Take in the big city lights and jaw-dropping natural sites of North America. This 2-week journey from Illinois to LA will see you journeying through Minnesota farmlands, Yellowstone National Park, and the casino crazed Las Vegas. The perfect balance of everything the USA has to offer.
Meet up with Contiki crew and head into America's heartland.
Next stop: Milwaukee. It’s home to the nation’s largest beer brewers and also Harley Davidson.
Later on we pull into the town of Madison, know for it’s friendly college vibes. If you’re up for a night out, grab a few buddies and hang out as the students do on the popular State Street, where the taverns, local specialty breweries, comedy clubs and bars will have you spoilt for choice.
Cross the Midwest and see the pretty as a picture Minnesota farmlands before hitting the wild yet wonderful state of South Dakota.
We travel across the county’s biggest prairies and enter a region once dominated by the Sioux Tribes – the only Native American Nation to defeat the US army. You’ll learn the background of the city’s name (and maybe even learn how to pronounce it properly) and also visit the SPAM Museum, yes travellers you read that right. Think weird, wacky and most definitely spammy.
After learning about Sioux Falls (Sioux is the name of a native American tribe we'll have you know) and seeing the beautiful landscapes, it is time to move on to Mt. Rushmore, but not without a stop off at Badlands National Park on the way.
An interesting name, and an even more interesting place. You will notice the amazing natural sites of South Dakota go by as we journey through Badlands National Park, past a surreal, lunar landscape of rugged-edged cliffs, sharp spires and crevices. We'll stop off here for a leisurely walk along the Fossil Trail.
It is here we stay for the night, where the excitement really builds in the group, because tomorrow we see the incredible carvings of four past Presidents' faces etched into the mountainside. It's time to really start making every single moment count with the crew who by now will be feeling like family.
It's a crazy concept but yes, there are 18m (60ft) faces of Presidents, Jefferson, Lincoln, Washington and Roosevelt carved into the side of a stony mountain. It is quite surreal to see it in such natural surrounds, especially knowing that it took 14 long years to create this work of art. You'll also be blown away by the massive 563 feet tall monument of the famous Sioux warrior, Crazy Horse, currently a work in progress being gradually carved out of a mountain. What else is in store today? Custer State Park, where you can get some good old MN (mumma nature) time, or get on 4 wheels for a jeep safari through the park.
After reliving in the old Wild West complete with saloons and gambling parlours, we cut across Wyoming. It is here we learn about the Pony Express and cowboy culture.
Saddle up and get ready for two nights in the western of Cody. Use your free time here to visit the Buffalo Bill Centre of the west, or learn the ways of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid along the Old Trail Town or even catch a true show of professional cowboying at a raucous nighttime rodeo.
Nature works in very mysterious ways sometimes. Yellowstone National Park is the incredible result of a massive volcanic eruption, and what a sight it is. The scenery is like something out of a film, and if you are lucky (and super quiet) you might even get to experience the wildlife too - this area known for grizzly bears, buffalos and wolves. We'll stop to visit the glorious Old Faithful geyser, the most famous in the world, and with erruptions on the regular it's a must to have the camera at the ready.
After a chilled night in the peaceful surrounds of Cody, we hop back on the coach and head onto Jackson Hole, but not before stopping off at two National Parks.
Thought you'd seen it all? Yellowstone, we're not finished with you yet. It's back to the park for a last minute nature hit at West Thumb geyser basin, a brilliantly blue basin of steaming lakes, and a sight that will give you goosebumps at just how incredible our planet really is.
Yet another wonder that will have you praising Mother Nature, the famous ski resort of Jackson Hole is full of wildlife and postcard like vistas, backed by the Teton Mountain range. This cute western town turns on the charm, with the option to spend your evening on horseback followed by a smokey and delicious cookout.
It's back on the coach this morning with wide eyes as we travel through the stunning mountain ranges of Idaho and onto Salt Lake City, but not before thrill seekers could take to the Snake River for some rafting to really awaken the body and mind.
This city is known for many things, it's mountain scene, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and of course being the state capital of Utah. We've got one night here, so best be getting out there asap to see what's going on. We'll head to Temple Square for an orientation around town and a peek at the local scene, before finding a spot for dinner. Tomorrow is going to be a day of big sights and beauty, so best get good nights sleep tonight for National Park glory awaits!
SLC, you've been grand, but nature calls and we're ready to take it on with all we've got.
You've probably seen it on Pinterest, and today Bryce Canyon is yours for the taking. OMG's and 'ohhh and ahhh' will be the words of the day today, as you throw on your comfy walking shoes and ake on the Navajo Loop Trail to see what's in store. With the landscape scattered as far as the eye can see with the areas famous 'hoodoos', or tall, thin spires of rock, this is like something out of a movie. Ranging from 1.5 to 45 massive metres these are jawdropping, and as you breathe in the clean pine filled air, you'll be left pondering just how good life is. With plenty of photo stops, this is truly a no regrets moment.
With Bryce Canyon imprinted in our minds forever, we pull up at Kanab, our home for the night. Grab a bite and a few drinks with the crew, and toast the day, and what's to come tomorrow, the magnificent rim of the North Grand Canyon!
Escape to the mind-blowing Grand Canyon as we see this wonder from a different angle,the less-visited and pristineNorth Rim. Hike along the rim of the canyon at your own pace to really get a feel for the size and drama of it all. There are trails for all levels of ability so no matter your fitness level you will definitely be able to have the full experience. Drink it all in, these are the travel moments you'll be re-telling for years to come.
Back to Kanab, yet another toast will be in order to another day of incredible nature and sights. We'll hit our third National Park in two days tomorrow, the glorious Zion will be showing off all it's best angles.
After breakfast, say goodbye Kanab and hello to the finale of the breathtaking outdoors of America for your last wilderness experience of the trip - Zion National Park.
Scene change! We cut back into Utah where we visit Zion National Park, with waterfalls, colourful cliffs and lush green as far as the eye can see. Famous landmarks including the Watchman and the West Temple will be on the agenda for this stop. What's on offer? Perhaps a hike through the 'narrows', also known as small canyons, or maybe get your toes wet with a visit to the lush emerald pools - the name says it all.
We are back in Sin City for one more round of debauchery. If you feel like you only scaped the surface before, here’s your chance to finish what you started. This gigantic man made oasis in the desert is larger than life in oh so many ways.
You have today all to yourself but you’ll need to run to a tight schedule to fit in all of Vegas' weird and wonderful charms. Travel the world in a day, taking in the sights of the world, all whilst staying firmly within the city. Feeling romantic? Stop by and see one of the many Elvis impersonators for a shotgun wedding ceremony, and maybe even get hitched yourself...(joking). Tonight live like a baller on a party bus (the bill is on us) as we cruise the strip. Later you can dance the night away with you Contiki Crew at one of Las Vegas' 25 world class night clubs.
We are on the home stretch peeps. We’re leaving Las Vegas on a journey through the vast and dusty Mojave Desert and back into unmistakable scenery of Southern California.
Can it be true - is it really over? We'll finish of this truly slife changing trip by book ending it back in Los Angeles where it’s time to say goodbye to you're new best friends (who won't be feeling so new by this point). Many a teary hug will be had with the people you have made unforgettable memories with. What a truly once in a lifetime opportunity for adventure, and we hope you leave with a brand new perspective on travel.
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Trip Name: Northern Adventure
Duration: 14 Days
From Price: £1,885
Supplier Tour ID: 265/238870
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