Trace Tennessee’s jazz and juke joints and the bourbon and bluegrass plains of Kentucky horse-racing country along this Deep South musical meander to The Big Easy.
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Day 1: Arrive Charlotte
Immerse yourself in the elegance and style of the South. Your interlude with Dixieland begins in Charlotte. This evening, meet your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Reception.
Hotel: Hilton Charlotte Center City
Day 2: Charlotte – Asheville
This morning, after a city orientation, learn about the history and heritage of NASCAR at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Enjoy lunch on your own in downtown Charlotte before heading to Asheville.
Day 3: Asheville – Great Smoky Mountains National Park – Pigeon Forge
Explore the elegance of yesteryear, starting your day with a self-guided visit to the Biltmore Estate, the largest privately owned home in America and former luxurious homestead of George and Edith Vanderbilt. Stroll through acres of landscaped gardens and gain insight into the lives of a great family once considered American Royalty. We continue to the iconic UNESCO-listed Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Stop at the Sugarlands Visitor Center and explore 19th century wilderness settlement life. We’ll also visit the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, then travel through the centre of the park. We overnight in Pigeon Forge.
Hotel: Black Fox Lodge, 2 nights
Day 4: Pigeon Forge Free Time
Enjoy a day at leisure to explore the beautiful natural landscapes of the Smoky Mountains, so named for the “smoky” mist of blue haze that surrounds these peaks. Consider a visit to Dollywood, owned by country music legend Dolly Parton and embark on an evening of invigorating fun, stampeding at Dolly Parton’s famous Dinner Attraction.
Day 5: Pigeon Forge – Lexington
Drive through Kentucky’s Wilderness Road Heritage Highway stopping, en route, in Berea. Upon arrival in Lexington visit Alltech Brewing & Distilling Co., offering the unique distinction of being a brewery and distillery, for a tour and tasting.
Hotel: Hilton Lexington Downtown
Day 6: Lexington – Louisville
‘Dive into Culture’ today, saddling up for a soulful encounter with the equine residents of a local horse retirement farm, where you’ll Make a Difference by contributing to the dignified retirement of thoroughbreds whose careers have come to an end. Then delve into the equestrian heritage of this bluegrass city at the Kentucky Horse Park or explore the International Museum of the Horse, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. This evening, we ‘Connect with a Locals’, at our ‘Be My Guest’ dinner at the Muhammad Ali Center, where you’ll learn about the life of the legendary sportsman, through one of his friends, who’ll regale stories of the past amongst the artifacts at the Muhammad Ali Center.
Hotel: Embassy Suites Louisville, 2 nights
Day 7: Louisville Sightseeing
After an orientation tour, choose to spend the morning at the Kentucky Derby Museum where you may imagine the thundering sounds of thoroughbred hoofs on the celebrated Churchill Downs racetrack as you visit the home of the Kentucky Derby since 1875. Feel the thrill of the “Greatest Two Minutes in Sports” or perhaps head to the Louisville Slugger Museum showcasing the story of the Louisville Slugger baseball bats in baseball and in American history. Then spend the afternoon at leisure before we tuck into a traditional Kentucky Regional Dinner.
Day 8: Louisville – Bowling Green – Nashville
Satisfy the petrol-head in you with a visit to Bowling Green’s National Corvette Museum where you can admire the sleek lines and engineering feats of this all-American sports car. Leave your need for speed behind and continue south into Tennessee, arriving in Nashville this afternoon to meet your new travel companions.
Hotel: Renaissance Nashville, 3 nights
Day 9:Nashville Sightseeing
Tune into the intoxicating sights and sounds of Music City this morning. Find your rhythm as your ‘Dive into Culture’ at RCA’s Studio B and gain insights into the life and music of Johnny Cash during a private performance of Cash tunes with Johnny’s granddaughter (or another family member). We’ll visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and explore the collection of memorabilia from stars such as Hank Williams and Garth Brooks. Later, embark on a your choice sightseeing experience, exploring the Johnny Cash Museum or enjoy a tour of the Ryman Auditorium.
Day 10: Nashville At Leisure and Sightseeing
Write your own song of the South on a full day at leisure before heading to the Grand Ole Opry, the home of American music since 1925. Take an optional walk in the footsteps of country music’s superstars and get an exclusive look at what happens behind the scenes of the show that made country music famous.
Day 11: Nashville – Memphis
From country to blues, we head for the birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll on Beale Street, where we’ll meet a musician and Local Specialist to learn about the musical heritage of Memphis. Our final stop today is the former Lorraine Motel, where civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr. was gunned down. Perhaps visit the National Civil Rights Museum, home to the former Lorraine Motel, where civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. Enjoy a Regional Dinner this evening.
Hotel: Crowne Plaza, 2 nights
Day 12: Graceland Excursion
Visit Graceland to worship at the altar of the King of Rock ‘n Roll. Our next stop is Sun Studio, which recorded the first Rock ‘n’ Roll single. This evening, perhaps enjoy the sounds of Beale Street with your new friends.
Day 13: Memphis – Natchez
Kick off this morning’s musical interlude at the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum before heading to Natchez. ‘Connect with Locals’ at a 1850s private residence of Joe Stone, who performs on his 1903 Steinway grand piano. We head to the 1804 residence of Esther Carpenter, a former Four Seasons chef, with whom we’ll enjoy a traditional three-course Deep South dinner.
Hotel: Magnolia Bluffs
Day 14: Natchez – Oak Alley – New Orleans
‘Dive into Culture’ at Frogmore Plantation and Gins to discover the Mississippi Delta’s cotton plantation heritage. We continue through the Louisiana countryside to Oak Alley Plantation where the spicy scents of Creole cuisine will linger long after our visit to the New Orleans School of Cooking comes to an end. Enjoy a fun cooking demonstration before indulging in a Regional Dinner of Creole cuisine.
Hotel: Sheraton New Orleans, 3 nights
Day 15: New Orleans Sightseeing and At Leisure
Trace the cosmopolitan history of one of America’s oldest cities with a Local Specialist, stopping at City Park and one of the famous above-ground cemeteries. Spend the afternoon at leisure exploring New Orleans. This evening, consider an optional jazz cruise on the Mississippi River.
Day 16: New Orleans At Leisure
Today is yours to explore the sights and sounds of the Big Easy. Take an optional boat trip into the Louisiana swamps or explore the streets of the French Quarter and sample the city’s cuisine, which Mark Twain once described “as delicious as the less criminal forms of sin”. This evening, join new friends for a Farewell Dinner at the famed Court of Two Sisters.
Day 17: Depart New Orleans
Your unforgettable encounter through America’s South at its end, we take a transfer to New Orleans International Airport or consider extending your stay in New Orleans at the Sheraton New Orleans.
2020 Dates & Prices
September: 02, 09
16 breakfasts, 9 dinners
Luxury air-conditioned coach
16 nights accommodation
An expert Travel Director and separate Driver
Entrance Fees & Touring:
Entrance fees & activities as per itinerary
* Tour departure dates are subject to availability at time of booking. * Prices and itinerary are correct at time of publication and are subject to change without notice.