12 days

Deep South & Delta Blues

Deep South & Delta Blues

Memphis, Tennessee

Nashville, Tennessee

Mississippi River

Mississippi River Boat

Natchez Mansion

Trip rating
  • “The main reason I went on this trip was to see big cities like Atlanta, Memphis and New Orleans. The real highlight ended up being the small town of Clarksdale, Mississippi – a place I’d never heard of. Hopson’s Commissary used to be the store on an old cotton plantation where workers and slaves could purchase basic items. These days it is a bar full of antiques including an old barbershop, carousel horses, posters and hats, where you can explore and play with everything. I also tried fried green tomatoes at the Ground Zero Blues Club.” Claire Baxter, Destination Manager Central & North America.

    Why we love it

    • A journey through America’s cultural and musical heritage. Travel back in time to the beginning of country and western music and the birth of the blues.
    • Along the way we learn how these unique musical genres sprung out of America’s past and how they have influenced popular music today.
    • Starting from Atlanta, Georgia, we travel to Nashville, Memphis and New Orleans; places that resonate in the annals of music history along with names like Muddy Waters, Louis Armstrong and Elvis.
    • As well as paying homage to these icons, we also visit places that are indelibly etched into the fabric of the American story; places at the forefront of issues like slavery and civil rights.
    • On this journey you'll discover that the Deep South is indeed the heart and soul of America.

    Itinerary

    Day 1 - Atlanta - Nashville

    • Your tour will start at 7:30am at the Fairfield Inn Atlanta Airport North. As this is an early start we recommend that you book a night's pre-tour accommodation at this hotel, which can be booked at the same time you book this tour. After leaving Atlanta we take the road towards Nashville. We stop at Lynchburg and pay homage to Tennessee’s most famous drop by enjoying a tour of the Jack Daniel’s Whiskey Distillery for a serving of southern hospitality before making your way to Nashville - the undisputed capital of country music and home to the famous Wildhorse Saloon and Country Music Hall of Fame.
    • You can also participate in free line dancing lessons at the Wildhorse Saloon if you so desire.

    Day 2 - Nashville

    • 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 will be free to enjoy indulging in the vast array of music and entertainment options on offer.
    • There are varying entrance fees for the sites and shows that you may wish to visit or attend. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum offers a great introduction into the history and roots of country music. The Grand Ole Opry is the world’s longest running radio show. You can enjoy performances at the Grand Ole Opry House located 14 kilometres (9 miles) east of the city.

    Day 3-4 - Memphis

    • Your next destination is a three and a half hour drive away. Located near the Mississippi River, Memphis has a long and colourful past. Legendary forefathers such as Louis Armstrong, Muddy Waters and B.B. King helped to put Beale Street on the musical map. Located in an area that was traditionally the hub of the Black community, it is a place where you can enjoy street music as well as checking out some blues music in the blues bars in the evening.
    • A highlight of your stay in Memphis is an included excursion to ‘Graceland’, the home of Elvis Presley and the second-most visited private home in the USA after the White House! You will also have the chance to visit Sun Studio which opened in 1950 and a place where many great names have passed through.
    • Outside of music, you may also like to pay a visit to the National Civil Rights Museum located in the former Lorraine Hotel, where Martin Luther King was assassinated.

    Day 5 - Clarksdale

    • You will see the humble beginnings of ‘The King' with a visit to Elvis Presley's birthplace home in Tupelo, Mississippi. Then it's on to the Robert Johnson's legendary ‘Crossroads’ at the junction of Highway 49 and the fabled Highway 61, where he famously sold his soul to the Devil, who in exchange, tuned his guitar and gave him the talent so he could invent the blues! You will spend the night in a hotel in the cotton belt town of Clarksdale.
    • In the evening you will visit Morgan Freeman's Ground Zero Blues Club.

    Day 6 - Natchez

    • You will follow the river road south to the oldest established settlement on the Mississippi River. The original capital of the Mississippi territory, Natchez, was at the heart of the slave trade and is considered the birthplace of the Mississippi riverboat.
    • You will have time to wander around and admire the magnificent antebellum mansions that will remind you of the days when wealthy plantation owners ruled the roost in the Deep South.

    Day 7 - Lafayette

    • You will travel deep into the Mississippi Delta in Louisiana and the city of Lafayette, where live Cajun and Zydeco music fills the air of Angelle's Whiskey River Landing on the banks of the Vermilion River. Named one of the ‘top 50 bars in America’, this is a great place to enjoy a cold beer and soak up the scene at what has got to be one of America's premier live music experiences.
    • The Acadiana region downtown is where the nightlife takes place with various dance clubs and sports bars, and you can find the university crowd in the McKinley Street area.
    BW River Inn Natchez or similar

    Day 8-10 - New Orleans

    • Your next stop is that major metropolis of the Deep South – New Orleans, Louisiana, otherwise known as ‘the Big Easy’. Here you will discover an eclectic mix of European, Creole and Cajun culture manifested 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, known also as just ‘the Quarter’.
    • Founded by French traders in 1718, there are many layers of history in this city and all its many attractions combine makes it one of the most visited cities in USA – a trend that was only momentarily halted by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. You will step back in time to when life was slow and graceful and enjoy an included Mississippi riverboat dinner cruise, dining on the famous and delicious local cuisine that is directly influenced by the myriad of cultures that together make up Louisiana.
    • Your evenings in New Orleans will be easily spent as there is much to do, not least of all continuing your indulgence and appreciation of American music by enjoying some of the many live performances that take place nightly in this vibrant city.
    BW Landmark French Quarter or similar
    Dinner

    Day 11 - Birmingham

    • You will continue east into Alabama and on to the state’s largest city – Birmingham. This city was the primary site of the Civil Rights Movement and is where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. began his campaign of civil disobedience.
    • Today it is home to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and Museum next to Kelly Ingram Park, which documents the civil rights movement and its struggles during the 1950s and 1960s. You will visit this museum and reflect on the events of the not so distant past. Nearby is the historic Carver theatre, home of the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame and a place where live performances can be enjoyed.
    Drury Inn Birmingham

    Day 12 - Atlanta

    • You will make your way back to Georgia today, where your journey through the musical history of the Deep South ends in the modern metropolis of Atlanta. Your tour concludes upon arrival back at the Fairfield Inn Atlanta Airport North at approximately 5pm.
    • Optional post-tour accommodation is available at this hotel. Please inquire when booking your tour. If you are planning to fly out of Atlanta tonight, please do not book a flight that departs before 9pm (21:00 hrs).
  • What to Know

    What's Included

    • The services of a professional tour leader.
    • Sightseeing (including entrance fees where relevant): Graceland and Civil Rights Museum.
    • Transport in a customised vehicle.
    • Mississippi riverboat cruise dinner.

    Not Included

    • International flights
    • Airport transfers
    • Airport departure taxes
    • Visas
    • Insurance
    • Meals
    • Any optional tours and activities
    • Tips and items of a personal nature
  • Map Itinerary

  • Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments

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Trip at a glance

Trip Code PNPDB
Group size 5 - 13
Start City: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
End City: Atlanta, Georgia, USA

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