Follow the music on this classic fly drive itinerary through the Deep South of the USA. Experience the home of the Blues and Elvis Presley on this journey through Tennessee, Mississippi and the mighty rivers Delta before ending in Creole country; New Orleans, Louisiana. With the option of direct flights to and from both Nashville and New Orleans, this is now an easy access destination as you experience the rich music history of the area and see how things used to operate on several former cotton plantations – see the fields where it still grows and the stunning country homes at the centre of several estates. If the iconic past of this area doesn’t grab you, the fantastic food and wonderful sights surely will.
Our expert tour specialists can tailor this trip to exactly meet your needs. We make the suggestions but the decision is yours
Travel to Music City USA; Nashville, Tennessee. The option is open now to use British Airways on a direct flight from London Heathrow or travel from regional departure points via several East Coast gateways. Upon arrival, pick up your car and head to your downtown hotel for three nights.
Enjoy two full days to explore Nashville. Music has been at the heart of Nashville since the 1800s and got the nickname ‘Music City’ from Queen Victoria when one of the first musical tours set out from Nashville and performed for the Her in London. Historic venues still cover the city with the Ryman Auditorium and Grand Ole Opry among the most famous. A designated ‘Music Mile’ within the city connecting The Schermerhorn Symphony Centre with Music Row, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and the Music City Walk of Fame.
Drive distance – 212 miles
From Nashville travel west for the a pleasant, tree-lined drive to Memphis. Drive from the middle of Tennessee to the South-East corner, where the mighty Mississippi marks to stateline with Arkansas. The direct route is a picturesque easy drive, crossing the Tennessee River offering plenty of little towns to stop over for a coffee or a bite to eat. Or if you prefer, head south into Mississippi and visit Tupelo, birth place of the King – Elvis Pressley.
Take an easy two days to explore Memphis. With the Mississippi River a real focal point on the edge of downtown, this fascinating city has plenty to offer. Music is of course the heart and soul of Memphis – Home of the Blues and birth place of rock ‘n’ Roll, music history is around and on every corner. From lively Beale Street to the Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum there is plenty for music aficionados and those that just like to tap along to a good beat. Star attraction, though, in Memphis is of course Graceland. Take a morning, afternoon or full day to explore the King, Elvis Pressley’s mansion on the outskirts of the city and take a journey into his life and music.
Drive distance – 304 miles
Take a fast journey south into Mississippi via the I-55 of follow the slow meandering Highway 61, known as the River Road, following the course of the river as you head south towards the Gulf of Mexico. Pass through cotton fields, visit Civil War memorials at Vicksburg or stop off in Clarksdale for more music history – home of the blues including famous acts such as Muddy Waters and Sam Cooke. Stopover in Natchez, a pretty little town sitting right on the banks of the river with some great views.
Drive distance – 172 miles
Continue south out of Mississippi and into Louisiana, the third and final state on this tour. Leaving the river to one of its meanders for a short while, you will find it again as you pass through Baton Rouge, the state capital. Offering over 300 years of history, Baton Rouge has an amazing food scene so well worth aiming for a lunch time stop to sample the Cajun or Creole or just stroll round the city admiring the distinct style and architecture. Between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, pass through more plantation country and stop off and one of the historic estates in the region to learn about the past. Recommended options include Evergreen Plantation – famous as ‘Candie-Land’ in Tarantino’s Django Unchained and the famous Oak Alley Plantation with the drive way through the Oak trees. Arrive into New Orleans this evening and stopover in the world-renowned French Quarter.
Two whole days to explore ‘The Big Easy’. From your base in the French Quarter, right on Bourbon Street in fact, it’s an easy city to explore by foot. Enjoy the sites, aromas and tastes of a fantastic food scene in New Orleans and party the night away along Bourbon Street as the music and dancing spills out onto the streets. More sedate times are to be found strolling along the parks on the banks of the Mississippi and it’s just a few blocks to Jackson Square and famous St. Louis Cathedral. Having spent the last few days driving alongside it, why not hop onto the Natchez Steamboat and go for a leisurely cruise along the Mississippi River? There is plenty to keep you occupied and you will probably want to come back!
A final day to appreciate New Orleans. If you are taking the British Airways direct service back to London you will have most of the day to get in some final sightseeing, enjoy more of the cuisine or buy those last-minute gifts for the folk back home. Finally, head to the airport – named for famous jazz musician and New Orleans own Louis Armstrong – for an overnight flight back to the UK.
A trendy hotel that offers pampering and luxury, Loews Vanderbilt commands West End Avenue, the main artery on the city's western border, within walking distance of downtown. Variety awaits you in Nashville: you’ll find everything from world-class performing arts at the Cheekwood Museum of Art and Botanical Gardens to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Dust off your boots or shine up your opera glasses and experience the excitement Nashville has to offer, then relax in one of the 340 luxurious rooms worthy of the Country Music Capital of the World. Mason’s offers food and drink for everyone with a wide menu drawing inspiration from around the world as well as the local cuisine. The down-home glamour of Nashville is dished up in fine style at Loews Vanderbilt Hotel.
The Peabody Memphis was built in 1925 and is featured on the National Register of Historic Places. Featuring two restaurants, the Capriccio Grill Restaurant, which serves flash-seared steaks and traditional Italian favourites, and Chez Philippe, renowned for its French-Asian fusion cuisine. In the Lobby Bar, refreshing cocktails are enjoyed in comfortable sofas and chairs. Other facilities include the Peabody Athletic Club, featuring a Grecian-style indoor heated pool, spa tub and state of the art fitness equipment. There is a full-service resort-style spa in Feathers Spa at The Peabody while boutique shops in the historic hotel's lobby offer fine jewellery, art and artefacts, premium clothing and toys.
‘Restful, Relaxing & Characterful’
Monmouth Historic Inn & Gardens is on Monmouth Plantation atop Natchez’s second highest hill, just five minutes east of the historic business district with its antique shops and Mississippi River. Every room here has its own unique charm with period furnishings, antebellum-era antiques, and views of the rolling, manicured grounds. Some rooms even feature original pieces of furniture that belonged to the Quitman family, owners of the estate for nearly a century. You can dine to views of the wonderful surroundings here with both Restaurant 1818 and the Quitman Lounge featuring alfresco dining. Leisure offerings include in-room massages, nearby golf, onsite fishing or a game or two of croquet on the lawn surrounded by the hotel’s pristine gardens.
‘Adult-only, Bourbon Street, Live Jazz’
Royal Sonesta Hotel is located in the historic French Quarter on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. It features Southern design, live jazz and a vibrant nightlife. Many rooms have wrought-iron balconies. Facilities include an outdoor swimming pool and fitness centre. You’ll find Creole and Cajun food served in the restaurants, as well as a raw oyster bar and café, plus great selection of ourbons on offer and a live jazz lounge.
Flights in economy
Car hire including GPS
Accommodation as listed
Meals unless otherwise stated
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