Big skies, BBQ and bluegrass: authentic multi-centre holiday to America

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    Stay on a traditional 'dude ranch' in Montana | Travel Nation

    Stay on a traditional 'dude ranch' in Montana

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    Tuck into belt-busting BBQ at an Austin smokehouse

    Tuck into belt-busting BBQ at an Austin smokehouse

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    See Chicago's skyline reflected in The Bean | Travel Nation

    Visit 'The Bean' in Chicago

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    Get a taste of the Dallas nightlife

    Get a taste of the Dallas nightlife

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    Explore the honky tonk bars of Nashville by night | Travel Nation

    Hop between honkytonk bars in Nashville

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    See Old Faithful explore in Yellowstone National Park | Travel Nation

    See Old Faithful explode in Yellowstone National Park

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Tailor-made holidays

Duration(in days): 28

From: UK – Seattle

To: Washington DC - UK



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See more ideas for: USA

This trip is so unique and takes in some of the most exciting areas of the USA that are too often overlooked. You’ll meet a range of different people, see some of the most diverse landscapes and tuck into some incredible food from all over the USA.

    Discover the real USA on this month-long adventure. Start in Seattle, where you can taste local delicacies in Pike Place Market before flying to Montana to spend some time on a ranch, exploring the mountains on horseback and seeing the geysers in Yellowstone National Park. Next fly to Chicago for a taste of pizza, comedy and architecture and then head to New Orleans, where evenings of jazz and jambalaya await. Drive through Texas, tucking into delicious barbecue before taking on Kentucky, a rural idyll of race winners grazing in green meadows, pre-prohibition bourbon distilleries and friendly locals. Finish your holiday in Nashville and Washington DC, where dancing to honkytonk and wandering along the Washington Mall are a fantastic end to your four weeks in America. 

    This multi-centre holiday to America can be tailored to suit your requirements; please contact one of our consultants to start planning your dream trip.

    This holiday includes

    • International flights
    • All transfers
    • All accommodation in the USA          
    • Excursions as mentioned in the itinerary
    • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary        


    You’ll remember…

    • Tasting fresh and local salmon in Seattle’s Pike Place Market       
    • Horse riding through the mountains in Montana               
    • Gazing up at the skyscrapers in Chicago
    • Queuing in Austin, Texas for those perfect barbecue ribs               
    • Sipping bourbon in Kentucky’s distilleries


    Itinerary in brief: 

    • 3 nights Seattle
    • 4 nights Lone Mountain Ranch
    • 3 nights Chicago 
    • 3 nights New Orleans 
    • 1 night Houston
    • 2 nights Austin
    • 2 nights Dallas 
    • 2 nights Louisville 
    • 2 nights Lexington 
    • 1 night Elizabethtown 
    • 3 nights Nashville
    • 4 nights Washington DC


    Day 1: London to Seattle

    Depart the UK from your chosen airport. On arrival in Seattle, you’ll make your own way into the city, before checking into your hotel for three nights.     

    Included: International flight, 4* hotel

    Days 2 and 3: Seattle

    Start your day with a tour of Pike Place Market, where a guide will show you where to find the best cheese, pastries and seafood in this vast market as well as watching some fish throwing as the catch of the day arrives. Explore everything from Bowie to Star Trek at the Museum of POP Culture, where you can wander through the Guitar Gallery, home to instruments owned by Kurt Cobain, the Kinks and Van Halen.

    Why not visit the aquarium to learn about local wildlife before heading out on a cruise of Puget Sound to enjoy views over Seattle as well as the many islands and mountains surrounding the city? On your final evening, make your way to Pioneer Square, the city’s “first” neighbourhood where you can enjoy the neo-Renaissance architecture while you eat dinner. Afterwards, head up to the top of the Space Needle to watch the sunset, with panoramic views of the city and Puget Sound. It's the perfect way to end your time in this eclectic city.

    Included: 4* hotel, Pike Place Market walking tour         

    Day 4: Fly to Montana

    Today is your final day in Seattle – you’ll make your own way to the airport in time to catch your flight to Bozeman, in Montana. On arrival in Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport, you will be collected at the airport and driven to Lone Mountain Ranch, around 1 hour away. Here you will check into your cabin for five nights.

    Included: Flight, transfer, Lone Mountain Ranch, dinner              

    Day 5 - 8: Lone Mountain Ranch and Yellowstone National Park

    You can spend your time here outdoors, experiencing the lush mountainous landscape of Montana. Horse riding will be an essential part of your daily life here – you’ll be matched with a horse early on, with an expert wrangler guiding you, whether you’ve never done it before or are an experienced rider. From galloping through the ranch to venturing into the National Forest, you’ll explore parts of the backcountry that few visitors to America experience.

    Other activities include spirited mountain biking through the hills. Armed with just a bike, a map and picnic lunch, you’ll set off into the wilderness to spend some time navigating Yellowstone country. Alternatively, try white-water rafting, admiring the forest around you and attacking the winding river.

    If you’d rather spend your time quietly contemplating the scenery, you can arrange painting and photography lessons, whether you want to recreate the gorgeous views on canvas or learn how to photograph the wildlife by day or night. Another good option is the daily yoga and massage therapy, perfect for clearing your mind. There is also a Young Adventurers Programme with lots of options that will make kids fall in love with the great outdoors!

    You'll spend one full day of your time here in Yellowstone National Park. Heading off with an experienced naturalist guide you'll hike, explore and gaze in awe at the geologically beautiful landscape of this area, visiting the geysers like Old Faithful and looking out for bears, moose and mighty bison as they graze the grasslands.

    Each night, you’ll sleep in your cosy cabin – think clawfoot bathtubs, cowhide rugs and warm wood burners. It has all the modern amenities you need while still maintaining the authentic heritage of a Montana ranch. Each cabin is different, both in size and style, so we’ll make sure we find the perfect one for you. The food at Lone Mountain Ranch is exciting and bold, where Western favourites meet modern fare with signature cocktails that match the delicious flavours.

    Included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner, onsite activities including horse riding, Lone Mountain Ranch        

    Day 9: Fly to Chicago

    Your time in the Big Sky State comes to an end today. After breakfast, you’ll leave the Montana ranch and be driven back to Bozeman Airport in time for your flight to Chicago. On arrival, you’ll make your own way to the hotel and check in for three nights.

    Included: Flight, transfer, breakfast       

    Days 10 - 11: Chicago

    Two days should be enough time to enjoy the highlights of Chicago. Start with a trip to the Cloud Gate, more popularly known as “The Bean”, where you can snap a photo in its distorted reflection, before heading to Intelligentsia Coffee for a latte.

    We’ve included the Chicago City Pass so you can use it to explore two of America’s best museums. The Art Institute of Chicago holds paintings by Picasso and O’Keefe, as well as the famous American gothic portrait by Grant Wood, while at the Field Museum you can visit Sue, the most complete T-Rex skeleton ever found.

    Enjoy a slice of Chicago deep-dish pizza at Giordano’s before a night of comedy at Second City, where many famous comedians made their debuts. Don’t leave before heading to the top of the Willis Tower SkyDeck, where you can stand in a glass box high above the city and admire endless views of the city and Lake Michigan below.

    Included: 3* hotel, Chicago City Pass     

    Day 12: Fly to New Orleans

    Your time in Chicago has come to an end today so make your own way to the airport in time for your onward flight. On arrival in New Orleans, you’ll pick up your rental car at the airport and drive to your hotel, where you’ll check into your hotel for three nights.     

    Included: Flight, car hire   

    Day 13 and 14: New Orleans

    New Orleans is a foodie paradise, so make sure you sample all the local treats! Start at Café du Monde, famous for its beignets and coffee – you’ll be queuing along with the locals for this taste of New Orleans history. A po’boy is another popular snack, so why not share one of these delicious fried shrimp sandwiches before splitting a pot of gumbo for dinner? Finish with bananas foster, where rum, vanilla, bananas and cinnamon come together in the most delicious New Orleans dessert.

    Food aside, there are many fascinating ways to spend your time in New Orleans. Wander through the spooky ornate cemeteries or stroll along Bourbon Street, listening to saxophone solos that escape from open jazz club doors. If you want to get out of the city, why not drive to visit one of the nearby plantation houses or take a tour of the bayou on the lookout for alligators.

    Included: 4* hotel, car hire

    Day 10: Drive to Houston

    Today you’ll make the long drive to Houston. It’s a 5-hour journey, so why not break it up with a lunch stop in Lafayette? Here, you can dig into a bucket of boiled crawfish cooked in Cajun spices. On arrival into Houston, you’ll check into your hotel for one night.

    The fourth-largest city in the USA, Houston is a bustling urban sprawl with a relatively small downtown area. Most visitors head straight for the NASA Space Centre, just outside the city, to learn about Mission Control for the space shuttles and Apollo projects.

    In terms of food, Houston is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the country, with large Jewish, Ethiopian, Chinese, Nigerian and Korean communities all cooking up their own specialities. Despite this array of international cuisine, Houston is most famous for one thing only - Tex-Mex. Whether you fancy fajitas, tostadas or street food tacos, you’ll be in heaven!

    Included: 3* hotel, car hire         

    Day 11: Drive to Austin

    Spend the morning in Houston (breakfast burrito anyone?) before driving over to the capital of Texas - Austin - a town of music and barbecue. On arrival, you’ll check into your hotel for two nights and head out into the city to explore.

    Included: 3* hotel, car hire         

    Day 12: Austin

    During your stay in Austin, be sure to visit the State Capitol building, which is taller than its counterpart in Washington DC. Other than that, Austin is all about smokehouses, bars, jazz clubs and dance halls. It's a city obsessed with barbecue, from juicy ribs and brisket to mouth-watering pulled pork. If you get in the queue early, you might just score lunch at Franklin’s BBQ, known as one of the best spots in the entire country.


    If you have time, try to fit in a football game at the University of Texas campus  – thousands of fans dressed in orange cheering on the Longhorns is a spectacular sight! Finish your night tapping your feet at one of the many live music bars, playing everything from rock and country to jazz and bluegrass. On your way home, grab a late-night snack from one of the city's thriving food trucks. 

    Included: 3* hotel, car hire         

    Day 13: Drive to Dallas

    Spend the morning in Austin, before heading north to Dallas. There are two ways to get to Dallas, so you can pick your route depending on your interests. The highway north will take you through Waco, where you can stop at the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame and learn about the state's favourite baseball team.


    Alternatively, the scenic route follows smaller roads through the Texas countryside, past vineyards and cattle ranches towards Dallas. If you take these roads, you can stop in for a swim at Hamilton Pool on the way. When you arrive in Dallas, you’ll check into your hotel for two nights.

    Included: 3* hotel, car hire         

    Day 14: Dallas and Fort Worth

    You’ve got a full day to explore the twin cities of Dallas and Fort Worth. Why not head to Fort Worth this morning, where the Wild West begins? This former livestock market is chock-full of Texan shops and restaurants. Be sure to catch the twice-daily cattle drive, when cowboys walk their speckled longhorns through the square.


    Try a local steak for lunch before heading back to Dallas to explore the museums and botanical gardens, as well as Dealey Plaza, where you can learn about JFK’s assassination. Top off the evening with a frozen margarita. Invented in Dallas, you can find these zesty cocktails in many of the city’s rooftop bars, and they're far too good to miss!

    Included: 3* hotel, car hire         

    Day 15: Fly to Louisville

    Head to the airport today for your flight to Louisville. On arrival, you will pick up your rental car at the airport and make your way to the hotel, where you will check in for two nights.         

    Included: 3* hotel, car hire, flight            

    Day 16: Louisville    

    Today is yours to explore the city at your leisure. We recommend visiting the Kentucky Derby Museum, where you can learn about the extraordinary experience of this world-famous horserace as well as meeting their resident thoroughbred and the miniature horse called Winston. After that, you can head to Churchill Downs, where the race takes place, before driving to Frankfort Avenue, the road that connects the city’s most charming historic neighbourhoods. It’s the perfect place to grab a ‘hot brown’ for lunch – a Louisville classic open sandwich made of turkey, mornay sauce and cheese - in a cute café. You can spend the afternoon in ‘Museum Row’, hopping between science, history and sports museums, before hitting a bar with some live bluegrass and grabbing a glass of whisky.

    Included: 4* hotel, car hire

    Days 17 and 18: Bourbon Country and Kentucky Horses

    Departing from Louisville, you’ll drive east into Bourbon country, where you’ll enter the classic Kentucky countryside – lush grass, white fences and horse farms and bourbon distilleries tucked between rolling hills. We highly recommend tasting smooth bourbon at the Jim Beam, Heaven Hill or Wild Turkey distilleries. It's something you can’t miss when visiting Kentucky. On your second day, we’ve included a half-day tour of the local horse farms – you’ll explore the bluegrass region as well as visiting Keeneland Racecourse, a national historic landmark.

    Included: 4* hotel, half-day horse farm tour, car hire      

    Day 19: Drive to Elizabethtown

    Today you’ll drive south, enjoying the pretty Kentucky countryside as you head towards Elizabethtown, checking into your hotel for one night. From here there are lots of areas to explore. First, why not visit the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace Historical Park, where you can see a replica of the cabin where Lincoln was born in and learn about the life of this celebrated president. Nearby, you’ll also find the Mammoth Caves National Park. Whether you go hiking, cycling, or canoeing down the Green River, it's a great place to spend the afternoon. Alternatively, take a picnic, relax and explore the world’s longest cave.        

    Included: 3* hotel, car hire         

    Day 20: Drive to Nashville

    This morning, you’ll make the short drive down to Nashville, Tennessee. On arrival, you’ll check into your hotel for two nights, so get straight out into the city and start exploring. This evening why not head to Hometown Bar-B-Que for some ribs and live country music!                       

    Included: 4* hotel, car hire         

    Days 21 and 22: Nashville

    Start your day with a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum before wandering along Music Row to RCA Studio B, where Elvis recorded many of his tracks. Stop for a plate of hot chicken, Nashville’s favourite meal, and take a walk through Centennial Park, where you’ll find a full-scale reproduction of the Parthenon.

    There is so much more to see and do here; visit the Johnny Cash Museum, learn to line dance in one of the dance halls, devour a plate of meat and three. Spend each evening on Honky Tonk Highway, a street of country music bars where legends like Willie Nelson and Gretchen Wilson started their careers. The bars will be chock full of budding musicians to keep you entertained.

    Included: 4* hotel, car hire         

    Day 23: Fly to Washington DC

    On arrival in Washington DC, you’ll make your own way into the city where you’ll check into your hotel for four nights.               

    Included: 4* hotel, car hire, flight            

    Days 24 and 25: Washington DC

    With two days to explore the city, you’ll need to make a plan beforehand, as there's just so much to see. We recommend starting on the Mall, where you can gaze at the face of Abraham Lincoln before strolling past the reflecting pool, taking in the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at the Constitution Gardens as you make your way towards the Washington Monument.

    From here, you’ll need to decide which parts of the Smithsonian Institution you want to visit. Whether you’re interested in African American history, Native American history or even the National Archives, this colossal museum will keep you busy for hours.

    On your second day, you can visit more of the big-hitters – the White House and the US Capitol - before grabbing lunch at Ben’s Chili Bowl, a DC landmark that has been serving chilli to the country’s lawmakers since 1958.

    In the afternoon, take a stroll through the pretty streets of Georgetown or wander along the Tidal Basin under the cherry trees. In the evening, why not find an Ethiopian restaurant for dinner? DC has the largest population of Ethiopians in the USA, and their delicious cuisine is served in lots of restaurants throughout the city.

    Included: 4* hotel

    Day 26: Gettysburg

    Today we’ve added a day tour to Gettysburg in Pennsylvania, where you'll learn about this bloody battle and the daily lives of soldiers in the Civil War. You’ll visit the site where Lincoln gave his famous address and gain insight into the war that split America and still has ramifications today. The tour will last all day, but why not venture out in the evening for dinner and drinks in a quiet bar in Georgetown to celebrate your time in DC?

    Included: 4* hotel, Gettysburg Day tour

    Day 27: Depart Washington DC

    Your four weeks in the USA has come to an end, so today you’ll make your own way to the airport in time to catch your flight home.      

    Included: International flight

    Day 28: Arrive UK 


    The best time, weather-wise, to enjoy this trip is April to October. We’d probably recommend that you avoid midsummer, July and August. as it can get busy in these spots. On the other hand, the weather would be glorious.

    What's included
    • International flights
    • Return airport transfers
    • Accommodation as mentioned in the itinerary   
    • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary
    • Excursions as mentioned in the itinerary

    We've made a similar trip

    If you'd like to get a feel for this trip, read our blog post  Diving in the Deep South: a New Orleans to Nashville road trip, written by one of our consultants who has been there.

    This itinerary is purely a suggestion and can be tailor-made to your requirements, so please contact us with your dates and requests, and we’ll put together a bespoke quotation for you.

    Not included
    • Any meals not mentioned
    • Personal expenses
    • Tips and gratuities
    • Fuel