• Ice Cream at A Schwab

A Southern Story - Sounds And Specialities

Discover the vibrant cities of the USA’s Deep South on this unique eight day small group adventure.

This fantastic tour focuses on offering you a wonderful mix of culinary, historic and musical activities and best of all you will have the chance to tailor your trip to your own interests, allowing you to choose between a Memphis Food Tour or a visit to the Gibson Guitar Factory in Memphis, and between a Country Music Stars’ Homes Driving Tour or a trip to Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville.

As you journey across this fascinating region your Tour Manager will share interesting insight into the diverse cities and magnificent sites you visit from the Jazz filled streets of New Orleans and the Blues bars of Memphis to the Country sounds of Nashville and the musical legacy of Muscle Shoals in Alabama.

You will also have plenty of free time to explore and discover local secrets along the way, this is so much more than an escorted tour, it’s a southern experience.

Select departure dates between April and October, please contact our Destination Specialists for more details.

Duration
8 days

Guide Price

£3,399 pp
Options
Group basis, Escorted
Start your journey
Second Line parade

Trip highlights

  • Explore New Orleans' dynamic French Quarter
  • Discover the Blues clubs along Beale Street

Welcome to "The Big Easy".

Start your Southern Story with a meet and greet reception hosted by your Tour Manager to get to know your fellow travellers and to learn a little more about the fascinating destinations you will be visiting over the next eight days. 

On day two you will start with a morning tour to visit some of the city's diverse neighbourhoods - from the Garden District with its historic homes, many still know by the names of the families that built them over a century ago to Tremé, known for its vital place in African-American and Creole Culture. You'll also have the chance to meet with locals who will share engaging stories of "their" New Orleans.

Get better acquainted with this vibrant city on your walking and tasting tour of the French Quarter, led by a local culinary expert. Discover the differences between Creole and Cajun cuisine and learn about the varied influenced that have contributed to the unique cuisine of New Orleans.

Suggested Accommodation

  • The Troubadour Hotel New Orleans or similar

Leave New Orleans behind today as you head north to Memphis, stopping along the way to visit Jackson, the capital city of Mississippi. 

The home of the American Blues and credited as the Birthplace of Rock 'n Roll, Memphis is known for its legendary musicians, hearty barbecue and historic landmarks. You will have ample opportunity to experience a little of each during your stay.

Begin with a visit to Sun Studio where Elvis Presley first recorded, then head over to the Rock 'n Soul Museum to discover the global impact Memphis has had on music, from its early days in the 1930s right up to today.

This evening stroll along world famous Beale Street for some authentic Blues, Soul and Rock 'n Roll at one of the lively clubs or bars where you can dance the night away.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Napoleon or similar

No trip to Memphis would be complete without taking a tour of Elvis Presley's former home - Graceland.

This morning we have included the Graceland Experience tour which not only includes the Mansion but also some fantastic exhibits which showcase his impressive career, his collection of automobiles, wardrobe, hit records and much more from the Graceland Archives.

You'll have a choice of experiences this afternoon so the rest of the day is up to you. 

Whether you opt for a mouth-watering walking tour of Memphis which includes authentic BBQ with dry-rubbed or saucy ribs, along with a little history and culture, or decide to visit the Gibson Guitar Factory for an intimate viewing of Gibson's skilled Luthiers crafting the world-famous guitars.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Napoleon or similar

On arrival in Nashville, visit the iconic Ryman Auditorium, where you can enjoy a special backstage tour to learn how the Ryman became known as the "Carnegie Hall of the South".

Once home to the Gran Ole Opry this historic building has seen many famous performances from artists such as Louis Armstrong, James Brown and Katherine Hepburn. You'll even have the chance to make your own Ryman Records CD to take home with you.

After dinner head to one of the many Honky-tonks along Broadway and 2nd Avenue for some live music and vibrant entertainment.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Indigo or similar

You have a choice of fantastic Nashville activities to keep you entertained this morning.

Country music fans may enjoy a driving tour through the neighbourhoods of Nashville's rich and famous. See the homes of stars such as Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks, Ronnie Milsap and many more on your guided journey.

Or step back in time with a visit to Belle Meade Plantation where you can take a tour of the Mansion, gardens and outbuilding of this beautiful historic home, once known as the "Queen of Southern Plantations".

In the afternoon you'll visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum where you can explore some of the unrivalled collection of Country music artefacts, then it's on to the Historic RCA Studio B, where you can tour the studio where Elvis, Dolly Parton, Roy Orbison and many others recorded over 35,000 songs. 

This evening head out to explore Nashville at leisure and experience more of the local music and entertainment venues.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Indigo or similar

Crossing over to Alabama today you will stop in Muscle Shoals before heading on to Birmingham.

Muscle Shoals has been known for its music since the early 1960's and is famous for the Muscle Shoals Sound, with popular songs such as Brown Sugar, Mustang Sally, When a Man Loves a Woman and Freebird among the tens of thousands of tracks created here.

Learn more about the Muscle Shoals Sound and its impact on American music on a tour of FAME Studios, where artists such as Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin and The Rolling Stone recorded. Then head over to the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in Tuscumbia to discover the storied behind the songs from Alabama's music legends.

You'll end your day in the cosmopolitan city of Birmingham where you and your fellow tour family will enjoy a final night dinner. Savour the authentic barbecue flavours at Dreamland, the iconic Alabama BBQ restaurant chain where you can try their famous ribs and delicious dipping sauce.

Suggested Accommodation

  • Hotel Highland or similar

This morning you'll take a tour of the heart of Birmingham's Civil Rights District to see some of the important sites in the city's fight for Civil Rights. You'll also visit the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute where a series of galleries tell the stories of daily life for African-Americans, the Civil Rights Movement and the 'walk to freedom'. 

You'll arrive into Atlanta late in the afternoon for airport and city drop offs.

Why not extend your stay with a few nights in Georgia's state capital and experience the diverse culture, shopping, dining and entertainment options that this vibrant metropolis has to offer. 

Included

  • International flights
  • 7 nights hotel accommodation
  • Welcome reception
  • 1 dinner
  • Transportation via air-conditioned small coach, sprinter or van
  • Professional Tour Manager
  • Sightseeing to include: New Orleans Historic districts, Rock 'n Soul Museum, Sun Studio, Ryman Auditorium, Country Music Hall of Fame, RCA Studio B, FAME Studio, Alabama Music Hall of Fame and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
  • Experiences to include: French Quarter Food Tour, Memphis' Beale Street, Graceland Experience Tour, Memphis Food Tour or Gibson Guitar Factory, Nashville's Broadway, Country Music Star's Homes Driving Tour or Belle Meade Plantation

Not included

  • Transportation upon arrival to first hotel
  • Meals unless highlighted
  • Gratuities