This holiday to America is all about music. Visit cities synonymous with American music; Memphis, the home of The King of Rock ‘n Roll, Mississippi, New Orleans and Nashville, the spiritual home of country music.
Memphis attracts fans of The King from all over the world. No trip there is complete without a visit to Graceland, where you can explore the personal side of Elvis Presley. Stroll down Beale Street at night, home to over 25 music venues, you are sure to find entertainment of the highest quality. Here you will also have ample opportunity to sample the famous Memphis soul food.
Nashville is another Mecca for music fans. Visit Opryland the home of the world-famous country music show, the Grand Ole Opry. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum features a permanent exhibition ‘Sing Me Back Home’, a journey through the history of country music, featuring a rich collection of historical costumes, memorabilia, instruments, photographs and manuscripts.
New Orleans is famous for its jazz, Creole cuisine and the ‘big easy’ lifestyle. Bourbon Street is known for its extravagant carnivals and parades, the annual Mardi Gras in particular. The French Quarter comes to life at night. Revel in a giant street party with throngs of people dancing to the strains of jazz music coming from the numerous bars that stay open all night.
Nashville-Mingle with locals and catch some lives performances by great names in music at the 3rd and Lindsey.
Memphis -For the best views of the Peabody Hotel's famous duck march, arrive 30 minutes before their 11am arrival and 5pm departure from the grand hotel's lobby fountain.
New Orleans-As Bourbon Street has filled with frat-boy-style antics, the citys music scene has shifted to Frenchmen Street in the Faubourg Marigny, a historic neighborhood within walking distance of the Quarter. Clubs like DBA, Snug Harbor, and The Blue Nile draw renowned jazz bands and solo performers.
Nashville - Memphis
Memphis - Cleveland
Cleveland - Natchez
Natchez - Lafayette
Lafayette - New Orleans
New Orleans Departure
Day 1 Nashville Arrival
Arrive Nashville and check-in the GuestHouse Inn Music Valley Drive. You will be greeted by your Sweet Magnolia Tours’ escort and motorcoach.
Overnight Nashville: GuestHouse Inn Music Valley or similar.
Day 2 Nashville
This morning enjoy a Nashville Sightseeing Tour which includes the downtown area with some of its colorful history, famous Music Row and lots more. In the afternoon we will tour the Country Music Hall of Fame with its permanent exhibit of Sing Me Back Home, an exploration of the power of music to make living history and to connect us to our deepest feelings. Later we tour the historic RCA Studio B - once the recording home of popular music titans such as Elvis Presley, Eddy Arnold, and the Everly Brothers and tonight attend a performance of the Grand Ole Opry, where you’ll catch today’s’ hottest stars, new faces, and Opry legends. Showcasing the best in country, blue grass and more, the Opry is an American experience like no other.
Overnight Nashville: GuestHouse Inn Music Valley or similar.
Day 3 Nashville - Memphis
Today we depart for Memphis for a tour of Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley. The audio tour of the Mansion is full of music and interesting stories about how Elvis lived in his beloved home. You will see the largest privately owned collection of gold records in the world and his elaborate stage costumes and jewelry. The tour ends with a quiet visit to the Meditation Garden where Elvis and members of his family are buried. You can also see the famous 1955 pink Cadillac and climb aboard his custom jet the "Lisa Marie." Enjoy the evening free to explore Beale Street, one of America's most famous streets where W.C. Handy first penned the Blues music of the Mississippi Delta. Beale Street stretches several blocks east of the river bluffs. Nightclubs and restaurants offer a variety of food and live music including traditional Blues, Rhythm and Blues, Jazz, and Rock'n'Roll. Overnight Memphis: Sleep Inn Court Square Downtown or similar.
Day 4 Memphis
This morning we tour the Stax Museum of American Soul Music: Soulsville is a museum on the original site of Stax Records and houses more than 2,000 cultural artifacts, celebrating the music made famous by Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes, Al Green, Aretha Franklin, Earth, Wind & Fire and more. Next is the famous Sun Studio, considered to be the birthplace of Rock'n'Roll. Today the studio, where legends like Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, B.B. King, Johnny Cash and many others launched their careers, is open to the public for tours daily while still operating as a studio by night. This afternoon enjoy a Memphis city tour, the gateway city to the Old South. Sites include the Mighty Mississippi River Front, Harbor Town, Mud Island, the Pyramid, Historic Cotton Row, Beale Street & South Main Historic District, the National Civil Rights Museum / Lorraine Motel, Sun Studio and Victorian Village.
Overnight Memphis. Sleep Inn Court Square Downtown or similar.
Day 5 Memphis - Cleveland
Leaving Memphis along legendary Highway 61, you will realize that you are in the true "Birthplace of the Blues". Out of these fields came the original blues singers who performed in local honky tonks and juke joints. We travel through the heart of the Mississippi River Delta, which is the world’s richest farmland. First stop is Clarksdale. From the 30's to the 50's Clarksdale was a major blues town by virtue of its location smack in the middle of the Delta. Here we visit the Delta Blues Museum. Across the street is the Ground Zero Restaurant, a replica of a juke joint owned by the actor, Morgan Freeman. We continue on to Cleveland and tour the new Grammy Museum, the only other Grammy Museum outside of Los Angeles. GRAMMY Museum Mississippi is dedicated to exploring the past, present and future of music, and the cultural context from which it emerges, while casting a focused spotlight on the deep musical roots of Mississippi
Overnight Cleveland: Holiday Inn Express or similar.
Day 6 Cleveland - Natchez
Today we continue through the rich Delta farmland to the famous river city of Natchez where we'll ride on the famous Natchez Trace Parkway, stretching from the Mississippi River in Natchez through the Shoals area in Alabama and across the Tennessee Valley to Nashville. The Old Trace was first trod by buffalo, then American Indians. Today, the 444-mile National Scenic Byway and All-American Road has emerged as one of America's most important examples of the nation's natural and cultural heritage. You will stay at the Vue Hotel in Natchez where some free time in the afternoon to enjoy a walk around downtown Natchez and enjoy its many quaint shops.
Overnight Natchez: Vue Hotel or similar.
Day 7 Natchez - Lafayette
Before we depart for Lafayette, we tour the beautiful antebellum home, Monmouth Plantation, a listed National Historic Landmark with breathtaking beauty that marks both the 'lovely grounds' and 'magnificent' 1818 Greek Revival estate,. In Lafayette we stop and tour the Vermilionville Historic Village which is is a living history museum and folklife park that preserves and represents the cultural resources of the Acadian, Native American, and Creole cultures – from the time period 1765 to 1890. Next we visit Angelle’s Whiskey River Landing for some authentic Zydeco/Cajun music and dancing. Located on the levee overlooking the Atchafalaya Basin swamp, it has been named one of America’s top 50 bars. Very few tourists ever find this spot where you can learn the beer drinking, foot stomping Cajun dance from the locals. This is real Americana.
Overnight Lafayette: Wyndham Garden Hotel or similar.
Day 8 Lafayette - New Orleans
En route to New Orleans we drive through Cajun back country and make a stop at Avery Island to tour the one and only original, Tabasco Factory. Your next stop will be near Houma for a Cajun Man’s Swamp Cruise operated by a real Cajun character, Black Guidry, who is not only a singer, but a former army green beret and Louisiana state trooper.We continue on to New Orleans and check into your hotel. Tonight is free to explore the famous French Quarter. At the heart of New Orleans' enduring allure are the hundred-odd squares of the French Quarter. Alive with history, myth, music and a joie de vivre, the Vieux Carre attracts visitors from around the world to its time worn streets. For jazz, for food, for history or for frivolity the French Quarter is a legendary destination.
Overnight New Orleans: Staybridge Suites Downtown/French Quarter or similar
Day 9 New Orleans
This morning enjoy a New Orleans City Sightseeing tour, where we visit one of its historic cemeteries, referred to as "Cities of the Dead," and learn this unique above ground burial system. Marvel at stories of voodoo and piracy on Bayou St. John as we make our way to the shores of Lake Pontchartrain. View the longest bridge over water in the world, the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway. Your final night in New Orleans promises to be really special with an evening of dining and music in the French Quarter! We begin with a 3 course dinner at the second oldest restaurant in the city. Your guide will then lead you on a stroll along world famous Bourbon Street to a local nightclub to enjoy native jazz music. The evening winds down with another local tradition - Café Au Lait & Beignets (chicory coffee and French doughnuts).
Overnight New Orleans.Staybridge Suites Downtown/French Quarter or similar.
Day 10 New Orleans Departure
It is time to bid a sad farewell to your many new friends made along the way and return to New Orleans Airport for your departure home.