buried face down which visitors are encouraged to leave their mark on. Finally you'll arrive in Amarillo, where you will be staying for the night.
It's big, it's brash, it's flashy - it can only be the 'Big D', Dallas, your next destination. Synonymous with the Dallas Cowboys and the TV show that became an American household name, Dallas also has a darker history as the spot of JFK's assassination in 1963. Arriving today you'll have time to explore as you please, perhaps heading to one of the city's unique neighbourhoods to explore its culinary or cultural scene. The 68 acre Arts District is the nation's largest urban arts district boasting award winning museums and performing art venues, whilst Highland Park is where the city's most beautiful homes and high end shopping can be found. However you explore today, you'll likely end up at Deep Ellum with a cold beer in hand.
Waking up to an entirely free day in Dallas, this morning you'll have the chance to visit a place of high drama, scandal and romance. The famous home of the Ewing Family, Southfork Ranch has a special place in the nation's hearts as the star of the hit TV show Dallas. Visiting here you can tour the mansion, re-live exciting moments from the show and enjoy a special place in TV history. This afternoon, experience a slice of real Texan life at the Fort Worth Cattle Drive as you watch true Texan handlers drive their longhorn cattle through Exchange Avenue in the Stockyards National Historic District.
Leaving the cowboy hats and big city antics of Dallas behind, today you'll head on to Lafayette. This bubbly little university town is a real under the radar gem and may just end up being one of the surprising stand out stars of your entire trip. Tonight, for the real Lafayette experience head down to Randol's, where you can eat crab cake au gratin and scoot around the dance floor with the locals to live Cajun tunes.
Visiting the Acadian Cultural Centre this morning you'll discover more about Lafayette's Cajun culture through stories that explore the origins, migration, settlement and culture of the Acadians. From here, you'll then head towards the 'Big Easy'. Famed for its Mardi Gras celebrations and diverse culture, everything in New Orleans is a little larger than life. The weddings are bigger, the funerals are louder, the food is richer, and every single day is a cause for celebration. Perhaps enjoy a po boy from Cafe du Monde. Tonight it would only be right to sample some good old fashioned Creole cooking, and in our opinion there's only one place to go for the best food in town - the New Orleans institution, Dooky Chase.
Waking up with a NOLA induced spring in your step, today is entirely free for you to explore the Big Easy your way. Head back to the cute cafes and decadent mansions of the Garden District, have your fortune told in Jackson Square or learn more about the city's fascinating voodoo culture by exploring a cemetery, taking a peek around the elaborate stone crypts and mausoleums. This afternoon, join a step on sightseeing tour that will take you to the French Quarter, Jackson Square and St. Louis Cathedral. If the swamps and bayous of the Mississippi are of interest to you, why not join a boat trip through the Jean Lafitte National Park. Led by a native guide, spot 'gators, eagles, snakes and egrets as you cruise these lush waters. This evening we doubt you'll be able to resist the prospect of a steamboat jazz dinner cruise.
Head over to the artsy Fondren District for a spot of lunch. This afternoon, you'll then arrive in the music obsessed city of Memphis. Home to the King who needs little introduction, musical history and influence run through the streets with bluesy Beale Street a fine example of this, whilst the city is also a historical heavyweight for the role it played in the Civil Rights Movement. After all, it was here in 1968 that Martin Luther King was assassinated. Tonight you'll no doubt be keen to put Memphis' legendary barbecue reputation to the test. Make sure you're hungry as the gluttonous portions of smoky pulled pork and juicy ribs will defeat even the keenest of eaters.
We hope you didn't peak too soon on last night's barbecue as this morning's breakfast is another decadent affair of Southern family style dishes. Likely rolling out of the classic 'greasy spoon' restaurant, today will be a special one for Elvis fans as you have the chance to make the pilgrimage to Graceland. This afternoon enjoy an optional guided tour around Sun Studio, where Elvis was first discovered back in 1954. Toe tapping your way into the evening, head over to Beale Street for dinner at the Blue's City Cafe, a lively joint that serves up Southern treats accompanied by live music, naturally.
Enjoy an Iconic Breakfast at The Arcade before trading one musically inclined city for another. Good old fashioned southern hospitality will welcome you to 'Music City' today, otherwise known as Nashville. A place of pilgrimage for country music fans, Nashville has been attracting musical icons since the 1920's and whilst country music wasn't born here, the city is certainly responsible for the evolution of the genre. Get your bearings on a tour that will take you to Riverfront Park, Tennessee State Capitol and the 132 acre Centennial State Park, where you'll be transported straight to Athens as you admire the Parthenon, a jaw-dropping exact replica of the original.
Delve into the incredible musical history of the city today with a visit to Music Row, stopping off at Studio B where industry legends like Dolly Parton and the Everly Brothers have all recorded albums. No Nashville musical tour would be complete without a snoop around the Country Music Hall of Fame, so you'll also visit here to trace the history of country music and enjoy priceless memorabilia from Hank Williams and Loretta Lynn. With the rest of the afternoon and evening then yours, why not scout out the tastiest hot chicken and biscuits of the city, dishes synonymous with the south.
It's back on the road today as you head towards the bright lights of Pigeon Forge. An eclectic little city that denotes its name from the Little Pigeon River that runs through the middle of it, Pigeon Forge sits in the shadows of the Great Smoky Mountains and prides itself on its entertainment capacity. Arriving here and with a free afternoon, your could visit OJ Simpson's white Ford Bronco, ride a 200ft high Ferris wheel or step onboard a detailed replica of the Titanic, where the hallways, cabins, parlours and Grand Staircase of the world's most iconic ship have been meticulously reproduced. Tonight, Dollywood awaits. The southern style theme park owned by Dolly Parton is fun for all the family and Pigeon Forge's number one attraction, so it would only be right to join us for a night you'll never forget - the Dollywood Stampede.
It's a short drive into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park this morning, the most visited national park in all of the US. Simply stunning is the best way to describe this place, where lush forests and fields of wildflowers bloom all year round. Take your time exploring here, following the various walking routes that will take you past streams, rivers and waterfalls, with Clingmans Dome looming from up above. Keep an eye out for black bears and visit a section of the Appalachian Trail before heading on to the affectionally named C'Ville, where you'll spend the evening.
It won't be hard to wake up in happy and easy going Charlottesville, which is regularly ranked one of America's best places to live. Join us for a winery and tasting tour to commemorate the fact that C'Ville is the birthplace of American wine. Visit beautiful Shenandoah National Park. Perhaps enjoying a little wine induced snooze on the drive you'll then arrive into Washington, America's capital city and the seat of political power. Fast paced, politically charged and culturally revered, 'DC' is the place you've seen a thousand times on screens small and large and is just as impressive in real life. Settle in to your hotel, then pay a visit to bustling Georgetown for a wander round the shops and restaurants.
Today's all about unearthing the political and cultural highlights of this high flying city. You'll kick things off with a sightseeing tour that will feel more like a walk through a real life movie set, visiting icons including the gargantuan Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, and the jewel in America's political crown, the White House. With the rest of the day then free to explore as you please, the question is really where to start? Perhaps treat your cultural side to an afternoon spent browsing the museums of the Smithsonian Institution, pay a visit to George Washington's sprawling Mount Vernon Estate or enjoy a cruise down the scenic Potomac River. This evening we've then got another treat in store - our Optional Washington Illumination Tour, where you'll see DC's most famous monuments all lit up in their night time glory.
From one American great to another NYC beckons today, but not before a visit en route to 'Philly'. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage city in 2015, Philadelphia is the beating heart of the USA's revolutionary history and the place where both the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution were signed. You'll have time to eat lunch here, likely involving the city's legendary cheesesteak sandwich, before heading on to the fast and fabulous metropolis of New York. Every inch as magical and iconic as you've been imagining, you'll head out on an orientation tour of the Big Apple that will allow you to see Broadway, the Empire State Building, leafy Greenwich Village and the sobering 9/11 Memorial. This evening and in celebration of your final night, why not get acquainted with the city's foodie scene? From gourmet food trucks to Michelin Star restaurants, the city that never sleeps ensures you'll never go hungry.
With fond memories of giant canyons, musical legends and indulgent southern cuisine still fresh in your mind, your trip will come to an end this morning. Head out for one final cream cheese bagel and stroll around Central Park before heading to the airport, or if you're not ready to say goodbye just yet, perhaps extend your stay in NYC for a few more days. In a city as varied and wonderful as New York, you're never short of new things to discover.
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