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Music, culture & history

Journey through America’s musical heartland, from the birthplace of Jazz and the cradle of Rock ‘n’ Roll, to the undisputed capital of Country Music.

This wonderful holiday is crammed full of highlights, and infused with the magic and mystique, sights and sounds of the South. Beginning in Georgia you'll travel through the world of WC Handy, Robert Johnson, Fats Domino, Hank Williams, Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton and – of course – Elvis Presley. Stay in New Orleans, the laid-back Big Easy. See Tupelo, The King's birthplace, and Memphis, where he made his home. And, finally, head to the guitar-pickin', banjo-playing songwriters' city, Nashville, Tennessee.

What does this price include?

  • Seven nights' room-only accommodation at a series of good-quality hotels in Montgomery (1 night), New Orleans (2), Memphis (2) and Nashville (2), plus one night on the aircraft
  • Return flights to Atlanta
  • Comfortable, air-conditioned coach travel and transfers throughout
  • Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced tour manager

Your Itinerary

  • Meet your tour manager at the airport, and transfer to your first hotel, in the Alabama state capital, Montgomery. Spend the night in the city where country legend Hank Williams was laid to rest, and where a special museum celebrates his short, spectacular career. Rest and relax after your journey, and enjoy your first evening in the South.

  • Today you’ll head south across Alabama, into Louisiana and along the Gulf Coast to the great city of New Orleans. You spend two nights in the Big Easy, but you should waste no time in soaking up the atmosphere of one of the most exuberant places on the face of the planet, perhaps joining our optional Steamboat Dinner Jazz Cruise.

  • This morning’s optional guided tour is the perfect introduction to New Orleans. See the iron balconies and covered sidewalks of the iconic French Quarter, the brightly painted wooden houses of Tremé and the three spires of St Louis Cathedral on Jackson Square.

    This afternoon, take the optional Louisiana Swampland excursion for a glimpse of the surrounding countryside and a taste of Creole life. Tonight, head back to the French Quarter to immerse yourself in the incomparable atmosphere of the place that gave the world jazz, a century ago, and where the sounds and spirits of Louis Armstrong and 'King' Oliver still live on in the many, many bars and clubs.

  • Bidding farewell to New Orleans, you’ll travel north into Mississippi, cradle of the Delta blues and home to the likes of Robert Johnson and Sonny Boy Williamson. You'll visit Tupelo, home of the tiny house in which Elvis Aaron Presley was born, in January 1935, (entry payable locally). You’ll then continue to Elvis's beloved hometown, Memphis, the bustling city on the bank of the Big Muddy. As well as being forever linked with The King, Memphis boasts a musical heritage to match any city in the world. This evening, why not soak up the atmosphere of colourful Beale Street and its near endless choice of restaurants and bars, many of which offer live music?

  • Don’t miss today's optional, full-day Memphis Sounds excursion, which will include legendary Sun Studio where rock and roll was born, in 1951, with the recording of 'Rocket 88', and where music history changed forever three years later with Elvis's live recording of Arthur Crudup's 'That's Alright, Mama'.

    From Sun Studio, you'll make your way to Elvis Presley Boulevard to pay a visit to Graceland, the King’s home, last recording studio and final resting place. After a fascinating day, enjoy another evening in Memphis, perhaps sampling the pork ribs that have led to its unofficial position as The Barbecue Capital of America.

  • There's a change of musical genres, today, as you journey east to Nashville – the country music capital of the world and your base for the next two nights. Home of the legendary Ryman Auditorium and the Grand Ole Opry, and to scores of hugely accomplished guitarists and songwriters, Nashville is every inch one of America’s foremost music cities. Why not head out, tonight, to catch some more live music?

  • Our final optional excursion will take you to legendary Studio B – home to countless country hits and a galaxy of Elvis's RCA recordings – and to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

    You'll have the afternoon free to experience still more of Nashville's musical delights.

  • Take a scenic drive south to Chattanooga (of "choo-choo" fame), a quintessential southern trading town beautifully set on the Tennessee River, before heading to Atlanta airport to check in for your flight back to the UK.

  • Arrive home, this morning, after an overnight flight and at the end of a wonderful journey through America's musical heritage.

Prices

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Hotels

Nashville and New Orleans Touring Hotels

You will be staying in a series of comfortable hotels that are conveniently located for your tour itinerary.

Further Information

  • The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately two hours.

  • When travelling to the USA, British citizens require passports with an integrated chip (shown on the front by a small rectangular symbol beneath the word PASSPORT), valid beyond the return date from the USA. Visas are not normally required for entry, but visitors must apply for an ESTA online with US Immigration at least 72 hours before departure atwww.cbp.gov/esta. The current charge is $14 for British Citizens. British subjects and anyone who has a criminal record or has ever been arrested should consult the US Embassy as a visa may be required. Note too that if you have visited Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Somalia or Yemen since March 2011, or have dual nationality with any of these countries, you do require a US visa and cannot travel on the Visa Waiver Program.

  • Visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out the latest Foreign And Commonwealth Office travel advice for your holiday destination, as well as information about passports and visas.

  • Gratuities are a way of life in North America, and it is generally accepted that they form part of a person's earnings. The customary gratuity for a coach driver or Tour Manager is about $5 per person per day. It is normal to tip 15-20 per cent of the bill for a taxi or in a restaurant, and to leave a dollar or so per drink in a bar.
  • Smoking is not permitted on any coach forming part of your holiday; regular stops will be made though for your comfort en route. The majority of hotels in North America are non-smoking throughout including in all bedrooms. In general smoking outside is acceptable, but do look out for signs prohibiting this close to public entrances or bus stops.
  • All outbound flights depart and arrive on the same day. All return flights leave in the evening and land in the UK the next day. On-board meals will usually include lunch and a snack on outward flights, and dinner and breakfast on flight home. Soft drinks are complimentary, but some airlines will charge for alcoholic drinks.
  • You are permitted to take one suitcase per person on the aircraft, which should not exceed 23kg.
  • If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.
  • The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
  • Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.
  • Should circumstances require, we reserve the right to accommodate you in alternative hotels, of a similar standard, nearby. Full details of your hotels will be sent with your Final Travel Documents.
  • Standard hotel rooms in North America will contain one or two double- or queen-sized beds, and it is not possible to add extra beds to the room. Parties consisting of more than two travellers, but who have only booked one room, will be expected to make use of the two beds provided. If this is a concern, you may wish to consider booking more than one room for your group.
  • Carnival in New Orleans – 18 Feb 2020 and 16 Feb 2021

    See the city pre-Mardi Gras, as the floats are readied for the annual celebration and the atmosphere turns truly electric.

    Christmas Lights in Memphis – 26 Nov 2019, 24 Nov 2020, 23 & 27 Nov 2021

    See Graceland lit and decorated for Christmas, Elvis style, inside and out, and kick off the holiday season in style and with a spot of Stateside Christmas shopping.

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