From the neon lights of Vegas to the soulful jazzy rhythms of New Orleans, this trip will bring your American dream to life!
It’s time to stop dreaming and start doing, so settle in and get comfortable - you’re about to cruise the famous Route 66 and experience some of the very best sights the USA has to offer! This epic two-week adventure will have you fully immersed in the varying subcultures across the States. From the neon lights of Las Vegas to the cowboys and BBQ joints of Texas and the soulful Jazz of New Orleans, this unforgettable trip will open your mind to the vastness of this great country, and leave your American wanderlust satiated!
We spend 14 days exploring USA. We visit Los Angeles, New Orleans, Las Vegas, Williams, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Durango, Santa Fe, Amarillo, Fort Worth, Austin, Lafayette, Houston Space Center, Avery Island.
What Is Included...
Your fantastic Busabout crew
13 nights’ accommodation
13 breakfasts, 2 dinners
All coach transport
Entrance to Houston Space Museum
Party bus in Vegas
Tour of Avery Island Tabasco Factory
Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo
Grand Canyon National Park Entry
Wild West & City Lights Starts at 8:00am at TBC, Los Angeles
The Tour Ends at 10:00am at TBC, New Orleans
When We Go
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14 Day Itinerary
Day 1: Los Angeles to Las Vegas
It’s time for the adventure to begin! This morning you’ll meet your new travel companions at our accommodation, before we leave the city of La La Land behind and travel through the Mojave Desert, admiring the rugged dry landscape. After a stop in Baker for lunch and a visit to the World’s Highest Thermometer, we arrive in the City of Sin mid-afternoon. After check-in we’ll have some free time to explore the bustling Fremont Street. We’ll have dinner at the famous Heart Attack Grill, where the wait staff dress as medical staff, and you get spanked if you don’t finish your meal. Later we’ll bask in the neon glow of the Strip, head to a buzzing rooftop bar and see where the night takes us!
Day 2: Las Vegas
Today is your free day to explore. Hit the Strip in the daylight and marvel at the famous hotels like The Bellagio, MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay, as well as the numerous attractions in-between. For shopping visit Downtown Container Park, and for museum fans the Mob Museum and the Neon Museum are must-sees! If you haven’t had In-N-Out Burger yet, today’s your chance, with a tonne of other restaurant options in the city to choose from. If you want to experience the scenery, it’s only a short drive to Red Rock Conservation Park, with plenty of walking trails. We’ll meet this evening as we hit the Strip with an included party bus, so it’s time to let loose!
Day 3: Las Vegas to Williams
This morning we depart after breakfast towards the Wild West. We’ll stop to see the engineering marvel of the Hoover Dam, before joining Route 66 and cruising on this famous highway for the rest of the day. We’ll stop for a group photo at the abandoned ghost town of Santa Claus, Arizona; once a bustling, year-round holiday-themed stop for motorists, it’s glory days have long since passed. Later we’ll pass through Kingsmen, and stop for lunch in Seligman. This legendary town will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time! We’ll arrive in Williams mid-afternoon and check in. This small town has more than six blocks of historic buildings and shops bursting with memorabilia.
Day 4: Grand Canyon
Today we’ll be ticking off a major bucket list location - the Grand Canyon! We’ll depart early this morning for the full-day experience. After a short drive we’ll arrive at this jaw dropping site, and you’ll be glad you have the entire day to explore. There are optional scenic flights and helicopter rides available for those who want to see the canyon from the sky. For those staying on the ground, there are plenty of hikes and mind-blowing views, so get moving and make sure you capture the moment. We depart from the Grand Canyon in the late afternoon and head back to Williams. Tonight you have free time to explore and grab a tasty dinner with your fellow passengers. It’s time to debrief on the incredible sights you’ve seen so far!
Day 5: Durango to Monument Valley to Williams
Another early start as we make tracks for Williams. On our way we’ll be passing through an American institution: Monument Valley. Famed western director, John Ford, first made these buttes iconic but you might know them from a host of films, including Back to the Future 3 and Forrest Gump. After stopping a few times to take in the sights, we leave the Valley and continue on to Williams. We’ll arrive in the humble town in the early evening to a classic western feel, ready to explore the historic buildings and pine country, Arizona. Spend tonight eating great food whilst guzzling down a few ice cold brews, and sharing a laugh with the friendly locals.
Day 5: Williams to Monument Valley to Durango
It’s an early start today as we depart towards Monument Valley. We’ll stop for some lunch at the Visitor Centre, then drive the popular main road where you’ll recognise sights from Forrest Gump, Back to the Future 3, Mission Impossible 2, The Lone Ranger and 2001: A Space Odyssey. It’s certainly a popular film location! This afternoon we’ll drive on to Durango, where we’ll arrive in the early evening. Durango is a former railway town that now attracts visitors due to its Old West feel. It’s got a wide array of outdoor activities, and it’s close to the “Four Corners”, where New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado meet. We’ll have an orientation walk to get your bearings, and then you have some free time to explore your new surroundings. Tonight we’ll have dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 6: Durango to Santa Fe
Spend this morning however you like, in the adventure sport capital of Colorado! There are optional horseback riding, rafting and Mesa Verde trips available. We’ll say farewell to Durango after lunchtime and drive to Santa Fe. On our arrival we’ll check into our accommodation and get comfortable, then enjoy some free time. One of the oldest sites in the United States, Santa Fe was settled by the Spanish in the 15th century. The look hasn’t changed much in parts of the old city either; the area features pueblo adobe architecture that dates back to the time when Navajo Native Americans co-existed in the city with the Spanish. Later we’ll have an orientation walk to show you all the sights on the way to dinner.
Day 7: Santa Fe to Amarillo
This morning we rejoin the historic Route 66 heading for Santa Rosa, where you’ll spot plenty of vintage diners and motels. We’ll pass through Tucumcari and get a photo with the famous Blue Swallow Motel, known for its unique neon sign. Shortly after we’ll pass into Texas with a time zone change, as well as a distinct change in feel - everything is bigger here! We’ll make a stop at Cadillac Ranch, a quirky art installation serving as a tribute to the ‘Golden Age’ of American automobiles. We’ll arrive at our accommodation in Amarillo and get checked in, before taking a stroll through the Sixth-Street Historic District. Here you’ll find shops, restaurants, antique stores, annual festivals, and noteworthy architecture. Tonight you can try and take on the famous 72-ounce (2kg) Steak Challenge at Big Texan Steak Ranch - if you finish it in under one hour, it’s free!
Day 8: Amarillo to Fort Worth
Today we make our way to Fort Worth, arriving mid-afternoon. After we check in, you have free time to explore! To step back in time, check out the Stockyards National Historic District. Cowboys strolling the streets, horse-and-cart rides, and a choice of BBQ joints make this the Texan experience many are looking for. The Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame is also worth seeing, and you can go shopping for some boots and a big hat at Wild Bills. For a nice place to chill, the Trinity River runs by downtown, making for a perfect setting to spend an afternoon outside. For quality BBQ and tex-mex food, Angelo’s BBQ, Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que or Ernesto’s Taqueria are good spots. Tonight, we highly recommend hitting up Billy Bob's Texas - the World's Largest Honky Tonk. This dancehall is outfitted with over 30 bar stations and can hold up to 6,000 people!
Day 9: Fort Worth to Austin
Rise and shine, today we’re off to Austin. We’ll drive for couple of hours before our first stop in Waco, where Dr Pepper was first sold. We have an hour here, so you can check out the Dr Pepper Museum or wander the Magnolia Markets before we hop back on the coach. We’ll arrive in Austin around lunchtime, and after checking in it’s time to head out with your guide. Austin is known for its live music and quirky attractions, and has the perfect mix of innovation and old-school culture. We’ll experience the city’s hip bohemian scene, see the University of Texas, Stevie Ray Vaughan memorial, SOCO Avenue, the State Capitol building, and a tonne of shops and food trucks. After dinner we’ll hit up Sixth Street, the centre of Austin’s nightlife - it’s time to take a load off and enjoy the vibes, so make sure you’ve got your dancing shoes on!
Day 10: Austin
Today you have the whole day to explore Austin at your own pace. This is the fastest growing city in the U.S., so of course there’s plenty to see and do! The quirky city retains its “Keep Austin Weird” motto - a slogan adopted to represent the city’s ongoing support for local artists and businesses, however unique. Check out the attractions like graffiti parks, the Cathedral of Junk, Zilker Park, and the witness the bats coming out at sunset - the best place to see this is Congress Avenue Bridge. As the sun comes down, 1.5 million Mexican free-tailed bats come out! Meet your guide in the evening to head out to enjoy some of the live music that Austin is famous for. Our top picks for music would be The Carousel Lounge, the Hole In The Wall, Hotel Vegas Bar or Mohawk.
Day 11: Austin to Houston Space Center to Lafayette
It’s an earlier start today as we depart Austin towards Lafayette, but not before an epic stop on the way! At around noon we’ll arrive at Houston Space Centre, the official visitor centre of NASA. This popular attraction documents space exploration through the years, and has real shuttles, space suits and satellites to check out. We’ll grab some lunch while we’re there, and get back on the coach to continue our journey. We arrive at our destination of Lafayette, Louisiana right in time to grab some dinner! This state is famous for its Cajun and Creole cuisine, and there’s a huge range of restaurants to choose from.
Day 12: Lafayette to Avery Island to New Orleans
We leave Lafayette early this morning and drive to Avery Island Tabasco Factory. We will have an included tour to learn all about the home of Tabasco sauce! We then drive to New Orleans, with a lunch stop on the way. On arrival, we’ll head out to explore the gem of the south. See the French quarter with its cobblestone streets and the historical Jackson Square at the centre. Lined with heritage houses and street performers, there are bars and restaurants spread throughout the area. Jazz music was born in the Big Easy and tonight we will experience one of the live music bars that are spread throughout the city. The Playhouse, Fritzel’s, Maison Bourbon and Preservation Hall are all good options to visit!
Day 13: New Orleans
You have the day to wander New Orleans at your leisure, and it’s hard to go wrong! Why not grab a coffee from the famous Café du Monde, or a fried chicken and waffle breakfast? Explore the flea markets on Magazine Street, or amble along the lakefront. For lunch we recommend Willie Mae’s Scotch House, which has been around for half a century, serving the best fried chicken in New Orleans and soul-food family style. Try the red beans and rice! Later on, head to Rev. Zombie’s Voodoo Shop to learn more about voodoo in New Orleans. If you want to get further afield and experience the bayou culture of the Louisiana wetlands, then don’t miss an airboat tour. There’s no better way to see the local wildlife and wetlands! Tonight we’ll head to Frenchman Street where the locals enjoy live music and casual eateries.
Day 14: New Orleans
Unfortunately the time has come to grab your bags, and bid farewell to your new travel buddies. We’re sure you’ve had an incredible time and made a lot of memories on this adventure of a lifetime. Have a final debrief on all the amazing experiences you’ve had over the past two weeks, and make sure you’ve got each others Facebooks and Instagrams before the tour wraps up after breakfast. We hope to see you again soon!
This tour connects with the following trips
All of our tours are designed to link to each other. The Wild West & City Lights connects to these great trips.