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Deep South and Delta Blues

Trace the roots of American music in the Deep South and experience the unique cultural landscape and fascinating history that gave birth to the blues, jazz, country and rock 'n' roll. Days move a little slower in the South, as you pass the time with a sweet tea or a mint julep, taking in the sights and sounds of Music Row in Nashville, Beale Street in Memphis and Bourbon Street in New Orleans. Take in the heritage properties of Natchez and Houmas House, and savour authentic Southern hospitality and cuisine on your Deep South holiday as you float down the Mississippi on an included river boat cruise.

North America
  • Duration: 12 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of:
  • Physical rating: Average
  • Accommodation standard:   Moderate%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID: PDB/208634
  • Starts: Atlanta, United States
  • Finishes: Atlanta, United States
  • Age requirement: 18 +
You will Visit
  • Atlanta
  • Birmingham
  • New Orleans
  • Natchez
  • Clarksdale
  • Memphis
  • Nashville

Itinerary

01

Day 1: Atlanta

Welcome to Atlanta and the Southern state of Georgia for the start of your Deep South USA tour. The day is free for you to explore before an evening welcome meeting at 18:00 hrs in your hotel. A self-guided walking tour of downtown Atlanta is highly recommended and if you fancy a bite of Southern cuisine, stop by Empire State South.

Meals Included: Meals paid locally

02

Day 2: Birmingham

Head west into Alabama and to the state's largest city - Birmingham. This city was the primary site of the Civil Rights Movement and where Dr Martin Luther King Jr. began his campaign of civil disobedience. Make a visit to the Civil Rights Institute for an excellent introduction to the region's volatile history before setting off on your journey through the South.

Meals Included: Breakfast included (other meals paid locally)

Optional Activities:

  • Civil Rights Institute US$15

03

Day 3-5: New Orleans

Welcome to the cultural melting pot of the Deep South, New Orleans. Otherwise known as the 'Big Easy', the eclectic mix of European, Creole and Cajun culture manifests in every aspect of the architecture, cuisine and musical scene. Take in the sights and sounds of Bourbon Street, relax in the Garden District and absorb the ambience of the French Quarter. Founded by French traders in 1718, there are many layers of history in this city, and all its many attractions combined make it one of the most visited cities in the USA.Step back in time to when life was gracefully slow and enjoy an included Mississippi riverboat dinner cruise, dining on a delicious local cuisine buffet that is directly influenced by the myriad of cultures that together make up Louisiana. Enjoy a visit to Jean Lafitte Nature Preserve for a guided walk around the swamp boardwalks. Your evenings in New Orleans will be easily spent as there is much to do, not least of all enjoying some of the many live music performances that take place nightly in this vibrant city. This includes the famous Preservation Hall, where top-drawer jazz musicians play every evening to a small audience in an intimate space - but be prepared to queue!

Meals Included: Breakfast (x3) and 1 dinner included

Optional Activities:

  • Jazz clubs US$10-$20
  • Preservation Hall US$15-$20
  • Scandalous Cocktail tour US$25
  • Mardi Gras World US$20
  • Voodoo & Graveyard tour US$20-$40
  • Alligator swamp tour US$23-$40

04

Day 6: Houmas House Plantation and Gardens - Natchez

This morning you visit Houmas House Plantation and Gardens. This antebellum estate was completed in 1828 and with 38 lush acres of gardens, ponds and a majestic live oak alley, Houmas House makes for a wonderful stop. Next, you follow the river road north to the very first established settlement on the Mississippi River. The original capital of the Mississippi Territory, Natchez, was at the heart of the slave trade and is the birthplace of the Mississippi riverboat. Why not go on a self-guided walking tour through the streets of Natchez' historic district with over 50 antebellum homes and historic churches. Worthy of a visit is the 'Under the Hill' area made famous by Mark Twain, or explore one of the most interesting cemeteries in the South.

Meals Included: Breakfast included (other meals paid locally)

Optional Activities:

  • Antebellum mansions US$12-$25
  • Elvis Birthplace Museum US$12

05

Day 7: Clarksdale

Next up is Clarksdale and the Hopson Plantation, which is the former home of legendary blues pianist Pinetop Perkins. It is also where they tested the International Harvester automated cotton picker. Your leader will give you some history including the system of sharecropping and the evolution of the cotton industry. Clarksdale is also home to the infamous 'Crossroads', where legend has it that blues musician Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil. Within the town itself you'll find the Delta Blues Museum, a literal blues shrine of artefacts and memorabilia, as well as actor Morgan Freeman's Ground Zero Blues Club. Red's is definitely worth a visit for live music - an authentic 'juke joint' where you'll be transported to the real heart of the South!

Meals Included: 1 breakfast included, other meals paid locally

Optional Activities:

  • Delta Blues Museum US$10
  • Ground Zero Blues Club US$8

06

Day 8-9: Memphis

Cross into Tennessee. Located near the Mississippi River, Memphis has a long and colourful past. Legendary forefathers such as Louis Armstrong, Muddy Waters and the late B.B. King helped to put Beale Street on the musical map. A highlight of your stay in Memphis is an included excursion to Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley, who influenced country, blues and rock 'n' roll music.You also have the chance to visit Sun Studio which opened in 1950 and is a place where many great names have passed through, from Howlin' Wolf to Johnny Cash; or the Gibson guitar factory to completely immerse yourself in the fascinating musical heritage of this city. Outside of music, the National Civil Rights Museum located in the former Lorraine Hotel, at the site where Martin Luther King was assassinated, is well worth a visit.

Meals Included: Breakfast (x2) included (other meals paid locally)

Optional Activities:

  • Sun Studio US$14
  • Gibson guitar factory US$10
  • Civil Rights Museum US$19
  • Stax Museum of American Soul Music US$12

07

Day 10-11: Nashville

Make your way to Nashville - the undisputed capital of country music. Home to the Country Music Hall of Fame and the famous Wildhorse Saloon, Nashville offers the perfect opportunity to try some line dancing (select nights only). Broadway is lined with honky-tonks and intimate live music venues playing not only country, but all genres of music.As well as its indelible country music links, Nashville is also the capital of Tennessee and the state's second largest city after Memphis. Situated on the banks of the Cumberland River it was established as a major river port by settlers in 1779. Your time in Nashville is free for you to indulge in your choice of the many music and entertainment options available (entrance fees apply). The Grand Ole Opry is the world's longest running radio show and a recommended highlight. You can enjoy performances at the famous Grand Ole Opry House located 24 km east of the city. Book before you arrive to avoid missing out as these shows are popular!

Meals Included: Breakfast (x2) included (other meals paid locally)

Optional Activities:

  • Grand Ole Opry US$32-$90
  • Ryman Auditorium tour US$20-$30
  • Country Music Hall of Fame US$25-$40
  • Johnny Cash Museum US$19

08

Day 12: Nashville - Atlanta

Make your way towards Atlanta, where you have the option of stopping in Lynchburg at the Jack Daniel’s distillery, to pay homage with an optional sampling. Your Deep South USA tour ends in the modern-day metropolis of Atlanta, known as the New York of the South.This tour ends at our gateway hotel at approximately 18:00 hrs. We recommend booking post-tour accommodation if time allows. If you are planning to fly tonight, please do not book a flight that departs before 22:00 hrs.

Meals Included: Breakfast included

Optional Activities:

  • Jack Daniel's Whiskey Distillery US$17-$22

Inclusions:
  • Services of a professional tour leader
  • All transportation by private vehicle
  • Free Wi-Fi in your vehicle (Maximum 5 users at one time)
  • Accommodation: Hotel, Hotel: 11
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Tour Highlights:
  • Visit Houmas House Plantation and Gardens
  • Mississippi riverboat dinner cruise
  • Two nights in Memphis plus Elvis' Graceland Mansion and Beale Street nightlife
  • Three nights in New Orleans and Bourbon Street's colourful music scene
  • Two nights in Nashville - the country music capital
  • Cajun culture and cuisine
  • Take the Mississippi River Road from Natchez
  • Sell your soul at the legendary 'Crossroads'