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Tastes and Sounds of the South 2015

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Bourbon Street in New Orleans, USANew Orleans skyline, USAThe streets of New Orleans, USAThe national flag of the United States of America
Bourbon Street in New Orleans, USA
New Orleans skyline, USA
The streets of New Orleans, USA
The national flag of the United States of America
  • Duration: 10 Days
  • Rating: Read Reviews
  • Brochure: USA and Canada 2015
  • Style: At Leisure
  • Description: This trip gives you time to enjoy the South’s music and food – from Elvis’s Graceland to Creole cooking in New Orleans and grand antebellum hospitality in Natchez. It’s Insider moments like… experiencing Southern hospitality at two period homes in one amazing evening. Joe Stone plays the piano for you as you sip cocktails, while Esther Carpenter – once listed among America’s top 20 female chefs – invites you to dinner. It’s getting to know the home of Rock n’ Roll with our passionate Memphis expert, and learning about the city’s role in the civil rights movement. And it’s learning about ‘white gold’ and the stark contrasts between life on a modern and pre-Civil War cotton plantation.

Guest Experiences

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Trip Itinerary

  • Day 1


    Welcome to Music City! Get settled at your hotel and enjoy some time on your own this afternoon to explore. At 6 p.m., gather at the hotel with your Travel Director and fellow travelling companions for a Welcome Reception at a downtown honky-tonk with a whiskey and moonshine tasting.

    Meal(s): (Welcome Reception)

    Hotel: Renaissance Nashville Hotel

    Hotels are subject to change.
  • Day 2


    Start the morning with a sightseeing tour of Nashville! No visit to Nashville is complete without a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. See memorabilia from stars such as Hank Williams, Loretta Lynn and Garth Brooks as you explore this shrine to country music. Gain A Unique Insight into the life and music of Johnny Cash during a private performance and discussion with Johnny and June’s son, John Carter Cash. John (or a member of his family) entertains with his own original music, as well as a few numbers made famous by his legendary family. Ask your own questions about the legend at a meet and greet. Wrap up your exploration of musical history with a tour of RCA’s Studio B, one of the world’s most successful recording studios where musicians such as Elvis Presley recorded their iconic sounds. Explore the world’s country music capital, starting with Music Row, the heart of Nashville’s entertainment industry, and home to record labels, radio stations and recording studios. Tonight, enjoy a Regional Meal.

    Meal(s): (Full Breakfast / Regional Meal)

  • Day 3


    The day is yours to discover Nashville as you wish. Perhaps visit the famous Ryman Auditorium or enjoy some live music at a honky tonk on Broadway street. This evening, head to the Grand Ole Opry, home to America’s longest-running live radio program. Dinner is on your own tonight to venture out and sample delicious Southern cuisine.

    Meal(s): (Full Breakfast)

  • Day 4


    This morning, hit the highway to Memphis along the Mississippi Delta. Upon arrival in Memphis, visit the National Civil Rights Museum before joining a A Local Expert who shares stories about Beale Street and Sun Studios, the Birthplace of Rock N’ Roll. See the hotel where Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated and savour the late-afternoon light on the Big Muddy. Enjoy the evening at leisure to explore or embark on a culinary adventure and enjoy a delectable meal at one of Memphis’ many restaurants.

    Meal(s): (Full Breakfast)

    Hotel: Sheraton Memphis Downtown

    Hotels are subject to change.
  • Day 5


    Graceland is as much an object of pilgrimage as a museum dedicated to the late, great Elvis Presley. From the flowers and painted signs outside the gates, to the tear-streaked cheeks of fans inside, see the effect that Elvis and his music had on popular American culture. Marvel at the Jungle Room, the private jets, custom cars and walls full of gold and platinum records. Stroll the grounds and you just might find yourself humming "Blue Suede Shoes;" if so, don't worry, there's leisure time this afternoon to pick up a pair before joining your travelling companions for Your Choice Dining.

    Meal(s): (Full Breakfast / Your Choice Dining)

  • Day 6


    This morning, enjoy an exclusive tour of the Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum before it opens to the rest of the public. Then depart for Natchez. Founded by the French in 1716, Natchez was home to a flowering antebellum culture. Take in more of the nation’s Southern history in Natchez and see the gracious homes overlooking the river. Tonight, enjoy an incredible evening highlighting Southern hospitality at a A Be My Guest dinner. Explore the private residence of Joe Stone, whose home, built in the 1850s, contains a gallery collection of rare maps, a quaint billiards hall, and exquisite ornamental glasswork. Joe performs on his 1903 Steinway grand piano and delves into the meaning and inspiration behind each piece of music as you enjoy a cocktail. Later, head over to the residence of Esther Carpenter, built in 1804, to hear the stories, past and present, about this historic estate in Natchez. Esther, a former Four Seasons Chef and once named one of the Top 20 women chef’s in America by USA Today, hosts a four-course dinner with wine featuring a true taste of Natchez and the Deep South.

    Meal(s): (Full Breakfast / Be My Guest Dining)

    Hotel: Natchez Eola Hotel

    Hotels are subject to change.
  • Day 7


    From Natchez, travel to the countryside to marvel at Oak Alley Plantation. This classic antebellum home sits on the Mississippi River and amazes visitors with its quarter mile canopy of 300-year-old live oak trees. In this grand dame of Southern mansions, learn about the lives of the plantation owners. Late this afternoon, arrive in New Orleans. This evening, visit the New Orleans School of Cooking located in the heart of the French Quarter. Discover the flair of Creole cuisine during a fun cooking class before enjoying your culinary creations during a Regional Meal.

    Meal(s): (Full Breakfast / Regional Meal)

    Hotel: New Orleans Marriott

    Hotels are subject to change.
  • Day 8


    Delight in a hearty New Orleans breakfast and coffee before today's exploration of the Crescent City. Join a Small Group Sightseeing tour with a Local Expert and see the atmospheric French Quarter and Jackson Square, originally called Place d'Armes when it was the centre of the old city, and tour one of the city's above ground cemeteries. Then it's out to the lovely Garden District, home to some of the best preserved Southern mansions in the United States. This afternoon, enjoy some time on your own: grab a po' boy or some fresh beignets, stroll down Bourbon Street or hit the lively waterfront area.

    Meal(s): (Full Breakfast)

  • Day 9


    Enjoy a leisurely day to explore this vibrant city. If you're feeling adventurous, head out to the bayou for a guided tour deep into the swamps. Look out for alligators! Or stay downtown and stroll Magazine Street, visit Marie Laveau's Historic Voodoo Museum or catch a little jazz piano while cooling off and watching the world go by. This evening, join your Travel Director and travelling companions for a Farewell Dinner at the famed Court of the Two Sisters.

    Meal(s): (Full Breakfast / Farewell Dinner)

  • Day 10


    Extend your stay at the New Orleans Marriott or say ‘Au Revoir' to the Big Easy this morning with a complimentary transfer provided to New Orleans International Airport.

    Meal(s): (Full Breakfast)

What's Included

Insider Experiences

  • Be My Guest Savour a Southern style reception and dinner at a private Natchez Mansion.
  • Hidden Treasure Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure experience, unique to your itinerary, courtesy of your expert Travel Director.
  • Local Speciality Visit an authentic cotton plantation.
  • Local Expert For included sightseeing in Memphis and New Orleans.
  • Unique Insight Meet a member of Johnny Cash's family and learn about his life and music. 

Sightseeing Highlights

  • NashvilleExplore the city; enjoy a special meeting with a member of Johnny Cash's family; visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and take a tour of Studio B; attend a live recording at the Grand Ole Opry.
  • MemphisExplore the "Birthplace of Rock ‘n' Roll"; enjoy a private tour of the Rock and Soul Museum.
  • GracelandVisit Elvis Presley's estate, collections and gravesite.
  • NatchezTour the city and visit a historic antebellum mansion.
  • Oak AlleyVisit this historic plantation and tour the beautiful mansion.
  • Frogmore PlantationLearn about past and present cotton production.
  • New OrleansStroll through the historic French Quarter and Garden District; visit an above-ground cemetery.


  • 9 full breakfasts
  • 6 evening meals:
    • Welcome Reception with light appetisers and drinks with your Travel Director in Nashville
    • Your Choice Dining in Memphis
    • Be My Guest dinner with wine in Natchez
    • Two Regional Meals
    • Farewell Dinner with wine in New Orleans

Travel Highlights

  • Travel by luxury air-conditioned coach with reclining seats and an on-board restroom.
  • First Class hotel accommodation featuring twin rooms and private facilities.
  • Audio Headsets provided throughout your trip to enhance your included sightseeing experiences.
  • Complimentary keepsake photo and map.
  • The services of a professional Travel Director throughout your journey.
  • All hotel service charges and tips, baggage handling fees and local taxes included.
  • Airport transfers are provided on the first and last day of your guided trip
  • 9 nights First Class accommodation

Airport Transfers

  • For full details on transfers, please click here.
  • These prices are LAND-ONLY and are correct at the time of the website going live, however prices are subject to confirmation at the time
    of booking.
  • All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however prices and itineraries are subject to change, please confirm all details and final cost at time of booking.
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  • Hotels are subject to change.
  • * For single travellers purchasing the twin-share option, please note that there is a no smoking policy in all shared rooms. Solo travel is not accepted on guided Family Experiences holidays unless travelling as part of a family group. 
  • ^Twin-share option not available for trips to South America., Costa Rica, Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii or for any holiday & cruise combination, or in Asia and Eastern Mediterranean except Highlights of Turkey (without cruise) & Best of Turkey.

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