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Experience the sights and sounds of the Deep South on this fascinating Music & Heritage journey through Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi....
Ideal time to visit: April to November
Prices are based on off-peak travel. Please call or email for costs for your preferred date of travel.
Please note museum/activities are not included in the price. These are payable locally. (subject to availability)
Start in style and put the finishing touches to a memorable holiday with our Chauffeur Drive Service. Your smart, uniformed driver will meet you at your door and whisk you to and from the airport terminal so you are guaranteed a stress-free and relaxing journey. You’ll travel in a showroom condition Mercedes E Class for two people or a sumptuous Viano for families or groups up to six. Please call for further details and prices
Today tour the World of Coca-Cola Museum it is the only place where you can experience the fascinating story of the world's best-known beverage brand in a dynamic, multimedia attraction.
Next door is the Georgia Aquarium the world’s largest aquarium. 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, at 12:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 6:30p.m. and 9 p.m.
Across the street 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
Atlanta you’ll certainly want to drive to the
Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site
where you can learn
about Dr. King's life and his influence on others.
When you depart Atlanta we suggest you drive through the quaint mountain town of Dahlonega, home to The Gold Museum , gold mines and gold panning facilities. Dahlonega is also the Heart of Georgia's wine country, where you can tour all the local wineries and downtown tasting rooms.
Now continue on to Cherokee, North Carolina. We suggest a stop at Oconaluftee Indian Village . You will be transported back in time to 1760 to witness the challenges of Cherokee life at a time of rapid cultural change.
Another great place to visit is the Museum of the Cherokee Indian . Experience the 11,000 year old Cherokee story through priceless ancient artifacts, computer generated imagery, artwork, life-sized figures, dioramas, and more. Then continue into The Smoky Mountain National Park where you will cross over the mountains into the three towns of Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge/Sevierville. From the big animals like bears, deer, and elk, down to microscopic organisms, the Smokies have the most biological diversity of any area in the world's temperate zone. As you cross the mountains you should stop at Clingmans Dome the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park at 6643 feet. The observation tower on the summit of Clingmans Dome offers spectacular 360° views of the Smokies and beyond.
Arrive Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge/Sevierville and check-in to your hotel. Overnight Smoky Mountains.
Today you should definitely visit
Dollywood Theme park
spanning 125 acres and nestled in the lush foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains in Pigeon Forge, near Gatlinburg. Enjoy thrilling amusement park rides including the award-winning wooden rollercoaster The Thunderhead™- the wildest ride in the woods.
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.
Another option is the outstanding shopping opportunities in this area. There are over 500 stores, shops and outlets to satisfy every shopping need. If you are looking for something a bit more unique you’ll find hand-blown glass, handmade pottery, instruments, and many more arts and crafts.
Overnight Smoky Mountains.
Distance: 310 miles
Instead of driving directly to Nashville, we suggest a detour through some lovely areas of middle Tennessee and make a stop in the quaint village of Lynchburg, TN, which also happens to be the home of the Jack Daniels Distillery . All the Jack Daniels bourbon distributed throughout the worlds comes from here. You can take the free tour of the Jack Daniel’s Distillery in little Lynchburg (where alcohol cannot be sold or consumed, since it is “dry” county, except the State of TN Legislature passed a special law allowing them to sell only one special bottle of Jack Daniels).
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 on into Nashville and check-in 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.
Today you will tour the Country Music Hall of Fame : Sing Me Back Home is the title of the Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum’s permanent exhibit, an exciting, multi-layered journey through the life of country music.
Historic RCA Studio B
- once the recording home ofpopular music titans such as Elvis Presley, Chet Atkins, Eddy Arnold, and theEverly Brothers - first becameknown as one of the cradles of the "Nashville Sound" in the 1960s.
Next we recommend a stop at the Belle Meade Mansion. Belle Meade Plantation & Winery is a 30 acre historic site 6 miles west of Nashville. The centerpiece of the property is the Belle Meade mansion built in 1853. The fully furnished Mansion is stocked with original pieces from the 1800's. Costumed guides willingly share the stories surrounding the rise and fall of the Harding and Jackson family. The Winery at Belle Meade Plantation is Tennessee’s newest winery and Nashville’s only winery to date! For over 200 years, the Harding and Jackson families opened the doors to the mansion for friends and visitors and the finest food and drink became part of the tradition of Belle Meade.
This evening walkaround downtown and be sure to walk along Broadway Street and grab a quick drink in Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, one of Nashville's most famous nightclubs with live entertainment. Overnight Nashville.
Distance: 129 miles
This morning depart for Tuscumbia ,in the Muscle Shoals area of north Alabama. Just outside of Nashville, the Old Tennessee Trail is waiting for you: a scenic drive as rich in history as it is in fresh air, gentle rolling hills, and down-home charm. Get a glimpse of the original Tennessee, a time when Native Americans hunted on this land, and later found themselves nose to nose with the settlers arriving to lay claim to the Revolutionary War land grants they would shape into homesteads and farmlands. In Springhill you can tour Rippavilla Plantation home built in the 1850’s. In Columbia you can tour US President James K. Polk’s home .
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 greatestartists 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. OvernightTuscumbia/Muscle Shoals Area.
Distance: 275 miles
This morning depart for Memphis, along the beautiful Natchez Trace Parkway which stretches from the Mississippi River in Natchez through the Shoals area in Alabama and across the Tennessee Valley to Nashville. The 444-mile National Scenic Byway and All-American Road has emerged as one of America's most important examples of natural and cultural heritage. Administered by the National Park Service, the road's non-commercial environment coupled with a wide variety of historic sites, wayside exhibits and beautiful venues make it a memorable destination for an unhurried trip that both reveals and explains a unique time in America's history.
First stop is Tupelo Mississippi, the
Birthplace of Elvis Presley
, where you can walk into the room where Elvis breathed his first breath, take a stroll to his favourite location as a boy to relax looking over Tupelo, and see first hand how it all shaped this young boy from Mississippi into the international rock & roll music legend he is today.
Your next stop is Jackson, Tennessee the hometown of Carl Perkins. Stop at the International Rock-a-Billy Hall of Fame and Museum , which is a resource centre dedicated to preserving and promoting Rockabilly Music. Then arrive in Memphis and check-in to your downtown hotel. The evening is free to explore Beale Street, one of America's most famous streets where W.C. Handy first penned the Blues music of the Mississippi Delta. Nightclubs and restaurants offer a variety of food and live music including traditional Blues, Rhythm and Blues, Jazz, and Rock'n'Roll. Shops and boutiques throughout the district provide visitors with the opportunity to purchase souvenirs, t-shirts,memorabilia, and novelties. The world-famous street also features a statue of W.C. Handy, a musical "Walk of Fame," and Church Park, built by the South's first Black millionaire, Robert Church. Overnight Memphis.
This morning take a tour of Graceland , the homeof Elvis Presley. Youwill see the largest privately owned collection of gold records in the worldand Elvis' elaborate stage costumes and jewellery. The mansion tour ends with a quiet visit toMeditation Garden where Elvis and members of his family are buried. You can also see Elvis' famous 1955 pinkCadillac in the Elvis Presley Automobile Museum and climb aboard his custom jetthe "Lisa Marie." Gracelandplaza also offers fabulous shopping and restaurants.
Next we suggestyou eat lunch at the legendary
, rarely found by tourists, and it services the tastiest soul food in town!.
Next stop is
, which is the birthplaceof Rock'n'Roll. Today the studio, whereElvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, B.B. King, Rufus Thomas, Howlin' Wolf, JohnnyCash, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, and many others launched their careers, isopen to the public for tours daily while still operating as a studio bynight.
This afternoon tour the Stax Museum of AmericanSoul Music : Soulsville is a 17,000-square-foot museum on the original siteof Stax Records and houses more than 2,000 cultural artifacts, celebrating themusic made famous by Otis Redding, Booker T. and the MGs, Isaac Hayes, theBar-Kays, Al Green, Aretha Franklin, Earth, Wind & Fire and more. Inaddition to Stax music and memorabilia, you’ll also find exhibits dedicated tothe artists of Muscle Shoals, Motown, Atlantic and Memphis’ own Hi Records. Tonight is the last night in Memphis and thelast opportunity of enjoying the live music on Beale Street. OvernightMemphis.
Distance: 128 miles
Today depart for Greenwood, but first drive-by the
National Civil Rights Museum
and see where Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated. Leave Memphis on the famous Highway 61, known as America’s Blues Alley where your first stop is in Clarksdale. From the 30's on through the 50's Clarksdale was a major blues town. John Lee Hooker, Ike Turner, Little Junior Parker and Sam Cooke were born here. We suggest you visit the old train station and the
Delta Blues Museum
. Next door is the “
” restaurant & bar owned by the famous actor, Morgan Freeman.
Arrive in Greenwood and check-in to your hotel. Tonight there will be a very special treat few tourists every experience. Drive to a nearby “juke joint” and not just any juke joint, but probably the only remaining authentic juke joint in the Deep South. It is Po Monkey’s. 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.
Tour the local area and visit the claimed three burial sites of Robert Johnson, legendary Mississippi Delta Blues musician. Johnson who reportedly sold his soul to the devil to become a great musician at the crossroads, spent his last days in the Baptist Town community in Greenwood, Mississippi before his tragic death on Tuesday, Aug 16, 1938. In 1991 Sony Records erected a monument to honour him at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church graveyard in Itta Bena, Mississippi. Two years later another headstone was placed at Payne Chapel in Quito, Mississippi. Although doubts have existed about the final resting place of the man who recorded 29 songs from 1937 - 1939, his legal heir and son, Claude Johnson, set the record straight that "This the site where my father was buried, let there be no doubt." This site is located in the cemetery of Little Zion Missionary Baptist Church north of Greenwood, Mississippi on Money Road.
Next drive to B.B. King’s hometown of Indianola, where you can tour the outstanding new B.B. King Museum & Delta Interpretive Center . It also tells the story of B.B. King’s life from a kid without anything but the dream in his heart and a destiny that would take him around the world. After the museum visit go to nearby Club Ebony, now owned by B. B. King and his partners. You can enjoy dinner & blues music in the same place where since 1945 musicians who have played here include of course B.B. King plus Count Basie, Ray Charles, James Brown, & Ike Turner. Overnight Greenwood.
Distance: 174 miles
Today continue through the rich Delta farmland to the famous river city of Natchez. En route stop in Vicksburg and tour the Old Courthouse Museum ,Vicksburg's most historic building, constructed by slaves in 1858, has hosted such great Americans as Jefferson Davis, Theodore Roosevelt, John Breckinridge, Booker T. Washington, William McKinley, and U.S. Grant.
While in Vicksburg we suggest you eat lunch at Walnut Hills Restaurant , featured in “1000 Places to See Before You Die” and has won awards for “best fried chicken”, “best home cooking”, “best country food”, & “best lunch.” The food at Walnut Hills is what most of us refer to as good ole Southern home-cooked victuals. The atmosphere is equally as homey: warm light, revolving round tables (called Lazy Susans in the South) in the middle of a large round table seating 20 persons and the food is served on platters and in bowls and is constantly replenished. You never run out.
Arrive Natchez& check-in to your hotel. Tonight visit Natchez Under-the-Hill, which in its day, 165 years ago, was the most notorious river landing on the entireMississippi. OvernightNatchez.
Distance: 134 miles
This morning depart for Lafayette, but first tour the beautiful antebellum home, Monmouth Plantation . Monmouth is listed as a National Historic Landmark. A 'Breathtaking beauty' marks both the 'lovely grounds' and 'magnificent' 1818 Greek Revival estate, built by John Hankinson in 1818, Monmouth was purchased by General John A. Quitman, a hero of the Mexican War, in 1826 and remained in his family for nearly a century.
Drive south on Highway 61 and on into the State Capitol of Baton Rouge. Here make a brief stop at the Louisiana State Capitol building . Completed in 1932, this 34-story building overlooks the Mississippi River. There is an observation deck on the 27th floor providing a panorama of the Mississippi River and surrounding area.
Now head west towards Lafayette crossing over the Atchafalaya Basin or Atchafalaya Swamp. It is the largest swamp in the United States about 20 miles wide (east to west) and 150 long (north to south). Located in south central Louisiana, it is a combination of wetlands and river delta area where the Atchafalaya River and the Gulf of Mexico converge.
As you are crossing the swamp stop at Angelle’s Whiskey River Landing for some authentic Zydeco/Cajun music and dancing. Located on the levee overlooking the Atchafalaya Basin swamp, it has been named one of America’s top 50 bars. Very few tourists ever find this spot where you can learn the beer drinking, foot stomping Cajun dance from the locals. This is real Americana. Then continue on to Lafayette and check-in to your hotel. Overnight Lafayette.
This morning tour the Acadian Cultural Center . It is the best place to start when travelling through Cajun Country, offering the history of the Acadian people who were expelled from Nova Scotia beginning in 1755 by the British and who regrouped among the bayous, swamps and prairies of South Louisiana. Exhibits in the Center spotlight the contemporary culture of Cajuns, their wonderful food, music, storytelling and even the tradition of telling jokes.
Next you can visit Vermilionville Living History
Museum & Folklife Park created to preserve and
represent the Acadian, Creole, and Native American culture within the region. It provides visitors a
wonderful opportunity to view a lifestyle as it may have occurred during a time
period spanning from 1765 to 1890. Vermilionville
is the largest physical representation of Acadian and Creole culture in the
world. Artisans dressed in period costumes
provide demonstrations on a variety of essential crafts performed by the early
Acadians and Creoles.
Everything comes together tonight when you dine at Mulate’s Restaurant in nearby Breaux Bridge, LA. Mulate’s is an authentic Cajun dancehall. They serve up live Cajun Music and Dancing 7 nights a week. The bands are local musicians and play traditional Cajun Music. The dance floor is in the center of the restaurant and patrons can take a turn on the dance floor or tap their toes from their tables! Overnight Lafayette .
Distance: 168 miles
Today you depart for New Orleans. En route to New Orleans drive through Cajun back country and make a stop at Avery Island and tour the one and only original,
Your next stop will be near Houma for a
Cajun Man’s Swamp Cruise
operated by a real Cajun character, Black Guidry, who is not only a singer, but a former army green beret and Louisiana state trooper.
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 morning enjoy a
New Orleans City Sightseeing tour
, where you will visit one of its historic cemeteries, referred to as "Cities of the Dead," and learn about this unique above ground burial system. Marvel at stories of voodoo and piracy on Bayou St. John, the waterway used by Jean Lafitte and his band of pirates, as you make your way to the shores of Lake Pontchartrain. View the longest bridge over water in the world, the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway. Follow the path of the St. Charles Avenue streetcar, the oldest continuously operating passenger railway system in the world (until service was disrupted by Hurricane Katrina). See the homes of former Kings & Queens of Mardi Gras, stately mansions and the world-famous, exclusive Garden District.
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
This morning depart for Montgomery, Alabama and check-in to your hotel. This afternoon take a tour of the Hank Williams Museum , the Hank Williams statue and the Hank Williams gravesite. The Hank Williams Museum houses the most complete collection of Hank Williams' Memorabilia. Over 35 Showcases filled with personal artifacts, Signed Programs And Books, Sheet Music, Song Books, and more. There are 4 sterling records, albums, 78 RPM records, 45 RPM records, 16 Inch records and Box Sets, lyrics to "MEN WITH BROKEN HEARTS", plus autographed records, platinum records, awards and proclamations. Overnight Montgomery.
Distance: 186 miles
Before departing Montgomery this morning tour the
Dexter Ave King Memorial Baptist Church
, which is the church where Dr. Martin Luther, King, Jr. pastored from 1954-1960 and began his quest for civil rights. In this National Historic Landmark, see the modest pulpit where Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. first preached his message of hope and brotherhood. This church was also a centerpoint of the Montgomery bus boycott. A large mural in the church depicts King’s civil rights crusade from Montgomery to Memphis.
Upon arrival in Macon tour the Allman Brothers BandMuseum at the Big House . Today, the Big House has been restored as an Allman Brothers Band Museum, show casing guitars and other musical instruments, clothing, photos, posters, gold records, a vast collection of memorabilia and state of the art technology. The Allman Brothers Band Museum at the Big House guarantees that the dreams, music and legacy created so long ago by the band will live on. Overnight Macon.
Once again I found Jade Weir to be very helpful and efficient. During my last trip I contacted her to make a change to my schedule. This was made very much to my satisfaction. Ms Weir is an excellent travel consultant.
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