Music of the South

21 Days / 20 Nights

 

 

Visit the hometowns of jazz greats, rock legends, soul queens and country giants as you experience the history and future of Southern Music on this six-state trip that will have you whistling Dixie before you can say “fried peanut-butter and banana sandwich” (Elvis Presley’s favorite).

 

Your itinerary

 

Day 1 Memphis
Arrive in Memphis, home of the Blues and the birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll. Check into your hotel, then make your way to Beale Street, where live music pours out onto the sidewalks from such landmark clubs as BB King’s, Rum Boogie and the Blues City Cafe.

Day 2 Memphis

Follow in the steps of the King this morning with a tour of Elvis’ Graceland mansion. In addition to the house, you’ll see Elvis’ collection of automobiles and tour his private planes. Afterwards, visit the birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll at the legendary Sun Studio, where not only Elvis made his early records, but also Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, BB King, and many others. Return to Beale Street for a walking tour of the musical highlights, then visit the Gibson Guitar Factory to see how the instruments are made.

Day 3 Memphis

Start fresh this morning at the Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum for an excellent overview of the Memphis revolution in American popular music. Soul fans will also want to visit the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, dedicated to Stax Records and the artists who recorded here, such as Isaac Hayes, Otis Redding, and the Staple Singers. Memphis is also home to the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel, where Martin Luther King, Jr was assassinated in 1968. The exhibits are comprehensive; visit them now, or just make a stop to reflect on the history made here and return at the end of your tour.

Day 4 Memphis > Clarksdale

(110 m / 175 km)

Depart this morning for the Mississippi Delta on the Mississippi Blues Trail. Cross the Mississippi River to Helena, Arkansas, and visit the Delta Cultural Center, where most weekdays you can watch a live blues broadcast of King Biscuit Time, America’s longest-running daily radio show. See where Muddy Waters was discovered on your way to Clarksdale, the blues capital of the Delta. Visit the Delta Blues Museum, then check the calendar for live music and dinner this evening at Morgan Freeman’s Ground Zero Blues Club.

Day 5 Clarksdale > Natchez

(370 m / 595 km)

Depart this morning for the blues murals at the old Tutwiler train depot, where WC Handy first heard the music before he became the “Father of the Blues”. Pass by the prison at Parchman where many musicians spent some time, then stop at Dockery Plantation, regarded as the birthplace of the blues. Visit the BB King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center in his hometown of Indianola,and in Greenwood, follow the legend of Robert Johnson, said to have sold his soul to the devil to play the blues like no other. Continue to Vicksburg, traditionally the southern end of the Delta, as you make your way to Natchez.

Day 6 Natchez > Lafayette

(200 m / 320 km)

Tour Natchez this morning, one of America’s richest cities before the Civil War, and still one of its prettiest. Visit the elegant southern mansions, enjoy the river views high above the Mississippi, and try some hot tamales at Fat Mama’s in the historic downtown. This afternoon, depart for Lafayette, Louisiana, capital of Cajun and Zydeco music. Check into your hotel, and head to Mulates Cajun Restaurant for live music and dancing seven nights a week.

 

 

Day 7 Lafayette

Lafayette is the capital of Cajun Country, and their story can be traced at Vermilionville, an open air living history museum with costumed interpreters and a Cajun restaurant. This afternoon, head out to nearby Henderson and watch for alligators on a swamp tour of the Atchafalaya Basin, or tour the nearby towns of Opelousas and Eunice for more Zydeco highlights, such as the Savoy Music Center, the Cajun Music Hall of Fame, and Floyd’s Record Shop. Return for more music and dancing this evening in Lafayette.

Day 8 Lafayette > New Orleans

(195 m / 315 km)

Begin the morning a drive through Cajun Country along the Bayou Teche. Visit St Martin de Tours, mother church of the Acadians, and the Evangeline Oak of Cajun lore, before visiting the Mississippi River Plantations this afternoon. Arrive in New Orleans, and make your way to the French Quarter for a first taste of the restaurants and nightlife in and around Bourbon Street. Stop at Preservation Hall for traditional jazz, the Maison Bourbon for Dixieland stylings, or one of the many other music venues in the Big Easy

Day 9 New Orleans

Begin the morning in the heart of the French Quarter, with a stop at Cafe du Monde or a Jazz Brunch at the Court of Two Sisters. Make your way to Congo Square, influential in the development of jazz, as it was the only place in New Orleans where slaves could officially sing, dance, and keep alive their African and Caribbean traditions. Appropriately, a self-guided jazz walking tour begins here, part of the New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park. This evening, rest your tired feet during a jazz dinner cruise on the Steamboat Natchez.

Day 10 New Orleans

Today, hop on the St Charles Avenue Streetcar to explore the leafy streets and opulent mansions of the Garden District, then learn more about New Orleans unique culture at the Voodoo Museum and the Mardi Gras exhibit a the Louisiana State Museum. Afterwards, shop for crafts and curiosities in the French Market, then rest up for an

evening at one of New Orleans’ upscale venues, or in the edgier clubs along Frenchmen Street.

Day 11 New Orleans > Mobile

(150 m / 240 km)

It’s an easy drive today, so sleep in if you’ve had a late night, then depart for the Gulf Coast beaches that Coastal Living magazine calls “one of the 10 best water-view drives in America”. Relax at any one of the miles and miles of beaches on your way to Mobile, the original capital of French Louisiana until it was moved to Biloxi, then New Orleans. If you can get away from the beach in time, visit Fort Conde, a reconstruction of the original French fort, then see why Mobile has a reputation for good times and live music in the neighboring historic district.

Day 12 Mobile > Macon

(350 m / 560 km)

Begin the morning with a drive to Montgomery, the Alabama state capital where, in 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man, leading to the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Learn more at the Rosa Parks Museum, then visit the Dexter Avenue Parsonage, home of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr, and still with his original furniture. At the Hank Williams Jr Museum, see the country music legend’s baby blue Cadillac, cowby suits and musical memorabilia, before continuing on to Macon, Georgia, for your overnight.

 

 

Day 13 Macon > Atlanta

(175 m / 280 km)

This morning, visit the iconic downtown district for local shopping, dining and stories about Macon’s musical past or take a tour of the Rose Hill Cemetery (opened 1840) to view the gravesites of Duane Allman and Berry Oakley of the Allman Brothers Band. Then head north on Georgia’s Antebellum Trail, a scenic drive connecting the lucky towns that escaped destruction during the Civil War. Arrive in Athens, the college town home of R.E.M, the B-52s and Widespread Panic, and still a cutting-edge American music city. Have dinner and check the calendar for a show, then continue on the short drive to Atlanta for your overnight.

Day 14 Atlanta

Begin the day in Centennial Park, with a visit to the World of Coca-Cola and a CNN Studio Tour. Have lunch at Mary Mac’s Tea Room for Southern cooking, then make a stop at the Margaret Mitchell House to see where she wrote Gone With The Wind. Visit the Martin Luther King, Jr Historic Site, where you’ll see Dr King’s grave, his boyhood home, and the Ebenezer Baptist Church, built by former slaves after the Civil War. Afterwards, try Rolling Bones restaurant around the corner for some of Atlanta’s best barbecue.

Day 15 Atlanta > Pigeon Forge

(225 m / 360 km)

Depart Atlanta early this morning to beat the traffic, and head for the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Arrive in Cherokee at the edge of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, and visit Oconaluftee Indian Village, an open air museum operated by the Cherokee Indian nation. Get an insight into traditional Cherokee crafts and folkways, then drive to the top of Clingman’s Dome, the Smokies’ highest peak. Enjoy the panoramic views, then make your way to Pigeon Forge, your overnight for tonight.

Day 16 Pigeon Forge

Pigeon Forge is a busy town with a wide mix of fun and often kitschy attractions that can only be found in America. It is also very well located to Great Smoky National Park, and you can return today to visit Cades Cove, an abandoned mountain village that is the park’s most popular drive. Or stay in town for the attractions, of which Dolly Parton’s Dollywood theme park is a welldone mix of thrill rides, traditional rides, live music and mountain crafts. For evening entertainment, try the Dixie Stampede, an exciting dinner and rodeo show combination.

Day 17 Pigeon Forge > Nashville

(235 m / 375 km)

Depart Pigeon Forge this morning for the one-of-a-kind Museum of Appalachia, an indoor / outdoor museum of traditional Appalachian life. A highlight is the Hall of Fame, with its impressive collection of the region’s musical instruments, as well as exhibits of country and bluegrass musicians. Continue to The Hermitage, the Tennessee plantation home of President Andrew Jackson, before arriving in Nashville. Follow the cowboy hats to Broadway, and begin the evening with barbecue and free line dancing lessons at the Wild Horse Saloon.

 

 

Day 18 Nashville

Start the day at the Country Music Hall of Fame, where Elvis’ golden Cadillac and Johnny Cash’s guitar are among the entertaining exhibits on display. Tour the legendary RCA Studio B where Elvis recorded, then visit such musical pilgrimage sites as Ryman Auditorium and Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge. This evening, take a paddlewheel riverboat cruise on the General Jackson Showboat, or plan ahead and book tickets for the Grand Ole Opry, country music’s biggest show.

Day 19 Nashville > Tupelo

(270 m / 435 km)

Depart Nashville this morning for the tiny town of Lynchburg, and take a tour of Jack Daniel’s Distillery. Continue on to The Shoals, the four sister cities famous for the “Muscle Shoals Sound”, a mix of soul, gospel, blues and rock typified by such songs as ‘Respect’ (Aretha Franklin), ‘I’ll Take You There’ (The Staple Singers), and ‘Brown Sugar’ (The Rolling Stones). Learn more at the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, then begin a scenic driv down the Natchez Trace Parkway to Tupelo, hometown of Elvis Presley.

Day 20 Tupelo > Memphis

(125 m / 200 km)

This morning, tour the Elvis Presley Birthplace, where you can step inside his boyhood home, and stop at the Tupelo Hardware store where he bought his first guitar (and yes, they still sell them). Return to Memphis this afternoon for a final night on the town before your departure.

Day 21 Memphis

A last chance in Memphis to visit one of Memphi’s other attractions, shop for souvenirs, or just relax while you get ready for your return flight home.

 

The places you’ll enjoy staying

 

Day City Hotel
1 Memphis Elvis Presley'S Heartbreak Hot
2 Memphis Elvis Presley'S Heartbreak Hot
3 Memphis Elvis Presley'S Heartbreak Hot
4 Clarksdale Comfort Inn
5 Natchez Days Inn
6 Lafayette Clarion Hotel
7 Lafayette Clarion Hotel
8 New Orleans Holiday Inn French Quarter
9 New Orleans Holiday Inn French Quarter
10 New Orleans Holiday Inn French Quarter
11 Mobile Quality Inn & Suites
12 Macon Quality Inn & Suites
13 Atlanta Comfort Suites Downtown
14 Atlanta Comfort Suites Downtown
15 Pigeon Forge Holiday Inn Hotel&Convention
16 Pigeon Forge Holiday Inn Hotel&Convention
17 Nashville Best Western Downtown Music
18 Nashville Best Western Downtown Musico
19 Tupelo Comfort Inn Tupelo
20 Memphis Elvis Presley'S Heartbreak Hot
21 Memphis No Overnight

 

Fly-Drive prices

 

Date From Date To Sgl Dbl Tpl Quad
1-Apr-12 31-Oct-12 $2726 $2734 $2824 $2916

 

If You are interested in this Fly-Drive tour please contact us:

info@travelsinusa.com


 


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