Tastes and Sounds of the South
Enjoy the very best in Southern hospitality on this sensational journey around the most iconic sights and sounds of the region.
This ten-day trip kicks off in the home of country music itself, Nashville – where you'll have the opportunity to enjoy a private performance by Johnny Cash's son, John Carter Cash. Next it's onto Memphis, the birthplace of rock n' roll, before you don your blue suede shoes for a visit to the Elvis Presley Museum in Graceland. Your Southern adventure continues in Nachez, where you'll explore antebellum mansions and historic plantations, plus enjoy a wonderful four-course dinner courtesy of top chef Esther Carpenter. The tour ends with a bang in New Orleans with a fun Creole cooking class and the chance to spot alligators in the bayou, stroll around the atmospheric French Quarter or even catch some live music in the area's charming jazz bars.
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Duration: 10 days
Destination: United States
Tour Highlights: Nashville, Memphis, Graceland, Natchez, Oak Alley, New Orleans
- 9 nights accommodation in first-class hotels
- Hand-picked insider experiences
- Dining highlights (Be My Guest Dining Experiences)
- First class travel highlights
- Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras
- Audio headsets for flexible sightseeing
- Expert Travel Director and separate driver
- Luxury air-conditioned coach with wifi
- Return airport transfers
- Optional experiences and free time
- All porterage and restaurant gratuities
Welcome to Music City. Get settled at your hotel and enjoy some time on your own this afternoon to explore. At 6 p.m., gather at the hotel with your Travel Director and fellow travelling companions for a Welcome Reception.
Today brings your choice of sightseeing with a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum where you'll see memorabilia from stars such as Hank Williams, Loretta Lynn and Garth Brooks. Get a unique look into the life and music of Johnny Cash during a private performance and discussion with Johnny and June's son, John Carter Cash, a Cultural Insight. John (or a member of his family) entertains with his own original music, as well as a few numbers made famous by his legendary family. Ask your own questions about the legend at a meet and greet. Your other choice is awash in musical history with a tour of the Ryman Auditorium where country music's biggest stars play to cheering audiences today. Next is a visit to RCA's Studio B, one of the world's most successful recording studios where musicians such as Elvis Presley recorded their iconic sounds. Tonight, enjoy a Regional Meal.
The day is yours to discover Nashville. Perhaps enjoy some live music at a honky tonk on Broadway street. This evening, head to the Grand Ole Opry, home to America's longest-running live radio program. Dinner is on your own tonight to venture out and sample delicious Southern cuisine.
Nashville to Memphis
This morning, hit the highway to Memphis along the Mississippi Delta. Upon arrival in Memphis, visit the National Civil Rights Museum before joining a Local Specialist who shares stories about Beale Street and Sun Studios, the birthplace of Rock 'n' Roll. See the hotel where Martin Luther King, Jr. was tragically assassinated. Then get an in-depth look at the rich music history of Memphis with a tour of the legendary Rock 'n' Soul Museum. Enjoy the evening at leisure.
Graceland is as much an object of pilgrimage as a museum dedicated to the late, great Elvis Presley. Marvel at the Jungle Room and walls full of gold and platinum records. Stroll the grounds and you just might find yourself humming "Blue Suede Shoes." If so, don't worry, there's leisure time this afternoon to pick up a pair before embarking on a your choice dining experience where you choose from a selection of local eateries for the evening's meal.
Memphis to Natchez
This morning, depart for Natchez. Founded by the French in 1716, Natchez was home to a flowering antebellum culture. Tonight, enjoy an incredible evening highlighting Southern hospitality at a Be My Guest dinner. Explore the private residence of Joe Stone, whose home, built in the 1850s, contains a gallery collection of rare maps, a quaint billiards hall, and exquisite ornamental glasswork. Joe performs on his 1903 Steinway grand piano and delves into the meaning and inspiration behind each piece of music as you enjoy a cocktail. Later, head over to the residence of Esther Carpenter, built in 1804, to hear the stories, past and present, about this historic estate. Esther, a former Four Seasons chef and once named one of the Top 20 female chefs in America by USA Today, hosts a four-course dinner with wine featuring a true taste of the Deep South.
Natchez to Oak Alley to New Orleans
After breakfast, stop at Frogmore Plantation and Gins to learn about the white gold of the Mississippi Delta. With your costumed hosts, Local Specialists, on a visit to a reconstructed 19th century cotton plantation and compare it to the modern-day operation that produces more than 900 bales each day. From Natchez, travel to the countryside to marvel at Oak Alley Plantation. This classic antebellum home sits on the Mississippi River and amazes visitors with its quarter mile canopy of 300-year-old live oak trees. Late this afternoon, arrive in New Orleans. This evening, visit the New Orleans School of Cooking located in the heart of the French Quarter. Discover the flair of Creole cuisine during a fun cooking class before enjoying your culinary creations during a Regional Meal.
Delight in a hearty New Orleans breakfast and coffee before today's exploration of the Crescent City. Join a tour with a Local Specialist and see the atmospheric French Quarter and Jackson Square, originally called Place d'Armes when it was the centre of the old city, and tour one of the city's above-ground cemeteries. This afternoon, enjoy some leisure time.
Enjoy a leisurely day to explore this vibrant city. If you're feeling adventurous, head out to the bayou for a guided tour deep into the swamps. Look out for alligators or opt to stay downtown and stroll Magazine Street, visit Marie Laveau's Historic Voodoo Museum or catch a little jazz piano while cooling off and watching the world go by. This evening, join your Travel Director and travelling companions for a Farewell Dinner at the famed Court of Two Sisters.
Extend your stay in New Orleans Marriott or say 'Au Revoir' to the Big Easy this morning with a transfer provided to New Orleans International Airport.