Sightseeing:In Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, Houston, and New Orleans; Sixth Floor Museum, Southfork Ranch, Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, Bob Bullock State History Museum, San Fernando Cathedral, the Alamo, Lyndon B. Johnson National Historic Park, Texas White House, NASA-Johnson Space Center, boat cruise through the Atchafalaya Basin, and Houmas House Plantation & Gardens. Inside visits as shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.
Scenic Highlights:Fort Worth Stockyards, San Antonio River Walk, Texas Hill Country, Cajun Country, and Bayou Country.
Local Guides for city sightseeing in Austin, San Antonio, and New Orleans; services of a professional Tour Director.
NOTE:This special departure include all activities on our regular departures, except for the private narrated barge tour in San Antonio, plus a traditional Thanksgiving Day dinner.
Welcome to Dallas! Your Tour Director is on hand late this afternoon to answer any questions.
Today is dedicated to the sights of Dallas, beginning with a visit to legendary SOUTHFORK RANCH, the internationally renowned filming location of the Dallas television series. Tour the famed Ewing Mansion, featuring an exciting array of memorabilia. See the gun that shot J.R., Lucy’s wedding dress, the “Dallas” family tree, and Jock’s Lincoln Continental. In the afternoon, return to Dallas for included city sightseeing that features Pioneer Plaza, commemorating the trails that brought settlers to Dallas and cattle to market; the Historic West End; and Dealy Plaza, where history buffs can learn all about a moment in history at the SIXTH FLOOR MUSEUM, the location from which the alleged killer, Lee Harvey Oswald, fired the lethal shots on November 22, 1963, that killed President John F. Kennedy.
Day 3Dallas–Fort Worth
This morning, journey to Fort Worth, a Texas city famous for its unmistakable combination of “cowboys and culture.” Visit the Stockyards National Historic District to enjoy a “Stockyards Experience” by seeing the SPIRIT OF THE WEST movie. Afterward, meet the drivers/cowboys of the Fort Worth Herd and see a Longhorn cattle drive before visiting the TEXAS COWBOY HALL OF FAME. It’s here that the museum pays tribute to over 70 cowboys and cowgirls who have excelled in the sport of rodeo, and the Western lifestyle. Overnight in Fort Worth.
Day 4Fort Worth–Austin
Listen closely and you’ll hear the sounds that make Austin the “Live Music Capital of the World.” From blues and indie rock to country, jazz, and more, Austin’s nearly 200 live music venues will surely grab your attention. Upon arrival, visit the BOB BULLOCK STATE HISTORY MUSEUM that tells the “Story of Texas.” Afterward, enjoy a guided city sightseeing tour that features Austin’s downtown, including historic Sixth Street, the Texas Capitol complex, Governor’s Mansion, and the University of Texas. (B)
A short drive from Austin is the LYNDON B. JOHNSON NATIONAL HISTORIC PARK. Hear the story of the 36th President, from his ancestors to his final resting place, at his beloved LBJ Ranch. Visit the TEXAS WHITE HOUSE, including the President’s Office, living room, dining room, den, and yellow sitting room, restored to their 1963-1968 appearance. The afternoon is free to discover all that the charming and historic town of Fredericksburg in Texas Hill Country has to offer. Take leisurely strolls in the historic district, surrounded by turn-of-the-century architecture, history, heritage, and culture. Spend the afternoon shopping, pursuing one-of-a-kind, eclectic shops, art galleries, and museums. (CB)
Day 6Fredericksburg–San Antonio
Today we make our way to the most visited city in Texas—San Antonio. From the stones of the Alamo to the meandering paths of the historic River Walk, San Antonio takes you on a journey through a land as grand as its reputation. Upon arrival and prior to enjoying a Thanksgiving Day Feast, take a stroll along the cobblestone sidewalks of the River Walk to uncover the Spanish colonial architecture, and fountain-laden parks and plazas that makes San Antonio one of America’s most picturesque cities. (B,D)
Day 7San Antonio
Today’s guided sightseeing begins with a visit to the SAN FERNANDO CATHEDRAL, the oldest Cathedral in the United States. Your guide will introduce you to the art, history, and architecture of the Cathedral. Walk the lines drawn for independence when you visit the ALAMO—one of five Spanish colonial missions. It was here that a small band of Texans held out for 13 days against the Mexican army. Although the Alamo fell, the phrase "Remember the Alamo!" has come to symbolize courage and sacrifice for the cause of liberty. Afterwards experience downtown’s authentic Mexican marketplace, El Mercado. Interact with working artists or sample local cuisine at family-owned restaurants in the largest Mexican market north of the Rio Grande. Tonight special arrangements have been made for you to enjoy the RIVER PARADE AND HOLIDAY LIGHTING, along the River Walk. Enjoy the floating parade of approximately 25 professionally decorated and lighted River Barges from your reserved seats. (CB)
Day 8San Antonio
This morning is free to explore on your own. The River Walk (Paseo del Rio) is tucked quietly below street level. Only steps from the Alamo, it provides a pleasant way to navigate the city. With miles of sidewalks and paths, the River Walk provides a new adventure around every turn. This afternoon, join your traveling companions on an optional excursion and experience a traditional Texas Dude Ranch. Western entertainment, trail ride, lasso lessons, feeding longhorn cattle, and hay wagon rides are just a few of the activities waiting for you! End the day with dinner around the campfire and enjoy some true Texan hospitality. (CB)
Day 9San Antonio–Houston
Houston is a city of firsts—home to the first successful human heart transplant, America’s first public television station, and the first word spoken on the Moon. Gain an appreciation for Houston’s rich history on a sightseeing tour of America’s fourth-largest city that includes the Theatre District, which is second only to New York City. You’ll marvel at the world-famous Texas Medical Center, whose 675 acres and 42 nonprofit institutions make it the largest medical complex in the world. Enjoy a world-class view from the highest sky lobby in Texas from the 60th floor of the JP Morgan Chase Tower. Last but not least is a visit to downtown Houston’s tunnel system that takes you 20 feet underground to stroll through an interconnected series of restaurants, shops, and world-class architecture. (CB)
A special highlight today is a visit to Johnson Space Center, home of NASA and the U.S. Space Program. Take a look behind the scenes on a guided tram tour of JOHNSON SPACE CENTER. Be a part of history in the making as you witness engineers, scientists, and astronauts shaping the future of space exploration. With this behind-the scenes journey, you will also visit the Historic Apollo Mission Control Center, and Saturn V Rocket, the most powerful moon rocket ever built and one of only three moon rockets remaining in the world. (CB)NOTE:The buildings visited on the tram tour are real working areas of Johnson Space Center and are subject to closure without notice.
A beautiful drive past fertile prairies, delicate marshes, and abundant wildlife takes you to Lafayette, Louisiana. Board a boat for a CRUISE through the winding, swampy waterways of the Atchafalaya Basin. (CB)
Day 12Lafayette–New Orleans
This morning begins with a guided visit to the HOUMAS HOUSE PLANTATION & GARDENS. History is reflected in the many antique furnishings and works of art that grace the home. In 1963, the defining Bette Davis film, Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte, was shot on the property. We continue our journey across Bayou Country into New Orleans, capital of Dixieland and the “City Care Forgot.” Upon arrival, a guided sightseeing tour focuses on the sights and sounds of New Orleans, featuring French Quarter landmarks including St. Louis Cathedral, Jackson Square, and a visit to a unique above-ground cemetery. Evening is at leisure. (CB)
Day 13New Orleans
The trip ends today with guests departing on individual schedules. Transfers to New Orleans International Airport are included. You can extend your vacation in New Orleans with extra nights and a variety of exciting optional activities.
Transportation:Private, deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach while touring.