Southern Sights and Sounds
The rich cultural heritage of the Deep South is the focus for this wonderful tour. Discover the Civil War and Civil Rights history as well as America’s musical heritage as we take in the birthplaces of jazz, blues, country and rock’n’roll, the home of Elvis Presley and the music capitals of Nashville, Memphis and New Orleans. We also include a jazz cruise on the Mississippi and a visit to one of the grand mansions so redolent of Gone with the Wind - truly a medley of the sublime sights and sounds that so define this charming region.
- New Orleans
London - Atlanta
Take your direct flight to Atlanta. On arrival, transfer to your hotel.
Atlanta - Chattanooga
This morning we take a tour of the city forever associated with Gone With The Wind. It includes sites which were important to Martin Luther King Jr and a visit to the national memorial dedicated to the leader of the American civil rights movement. We journey to Chattanooga and check into our hotel.
Railway enthusiasts still flock to this town, which has the largest old-time steam railroad in the south. Today we board an equally exciting means of transport - The Incline Railway - which runs steeply up Lookout Mountain and affords wonderful views of terrain fought over during the American Civil War. The rest of the day is free for you to make your own discoveries.
Lynchburg - Nashville
This morning we travel to the small town of Lynchburg to tour the Jack Daniel’s Distillery where every bottle of the famous sippin’ whiskey has been produced since 1866. Interestingly, no liquor can be bought from this famous location due to a law held over from the prohibition era. Later we travel to the ‘Queen of Tennessee Plantations’, Belle Meade, located on the outskirts of Nashville, where our tour centres around the 1853 Greek Revival mansion. After our tour we transfer to our hotel.
Nashville is a city of contrasts, famous as the country music capital of the world and also called the ‘Athens of the South’ having, as it does, the only full-scale replica of the Greek Parthenon. Our morning tour introduces you to the facets of the city including the Parthenon replica and the Country Music Hall of Fame. You may wish to take an optional excursion to the mecca of Country and Western Music, The Grand Ole Opry, which is America’s longest-running scheduled show having never missed a Saturday performance since it was first broadcast on radio in 1925. This excursion is bookable prior to departure (subject to availability).
Nashville - Tupelo - Memphis
Today we travel south to Tupelo and the Elvis Presley Birthplace Museum. Here we have time to explore the humble two-roomed shack where Elvis lived in his early years and the small museum. Later we continue to Memphis, home of Elvis Presley and W.C. Handy who, after publishing ‘Memphis Blues’ in 1912 followed by ‘St Louis Blues’ and ‘Beale St Blues’, became known as the ‘Father of the Blues’. On arrival, after a brief orientation tour, we check into our hotel.
This morning we experience a true highlight of the holiday as we visit legendary Graceland, home of Elvis Presley. Explore the mansion and grounds of his estate on a well-presented audio walking tour which has an emotional conclusion at his final resting place. Your ticket also includes the Elvis Presley Automobile Museum. You are free in Memphis for the remainder of the day and you may wish to take afternoon tea at the famous Peabody Hotel and watch the famous daily parade of ducks at the lobby fountain.
Memphis - Vicksburg
South to Vicksburg, whose Mississippi location gave control over shipping to the Confederate forces during the Civil War until General Grant’s victory following a 47-day siege. These events are commemorated at the handsomely-laid-out Vicksburg National Military Park, which we tour. Some equally attractive antebellum homes and the restored candy shop where Coca Cola was first bottled in 1894, now a museum to the drink, can be seen in this district.
Vicksburg - New Orleans
We follow Ol’ Man River to Natchez, central port for the cotton trade in the early 18th century, whose many grand mansions and estates bear witness to the wealth of those days. These homes indicate the sumptuous scale of society life, reminiscent of a film set from ‘Gone with the Wind’. After visiting one of these mansions, we cross into Louisiana, taking a shortcut over the spectacular Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, one of the world’s longest overwater bridges at nearly 24 miles. Arrive in New Orleans for a brief orientation tour.
A free day to sample the delights of New Orleans, Nashville’s natural rival as Southern America’s great city of music, though here the traditional jazz has a flavour of its own. The French Quarter has a number of pleasant bars and restaurants with patios for dining al fresco. This evening we cruise and dine and enjoy a traditional jazz band on board The Natchez Paddlesteamer on the Mississippi River.
Today is another day at leisure for you to explore all New Orleans has to offer. As the birthplace of jazz, many musical legends call it home; and with its colourful mix of culture and lively bohemian atmosphere you cannot fail to fall in love with it.
New Orleans - Lafayette
This morning we visit the old plantation town of Baton Rouge, with its impressive State Capitol Building, before continuing to Vermillionville, a reconstructed historic village recreating Cajun and Creole life in a Cajun area. Here you have the opportunity to learn more about life and culture of the early Acadian settlers by exploring the restored homes and interacting with the costumed interpreters demonstrating traditional skills of the period. Later we arrive in Lafayette where you are free to make your own exploration. Lafayette is known as the capital of French Louisiana, an area where 40% of residents still speak Cajun French.
Lafayette - Houston - In flight
Today we travel to Houston for a visit to the renowned Space Center Houston. After which, continue to the airport for a direct, scheduled flight to London.
- Professional tour manager for the duration of the trip
- Deluxe air-conditioned motor-coach with on-board restroom facilities
- Standard accommodation throughout
- International flights from London (please ask if regional airports are required)
- Sightseeing as specified
Daily Departures 01 May to 20 October.