Explore some of the USA’s most vibrant and colourful destinations on this self drive journey through the Deep South.
From country tones in Nashville to blues in Memphis and soul in New Orleans – you’ll enjoy the ever-changing soundtrack as you move to the beat of the South. Breathe in the atmosphere, taste the delicious fusion cuisines and let the rhythm free your soul.
Some of the highlights included are:
- Head deep underground in Bowling Green’s Mammoth Cave
- Feel the country music beats in Nashville and perhaps take in a live show
- Explore Memphis, birthplace of rock and roll and hometown of Elvis Presley
- Soak up the fascinating history, lively music and sizzling Creole food in New Orleans
- Visit South Louisiana’s picturesque wetlands, a fascinating swamp area filled with wildlife
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- International flights
- 15 nights in 4-4.5* hotels & hand-picked local gems
- 15 days car hire
- Swamp & Bayou tour
- Graceland Tour
Need to know+
- Arrives: Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport
- Time difference: GMT-4
- Visa requirements: British passport holders require an electronic travel authorisation (ESTA), available online
- Language: English
- Currency: US dollar (USD)
- Flying time from UK: around 9 hours direct
- Plug type: 2 flat pins
- Voltage: 120V
- A one-way fee applies for the car hire in this Journey; please ask us for details
Explore Louisville, the largest city in Kentucky and home to the annual Kentucky Derby horse race, held in late April or early May. Discover the city’s treasure trove of Victorian architecture, and don’t miss the Muhammad Ali Center, a non-profit museum telling the story of the acclaimed boxer, and including plenty of boxing memorabilia. This city’s cool bar and restaurant scene is definitely worth sampling too – feast on the world-famous fried chicken or sip on a bourbon or two in a hip bar.
Continue to Bowling Green in the heart of Caves and Lakes region. Explore the natural wonders of this outdoor playground with a visit to Mammoth Cave National Park, home to the world’s largest cave system and a World Heritage site. Head deep underground to discover 350 million-year-old rocks, or stay above ground for hiking, riding and kayaking among the beautiful scenery. Back in town, make time for the National Corvette Museum, a popular stop on Route 66.
Drive north through Chattanooga to the music capital of Nashville, a site of pilgrimage for aspiring songwriters and country music fans the world over. Visit the largest music museum on the planet, the Country Music Hall of Fame, which features all of your favourite country music legends. Listen to the beat of the city’s soundtrack and enjoy a live performance at the iconic Grand Ole Opry. Otherwise perhaps try a cosy honky-tonk bar, the more grand setting of symphony hall or the famous Bluebird Café. Whatever your music tastes, be sure to soak up Nashville’s rich musical heritage, feel the country rhythm and devour the sizzling southern soul food.
Head to Memphis, the musical heart of the USA and home of the blues, gospel music and birthplace of rock‘n’roll. The city oozes old-world charm, its faded streets lined with Civil War-era buildings, vintage stores, fabulous restaurants, as well as some diverting museums. Follow in Elvis’ footsteps and enjoy live music in Beale Street or perhaps tour the kitsch home of the man himself at Graceland. Music lovers flock here to tuck into tasty barbecued food and tap along to the music. Of course there’s the Elvis connection, but there’s so much more to this riverside town.
Follow in the footsteps of the southern belles and Civil War soldiers in Natchez, nestled on the banks of the Mississippi River, and admire the grand antebellum mansions. Many of the town’s heritage buildings were spared damage during the American Civil War, and still remain standing today. Perhaps take a look at Longwood, the USA’s largest octagonal house. Once you’ve soaked up the history, try the delicious local speciality of crispy fried chicken with coleslaw and freshly baked cornbread while watching the sunset over the river.
Continue on to White Castle, where you’ll stay on the historic Nottoway Plantation, a beautiful Greek revival mansion with lavish interiors, built in 1859. Tour the house and learn its fascinating history, and how sugar cane farming and slavery has shaped its story. Admire the fine interior décor where chandeliers and gold trim do not look out of place, and later on tuck into tasty Cajun and Creole cuisine including fried green tomatoes with Louisiana blue crab or St Louis Pork ribs – delicious!
Complete your Journey in the soulful city of New Orleans, a cultural mishmash of food and music bursting with history. Lively New Orleans oozes character and charm; it’s a fascinating city steeped in history with influences from all over the world. The birthplace of jazz has music at its heart and is guaranteed to show you a good time. So fill your bowl with steaming jambalaya, head to a late-night jazz club and meander through historic streets. While you’re here, visit South Louisiana’s wetlands, an important ecosystem filled with pristine lakes, marshes and bayous with the occasional lurking alligator.
Discover the history of Alabama in Mobile, where you can head to the Battleship Memorial park to tour the World War II battleship the USS Alabama and the USS Drum submarine from the same era. Check out the neoclassical architecture of the 19th century Bragg-Mitchell Mansion, one of the most photographed buildings in the city. When not swotting up on your history, be sure to try the sizzling southern food and fresh Gulf shrimp in one of the many restaurants.
Learn more about the Civil Rights Movement in Montgomery, home to the Civil Rights Memorial and the Rosa Parks Library and Museum, named after the pioneering Civil Rights activist who refused to give up her seat to a white man on a bus in 1955. For something a bit different, experience life in the 19th century at Old Alabama Town, a collection of historic homes that have been saved from demolition and restored to their former glory.
Depart Montgomery and return to the UK
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