Grand Ole Opry

14 day self drive itinerary

Rhythms of the South Self Drive

Experience the warmth of southern hospitality

The southern United States is the birthplace of many different genres of music from country, jazz, blues to rock 'n' roll.

On this 14 day self drive adventure you will hit the open road and drive across these southern states including Georgia, Tennessee, Louisiana and Florida to listen and appreciate the sounds and rhythms of this fascinating region.

Rich in history you will also get to learn about the American Civil War and Civil Rights Movement combined with strolling along Nashville's Music City Walk of Fame and paying a visit to Elvis Presley's Graceland.

You will be greeted with the warm southern hospitality wherever you go and enjoy the culinary delights of the region - sample true Creole and Cajun cuisine and when in New Orleans you must grab a famous Po'boy sandwich.

Our Experts Recommend:
  • Explore Atlanta's role in the Civil Rights Movement
  • Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville
  • Tour Elvis' former home Graceland
  • Enjoy the jazz filled streets of New Orleans

Sample Itinerary Summary

We can tailor any part of this itinerary or create a new one just for you.

Duration
14 days
Guide Price
£2,319 per person
Price based on
Based on 02 March 19 departure from London Heathrow flying with Virgin Atlantic (2 adults sharing).
Our guide price gives you an idea of pricing which will vary depending on exchange rates, accommodation, duration, dates, airline and cabin class.
Destination Breakdown
Options
Private basis, Self-Guided
Included
  • International flights
  • 13 nights hotel accommodation
  • Car hire and insurance
Not included
  • One way drop car hire fees (if applicable)
  • Meals or excursions unless specified
  • Park entrance fees (if applicable)
  • Ferry charges (if applicable)

Itinerary Breakdown

Arrive into Atlanta, pick up your hire car and proceed to your hotel. The second day allows you to enjoy a whole day in Atlanta, which started as railroad junction in the 1830's and quickly became the transport hub of the South. Its strategic importance was a large part of the reason it made such an inviting target for General Sherman's Union Army, which razed it during the Civil War. Visit Fairlie-Poplar, the African American Panoramic Experience, Grant Park or the Atlanta History Centre.

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • Hotel Indigo Atlanta Midtown or similar

Along the way, stop to see the Chattanooga "Choo Choo" train. In Lynchburg tour the legendary Jack Daniel's whisky distillery. Proceed to Nashville in the evening.

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • Millennium Maxwell House Nashville or similar

Soak up the sounds in the country music capital by visiting the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame. Experience the south's tumultuous history at the Tennessee State Museum. Leave the city early enough to arrive in Memphis for a late dinner. 

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • Holiday Inn Memphis - Downtown (Beale Street) or similar

Explore the birthplace of the blues by taking in a performance in one of the entertaining Beale Street blues bars. Drive out for a tour of Elvis Presley's home Graceland. See the original bomber, Memphis Belle or take the monorail to unique Mud Island. 

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • Holiday Inn Memphis - Downtown (Beale Street) or similar

Today visit Vicksburg National Military Park which commemorates the campaign, siege, and defence of Vicksburg in 1863. There’s over 1,300 monuments, markers and plaques, a 16 mile tour road and a national cemetery, the nation’s largest burial site of Civil War Union soldiers and sailors with graves totalling over 17,000.

Overnight Accommodation

  • Quality Inn Vicksburg or similar

Enjoy a drive through the heart of the old South stopping in Natchez and Baton Rouge en route to New Orleans. The city's unique geography, sandwiched between Lake Pontchartrain and the mighty Mississippi River, shaped the flavours of the only cuisine native to North America.

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • Sheraton New Orleans Hotel or similar

The Big Easy is a melting pot of European culture and southern charm. Stroll through the French Quarter and admire its distinctive architectural styling, then experience the festive frenzy on Bourbon Street. Steamboat river tours on board restored paddle boats are a great way to experience the mighty Mississippi.

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • Sheraton New Orleans Hotel or similar

Drive from city life to beach blankets in only a few short hours. Relax on the white sand beaches of the Gulf of Mexico and enjoy a swim in the warm blue water. Wander through Pensacola's Seville District or head to the premium beaches of Santa Rosa Island.

Overnight Accommodation

  • Hampton Inn Pensacola-Airport (Cordova Mall Area) or similar

Travel along the Gulf coast through the untouched wildlife preserves and natural habitats that dot the landscape. Fishing villages and the Emerald Coast provide ample distraction on the way.

Points of Interest

  • Florida State Capitol

Overnight Accommodation

  • Courtyard Tallahassee Capital or similar

Historic Savannah is home to some of the South's most beautifully restored houses. Take a relaxing afternoon walk and picnic in one of the many green parks throughout the city.

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • B Historic Savannah or similar

Charleston truly represents the grandeur and elegance of the South. Gorgeous tree-lined avenues add to the charm of the antebellum architecture.

Overnight Accommodation

  • Charleston Marriott or similar

Leave South Carolina's coast behind and head inland as you return to Atlanta for the final night of your journey.

Overnight Accommodation

  • Westin Atlanta Airport or similar

Today is the last day on your self drive tour across the southern regions, catch a flight home or to your onward destination. Alternatively, expand your time in Atlanta even more to discover more of what this great city has to offer or head to another U.S. city or hit the road again and venture on another road trip.

  • Atlanta

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Margaret Mitchell House
    • The Georgia Aquarium
    • The new World of Coca-Cola
    • Martin Luther King Jr. Birthplace
    • Underground Atlanta
  • Nashville

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Honk-tonks on Broadway
    • Country Music Hall of Fame
    • The Music City Walk of Fame
    • Grand Ole Opry
    • The Bluebird Cafe
  • Memphis

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Elvis Presley's Graceland
    • Vibrant Beale Street
    • Sun Studios
    • National Civil Rights Museum
    • The Peabody Hotel Duck March
  • Mississippi

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum in Vicksburg
    • Vicksburg National Military Park
    • Antebellum mansions in Natchez
    • Old South Winery in Natchez
    • Natchez National Historic Park
  • New Orleans

    Itinerary Highlights

    • The historic French Quarter
    • New Orleans' fantastic Creole cuisine
    • St. Louis Cemetery No. 1
    • Jackson Square
    • The beautiful Garden District
  • Florida

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Pensacola's Seville District
    • Santa Rosa Island beaches
    • Florida State Capitol in Tallahassee
    • Tallahassee Automobile Museum
    • Mission San Luis in Tallahassee
  • Savannah

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Forsyth Park
    • Savannah Historic District
    • Ships of The Sea Maritime Museum
    • Tybee Island
    • City Market
  • Charleston

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Explore Charleston's tree lined avenues
    • Magnolia Plantation and Gardens
    • Patriots Point's naval carriers and destroyers
    • Fort Sumter Museum
    • Drayton Hall