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Deep South and Delta Blues

11 Nights Small Group Tour from €3,069 per Person Including Flights

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Overview

This tour will bring you through many of the highlights of the Deep South, as well as provide an in-depth look at its unique culture and history that birthed the blues, jazz, country and rock ‘n’ roll. Enjoy the relaxed, laid-back atmosphere of the South, sipping sweet tea or mint juleps in between exploring New Orleans’ Bourbon Street and cruising through the river swamplands, spotting alligators that lie beneath the graceful cypress trees. Wander through magnificent plantations, walk in the steps of Elvis Presley at Graceland and visit iconic Sun Studio, where his first ever recordings were made.

Highlights

  • Embark on an elegant Mississippi riverboat dinner cruise, marvel at the grand mansions in the French Quarter, and experience the renowned music scene, including venues where greats like Fats Domino and Wynton Marsalis got their start in New Orleans
  • Walk through the alluring live Oak Alley at Houmas House Plantation and Gardens and visit the former home of legendary blues pianist Pinetop Perkins
  • Explore Natchez, the first established settlement on the Mississippi River, with its streets lined with over 50 antebellum homes, and if you dare, head to the historic Natchez City Cemetery after dark to see the “Turning Angel,” that looks as if she’s watching people as they pass
  • Visit Elvis Presley’s famous home, Graceland, and the iconic Sun Studio in Memphis, and catch a show at the world’s longest running radio show, the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville

Details

Day 1

Atlanta

Your exploration of the Deep South begins in the city of Atlanta, which has become known as the “vanguard of the New South” balancing southern charms with modern delights. Be sure to take a self-guided walking tour of downtown before it’s time to leave, and sample some of its delectable southern cuisine at Empire State South.

1 night Atlanta, GA

Day 2

Atlanta - Birmingham, Alabama

Your next stop is in Alabama. Birmingham, the state’s largest city, was the focus of the Civil Rights Movement, and the very place where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. started his campaign of civil disobedience. The best place to learn about the struggles of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and ‘60s, and the region’s volatile history, is the Civil Rights Institute, where you’ll enjoy a self-guided, multi-media experience and even join the “walk to freedom.”

1 night Birmingham, AL

Day 3, 4 & 5

Birmingham - New Orleans

Venture on to the “Big Easy,” renowned for its ethnic diversity with its eclectic blend of Creole, Cajun and European cultures that can be found in its music, architecture and cuisine. First on the agenda is a stroll down legendary Bourbon Street in the heart of New Orleans, the French Quarter. There are few better places in all of America to experience history than these cobblestone streets, where you you’ll marvel at the French colonial townhouses draped in ivy, the Creole cottages built on stilts and the magnificent antebellum mansions with their balconies laced with detailed ironwork. Be sure to stop for a photo-op at the Spanish Colonial- and Renaissance-style St. Louis Cathedral.

Afterward, take a trip back in time on an elegant Mississippi riverboat dinner cruise, featuring the delectable flavours of the local fare that reflects the multitude of diverse cultures that make up this city. After dark, things really get hopping, so take the opportunity to explore New Orleans’ renowned music scene, influenced by greats like Fats Domino and Louis Armstrong, along with more recent names such as Wynton Marsalis and Harry Connick, Jr. With live music every night of the week your evenings are sure to be full, and incredibly entertaining. The famed Preservation Hall is a must, but get in line early and prepare for a wait, as this hotspot is where some of the top jazz artists perform for small audiences in an intimate venue every night.

With three days in this incredible city, you can expect to enjoy some free time for exploring the surrounding area – be sure to squeeze in a boat tour of the wild river swamplands, where you’ll glide beneath the lovely cypress trees, searching for wildlife like alligators, swamp deer and graceful, long-legged waterfowl.

3 nights New Orleans, LA

Day 6

New Orleans - Natchez

Journeying toward Mississippi, you’ll make a stop at the Houmas House Plantation and Gardens in Darrow, Louisiana first. This grand 1828 antebellum estate allows visitors to experience the life of a wealth Sugar Baron in the 19th century, and features an alluring live oak alley, along with acres and acres of lush landscape, including ponds and gardens. Following the river road, you’ll reach your destination for the night, Natchez, the birthplace of the Mississippi riverboat. This was the Mississippi River’s very first established settlement, and the original capital of the Mississippi Territory, as well as the centre of the slave trade. Take a self-guided tour through the historic district, with its streets lined with countless antebellum homes and a number of historic churches. The “Under the Hill” area that was made famous by American writer Mark Twain, is a must-visit. You may also want to wander through some of the most unusual and interesting tombstones and graves in the historic Natchez City Cemetery – if you go after dark, you can see the “Turning Angel,” which seems to watch people as they pass by at night.

1 night, Natchez, MS

Day 7

Natchez - Clarksdale, Mississippi

Today you’ll visit Clarksdale and the Hopson Plantation, the former home of a great music legend, blues pianist Pinetop Perkins, as well as the town where the International Harvester automated cotton picker was first tested. You’ll learn about the history behind it from your guide, including the system of sharecropping and the evolution of the cotton industry, which not only shaped the region, but the lives of many that live here.

Clarksdale is also well-known as the home of the infamous “Crossroads,” the very spot where legend tells that blues musician Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil. You’ll also want to visit the Delta Blues Museum to explore this blues shrine of artefacts and memorabilia, and experience some of the town’s nightlife, like actor Morgan Freeman’s Ground Zero Blues Club or Red’s, a juke joint offering live music that will instantly transport you to the true soul of the South.

1 night, Clarksdale, MS

Day 8 & 9

Clarksdale - Memphis

If you’re a fan of “The King,” one of the biggest influences on country, blues and rock, you’ll be excited to see his humble beginnings, with a visit to Elvis Presley’s birthplace in Tupelo, just before crossing over the state border into Tennessee. Tour the "Walk of Life, a concrete circle that winds around Elvis’ childhood home, and wander through the museum that hosts some of the personal collections of one his longtime friends, Janelle McComb.

Once in Memphis, your final stop for the next two nights, you’ll be able to explore more of Elvis’ life with a visit to Graceland, the mansion he lived in during his later years, walking through his legendary jungle room, viewing his massive record collection, the pink Cadillac, and much more. You’ll even have the chance to visit iconic Sun Studio, where countless blues, rock 'n' roll, and rockabilly recordings were made, including the first recordings made by Elvis and Johnny Cash. Memphis isn’t all about music, however, as it has a rich history too. One of the top sites to experience is the National Civil Rights Museum, housed in the former Lorraine Hotel where Martin Luther King was assassinated.

2 nights, Memphis, TN

Day 10 & 11

Memphis - Nashville

Your exploration of music continues in Nashville, the Country Music Capital and the home of the Country Music Hall of Fame. Get a taste by heading to the famous Wildhorse Saloon, where you can even join in on the line dancing. Nashville isn’t just about country, among the many honky-tonks and intimate live music clubs and bars, are plenty of classic rock n’ roll, indie rock and several hip-hop venues too that you may want to experience.

After a night out on the town, enjoy a relaxing day visiting attractions like the historic Ryman Auditorium or The Hermitage, the former home of U.S. President Andrew Jackson which is filled with his family's personal possessions and even includes the furniture that they personally purchased. A visit to the Grand Ole Opry, the world’s longest running radio show, is a must, just be sure to book ahead as it’s also one of the most popular things to do in town.

2 nights, Nashville, TN

Day 12

Nashville - Atlanta

It’s time to make your way back to Atlanta, but the fun doesn’t have to end just yet. You’ll have the option to stop in Lynchburg for a tour of Jack Daniels’ Whiskey Distillery and a taste of the state’s most famous drink before this adventure comes to an end.

The weather information shown below refers to the first stop on the tour, call us and speak to one of our travel experts for the most up-to-date forecasts and weather details for your tour.

TODAY 26ºC
THU 27ºC
FRI 27ºC
SAT 28ºC
SUN 26ºC
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Average Temperature (Celsius) Average Rainfall (Inches)
12ºC
14ºC
19ºC
23ºC
27ºC
30ºC
31ºC
32ºC
28ºC
23ºC
18ºC
13ºC
4
4
5
3
4
4
7
6
5
3
4
4

Average Temperature (Celsius) Average Rainfall (Inches)

Jan
12ºC
4
Feb
14ºC
4
Mar
19ºC
5
Apr
23ºC
3
May
27ºC
4
Jun
30ºC
4
Jul
31ºC
7
Aug
32ºC
6
Sep
28ºC
5
Oct
23ºC
3
Nov
18ºC
4
Dec
13ºC
4

Book today

Talk to our travel experts for more information and to book or tailor-make your holiday.

Tralee 066 7164410

Dublin 01 6649900

9am - 9pm Mon - Sun

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