Discover America with Small Group Tours
Spanning almost 10 million square kilometres, the USA is a vast country, which lends itself to exploration and discovery.
Given the size and the scale of the attractions on offer for tourists, small group tours are a wonderful way to ensure your trip includes a diverse range of experiences and as many unforgettable sights as possible.
From East to West, there are tours to suit everyone, and some truly incredible itineraries available. If you’re planning an American adventure, here are some of the best small group tours out there.
Exploring the East
The Eastern segment of the States has a huge amount to offer tourists from all corners of the globe. Boasting everything from cosmopolitan cities to stunning national parks stuffed with mountain ranges and rivers, there’s scope to enjoy every kind of holiday on a trip to the East Coast. If time is of the essence and it’s not possible to cover every square inch of the terrain, here are two epic USA East Coast small group tours to consider.
New England Walk
New England is famed for its beautiful landscapes, especially during the fall when the forests become blanketed in golden, mocha and scarlet leaves. A small group tour in New England affords visitors the opportunity to discover the vibrant city of Boston before heading north to take in some of the most amazing scenery in the world.
Boston is the largest city in New England and it’s a fascinating place. Combining old and new architecture seamlessly, it is a vibrant modern city with a past to be proud of. Stroll from cobbled streets to pristine pavements flanked by skyscrapers and enjoy the many green spaces that add splashes of colour to the concrete and red brick buildings. Attractions to explore in Boston include the Freedom Trail, Beacon Hill, Fenway Park and Boston Common.
Leaving Boston, the next stop on this small group tour is Stowe, an idyllic base for a hike on the Worcester via Skyline Trail. This track provides awesome wildlife spotting opportunities, with bears and moose both common in the area. The hike rewards visitors with spectacular views of Vermont’s famous mountain peaks.
The next point of interest is the White Mountains National Forest, which is home to trails that form the spine of the Northern Appalachians. The scenery on offer here is nothing short of awe-inspiring, with Lonesome Lake a highlight nobody will want to miss. The Franconia Ridge trail is also worthy of a mention, a wonderful trail through the scenic mountains, but a challenging one to take for more experienced hikers.
Moving along the iconic Appalachian Trail, the tour stops in Baxter State Park. Mount Katahdin marks the end of the trail and overlooks some of the country’s most beautiful wilds. Those who are feeling adventurous can take on the 10-hour summit trail to enjoy the views, which are well worth the effort and energy.
En route to the final stop, Acadia National park, the tour stops on Mount Desert Island. This area is breathtaking, and there’s something to see from every angle. Lakes, mountains, rivers, ocean waves and isolated islands make for scintillating views and magnificent photographs to keep the trip alive afterwards.
The Northeastern Explorer small group tour is an intriguing opportunity to discover the ‘New World.’ Following in the footsteps of the early native settlers, visitors can enjoy a voyage of discovery that covers cities, towns and staggering natural wonders in the space of just 12 days. Highlights of this small group tour include:
- Sightseeing in the Big Apple: enjoy the views from Top of the Rock, meander around Central Park and visit Lady Liberty.
- Soaking up the tranquility of the area and sampling locally-produced wines at Finger Lakes.
- Watching the thundering cascades that form Niagara Falls and exploring the bustling city of Toronto. For the best panoramic views, brave the heights and head for the observation deck of the CN Tower.
- Embracing your inner culture vulture in Montreal, a city of arts, music and avant-garde creativity.
- Taking a history lesson and travelling back in time in the walled city of Quebec. Sights to add to the itinerary include Place Royale, Place d’Armes and Plains of Abraham. A short distance from the city, Montmorency Falls, which are actually higher than Niagara Falls, are worthy of a visit.
- Hiking and biking in picturesque Stowe.
- Following the iconic Freedom Trail in Boston.
The South of America is a fascinating holiday destination, which is steeped in history and tradition. For the best South America small group tours, check out these amazing options.
Deep South & Delta Blues
This trip is ideal for music lovers, and those keen to get right to the heart and soul of the history of blues, rock and roll and country music. This 12-day small group tour encapsulates the diversity of the south, taking in incredible destinations including Memphis, Nashville and New Orleans.
The tour begins in Atlanta, an enigmatic city, which is best explored on foot. The most popular attractions include Georgia Aquarium and the Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site. From Atlanta, the tour weaves its way west to Birmingham, Alabama, where a visit to the Civil Rights Institute is a must for anyone interested in the history and cultural evolution of the area.
After that comes the charming melting pot that is New Orleans. The Big Easy is a city that offers so much for tourists and it rarely disappoints. Try the famous local cuisine, dance in the street to the sounds of local jazz, and take in the electric atmosphere of a spectacular town. Highlights include Bourbon Street, the Garden District and the French Quarter. A cruise along the Mississippi River is also a wonderful way to spend the day – or even turn it into a mini trip within a trip.
The next destination on the tour is Clarkesdale, which is accessed via a brief trip to Houmas House Plantation, a stunning property surrounded by ornamental gardens, which dates back to the 1800’s. In Clarkesdale, blues fans will enjoy a trip to Hopson Plantation, the former home of legendary pianist, Pinetop Perkins.
Memphis is a must-see for Elvis fans. Graceland is open to visitors, and it’s also possible to explore Elvis’ birthplace, Tupelo. The Sun Studio is also high up on the list of priorities for music aficionados. Many great names have graced this studio over the years, including Johnny Cash.
The final port of call is Nashville, the home of country music. A sprawling city, this is a place that offers everything from trendy restaurants and designer shopping malls to the opportunity to enjoy live music and line dancing in saloon style honky-tonk bars.
Texas is one of the most intriguing US states. Occupying a vast land mass at the base of the country, its cultural significance is well known, but it’s also a fantastic holiday destination. A small group tour offers a wealth of different experiences and the chance to combine sightseeing and adventurous outdoor activities with historical and cultural excursions. The Texas Ranger small group tour offers all of these specific highlights:
- Exploring the vast city of Dallas: visit art galleries and museums and don’t miss the chance to try out the famous steakhouses.
- Enjoying live music in the honky-tonk bars of Austin.
- Learning all about the history of the Alamo in San Antonio and enjoying the views on the River Walk.
- Soaking up traditional Texan hospitality and living out scenes from a Western at Silver Spur Ranch. Toast s’mores around the fire, hone lasso skills and enjoy stunning rural views on a horseback hack.
- Exploring the desert and watching the stars glisten in the night skies in Big Bend National Park.
- Taking a history lesson in San Angelo.
West coast USA tours are incredibly popular, such is the lure of the golden beaches, giant sequoia groves and plunging canyons. Those keen to tour America won’t be disappointed with these unforgettable small group trips in the West.
California and Canyons
This 8-day extravaganza showcases some of the finest natural and man-made wonders on offer in the USA. The packed California and Canyons small group tour itinerary includes:
- Discovering the neon lights and star-lined streets of Los Angeles. Look out for Oscar winners on Hollywood Boulevard, get the perfect Hollywood sign shot and search for constellations at the Griffith Observatory.
- Exploring old-town Arizona in Prescott.
- Being blown away by the sheer scale and beauty of the Grand Canyon.
- Navigating Route 66 to fabulous Las Vegas: spin the wheel, enjoy the shows and embrace the energy.
- Marvelling at the sequoia trees, the domed mountains and the falls of Yosemite National Park.
- Taking in the view of the Golden Gate Bridge and embracing San Francisco’s eclectic, laid-back vibes.
The Western Explorer small group tour is ideal for those who are keen to enjoy as much of the iconic scenery of the West as possible. This phenomenal 13-day trip takes in the following stops:
- San Francisco: see the sights, soak up the sun, and enjoy an urban adventure in a truly unique city.
- Yosemite National Park: head east to admire giant trees, mountain ridges and thundering falls in one of America’s most stunning settings.
- Death Valley National Park: marvel at canyons, hills and dramatic rock formations carved out thousands of years ago.
- Zion National Park: a true wonder, this park is home to some of the most staggeringly beautiful and unique features on the planet. Highlights include Zion Canyon, the Virgin River Gorge, the Lower Emerald Pools and Weeping Rock.
- Bryce Canyon: lying over 8,000 feet above sea level, Bryce Canyon National Park is famed for its striking white, pink and orange hues and weird and wonderful rock formations. There are various hiking trails available and the Navajo Loop is a popular choice.
- Antelope Canyon and Lake Powell: sculpted by flash floods, Antelope Canyon boasts dramatic rugged landscapes that are pierced by smooth edges, coves and caverns that have been carved over the course of centuries. Surrounded by golden rock, the blue waters of Lake Powell glisten in the sunshine, making for truly breathtaking shots for anyone keen to document the trip with the aid of a camera.
- Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon: en route to the Grand Canyon, stop off at Monument Valley for a glimpse of spectacular Horseshoe Bend before laying eyes on the US’ most extraordinary natural wonder. The Grand Canyon is over 440km long, and in some parts more than a mile deep.
- Las Vegas: take a spin around Sin City to round off the trip in style!
The US is a prime destination for travellers looking to enjoy the benefits of small group tours. With a maximum group size of 13 people, explore a little more intimately than on larger group touring, whilst still enjoying the benefits of a knowledgeable tour leader and a custom designed vehicle. With a diverse range of options available all over the country, this is an ideal way to get around America, see the sights and appreciate the incredible scenery on offer around every corner.