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America’s musical heartland

Take a tour of America’s unforgettable musical heritage, and celebrate the lives and music of some of the greatest country, blues, jazz and rock ’n’ roll artists who’ve ever lived - from Dolly Parton to Chuck Berry, Tina Turner and the one and only Elvis Presley.

Travel from Detroit - the birthplace of Motown - to Chicago and St. Louis before heading south into the landscape that gave the world jazz, blues and country on your way to the iconic music cities of Memphis and Nashville before returning to the shores of the Great Lakes to visit Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

Visiting Detroit's Motown Museum at Hitsville USA
Cleveland's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Visiting Elvis' beloved Graceland and Sun Studios in Memphis, Tennessee
The fascinating Henry Ford Museum
Chicago - the birthplace of the skyscraper
Nashville, world capital of Country Music
An evening on Memphis' famous Beale Street
An overnight stay in Louisville, Kentucky
Rosine, hometown of the father of bluegrass, Bill Monroe

WHAT DOES THE PRICE INCLUDE?

11 nights' room-only accommodation in a series of good hotels in Detroit (2 nights), Chicago (2), St. Louis (1), Memphis (2), Nashville (2), Louisville (1) and Cleveland (1)
One night on the aircraft on the way home
Return flights from the UK to Detroit
Coach travel and transfers throughout
The services of a friendly, experienced Tour Manager

Your Itinerary

Day One: Fly to the USA

Fly to Detroit, meet your Tour Manager and transfer to your first hotel for two nights in Detroit, the Motor City.

Day Two: Included Motown Museum and Henry Ford Museum excursions

In 1959, Berry Gordy Jr founded a music empire that swept the globe, captured hearts and minds everywhere, and collected every music industry accolade going. Today, you’ll have the opportunity to pay homage to this extraordinary legacy with a visit to the Hitsville USA Motown Museum. Here, you’ll have the chance to stand in Studio A, where countless hits (and quite possibly your favourite songs) were recorded.

You’ll also visit the vast, extraordinary Henry Ford museum to see how his dream of "opening the highways to all mankind" became a reality, as living exhibits bring to life America’s traditions of ingenuity and innovation.

Day Three: From Detroit to Chicago

Today you’ll hit the highway, and follow I-90 (America's longest interstate) through Indiana and around Lake Michigan to Chicago.

Day Four: Optional Chicago city tour

Don’t miss the chance to explore the highlights of the city where the term ’jazz’ was first coined and where the electric sound of the Chicago Blues was created as southern musicians drifted north. on today’s optional guided. Discover Chicago’s main landmarks, including Wrigley Field and Soldier Field - homes to the Cubs and Bears respectively - lakeside Grant Park and the iconic, enigmatic Bean.

You’ll also be able to take in the extraordinary view from one of the city’s skyscrapers, wander the lakefront parks and, later, perhaps take in a famous blues club, such as Buddy Guy’s famous Legends bar. The city is a foodie paradise where you'll find everything from excellent, authentic Mexican to internationally renowned fine dining as well as the city's famous deep-pan pizzas and Italian beef sandwiches.

Day Five: From Chicago to St. Louis along Route 66

Trace the course of Route 66 as we head south - via Springfield, Illinois, and its wayside celebrations of the Mother Road - to St. Louis. Birthplace of Chuck Berry, and once home to the Isley Brothers, and Ike and Tina Turner, it’s a lively city that still boasts an incredibly diverse music scene.

Day Six: From St. Louis to Memphis, Tennessee

Today’s explorations begin with a drive through St. Louis, past the Gateway Arch, the world’s tallest arch, which towers over the Mississippi and the city, before we turn south and head into Tennessee and Elvis’s beloved hometown, Memphis. Forever linked with The King, Memphis also boasts an extraordinary musical heritage that’s a match for any major city. Soak up the unique atmosphere - and the sounds - on Beale Street, the “home of the blues”, this evening as you spend the first of two nights in the Elvis-themed Guesthouse at Graceland.

Day Seven: Optional Sun Studio and Graceland excursion

Today you’ll have the chance to visit Sun Studio, the recording birthplace of legends from Elvis to BB King, and perhaps the most famous southern ’mansion’ of all: Elvis’s iconic Graceland.

Once you’ve worked up an appetite sightseeing and paying your respects to The King, why not head out to enjoy a feast of pulled pork, ribs, pit beans and mac and cheese? After all, Memphis is one of America’s barbecue capitals.

Day Eight: From Memphis to Nashville

Continuing your journey through The South, today, you’ll head to Nashville. Nashville’s place in country music history is unmatched. It is home to Studio B, the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Ryman Auditorium (the original home of the Grand Ole Opry) and the 70-year-old country music icon the Ernest Tubb Record Shop, which still stands at 417 Broadway.

Day Nine: Optional Studio B and Country Music Hall of Fame excursion

Today’s excursion explores the sites, sounds and stories of country music. See RCA Studio B, where Elvis Presley, The Everly Brothers, Roy Orbison, Dolly Parton and many others recorded, and visit the fascinating Country Music Hall of Fame. In the evening, there’s another chance to catch more live music at one of the city’s 150-plus live music venues.

Day 10: Journey to Kentucky

Rosine, Kentucky, was the birthplace of bluegrass legend and father of country music, Bill Monroe, whose ‘Blue Moon of Kentucky’ found worldwide fame as Elvis’ first B-side.

You’ll spend the night in Louisville, home of the Kentucky Derby and the iconic baseball bat the Louisville Slugger (which even has its own museum in the city), and the birthplace of Muhammad Ali.

Day 11: From Louisville to Cleveland

Today we’ll head north east, through the rolling woodlands and green fields of Ohio, back towards the Great Lakes. Late this afternoon we’ll arrive in Cleveland, on the southern shore of Lake Erie. The USA’s 52st largest city, Cleveland is also a musical melting pot that has given the world artists as varied as Bobby Womack, Tracy Chapman, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and the industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails.

Day 12: Included Rock and Roll Hall of Fame excursion

This morning brings the final highlight of your holiday – a visit to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This treasure chest of popular culture celebrates over six decades of the world’s most exciting music, and its list of inductees is a roll call of rock royalty, pop icons, record producers and the stars of hip-hop and R&B. The mix of permanent and temporary exhibits is an absolute must-see for any fan of popular music.

After a fascinating few hours here we’ll say goodbye to Cleveland and head around Lake Erie to Detroit to check in for your flight home.

Day 13: Arrive back in the UK

You’ll reach the UK this morning, after an overnight flight.

PRICES

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Music Cities Touring Hotels

The hotels used on our tours will meet the standard of a good, three-star European hotel. Rooms will have private bathrooms, telephones and TV. The vast majority will also have tea- and coffee-making facilities. There will always be a bar or restaurant on site or nearby.

Further Information

Hotel transfer times

The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately 30 minutes.

Passports and visas

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 at www.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 or Syria 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.

Foreign Office Travel Advice

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.

On your flight

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 the flight home. Soft drinks are complimentary, but some airlines will charge for alcoholic drinks.

Luggage allowance

You are permitted to take one suitcase per person on the aircraft, which should not exceed 23kg.

Smoking

Smoking is not permitted on any coach forming part of your holiday, though regular stops will be made 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. Smoking is prohibited, except in designated spaces both indoors and on deck, when on your cruise.

Tipping

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.

Special requirements

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.

Disabled access

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.

Itinerary changes

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.

Changes to your hotels

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.

Hotel rooms

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.

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