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On this leisurely ten day guided tour of the Deep South states of Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana you'll have quality time to enjoy the South's music and food. Visit Elvis's Graceland or do a bit of Creole cooking in vibrant New Orleans. And, let's not forget the grand antebellum homes of charming Natchez. Unlike other guided tours, you won't live out of your suitcase every day, and won't have to be up at the crack of dawn to travel to your next destination. The more relaxed pace offers mostly two and three night stays in each location and short driving times between.
Price per person includes:
Start with a sightseeing tour of Nashville and a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame Museum. Enjoy memorabilia from stars such as Hanks Williams, Loretta Lynn and Garth Brooks as you visit this shrine to country music.
You'll also meet Johnnie Cash and June Carter's son, John Carter Cash. John (or a family member) will share original music as well as songs by his legendary father. There will be an opportunity to ask questions about Johnnie Cash and his career. Next, it's off to RCA's Studio B, one of the world's most successful recording studios. Stand where legends like Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, Jim Reeves and Chet Atkins made music. More than 35,000 songs were brought to life here and over 200 Elvis Presley recordings. You'll also get to choose to visit either the Johnny Cash Museum or the famous Ryman Auditorium which is awash in musical history.
Today you day at leisure. Nashville is yours to discover at your own pace. We'd suggest a visit to the Ryman Auditorium, or enjoy live music in a Honky Tonk bar over a glass of chilled beer. The evening is set aside for a performance at the Grande Ole Opry, home of America's longest-running live radio program and a Nashville absolute must-do.
Today it's less than a three hour drive to our next Tennessee stop - Memphis. Better known as the Home of the Blues, Memphis is a sound, a groove and a rhythm that will race through your very soul. First stop is the National Civil Rights Museum before meeting up with a local expert who will share fascinating stories with you about Beale Street and Sun Studios.
The evening is at leisure to explore Memphis. We'd recommend a stroll along Beale Street where you can listen to the blues bands in many of the local bars. Popular choices are the Rum Boogie, Cafe Boogie or take a walk on the wild side at Wild Bill's.
Start the day with a visit to America's second most visited house - Graceland. A shrine to The King, Graceland is as much of a museum as it is a home. Step inside and marvel at The Jungle Room, the private jets and incredible custom cars. Stroll past walls adorned with platinum records or stand in the gardens and ponder on what life for Elvis would have been like here. Late afternoon there will be leisure time available before embarking on a Memphis dining experience where you'll be able to choose from a selection of lively local eateries for your evening meal.
Begin the day with an exclusive tour of the Rock 'n' Soul Museum before it opens to the public. Then your off south through the cotton fields of Mississippi to the charming town of Natchez. Founded by the French in 1716, it is the oldest settlement on the Mississippi River. Prior to the Civil War, over half of the millionaires in the entire United States lived here. Luckily, most of these architecturally stunning antebellum homes they built were spared during the Civil War.
This evening you'll explore the private residence of Joe Stone. Built in 1850, his home contains a collection of rare maps, a billiards hall and exquisite glasswork. Then, you'll head to the 210 year old residence of Esther Carpenter. Enjoy stories about her historic estate and a four-course dinner with wine, prepared by Ms Carpenter once recognised in the "Top 20 women chef's in America."
En route to The Big Easy you'll visit the historic Frogmore Plantation where you'll be guided by costumed hosts and learn all about the 'white gold' of the Mississippi Delta region. Next stop is Oak Alley Plantation, a classic antebellum home that is perched on the banks of the Mississippi. Famous for its quarter mile canopy of 300-year-old oak trees, don't be surprised if you experience deja vu here as this Grande Dame of the Great River Road has featured in many movies such as Interview with a Vampire and Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte featuring Bette Davis.
Welcome to New Orleans, your home for the next three nights. This evening you'll visit the famous New Orleans School of Cookery and learn how to cook a delicious southern dish, full of glorious calories, of course.
Before you head off on a morning tour of the most unique towns in America, enjoy a hearty New Orleans breakfast. On the tour, lead by a local expert, you'll hear tales about this historic city, visit Jackson Square and tour one of the eerie above-ground cemeteries.
You'll adore the Garden District where you can stroll around some of the best preserved Southern mansions in the USA. There will be free time in the afternoon to enjoy New Orleans at your own pace. We'd recommend pulling up a seat in a street cafe, ordering a coffee and a delicious beignet and watching the world go by. Alternatively, check out the Hurricane Katrina Museum, Mardi Gras World or the lively waterfront area and the mighty Mississippi River.
Explore New Orleans at your own pace today. Perhaps you would like a Cajun Swamp tour, or maybe a Jazz cruise along the Mississippi. Bon Voyage would be delighted to pre-book these for you. Alternatively, stay in downtown and explore this vibrant city on foot. Visit Marie Laveau's Historic Voodoo Museum, or catch a little jazz at a lively music venue. Enjoy a spot of shopping in the city's many unique boutiques and spice markets, then in the evening, join the Tour Director and your traveling companions for farewell dinner celebrations at the famous Court of Two Sisters restaurant.
Time to say goodbye to 'The Big Easy' as you are transferred to the airport for your early afternoon flight back to the UK.
Your tour ends here but your adventure doesn't have to. Perhaps you may want to extend your stay and include a cruise from New Orleans or maybe a Paddle Steamer cruise along the Mississippi.
Call the travel specialists at Bon Voyage to discuss your perfect Tastes and Sounds of the South tour.
Please note that Mardi Gras and Jazz festival options are available on this holiday, please call Bon Voyage for further details.