Day 1 - Welcome to New York
Feel the excitement build as your plane touches down in New York, then soak in the sights and sounds of the city for the first time as you make your way to your hotel.
Tonight why not consider a visit to one of New York’s most popular destinations, Rockefeller Centre? It is a hub of activity, with thousands of visitors and New Yorkers alike taking in an array of exciting attractions. Whether you’re looking to spend the afternoon ice-skating, joining the audience of a television show, or shopping at its world-class retail stores, the Rock has something for everyone.
Standard: Holiday Inn Hasbrouck Heights or similar (2 nights)
Budget: Quality Inn Meadowlands or similar (2 nights)
Day 2 - New York
New York City is the ultimate cosmopolitan city; there is lower Manhattan’s Chinatown and the traditionally Jewish Lower East Side, the more artsy concentrations of SoHo, TriBeCa, and the East and West Villages, as well as the celebrated architecture of corporate Manhattan, and its iconic skyscrapers.
New York is full of wonderful establishments, monuments and countless sights. Tour the United Nations, the Whitney Museum of Art and the world-class Metropolitan Museum of Art. Take a ride through Central Park on a horse drawn carriage, or tour the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Admire the lights of the Brooklyn Bridge from the South Street Seaport.
Visit the famous Empire State Building which soars more than a quarter of a mile into the atmosphere above the heart of Manhattan. Visit the Guggenheim Museum, Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece of modern architecture. This museum is home to a fine collection of 20th century art, including works by Chagall, Degas, Kadinsky, Picasso and Van Gogh. Tour Radio City Music Hall where America’s most popular entertainers have thrilled audiences at since its doors opened in 1932 and home to the world-famous Radio City Rockettes.
Day 3 - Philadelphia (85 miles)
Collect your hire car this morning and leave the excitement of New York behind to travel to historic Philadelphia. Perhaps the most famous attraction here is the Liberty Bell Pavilion, which houses the 2,080 lb. bell and is located within the National Historical Park.
Just across the street, is Independence Hall which is known for being the place where Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence was constructed and adopted on July 4, 1776. Another unique piece of history still reserved in Philadelphia is the Betsy Ross House. She is said to have sewn the first United States flag that was presented to George Washington.
Philly is not all historical buildings and artefacts. The Philadelphia Zoo was the first National Zoo in the U.S. and is currently home to over 1,300 animals. The Please Touch Museum is the only one of its kind; it caters to younger audiences and offers a chance to explore hand-on exhibits.
Standard & Budget: Holiday Inn Express Midtown or similar
Day 4 - Washington D.C. (141 miles)
Enjoy this morning in Philadelphia before departing for Washington D.C. Bustling with activity, America’s capital city is powered by politics and tourism.
Washington, D.C. attracts nearly twenty million tourists each year making tourism the second biggest industry of the area just after the federal government. Pleasingly, admission to most major attractions is free.
The District, as it is called by the locals, centres on the capital city and then spreads into a variety of distinctive neighbourhoods. They include Downtown, with its art galleries and nightlife and Dupont Circle with hip clubs and trendy shopping. Capitol Hill and the National Mall feature most of the city’s most prominent buildings and museums, including stately presidential monuments and most branches of the world-famous Smithsonian Institution.
Standard: Melrose Hotel, Washington D.C or similar (2 nights)
Budget: Days Inn, Washington D.C. or similar (2 nights)
Day 5 - Washington D.C.
Today you will have a chance to explore more of the nation’s capitol. Visit the city’s most famous sites which are mostly concentrated along the National Mall, often called the “Nation’s Front Yard”; it expands from the Lincoln Memorial on the Potomac to the Capitol Building and Supreme Court on Capitol Hill.
Along the Mall are the majority of the 18 museums which comprise the Smithsonian Institution, the War Memorials, and the Washington Monument which offers rides to the top of the obelisk and lies south of the illustrious White House. Other points of interest are Arlington National Cemetery, the Library of Congress, the National Cathedral and the National Zoo.
Of course, there is more to Washington than historical site-seeing. As well as world-class restaurants, you can see Broadway shows, Washington-only political satires, and live music of all types. At the Kennedy Centre for the Performing Arts, you can catch live theatre and music performances.
Day 6 - Roanoke (392 miles)
Depart the bustle of the capital city and continue to Roanoke for an overnight stay. While on the road, visit Colonial Williamsburg; the nation’s largest living history museum with some 500 buildings, homes, stores and taverns reconstructed and restored to their 18th-century appearance. Must-see attractions are the Governor’s Palace, the Capitol, the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum, the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, and Bassett Hall. Of course, a trip to Williamsburg wouldn’t be complete without visiting Jamestown, America’s birth place, and Yorktown, where America’s Independence was born. This regional trio has come to be known as “America’s Historic Triangle”.
Continue to Roanoke; this city actually dates back to the seventeenth century, when pioneers moved west across Virginia and settled in the Shenandoah Valley on the banks of the Roanoke River. As a result of the salt deposits in the area, this settlement received the tragic name “Big Lick.” Visit the popular Market Square, home to excellent dining, nightlife, and shopping as well as the historic Farmer’s Market.
Standard: Holiday Inn, Tanglewood or similar (1 night)
Budget: Best Western, North Roanoke or similar (1 night)
Day 7 - Asheville (246 miles)
Today, you will be surrounded by the natural beauty of the Great Smoky and Blue Ridge Mountains as you drive toward North Carolina. Asheville is an inviting destination complete with architectural gems from several eras and a lively cultural scene. Be sure to visit the Biltmore Estate, the 250 room French Renaissance style chateau built by George Washington Vanderbilt. Enjoy a behind the scenes tour, art collection, 40 acres of gardens and a winery.
Take a twilight railway excursion through the Blue Ridge Mountains or enjoy a float trip on one of the three rivers in the area. Visit one of the art galleries such as the Folk Art Centre on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Feel the local culture at an old fashioned hoedown complete with hayrides, bluegrass and dancing at an area ranch.
Standard: Crowne Plaza Resort or similar
Budget: Red Roof Inn Asheville West or similar
Day 8 - Charleston(245 miles)
Depart the charm of Asheville and drive toward the southern city of Charleston. It’s a compelling place to visit with its historic district lined with tall, narrow houses of peeling, multicoloured stucco, adorned with wooden shutters and ironwork balconies wrought by slaves from Barbados. The Caribbean feel is augmented by palm trees, a tropical climate and easy-going atmosphere, while the town’s pretty hidden gardens and leafy patios evoke New Orleans. A fantastic way to see this city is by a horse-drawn carriage. See the Old South in the architecture and gardens of the many historic homes and buildings. Stop by its Downtown to visit the shopping district of King Street.
Standard: Holiday Inn Charleston Riverview or similar (2 nights)
Budget: Red Roof Plus Mt. Pleasant Patriots Point or similar (2 nights)
Day 9 - Charleston
Explore this fantastic city today. Park your car near the Visitors Centre as it is impossible to drive your car in the small streets; they were originally designed for pedestrian use only. There are many guided walking tours to choose from, as well as a horse-drawn carriage tours. Or you can pick up a map and discover the city yourself.
See the Civil War Memorials at the Battery, a garden that boasts live oaks and palmettos. Venture slightly outside the city and visit Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. This is the oldest public gardens in America, opening its doors to visitors in 1870. It contains thousands of beautiful flowers and plants, including extensive varieties of camellias and azaleas, in a richly historical setting. Tour the house and learn about life on the plantation.
Day 10 - Savannah (108 miles)
Leave Charleston behind and head to, yet another southern gem, Savannah. This little town claims nearly a hundred antebellum and pre-Revolutionary houses. Drive through the residential district, and visit the pretty waterfront shopping area.
Visit Old Fort Jackson, Georgia’s oldest standing fort, with a 9-foot-deep tidal moat around its brick walls. In 1775, an earthen battery was built here. The original brick fort was begun in 1808 and manned during the War of 1812. Many historic homes offer tours, including the Andrew Low House. Savannah is known for its seafood. Consider a drive to one of the outside islands such as Tybee to sample some local flavour.
Standard: Doubletree by Hilton Savannah Historic District or similar
Budget: Country Inn & Suites Midtown or similar
Day 11 - St. Augustine (181 miles)
Depart Savannah towards St. Augustine. Few places in Florida are as instantly appealing as this charming old city. St. Augustine is the oldest permanent settlement in the US with much of its early architecture still intact along its narrow streets; it also offers two alluring lengths of beach just across the bay.
Tour the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, the oldest masonry fort in the continental US. Visit the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum and climb its 219 steps to the top for breathtaking, panoramic views of the surrounding area and beaches. Set out on foot, as the locals do, to explore Saint Augustine’s delightful historic district, with its cobblestone streets, quaint cafes, and unique shops. For a more relaxed approach, attend a wine tasting tour of the San Sebastian Winery.
Standard: Sebastian Hotel or similar
Budget: The Ponce St. Augustine Hotel or similar
Day 12 - Orlando (169 miles)
Leave St. Augustine this morning and continue on to Orlando. Consider a stop at Silver Springs; this nature theme park surrounds the headwaters of the Silver River, the largest artesian spring formation in the world. Take a ride on the glass-bottom boat and see the creatures that live in these waters that can be up to 80 feet deep.
Finally, drive to Orlando, the theme park capital of the world, for a two night stay. Enjoy an evening at Disney Springs, with over 170 shopping, dining and entertainment facilities, everyone will find something fun to do.
Standard: Crowne Plaza Universal Boulevard or similar (2 nights)
Budget: Rosen Inn Lake Buena Vista or similar (2 nights)
Day 13 - Orlando
Today you can choose to visit some one of Orlando’s famous theme parks – please speak with a Travel Consultant to pre-book tickets.
Walt Disney World Epcot® – A showplace for the achievements of man, a tribute to innovation and imagination, and a fellowship of international culture. Epcot consists of Future World and World Showcase. Future World features attractions such as Spaceship Earth, where you will experience a journey from the beginning of time to the electronic age. Ride Test Track, a high speed thriller that mimics actual vehicle testing conditions, sending you through breathtaking twists and turns. Explore all of Future World where innovation and invention entertain. World Showcase offers the cultures of 11 nations. The architecture and landscape change as you move from one country to the next. Taste the cuisine, shop and be entertained by distinctly
different cultures. End the evening by watching Illuminations, a night time kaleidoscope of music and light.
Universal Studios® Florida – You’re the star at Universal Studios where you can ride the movies. Check out the Wizarding World of Harry Potter® and visit Gringotts at Diagon Alley® or take a ride on the Hogwarts Express. Join the agents from “Men in Black Alien Attack” and zap aliens as you chase them through the streets of New York. Plunge into darkness on Revenge of the Mummy® a psychological thrill ride that combines special effects and speed. See Shrek 4-D an original 3-D film, with an added dimension where you will see, hear and feel the action right from your seat. Fly with E.T. on a star-bound bike as you help him save his home planet. You’ll find something that appeal to kids of all ages at the place where you become part of the movies!
Universal‘s Islands of Adventure® – Journey through five remarkable islands where all your favorite myths, legends, comic books and cartoon heroes come to life. Enter a comic book city in the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man® a 3-D thrill ride, where you will battle evil and feel the adventure. Ride your couch through the pages of the famous children’s book “The Cat In The Hat!” on Seuss Island. Explore the Lost Continent® where you will find Duelling Dragons® the world’s first inverted dueling roller coaster. Take fear to new heights on Doctor Doom’s Fearfall® on Marvel Super Hero Island®. Rocket 150 feet into the air and come back down faster than gravity! Check out yet another part of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter® and fly over Hogwarts® School of Witchcraft and Wizardry or visit Hogsmeade®. Try not to get eaten during the Jurassic Park River Adventure®. Experience all of the cutting edge rides and stories come to life at Universal’s Islands of Adventure.
SeaWorld® Orlando –SeaWorld Orlando is a premiere marine adventure park. It features thrilling rides and amazing shows where the animals are the stars. Your feet will dangle on Kraken, the only floorless rollercoaster in Orlando. Meet Shamu, the famous killer whale in the sensational show One Ocean and learn more about these amazing marine mammals during the 30 minute educational presentation Ocean Discovery. See polar bears and beluga whales on the Wild Arctic ride. Get ready for the ultimate adventure on Journey to Atlantis! Travel on water and high-speed rails through special effects and a 60 foot drop! Check out the current spectacle at the Sea lion and Otter Stadium, where Clyde and Seamore will be into some mischief. Make sure to include a stop at the dolphin nursery, where you can see new dolphin mothers and their calves. Experience the magic of marine life and the splendour of what lies beyond the ocean’s door.
Day 14 - Miami Beach (240 miles)
Leave the magic of Orlando behind and travel south to sunny Miami Beach. Warm breezes, swaying palm trees, and the sound of the waves washing ashore act as a backdrop for pastel-coloured, Art Deco buildings making Miami’s South Beach a stunning and often intoxicatingly beautiful place. It has been called the American Riviera by seasoned travellers, but there’s more to this city than fine white sand and turquoise waters. World famous South Beach is home to fabulous shopping and restaurants, fashion shoots and filming of TV and movies. Walk along Ocean Drive and enjoy any type of cuisine you can imagine. Shop at Lincoln Road mall and take pleasure in 175 specialty shops and galleries. Learn more about the Art Deco Architecture by taking a walking tour of this district. At night, South Beach truly becomes “decadent” with scores of nightspots catering to both the adventurous and relaxed clientele. Consider a visit to Bayside Marketplace which offers unique shops and outdoor entertainment. Several types of boat tours also depart from Bayside Marketplace, including sightseeing cruises and party boats.
Standard: Suites of Dorchester or similar (2 nights)
Budget: Ocean Five Hotel or similar (2 nights)
OPTIONAL EXPERIENCE – Hollywood Trolley Tour
This is the best way to see it all! Ride in an open air trolley, ‘perfect for picture taking’ during this fully narrated tour of historic Hollywood movie, TV and radio landmarks such as Paramount Studios, Capitol Records, KTLA Channels, CBS, FOX, Warner Bros, Pantages Theater, Nickelodeon and Paladium, as well as the filming locations of L.A. Confidential, Twins, Pretty Woman and more. Plenty of photo opportunities are available as this tour takes you to the Hollywood Bowl, The Hollywood Sign and all of Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.
Day 15 - Miami Beach
Today is yours to explore Miami Beach and the neighbouring greater Miami area. It’s an international city, rich with a multi-ethnic culture which is reflected in the cuisine and architecture.
There is Downtown Miami, home to renowned Bayside Marketplace; Coconut Grove, the oldest city within the Miami metropolitan area, known as Miami’s Food Court for its many and varied restaurants and open air cafes; Coral Gables, almost entirely constructed in Mediterranean Revival Style; and Little Havana, a Cuban immigrant neighbourhood famous for its landmarks like Calle Ocho and Domino Park, and for its social, cultural, and political activities.
Day 16 - Farewell from Miami
Enjoy your last morning in Miami before heading to the airport to drop your car off and board your flight home, or onward to your next destination.
16 day Fly Drive - from £1715
With flights from £2205
- Add extra nights in New York, Miami or any location en route.
- Stay in budget accommodation from £1325
- Choose to fly Economy, Premium, Business or First Class
Budget hotels and motels are still comfortable but come with fewer frills than our standard options.