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USA Explorer Round-Trip

Green Tortoise USA bus tours - national parks

USA Explorer Adventure Map - Green Tortoise

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USA Explorer 2016 Departures:

Round Trip from New York:

  • Fri, Jul 8 - Sun, Aug 14

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USA Explorer Round-Trip Cross Country Tour - 37 Days

Experience the very best the U.S.A. has to offer on our round-trip coast-to-coast overland holiday! Ride the legendary adventure bus across the country and back, and see Mt. Rushmore, the Badlands, Bryce Canyon, Zion, Yosemite, White Sands, Big Bend, New Orleans, and more!

Day 0 & 1 - New York City to Great Lakes/Appalachians:
Say "Goodbye" to the city hustle and grind and "Hello" to swimming, hiking and exploring fresh-water lakes and lush forests. Get on the water and rent a kayak or glide over tranquil lagoons on a pontoon boat. Be ready with your camera, opportunities for wildlife photos await you!

Day 2 - Niagara Falls:
These famous falls will amaze you with the sheer volume of water, thundering and crashing to the depths below. Get up close and personal (and a little wet!) in the Maid of the Mist tour for a boat ride you'll never forget!

Day 3 - Chicago, Illinois:
Explore the streets of Chicago with your friends and indulge in the region 's most famous culinary treats, absorb the cultural scene at a museum, cruise on an urban boat ride, or hit the breweries with your friends!

Day 4 - Great Plains area:
Chill out among grassy fields, shady trees, and friendly people, or stretch your legs on a hike to the center of a cool, northern states town.

Day 5 - South Dakota/Badlands:
The mind-blowing landscape of pinnacles, canyons and multi-colored jagged rocks are like a scene from another planet. Pose for photos as you imagine running from the saber-toothed cat, rhino and ancient horse -- mammals that roamed here in another era.

Day 6 - Black Hills/Mount Rushmore:
We're tumbling west towards cowboy country, stopping in at the impressive Mount Rushmore National Monument to admire our greatest American presidents carved into the mountain. Later, brave the rough and tumble history of the gold rush town of Custer.

Day 7 & 8 - Yellowstone National Park: 
In Yellowstone, discover a wilderness so incredible it was named the world's first National Park in order to preserve it. This extraordinary park is famous for gushing geysers (yes, Old Faithful resides here!), roaming herds of buffalo and elk, and expansive plains enclosed by grandiose mountains. Keep your camera handy -- the wildlife viewing here is spectacular!

Day 9 - Grand Teton National Park: 
Take an easy trek around Jenny Lake and beyond as you explore the area. Forge deep into the Teton Mountain range through  Cascade Canyon to the 200 foot tall Hidden Falls, then hike to the dramatic views of the park at Inspiration Point.  In the evening, we return to our camp at Jackson Lake and enjoy a night of big skies overhead, humbling peaks nearby, and crickets singing us to sleep.

Day 10 - Wyoming: 
It's the wild, wild west out here and it's time to pump up your adrenaline on a white-water rafting trip down the Snake River. Or, choose to roam free like the coyotes and hike beneath jagged mountain peaks. Later, stroll through a frontier town and check out the local watering hole.

Day 11 - Utah/Bryce National Park:
Home to a brightly layered landscape that rivals the Grand Canyon, Bryce offers stunning desert hiking that stretches into a lunar-like land. Make sure you don't wander too far -- we're heading towards a little-known location for a gourmet feast and campout under the stars!

Day 12 - Zion:
Ascend the brilliantly-banded sandstone canyons to Angel's Landing and be rewarded with sweeping views of Zion, or take a short walk to witness the miracle of raindrops cascading directly from the sandstone arch of Weeping Rock. Later, cool your jets with a splash-down in the Virgin River.

Day 13 - Las Vegas, Nevada:
It's Vegas, baby! Get your heart going with adrenaline-pumping rides, take the city by storm in a limo, or get your game on at the black jack tables. Whatever your thrill, Vegas has something for everyone!

Day 14 - San Francisco/Yosemite:
Take the day to explore our beautiful city by the bay for a brief layover before boarding our home on wheels again in the evening bound for Yosemite National Park.

Day 15 & 16 - Yosemite National Park:
Rise and Shine! You are now at the lovely Cascade Falls picnic area in Yosemite, the home of the famous El Capitan and Half Dome rock formations. You can use your time in the Valley to hike a trail of your choice, meander along the Merced River soaking in the majesty of the valley, or rent a bike and experience what John Muir called “a place of rest, a refuge from the roar and dust” on two wheels. Strong hikers can head up the Mist Trail and get up close to two thundering waterfalls, or to the top of the falls via the Yosemite Falls Trailhead for a stunning view of the valley. After another classic GT cookout and camp night, enjoy an inspiring walk through the ancient Giant Sequioas before we leave the High Sierras and head back to the West Coast. But first a late-night stop at a Gold Rush-era saloon will quench our thirst for a little taste of California history.

Day 17 - 23 - San Francisco, California:
Welcome to the west coast of America! Everyone's favorite city is your home for the next few days so say goodbye to the bus and jump right into an activity — there's so much to see and do here! Bike over the Golden Gate Bridge, cruise to Alcatraz Island, hang in "The Haight", or club-hop into the wee hours. Whatever your pleasure, our experts will point you in the right direction before you embark on your solo exploration days.Half Dome - U.S.A. Explorer - Green Tortoise

Day 24 - Big Sur/California Coastline:
We begin our journey today and roll south, soaking up the sun along California's dramatic Highway 1. Wiggle your toes in the sandy shores of the Pacific Ocean and check out seal pups at the protected elephant seal sanctuary on Piedras Blancas beach. Stroll Monterey's Cannery Row, before saying goodbye to the coast and heading east.

Day 25 - Joshua Tree National Park/ Las Vegas:
This morning, wind your way around massive boulders (or flex your arms and scramble over them) on a hike through the desert wonderland of Joshua Tree National Park. Named after the tree that has become the iconic symbol of the American Southwest, this wild area is home to hidden mines, countless legends, big horn sheep, 5 oases and one desert tortoise!  Later, we rock our way into Las Vegas where you can jump-start your heart with adrenaline-pumping rides, take the city by storm in a limo, visit the old neon graveyard museum or get your game on at the black jack tables.  Whatever your thrill, Vegas has something for everyone!

Days 26 & 27 - Grand Canyon National Park:
At Arizona's awe-inspiring park, stroll along the Rim Trail and behold the canyon's wonder from the many overlooks, or go for the gusto and descend into the canyon on one of the routes on Bright Angel or South Kaibab trails. Whichever you choose, enjoy the mind-blowing panorama and then share your day's experiences around the campfire. Grand Canyon - USA Explorer - Green Tortoise

Day 28 - New Mexico/Gila Wilderness:
Absorb the nature of this rustic desert terrain of Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument on a tour of the natural caves -- inhabited more than 700 years ago by ancestral Pueblo people. Reflect on ancient times while soaking in a natural hot springs under the starry skies of a cool desert night.

Day 29 - New Mexico/Tularosa Basin:
Traverse the largest gypsum sand dunes in the world and try to capture photos of African Onyx, or just roll around in the sparkling White Sands National Monument for your own playful photographic opportunities. Round-em up, we'll head out toward the "Lone Star State" after a desert sunset.White Sands - USA Explorer - Green Tortoise

Day 30 - Texas:
Yee-haw, welcome to Texas, y'all! Hit the big city with your friends and jam to a concert in Austin, take a plunge in the 1,000-foot long natural spring-fed pool at Barton Springs, or explore the trendy cafes of the South Congress district. Later share your stories onboard the bus as we roll into the deep south.

Day 31 - Louisiana:
We get down-home and back-woods in the swamplands of the south today. Get some of that southern hospitality and flavor on an alligator-spotting boat tour though the bayou. If you see one, shout out "See ya later, alligator" 'cause we'll be heading out to New Orleans to sample some smooth jazz, hot cajun fare and the all-night entertainment of Bourbon Street.

Day 32 - New Orleans:
Rise and shine, party-goers, New Orleans is not just about the night life in the French Quarter! After a morning beignet and cafe au lait, check out street performers in Jackson Square, and listen to the sidewalk sounds of Zydeco, Dixieland jazz, and Delta blues. Capture local folklore at the Voodoo Museum, then take a cemetery tour by ornate and mysterious mausoleums.

Day 33 - Florida:
Release your inner beach-bum and kick back on the beaches ribboning the Gulf of Mexico, known for its turquoise waters and bleach-blonde sands. You'll find peace whether you swim, snorkel or just spot herons and ibis on this mile-and-a-half stretch of paradise.

Day 34 - Great Smoky Mountains National Park:
Trek by a splashing stream to roaring waterfalls, discover your own hidden spot overlooking the fog-layered flanks of the hills, or relax with your camera handy. Hike through the forest and keep a watchful eye for one of the furry black bears that call this UNESCO World Heritage site home.

Day 35 - Smoky Mountains/Gatlinburg:
Ride the wilds of nature on horseback in America's most visited national park or hop on the bus to Gatlinburg, Tennessee to check out the local attractions like the Aquarium of the Smokies and Ripley's Believe it or Not! Reunite for an amazing gourmet dinner, and tell your stories during our night on the bus.

Day 36 - Washington D.C.:
The capitol of the United States, Washington D.C., houses the motherlode of historical sights. Explore the museums of the Smithsonian Institution and stroll down the National Mall, past the all-star line-up of national treasures, the Washington Monument, the Reflection Pool, and the Lincoln Memorial.

Day 37 - New York City:
Our round trip American cross-country tour ends today with a midday drop-off in New York City.

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Please note this is a combination trip. Please call our office for details.

Flexible Itinerary means that we may alter an itinerary depending on weather, local events, etc. Although we make every attempt to run our trips as advertised, please be aware that the itinerary may change to give you the best trip possible.

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