Following the success of our 2019 trip to the Great Northwest National Parks, we’re heading Southwest to Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico and make our way home via Route 66! Cajuns, cowboys, aliens, Cadillacs & ducks…what else do you need!
Double Occupancy – $2,789 Per Person – $2,479 if booked by March 15, 2020 (with deposit)
Single Occupancy – $3,679 Per Person – $3,369 if booked by March 15, 2020 (with deposit)
Guided tour of New Orleans
Oak Alley Plantation or Mardi Gras World
Guided tour of San Antonio including entrance to The Alamo & San Antonio Missions
National Historical Park
San Antonio River cruise
The “Roswell Incident” tour
Sandia Peak Tramway
Tour of Santa Fe
Route 66 curios’ including the Cadillac Ranch
Oklahoma Route 66 Museum
Peabody Duck March
Transportation roundtrip by motor coach
12 Nights’ Lodging
12 Breakfasts, 5 Dinners
Kelly Tours Escort
All taxes, baggage handling and travel arrangements
Meet your fellow travelers for our first day as we head through the panhandle of Florida, Mississippi, and into Louisiana, where we spend the evening in New Orleans! Our French Quarter hotel is only a block away from the legendary Bourbon Street. Enjoy the local dining and entertainment this evening!
After breakfast we meet our local guide for a morning city tour of New Orleans. Explore the vibrant neighborhoods outside the French Quarter, including the Garden District, Marigny, Bywater, 9th Ward, Treme, Central City, Irish Channel, Riverbend, Lower Garden District, Mid-City, Bayou St. John, etc. Along the way, learn 300 years of history, fun facts, and plenty of folklore!
This afternoon choose a trip to Oak Alley Plantation or a tour of Mardi Gras World!
Oak Alley Plantation
A powerful testimony to the rich history of the antebellum south, Oak Alley Plantation invites visitors to explore all facets of her plantation past. The Slavery at Oak Alley exhibit, Civil War exhibit, Sugarcane Theater and Big House offer a compelling history lesson with a backdrop of the plantation’s 25 historic acres and 300-year-old alley of oaks.
Mardi Gras World
Since 1947, the artists and craftsmen of Mardi Gras World have designed and constructed the biggest parade floats and attractions for each Mardi Gras season, creating over 500 floats built and decorated each year. On your Mardi Gras World tour, learn the history of Mardi Gras in New Orleans before your guide takes you through the float den, where artists work year-round building spectacular floats and props. You never get this close to the floats during the parade! Furthermore, this is also the only spot to witness these amazing pieces come to life each year. At Mardi Gras World, get a chance to try on a Mardi Gras costume!
The rest of the afternoon is free for further exploration of New Orleans. “Laissez les bons temps rouler!” 🅑
Today we head into the Lone Star State, and the city of San Antonio, TX. Along the way we’ll stop for an included dinner before checking into our hotel next to the famed River Walk. 🅑🅓
Taking a tour of the Alamo is a must when visiting San Antonio! For 13 days in 1836, close to 200 Texas defenders held the Alamo from approximately 2,500 of Mexican General Santa Anna’s troops. The most famous of the defenders, William Travis, James Bowie, and David Crockett, died fighting overwhelming odds for Texas freedom. Today we rediscover this gem of Texas history with a guided tour through the 4.2-acre complex and the Alamo Gardens: “Remember the Alamo!” We continue our tour of San Antonio with a local guide, visiting the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park to learn of life in the Spanish missions during the 1700s.
During the evening, enjoy free time to explore the River Walk and the variety of fine restaurants. 🅑
This morning we’ll hop onto a river barge for a guided cruise to see San Antonio by boat! Spend free time in the afternoon sampling San Antonio’s fantastic dining, shopping and entertainment. Your coach will also be available to take you to the famous The “El Mercado” and the “Farmer’s Market Plaza.” 🅑
As we continue west, we say goodbye to Texas and hello to New Mexico! Our overnight destination is the UFO Capital of the World: Roswell. A walk down main street is a must see for anyone with an interest in UFO’s or how the events of 1947 shaped this rural town, Alien Street Lights and all! Dinner, back on earth, is included. 🅑🅓
In July of 1947, something crashed in the desert between Corona and Roswell. It may not have been part of a weather balloon. Known as the “Roswell Incident,” this legendary UFO case purports that not only was there an extraterrestrial UFO crash, but a top secret military retrieval operation, as well as a government cover-up campaign that lasted for over 60 years. Find out the ‘truth’ as our expert guide takes us on a journey to the places where it supposedly happened. Explore Roswell Army Airfield, the former military base that was home to the 509th Bomb Group, the elite unit involved with the UFO incident. Discover the infamous Hangar (Building 84) where the recovered spacecraft and alien bodies were kept. At each location your guide discusses events and known facts; you get to decide what really happened!
Wave goodbye to the little green men and continue on to Albuquerque. After checking into our hotel, enjoy an included dinner in the historic district. 🅑🅓
Albuquerque, New Mexico’s largest city, sits in the high desert. Take a trip on the Sandia Peak Tramway, an aerial tramway stretching from the northeast edge of Albuquerque to the crest line of the Sandia Mountains. Experience amazing views of the 28,000 square kilometers of New Mexico’s countryside as you are transported above deep canyons on this ride. This afternoon wander the historic district, designed in the Spanish Colonial tradition of a central plaza anchored by a church. 🅑
We take a day trip today to the hill town of Santa Fe. Perched at 7000 feet, our local guide highlights the town’s vivid history through the centuries. Founded in 1609, Santa Fe is the oldest capital city in the country with a fascinating history incorporating ancient Native settlements, the tumult of the Spanish Colonial era and the escapades of the Wild West. 🅑
Returning back east, we follow the legendary Route 66 and pause in Tucumcari for lunch (on own), where vintage motels and restaurants from the 1930s to the 1950s are still in business. Route 66 has many strange and wonderful sights like The Tee Pee Curios and The World’s Largest Pop Bottle & Store! Continuing on to Amarillo, TX, our next stop is a little different — 10 classic Cadillac Cars buried nose down in the ground at the famed Cadillac Ranch pop art installation. Dinner and overnight in Amarillo. 🅑🅓
Next, we stop in the town of Clinton for the ultimate Route 66 experience, The Oklahoma Route 66 Museum. Visitors take a personal journey through the history of the nation’s most revered highway. Encounter the iconic ideas, images, and myths of the Mother Road. Learn about the dreams and the labor that made the road a reality. Experience the Dust Bowl as thousands streamed along the road seeking respite from drought and hunger towards the “land of promise.” Listen to the sounds of the Big Band era. Sit at the counter or a booth in a 1950s diner like one of America’s families vacationing along the length of Route 66. Continue to Oklahoma City for an included dinner and overnight. 🅑🅓
Our final stop on the Great South Western Trek will be Memphis, TN. We’ll spend the night at the famous Peabody Hotel, aiming to arrive before the traditional Peabody Duck March to their lobby pond. Tonight, you have a free evening to dine on Beale Street. 🅑