Deep South and Delta Blues

Highlights: Atlanta - Nashville - Memphis - Tupelo - Clarksdale - Natchez - Houma - New Orleans - Birmingham Other departures: Manchester - £3579, Birmingham - £3579, Bristol - £3879, Norwich - £3729, Newcastle - £3629, Edinburgh - £3629, Glasgow - £3529 Other depature dates:
- 24 Aug 19 (£3419)
- 7 Sept 19 (£3469)
- 30 Sept 19 (£3319)
- 19 Oct 19 (£3449)
- 16 Nov 19 (£3269)
- 4 Apr 20 (£3389) Introduction:
Trace the roots of American music in the Deep South along the mighty Mississippi and experience the unique cultural landscape that gave birth to the Blues, Country and Rock-n-Roll. Days move a little slower in the South, as we pass the time with a sweet tea or Jack and Coke taking in the sights and sounds at Music Row in Nashville, on Beale Street in Memphis and along Bourbon Street in New Orleans. Savour authentic cuisine and enjoy southern hospitality as we float down the Mississippi on an included river boat cruise. Tours & Activities:
- Cajun culture and cuisine
- Jack Daniels Distillery tour
- Two nights in Nashville - the country music capital
- Two nights in Memphis plus Elvis' Graceland Mansion
- Beale Street blues bars Visit Elvis' birthplace at Tupelo, Mississippi
- Sell your soul at the legendary "Crossroads"
- Take the Mississippi River Road to Natchez
- Three nights in New Orleans
- Mississippi Riverboat dinner cruise
- Party on Bourbon Street
- Visit Houmas House Plantations
- Stay in a historic Natchez property

Day 1: Depart UK
Depart the UK on your scheduled flight to Atlanta. On arrival, transfer independently to your hotel for an overnight stay.

Accommodation: Hotel included
Meals: Paid locally

Day 2: Atlanta to Nashville
Heading out of Atlanta you take the road towards Nashville, stopping at Lynchburg where you can pay homage to Tennessee\'s most famous stop by enjoying a tour of the Jack Daniel\'s Whiskey Distillery for a serving of southern hospitality. From here you make your way to Nashville - the undisputed capital of country music. It is home to the famous Wildhorse Saloon and Country Music Hall of Fame, which offers the perfect opportunity to try some line dancing. Broadway is lined with honky-tonks and live music venues playing not only country, but all music genres - the perfect introduction to the Deep South.

Accommodation: Hotel included
Meals paid locally

Day 3: Nashville
As well as its indelible country music links, Nashville is also the capital of Tennessee and the state\'s second largest city after Memphis. Situated on the banks of the Cumberland River it was established as a major river port by settlers in 1779. Your time in Nashville is free for you to enjoy indulging in your choice of the many music and entertainment options available. There are entrance fees for the various sites and shows you wish to attend however, the Grand Ole Opry is the world\'s longest running radio show and a recommended highlight. You can enjoy performances at the famous Grand Ole Opry House located 14 kilometres (9 miles) east of the city however, you should book these before arriving to avoid missing out.

Accommodation: Hotel included
Meals paid locally (breakfast included)

Day 4-5: Memphis
Located near the Mississippi River, Memphis has a long and colourful past. Legendary forefathers such as Louis Armstrong, Muddy Waters and B.B. King helped to put Beale Street on the musical map. A highlight of your stay in Memphis is an included excursion to \'Graceland\', the home of Elvis Presley, who is the biggest influence on country, blues and rock & roll music. You also have the chance to visit Sun Studio which opened in 1950 and a place where many great names have passed through. Outside of music, you may also like to pay a visit to the National Civil Rights Museum located in the former Lorraine Hotel, where Martin Luther King was assassinated or visit the Gibson guitar factory to completely immerse yourself in the fascinating musical heritage of this city.

Accommodation: Hotel included
Meals paid locally (Breakfast included)

Day 6: Tupelo & Clarksdale
See the humble beginnings of \'The King\' with an included visit to the birthplace of Elvis in Tupelo, Mississippi. Next it\'s onto Clarksdale to visit a plantation and learn about the rich 20th century history including the system of sharecropping and the evolution of the cotton industry. Clarksdale is also home to the legendary Crossroads at the junction of Highway 49 and the fabled Highway 61 where legend has it blues musician Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil. Within the city you\'ll find the Delta Blues Museum, a literal blues shrine of artefacts and memorabilia and actor Morgan Freeman\'s Ground Zero Blues Club.

Accommodation: Hotel included
Meals paid locally (Breakfast included)

Day 7: Natchez
Follow the river road south to the very first established settlement on the Mississippi River. The original capital of the Mississippi Territory, Natchez, was at the heart of the slave trade and is the birthplace of the Mississippi Riverboat. Why not go for a self-guided tour through the streets of Natchez\' historic district with over 50 antebellum homes and historic churches. Worthy of a visit is the \"Under the Hill\" area made famous by Mark Twain or explore one of the most interesting cemeteries in the South. Overnight in the historic Eola Hotel, which dates back to 1927 and offers the charm of the Old South.

Accommodation: Historic property or similar included
Meals paid locally (Breakfast included)

Day 8-10: Houma & New Orleans
Your next stop is the major metropolis of the Deep South, New Orleans but first you make a detour via Houma for an included visit to Houmas House Plantation and Gardens. This antebellum estate was completed in 1828 and with 38 lush acres of gardens, ponds and a majestic live oak alley, Houma makes for a wonderful stop. New Orleans, otherwise known as \'the Big Easy\' is an eclectic mix of European, Creole and Cajun culture which manifests in every aspect of the architecture, cuisine and musical scene. Take in the sights and sounds of Bourbon Street, relax in the Garden District and absorb the ambience of the French Quarter, known also as \'the Quarter\'. Founded by French traders in 1718, there are many layers of history in this city, and all its many attractions combined make it one of the most visited cities in the USA. Step back in time to when life was slow and graceful and enjoy an included Mississippi riverboat dinner cruise, dining on the famous and delicious local cuisine buffet that is directly influenced by the myriad of cultures that together make up Louisiana. Your evenings in New Orleans will be easily spent as there is much to do, not least of all continuing your indulgence and appreciation of American music by enjoying some of the many live performances that take place nightly in this vibrant city. This includes the famous Preservation Hall where top-drawer jazz musicians play every evening to a small and intimate audience - but be prepared to queue!

Accommodation: Hotel included
Breakfast and dinner included (riverboat dinner cruise)

Day 11: Birmingham
You continue east into Alabama and on to the state\'s largest city - Birmingham. This city was the primary site of the Civil Rights Movement, Birmingham, Alabama, and where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. began his campaign of civil disobedience.

Accommodation: Hotel included
Meals paid locally (Breakfast included)

Day 12: Birmingham to Atlanta
You have the chance to visit Birmingham's Civil Rights Institute (entrance not included) before returning to Atlanta where your journey through the music and cultural history of the Deep South ends. This modern day metropolis is known as the New York of the South and if you\'re staying on be sure to stop by Gladys Knights famous Chicken and Waffles restaurant.

Meals: Breakfast included

Day 13: Tour ends
Depending on your departure flight time, there may be some time to enjoy some more of Atlantas many attractions before transferring independently to the airport for your return flight to the UK.

Offer Includes

Flight from London Heathrow with Virgin Atlantic
Airport taxes
12 nights accommodation and meals as per itinerary
All transportation by private vehicle
Services of a professional tour leader
Free wi-fi available in your vehicle

Meal Plans

  • As per Itinerary