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Spirit of the South

Duration 17 days

Destinations visited :
  • USA
    ,

Trace Tennessee’s jazz and juke joints and the bourbon and bluegrass plains of Kentucky horse-racing country along this Deep South musical meander to The Big Easy.

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

DAY 1

Arrive Atlanta
Immerse yourself in the elegance and style of the South. Your interlude with Dixieland begins in its capital, Atlanta. This evening, meet your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Reception.
Hotel: Sheraton Atlanta
Meal: Welcome Reception

DAY 2

Atlanta – Asheville
Gain a deeper understanding of the inner workings of the world’s first 24-hour news channel during a Behind-the-Scenes tour – a snapshot that will delight your inner news hound. See Atlanta’s most prized highlights afterward.
Hotel: Renaissance Asheville
Meal: Full Breakfast

DAY 3

Asheville – Great Smoky Mountains National Park – Gatlinburg (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 Gatlinburg.
Hotel: The Park Vista – a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel
Meal: Full Breakfast,Dinner with wine

DAY 4

Gatlinburg
Enjoy a day at leisure to explore the beautiful natural landscapes of the Smoky Mountains, so named for the “smoky” mist of blue haze that surrounds these peaks. Consider a visit to Dollywood, owned by country music legend Dolly Parton and embark on an evening of invigorating fun, stampeding at Dolly Parton’s famous Dinner Attraction.
Meal: Full Breakfast

DAY 5

Gatlinburg – Cumberland Gap – Lexington
Follow in the footsteps of brave pioneers who travelled through the Cumberland Gap into the West and into Kentucky’s wilderness. Delve into the equestrian heritage of this Bluegrass city in Lexington, at the “Horse Capital of the World. ” Visit the Kentucky Horse Park or explore the International Museum of the Horse, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.
Hotel: Hyatt Regency Lexington
Meal: Full 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. We continue along the Bourbon Trail to Buffalo Trace Distillery, the world’s most award-winning distillery, for an insider’s look into the behind-the-scenes work that goes into crafting truly great bourbon. You’ll witness first-hand the entire process that goes into distilling Kentucky’s golden liquid – from grain delivery to the cooking process, fermentation and, of course and distillation. Enjoy a taste of the final product before journeying through Bluegrass country to Louisville. 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: Hyatt Regency Louisville
Meal: Full Breakfast,Dinner with wine

DAY 7

Louisville Sightseeing
Visit the home of the celebrated Kentucky Derby, hosted at Churchill Downs race-trek since 1875. Fell the thrill of the “Greatest Two Minutes in Sports” as you explore the Kentucky Derby Museum, then enjoy an afternoon at leisure. This evening, we tuck into a traditional Kentucky Regional Meal, followed by some foot-stomping festive fun.
Meal: Full Breakfast,Regional Meal

DAY 8

Louisville – Bowling Green – Nashville (3 Nights)
Satisfy the petrol-head in you with a visit to Bowling Green’s National Corvette Museum where you can admire the sleek lines and engineering feats of this all-American sports car. Leave your need for speed behind and continue south into Tennessee, arriving in Nashville this afternoon to meet your new travel companions.
Hotel: Renaissance Nashville
Meal: Full Breakfast

DAY 9

Nashville Sightseeing
Tune into the intoxicating sights and sounds of Music City this morning. Find your rhythm as your Dive into Culture at RCA’s Studio B and gain insights into the life and music of Johnny Cash during a private performance of Cash tunes with Johnny and June’s granddaughter (or another family member). We’ll visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and explore the collection of memorabilia from stars such as Hank Williams and Garth Brooks. Later, embark on a your choice sightseeing experience, exploring the Johnny Cash Museum or enjoy a tour of the Ryman Auditorium.
Meal: Full Breakfast

DAY 10

Nashville At Leisure and Sightseeing
Write your own song of the South on a full day at leisure before heading to the Grand Ole Opry, the home of American music since 1925. Take an optional walk in the footsteps of country music’s superstars and get an exclusive look at what happens behind the scenes of the show that made country music famous.
Meal: Full Breakfast

DAY 11

Nashville – Memphis (2 Nights)
From country to blues, we head for the birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll on Beale Street, where we’ll meet a musician and Local Specialist to learn about the musical heritage of Memphis. Our final stop today is the former Lorraine Motel, where civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr. was gunned down. Perhaps visit the National Civil Rights Museum, home to the former Lorraine Motel, where civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. This evening is free.
Hotel: Sheraton Memphis Downtown
Meal: Full Breakfast

DAY 12

Graceland Excursion
Our first stop is Sun Studios, which sought to capture the raw energy of Beale Street in the very first Rock ‘n’ Roll single recorded in 1951. Visit Graceland and worship at the altar of the King of Rock ‘n Roll, paying tribute to a man who changed the face of American popular music and culture. Tonight, embark on a your choice dining experience choosing from a selection of local eateries.
Meal: Full Breakfast,Your Choice Dining

DAY 13

Memphis – Natchez
Kick off this morning’s musical interlude at the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum before heading to Natchez. Connect with Locals at a 1850s private residence of Joe Stone, who performs on his 1903 Steinway grand piano. We head to the 1804 residence of Esther Carpenter, a former Four Seasons chef, with whom we’ll enjoy a traditional four-course Deep South dinner.
Hotel: Magnolia Bluffs
Meal: Full Breakfast,Dinner with wine

DAY 14

Natchez – Oak Alley – New Orleans (3 Nights)
Dive into Culture at Frogmore Plantation and Gins to discover the Mississippi Delta’s cotton plantation heritage. We continue through the Louisiana countryside to Oak Alley Plantation where the spicy scents of Creole cuisine will linger long after our visit to the New Orleans School of Cooking comes to an end. Enjoy a fun cooking demonstration before indulging in a Regional Meal of Creole cuisine.
Hotel: Sheraton New Orleans
Meal: Full Breakfast,Regional Meal

DAY 15

New Orleans Sightseeing and At Leisure
Trace the cosmopolitan history of one of America’s oldest cities with a Local Specialist, stopping at City Park and one of the famous above-ground cemeteries. Spend the afternoon at leisure exploring New Orleans. This evening, consider an optional jazz cruise on the Mississippi River.
Meal: Full Breakfast

DAY 16

New Orleans At Leisure
Today is yours to explore the sights and sounds of the Big Easy. Take an optional boat trip into the Louisiana swamps or explore the streets of the French Quarter and sample the city’s cuisine, which Mark Twain once described “as delicious as the less criminal forms of sin”. This evening, join new friends for a Farewell Dinner at the famed Court of Two Sisters.
Meal: Full Breakfast,Farewell Dinner

DAY 17

Depart New Orleans
Your unforgettable encounter through America’s South at its end, we take a transfer to New Orleans International Airport or consider extending your stay in New Orleans at the Sheraton New Orleans.
Meal: Full Breakfast

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City tour in Memphis, New Orleans
  • Orientation of Atlanta, Asheville and Nashville
  • Visit CNN Studios, Biltmore Estate, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Kentucky Horse Park or International Museum of the Horse, Buffalo Trace Distillery, Churchill Downs, Kentucky Derby Museum, Corvette Musuem, RCA’s Studio B, the Country Music Hall of Fame, Graceland, Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, Oak Alley Plantation, Frogmore Plantation, Cumberland Gap, Grand Ole Opry and Sun Studios

Dining Highlights

  • 16 full breakfasts
  • 8 dinners

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
  • Hand-picked Insider Experiences
  • 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
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Twin/Double Room
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Spirit of the South

Trace Tennessee’s jazz and juke joints and the bourbon and bluegrass plains of Kentucky horse-racing country along this Deep South musical meander to The Big Easy.