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. Travel from the lake-side city of Chicago to Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and to Detroit - the birthplace of Motown - before heading south into the landscape that gave the world jazz, blues and country on your way to the iconic music cities of Memphis, Nashville and New Orleans.
WHAT DOES THE PRICE INCLUDE?
Day One: Fly to Chicago
Fly to Chicago and upon arrival, meet your tour manager and transfer to the hotel for a two-night stay. Rest and relax after the journey.
Day Two: Optional tour of Chicago
The Windy City is yours to savour and enjoy. Join our optional guided tour of this vibrant metropolis, and don’t miss the opportunity to view it all from one of the city’s famous skyscrapers. Wander through the lakefront park and perhaps take in a famous blues club this evening. The city has no shortage of dining options.
Day Three: Journey to Cleveland
Journey around Lake Michigan, heading across Indiana, beside Lake Erie to Cleveland – home to the world-renowned Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Check into the hotel and take the opportunity to enjoy an evening in one of the city’s music clubs.
Day Four: Included visit to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
Today you’ll visit the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, which pays homage to the world’s most exciting musical genre – rock and roll. With a roll call of rock royalty, early influencers, pioneering record producers, music-business icons and latterly stars from the worlds of hip-hop and r’n’b amongst its 300-plus inductees. With its fascinating exhibits, the museum is a must-see for any music fan. After the visit, travel back around the lake for a two-night stay in Motor City Detroit.
Day Five: Included visit to the Hitsville USA Motown Museum
This morning, visit the legendary Hitsville USA Motown Museum, where in 1959, Berry Gordy Jnr founded the all-conquering music label. Stand in the renowned Studio A, where The Supremes, Temptations, Smokey Robinson and other stars recorded their first hits, and relive the tracks of your years. This afternoon, explore the broader history of modern America at the Henry Ford museum, an eye-popping living museum of exhibits that reflect the ingenuity of America and the impact of the nation upon the globe. Return to the hotel at the end of a wonderful day.
Day Six: Journey to Ohio
Begin your journey south through Ohio, to Louisville, home of the Kentucky Derby and birthplace of the Louisville Lip – Muhammad Ali. Dependent upon your arrival time, take in some of the city’s sights before retiring to your hotel for the evening.
Day Seven: Journey to Kentucky
Journey to Rosine, Kentucky, birthplace of bluegrass legend and father of country music, Bill Monroe, whose ‘Blue Moon of Kentucky’ found worldwide fame as Elvis’ first B-side. Connections with the King continue as you head to Nashville for two nights in a city where Elvis made many recordings.
Day Eight: Arrive in Nashville
Explore delightful Nashville, site of the historic Ryman Auditorium and the Grand Ole Opry, and home to sights including the legendary Ernest Tubb Record Shop, Studio B – where countless country standards and a galaxy of Elvis’ hits were recorded – and the Country Music Hall of Fame. This evening, perhaps catch some live music in this song-writing mecca.
Day Nine: Check in at the Elvis-themed Guesthouse at Graceland
A short journey brings you to Elvis’ beloved hometown Memphis, which, in addition to links with The King, boasts a world-class musical heritage. This evening, soak up the atmosphere of colourful Beale Street and spend the first of two nights at the Elvis-themed Guesthouse at Graceland™.
Day 10: Included visits to Sun Studio and Graceland
Enjoy included visits to legendary Sun Studio as well as the most famous southern mansion of all, Graceland, home and final resting place of The King. This evening, why not try some delicious pork ribs in America’s barbecue capital?
Day 11: Included visit to the B B King Museum
Journey south on Highway 61 across the Mississippi Delta, the ‘cradle of the blues’, passing Clarksdale of ‘Crossroads’ fame and visiting Indianola’s fascinating B B King Museum, before continuing to New Orleans for a two-night stay.
Day 12: Optional tour of New Orleans
Join this morning’s optional guided tour of the Big Easy city, including the legendary French Quarter and neighbouring Treme. This afternoon, perhaps take the optional Bayou & Alligators excursion for a glimpse of the city’s surrounding countryside. Head back to the Quarter tonight, for another taste of Dixieland jazz.
Day 13: Journey into Texas
Bid farewell to the Big Easy and journey west, across the Bayou country towards Texas and Houston, for a last night’s stay. Enjoy a brief glimpse of the oil-rich city and perhaps celebrate your arrival in the Lone Star State with a Texas steak dinner.
Day 14: Included tour of Houston and visit to the NASA Johnson Space Center
A guided tour introduces Houston’s highlights, before the holiday ends with a visit to the world-famous NASA Johnson Space Center, heart of the Apollo missions. Transfer to Houston airport for your overnight flight home.
Day 15: Arrive back in the UK
Arrive back in the UK, at the end of your musical journey.
Music Cities Touring Hotels
Hotel transfer times
The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately 45 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.
You are permitted to take one suitcase per person on the aircraft, which should not exceed 23kg.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.