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Good old fashioned Southern hospitality, charm and big smiles from locals will welcome you to 'Music City', otherwise known as Nashville. A place of pilgrimage for country music enthusiasts, Nashville has been attracting musicians, song writers as well as starlets since the 1920's and whilst country music wasn't born here, this city is certainly responsible for the evolution and popularity of the genre we know and love. The careers of some of the biggest names in the music industry started right here in the basement studios of Music Row or on stage at the famous Grand Ole Opry, and you'll notice this legacy is apparent all across town. Settle into your hotel and meet up with your Travel Director this afternoon, then retire to your room to enjoy a relaxing evening at your leisure.
Get your bearings this morning on a tour that will take you to Riverfront Park, Tennessee State Capitol and the 132 acre Centennial State Park, where you'll be transported straight to Athens as you admire the Parthenon, a jaw-dropping exact replica of the original. Icons visited, you'll then delve into the incredible musical history of the city with a visit to Music Row, stopping off at Studio B where industry legends like Dolly Parton and the Everly Brothers have all recorded albums. No Nashville musical tour would be complete without a snoop around the Country Music Hall of Fame, which traces the history of country music and proudly displays priceless memorabilia from Hank Williams and Loretta Lynn. Scout out the tastiest hot chicken and biscuits on your own this afternoon, then this evening you're off to the Grand Ole Opry to listen to a live recording of America's longest running live radio program.
Ready to continue your country music education today? If so there's no better place to head to than the Ryman Auditorium, where you can take a self-guided tour and watch music magic come to life through the 'Soul of Nashville' theatre Optional Experience. Jonny Cash fans will likely make a beeline to the museum that delves into the personal story of one of the best-selling music artists of all time, while those interested in the history of the South could opt for a visit to the Belle Meade Plantation. Here you’ll get an in-depth look into the history of the 1853 Greek Revival mansion, its grounds, and the lives of the people who once lived there, leaving you with an understanding of historical life in the South through the eyes of one of the plantations expert guides. Back in Nashville, the night is young! If you’re feeling in the mood, get out into the action and experience a good old-fashioned honky tonk under the neon lights of Lower Broadway!
From one music obsessed city to another, you'll leave Nashville this morning and travel to Memphis. Home to "The King" who needs little introduction, music is the life blood of this toe tapping city with bluesy Beale St. a fine example of this. Arriving here you'll dive straight in with an orientation tour viewing the impressive Memphis Pyramid and the historic Peabody Hotel. Next, see the Lorraine Motel, perhaps the most significant place of the entire civil rights movement, the very place where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968. With an evening free, you might want to check out our Optional Experiences. You could visit the Rock N' Soul Museum, which displays wonderfully curated exhibits telling the story of the birth of rock and soul music and groove on over to Beale Street for dinner at a lively joint that serves up Southern treats accompanied by live music, naturally.
Prepare to start your morning with a taste of the local Memphis cuisine that is sure to have your mouth watering. We hope you didn't peak too soon on last night's dinner, because this morning's Iconic Breakfast is Southern food, served with the same hospitality you'll find all throughout this charming city. You'll likely find yourself rolling out of the classic 'greasy spoon' restaurant, full of good eats and ready for all the excitement your next stop has to offer. Today will be a special one for Elvis fans as you have the chance to make the pilgrimage to Graceland. Later, arrive at Sun Studio, where Elvis was first discovered back in 1954 and where you'll experience the legacy left behind by the 'King of Rock n' Roll' himself.
It's your final day in Memphis today so be sure to make the most of it before bidding a fond farewell to the Home of the Blues. You’ll find it hard to pass up today’s Optional Experience, a visit to the National Civil Rights Museum. This museum is a complex of two historic buildings and houses extensive cultural exhibits that trace five centuries of history, including the Civil Rights Movement which will leave you nothing less than inspired by those that fought tirelessly for equality at this fascinating tribute and in-depth into American history and its troubled past.
Follow the path of the famous Natchez Trace today. Under the guidance of your passionate Travel Director, you’ll soon understand how, and why, this important thoroughfare was originally established as a footpath by Native Americans and was later used by explorers, traders and travelers, including the Ohio River Valley boatmen who were known as 'kaintucks'. We’ll arrive on the banks of the Mississippi as we pull into Natchez, where the unique architecture of the South could be further brought to life as you explore the antebellum homes that are scattered here on our Optional Experience. These large and elegant mansions were originally built as plantation homes and remained untouched throughout the plight of the South. If you feel like taking a closer look, you’ll have the chance to visit perhaps the finest standing example of an Antebellum Classical Revival mansion. The grand and palatial Stanton Hall offers a glimpse into the life of a wealthy cotton merchant.
Heading south today, travel over the world's longest overwater bridge as you journey towards 'The Big Easy'. Famed for its Mardi Gras celebrations and diverse culture, everything in New Orleans is a little larger than life. The weddings are bigger, the funerals are louder, the food is richer, and every single day is a cause for celebration. Meeting up with a Local Specialist on arrival you'll head out on a city tour. You'll also visit one of the city's many unique cemeteries, taking a peek around the elaborate stone crypts and mausoleums. Tonight, we recommend you sample some good old fashioned Creole cooking, and in our opinion there's only one place to go for the best food in town - the New Orleans institution, Dooky Chase.
Waking up with an extra NOLA induced spring in your step, today is entirely free for you to explore and perhaps try an Optional Experience. For those that are ready to get right into it, there’s no chance you’ll miss joining our Optional Experience this morning. Hit the streets on a locally led walking tour of the lively and ever so beautiful French Quarter, learning the history of this charming neighborhood before finishing off at the iconic Court of Two Sisters restaurant for their famous Creole inspired Jazz Brunch. With the rest of the day ahead of you, there’s no shortage of ways to spend your time. Head back to the cute cafes and decadent mansions of the Garden District, have your fortune told in Jackson Square or eat your way around the many incredible restaurants and café’s that dot around the city as you refuel from your adventures. If the swamps and bayous of the Mississippi are on your list, there’s the option to get out on the water with a boat trip through the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. Led by a local guide who’ll share their in-depth knowledge of the region they’ll keep a keen eye out so you can, spot 'gators, eagles, snakes and egrets as you cruise these wild wetlands on this afternoon adventure.
It's your final full day in NOLA and the final day of your trip, so make sure you go out in style. Why not join an Optional Experience cooking demonstration to learn how you can recreate some of the city's tastiest dishes once you return home. The classes at The New Orleans School of Cooking are hosted by local chefs who share tips and stories, plus there are plenty of samples to keep appetites at bay. Jazz fans can opt into a Jazz Dinner Cruise on the Mississippi River, accompanied by the songs originally played by the Grammy nominated band Dukes of Dixieland.
With the bluesy beats of Beale Street and the smiles of Nashville still fresh in your mind, your trip will come to an end today. Delicious Southern food still fresh in your thoughts and undoubtedly richer in memories, you'll say goodbye to your new friends as you head your separate ways. If you can't bear to leave NOLA just yet, you can also choose to extend your stay at the La Quinta New Orleans Downtown.
Prices shown are per person based on two people sharing a twin room. To request a personalized travel quote, click "Request Quote" and a Travel Specialist will send your custom quote including airfare if requested.
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.
Take a self-guided tour through the hallowed halls of Ryman Auditorium. Immerse yourself in Ryman’s magical history during “Soul of Nashville,” a one-of-a-kind theater experience that puts the spotlight on more than a century of legendary performances and showcases. This magical performance jumps right off the walls featuring a collaboration with Darius Rucker, The Fisk Jubilee Singers, Sheryl Crow and Vince Gill. Approx. duration: 1 hour
Adult Price: $25
The Johnny Cash Museum features the world's largest collection of Johnny Cash artifacts and memorabilia in the world. Walk through the life of the Man in Black depicted in interactive exhibits, films and much more.
Adult Price: $22
This tour features the intimate stories of the various people that created Belle Meade Plantation and its beautiful grounds and architecturally significant buildings. Throughout the 45-minute guided tour of the 1853 Greek-Revival Mansion, a century of Belle Meade Plantation’s history is told through the eyes of the Harding and Jackson Family and the skilled laborers who collectively worked to make the Plantation America’s premier Thoroughbred Horse Farm. After the guided tour of the Mansion, guests will enjoy a complimentary wine tasting. Following the tasting, guests are encouraged to enjoy the self-guided portion of the tour featuring eight historic buildings on-site including a massive 1800s Carriage House and Stable. Approx. duration: 2 hours
Adult Price: $24
The Johnny Cash Museum features the world's largest most comprehensive collection of Johnny Cash artifacts and memorabilia. Make the most of your visit and walk up to the second floor and explore the newly minted Patsy Cline Museum, which celebrates the life of the legendary songstress and features hundreds of never-before-seen artifacts, personal belongings, videos, and much more. Approx. duration 2 hours
Adult Price: $43
Enjoy a self-guided visit to the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum whose exhibition about the birth of rock and soul music, created by the Smithsonian Institution, tells the story of musical pioneers who, for the love of music, overcame racial and socio-economic barriers to create the music that shook the entire world. Afterward, dine in the footsteps of former musicians like BB King, Ike Turner, and Hank Williams at the famous Blues City Café, conveniently located on Beale Street. Approx. duration 2 hours
Adult Price: $48
True fans of The King may want to upgrade their homage to Graceland with the Elvis Experience Tour. In addition to the interactive, audio guided tour of Elvis’ estate and final resting place, the Elvis Experience pass will provide you with access to the brand new Visitor Entertainment Complex, tours of Elvis’ two custom, private jets – the Lisa Marie and the Hound Dog II – Elvis’ Car Museum, Elvis: the Entertainment Career Showcase Museum, and the Elvis Discovery Exhibits.
Adult Price: $33
Enjoy a self-guided visit to the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum’s whose exhibition about the birth of rock and soul music, created by the Smithsonian Institution, tells the story of musical pioneers who, for the love of music, overcame racial and socio-economic barriers to create the music that shook the entire world. Afterward, dine in the footsteps of former musicians like BB King, Ike Turner, and Hank Williams at the famous Blues City Cafe, conveniently located on Beale Street. Approx. duration: 2 hour
Adult Price: $28
In 1857, Irish immigrant and cotton merchant Frederick Stanton began construction on the home of his dreams: a palatial Greek Revival style residence in the heart of Natchez. Marble mantel pieces were imported from New York, ornate gasoliers were purchased from Philadelphia, and immense mirrors were ordered from France. The facade of Stanton's home was equally impressive with its Corinthian columns and delicate cast-iron railings. Officially designated a National Historic Landmark in 1974, the building is now furnished much as Frederick originally intended and offers a glimpse into the domestic life of a wealthy Natchez family. Enjoy a 30-minute walking tour of the home, plus time to enjoy the picturesque grounds at your leisure. Approx. duration: 1.5 hours
Adult Price: $25
"Walk through St. Louis Cemetery #1, the site of the classic movie Easy Rider, as your professional licensed guide recounts the background of the famous and infamous people who are buried there. Visit the renowned tomb of Marie Laveau - the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans - and discover how she was able to be in two places at once. Listen to the evolution of the Voodoo religion - which is still practiced today - and learn the role it played in the development of the Crescent City. Learn about our unique above-ground burial customs and the tombs of various 'societies' in this historic cemetery that first opened in 1789." Approx. Duration: 2 hours
Adult Price: $29
"Hear ghostly stories about our haunted hotels and the courthouse where our state supreme court is based. We even visit a former exchange for enslaved people. Each guide has researched these 'other spirits' of the Vieux Carre, so no two tours are exactly alike. Take an exciting look at the relics of voodoo ceremonies, a vampire-slaying kit, and age-old tools of the trade used by mystical and mysterious inhabitants of our city." Approx. Duration: 2 hours
Adult Price: $27
Enjoy your evening in New Orleans aboard the newly minted City of New Orleans steamboat for a jazz dinner cruise on the Mississippi River. Enjoy a freshly prepared dinner while taking in lovely views of downtown New Orleans all while enjoying the sounds of the Grammy-nominated "Dukes of Dixieland." A full bar is also available for your pleasure. Approx. duration: 2 hours
Adult Price: $87
After a short motorcoach ride across the Mississippi River, take a fascinating boat trip into the Louisiana swamps and bayous through part of the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park – Barataria Preserve. Native guides will reveal the mysteries of the swamps and bayous and you will discover how the seafood from these bountiful waters provides a wide assortment of delectable local dishes! Observe the nesting grounds of alligators, egrets, raccoons, nutria, and many species of snakes. Transportation included. Approx. duration: 2.5 hours
Adult Price: $53
The heart and cultural center of New Orleans is the French Quarter, a must-see for its high energy, rich history, diverse architecture, music, street performers, renowned jazz clubs, lively nightlife and the finest art galleries and restaurants in the city. Enjoy a one-hour guided walking tour led by born and bred locals who will entertain and educate you about the vibrant history and modern culture of this historic neighborhood. Your walking tour ends at the historical Court of Two Sisters restaurant for their famous Jazz Brunch. The menu includes a sumptuous selection of hot and cold Creole-inspired cuisine such as cold, refreshing shellfish with house-made remoulade and cocktail sauce, a carving station, specialty salads, hot entrees such as shrimp etouffee and jambalaya, and freshly baked desserts! (Menu subject to change.) Approx. duration: 3 hours
Adult Price: $72
Cooking demonstration and meal hosted by local chefs showcasing authentic, regional flavors. Group will visit during public lunch demonstration. Approx. duration: 2 hours
Adult Price: $43
Feel the gentle breeze of Southern hospitality on a tour that takes you back to the glamour of the Antebellum Era. Experience a bygone era in one of the South's most beautiful settings - Oak Alley Plantation, built in 1839. Marvel at the unbelievable quarter-mile-long alley of 28 magnificent Oak trees, each over 250 years old. Perhaps the most photographed plantation ever, Oak Alley has been the setting for such motion pictures as "Interview with a Vampire," "Primary Colors" and the wedding of Bo and Hope from the daytime soap opera "Days of our Lives." Your guided Oak Alley Plantation tour will reveal the fascinating stories of the home and its history. View the Majestic Cypress Trees in Louisiana's swamps bordering the Mississippi River. Your time at Oak Alley will consist of free time to enjoy lunch at their cafe or full-service restaurant, peruse the beautiful grounds, and a one-hour guided tour of the pristinely preserved mansion. Approx. duration: 4 hours
Adult Price: $49
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