Dixieland and Rhythms
Explore the evolution of American music on this sensational holiday that brings the beautiful south to life.
You’ll start your Deep South tour with two nights in the ‘windy city’ of Chicago, end it with two unforgettable nights in New Orleans with nights in Nashville, Memphis and St Louis along the way. With guided sightseeing or an orientation tour in each place, you’ll get to know the back story behind each city.
For music fans, this tour is a pilgrimage to all the important sites in popular music history. You’ll visit the Country Music Hall of fame in Nashville and admire its rare instruments and artefacts – including Elvis Presley’s solid gold Cadillac! You’ll take a tour around RCA Studio B, where Elvis, Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash and many other stars recorded their biggest hits. You’ll take your reserved seats at the Grand Ole Opry to see an unforgettable nightly performance that’s been broadcast live on air since 1925 – the longest running in US history! In Memphis, you’ll visit the film locations for ‘Walk the Line’: the story of Johnny Cash and his wife June. Of course, no visit here would be complete without a tour of Graceland, legendary home of Elvis Presley himself.
You’ll take a trip to the top of St Louis’s iconic Gateway Arch, 630 feet high, to enjoy phenomenal views. You’ll also enjoy tranquil views of the dreamy Mississippi landscapes travelling on the Amtrak City of New Orleans train from Memphis to New Orleans. Look out for catfish ponds and cotton fields before reaching Louisiana – where you can take an optional cruise through the swampy waterways. You’ll find plenty of time to explore on your own or to join optional outings on this tour, whether that’s a tour of Sun Studio in Memphis, visiting a plantation in New Orleans or just hitting some blues clubs and soaking up the vibes.
- Return flights
- Services of a tour director
- Selected meals
- Free Wi-Fi on coach
- All airport taxes
Day 1: Chicago
Welcome to the “Windy City.” Your Tour Director is on hand late this afternoon to answer any questions.
Day 2: Chicago
Included sightseeing shows off the city’s landmarks, then an afternoon at leisure. Maybe ride the elevator to the top of Willis Tower, formerly known as the Sears Tower, stroll in Grant Park, or cruise on the Chicago River.
Day 3: Chicago - St. Louis
Travel across the fertile Illinois farmlands to St. Louis, “Gateway to the West.” An orientation tour includes a trip to the top of the GATEWAY ARCH National Park, which commemorates the city’s key role in westward expansion. Visit the museum under the Arch, celebrating Lewis and Clark’s famous expedition 200 years ago.
Day 4: St. Louis - Nashville
Recross the Mississippi River today and roll southeast to Paducah on the Ohio River. Late-afternoon arrival in Nashville.
Meals included: Breakfast
Day 5: Nashville
Start the day with a sightseeing tour of Nashville’s famous landmarks and the Music Row recording studios. Tour historic RCA STUDIO B, cradle of the “Nashville Sound” in the 1960s and where stars such as Dolly Parton, Elvis Presley, Eddy Arnold, Willie Nelson, and the Everly Brothers recorded many of their biggest hits. Afterward, visit the COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME with its glittering costumes, rare instruments, and Elvis’ “solid-gold” Cadillac! Tonight, enjoy reserved seating for a show at the world-famous GRAND OLE OPRY, a mecca for country musicians.
Day 6: Nashville - Memphis
Cross Tennessee to Memphis, “Home of the Blues” and a city with a distinct Southern flavour. Enjoy an orientation tour on arrival and see where the film Walk the Line was filmed. Join the optional excursion to Sun Studio, where rock ‘n’ roll was first recorded, followed by dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 7: Memphis
Visit to Graceland. A good portion of the day is devoted to GRACELAND, Elvis Presley’s beautiful estate. Your guided audio tour focuses on the memorial garden, and the opulent 15,000-square-foot mansion. Return to Memphis mid-afternoon and if you haven’t done so already, get a taste of Memphis with some southern barbecue at Central BBQ. Perhaps stop by the Gibson Guitar Factory for a tour or visit the National Civil Rights Museum. This evening, you may want to visit famous Beale Street, and explore the melting pot of delta blues, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll, R and B, and gospel.
Day 8: Memphis - Amtrak City of New Orleans train - New Orleans
Providing the locomotion for today’s journey through the state of Mississippi and into the Mississippi River Delta is the CITY OF NEW ORLEANS, the famous train of story and song. Cotton fields and catfish ponds slide past on the way to New Orleans. The evening is free to begin exploring this lively city.
Day 9: New Orleans
A full morning is dedicated to the sights and sounds of New Orleans, featuring a guided tour that includes the French Quarter landmarks, St. Louis Cathedral, Jackson Square, and a visit to a unique above-ground cemetery. This afternoon, join an optional cruise through the winding waterways of Louisiana’s swamp lands. For shoppers, Canal Street and the French Quarter offer an array of specialty shops and boutiques. This evening, perhaps join an optional Mississippi River dinner cruise aboard an authentic steamboat to enjoy a delightful buffet dinner, complete with live jazz—the perfect finale to a memorable touring adventure of the South.
Day 10: New Orleans
Your tour ends this morning.
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