This self- drive American holiday arriving in Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati and departing from Atlanta highlights the beauty and attractions that can be found throughout the States of Kentucky and Tennessee.
Your holiday to Kentucky begins in Cincinnati, a proud sporting city, home to the Reds, America’s first professional baseball team. Collect your car from here and hit the road towards Covington on the banks of the Ohio River. A beautiful mix of historic buildings, commercial districts and unique eateries and boutiques, this vibrant but relaxed city is the perfect place to start your road trip. From there you will continue on to Louisville for the next two night of your trip. Louisville is firmly embedded for its multimillion-dollar Kentucky Derby held each May at Churchill Downs but this city has plenty more than horseracing to offer. Louiseville is also famous for the Urban Bourbon Trail along Whiskey Row an sports buffs will love a trip to the Muhammad Ali Center.
Continue through Bowling Green and the famous Bluegrass Parkway, stopping off at Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site in Hodgenville and into Tennessee where your first stop will be Memphis. A mecca for music fans be sure to fit in trips to Sun Studio, Stax Museum of American Soul Music as well as the Smithsonian’s Rock’n’Soul Museum and the Gibson Guitar Factory and of course Graceland. The music journey continues in Nashville, a city best known for its country roots. Experience the Grand Ole Opry, the world’s longest running radio show, visit Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum Tour the Johnny Cash Museum. Catch a concert or take a tour of the Ryman Auditorium, regarded as the “Mother Church of Country Music. RCA’s Studio B, located on historic Music Row, is Nashville’s legendary recording studio.
Get back to nature for the last couple of nights of your fly drive holiday travelling through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park along the beautiful Tennessee River and surrounded by spectacular mountains and scenic beauty. Yu will travel into Chattanooga before driving south to Atlanta where your fly drive will end.
Look at our pre planned self-drive tours in Canada and if you would prefer to add an additional night in one place and delete a night in someplace else we will be happy to tailor-make your ideal itinerary
Personal Travel Planner
Day 1-2 Covington
Arrive at Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati Airport, collect your car and transfer to your hotel in Covington overlooking the Ohio River. Stroll across the Roebling Suspension Bridge (a prototype of the Brooklyn Bridge) and take in the River Front with its neighbouring entertainment and dining districts. Cincinnati is a dynamic city with a European flavour rich in architecture and culture. It is also a proud sporting city, home to America’s first professional baseball team, the Reds, and the Bengals American football team.
Don’t miss The National Underground Railroad Freedom Centre, The American Sign Museum and Newport
Day 3-4 Louisville
Louisville is firmly embedded for its multimillion-dollar Kentucky Derby held each May at Churchill Downs. The Derby attracts 500,000 fans on the first Saturday in May, but there’s racing at Churchill Downs in April, May, Jun, Oct and Nov and the track is open for tours year-round. The next-door Kentucky Derby Museum is an excellent hands-on experience
Don’t miss the Slugger Museum and Factory, Urban Bourbon Trail along Whiskey Row and around town, The Belle of Louisville and The Muhammad Ali Center.
Day 5 Bowling Green
One of today’s highlights journey is Bardstown, and the Heaven Hill Bourbon Heritage Centre, driving the Bluegrass Parkway and the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site in Hodgenville. As you head south toward Bowling Green you are in the heart of Kentucky’s Cave Country. The four hundred miles of labyrinth passages and domed caverns of Mammoth Cave National Park contain amazing geological formations. Guided tours are available with varying time lengths and degrees of difficulty from a one-hour stroll to a full-day, crawling-though-tunnels experience. Bowling Green is a cosmopolitan university town and has a flourishing cultural scene, good shopping and dining and one of the state’s most innovative distilleries.
Don’t miss The Corvette Museum
Day 6 Paducah
Creativity is the common thread that connects people to Paducah. The world’s 7th City of Crafts and Folk Art in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, Paducah is home to the National Quilt Museum, the Lower Town Arts District and 50 life-sized panoramic floodwall murals.
Day 7&8 Memphis
Memphis more than matches its myth. Don’t miss the tour at famous Sun Studio and be sure to see the Stax Museum of American Soul Music as well as the Smithsonian’s Rock’n’Soul Museum and the Gibson Guitar Factory. Discover African-American history at Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum and explore the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel. Visit Graceland, Elvis’ beloved mansion.
Day 9&10 Nashville
Leave Memphis and head east to Nashville via Brownsville Be sure to sample the Southern delicacies at The Old Country Store at the Casey Jones Village in Jackson. Nashville may be best known for its country roots but has a diverse mix of music as well as the largest song writing community in the world. Experience the Grand Ole Opry, the world’s longest running radio show, visit Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum Tour the Johnny Cash Museum. Catch a concert or take a tour of the Ryman Auditorium, regarded as the “Mother Church of Country Music. RCA’s Studio B, located on historic Music Row, is Nashville’s legendary recording studio.
Day 11&12 Smoky Mountains
East along the Tennessee River is Knoxville, well worth stopping for lunch. Continue to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park which stretches for half-a-million acres across Tennessee and North Carolina. Explore the scenic roads of theGreat Smoky Mountains National Park and be sure to stand across the state line with one foot in Tennessee and the other in North Carolina at Clingman’s Dome .The nearby towns of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville and Townsend offer a wide array of activities from to mini Nascar racing to zip-lining.
Dolly Parton’s Dollywood theme park spans 150 acres and celebrates the heritage and people of East Tennessee popularised by Dolly in her songs. Dollywood offers an award-winning line-up of live entertainment featuring all genres of Music.
Day 13 Chattanooga
Nestled along the beautiful Tennessee River and surrounded by spectacular mountains and scenic beauty with a newly revitalised riverfront and first class attractions, rich American Civil War history, a thriving music scene and plenty of annual events that offer year-round entertainment. No visit is complete without a visit to the Chattanooga Choo Choo Terminal Station Complex & Hotel. This 1909 train station was made famous by the song “Pardon me boy – is that the Chattanooga Choo Choo?”You can still tour this historic complex; ride an electric trolley; spend the night in a train carriage; have “dinner in the diner” where your waiter will take the stage and sing you a song.
Day 14 Atlanta
See the scenic sights of Chattanooga before driving south to Atlanta for your final night before heading home.