Deep South Discovery - Honky Tonk to Heritage

At a glance

  • 11 day independent tour
  • Prices start from £2,545pp
  • Travel all year round
  • Return international flights included
  • Private car transfer and rail travel included
  • Nashville, Memphis and New Orleans hotels included

Day 1 – 6: Nashville and Memphis

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Days 1 - 3: Nashville, Tennessee

Welcome to Music City, USA! Nashville is full of music history, heritage and honky tonks and you have 3 nights and two full days to explore.  The Country Music Hall of Fame is a great place to start.  Stroll around this massive shrine to country music and immerse yourself in the sounds of country music, its origins and traditions. Then for a different genre of music, hop on the free shuttle from the museum to RCA’s Studio B, one of the world’s most successful recording studios, home to legends like Elvis Presley and the Everly Brothers. 

The Ryman Auditorium, the original home of the Opry, is hallowed ground.  This is the exact spot where bluegrass was born.  Since 1974, the weekly radio broadcast now takes place at the Grand Ole Opry. For true country music fans, the 'Behind The Curtains Tour' is a must. Mix with the country stars backstage and stand in the wings during the performance.  Be sure to save time for the Johnny Cash museum. Dedicated to the Man in Black this is an intimate museum chronicling an amazing career.

 In the evening there is an endless selection of live music venues in the city for you to choose from, with bluegrass to rockabilly; country to rock n roll. The talent is amazing and local honky tonks are full of hopeful performers, songwriters and musicians. You never know, you may discover the next big name! 

Days 4 - 6: Memphis, Tennessee

Your private sedan transfer departs mid-morning for a three-hour drive through the rolling hills and small towns of the state of Tennessee to Memphis.  Check-in at the Peabody Hotel, a stone's throw from famous Beale Street, for three nights of music and some of the best BBQ food in the world. And be sure not to miss the hotel’s famous Peabody Ducks.

By day, you'll enjoy a VIP tour of Graceland, including grounds and exhibitions, to see the home of the ‘King’ of Rock’n’Roll.  You'll also visit Sun Studios which is guaranteed to send shivers down your spine as your guide recalls tales of Elvis, Johnny, Carl and Jerry Lee.  Make sure to save time for the Rock n Soul Museum and the Stax Museum of American Soul Music.

If Civil Rights history is of interest, the powerful National Civil Rights Museum located at the Lorraine Motel is an absolute must-do, as is Slave Haven, part of the secret Underground Railroad.

In the evening, Beale Street is a melting-pot of music - delta blues, jazz, rock 'n' roll, R&B and gospel fill the air. This historic district was declared the 'Home of the Blues' by an act of Congress.  With such a rich history of legendary performers - Albert King, Louis Armstrong, Memphis Minnie, Muddy Waters and B.B. King... it's no wonder.  Make your own discoveries as you take in the sights and sounds of this legendary place.

Day 7 – 11: New Orleans, Louisiana

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Days 7 - 10: New Orleans, Louisiana

It's an early morning start today as you board the City of New Orleans train in Memphis and head through the Mississippi Delta Blues region to the swamplands of Louisiana. After travelling along the shore of Lake Pontchartrain you'll pull into the "Big Easy" just as the city's jazz clubs and restaurants are coming alive. Make your way to Hotel Monteleone, perched on the edge of the French Quarter.

Founded in 1723 and considered the birthplace of jazz, New Orleans is the delightful mixture of cultures. Get your bearings on the morning of day eight with a guided walking tour of the Vieux Carre, the famous French Quarter. A local guide will enthral you with tales of New Orleans.  No visit to the city is complete without a paddle steamer cruise down the Mississippi river and we've included a two-hour lunch cruise on the Steamboat Natchez.  After that, you decide.  Jump on a street car and explore the ornate architecture of the Garden District, stroll around Jackson Square and watch the local artists at work or venture to the dark side and learn about the Voodoo practices that have taken place over the centuries.  We recommend visiting one of the magnificent plantation homes along The Great River Road, on the banks of the Mississippi River between New Orleans and Baton Rouge and would be happy to arrange a half-day visit to one of the Oak Alley, Whitney or Laura Plantations for you.

Whatever you do to fill the days, there's no doubt that New Orleans grooves along to its own distinct soundtrack.  Obviously famous for jazz, it won't be the only sound you hear as R&B, gospel and rock play a huge part in New Orleans' music heritage.  It's New Orleans’ loudest and proudest export.

Day 11: Depart New Orleans

You might like to take a final opportunity to see New Orleans before heading to the airport for your early afternoon flight back to the UK.

 

Do you want to extend your time in the Deep South? Maybe a Caribbean cruise from New Orleans? All of our holidays are tailor-made, so please call our friendly team of USA experts to discuss your perfect Deep South Discovery.

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