The Great American Road Trip Fly Drive Holiday Itinerary
New York arrival
Arrive in New York, the city that never sleeps, and transfer independently to your hotel.
This morning enjoy the city of New York. Catch glimpses of the famous skyline as you absorb the bustle and energy of the Big Apple. May we suggest a stroll through Central Park, a bird’s eye view on a Manhattan Helicopter Tour (optional), or re-enact history with a kiss in Times Square. Bring your camera!
Day 03: Driving Distance: 240 mi / 390 km
New York – Philadelphia – Washington, D.C.
Depart New York for Philadelphia, where you may spend the morning exploring the historic district of the “City of Brotherly Love” and the birthplace of a nation. See the Liberty Bell, and stroll through Independence National Historic Park and Mall. Then continue to the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C for overnight.
Enjoy DC with such highlights as the U.S. Capitol Building, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, the White House and Arlington National Cemetery, site of the JFK Memorial. Spend the remainder of the day exploring some of the many museums comprising the Smithsonian Institute or simply stroll the banks of the Potomac River.
Day 05: Driving Distance: 429 mi / 690 km
Washington, D.C. – Gettysburg – Niagara Falls
Today, visit Gettysburg National Military Park, site of one of the most decisive battles during the American Civil War, and the place where Abraham Lincoln gave his famous address in 1863. We then travel through upstate New York to Buffalo and finally cross the international border into Canada, where the thundering noise and mist of Niagara Falls permeates the air.
Day 06: Driving Distance: 240 mi / 386 km
Niagara Falls – The Great Lakes – Detroit
Spend the morning sightseeing at Niagara Falls. Stroll along Table Rock and view the thundering waters of Horseshoe Falls. In the late afternoon, return to the United States, crossing the border and continuing to your hotel in a suburb of Detroit, known as “Motor City USA”. Enjoy an evening at leisure.
Day 07: Driving Distance: 283 mi / 455 km
Detroit – Chicago
Travel along Lake Michigan and on to Chicago, where you can soak up the city’s highlights including Lake Shore Drive, the Magnificent Mile, Navy Pier and one of the world’s tallest buildings, the Willis Tower (admission not included). DRIVING
A full day at leisure to explore the museums, architecture or a river cruise. (optional)
Day 09: Driving Distance: 574 mi / 923 km
Chicago – Mississippi River Crossing – Sioux City
Travel through Midwest farm country abundant in corn fields and dairy farms. Then cross the mighty Mississippi River into the state of Iowa to arrive just as Lewis & Clark did 200 years ago on the banks of the Missouri River. Overnight in Sioux City.
Day 10: Driving Distance: 354 mi / 569 km
Sioux City – Badlands – Mt. Rushmore – Deadwood/Rapid City
Travel westward through the grasslands of South Dakota to Badlands National Park, once home to the buffalo and antelope, and filled with colourful rock formations. Continue on to the Black Hills, sacred to the Plains Indians and home to Mount Rushmore, monument to four great American presidents: Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln & Roosevelt.
Day 11: Driving Distance: 390 mi / 627 km
Deadwood/Rapid City – Bighorn Mountains – Cody
Enter the state of Wyoming, which has twelve mountain ranges intermixed with deserts and rolling grasslands, continue to Cody for the night.
Day 12: Driving Distance: 65 mi / 104 km
Cody – Yellowstone
Drive past the mountains in Wyoming to Yellowstone, America’s first National Park, and enjoy a sightseeing tour of this immense geothermal wonderland including: geysers, waterfalls, wildlife and canyons. Highlights will include Yellowstone Lake, Old Faithful, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone Canyon’s majestic falls, and the beautiful Hayden Valley.
Day 13: Driving Distance: 337 mi / 542 km
Yellowstone – Grand Teton – Salt Lake City
Travel through Grand Teton National Park (weather permitting) and see awesome mountain peaks towering over 13,000 ft. (4,000 meters). Visit the Snake River Outlook and try your eye at capturing the stunning landscape made famous by Ansel Adam’s iconic shot. Later, arrive in the Mormon State of Utah and take a short city tour of its capital, Salt Lake City. The followers of Brigham Young built one of the best-planned cities in the country. See the State Capital building and visit famed Temple Square and the Tabernacle before arriving at the hotel for the evening. May we suggest dinner at the Rooftop Restaurant for panoramic views of Temple Square (optional)?
Day 14: Driving Distance: 268 mi / 431 km
Salt Lake City – Bryce Canyon
Continue to spectacular Bryce Canyon, where a tour through a multi-coloured world of sandstone spires and pinnacles, “hoodoos”, will dazzle the eye. This evening, weather permitting, be sure to gaze upon the spectacular night sky filled with sparkling stars & constellations.
Day 15: Driving Distance: 367 mi / 590 km
Bryce Canyon – Lake Powell – Grand Canyon – Flagstaff
Depart Bryce Canyon this morning and journey to stunning Lake Powell, where crystal blue water laps against towering red-rock canyon walls. Lake Powell is the second-largest manmade lake in America. Then visit colossal Grand Canyon National Park, one of the seven great natural wonders of the world. Stop at the Canyon rim to fully experience this mile-deep canyon’s gorges, rising spires, extinct volcanoes and, the winding Colorado River. Overnight in Flagstaff, a famed stop on Historic Route 66.
Day 16: Driving Distance: 252 mi / 405 km
Flagstaff – Seligman/Route 66 – Las Vegas
This morning travel on to Las Vegas, the dazzling “Entertainment Capital of the World”. Along the way, pass through Seligman, a town built along the famed Route 66 that looks as if it were frozen in time sixty years ago. The remainder of the day is at leisure for you to explore the dazzling Las Vegas Strip.
Day 17: Driving Distance: 270 mi / 434 km
Las Vegas – Mojave Desert – Los Angeles area
Travel to Los Angeles through the Mojave Desert, where clusters of unique Joshua trees dot the mountainous landscape. Upon arrival in Los Angeles you will enjoy driving through “City of Angels” passing through areas such as Hollywood, Sunset Strip and Beverly Hills, before reaching your hotel.
Los Angeles area
Today we suggest an optional full-day tour visiting Universal Studios. Get an inside look at the sets and behind the scenes secrets of legendary films or perhaps, for the more adventurous, take one of the Studios’ feature rides including Jurassic Park and Revenge of the Mummy.
Day 19: Driving Distance: 177 mi / 284 km
Los Angeles area – Malibu – Santa Barbara – Shell/Pismo Beach
Leave Los Angeles in the morning and travel north through one of California’s favourite vacation spots, Santa Barbara, where palm-lined walkways border white sandy beaches. The city is famous for its mission and Spanish heritage. Along the way, stop at an iconic California lifeguard tower made famous in “Baywatch”. Continue along the coast to Shell/Pismo Beach.
Day 20: Driving Distance: 244 mi / 392 km
Shell/Pismo Beach – Carmel / Monterey – San Francisco
Dip your toes in the cool, refreshing waters of the Pacific during an early morning beach stroll, then we leave Shell/Pismo Beach and make our way north to Carmel, home of actor/director Clint Eastwood. Enjoy browsing the shops and galleries of this famous artists’ colony. Traveling further north, visit Monterey’s Old Fisherman’s Wharf. Stroll the Pier to Cannery Row, brought to fame by John Steinbeck’s novel. In the afternoon pass the fertile valleys of Castroville and Santa Clara en route to San Francisco, the “City by the Bay.”
A full day at leisure to explore San Francisco and make any last minute purchases as a reminder of your great trip across North America.
San Francisco departure
Return your rental car in time for your return flight.