Best of America
22 Day Self Drive - from £1,879
Discover the best of America on this wonderful self drive holiday. The adventure starts on the east coast in the City ‘That Never Sleeps’ and ends in the glamorous Californian city of Los Angeles. In between you’ll see just about everything that makes America great!
- Sightseeing in the ‘Big Apple’
- Marvel at the mighty Niagara Falls
- Washington D.C.’s Monuments
- Yosemite National Park
- Las Vegas and Los Angeles
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Your Self Drive Adventure
Day 1: Arrive in New York
Arrive into New York and make your way to your central Manhattan hotel. There is so much to see and do in this worldly metropolis that you might want to plan your time in the “Big Apple” carefully. A well-planned route around the cities attractions will ensure you get everything on your bucket list.
Hotels: (Standard) Excelsior Hotel or similar (2 nights)
(Budget) Ameritania Hotel or similar (2 nights)
Day 2: New York
Get ready for an unforgettable day of sightseeing today. New York City, deservingly called “the city that never sleeps”, offers something for everyone at all times of the day or night. Among the most visited attractions are Time Square, Central Park, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the famous Brooklyn Bridge. Of course, no tour of New York would be complete without a visit to the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbour, and the towering Empire State Building. In between sights, you can eat just about anything, at any time, cooked in any style.
OPTIONAL EXPERIENCE - New York Hop on Hop off Bus Tour
The most convenient way to take in all of New York City as you are able to get on and off the double-decker coach at all the highlight you want to visit. Enjoy our Downtown Loop Tour, where you’ll experience Greenwich Village, Chinatown and beyond. Take in the Uptown Loop, for a view of Central Park West, the Dakota Apartment Building and Harlem’s Apollo Theatre. Or hop aboard the Brooklyn Loop, for a view of the Botanical Garden, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Antique Furniture District.
Day 3: Niagara Falls (400 miles)
Enjoy a scenic drive through upstate New York to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls. You may choose to drive along the Niagara Parkway which connects Niagara-on-the-Lake to Niagara Falls, this lovely trek takes you past many attractions; you might choose to stop at the White Water Walk, stroll along and marvel at the mighty torrent, or enjoy fantastic panoramic views of the surrounding landscape with a ride on the Whirlpool Aero Car.
Hotels:(Standard) Sheraton on the Falls or similar (2 nights)
(Budget) Best Western Plus Cairn Croft Hotel or similar (2 nights)
OPTIONAL EXPERIENCE - Niagara Falls Discovery Pass
Your Discovery Pass allows admission to all the best attractions found here. Take the Maid of the Mist boat ride; the power and grandeur of the roaring waters spilling over 180-foot cliffs, with clouds of rising mist and rainbows, will take your breath away. The Cave of Winds tour will take you closer to the waters of Niagara Falls than you thought possible. Your journey begins with a thrilling elevator ride 175 feet (53 meters) deep into the Niagara Gorge. Then, clad in a bright yellow poncho and wearing the special footwear provided, you follow a tour guide over a series of wooden walkways to the famous “Hurricane Deck”. As you stand at the railing, you are a mere 20 feet (6 meters) from the billowing torrents of Bridal Veil Falls. The rushing waters loom above you, dousing you with a generous spray as you face the thundering Falls head-on. Rainbows are usually visible day and night.
Day 4: Toronto (return)
Today is yours to explore the seventh natural wonder of the world, or you might consider taking a short drive to Toronto, Canada’s largest city to stroll through the charming Lake Ontario waterfront district and explore the trendy shops and quaint cafés along College and Queen Streets.
Day 5: Washington, D.C. (476 miles)
Today, depart Niagara Falls and work your way southward through Pennsylvania and Maryland for an afternoon arrival in Washington D.C. Consider an evening tour of the city as many of the monuments, the White House and Capitol Building are illuminated at night creating quite a spectacle. For a different perspective, take a dinner cruise along the Potomac River; a riverboat tour offers an entertaining and relaxing way to see the city from the water.
Hotels: (Standard) Churchill Hotel or similar (2 nights)
(Budget) Comfort Inn Landmark or similar (2 nights)
Day 6: Washington, D.C.
Admission to most of Washington’s major attractions is free and today you will have a chance to explore for yourself. Many of the city’s most famous sites are located along the National Mall, often called the “Nation’s Front Yard”. Of course, there is more to Washington than historical site-seeing, Washington has also developed an active nightlife; besides the world-class restaurants, you can see Broadway shows, Washington-only political satires, and live music of all types.
Day 7: Washington to San Francisco (flight)
It’s time to make the cross-country flight to San Francisco. On arrival collect your car and make your way to your hotel. There is a three hour time difference between the Coasts, so you will have time to explore a bit of San Francisco. Enjoy stunning views of the Pacific coastline, jagged cliffs set against the backdrop of blue sky and rushing waters. The term “melting pot” is used to describe many American cities and towns and this is indeed true for San Francisco. Rows of elegant houses, the famous cable cars, clusters of ethnic neighbourhoods, and the colourful waterfront all add to the distinctive international flavour of the city.
Hotels: (Standard) Carriage Inn or similar (2 nights)
(Budget) Best Western Plus Americania or similar (2 nights)
Day 8: San Francisco
Today, you are free to enjoy the many sights and sounds of San Francisco. Take a cable car ride from Fisherman’s Wharf, visit Alcatraz also known as “The Rock”, spend some time in Golden Gate Park or wander San Francisco’s many distinctive neighbourhoods; from Chinatown to the very Italian flavoured North Beach, each offers its own distinctive culture.
OPTIONAL EXPERIENCE - Alcatraz Island Cruise and Tour
Alcatraz and history go hand in hand. Once home to some of America’s most notorious criminals, the federal penitentiary that operated here from 1934 to 1963 brought a dark mystique to the Rock. The presence of infamous inmates like Al 'Scarface' Capone and the 'Birdman' Robert Stroud helped to establish the island’s notoriety. To this day, Alcatraz is best known as one of the world’s most legendary prisons. Many people, though, are unaware of the wealth of other stories to be learned on the island. Alcatraz is now home to rare flowers and plants, marine wildlife, and thousands of roosting and nesting seabirds.
Day 9: Modesto (234 miles)
A morning drive will bring you to the artisan city of Monterey, famed for the abundance and diversity of its marine life. Here you will see Old Fisherman’s Wharf Cannery Row, an old sardine packing plant and many historic buildings depicting its Spanish past. Afterwards, visit the city of Carmel, voted as one of the most beautiful towns in California, and a Mecca for the performing and visual arts. In the afternoon the journey continues on to Modesto where you will stay the night.
Hotels: (Standard) Best Western Town House Lodge or similar (1 nights)
(Budget) Days Inn Modesto or similar (1 nights)
Day 10: Bakersfield (via Yosemite N.P) (311 miles)
Enjoy a scenic drive toward the country’s most famous National Park, Yosemite. Yosemite offers breathtaking views and a natural variety of plants and animals. The overall scenery is spectacular; views of sheer granite walls, ice sculptured domes, thundering waterfalls, alpine peaks, giant sequoia trees, glaciers, and flowered meadows are a common occurrence here. In the afternoon, continue to Bakersfield.
Hotels: (Standard) Rosedale Hotel or similar (1 night)
(Budget) Days Inn Bakersfield or similar (1 night)
Day 11: Las Vegas (via Death Valley) (369 miles)
Depart Bakersfield via Death Valley National Park to the 'city of lights', Las Vegas. Stop at Father Crawley and Zabriskie Point for a spectacular view of the Panamint Mountains and Sand Dunes, and a stop at Furnace Creek provides a great spot for a light lunch. Your journey continues to the exciting city of Las Vegas, commonly thought of as the most dynamic and spectacular city on earth.
Hotels: (Standard) Renaissance Las Vegas or similar (2 nights)
(Budget) Gold Coast Hotel or similar (2 nights)
Day 12: Las Vegas
Today you are free to explore the city of Las Vegas. You may want to visit the Stratosphere Tower, catch one of the world-famous Vegas shows, wander Las Vegas Boulevard aka 'The Strip', or for a different side of Vegas, visit Fremont Street, a historic street in downtown with shops, restaurants, and some of the oldest casinos in Vegas.
Day 13: Bryce Canyon N.P (Via Zion N.P) (245 miles)
Leave the glitter of Las Vegas behind and travel into Utah to visit Zion National Park. A million years of water flow has sculpted the Navajo sandstone to form the sheer walls of Zion National Park it’s a true spectacle. Continue to Bryce Canyon, where you’ll find some of the most colourful rock formations in the world. The colour in the park comes alive with the rising and setting of the sun, there’s a good opportunity for star gazing here, the clean air and lack of lights create a fantastic view.
Hotels: (Standard) Best Western Plus Bryce Canyon or similar (1 night)
(Budget) Bryce View Lodge or similar (1 night)
Day 14: Moab (via Capitol Reef & Arches N.P) (250 miles)
Travel through Canyon Country to Capitol Reef National Park which is known for its vivid sandstone formations and fruit orchards. A stop at Panorama Point provides an excellent photo opportunity and great views of the park. After a Scenic Drive through the park, depart toward Arches National Park where you’ll find the largest number of natural stone arches in the country. Continue on to Moab for an overnight stay.
Hotels: (Standard) Red Cliffs Lodge or similar (1 night)
(Budget) Big Horn Lodge or similar (1 night)
Day 15: Durango (via Canyonlands & Mesa Verde N.P) (229 miles)
For a spectacular view of Canyonlands National Park, stop off at Dead Horse Point before you make your way to the Mesa Verde National Park. Mesa Verde National Park is home to more than 4,000 ruin sites including the famous Balcony House and Cliff Palace. After a stop in the Mesa Verde, drive to Durango, a great city nestled in the picturesque San Juan Mountains of Southwest Colorado.
Hotels: (Standard) Historic Strater Hotel or similar (1 night)
(Budget) Durango Downtown Inn or similar (1 night)
Day 16: Albuquerque (278 miles)
After you cross the continental divide, make a stop in the surprising green valley of Chama, the last leg of the Rio Grande Railway. A lunchtime arrival in Santa Fe will allow plenty of time for a wander around Old Town Santa Fe with its three different cultures, Spanish, Indian and American. When you’re done with Santa Fe, carry on to Albuquerque where you will spend the night.
Hotels: (Standard) Crowne Plaza Albuquerque or similar (1 night)
(Budget) Mariott Fairfield Inn Albuquerque or similar (1 night)
Day 17: Kayenta (382 miles)
There will be time before you leave to visit the Old Town where you can walk through around the original central plaza. Leaving Albuquerque, drive west for a visit to Canyon De Chelly and its magnificent vistas. If you stop at the Visitor Centre, you can admire the Ancient Ruins once home to the thriving Anasazi Indian community, also look out for Spider Rock, you may recognize it from a number of television commercials. After your stop here, keep going to Kayenta for an overnight stay.
Hotels: (Standard) Goulding’s Lodge or similar (1 night)
(Budget) Kayenta Monument Valley Inn or similar (1 night)
Day 18: Grand Canyon (via Monument Valley) (201 miles)
Today you will drive through Monument Valley on your way to the Grand Canyon. This Valley provides perhaps the most enduring and definitive images of the American West. The area may seem quite familiar, it’s been filmed and photographed countless times over the years for movies, advertisements and holiday brochures. Drive onwards to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, where you will spend the night.
Hotels: (Standard & Budget) Grand Canyon Lodging or similar (1 night)
Day 19: Phoenix/Scottsdale (228 miles)
The journey continues as you depart the Grand Canyon through scenic Oak Creek Canyon to Sedona. This spectacular 16-mile gorge is breathtaking in its red rock beauty; the Canyon with its clear perennial stream provides a strong contrast to the Sedona’s red rocks. After lunch, continue to Phoenix or Scottsdale for a mid-afternoon arrival. This evening, enjoy the regional flavours of the southwest cooking style at one of the multiple restaurants in this area.
Hotels: (Standard) Embassy Suites Phoenix or similar (1 night)
(Budget) Best Western Airport Inn or similar (1 night)
Day 20: Los Angeles (via Palm Springs) (374 miles)
Leave Scottsdale behind and head west toward Los Angeles through desert country where you will encounter the exclusive resort town of Palm Springs. Situated in the shadow of the San Jacinto Peak, Palm Springs serves as a playground to the rich and famous. Afterward a bit of exploration, continue to Los Angeles for a two-night stay.
Hotels: (Standard) Millennium Biltmore or similar (2 nights)
(Budget) Best Western Plus Dragon Gate or similar (2 nights)
Day 21: Los Angeles
Today it’s time to explore the City of Angels! Visit the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, take a stroll along the Walk of Fame, take a drive through Beverly Hills, shop the famous Rodeo Drive, have lunch in Venice Beach, or make your way to Anaheim and visit the “Happiest place on earth”, Disneyland.
Day 22: Depart Los Angeles
Enjoy this final day of taking in the glitz and glamour of La La Land before you depart at you own leisure to Los Angeles International Airport for your flight home or onwards to your next location. You may also choose to add some extra time here in L.A, it’s a big city with lots to see and do.
22 Day Self Drive - from £1,879
with flights from £2,398
Our Budget option includes all the benefits of our standard but offers a lower category of accommodation for the more budget conscious.
- Budget accommodation – from £1,605
- Add a New York Hop on Hop off Bus Tour – from £48
- Add a Niagara Falls Discovery Pass – from £46
- Add an Alcatraz Island Cruise and Tour – from £46
NEW YEAR SALE
FREE Car Upgrade with Self Drive Holidays until 31st January 2019
*NEW YEAR SALE - Free car upgrade on self drive holidays until 31st January 2019. Valid on new bookings only. Vehicles are subject to availability, seasonal variations may apply.
Price is per person, based on 2 sharing a double or twin room and include pre-booked accommodation, air-conditioned car and unlimited mileage. One-way fees charged locally. Hotels specified are subject to availability and may be substituted by one of a similar or higher standard.
Self Drive Touring
Enjoy independent touring at its very best. Book our self drives as they are or add extra days in the places you choose. Normally available in both directions.
Your self drive includes:
- Well planned, easy to follow route
- Travel guide and maps
- 21 nights pre-booked hotel accommodation
- A choice of standard or budget hotels
- Modern air-conditioned car
- Unlimited mileage
- Roadside assistance
- Car upgrades available upon request