Begin and end in Atlanta, this 13-day escorted tour offers an insight to culture, music and literature gems. Visit Atlanta, the ‘capital of the south’ and enjoy an adventure to remember on route to Nashville, the home of country.
Start by exploring Atlanta, a city packed with a wide selection of museums, music venues and an exciting theatre scene. Learn of one of the city’s most famous residents, Margaret Mitchell, publisher of Gone with the Wind! and if you’re a sports fan, seize the opportunity to catch an Atlanta Falcons, Hawks or Braves game.
Augusta and Charleston follow Atlanta, where you’ll hear stories of historical revolutions, earthquakes and hurricanes.
You’ll then move on to Savannah, known for manicured parks, horse-drawn carriages and antebellum architecture, before leaving the state of Georgia for Florida’s Capital, Tallahassee where rolling hills and moss oaks reminisce about scenes from Gone from the Wind.
Next arrive in New Orleans, a city marrying a mix of cultures including European characteristics with Caribbean enchantment.
Travellers will then be treated to Natchez, Mississippi, one of the most important European settlement sites. Continue on to Nashville, known as the most important city in country music via Memphis, home of ‘Sun Records.
Tour Highlights Include
- Visit Stately Oaks Plantation and museum, the inspiration for “Tara” from Gone with the Wind
- Sight-seeing tour of Atlanta including Martin Luther King's boyhood home and visitor center
- Guided walking tour of historic Charleston
- Trolley Tour the historic downtown district of Savannah
- Experience historic landmarks of the Civil Rights Trail in Montgomery and Selma, Alabama
- See New Orleans, home to jazz and beignets
- Sightseeing of Memphis: including the Lorraine Hotel, MLK assassination site, and Beale Street, home of the Blues
- Tour Nashville and go Honky Tonkin’
Altanta - Augusta - Charleston
Charleston – Antebellum Plantation - Savannah
Savannah - Montgomerey
Montgomery – Selma – New Orleans
New Orleans - Baton Rouge - Natchez
Natchez - Mississippi River Valley – Memphis
Memphis - Nashville
Nashville – Chattanooga - Atlanta
Day 1 Atlanta
Welcome to Atlanta, Georgia. During the Civil War, Atlanta was one of the most important Southern Cities as it provided war materials to the South. In 1864, General Sherman marched into Atlanta and burned the entire city. The city recovered from its losses and today is one of the most dynamic in the South, boasting a successful cultural and business hub. Transfer independently to your hotel where you will meet your ATI Tour Director.
Day 2 Atlanta
This morning, enjoy a comprehensive city tour of Atlanta, including a visit to the boyhood home of Martin Luther King. You will also learn about another of Atlanta’s most famous residents, Margaret Mitchell, who wrote the historical novel that became a masterpiece of American cinema, “Gone with the Wind.” Visit the Road to Tara Museum and Stately Oaks Plantation, which was the inspiration for plantation in the fim. You will have the opportunity to see memorabilia from the movie including costumes worn by the stars Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh. In the evening, enjoy a welcome reception which will give you the opportunity to meet your fellow travellers.
Day 3 Altanta - Augusta - Charleston
Leave Atlanta today and head west to Augusta. Augusta is the second oldest city in Georgia and is home to the prestigious Masters golf tournament. In the late afternoon, you will arrive in Charleston one of the most historic and charming cities of the South. For evening activities, you may wish to consult your Tour Director for the possibilities.
Day 4 Charleston – Antebellum Plantation - Savannah
Enjoy a locally guided tour of Charleston and spend the afternoon at leisure. Take some time to walk the streets of Charleston’s meticulously preserved historic district, the best protected in the nation. Natural disasters, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War and hurricanes all took their toll on this beautiful city, yet it stands out as the historical gem of the South. You may wish to participate in an optional excursion to historic Boone Hall Plantation with its famous Avenue of Oaks. The property has appeared in numerous movies, among them “North and South”. En route to Savannah, route stop on Port Royal Island and see Beaufort, South Carolina’s second oldest city. Its impressive Antebellum architecture has been backdrop for many shows
and films, including “Forrest Gump.”
Day 5 Savannah
Today, enjoy the charm of Savannah, once the world’s largest cotton port. When cotton was king, Savannah controlled the prices of the world cotton market at her cotton exchange. Founder James Oglethorpe laid out the famed city squares. The Civil War destroyed a large portion of Georgia, but Savannah was spared. Numerous buildings around the tree-shaded squares are hundreds of years old; providing the setting for the popular novel “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.”
Day 6 Savannah - Montgomerey
Set course west across the state of Georgia and into the heart of the Deep South, Alabama. Upon arrival in Montgomery, Alabama’s capital city and a central backdrop of the American Civil Rights Movement, visit the Rosa Parks Library and Museum. Learn about the Montgomery Bus Boycott inspired by Parks, which ignited the Civil Rights movement and changed American history. You may also wish to visit the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, where Martin Luther King Jr. led the Boycott with his powerful sermons.
Day 7 Montgomery – Selma – New Orleans
Depart Montgomery this morning to discover Selma, Alabama, another centerpiece of the Civil Rights Movement. Visit the Edmund Pettis Bridge where the historic March from Selma to Montgomery began and where the brutal events of Bloody Sunday took place. Experience another historic site of the Civil Rights Trail, the Brown Chapel AME Church before heading south through Mississippi to New Orleans, a city immersed in Creole culture. The city today is a unique blend of Spanish, French, Caribbean, African and Anglo Saxon influences. This is obvious in the food, architecture and of course, the music. Experience this melting pot aboard a Riverboat Dinner Cruise (optional) and enjoy the rhythms of a Dixieland jazz band.
Day 8 New Orleans
The day is yours to explore the charm and excitement of one of America’s most unique cities and for you to take in the French flavour and grandeur of New Orleans. May we suggest starting the day with a visit to a working plantation (optional), or explore the French Quarter with its trademark wrought iron balconies overlooking the narrow cobblestone streets.
Day 9 New Orleans - Baton Rouge - Natchez
This morning, we will travel to the capitol of Louisiana, Baton Rouge, and conduct a brief city tour. From there, we will travel via the historic Natchez Trace Parkway to Natchez. The parkway is a 444-mile drive through exceptional scenery and years of Native American and European history. Natchez is the oldest European settlement on the Mississippi River. Before the Civil War, wealthy plantation owners from Louisiana built magnificent antebellum homes here because the area was considered safer from flooding. This afternoon, we will visit one of the homes and learn about the wealth of these 19th century millionaires.
Day 10 Natchez - Mississippi River Valley – Memphis
Leave Natchez and drive on to Memphis, home of ‘Sun Records’. As a large river port, it was one of the most important links in the cotton trade before the Civil War. Memphis is also known as the “home of the blues.” A brief city tour will take you to the city’s liveliest street, Beale Street, where the blues and other types of music are played nightly in almost a dozen clubs. Travel along historic Front Street, known as Cotton Row in the days when cotton traders and merchants conducted business here. Of course, no visit to Memphis would be complete without a visit to Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley (optional).
Day 11 Memphis - Nashville
Continue on to Nashville, known as the capital of country music. The city earned its title with the very first airing of the WSM Barn Dance radio program, the forerunner of the Grand Ole Opry. The newly renovated Ryman Auditorium in downtown Nashville, once home of the Grand Ole Opry, the studios near Music Row, and Opryland itself attest to Nashville’s reputation as the most important city in country music.
Day 12 Nashville
Begin your day in this dynamic and thriving cultural and state capital of Tennessee with a morning city tour. While exploring the city’s landmarks, perhaps you’ll discover a new country music classic before they even hit the charts while visiting one of the many recording studios around town. Perhaps enjoy dinner and a show in the evening as a optional excursion
Day 13 Nashville – Chattanooga - Atlanta
Leaving Music City, we head to Chattanooga, home to the famous Choo Choo and which has received national recognition for the renaissance of its beautiful downtown and redevelopment of its riverfront. In the afternoon, our trails lead us back to Atlanta where you may want to check our one of the sites you were not able to experience at the start of the tour like the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca Cola, CNN Center.
Day 14 Atlanta
Morning at your leisure before departure. Your ATI Tour Director will be available to assist you in arranging individual transfers to Atlanta International Airport