A journey through America’s cultural and musical heritage, from the Civil Rights Movement to the beginning of country music, blues, rock ‘n’ roll and jazz. Learn how the region’s history gave rise to these unique musical genres and how they continue to shape popular music today.
Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Louisiana and the mighty Mississippi are the five southern states of this evocative tour. A haunting history unites them all, but they’re probably most famous for three things – music, music and music. We’re singin’ the Blues in Memphis, going to Graceland, home of the King of Rock & Roll, and taking in New Orleans and all that jazz.
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.
Atlanta - Birmingham
Birmingham - New Orleans
New Orleans - Houma - Natchez
Clarksdale - Tupelo - Memphis
Nashville - Atlanta
Day 1 Atlanta Arrival
Welcome to Atlanta and the Southern state of Georgia. A welcome meeting will be held at 18:00 hrs in your hotel.
Day 2 Atlanta - Birmingham
The primary site of the Civil Rights Movement, Birmingham, Alabama, is where Dr Martin Luther King Jr. and Fred Shuttlesworth began their campaign of civil disobedience in the 1960s.
Day 3 Birmingham - New Orleans
An eclectic mix of European, Creole and Cajun culture manifests itself in every aspect of New Orleans’ architecture, cuisine and musical scene. Explore the quaint shops and markets of the French Quarter and let the laid-back jazz vibe wash over you in Preservation Hall, the Jazz Museum at the Old US Mint or in any one of the jazz clubs on Frenchmen Street. Take in the sights and sounds of Bourbon Street, relax in the Garden District and step back in time on your included Mississippi riverboat dinner cruise.
Day 4 New Orleans
Take in all the 'Big Easy' has to offer. Your day is at leisure. Ride the famous Streetcars which are a great way to see the City. Visit the Garden district or try your luck in Harrahs Casino. There are lots of interesting tours to do in New Orleans from the Cemeteries to the Cocktail bars!
Day 5 New Orleans
Wake up to another day in the birthplace of Jazz. Sit back and enjoy a coffee and a 'beignet' as you take in the artists, jazz musicians and street performers that surround Jackson Square.
Day 6 New Orleans - Houma - Natchez
Say goodbye to The Crescent City this morning, as we stop by the city of Houma with an included visit to Houmas House Plantation and Gardens, before reaching Natchez. The oldest established settlement on the Mississippi River was the birthplace of the Mississippi riverboat and at the heart of the slave trade. Take a self-guided tour through the historic district with over 50 antebellum homes and historic churches. Check out the ‘Under the Hill’ area made famous by Mark Twain or explore one of the most interesting cemeteries in the south. Stay overnight in an historic property dating back to 1927.
Day 7 Clarksdale
Next it’s onto Clarksdale and the Hopson Plantation, the former home of legendary blues pianist Pinetop Perkins. It is also where they tested the International Harvester automated cotton picker. Get an insight into the system of sharecropping and the evolution of the cotton industry. Clarksdale is also home to the infamous ‘Crossroads’, where legend has it blues musician Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil. Within the town you’ll find the Delta Blues Museum, a literal blues shrine of artefacts and memorabilia as well as actor Morgan Freeman’s Ground Zero Blues Club. Red’s - an authentic ‘juke joint’ - is well worth a visit for live music.
Day 8 Clarksdale - Tupelo - Memphis
See the humble beginnings of ‘The King’ with a visit to the birthplace of Elvis in Tupelo, before crossing into Tennessee. Legendary forefathers such as Louis Armstrong, Muddy Waters and the late B.B. King helped put Memphis on the musical map.
Day 9 Memphis
A highlight of your stay in Memphis is an included excursion to Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley, and you may like to visit Sun Studio where many great names have recorded, or take a tour of Gibson’s guitar factory to get completely immersed in the musical legacy of this city. Outside of music, the National Civil Rights Museum, at the site where Martin Luther King was assassinated, is well worth a visit. The Stax Museum is also another great venue to enjoy!
Day 10 Nashville
Next up is Nashville, the undisputed capital of country music. It’s also home to the Country Music Hall of Fame and the famous Wildhorse Saloon, offering 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 Grand Ole Opry is the world’s longest running radio show and a highlight for any visit to Nashville - but you’ll have to book in advance as most nights here are a sell-out!
Day 11 Nashville
The Ryman Auditorium is known as "The Mother Church" of Country Music. The world's greatest star performed at the Ryman from Caruso to Cash! Visit the home of the Greek Gods - in Nashville Centennial Park you'll find the worlds only full-scale reproduction of the ancient Parthenon in Athens, Greece!
Day 12 Nashville - Atlanta
Swing by the Jack Daniel’s Distillery for a serving of Southern hospitality. Returning to Atlanta, your journey through the music and cultural history of the Deep South ends in this modern day metropolis known as the New York of the South. If you are staying on, be sure to stop by Gladys Knight’s famous Chicken and Waffles restaurant, it’s a local favourite. *This Tour ends in Atlanta at approximately 5pm. We recommend booking a post tour accommodation. If you are planning to fly on final day, do not book a flight before 9pm.