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Heart of the South

Duration 8 days

Destinations visited :
  • USA
    ,

Travel through America’s heart and soul. Tour a Vanderbilt mansion, explore the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains and enjoy a hosted dinner at the Muhammad Ali Center.

Take a look at your day-by-day itinerary or contact us on 0207 620 8952 to find out more.

DAY 1

Arrive Charlotte
Arrive in Charlotte, North Carolina, joining your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Reception at your Charlotte hotel.
Hotel: Hilton Charlotte Center City
Meal: Welcome Reception

DAY 2

Charlotte – Asheville
This morning, after a city orientation, learn about the history and heritage of NASCAR at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The museum honors drivers who have shown exceptional skill at NASCAR driving, all-time great crew chiefs and owners, broadcasters and other major contributors to competition. After lunch on your own in downtown Charlotte, we’ll head to Asheville, known for a vibrant arts scene and historic architecture.
Hotel: Cambria Downtown Asheville
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 3

Asheville – Great Smoky Mountains National Park – Pigeon Forge (2 Nights)
Explore the elegance of yesteryear, starting your day with a self-guided visit to the Biltmore Estate, the largest privately owned home in America and former luxurious homestead of George and Edith Vanderbilt. Stroll through acres of landscaped gardens and gain insight into the lives of a great family once considered American Royalty. We continue to the iconic UNESCO-listed Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Stop at the Sugarlands Visitor Center and explore 19th century wilderness settlement life. We’ll also visit the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, then travel through the centre of the park. We overnight in Pigeon Forge.
Hotel: Black Fox Lodge
Meal: Breakfast,Regional Dinner

DAY 4

Pigeon Forge Free Time
Enjoy a full, free day to connect with the beautiful natural landscapes of the Smoky Mountains, so named for the “smoky” mist of blue haze that surrounds these peaks. Embark on a hike, visit Cades Cove to see the local wildlife or consider an evening of invigorating fun, stampeding at Dolly Parton’s famous Dinner Attraction.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 5

Pigeon Forge – Lexington
Drive through Kentucky’s Wilderness Road Heritage Highway stopping en route in Berea. On arrival in Lexington visit Alltech Brewing & Distilling Co. , offering the unique distinction of being both brewery and distillery for a tour and tasting.
Hotel: Hilton Lexington Downtown
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 6

Lexington – Louisville (2 Nights)
‘Dive into Culture’ today, saddling up for a soulful encounter with the equine residents of a local horse retirement farm, where you’ll ‘Make a Difference’ by contributing to the dignified retirement of thoroughbreds whose careers have come to an end. Then delve into the equestrian heritage of this bluegrass city at the Kentucky Horse Park or explore the International Museum of the Horse, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. This evening, we ‘Connect with a Local’, and enjoy a hosted ‘Be My Guest’ dinner at the Muhammad Ali Center with a local guest.
Hotel: Embassy Suites Louisville
Meal: Breakfast,Be My Guest

DAY 7

Louisville Sightseeing
After an orientation tour, choose to spend the morning at the Kentucky Derby Museum where you may imagine the thundering sounds of thoroughbred hoofs on the celebrated Churchill Downs racetrack as you visit the home of the Kentucky Derby since 1875. Feel the thrill of the “Greatest Two Minutes in Sports” or perhaps head to the Louisville Slugger Museum showcasing the story of the Louisville Slugger baseball bats in baseball and in American history. Then spend the afternoon at leisure. This evening, we join our fellow travellers for a Farewell Dinner of foot-stomping, festive fun and flavours of authentic Kentucky cuisine.
Meal: Breakfast,Farewell Dinner

DAY 8

Depart Louisville
Transfer to Louisville International Airport. Consider extending your stay at the Embassy Suites Louisville, or join our Tastes and Sounds of the South trip.
Meal: Breakfast

Sightseeing Highlights

  • ORIENTATION of Charlotte, Asheville, Lexington, Louisville
  • VISIT Nascar Hall of Fame, George Vanderbilt’s Biltmore Estate, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Museum of the Cherokee Indian, Kentucky Horse Park, Alltech Brewing & Distilling Co., Old Friends, Churchill Downs, Kentucky Derby Museum or the Louisville Slugger Museum

Dining Highlights

  • 7 breakfasts
  • 4 dinners (including Be My Guest)

First class travel Highlights

  • Audio Headsets for flexible sightseeing
  • Daily breakfast and an average of 50% of evening meals
  • Luxury air-conditioned coach with WiFi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)
  • Cherry-picked hotels all tried and trusted
  • Handcrafted Highlights
  • Optional Experiences and free time
  • All porterage and local charges included
  • Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras
  • An expert Travel Director and separate Driver
  • All hotel tips, charges and local taxes
  • Airport transfers on the first and last day of your guided holiday
  • VIP entry to many sights
Ship details coming soon
Twin/Double Room
(price per person)
Definite Departure
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Heart of the South

Travel through America’s heart and soul. Tour a Vanderbilt mansion, explore the beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains and enjoy a hosted dinner at the Muhammad Ali Center.