The mother of all country music festivals, the CMA Fest takes place each June in Nashville and is considered the world's ultimate country music festival with an incredible array of talent including country legends and aspiring up-and-coming stars.
We've included this bucket-list event as part of a Deep South adventure which starts in Atlanta to coincide with the four night event in Nashville. Along the way, discover the Deep South's greatest hits - the Great Smoky Mountains, Mississippi River cruises, Elvis Presley's Graceland, plantation homes and amazing food, all served up with genuine Southern hospitality.
Price per person includes:
Hit the ground running in Centennial Olympic Park home of Atlanta's top attractions - 'World of Coca Cola' and the largest aquarium in North America, the Georgia Aquarium. You'll be in the buzz of current affairs with a tour around CNN Headquarters and the Centre for Civil and Human Rights is also worth visiting.
Enjoy a spot of luxury shopping and al fresco dining at The Shops Buckhead Atlanta. You'll love mooching through this lovely, leafy neighbourhood.
Atlanta has been the movie setting for the 'Walking Dead', 'Hunger Games', 'The Avengers' and 'Guardians of the Galaxy', so an Atlanta movie tour is a fun way to see the city. And, of course, it was also the home of Margaret Mitchell, who wrote the epic novel 'Gone with the Wind' and you can visit her tiny home.
Leave the city behind and head towards the Appalachian Mountains and the historic river town of Chattanooga, home of Glen Miller's famous Chattanooga Choo Choo! Surrounded by spectacular mountain scenery, you'll discover a lively music and arts scene along the riverfront along with Civil War and Native American History.
Head to the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel and the impressive train station lobby for a photo op by the historic Chattanooga Choo Choo! Only minutes from downtown is Lookout Mountain where you can hike and tour Ruby Falls - America’s deepest cave and largest underground waterfall accessible to the public. Then ride the Incline Railway, the world’s steepest passenger railway.
The Songbirds Guitar Museum is a guitar-oriented, pop culture experience for the whole family and houses a fine collection of rare and vintage guitars. Check out the Rock, Country, Blues concerts that take place here throughout the year, it's a great night out!
Your home for the next two nights is in Dolly Parton's hometown of Sevierville. Experience the country way of life in luxury log cabins which are a short drive from Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
A visit to Dollywood has to be on the list. Enjoy the fun rides and learn about Dolly's early years growing up in the Tennessee mountains. For some wholesome evening entertainment, Dolly Parton's Stampede dinner show is a high-spirited event with a cast of 32 top-notch riders and their magnificent horses.
Fancy a walk on the wild side? Head off on a gentle hike along part of the Appalachian Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, be on the look out for bear as you go along! Or for the less energetic, visit Clingman's Dome, a viewing platform in the heart of the park that offers incredible views over the mountains. In Gatlinburg, you'll come across the Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine Distillery where you can view the process of making this once banned liquor and sample the latest flavours which range from apple pie to butter pecan.
Leave the peace and quiet of the mountains behind and travel through rural Tennessee to Music City, USA! Nashville is the true home of country music and the CMA Music Festival is considered THE country music event of the year. Join country music lovers from across the globe as you enjoy four nights of non-stop music. Your Bon Voyage consultant will chat you through the four day festival pass options and accommodation choices so you can be as close to the action as you desire.
It's going to be hard to leave Nashville behind, but you've still got some great times ahead of you on this Deep South adventure!
It's just over a two hour drive between Nashville and Memphis, you may want to stop at the historic Casey Jones Village for a Southern breakfast in the Dixie Cafe, or the Tina Turner Museum in her hometown of Brownsville. Plan to arrive in the birthplace of rock' n 'roll, and the official 'Home of the Blues' early afternoon in time for a tour of Elvis' mansion, Graceland, and the interactive pop-culture exhibition 'Elvis:Past, Present & Future'.
Be sure to tour the most famous recording studio in the world, Sun Studios, where Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Roy Orbison all made their first recordings and were 'discovered' by Sam Phillips. Petrol heads will enjoy the Edge Motor Museum, which focuses on preserving classic cars in their original state. Historians will get the chills learning about the Civil Rights Movement in the emotive National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel.
In the evening sip and dine your way down legendary Beale Street in the heart of historic downtown and lose yourself in the music emanating from every nook and cranny of this wonderful Southern city.
Take on a slower pace of life as you cruise through the cotton fields of Mississippi and along historic Highway 61, referred to as 'The Blues Highway'. You'll feel the roots of the Mississippi Blues as you travel through this sleepy Delta Region. Enhance your journey with music-themed stops at the BB King Museum at Indianola or the Delta Blues Museum at Cleveland. Lovers of the Blues might also want to consider a detour to Dockery Farms. This cotton plantation and sawmill set between Ruleville and Cleveland, is considered 'one of the primal centres' of the Blues, as it was once the home of Charley Patton, Tommy Johnson, Willie Brown, Howlin’ Wolf , and Roebuck “Pop” Staples .
Dating back over 300 years, Natchez is the oldest settlement on the Mississippi River and home to the highest concentration of antebellum homes in North America. Spend your time here on a self-drive tour to some of these magnificent Southern homes or hop on a horse-drawn carriage ride through historic downtown. You won't want to miss Natchez-Under-The-Hill, perched on the edge of the Mississippi, this historic district was once described as “the most licentious spot on the Mississippi River" and was frequented by pirates, gamblers and ladies of the night! Today, it's a great place to head to at the weekend for live music in the quirky Under The Hill Saloon, once the favourite haunt of Mark Twain.
Drop the car off at the airport and make your way to New Orleans in time for jazz and jambalaya on lively Bourbon Street. Founded in 1718, New Orleans is steeped in a history of influences from Europe, the Caribbean and Africa. It’s a brilliant mosaic of culture, food and music.
We've included a walking tour of the city to get you acquainted with its intriguing history. You'll also want to hop on a Mississippi jazz cruise, mooch through the colourful French Quarter and learn about the lore and legend around the city’s world famous parade at Mardi Gras World.
New Orleans is also famous for Voodoo & Cemetery tours and eerie, after dark Ghost tours. On the more genteel side, take a ride on the historic trams through the Greek Revival architecture of the Garden District, or head to Jackson Square for coffee and beignets while you gaze out at the talented street performers and musicians. If you want to venture out of the city, we'd be delighted to arrange local swamp tours or trips to some of the grandiose plantation homes that line the Great River Road.
Time for last minute souvenir shopping in the French Quarter before your afternoon flight back to the UK.
Want to extend your holiday? Perhaps, time on a beach? A city stopover in New York, Boston or Chicago? All Bon Voyage holidays are tailor-made to your exact requirements, please call our friendly team of experts for further information.