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TheYearofAlabamaFoodTrail

The Year of Alabama Food Trail

Orange Beach and Gulf Shores - Alabama's Beautiful Gulf Coast
Bring a healthy appetite when you visit ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ in 2012 as the State celebrates the Year of Food! It will be hard to resist that famous southern hospitality all wrapped up in fried green tomatoes, fresh-from-the-gulf seafood and mouth watering barbecue! This 14 night tour begins in Memphis, Tennessee and winds through both the foothills of the Appalachia and vibrant Alabama cities to finish on the sparkling waters of the Alabama Gulf Coast for a relaxing end to your travels ....

Highlights Include

  • Memphis & Gracelands
  • Muscle Shoals
  • 'Rocket City' Huntsville
  • Birmingham
  • State Capital Montgomery
  • Historic Mobile Bay

Itinerary

1

Memphis

You are free to enjoy Memphis’ many wonderful attractions. First you must tour Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley. The new audio tour of Graceland Mansion is full of music and interesting stories about how Elvis lived in the home he loved so much. You will see the largest privately owned collection of gold records in the world and Elvis' elaborate stage costumes and jewelry. The mansion tour ends with a quiet visit to Meditation Garden where Elvis and members of his family are buried. You can also see Elvis' famous 1955 pink Cadillac in the Elvis Presley Automobile Museum and climb aboard his custom jet the "Lisa Marie." Graceland plaza also offers fabulous shopping and restaurants.

Next we suggest you eat lunch at the legendary Fourway Grill. Rarely does a tourist find this place. The cherished South Memphis family restaurant serves the tastiest soul food in town. This is the real authentic “soul food.” Eat dessert first. Try the velvety sweet-potato pie or strawberry cake. Then dig into some juicy fried green tomatoes, pork chops, catfish, or chicken and round it out with black-eyed peas and crumbly cornbread. If he's not too busy, ask the proprietor to reminisce about the old days of this historic black neighborhood. The restaurant doesn't serve soft drinks or alcohol, so plan on ordering lemonade or iced tea with your meal.

Just a few blocks from Fourway Grill is the Stax Museum of American Soul Music located in Soulsville USA at the site of the original Stax Records. This multimedia museum celebrates the birth and life of soul music and its influence. The museum houses the definitive archives and more than 2,000 artifacts of the musical influences and international legacy of the legendary soul music label and its artists, and includes a reconstructed gospel church, records, Tina Turner’s clothing, Isaac Hayes’s Cadillac and more.

Once you are back downtown you can tour Sun Studio, the birthplace of Rock'n'Roll. Today the studio, where Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, B.B. King, Rufus Thomas, Howlin' Wolf, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, and many others launched their careers, is open to the public for tours daily while still operating as a studio by night. Sun Studio Cafe is located next door to the studio. Above the cafe is a new museum/gallery featuring hundreds of rare recordings, memorabilia, photographs, and vintage recording equipment.

Another great Memphis attraction is the Rock n Soul Museum. Finally, there’s a place that tells the story of where the beat began. “Rock n Soul: Social Crossroads”, a project initiated by the Smithsonian Institution, examines the history of Memphis music and its impact on cultural change. It tells the story of why Memphis. Why did rock n roll begin in Memphis, why did soul music begin in Memphis & why did blues music, which began in the neighboring countryside come to Memphis & Beale Street before going to the world. You will see stage costumes, instruments, recording equipment, rare film footage, photographs, and vintage jukeboxes from the 20’s – 70’s and you can listen to the recordings on your personal audio guide.

Dont forget to visit Neely's for some seriously good ribs!

3

Muscle Shoals

"152 miles"

Journey on to the ‘The Shoals’, a cluster of towns in the Northwest of Alabama made famous by international superstars like Aretha Franklin, the Rolling Stones and Lynyrd Skynyrd who recorded here during the 60s. Experience sumptuous delights and an amazing view in the revolving restaurant at the Marriott Grille 360 in Florence. Swing by The Palace in Tuscumbia for a Harvey Milkshake or George’s Steak Pit in Sheffield for a Ribeye dinner. Tour FAME Studios for a fascinating insight into the role that this region played in music history. The W.C. Handy Festival celebrates the ‘Father of the Blues’ who was born here each July and his home is now a museum. The Shoals also has fascinating Native American and Civil War history, Helen Keller’s home and Frank Lloyd Wright architecture.

5

Huntsville

"69 miles"

A two night stay in Alabama’s ‘Rocket City’, Huntsville provides an ideal opportunity to sample some of its exciting day and night time entertainment.

Located in the heart of Alabama’s Mountain Region, Huntsville Washington Square in the city’s downtown boasts venues like the Jazz Factory, Crossroads Cafe and Humphrey’s showcasing Blues, Jazz, Folk and Rock music. Indulge your passion for food with a visit to Cotton Row, owned by renowned chef James Beard for an upscale dining experience or Greenbrier Bar-B-Que for the best down home barbecue food. For shopping and yet more dining, the new Bridge Street Town Centre features over 70 upscale shops and restaurants, a 10 acre lake with gondola rides, water craft rentals and park areas.

By day, visit the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, a huge space museum featuring a full size space shuttle, a Saturn V rocket and the actual Apollo 16 capsule. Families can thrill to interactive rides and flight simulators and children can also attend ‘Space Camps’ here. Another nearby attraction which is well worth a visit is the Huntsville Botanical Gardens where you can enjoy the Alabama sunshine whilst exploring 112 acres of flora and fauna.

For a different perspective, go back in time by visiting Alabama Constitution Hall, part of the Earlyworks Museum complex which shows a historic village circa 1819. Another living history museum, Burritt on the Mountain, has five 19th century farmsteads illustrating daily life in early Alabama and there are some great views and hiking here too.

7

Birmingham

"102 miles"

Birmingham, your next stop, is Alabama’s largest city and known for its diversity. Overlooked by Red Mountain, the city is home to grits, gravy, great culture and gracious folks! Folks in Birmingham love to eat and those who visit here will get a taste of its fabulous variety in cuisine whilst enjoying all the arts that the city offers.

Don’t miss The Hot and Hot Fish Club, owned by Chris Hastings who was recently voted ‘Best Chef in the South’ by American Food Network show ‘Iron Chef of America’. Head for the Irondale Cafe for their fried green tomatoes or Jim ‘n Nicks for their pulled pork and cheese biscuits!

Jazz still echoes from downtown nightclubs in places like Ona’s Music Room and the Blue Monkey. The Five Points entertainment district has music of all types as well as great dining. Jazz enthusiasts would do well to visit the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame which pays tribute to great artists with ties to Alabama like Nat King Cole, Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton.

Aside from the music and great food, Birmingham has museums by the dozen and it’s story of Civil Rights conflict and reconciliation should not be missed. It’s told at the moving and educational Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Join a Sunday service at the 16th Street Baptist Church nominated as a World Heritage site and enjoy the wonderful atmosphere and choir. Stroll through Kelly Ingram Park home to pivotal events in U.S. Civil Rights history. The Barber Motorsports Park and Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum are a must for motor enthusiasts and the Birmingham Botanical Gardens and Zoo are just some of the city’s other great attractions.

9

Montgomerey

"92 miles"

Moving south to Montgomery, Alabama’s State Capital is the birthplace of both the Civil War and Civil Rights and therefore steeped in history. Walk in the footsteps of Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King who shaped U.S. history at the city’s museums and landmarks. Take a break and dine at Montgomery’s entertainment district ‘The Alley’ home to a variety of restaurants, bars and live music. Try ‘Central’ for great American dining with a lively atmosphere. The nearby Hank Williams Museum documents the life of this Country Music pioneer famous for such classics as “Hey Good Lookin” and “Cold Cold Heart”.

10

Mobile and the Bay Area

"169 miles"

The historic port city of Mobile which is one of the oldest cities in America is your home for the next two nights. Part of Mobile Bay, an exclusive entertaining, indulgent and relaxing destination, it boasts the original Mardi Gras which started in 1703 and is still celebrated every year two weeks before Lent.

Mobile features delicious seafood and an array of bars, restaurants and live music venues – just what you would expect from Jimmy Buffet’s hometown. The Lo Da Entertainment District has over 20 establishments with live music on different nights of the week. Stop by ‘Veets’ for a late night drink and live bands. Try oysters ‘fried, stewed or nude’ at the famous Wintzell’s Oyster House or Spot of Tea on Dauphin Street which is a favourite for breakfast. Explore the beautiful Oakleigh Garden Historic District for a look at some of the city’s finest late 19th century residences. Head for the Five Rivers Center in the Mobile-Tensaw Delta for a Delta Safari, Gator’s after Dark tour or Sunset cruise! Don’t miss the USS Alabama Battleship and over 20 rare historic aircraft at USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile Bay.

12

Gulf Shores & Orange Beach

"53 miles"

Today travel the beautiful Eastern Shore of Mobile Bay and visit the charming town of Fairhope perfect for unique shops, art galleries and restaurants. The Dragon Fly Food Bar here has a wonderful laid back atmosphere and unusual culinary creations! This brings you to your final stop ... the 32 miles of white sandy beaches at Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Dip your toes in the sand, enjoy live music at beachside bars whilst sipping a cocktail. Visit Lu-Lu’s Homeport Marina for their famous ‘Cheeseburger in Paradise’ ! The nearby Original Oyster House offers more than just oysters and a wonderful vibe This is a fabulous resort region which will let you recharge your batteries before your return home. Try a Dolphin watching cruise before you leave the beautiful coast ... Cetacean Cruises are one of the best!


What's included?

  • Return flights from the UK
  • 13 nights hotel accommodation and room taxes
  • Fully insured compact car hire
  • Detailed driving instructions and maps

Optional Extras

  • Cetacean Cruises dolphin watching on Mobile Bay

How to book

Departures Year Round.

We can also offer this itinerary in a wide range of other accommodation types, including superior hotels, character properties and small inns.

Please call us on (01892) 779900 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. stating your travel dates, and preferred standard of accommodation for a detailed & competitively priced quotation.

AlabamaMusicandHeritage

Alabama Music & Heritage

"Sweet Home Alabama", the very name conjures up an image of a state which epitomises the easy going, laid back lifestyle long associated with the Deep South. Nestled in a region of diverse scenery, Alabama sweeps from the foothills of the Appalachian mountains in the North to the white sandy beaches of the Gulf Coast in the South.

As a result of its involvement in two of the most momentous events in U.S. history, the American Civil War and the national civil rights movement, Alabama has a fascinating history which is played out in key museums and landmarks throughout the state.

Alabama also boasts music legends like Hank Williams and W.C. Handy 'Father of the Blues'. Jimmy Buffett grew up here and many International superstars including Aretha Franklin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Otis Redding and the Rolling Stones recorded here in a region called Muscle Shoals on the banks of the Tennessee River during the 60s and 70s.

Follow in the footsteps of history makers like Dr Martin Luther King Jr. and also celebrate some of America's music superstars who blazed a trail through the Deep South during this 14 night tour. Your adventure begins in Atlanta, winds through Nashville, takes in beautiful Alabama and ends in New Orleans.

Highlights Include

  • Nashville
  • Muscle Shoals
  • Birmingham
  • Mobile
  • New Orleans

Itinerary

1

Atlanta

Arrive in Atlanta, a vibrant and exciting city. Home to the 1996 Olympic Games and world class attractions such as The World of Coca Cola Museum and CNN Headquarters and Studio, Atlanta is a modern city with a historic character.

Visit the Atlanta History Center and the Martin Luther King Jr. Historical Site. Also don't miss the former home of Margaret Mitchell – author of 'Gone with the Wind' or the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum.

3

Nashville

"249 miles"

Move on today to Nashville, home of Country Music and the Grand Ole Opry. Visit the museum of music giants, the Country Music Hall of Fame followed by some fabulous live music in one of many bars and lounges in 'The District', Nashville's downtown entertainment area.

5

Muscle Shoals

"127 miles"

Day five takes you to a region in the northwest corner of Alabama known as The Shoals, a cluster of cities - Tuscumbia, Florence, Sheffield and Muscle Shoals. Begin your stay by visiting the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in Tuscumbia and don't miss some of the most influential recording centres in America, the Muscle Shoals Sounds Studio and the FAME Recording Studio known for their huge contribution to rock, country and R&B music throughout the 60's and 70's. Both studios were used frequently by superstars like Aretha Franklin, The Rolling Stones, Paul Simon and Otis Reading who all made classic recordings here and are still active and open for public tours (check ahead for visiting times).

6

Huntsville

"69 miles"

A short drive brings you to Alabama's 'Rocket City', Huntsville. A two night stay here provides an ideal opportunity to sample some of its exciting day and night time entertainment.

Located in the heart of Alabama's Mountain Region, Huntsville hosts numerous music events throughout the year including one of the state's largest - the Big Spring Jam every September. The city's downtown area has a mini entertainment district with venues like Crossroads Cafe and Humprey's showcasing Blues, Jazz, Folk and Rock Music. For shopping and dining, the new Bridge Street Town Centre features over 70 upscale shops and restaurants, a 10 acre lake with gondola rides, water craft rentals and park areas.

By day, visit the U.S Space and Rocket Center, the Earth's largest space museum featuring a full size Space Shuttle, a Saturn V rocket and the actual Apollo 16 capsule. Families can thrill to interactive rides and flight simulators and they can also attend U.S Space Camp. Save time for the Huntsville Botanical Garden where you can enjoy the Alabama sunshine whilst exploring 112 acres of flora and fauna.

For a different perspective, go back in time to 1819 by visiting Alabama Constitution Village, the actual site where forty four delegates gathered to forge the way for Alabama's Statehood. Become a part of Alabama's history as villagers dressed in period clothing take you through eight reconstructed Federal style buildings. Another living history museum, Burritt on the Mountain, is a remarkable 14 room mansion built in the shape of an X and is insulated with 2,200 bales of wheat straw. The Historic Park contains restored farm buildings which interpret rural life during 1850 and 1900.

8

Birmingham

"101 miles"

Birmingham, home to grits, gravy, great culture and gracious folks is a fabulous stop for the next two nights. Its Alabama's largest city, known for its diversity and overlooked by Red Mountain. As well as hosting the famous City Stages Festival every June, a 3- day event featuring 150 acts, Birmingham claims to be the Capital of American Idol due to its reputation for producing a string of talented vocalists. Two of the winners, Ruben Studdard and Taylor Hicks plus runner up, Bo Bice, all hail from here.

Indeed, it's hard to escape the music in this playful city. Throughout the year, Jazz echoes from downtown nightclubs in places like Ona's Music Room and the Blue Monkey. The Five Points entertainment district has music of all types as well as great dining. Folks in Birmingham love to eat and those who visit here will get a taste of some fabulous cuisine whilst enjoying all the arts that the city offers.

Jazz enthusiasts would do well to visit the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame which pays tribute to great artists with ties to Alabama like Nat King Cole, Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton.

Birmingham also has a fantastic range of museums ranging from Native American and Renaissance art to one that documents one of it's most important roles in the history of Civil Rights conflict and reconciliation, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Nearby Kelly Ingram Park which was the staging ground for Civil Rights rallies and demonstrations during the tumultuous 1960s is also a moving and educational place to visit.

The Barber Motorsports Park and Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum are a must for motor enthusiasts and the Birmingham Botanical Gardens and Zoo are just some of the city's other great attractions.

10

Montgomery

"91 miles"

Moving south to Montgomery, Alabama's State Capital is the birthplace of both the Civil War and Civil Rights. The Civil Rights Memorial and Rosa Park's museum should not be missed. Country Music lovers can visit the Hank Williams Museum which documents the life of this famous music pioneer known for such classics as "Hey Good Lookin" and "Cold Cold Heart".

11

Mobile

"170 miles"

The historic port city of Mobile, which is one of the oldest cities in America, is your home for the next two nights. It boasts the original Mardi Gras which started in 1703 and is still celebrated every year two weeks before lent as part of a calendar of musical events. Visit the Mobile Carnival museum for an insight into the fascinating history of the revellers, brilliant costumes and colourful floats. Mobile was also the scene of an important naval struggle in 1864 when the outnumbered Confederate fleet were forced to surrender and this is documented at the Mobile Museum which details over 300 years of the City's history.

Mobile Bay is an exclusive entertaining, indulgent and relaxing destination. It features delicious seafood and an array of bars, restaurants and live music venues – just what you would expect from Jimmy Buffet's hometown. The Lo Da Entertainment District has over 20 establishments with live music on different nights of the week. Stop by 'Veets' for a late night drink and live bands. Felix's Fish Camp overlooking Mobile Bay has entertainment most nights and great views over the water. If you're visiting in the Fall, you'll be lucky enough to see the city's 3 day BayFest Music Festival. This has jazz as it's main ingredient but there is continuous music for every taste.

Spot of Tea on Dauphin Street is a favourite for breakfast and a nice place to stroll around as you admire the buildings on Cathedral Square. A drive through the nearby Oakleigh Garden Historic District allows you to take a look at some of the city's finest late 19th century residences.

During your two night stay, take a trip a few miles down the road to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach which provide 32 miles of pristine white sandy beaches along the Gulf of Mexico. Live bands perform at beachfront bars like the Florabama, Pink Pony Pub and The Hangout.

13

New Orleans

"144 miles"

Finish your tour in the exotic city of New Orleans which overflows with history, culture and an energy that reverberates throughout the city. Aside from the legendary Bourbon street nightlife, there is a wealth of experience for all the family in the form of boat swamp tours, street car rides, the National World War II museum, the Aquarium, Mardi Gras World and more.

15

New Orleans/Home

"307 miles"

After a last look around New Orleans later today you will drop off your hire car at the airport before you board your overnight flight home.


What's included?

  • Return flights from London (please ask about other departure airports)
  • 14 nights hotel accommodation and room tax
  • Fully insured compact car hire
  • A travel pack containing a day by day itinerary, driving instructions, maps and suggested excursions

How to book

Daily Departures Year Round.

We can also offer this itinerary in a wide range of other accommodation types, including superior hotels, character properties and small inns.

Please call us on (01892) 779900 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. stating your travel dates, and preferred standard of accommodation for a detailed & competitively priced quotation.

SoundsofSouth

Sounds of the South

The American South breathes music. This tour leads from the jazz-filled streets of New Orleans to French-speaking Lafayette where Cajun and zydeco music provide a soundtrack to those steamy Southern nights. In the Mississippi Delta you'll see the plantations where blues was born. From Memphis, one of America's most lively and colourful cities, the likes of Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Otis Redding stormed the charts the world over with rock & roll and soul. Finally, you'll roll into Nashville, 'Music City USA', where country and bluegrass battle in the bars and clubs of Second and Broadway.

Highlights Include

  • Bourbon Street
  • Highway 61
  • Dockery Plantation
  • Shack Up Inn
  • Graceland
  • Sun Studio
  • National Civil Rights Musuem

Itinerary

1

Nashville

Welcome to Nashville, ‘Music City USA’, home of country music and some of America’s biggest recording companies. Trawl the outstanding music venues of Second and Broadway or head out to the Grand Ole Opry, the ‘church’ of country music.

With two full days to explore Nashvillebe sure to visit the famous Ryman Auditorium, the new Country Music Hall of Fame or RCA’s Studio ‘B’ where Elvis Presley recorded over 200 of his best-loved hits. Or you might choose to wander Music Row hoping – like thousands before you – to be ‘spotted’ by a talent scout!

4

Memphis

"212 miles"

Continue South to Memphis, the place where blues came of age and where rock & roll was born. We recommend you park the car at your centrally-located hotel and walk over to Beale Street for a night of great music. Beale Street was a key arena in which bluesmen from BB King to Howlin’ Wolf made their names. BB King’s Blues Club is now one of Beale Street’s best clubs.

Tour Graceland and Sun Studios or visit the exceptional Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum in the new Gibson Guitar factory. Here you’ll learn about the incredible contribution Memphis has made to blues, soul and gospel music.

Drive out to the Full Gospel Tabernacle where Al Green is the resident preacher or explore the city’s many musical sites. You might choose to visit the National Civil Rights Museum housed in the old Lorraine Motel, the place where Dr Martin Luther King was assassinated. It’s one the most moving and insightful museums in the States.

6

Clarksdale

"77 miles"

Probably America’s most significant blues town, illustrious one-time Clarksdale residents include John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters and Ike Turner.

Visit the outstanding Delta Blues Museum and drive out to Stovall Plantation where Muddy Waters grew up. This evening you might tour the town’s many ‘juke-joints’ – authentic blues bars – or you could dine at Hollywood star and local Morgan Freeman’s restaurant.

7

Jackson

"154 miles"

Leave Clarksdale on Highway 61 – the ‘Blues Highway’ – to Clarksdale. On the way you might want to stop to find the graves of Charley Patton and Robert Johnson and Dockery Plantation where Charley Patton defined the Delta blues. Continue to Jackson, the state capital of Mississippi. You have one night here to explore Farish Street, where the likes of Sonny Boy Williamson II and Robert Johnson were discovered, and the city’s many blues clubs.

8

Vicksburg

"44 miles"

From Jackson take the I-20 West to the Mississippi River town of Vicksburg which played a big part in the American Civil War when in 1862 it was besieged by Northern troops for 47 days.

Find the past well preserved in Civil War battle scenes and charming antebellum mansions, in quaint tucked away stores and cozy antique shops.

9

Natchez

"72 miles"

Perched 200 feet above the Mississippi River, Natchez is the oldest civilized settlement on the river. Once the richest town in the US, Natchez is still dripping in antebellum finery. Explore the many plantation houses and enjoy some of the best restaurants on this tour.

10

Lafayette

"134 miles"

Lafayette, capital of the French-speaking Cajun South and home to Cajun and zydeco music. Get to know this sleepy, Southern town where music and dancing are part of everyday life.

12

New Orleans

 "135 miles"

Drive across swampy Louisiana on Highway 61 to New Orleans. Drop off your hire car Downtown and take a cab to your hotel in New Orleans Historic French Quarter.

Spend the next few days getting to know the Big Easy and its many sights and sounds. Take a steamboat trip on the Mississippi and sample some of the fabulous Creole cuisine that New Orleans is world famous for.

Spend three nights in New Orleans before flying home.


What's included?

  • Return flights from London (please ask about other departure airports)
  • 14 nights hotel accommodation and room tax
  • Fully insured compact car hire for 2 drivers
  • A travel pack containing a detailed day by day itinerary, driving instructions, maps & suggested excursions

How to book

Daily Departures Year Round.

We can also offer this itinerary in a wide range of other accommodation types, including superior hotels, character properties and small inns.

Please call us on (01892) 779900 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. stating your travel dates, and preferred standard of accommodation for a detailed & competitively priced quotation.

TheBluesHighway

The Blues Highway

Our flagship Roots tour which follows The Blues Highway, the route taken by Africa-Americans as they left the South in search of better lives in Chicago. As they travelled, so they took their music with them. That's why one road, Highway 61, tells the story of American music from Soutern fields to Northern tenements. You'll jive to jazz in New Orleans, dance zydeco in French Louisiana, feel the roots of blues in the Delta, sing into Elvis's microphone in Memphis, listen to country talent searches in Nashville and explore the rich musical heritage and sparkling music scenes of St.Louis, Davenport and Chicago. This is, truly, the trip of a lifetime for music lovers.

Highlights Include

  • National Civil Rights Museum
  • Ryman Auditorium
  • Country Music Hall of Fame
  • Delta Blues Museum
  • Beale Street, Memphis
  • Navy Pier
  • Sun Studios
  • Maxwell Street, Chicago
  • Cajun & Creole cooking

Itinerary

1

New Orleans

Arrive at New Orleans International Airport and transfer to your hotel in New Orleans, The Astor Crowne Plaza. In the evening enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of this unique city. The American art form known as jazz inspired such world-renowned local musicians as Louis Armstrong who transformed it into the heartbeat of the city where "the good times roll". You will hear jazz everywhere - on street corners, traditional funeral processions, the Preservation Hall, and in the numerous clubs, and hotel lounges dotted through-out this wonderful vibrant city.

Explore New Orleans including the US Mint Jazz Museum, Jackson Square, Bourbon Street and the French Quarter. No other city in America can boast such intrigue or romance

Spend more time getting to know the Big Easy and its many sights and - more importantly - sounds. You might choose to take a steamboat trip along the Mississippi or you might decide to sample the city's Creole cuisine; New Orleans is also famous for its food.

You last day in New Orleans. Perhaps by now you'll have some favourite jazz clubs to go back to or, more likely, you'll still have a lot to see. Visit the Gallier House, Lake Pontchartrain and Mardi Gras World where the famous festival floats are made.

4

Lafayette

"155 miles"

Pick up your hire car and drive across swampy Louisiana to Lafayette, capital of the French-speaking Cajun South and home to Cajun and zydeco music. Go in search of the Cajun way of life at Vermilionville or hone your dance moves at a local club.

A full day in Lafayette to explore this sleepy, Southern town where music and dancing are part of everyday life. Go to a Cajun jam session or visit one of the many nearby antebellum plantation houses.

5

Natchez

"138 miles"

From Lafayette head north into Mississippi to Natchez, a cotton centre and once the richest town in the US. Natchez is still dripping in antebellum finery; explore the many plantation houses and indulge in some of the best restaurants on this tour.

This extra day in Natchez will allow you to explore a little further afield; go in search of the some of the most impressive plantation grounds and houses in the South amid the cotton fields around Natchez. Or you could investigate the cool 'Under-the-Hill' district, once described by Mark Twain as home to the roughest bars on the Mississippi River but now a trendy row of bars and restaurants.

7

Jackson

"242 miles"

Drive to Jackson, state capital of Mississippi. You have one night here to explore Farish Street, where the likes of Sonny Boy Williamson II and Robert Johnson were discovered, and the city's many blues clubs.

8

Greenwood

"116 miles"

Leave Jackson and head across the Delta to Greenwood, putting you as deep in the Delta blues as you can get. Greenwood is the county's second largest cotton exchange after Memphis. Graceful mansions line the pretty Grand Boulevard of this sleepy town which comes alive every October for the Cotton Capital Blues Festival held here. On the way you might want to use our 'Deep Delta Guide' to find the graves of Charley Patton, Robert Johnson and others as well as a series of key blues landmarks.

Enjoy some Italian/Cajun cuisine at 'Luscos' Restaurant - once the haunt of cotton barons who came here to drink moonshine. Each table is still hidden away in a small booth veiled by chintz curtains dating back from this time. You'll have opportunity to explore the juke-joints of Greenville's Nelson and Walnut Streets or to try your luck in one of the town's many casinos.

9

Clarksdale

"78 miles"

Drive north along Highway 61 - the 'Blues Highway' - through the Delta to Clarksdale, America's most significant blues town. On the way you might want to use our 'Deep Delta Guide' to find Dockery Plantation where Charley Patton defined the Delta blues. Clarksdale is America's most significant blues town. Illustrious one-time Clarksdale residents include John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters and Ike Turner.

A full day to get to know Clarksdale. Visit the outstanding Delta Blues Museum and drive out to Stovall Plantation where Muddy Waters grew up. This evening you might tour the town's many 'juke-joints' - authentic blues bars - or you could dine at Hollywood star and local Morgan Freeman's restaurant.

10

Memphis

"79 miles"

Drive north along Highway 61 - the 'Blues Highway' - through the Delta to Clarksdale, America's most significant blues town. On the way you might want to use our 'Deep Delta Guide' to find Dockery Plantation where Charley Patton defined the Delta blues. Clarksdale is America's most significant blues town. Illustrious one-time Clarksdale residents include John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters and Ike Turner.

A full day to get to know Clarksdale. Visit the outstanding Delta Blues Museum and drive out to Stovall Plantation where Muddy Waters grew up. This evening you might tour the town's many 'juke-joints' - authentic blues bars - or you could dine at Hollywood star and local Morgan Freeman's restaurant.

12

Nashville

Go east from Memphis to Nashville, 'Music City USA', home of country music and some of America's biggest recording companies. Trawl the outstanding music venues of Second and Broadway or head out to the Grand Ole Opry, the 'church' of country music.

A full day to explore Nashville. Visit the famous Ryman Auditorium, the new Country Music Hall of Fame or RCA's Studio 'B' where Elvis Presley recorded over 200 of his best-loved hits. Or you might choose to wander Music Row hoping - like thousands before you - to be 'spotted' by a talent scout!

14

Cape Girardeau

"239 miles"

Head north along Highway 61 - the 'Blues Highway' - through the lush farmland of northern Arkansas and southern Missouri to Cape Girardeau, an attractive and laid-back stopover en route to St Louis.

15

St Louis

"115 miles"

Continue along that ol' 'Blues Highway' to St Louis, America's great 'gateway city'. Check in at your hotel then spend the evening roaming the funky Soulard district, home to one of the best blues scenes in the US. Look out for local legends Henry Townsend and Johnnie Johnson.

A day in St Louis. Ride to the top of the amazing 630-foot Gateway Arch which dominates the city's skyline. Then visit Scott Joplin's House where the ragtime innovator penned such hits as 'Maple Leaf Rag' and 'The Entertainer'.

One more day in St Louis giving you time to leave the music landmarks to explore some of this great city's more mainstream attractions like the superb art galleries, parks and the eccentric City Museum. St Louis is a major city and one which has a great deal to offer visitors. Or you might choose to use this 'extra' day to relax before hitting the road again.

17

Ft Madison

"200 miles"

You'll know you've left the South far behind you as you drive on into the cooler, faster world of the American Midwest. But before you reach the next major city, Davenport, stop over at quaint Fort Madison, a taste of peaceful, rural, small-town America. Enjoy the exceptional views across the 'Great Bend' in the Mississippi River to Illinois.

18

Davenport

"95 miles"

Follow Highway 61 as it weaves alongside the mighty Mississippi River to Davenport, Iowa. Here jazz legend Bix Beiderbecke took up the cornet after hearing Louis Armstrong's sound drifting across the river from a steamboat where he played with Fate Marable's orchestra. Optional extras include a Bix tour of Davenport.

19

Chicago

Drive across the Great Plains of the Midwest to Chicago, the place where jazz and blues really came of age and the last stop on your epic journey along the Blues Highway. After the drive you might want to head into the Loop for some Italian-American cooking or to a soul food joint for 'smothered pork and beans'.

Your first full day in the Windy City. Where do you start? You could focus on the South Side's many blues landmarks like Muddy Waters's house and the Checkerboard Lounge or you could head for the mainstream attractions like the lakeshore or Navy Pier.

Chicago is a vast city and even with three full days you'll come away feeling that you still had a lot to see. Perhaps head down to the South Side for a gospel church service at the Pilgrim Baptist Church - the place where Mahalia Jackson and Tom Dorsey defined modern gospel music. Or you could check out Maxwell Street, Chicago's great blues thoroughfare.

This is the your last day on America's music trail. Spend the day checking out the Loop and some of Chicago's great museums before a night on the town. Choose between the North Side with its world-famous blues venues or head down to Buddy Guy's club. Then there's the South Side with clubs like Lee's Unleaded where raw electric blues pounds night after night.

Spend three nights in Chicago before flying home.


What's included?

  • Return flights from London (please ask about other departure airports)
  • 21 nights hotel accommodation and room tax
  • Fully insured compact car hire
  • A travel packet with itinerary, maps, suggestions, brochures

How to book

Daily Departures Year Round.

We can also offer this itinerary in a wide range of other accommodation types, including superior hotels, character properties and small inns.

Please call us on (01892) 779900 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. stating your travel dates, and preferred standard of accommodation for a detailed & competitively priced quotation.

AmericanRhythms

American Rhythms

Short on time? Don’t want to drive far? Then you don’t need to miss these three great cities on this 10 night itinerary.

This tour of the Deep South is lands bordered by the banks of the mighty Mississippi River. This area has so much to offer, from the civil war history of Mississippi and the cajun country in Louisiana to the country music of Tennessee and the jazz and blues of New Orleans.

Highlights Include

  • New Orleans French Quarter
  • Grand Ole Opry
  • Beale Street, Memphis

Itinerary

1

Nashville

Welcome to Nashville, ‘Music City USA’, home of country music and some of America’s biggest recording companies. Trawl the outstanding music venues of Second and Broadway and visit RCA’s Studio ‘B’ where Elvis Presley recorded over 200 of his best-loved hits

Highlights: The Grand Ole Opry and The Country Music Hall of Fame.

4

Memphis

"212 miles"

Departing Nashville, your next stop will be Memphis, the place where blues came of age and rock & roll was born. Beale Street was a key arena in which bluesmen from BB King to Howlin’ Wolf made their names .BB King’s Blues Club is now one of this famous Street’s best clubs.

Highlights: Tour Graceland and Sun Studios or visit the exceptional Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum in the new Gibson Guitar factory.

7

New Orleans

Amtrak train service

This morning you will need to drop off your hire car at the Airport and take the Amtrak train service to New Orleans. On arrival take a cab take a cab to your hotel in New Orleans Historic French Quarter. Spend tonight experiencing the wide range of restaurants and bars that this fascinating city has to offer.

Over the next few days get to know the Big Easy and its many sights and sounds. Take a steamboat trip along the Mississippi and sample some of the fabulous Creole cuisine that New Orleans is world famous for. No other city in America can boast such intrigue or romance.

Highlights: Bourbon Street and the French Quarter.

11

Home

Depart this morning or instead choose from one of our exciting ‘add ons’ such as spending a few days on the beach on Alabama’s beautiful Gulf Coast. Alternatively, embark upon a 7 night Caribbean Cruise from New Orleans.

Tour also available in reverse.


What's included?

  • Return flights from London and Amtrak train service from Memphis to New Orleans (please ask about other departure airports)
  • 10 nights accommodation and room tax
  • Fully insured compact car hire for 2 drivers
  • A travel pack containing a full itinerary, driving instructions, maps, brochures and suggested excursions

How to book

Daily Departures Year Round.

We can also offer this itinerary in a wide range of other accommodation types, including superior hotels, character properties and small inns.

Please call us on (01892) 779900 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. stating your travel dates, and preferred standard of accommodation for a detailed & competitively priced quotation.

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The air holidays and flights shown are ATOL Protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is ATOL 2551.

ATOL Protection extends primarily to customers who book and pay in the United Kingdom. For further information, visit the ATOL website at www.atol.org.uk

Book with Confidence. We are a Member of ABTA which means you have the benefit of ABTA’s assistance and Code of Conduct. All the package and Flight-Plus holidays we sell are covered by a scheme protecting your money if the supplier fails. Other services such as hotels or flights on their own may not be protected and you should ask us what protection is available.

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