Southwest States Tour
Las Vegas, Austin and New Orleans – three cities with BIG personalities. Vegas is all bright lights and bags of character. Austin is the ‘Live Music Capital of the World’. And New Orleans? Well that place has the infectious energy that’ll get your toe tapping the minute you set foot in town. Colorado and the Grand Canyon are guaranteed to exceed your expectation of natural beauty.
Day 1: New Orleans, LA
Today we say hello to our new Topdeck friends: we're making our way over to the creole by plane (lucky you!). Crank the Creedence and get down to the bayou before New Orleans wraps us up in a warm, jazz-fuelled, Southern Hospitality hug.
Day 2: New Orleans
Eating makes some of the most memorable travel experiences. Broaden your horizons with fried oysters, crawfish, shrimp jambalaya and more delicious deep south soul food on this free day.
Day 3: New Orleans to Lafayette
Lafayette has more restaurants per capita than any other American city. Also Zydeco (Google it). Taste its Cajun roots tonight with an included group dinner.
-Tabasco factory tour
Day 4: Lafayette to San Antonio, TX
Time to trade the cowboy hat for a sombrero - we're off to soak up the Latino vibes in San Antonio. Fact: The world's largest cowboy boots stand proudly in San Antonio.
Day 5: San Antonio to Austin
A fulfilling experience comes via our visit to the Alamo Mission today. Then: you + inner-tube + San Marcos River = totally awesome way to spend a few hours en route to Austin (summer only) before we arrive in the live music capital of the world for a two-night stay.
-Visit to the Alamo
-River tubing (seasonal)
Day 6: Austin
Hello thrift shopping, Airstream cuisine (cooler than regular food trucks) and the ethos “Keep Austin Weird”. Need more? Nudists, boot scooters, cheese makers and 1.5 million bats - just a few of the things you might see on your free day in Austin. Who's ready to get their weird on? Hit 6th Street tonight for a live music smorgasbord.
Day 7: Austin to Amarillo
Fun fact: Amarillo was once the self-proclaimed helium capital of the world (imagine all those hours of party tricks). Tonight, take the 72oz. steak (2kg) challenge at Big Texan steakhouse and see if size really does matter.
-Big Texan steakhouse dinner
Day 8: Amarillo to Santa Fe, NM
Channel Banksy at Cadillac Ranch - an art installation of half-buried Cadillacs. Then indulge in your artistic side in Santa Fe - a centuries-old city of clay houses, art and mezcal margaritas. Shop, museum hop or hit the spa.
-Graffiti painting at Cadillac Ranch
Day 9: Santa Fe to Durango, CO
The fairytale-esque town of Durango (named after the Mexican city, named after the Spanish city) is next on our bucket list. They're even going to treat us to some fun old-fashioned Colorado dinner nosh.
Day 10: Durango
If you thought the jeep ride was bumpy, wait 'til you hit the rapids on Animas River - white-water rafting is on offer today. Less bumpy optionals include hiking and biking, and completely smooth ride seekers can spot prairie dogs (+cracking scenery) from the Durango Silverton steam train in this gorgeous old mining town.
Day 11: Durango to Grand Canyon, AZ (via Monument Valley)
On our way to that big hole in the ground, we make a stop past the Cameron Trading Post and Monument Valley. You'd be forgiven for wanting to miss the bus, especially once you learn the stories of the mesas from our Navajo guide. But a certain canyon awaits!
-Guided jeep tour with Navajo guide at Monument Valley
Day 12: Grand Canyon
You've seen pictures. But nothing can prepare you for the humility that comes with standing on the precipice of something so mighty. Whether it's six million or two billion years old we don't know (jury's still out) but this? Is #lifechanging stuff. Get amongst it with your included National Park entry and take Route 66 + an optional helicopter ride to see it in all its glory.
-Grand Canyon NP fees
Day 13: Grand Canyon to Las Vegas, NV
You've seen it done in The Hangover but if you're less inclined to kidnap tigers and pull out your own teeth, let us ease you into the action with a party bus tour of the strip before you let the dogs out.
-Las Vegas party bus
Day 14: Las Vegas
G-rated Vegas sounds like an oxymoron, but there's plenty of family-friendly options from indoor skydiving and roller coasters to Britney, live. Today, Vegas is your oyster, and there's a good chance it will be battered and deep fried.
Day 15: Las Vegas to Los Angeles, CA
It may only be 269 miles (433 km) from Vegas to LA but it's a parallel universe. Come down from the glitter high in time to sob goodbye to the West Coast.
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