Tracks of the Deep South

Overview

Tracks of the Deep South

Discover the historic tracks through the heartland of great American music across America's Deep South. Visit the home of country music; Nashville, before journing to Memphis to discover its Blues, Soul and Rock 'n' Roll roots. Then turn back time as you explore the home of Jazz music; New Orleans.

What's Included?

  • The services of a professional UK Tour Manager from start to finish
  • Flights from London Heathrow to Atlanta and from Houston to London
  • All rail and coach travel throughout
  • 12 nights' hotel accommodation, including 1 night at the 3-Star Courtyard by Marriott Atlanta Airport South in Atlanta, 1 night at the 3-Star Doubletree Downtown Chattanooga in Chattanooga, 3 nights at the Clarion Downtown Nashville Hotel in Nashville, 2 nights at the Sheraton Hotel in Memphis, 3 nights at the 3-Star Sheraton Inn Downtown New Orleans in New Orleans, and 2 nights at the 3-Star Crowne Plaza in Houston
  • Live music concert at the iconic Grand Ole Opry
  • Discover the Country Music Hall of Fame
  • Visit to Sun Studio
  • Scenic journey on the Lookout Mountain Incline Railway
  • Guided tour of the Jack Daniel's Distillery
  • Visit to Graceland
  • Mississippi jazz sightseeing cruise
  • Guided tour of the Oak Alley Plantation
  • Entrance and guide of Nasa Space Center plus a sightseeing tour of Houston
  • Guided tours of New Orleans' French Quarter, and Nashville

Full Itinerary

Day 1 - To Atlanta

We fly from London Heathrow to Atlanta and transfer to our hotel, the Holiday Inn & Suites Atlanta Airport South, for an overnight stay.

Day 2 - Atlanta and Chattanooga

A morning sightseeing tour explores this fascinating city. Entrance is included to the Martin Luther King Center and Church, which pays homage to the man himself as well as the civil rights movement he was a driving force of. The tour continues to Margaret Mitchell House, where the author wrote her Pulitzer Prize winning novel, 'Gone with the Wind'. Following free time for lunch, we transfer to Chattanooga, where we board the Lookout Mountain Incline Railway. This evening, we check in for one night at the Doubletree by Hilton Chattanooga Downtown.

Day 3 - Lynchburg and Jack Daniel’s Distillery

Our coach takes us through Tennessee to Lynchburg, capital of Moore County. Moore County has been 'dry' since the days of prohibition, which makes its main attraction all the more extraordinary - it is the home of Jack Daniel's Distillery. After a tour and tasting at the distillery we continue to Nashville, staying for three nights at the Clarion Downtown Nashville. This evening, we visit the legendary Grand Ole Opry. Founded as a radio station in 1925, today this classic music venue still hosts the same regular broadcast, now with a popular extended format, in addition to regular stage shows. Tonight, enjoy live music performed on 'country's most famous stage', a wonderful introduction to Nashville's culture.

Day 4 - 5 - Nashville

Since the 1940s Nashville has been synonymous with Country Music, with its collection of recording studios on 'Music Row' and the Ryman Auditorium, home of the Grand Ole Opry for three decades. A morning guided tour introduces you to the sights before you visit the Country Music Hall of Fame; the world's largest music museum where you'll see an amazing 'who's who' in the world of Country music. Today you'll also enjoy an exclusive performance by a member of Johnny Cash's family as part of the Cash Family Experience; a true highlight of the trip. Later, you'll take a private tour of Studio B, a recording studio famous for pioneering the Nashville Sound.

Day 6 - Jackson and Memphis

Our journey through Tennessee continues to Memphis, pausing en-route at Jackson, where you have free time for lunch and a spot of sightseeing - perhaps visit the Rock-a-Billy Hall of Fame. We then stop at the Tennessee Delta Heritage Center in Brownsville, a series of museums dedicated to the history of the south, from its musical traditions to its infamous history of slave labour in the cotton fields.

We complete our journey to Memphis later this afternoon, where we check in to the Sheraton Hotel Memphis. The rest of your day is at leisure.

Days 7 - Graceland and Sun Studios

This morning we pay a visit to the fantastic Graceland, Elvis' 14 acre mansion, and view his preserved living quarters, private aircraft and car collections. This afternoon introduces the sights of Memphis' extraordinary musical history. We visit Sun Studio, which lays claim to being the birthplace of rock 'n' roll, with a roster featuring Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash.

Day 8 - The City of New Orleans train and the Oak Alley Plantation

This morning we board Amtrak's City of New Orleans service, heading through Mississippi to Louisiana. It is claimed that the blues spread along this route by rail. The pretty, floral towns of Brookhaven and McComb lead into the exotic Cajun swamps of the Louisiana Bayou. We take the train as far as Hammond, from where we transfer by coach to the Oak Alley Plantation, for a guided tour. This restored house stands as testament to both the grand lives of Louisiana land owners and the suffering of those once enslaved here. Our guided tour reveals the history of the house, sometimes referred to as the 'Grande Dame of the Great River Road', along with its grounds. Later, we continue by coach to New Orleans, where we stay at the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel.

Days 9 - The French Quarter and a Mississippi cruise

This morning's guided tour provides an introduction to one of the best-known parts of the city: the renowned French Quarter. Following some free time to arrange lunch (perhaps sample some of the famous Creole cuisine), this afternoon we board a traditional paddle steamer, for a delightful sightseeing cruise along the Mississippi River. Our jazz cruise takes place on board an authentic steamboat, and offers a view of the 'Big Easy' that only a vantage point on the river can provide. During our time on board, we enjoy a live performance from the ship's jazz band as a fabulous background to our historic cruise. After disembarking, you are free to enjoy your evening at leisure.

Day 10 - New Orleans

Your entire day is free to soak up the splendour of New Orleans. Roaring with life, the 'Big Easy' is known as the south's party city thanks to Mardi Gras, yet yearround there is a sense of spirited adventure and playfulness here. A wander through the colourful streets will offer an excellent introduction to the eclectic architecture stretching back centuries, whilst restaurants here offer a taste of hearty southern cuisine influenced by the various cultures that have rubbed shoulders over the years.

Days 11 - 14 - From Houston to home

On Day 11, departing from New Orleans, we board our Amtrak service to Houston. We begin Day 12 in Houston with a guided tour of the city's main landmarks, including the Allen's Landing and NASA's Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. On Day 13, we transfer to the airport for our return flight to London, arriving the following day.

Hand Picked By

Amy Probert

With over 40 years experience to offer, it's no wonder savvy and like-minded holidaymakers choose to travel with Great Rail Journeys. Most of their tours include a meeting point at St Pancras Station, where you’ll join your professional tour manager, followed by a relaxing first class train journey to your chosen European or worldwide destination.

Amy Probert

Additional Information

  • Date: Various departure dates in 2020
  • Star Rating: 4
  • Board Basis: Mixed meal plan
  • Duration: 13 nights
  • Departure Airport: London Heathrow
  • Guide Price: From £2,695pp
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