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The Sumptuous Soul of America

Duration 14 days

Destinations visited :
  • United States
    ,

Embrace the best of Kentucky and Tennessee on a 13-Day guided tour that whisks you from the countryside to the birthplace of country music. Enjoy a private tour of a Kentucky thoroughbred retirement farm in the rolling hills just outside of Louisville, then indulge in an exclusive chocolate and bourbon pairing on the infamous Bourbon Trail. On your way to Nashville, see behind-the-scenes of Churchill Downs during a guided walking tour. In Memphis, see Graceland — the former estate of Elvis — on a private, after-hours tour of the mansion-turned-museum, then explore the city your way: Visit Sun Studio, where legends such as B.B. King once recorded, or see the Stax Museum of American Soul, an interactive tribute to soul music complete with exhibits and vintage recording equipment.

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

DAY 1

Chicago, the Jewel of the Midwest.
Welcome to Chicago. Upon arrival, you will be met and taken to your exclusive retreat near the Magnificent Mile. At 18:00, join your Travelling Concierge for a scrumptious Welcome Dinner with wine at your hotel.
Hotel: The Gwen, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Chicago.
Meal: Dinner with Wine

DAY 2

Scaling Chicago.
Start your exploration during a 90-minute architectural river cruise and discover how the Great Fire of 1871 paved the way for the birth of the skyscraper. Continue your discovery with one of the Windy City’s greatest highs – the 360 Chicago Observation Deck. Enjoy a Highlight Dinner with wine at Gibson’s Bar and Steakhouse, a classic Chicago-style chophouse. You’ll be served with a fixed steak menu that comes with roasted corn, potatoes and seasonal veggies.
Meal: Breakfast,Dinner with Wine

DAY 3

St. Louis, Gateway to the West.
Journey to St. Louis where you’ll take an exclusive guided tour of the Fabulous Fox Theatre which opened in 1929. This vibrant city played host to the World’s Fair and Olympics of 1904, with both being held at St. Louis’ prestigious Washington University.
Hotel: Four Seasons Hotel, St. Louis.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 4

St. Louis Arch to Louisville.
Get a bird’s-eye view of the city with a visit to the top of the famed St. Louis Gateway Arch standing 630 feet (190 metres) tall. Next, head east through the Hoosier National Forest to Louisville, before enjoying a dinner with wine at The English Grill in the evening. This elegant venue is situated at your hotel and offers a refined menu of contemporary American cuisine with a Kentucky twist.
Hotel: The Brown Hotel, Louisville.
Meal: Breakfast,Dinner with Wine

DAY 5

Spirit of Louisville.
Continue your immersion into Louisville culture with an up-close look at some of Kentucky’s celebrated four-legged residents during a visit to a retired horse farm. Enjoy a guided tour of the grounds where you will learn about some of the horses before taking time for lunch. Later, visit a bourbon distillery, where you will discover the secrets and meticulous details involved in the making of the South’s signature spirit, before indulging in a sampling. The evening is yours to enjoy.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 6

The Honky-Tonk Highway.
The fun continues with a guided historic walking tour of Churchill Downs to learn about the history of the Kentucky Derby, followed by a visit to the Kentucky Derby Museum. Once here you’ll gain an insider’s perspective during a private visit with retired jockey, Charles Woods Jr. Next, discover the history behind one of America’s favourite sports cars at the National Corvette Museum, where you’ll have lunch. The museum features over 80 Corvettes in periodic settings, including mint classics, one-of-a-kind prototypes and modern-day wonders of engineering and design.
Hotel: Sheraton Grand Nashville Downtown.
Meal: Breakfast,Lunch,Dinner with Wine

DAY 7

Enjoy Nashville’s Musical History.
Enjoy a tour of historic Studio B with a professional sound engineer in a 30-minute, choir-style recording session. You’ll be able to take home a copy of the recording as a one-of-a-kind souvenir. Head on to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, full of memorabilia from stars such as Hank Williams, Loretta Lynn and Garth Brooks. Once there, you’ll join your Local Expert, a songwriter and singer, who will tell you the stories behind the biggest hits sung by well-known country music stars. End your day with a trip to the Grand Ole Opry or “country’s most famous stage”, for a live performance.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 8

Memphis and Graceland.
Travel from the home of country music to the birthplace of blues and Rock ‘n’ Roll. The evening is devoted to a private, after-hours, and docent-led tour of Graceland – as much an object of pilgrimage as a museum dedicated to the late, great, Elvis Presley. From the flowers and painted signs outside the gates, to the tear-streaked cheeks of fans inside, see the effect that Elvis and his music had on popular American culture. Enjoy a memorable dinner with wine at the Graceland mansion itself.
Hotel: The Westin Memphis Beale Street.
Meal: Breakfast,Dinner with Wine

DAY 9

Sun Studios and National Civil Rights Museum.
Experience Memphis Your Way by visiting Sun Studios or the Memphis Rock n’ Soul Museum. Later, visit the National Civil Rights Museum and trace the history of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States from the 17th century to the present. Offering over 260 artifacts and more than 40 new films, you’ll be guided through five centuries of American history.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 10

Mississippi mystique in Natchez.
Depart for Natchez, founded by the French in 1716 when it became home to a flowering colonial culture. There you will experience a private, owner-led tour of Sunnyside, a restored antebellum cottage. At your charming luxury country mansion inn, whet your palate during a mixology class and learn the ‘science’ behind the signature drink of the South, the Mint Julep. Then enjoy a delectable three-course Highlight Dinner with wine, in the stunning main house.
Hotel: Monmouth Historic Inn and Gardens, Natchez.
Meal: Breakfast,Dinner with Wine

DAY 11

Frogmore, Houmas House, and New Orleans.
Stop at Frogmore Plantation and journey back to a time when cotton was king. With your costumed hosts, tour a reconstructed 19th century plantation. Next, get a glimpse into the sweet side of the South with a visit to Houmas House plantation, once the largest producer of sugar in the country. In the evening, you’ll visit the New Orleans School of Cooking to learn about Creole cuisine during a lively cooking demonstration. Enjoy these culinary creations over a special Highlight Dinner with wine.
Hotel: Hotel Monteleone, New Orleans.
Meal: Breakfast,Dinner with Wine

DAY 12

New Orleans Sightseeing.
Join a Local Expert for a tour of the city as you learn about its rich history steeped in the myriad of cultures that have found a new home here. See Jackson Square and the Treme neighbourhood before exploring City Park. Take in this picturesque scene and admire the oak trees with a warm café au lait in hand. Next, visit one of the city’s famous above ground cemeteries and learn about their uniquely joyful perspective on life and death.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 13

Exploring the Big Easy.
Start the day with a bayou expert on the rural side of the Crescent City, as you board a boat to meet the resident alligators and other fauna and flora. Enjoy some free time before gathering with your new friends and toasting to lifelong memories during a Farewell Celebration Dinner with wine at the famous New Orleans restaurant, Arnaud’s, with toe-tapping live jazz as your backdrop.
Meal: Breakfast,Dinner with Wine

DAY 14

Depart New Orleans.
Bid ‘au revoir’ to the Big Easy in the morning. A complimentary transfer is provided to Louis Armstrong Airport or choose to extend your stay at Hotel Monteleone.
Meal: Breakfast

Exceptional Dining

  • Chicago: Experience a Highlight Dinner at a classic Chicago chophouse, Gibson’s Bar and Steakhouse.
  • Memphis: Enjoy a private, after hours visit to Graceland, followed by a home-style cooked meal, favoured by the King himself.
  • Natchez: Learn to make the signature drink of the South, the Mint Julep, before an elegant, four-course Southern dinner in the period surroundings of the Monmouth Historic Inn and Gardens.
  • New Orleans: Discover the flair of Creole cuisine during a cooking demonstration and special Highlight Dinner.
  • Dining Summary: 13 Breakfasts (B), 1 Lunch (L) and 8 Dinners with Wine (DW).

Journey Highlights

  • Chicago: Appreciate the variety of impressive styles and achievements in design during your architectural river cruise, as a Local Expert reveals how the city was transformed after the Great Fire of 1871.
  • Chicago: Experience the greatest highs and the best views of the city from the observatory atop 360 Chicago.
  • St Louis: Get a bird’s-eye view of the city from the famed St Louis Gateway Arch.
  • Bowling Green: The Corvette is America on wheels. The National Corvette Museum pays homage to this most famous sports car.
  • Nashville: Attend a live taping of the Grand Ole Opry, America’s longest-running live radio program.
  • Memphis: Visit Sun Studios, where famous music icons like Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis and Johnny Cash recorded revolutionary albums.
  • Memphis: Visit the National Civil Rights Museum.
  • New Orleans: Visit Houmas House, the crown jewel of Louisiana’s river road, previously voted best Louisiana attraction.

Luxury Hotels

  • Chicago: Experience a world class Chicago hotel at The Gwen.
  • St Louis: Four Seasons Hotel St Louis is a five-star hotel with epic views of the Gateway Arch, located in the heart of downtown.
  • Louisville: A favourite of Kentucky Derby attendees, The Brown Hotel is an opulent choice amongst travellers who will find a blend of Georgian Elegance, timeless Southern charm and impeccable service.
  • Nashville: Experience the finest in Southern hospitality at Sheraton Grand Nashville Downtown.
  • Memphis: The Westin Memphis Beale Street Hotel connects you to the unmistakable sound, culture and history of the blues, whilst offering you a soothing and relaxing retreat.
  • Natchez: The Monmouth Historic Inn and Gardens offers a unique combination of hospitality, world-class service and luxurious surroundings, set in a historic background.
  • New Orleans: The iconic family-owned Hotel Monteleone offers an unparalleled combination of Southern hospitality, world-class service and historic surroundings inside the French Quarter.

VIP Experiences

  • St. Louis: Join an exclusive guided tour of the Fabulous Fox Theatre.
  • Louisville: Visit Churchill Downs on a private tour and meet the world famous horse jockey, Charles Woods Jr.
  • Nashville: Join the ranks of superstar musicians like Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson and record a song at legendary Studio B, take home the recording as a truly unique souvenir.
  • Nashville: Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and get a private behind the scenes look at the songwriting process with a local songwriter and singer.
  • Memphis: Take a private, after-hours tour of Graceland before sitting down to a special dinner on the grounds of the estate.

INCLUSIVE LUXURY GOLD SERVICES

  • You will be escorted by one of our fine Travelling Concierges, handpicked to serve as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Enjoy the comfort of Luxury Gold’s air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard restroom.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert’s fascinating commentary.
  • At every hotel, you’ll be treated to seamless baggage handling, with prompt delivery inside your room.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included – you’ll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travel Concierge will enchant you with a Luxury Gold Flourish, which is a local speciality representing the destination.
  • Complimentary, private airport transfers are included on start and end dates and when additional accommodation has been booked through Luxury Gold.
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The Sumptuous Soul of America

Embrace the best of Kentucky and Tennessee on a 13-Day guided tour that whisks you from the countryside to the birthplace of country music. Enjoy a private tour of a Kentucky thoroughbred retirement farm in the rolling hills just outside of Louisville, then indulge in an exclusive chocolate and bourbon pairing on the infamous Bourbon Trail. On your way to Nashville, see behind-the-scenes of Churchill Downs during a guided walking tour. In Memphis, see Graceland — the former estate of Elvis — on a private, after-hours tour of the mansion-turned-museum, then explore the city your way: Visit Sun Studio, where legends such as B.B. King once recorded, or see the Stax Museum of American Soul, an interactive tribute to soul music complete with exhibits and vintage recording equipment.