• Save up to 7.5% - Pay in Full by Feb 28, 2018

    Save up to 7.5% - Pay in Full by Feb 28, 2018

  • Past Guests Save an additional 5%

    Past Guests Save an additional 5%

  • AARP Members Save an additional $100 per person

    AARP Members Save an additional $100 per person

Spirit of the South

Operated By:
Tour Pace: Leisurely
Tour Style: First Class
17 Days from $4,509 per person

Float like a butterfly in your Blue Suede Shoes as you pay homage to the Kings of the Ring and Rock 'n' Roll—tracing 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.

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  1. Welcome to Atlanta. At 6 p.m. gather with your Travel Director and fellow travelers for a Welcome Reception.
    hotel:Sheraton Atlanta
  2. Explore Atlanta as you make your way to the CNN Studios to join an Inside CNN VIP Tour for a behind-the-scenes experience at the Global Headquarters of CNN Worldwide.
    hotel:Renaissance Asheville
  3. Start the day with a guided visit to George Vanderbilt's 250-room Biltmore Estate. Next, head for Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stop at the Visitors' Center and explore 19th century wilderness settlement life with a Local Specialist. Also visit the Museum of the Cherokee Indian.
    meal(s):FB, D
    hotel:The Park Vista – a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel
  4. A full day at leisure for optional activities. Go walking, cycling or visit Dollywood.
  5. Stand in awe at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park and continue through Kentucky into Lexington. Delve into equine culture at the Kentucky Horse Park, a working horse farm. Explore the world renowned International Museum of the Horse, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.
    hotel:Hyatt Regency Lexington
  6. Visit Old Friends, a horse retirement farm, and Cultural Insight, where you will meet equine residents. Next, travel 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, tasting a sample of the final product. Continue on to Louisville where you are treated to a Be My Guest dinner after meeting Mr. Rahaman Ali (Muhammad Ali's younger brother) for a guided visit of their Childhood Home Museum.
    meal(s):FB, BG
  7. Head to Churchill Downs, the legendary thoroughbred racetrack that has hosted The Kentucky Derby since 1875. And then you're off to visit the Kentucky Derby Museum. The afternoon is at leisure before Regional Meal of authentic Kentucky cuisine.
    meal(s):FB, RM
  8. Stop at the Corvette Museum showcasing the American sports car, the Chevrolet Corvette. This afternoon arrive in Nashville to meet your new travel companions.
    hotel:Renaissance Nashville
  9. At RCA's Studio B this morning, ‘meet' another music legend with a Cultural Insight into the life and music of Johnny Cash during a private performance of Cash tunes with Johnny and June's son, John Carter Cash (or a family member). Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum—a 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 a tour of the Ryman Auditorium.
  10. Write your own song of the South on a full day at leisure before heading to the Grand Ole Opry.
  11. Head for the birthplace of Rock 'n' Roll on Beale Street where we meet a musician and Local Specialist to learn about the musical heritage of Memphis. The former Lorraine Hotel, where civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr. was gunned down, is the backdrop for the National Civil Rights Museum, where we visit before a free evening.
    hotel:Sheraton Memphis Downtown
  12. Head to Graceland, a tribute to the man who changed the face of American popular music and culture. Pay a visit to Sun Studios, where the first Rock 'n' Roll single was recorded in 1951. Tonight, embark on a your choice dining experience where you choose from a selection of local eateries.
    meal(s):FB, YC
  13. Tour the Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum before heading to Natchez. Tonight, enjoy a Be My Guest dinner beginning at the private residence of Joe Stone, whose 1850s home features a gallery collection of rare maps, a quaint billiards hall, and exquisite ornamental glasswork. Joe performs on his Steinway grand piano before heading to the 1804 residence of Esther Carpenter, a former Four Seasons chef, with whom you'll enjoy a traditional four-course Deep South dinner.
    meal(s):FB, BG
    hotel:Natchez Grand
  14. Join costumed Local Specialists at Frogmore Plantation and Gins, before meandering through the charming Louisiana countryside to Oak Alley Plantation. The spicy scents of Creole cuisine linger on this evening's visit to the New Orleans School of Cooking where we will enjoy a fun cooking demonstration before a Regional Meal.
    meal(s):FB, RM
    hotel:Sheraton New Orleans
  15. Trace the cosmopolitan history of New Orleans with a Local Specialist, stopping at City Park and one of the famous above-ground cemeteries. Spend the afternoon at leisure.
  16. Today is free before joining your Travel Director and new friends for a Farewell Dinner at the famed Court of Two Sisters.
    meal(s):FB, FD
  17. Take a transfer to New Orleans International Airport or extend your stay in New Orleans at the Sheraton New Orleans.

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.
  • Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
30 May 18 15 Jun 18 $4,875$4,509pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 Request Quote Book Now
31 Oct 18 16 Nov 18 $4,875$4,509pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28 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.

Room Share: Guaranteed Room Share is not available on this trip.

Single Room Supplement: from $1950 p.p.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $179 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.

Past Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the Land Only price of the vacation..

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

Meal Summary

16 nights, 16 full breakfasts, 7 dinners, On-trip transport, .

Included Highlights

Hidden Treasure

  • Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure

Cultural Insight

  • Visit Old Friends Thoroughbred Retirement Farms which is raising awareness for all equines in need. Delve into the life and foot-tapping tunes of Johnny Cash with a member of his family.

Be My Guest

  • Spend the evening with Muhammad Ali's brother after a visit to the boxing great's Childhood Home Museum. Join Joe and Esther for an evening of true southern hospitality and an opportunity to explore the sights and sounds of two beautiful Natchez estates

Local Specialist

  • For sightseeing in the Smoky Mountains, in Memphis, on a reconstructed cotton plantation and in New Orleans

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, National Civil Rights Museum, Graceland, Rock 'n' Soul Museum, Oak Alley Plantation, Frogmore Plantation, Cumberland Gap, Grand Ole Oprey, Sun Studios


Trip not yet reviewed
  • 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.

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