Next door is the Georgia Aquarium, the largest in the USA. It features more animals than any other aquarium in more than ten million gallons of water.
Across the street is a great place to relax, the Atlanta Centennial Olympic Park. The Fountain of Rings is the centerpiece and is one of the most recognised and photographed landmarks in Georgia. It’s free to view the Fountain of Rings show,which plays four times a day, 365 days a year.
Minutes from the park is CNN Headquarters. Journey into the heart of CNN Worldwide for an exciting glimpse of news and broadcasting in action. The Inside CNN Studio Tour takes you behind the scenes of the Global Headquarters of CNN in Atlanta. Advance reservations are highly recommended.
Next visit the Margaret Mitchell House a turn of the century, three-story, Tudor revival building which features a guided tour of the apartment where the author wrote Gone With the Wind.
Distance: 220 miles
This afternoon we recommend a drive through Cades Cove, a 6,800-acre valley found in the Smoky Mountains National Park. Here you will find a 4,000 open acre area to observe diverse wildlife, nineteenth century historic buildings including churches and pioneer log cabins.
Distance: 310 miles
We recommend a lunch stop in downtown Lynchburg at their quaint small town square. Then drive on to Shelbyville which is home country for Tennessee Walking Horses. If you love horses, then you must stop at Waterfall Farms, 2395 Highway 64 E, Shelbyville, TN 37160, where you can take a free tour and see these magnificent horses. Continue to Nashville and check-in at your hotel.
Tonight you will attend a performance of the Grand Ole Opry. Showcasing the best in country, blue grass and more the Opry is an American experience like no other. Immediately after the show you will be assembled and taken on a private backstage tour of the Opry House, which is the place where the magic has happened for more than 35 years. Overnight Nashville.
Distance: 129 miles
Arrive Tuscumbia mid afternoon in time to tour the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, a wonderful hidden gem that few tourists find. At this time there are 32 Inductees to the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. The Popular Music section is the beginning of the main exhibit hall. It is marked by a 12 foot jukebox playing pop, classical and opera tunes by Alabamians. The tour continues through a 16 foot guitar into the Country Music section and to more showcases of personal memorabilia. Then you enter the Muscle Shoals section, which highlights the studios that made Northwest Alabama world famous. A video recaps the history of the Shoals music industry. The newest addition to the museum exhibits features the Songwriters of Alabama. The Wurlitzer jukebox provides hundreds of chart topping songs by Alabama songwriters. Billy Sherrill composer of Tammy Wynette's Stand By Your Man anchors one end of the exhibit while Curly Putman, who gave us Green,Green Grass of Home and He Stopped Loving Her Today anchors the other side.
Next enjoy a private tour of Fame Recording Studio, the heartbeat of the Muscle Shoals sound. FAME Music was established in 1959 in Florence, Alabama and has gone on to be the heartbeat of the Muscle Shoals Sound FAME has worked in the studio with some of the greatest artists in Rock music history. Artists such as Aretha Franklin, Little Richard, Wilson Pickett, Etta James, Otis Redding, the Osmonds, and many others. Check-in to your hotel. Overnight Tuscumbia/Muscle Shoals Area.
Distance: 275 miles
Next we suggest you eat lunch at the legendary FourwayGrill, rarely found by tourists, and it services the tastiest soul food in town.
Next stop is Sun Studio, which is the birthplace of Rock'n'Roll. Today the studio, where Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, B.B. King, Rufus Thomas, Howlin' Wolf, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, and many others launched their careers, is open to the public for tours daily while still operating as a studio by night.
This afternoon tour the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. Soulsville is a 17,000-square-foot museum on the original site of Stax Records and houses more than 2,000 cultural artifacts, celebrating the music made famous by Otis Redding, Booker T. and the MGs, Isaac Hayes, the Bar-Kays, Al Green, Aretha Franklin, Earth, Wind & Fire and more. In addition to Stax music and memorabilia, you’ll also find exhibits dedicated to the artists of Muscle Shoals, Motown, Atlantic and Memphis’ own Hi Records. Tonight is the last night in Memphis and the last opportunity of enjoying the live music on Beale Street. Overnight Memphis.
Distance: 128 miles
Arrive in Greenwood and drive to a nearby juke joint. For much of the last century, juke joints were the main night spots for rural blacks. In the Delta of northwest Mississippi juke joints were condemned by preachers as the houses of the devil, but they offered welcome relief from drudgery. Touring these clubs in the early 20th century, men like Charlie Patton, Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson pioneered the blues as a seminal art form. Overnight Greenwood.
Distance: 174 miles
Distance: 134 miles
Distance: 168 miles
Just before you get to New Orleans and as you drive along river road, stop and tour Oak Alley Plantation Home. Located on the Mississippi River between the historic Louisiana cities of New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Oak Alley Plantation has been called the Grande Dame of the Great River Road. Nowhere else in the south will you find such a spectacular setting. The quarter-mile canopy of giant live oak trees, believed to be nearly 300 years old, forms an impressive avenue leading to the classic Greek-revival style antebellum home.
Then continue onto New Orleans and check-in to your downtown / French Quarter hotel. Tonight is free to explore the famous French Quarter. At the heart of New Orleans' enduring allure are the hundred-odd squares of the French Quarter. Alive with history, myth, music and a joie de vivre, the Vieux Carre attracts visitors from around the world to its time worn streets. Overnight New Orleans.
This afternoon is free for you to further explore the French Quarter and for Duty Free shopping. Tonight have a wonderful experience with the New Orleans Steamboat Dinner Jazz Cruise on the mighty Mississippi River. It is one of the last remaining authentic steam driven paddle wheelers featuring live jazz music by the Grammy nominated Dukes of Dixieland Band. Overnight New Orleans.
Distance: 308 miles
Distance: 186 miles
Call the USA travel experts at Bon Voyage to discuss your perfect Ultimate Music and Heritage Tour of the Deep South.