While you're up north, why not get consumed by the city that never sleeps, New York. And down South, get charmed by some traditional southern hospitality. Still craving more northern action? The Big Apple Explorer offers you the complete sights of the exciting city of New York.
1 NEW YORK TO WASHINGTON D.C.
Meet up with your Contiki crew and Tour Manager before we hit the road!
First up is Philadelphia. Check out Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed, and the historic Liberty Bell – Philadelphia’s landmark that weighs in at 2080lb (944kg). Don’t forget to try a Philly cheese steak, a local speciality.
Next up: the nation’s capital, Washington D.C. It’s the USA’s political core, buzzing with decision makers and busy with museums, monuments and politics. Get inspired on our Illuminations Tour around D.C’s famous structures and see the city brilliantly lit up against the night sky. Your Tour Manager will fill you in D.C’s signature sites and monuments, like the Capitol Building, Washington Monument and the White House. We’ll drive along the National Mall, a traditional place of protest and of key events in the USA’s past.
Enjoy an overview of presidential history with a look at the Lincoln Memorial, where Martin Luther King gave his “I have a dream” speech, the Jefferson memorial with its famous columns and the Roosevelt Memorial. Remember those who died in Vietnam and Korea as you check out the memorials to those conflicts.
Evening Illuminations Tour
See the Lincoln, Jefferson, Vietnam, FDR & Korean Memorials
See the White House, Capitol Building & Washington Monument
2-3 WASHINGTON D.C.
With two full days to explore the capital, you can visit some fascinating museums and monuments, or hang out in the city’s vibrant neighborhoods for a different feel.
We’ll visit Arlington National Cemetery, where JFK is buried and thousands of US soldiers lie. You’ll see the sobering sight of endless rows of white headstones and have the chance to watch the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Then get some pointers from your Tour Manager on where to go next.
Get a dose of culture at the Smithsonian Museums. This is a one-stop culture spot, made up of 19 different museums. It has it all – from natural history to space, so the choice is yours, and best of all, it’s free!
You can also visit the world-class Holocaust Museum and learn about one of history’s darkest moments as you honor the victims.
For something fun and intriguing, head to the Spy Museum. Find out about infamous FBI cases and what it means to be a secret agent, while you listen to bugs and play around with gadgets and interactive displays.
Later, hit Georgetown, D.C.’s oldest district and see how it has injected itself with new energy. 200 year-old buildings hold hip galleries and boutiques – it’s a great place to pick up something funky. It’s also a global kitchen - try something from the 50 different types of ethnic food on offer. With a university crowd, Georgetown is vibrant and young, so spend some time exploring the laid-back lounges and upscale bars.
For something more upbeat, get down and funky in Adams-Morgan, another trendy district.
Visit John F. Kennedy's Grave & the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery; See the Changing of the Guard
Visit the Smithsonian Museums of Natural History, Air & Space and American History
Visit the Holocaust Museum
Visit the Newseum
4 WASHINGTON D.C. TO RALEIGH
We leave hustle and bustle of Washington D.C. for a little Southern Hospitality. Take a break in historic Richmond, a city steeped in American history, before arriving in Raleigh.
Visit historic Richmond, VA
5 RALEIGH TO SAVANNAH VIA CHARLESTON
Continue to travel through the gracious Old South with a stop in hospitable Charleston, for a bit of lunch and shopping. Next we head to charming and free-spirited Savannah, a town full of historic city squares and picturesque gardens where you'll also get to see locations made famous by the film 'Forrest Gump'. Perhaps enjoy dinner along the waterfront tonight and experience southern hospitality at its best.
See the historic Southern town of Charleston
Visit the city market
Enjoy nightlife along the riverfront
6 SAVANNAH TO ST. AUGUSTINE
Free-wheeling Savannah is all about southern charm. Fall under its spell as you check out the old cotton warehouses, historic city squares and mansions. Spared from the destruction of the Civil War, you’ll see original historic buildings here. Visit stunning Forsythe Park and see gorgeous moss covered oak trees, surrounding historic homes and inns. Take in the sub-tropical plants, flowers and lush greenery that spill onto the town’s 24 public squares.
Next up we head into the cobble stoned streets of America's oldest city, St. Augustine. Once thought to house “The Fountain of Youth,” St. Augustine’s history and appeal will keep you eager to learn more
See the historic city squares, homes & gardens made famous by the film 'Forrest Gump'
Guided walking tour of charming Savannah
Tour America's oldest city
See Castillo de San Marcos National Monument America's 300 year old fortress
7 ST. AUGUSTINE TO DAYTONA BEACH
Today we start in St. Augustine, America’s oldest inhabited city, complete with cobblestones, a laid-back harbor and small beaches. Head to the timeworn streets of the Spanish quarter with the group, soak up the Mediterranean feel with its colorful buildings and courtyards, and visit the 16th Century Castillo de San Marcos National Monument.
Later we head on to the home of NASCAR, Daytona Beach. Later either chill on the beach, or for those more adventurous, why not ride shotgun in NASCAR for a serious adrenaline rush!
PLEASE NOTE: Trips departing before April 2015 will head to Cocoa beach via the Kennedy Space center today, as the itinerary below:
Today drive south down Florida’s “Space Coast” and touch base with outer-space on a visit to the fascinating Kennedy Space Center, the only rocket launch point for space missions in the Western Hemisphere. You’ve got time to explore the massive series of buildings, as you learn about space exploration and get up close to pieces of the moon, mission capsules, astronaut’s gear and space shuttles. You’ll also see the launch and landing pad first hand.
After a morning spent exploring America’s aeronautical history, we arrive at the surfing capital of the East Coast, Cocoa Beach.
Our hotel is in walking distance to the beach, so hit some of the biggest waves in Florida or try out some volleyball on the beach. Watch the locals fishing off the pier and order some fresh seafood later on at beachside
8 DAYTONA BEACH TO MIAMI VIA KENNEDY SPACE CENTER
Today you get the chance to touch base with outer space as you explore the incredible Kennedy Space Center! Afterwards we head south to the “Magic City” of Miami. Get ready for Miami’s energetic and vibrant lifestyle. Tonight perhaps star spot in South Beach’s hottest clubs.
PLEASE NOTE: Trips departing before April 2015 will head from Cocoa beach to Miami as the itinerary below
We depart Cocoa Beach today and head south to the “Magic City” of Miami. Get ready for Miami’s energetic and vibrant lifestyle. Tonight perhaps star spot in South Beach’s hottest clubs.
See downtown Miami
Thriller speed boat ride
Miami Party Cruise
Tropical Miami oozes energy and a free day here means time to get into this happening hub.
Head down to Ocean Avenue and people-watch. If you’re looking to relax, kick back among the toned, bronzed bodies on South Beach and take a swim in the warm waters of the southern Atlantic.
Have a go on 2 wheels in a fun included biking excursion with the group and get familiar with the waterfront neighborhoods. Your Local Guide will give you an insider’s view on this colorful town, and take you to many of Miami’s signature sites like Casa Casuarina (Versace Mansion), the Bass Art Museum and the Holocaust Memorial before winding down with something cool to drink at Miami’s Marina.
If you’ve got time to live a bit of the local Latin lifestyle, return to Little Havana and order some Cuban rice and beans, followed by some sweet Cuban coffee. Try your hand at dominoes on one of the outdoor tables on Calle Ocho (Eighth Street) or pick up a Cuban cigar and some salsa music at one of the little shops.
Before you hit the shops, get some pointers about where to head from your Tour Manager, who knows the ins and outs of Miami. For shopping in style, stroll through the outdoor shopping promenade of the Lincoln Road mall and for bargains, head to Espanola Way. Tonight, live a slice of the high life and party it up Miami style out on the water in our optional harbor party cruise.
Wander through vibrant Art Deco period architecture & party like a rockstar in a city famous for it's nightlife
Roll Miami-style on a guided bike tour of South Beach
Miami Party Cruise
10 MIAMI TO ORLANDO
Get ready to arrive in the former farming town of Orlando. This ordinary town was transformed into the most-visited place in the state by Walt Disney’s imagination, when he created Disney World. Now Orlando is all about wild rides, fantasy and amusement parks, so get some pointers from your Tour Manager and take you pick!
One way transfers to the amusement parks
Visit the entertainment area of Old Town
Free time means a day out in one of the many fun parks located here with some friends. There are loads of options; Disney World with its 4 parks, Universal Studios, SeaWorld and several water parks. The parks also serve up theme-bars and clubs, so if you’re keen, keep it moving tonight at one of them.
One way transfers to the amusement parks
12 ORLANDO TO PANAMA CITY BEACH
With time to relax on the coach, enjoy a siesta or get some tips for the up-coming destinations from your Tour Manager. Later, we're off to soak up some sun with an overnight stop at “The World's Most Beautiful Beaches” - Panama City Beach.
13 PANAMA CITY BEACH TO NEW ORLEANS
A meeting point of European style and Caribbean flavors, swinging New Orleans is busy with soul, flamboyance, festivities and a whole lot of jazz!
Get your first taste of the city’s romance as the group looks into New Orleans’ spiritual heart: the historic French Quarter. See New Orleans’ main drag, the city’s original coffee shop Café du Monde, the French Market and thriving Jackson Square, with its pretty wrought iron balconies.
Later, join an optional excursion on a traditional Mississippi riverboat and head out along the famous river. With a live Dixie jazz band and loads of Creole cooking, you’ll soon get into life in the “Big Easy”. Then turn the energy levels up with a visit to Bourbon street. Humming night and day, it is all about music and bars. So make sure you live the New Orleans’ motto “Laissez les bon temps rouler” - let the good times roll!
See the French Quarter, Jackson Square & the French Market
Enjoy the nightlife of Bourbon Street
Riverboat Dinner Cruise
14 DEPART NEW ORLEANS
Our tour ends after breakfast. It’s time to say goodbye to your new friends and Contiki Crew.
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