Let the adventure begin great drive through all 5 Deep South states. This tour combines bucket list stops and must-see sights along with the opportunity to get off the beaten track to discover what makes the Deep South such a memorable destination. Highlights include time to explore the French Quarter and beyond in New Orleans, the bayous and plantation homes of Louisiana, Elvis’s Graceland home and the sights of Memphis, Elvis’s birthplace in Mississippi; Tupelo, Alabama’s music city; Muscle Shoals, Huntsville, famous for its NASA Space Camp, the home of the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, The Great Smoky Mountains, Dolly Parton’s Pigeon Forge and the home of Country Music; Nashville.
Day: 1, 2 & 3 New Orleans, Louisiana
Your exciting journey begins with a three night stay in “The Big Easy”, an amazing city that’s rightly famous for its vibrant nightlife, live music scene and eclectic Southern Style – it’s a spectacular beginning to this wonderful journey through some of America’s most iconic Southern States.
The Hilton New Orleans Riverside is your perfect “Big Easy” base camp with easy access to streetcar lines, historic attractions, nightlife and restaurants. The hotel is right next to Harrah’s Casino and the Riverwalk, a historic walking area that’s filled with things to see and do including the shoppers paradise at the Riverwalk Marketplace Mall.
No trip New Orleans would be complete without a trip to the French Quarter that’s just a four block stroll from the hotel, often referred to as the heart and soul of the city it’s sure to be high up on your holiday to do list. Explore the narrow cobblestoned streets and take in attractions like Jackson Square, Faulkner House and the Cabildo, part of the Louisiana State Museum. Mule drawn carriages, Streetcars and Steamboat Cruises are great ways to explore the area further. In the evening take a stroll down Bourbon Street, the famous or should we say infamous party hub of the city – it’s packed with lively bars, street performers and fortune tellers.
The National World War II Museum houses an impressive and poignant collection of artefacts from WWII including uniforms, weapons and fully restored aircraft from the time, make sure you take in the moving 4D theatre experience narrated by Tom Hanks.
Enjoy authentic jazz music and much more on Frenchman Street; shop until you drop on Magazine Street, an area filled with high-end retail outlets, antique shops, art galleries and fantastic bars and restaurants, make sure you take a ride across the city on a vintage streetcar.
Spend a day amongst sharks, electric eels and other marine species at Audubon Aquarium, take a day trip through the local Bayous and swamps on an airboat, flat boat or kayak, join up for a cemetery tour and visit Lafayette Cemetery #1, the backdrop to scenes from “Interview With a Vampire” – New Orleans truly has something for everyone!
(Hilton Hotel, New Orleans Riverside)
Day: 4 Oxford Mississippi
Spend one night stay at the comfortable and welcoming Hampton Inn, Oxford, Mississippi handily located just a short drive from Oxford’s historic downtown square and its trendy shops, restaurants, galleries and historic landmarks all just waiting to be discovered. While you’re here be sure to pop into Square Books, considered by many to be one of the South’s best independent book stores that often host guest lectures and author talks as well as book signings. Other places of interest close by include Rowan Oak, home of the famous author William Faulkner and now open to the public for self-guided tours of the building and grounds and the Confederate Cemetery located in the grounds of the University of Mississippi.
(Hampton Inn, Oxford Mississippi)
Day 5: Tupelo Mississippi
Welcome to Tupelo Mississippi, birthplace of “The King – Elvis Presley” and the Best Western Plus Hotel, your home from home for our one night stopover in Tupelo. The hotel’s is within easy reach of most of Tupelo’s major attractions and just short stroll to local restaurants and the Mall at Barnes Crossing.
First stop has to be the Elvis Presley Centre which includes the modest two bedroomed house where The King was born on the 8th of January 1935, the Elvis Presley Birthplace & Museum and the hikes and trails that Elvis might have walked as a young man. The park is a Mississippi landmark attracting around a 100,000 visitors a year – will you be one of them?
Other popular attractions include Mississippi’s Final Stands Civil War Centre, The Veteran’s Museum featuring a document signed by Abraham Lincoln and other artefacts and of course you need to stop off at the Tupelo Hardware Company, the store that supplied Elvis with his first guitar.
(Best Western Plus Hotel, Tupelo Mississippi)
Day: 6, 7 & 8 Memphis, Tennessee
Welcome to Memphis, Tennessee and your exciting two night stay at the Guest House at Graceland. Opened in 2016 and inspired by Elvis Presley, the Guest House at Graceland provides upscale resort style accommodation in the heart of Memphis, home of the Blues and the birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll. The resort is only a short three minute stroll from Graceland and the amazing Graceland complex the world famous home of Elvis Presley. Take the tour and share in Elvis’s unforgettable journey, from his humble beginning in Tupelo to becoming a worldwide superstar and true American icon. Tour highlights include Graceland Mansion and its surrounding gardens, the Graceland Museum, and Elvis’s customised aeroplane the Lisa Marie.
Of course there’s more to Memphis than just Graceland, Memphis is a city steeped in music’ the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Sun Studio, the Blues Hall of fame and the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum will appeal to music lovers of all genres. Spend the day afloat with a Memphis Riverboat Cruise or head downtown to sample some of the fantastic shopping dining and nightlife that Memphis has to offer. Other popular Memphis attractions includes; the National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis Zoo, the Peabody Hotel’s famous “Duck Parade” and lively Beale Street.
All of the Guest hose at Graceland’s 450 rooms and suites come with flat screen TV with premium channels, mini fridge, and coffee making facilities, in room safe, iPod docking station, and iron and ironing board. Separate bathrooms feature rainfall showerheads, luxury toiletries, hair dryers and robes. The larger suites feature designs overseen by Priscilla Presley – treat yourself and book one of the “King’s Suites” taking their inspiration from Elvis’s bedroom at Graceland, or the “Vernon and Gladys” suites, named after the Elvis’s parents, and themed on his iconic Palm Springs residence.
(Guest House at Graceland, Memphis)
Day: 9 Muscle Shoals, Alabama
Florence & Muscle Shoals Alabama is our next stop with a one night stay at the welcoming Hampton Inn & Suites, Downton Florence, handily located in the heart of the Shoals area, close to lots of super local shops and restaurants. Local attractions include the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, Pope’s Tavern Museum, the Indian Mound Museum, Helen Keller’s birthplace, Natchez Trace Parkway and of course the iconic Muscle Shoals Sound Studio – the recording venue for a host of well-known artists including the Rolling Stones, Paul Simon, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Rod Stewart, Bob Segar and lots more. It’s got to be the number one attraction on any music fan’s Muscle Shoals to do list!
(Hampton Inn & Suites, Muscle Shoals, Alabama)
Day: 10 Huntsville, Alabama
Huntsville is a High-tech city located in the North Alabama. A diverse city equally at home in the 19th or 21st Century. Huntsville is nicknamed ‘Rocket City’ for its close history with U.S. Space missions and being home to the largest Space museum in the world, the U.S. Space and Rocket Center.
Located off Memorial Parkway, the Doubletree Suites, Huntsville is just five miles from downtown Huntsville. You are only steps from neighbourhood shopping, with the U.S. Space & Rocket Center nine miles away and the Redstone Arsenal campus 20 minutes from the door. A complimentary cookie welcomes you to the hotel.
(Doubletree Suites by Hilton Hotel, Huntsville South, Alabama)
Day: 11 & 12 Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Next up it’s a 2 night stay at the welcoming Hampton Inn, Pigeon Forge set in the heart of downtown Pigeon Forge and conveniently located within walking distance of popular Pigeon Forge attractions, restaurants and theatres. The hotel’s family friendly amenities and its desirable location just four miles from Dollywood and Dolly’s Splash Country and 10 miles from the Great Smoky Mountain National Park all go together to make this Hampton Hotel the perfect choice for your Smoky Mountain adventures.
Take the short drive to Dollywood, one of the world’s premier theme parks and enjoy thrilling rides, amazing shows, delightful fare, and traditional craftsmen showcasing their glass blowing and blacksmithing skills all set against the wonderful backdrop of the Great Smoky Mountains.
Spend a morning at the Titanic Museum Attraction and discover all about the perilous maiden voyage of this amazing ship through a series of interactive exhibits, historical recreations and amazing artefacts, some of which were recovered from the actual wreck from the seabed.
You’ll be randomly assigned a real passenger’s identity when you enter the museum – find out if you survived or if you perished in the sea at the end of the visit.
Other popular attractions include the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster, the Hatfield & McCoy dinner show, Dollywood’s Splash Country and the Hollywood Wax Museum, and of course no trip to Tennessee would be complete without a trip to the wonderful Smoky Mountain National Park. It’s the most visited National Park in the country and is only a short twenty minute drive from downtown Pigeon Forge. Measuring over 520,000 acres the park is filled with trees, streams and over 800 miles of stunning hiking and biking trails where popular activities include camping, rambling, fishing, Ranger led nature programs and wildlife watching. Pack a picnic lunch for the day and get ready to try and spot some of the black bear, white tailed deer and elk all that all call the park home.
(Hampton Inn & Suites Pigeon Forge, Tennessee)
Day: 13 Lexington, Kentucky
In Kentucky you will find the Horse Capital of the World (Lexington), makers of 95% of the world’s Bourbon, longest cave system in the world (Mammoth Cave National Park), the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln, Muhammad Ali and Bill Monroe (Father of Bluegrass Music). Kentucky also host large music festivals like ROMP and Forecastle, and food festivals including the International BBQ Festival (Owensboro), Kentucky Bourbon Festival (Bardstown) and World Chicken Festival (London).
The GLo Best Western Lexington is the ideal hotel for you only 4 miles to Downtown Lexington. The hotel is within a 5 minute drive to the UK Coldstream Research Campus, Lexmark, & Toyota. Lexington is known for The Kentucky Horse Park, University of Kentucky, Keeneland & the historical KY Bourbon Trail. As the closest hotel to the Kentucky Horse Park, located just minutes to Downtown Lexington and the University of Kentucky Campus and Hospital, be sure to take in the sights while here.
(Hotel Day GLo Best Western, Lexington, Kentucky)
Day: 14 Louisville, Kentucky
Visit retired champions at Georgetown’s Old Friends Farm for Retired Thoroughbreds. Take in the Track Kitchen and watch the morning workouts at the Keeneland Race Track in Lexington. Explore the history and pageantry of the greatest two minutes in sports at the Kentucky Derby Museum and Churchill Downs, Louisville.
This iconic hotel has played host to US presidents, legendary artists, and Prohibition mobsters like Al Capone. Home to The Rathskellar, the world’s only surviving Rookwood Pottery room – a favourite haunt of The Great Gatsby author F. Scott Fitzgerald. World-class bourbon awaits at The Old Seelbach Bar.
(The Seelbach Hilton Louisville, Kentucky)
Day: 15 & 16 Nashville, Tennessee
It’s the end of the road trip and a hearty welcome to Nashville, the state capitol of Tennessee and home of the “Grand Ole Opry” where the well-appointed contemporary accommodations and friendly staff of the Millennial Maxwell House Hotel provides the perfect base for your “Music City” stopover.
There’s lots to see and do in this wonderful city -the Country Music Hall of Fame is one of the most popular attractions in Nashville – featuring the Wall of Fame and Gold records, audio tours, interactive touch screens, historic artefacts and country music video clips and live performances, it’s a must see Nashville icon.
Take in a show at the Grand Ole Opry and for a special treat book the backstage tour to see the dressing rooms, stage entrances for the stars, and get your picture taken on stage, visit the world famous Jack Daniels distillery and pick up some souvenirs for the folks back home. Other popular Nashville attractions include the lively blues and karaoke bars in Printers Alley, The Parthenon the world’s only full scale replica of the ancient Parthenon in Athens, Belle Mead Plantation Tours, and of course Nashville’s tribute to “The Man in Black” – the Johnny Cash Museum! As an added bonus the hotel’s free downtown shuttle makes it easy to get to lots of Nashville’s most popular attractions without having to drive!
(Hutton Hotel Nashville, Tennessee)