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Heart of the South with the Great Smoky Mountains

8 Days from $2,156 per person

Style: First Class | Pace: Leisurely

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.

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Overview

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.

  1. Tap your feet to the sounds of the South in its capital, Atlanta, where this evening we'll join our Travel Director and fellow travelers for a Welcome Reception to launch our exploration of the heart and soul of America.

    meal(s):Welcome Reception
    hotel:Sheraton Atlanta
  2. 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.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast
    hotel:Renaissance Asheville
  3. 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 center of the park. We overnight in Gatlinburg.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel:The Park Vista – a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel
  4. 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 center of the park. We overnight in Gatlinburg.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast
  5. Follow in the footsteps of brave pioneers who traveled 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.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast
    hotel:Hyatt Regency Lexington
  6. 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.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast, Dinner with WIne
    hotel:Hyatt Regency Louisville
  7. 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" as you explore the Kentucky Derby Museum, then spend the afternoon at leisure. This evening, we join our fellow travelers for a Farewell Dinner of foot-stomping, festive fun and flavors of authentic Kentucky cuisine.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast, Farewell Dinner
  8. Transfer to Louisville International Airport. Consider extending your stay at the Hyatt Regency Louisville.

    meal(s):Full Breakfast
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  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

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  • Definite Departure
Start Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
29 May 19 5 Jun 19 $2,395$2,156pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
4 Sep 19 11 Sep 19 $2,395$2,156pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
11 Sep 19 18 Sep 19 checkmark $2,395$2,156pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now
30 Oct 19 6 Nov 19 $2,425$2,183pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 17 Request Quote Book Now

Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.

Single Room Supplement: $850 p.p.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $85 per person.

AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift!  Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.

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  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels

Meal Summary

11 meals: 7 full breakfasts, 4 dinners.

Included Highlights

Connect with Locals

  • Enjoy a hosted dinner at the Muhammad Ali Center with a local guest

Dive into Culture

  • Visit Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Farms to meet equines whose racing careers have come to an end

Sightseeing Highlights

  • Orientation of Atlanta, Asheville
  • Visit CNN Studios, George Vanderbilt's Biltmore Estate, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Museum of the Cherokee Indian, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, Kentucky Horse Park, Buffalo Trace Distillery, Churchill Downs, the Kentucky Derby Museum
Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

Print Itinerary

Reviews

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Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

Print Itinerary
  • We suggest bringing a variety of lightweight clothing items that can be layered to save space in your suitcase and give you more options for how to dress. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.

  • At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity.  We recommend $4-5 per person/per day for your driver and $6-7 per person/per day for your Travel Director.  Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is 1-2 dollars per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit.  A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.

  • Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.

  • You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions.  All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers.  In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group. 

    If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.

  • We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 24 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.

Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.

GATLINBURG

Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede Dinner Show

Adult Price: 57.00

Dixie Stampede is an extraordinary dinner show with thirty-two magnificent horses and a cast of top-notch riders. They will thrill you with daring feats of trick riding and competition, pitting North against South in a friendly and fun rivalry. You will enjoy a barrel full of music, dancing, special effects and family friendly comedy along the way. Celebrate as the North and South join together in a patriotic salute of Red, White and Blue featuring COLOR ME AMERICA, written and recorded by Dolly herself. The Patriotic Grand Finale soars with flying Doves of Peace, luminous costumes and fireworks, reminding you of the pride and spirit of America.

Dollywood Theme Park Admittance Tickets

Adult Price: 75.00

Single day admission includes an entire day of access to the best rides, shows and attractions in the Smoky Mountains.

Request a Quote
  • 30 Day Refund Guarantee

    We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

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