From the melt-in-the-mouth local cuisine to the seemingly endless musical history, the southern states of America have so much to offer, you won’t know where to start! Fear not though, for the dedicated team at Bon Voyage are on hand to help you tailor-make your trip down south!
When it comes to iconic American music, many forms find their roots in the cotton fields, river deltas and smoky clubs of the Deep South. Take a tour through its musical heritage of blues, jazz, country, gospel….these genres form the backbone of American music.
The soulful, gritty blues find their home in Mississippi - travel the Blues Highway 61 to discover the true origin of the Delta Blues. The actor Morgan Freeman's Ground Zero Club in Clarksdale is top of the list. Bluegrass and Appalachian Folk music are the sounds of Kentucky.
Meanwhile, the birthplace of jazz music New Orleans offers a bolder jazz sound with icons like Louis Armstrong a major influence.
Nashville is known for it's country twang and of course it is home to the holy grail of country of music the Grand Ole Opry and it's original location - the Ryman Auditorium. But today, Nashville is a melting pot for all music. The National Museum of African American Music opened here in 2020 and is a definite for the holiday list.
And then there's Memphis .....the location that spawned so many of the greats including Elvis and B. B. King. True music fans must make the pilgrimage....Beale Street and Graceland await.
Much of the history of America is embodied in the complex heritage of the Deep South. From the Native American Choctaw, Chickasaw and Cherokee people, to the slaves working on the sprawling plantations which sparked the American Civil War.
Abraham Lincoln was elected president in 1860 running on an anti-slavery platform. Eleven southern states formed the Confederate States of America fighting the Union (northern states). Four bloody years later, the war ended with the surrender of the Confederates by General Lee at Appomattox Court House. Slavery was abolished and work began restoring civil rights to freed slaves. Ironically, the person responsible for the 13th amendment abolishing slavery, President Lincoln, was assassinated just five days after Lee's surrender.
Dr Martin Luther King Jr. who was born in Atlanta, Georgia would become the most visible spokesperson of the modern civil rights movement and his famous "I Have a Dream' speech inspired so many. Ultimately, Dr. King would be assassinated at the Loraine Motel in Memphis. You can visit the site, exactly as it was in 1968, as well as, the National Civil Rights Museum.
This rocky history has paved the way for the Deep South as we know it today; a region that embraces its past and pulls together to welcome everyone into the fold. Museums, galleries, churches and even the birthplaces of icons are available to visit across the southern states. Guided tours are numerous - please advise your Bon Voyage consultant on areas of interest so we can suggest and prebook the best tours for your visit.
If there’s one thing the southerners do well, it’s food. With something to suit every taste under the sun, the Deep South offers everything from fine dining in five-star establishments to straight-off-the-boat seafood. And it's all made and served with the same ingredient - love!
If Birmingham, Alabama is on your list, be sure to check out the Hot & Hot Fish Club, and pay a visit to the Crab Shack on Tybee Island in Georgia.
If seafood is your thing, head to the Acme Oyster House in New Orleans and take on the oyster challenge! Or play it safe with a tradition po-boy sandwich. Looking for a unique place for dinner? You'll love the 200+ year old Napoleon House - try the famous Muffuletta and the French Quarter's take on a Pimm's Cup.
After music, Memphis is best known for BBQ and we promise - it will be the best you'll have in the USA or anywhere for that matter! Try Blues City Cafe for a real local experience.
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If you are ready to start planning, call the team today or request a quote below. We would LOVE to help you plan a holiday to one of our favourite spots in the USA!
Where you stay is the heart of your holiday. Location reigns supreme but do you prefer resort facilities or unique and boutique? Historic and old world or modern and shiny?
We aim to present choices across the spectrum but there are many hundreds of places to stay and not room to feature them all. Do speak to your Bon Voyage travel consultant and click the video for our take on this important topic.
We would rate the Bellagio as one of the best hotels we have ever stayed in. Fabulous, glitzy, exciting. We loved having breakfast at the poolside café... one of our best experiences ever. If it hadn't been for you we wouldn't have had the suite or cabana and we loved them. We both agreed that the hotel was the best for us and you had suggested that so well done!Leonore & Mike Rumford