• Piedmont Park

American South Escorted Tour

Vibrant and full of southern charm, America’s Deep South is something that has to be experienced. Journey through 6 states, each as intriguing as the last, with cities besides the sea, mouth-watering cuisine, endless history and places that have inspired many a classic American novel and Hollywood film.

On this 14 day escorted tour, you’ll experience the rich culture and stunning scenery of the Deep South. Your guide will take care of the journey, leaving you free to sit back and enjoy the views from your window as your driver takes you through the states of Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Tennessee.

Along the way, you’ll discover some of the best places in the country and experience true southern hospitality. In the great company of your fellow travellers, and with time to explore alone, you’ll discover wondrous cities, full of important landmarks that speak of the region’s struggle in the Civil War, learn of the people who lit the spark that started the Civil Rights Movement, and see the places that were home to pivotal events that shaped the movement. You’ll get to visit beautiful Antebellum mansions and working plantations, learning of their history: of the wealthy families who owned them, of the slaves they kept and of the part they played in American history. Of course, there’s also a lighter side to the south; its cities move to the rhythm of music, be it blues, country, R&B or jazz. Feel the groove and discover the musical heritage that’s seen Memphis and Nashville become the blues and country meccas they are today. Spend relaxed evenings in the southern warmth, experiencing the vibe of each city you get to call home for the night, whether by simply strolling the streets past sundown or heading out for dinner and a show.

Departure Dates:

  • 18 April 2020
  • 02 May 2020
  • 23 May 2020
  • 06 June 2020
  • 29 August 2020
  • 12 September 2020
  • 26 September 2020
  • 10 October 2020
Duration
14 days

Guide Price

 £2,699  pp
Best time to go
April to October
Options
Private basis, Escorted
Start your journey
Oak Alley Plantation

Trip highlights

  • See some of the historic landmarks of the Civil Rights Trail in Montgomery and Selma
  • Tour Nashville, the Music City, and go Honky Tonkin’
  • Visit Stately Oaks Plantation, the inspiration behind “Tara” from Gone with the Wind
  • Visit the MLK assassination site and experience lively Beale Street in Memphis

You’ll arrive in Atlanta, the capital city of Georgia and one of the most dynamic cities in the South, with a rich history. Today is the perfect opportunity to drink it all in, then make your way to your hotel, where you’ll be met by your tour director.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Indigo Vinings or similar
Fox Theatre
MLK Birth Home
The King Center

This morning, you’ll enjoy a guided tour of Atlanta; it’s a fascinating city and you’ll get to see what makes it great. You’ll visit the boyhood home of Martin Luther King and learn about Margaret Mitchell, the author of the historic novel ‘Gone with the Wind’ and visit the place that inspired the plantation in the book’s famous film adaption: Stately Oaks Plantation, with its stunning antebellum mansion. You’ll also get to see the historic train depot in Jonesboro that houses the Road to Tara Museum, where you’ll discover memorabilia from the film, including the incredible costumes worn by Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh, displayed alongside the real artifacts that tell the story of the Civil War. As evening draws in, you’ll enjoy a welcome reception, where you can relax after a day of discovery and meet your fellow travellers.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Indigo Vinings or similar

This morning, you’ll wave goodbye to Atlanta and head east to Augusta, a city that sits near the South Carolina border and the second oldest city in Georgia. It’s most well-known for the prestigious Masters' golf tournament it hosts, but you’ll be sure to uncover far more than that when you visit. Once you’ve finished exploring Augusta, you’ll journey into South Carolina, arriving in Charleston in the late afternoon. Spend the evening exploring Charleston at your own pace; it’s one of the most historic and charming cities of the South; you may well find yourself lost in awe as you wander around.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Holiday Inn Riverview or similar
a tree in a park

In the morning, let a local guide take you around Charleston, including the city’s carefully preserved historic district. Natural disasters, the Revolutionary War, and the Civil War all took their toll on this beautiful city, yet it stands out as a historic gem of the South. You’ll have the choice as to whether to continue exploring this charming city or whether to join a trip to the Boone Hall Plantation (bookable locally). It’s America’s most photographed plantation and it’s not hard to see why; the moss-draped trees of famous Avenue of Oaks are just as beautiful as the antebellum mansion they lead you to. In fact, you might recognise the plantation from the many films it’s been in, such as ‘North and South’. A little later on, you’ll arrive in Savannah, but not before making a stop on Port Royal Island to explore Beaufort, South Carolina’s second-oldest city that’s home to impressive Antebellum architecture that you’ll likely recognise from various shows and films, including ‘Forrest Gump’.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Comfort Suites Historic or similar
Historic District
Skyline
Forsyth Park

Today is all about soaking up the wonderful charm of Savannah. Wander the city and explore it’s 22 historic squares, originally laid out by James Oglethorpe, Savannah’s founder. The squares were once used for military drills but today you’ll find yourself in the company of locals as you laze about the green squares, under the shade of trees. As you explore, take in the historic buildings that stand proudly around some of the squares, many of which are hundreds of years old and provided the setting for the popular novel ‘Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil’.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Comfort Suites Historic or similar

Today, you’ll head back west through the state of Georgia and into Alabama, the heart of the Deep South, where you’ll stop in Montgomery. Alabama’s capital city, Montgomery acted as the central backdrop to the American Civil Rights Movement and you’ll have time to explore some of the places that played a pivotal role in the movement. Explore the Rosa Parks Library and Museum and learn about the infamous Montgomery Bus Boycott that Rosa Parks inspired, igniting the Civil Rights movement and changing American history. You can also visit the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, where Martin Luther King Jr. led the Boycott with his powerful sermons.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Comfort Inn and Suites Montgomery East or similar
a man holding a microphone

This morning, you’ll journey a little further west, from Montgomery to Selma. The third city on the Civil Rights Trail, it was, in fact, the centre of the Civil Rights Movement. Travel across the iconic Edmund Pettus Bridge, the site that marked the beginning of the Civil Rights marches from Selma to Montgomery in 1965 and where marchers were violently beaten to the ground during Bloody Sunday. You’ll also get to experience the Brown Chapel AME Church before you continue your journey south through Mississippi to New Orleans. Immerse yourself in this vibrant city, full of Creole culture with influences from around the globe. Experience the Spanish, French, Caribbean, African and Anglo-Saxon influences play out through the city’s delicious food, architecture and music. In the evening, dine in style aboard a Riverboat Dinner Cruise and enjoy the rhythms of a Dixieland jazz band (bookable locally).

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hilton New Orleans Riverside or similar
French Quarter
Second Line parade
Streetcars

How you spend this day is entirely up to you: wander the incredible New Orleans and explore whatever takes your fancy in this charming, exciting and entirely unique city. Discover French flavour & grandeur as you wander the city’s streets and explore the French Quarter, with its trademark wrought iron balconies overlooking the narrow cobblestone streets. Why not also take a visit to a working plantation? (bookable locally).

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hilton New Orleans Riverside or similar
a large white building

This morning, you’ll leave New Orleans behind and head for Baton Rouge, Louisiana's capital city. Explore the city on a tour then hit the road again, this time travelling along the historic Natchez Trace Parkway, bound for Natchez. This drive is all part of the experience; the Parkway offers exceptional scenery and years of Native American and European history, so sit back and drink it all in as you go. Natchez itself is the oldest European settlement on the Mississippi River and is full of magnificent Antebellum homes built by wealthy plantation owners before the Civil War, as the area was considered safer from flooding. It’s only fitting then that a visit to one is on this afternoon’s agenda. You’ll get to look around the beautiful house and learn about the wealth behind the 19th century millionaires that called it home.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Vue or similar
Beale Street
Sun Studios
Elvis Presley's Memphis Exhibit

Today, you’ll leave Natchez behind and drive on to Memphis. Before the Civil War, Memphis was one of the most important links in the cotton trade, thanks to it being a large river port. What you’ll notice immediately, however, is that the city is known as ‘home of the blues’; music is everywhere you look in Memphis, with a rich musical heritage that you’ll get to explore on a city tour. Experience Beale Street, the city’s liveliest street, lined with clubs that play blues and other types of music every night. There’s even the option of visiting Graceland, Elvis Presley’s home (bookable locally). You’ll also see Front Street, a historic street that was known as Cotton Row back when cotton traders and merchants conducted business here.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Crowne Plaza Memphis Downtown or similar
Tootsies

From one great musical city to another, today you’ll journey on to Nashville. This city is known as the capital of country music and for good reason: since its very first airing of the WSM Barn Dance radio program, the forerunner of the now-famous Grand Ole Opry, Nashville’s been entwined with country music. Explore it all, including the newly renovated Ryman Auditorium, the former home of the Grand Ole Opry, and the studios near Music Row.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Inn at Opryland or similar
The Parthenon

This morning, see everything this dynamic and thriving cultural city has to offer. Tour the city, see Nashville’s landmarks and spend some time exploring one of the many recording studios that call this musical city home; listen out for new country classics before they hit the charts. If you want to experience even more of the city, head out for dinner and a show in the evening (bookable locally).

Suggested Accommodation

  • Inn at Opryland or similar
Lookout Mountain Incline Railway
World of Coca Cola

Today you’ll head to Chattanooga, home to the famous Choo Choo. Set on the Tennessee River, the city’s riverfront has been redeveloped and the city has received national recognition for the renaissance of its beautiful downtown area. In the afternoon, you’ll head back to where it all began: Atlanta. Spend the rest of the day exploring the rest of the city, perhaps visiting the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca Cola or the CNN Center.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Indigo Vinings or similar

Spend the morning however you like: wander the streets of Atlanta or simply relax and reflect on an exciting holiday. When it’s time, bid farewell to this wonderful, vibrant part of America and make your way to Atlanta International Airport; your tour director will be more than happy to help you arrange a transfer.

Included

  • 13 nights hotel accommodation
  • Service of an ATI Tour Director
  • Road to Tara Museum tour
  • Atlanta city tour
  • Charleston guided walking tour
  • Savannah Trolley tour
  • Antebellum home tour
  • Memphis city tour
  • Experience historic landmarks of the Civil Rights Trail in Alabama
  • See the renowned Chatanooga Choo Choo

Not included

  • Optional excursions
  • Gratuities