Trip reference number: 100901
Discover a rich and innovative culture, history and heritage on this Deep South fly-drive, taking in Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Georgia. You'll begin in Atlanta, a city famed for its rich African-American heritage, distinctive neighbourhoods, eclectic restaurants and association with the Civil War drama, Gone With The Wind. It's then a scenic hop north through Chattanooga to Nashville, the home of country music, before the Natchez Trace Parkway brings you to Tupelo and Memphis, where you'll look forward to a day at Elvis' beloved home – Graceland. Finally, after exploring some of Natchez's 500 antebellum mansions, you'll head on, via Cajun Country, to New Orleans' bourbon-soaked jazz bars.
Days 1-2: UK/Atlanta
Enjoy included airport lounge access before your flight to Atlanta, the capital of the Peach Tree State. Collect your hire car and make your way to your chosen hotel, conveniently located in the downtown area of the city. The following day is free to explore Atlanta at your leisure. Visit the World of Coca Cola, enjoy the city's great restaurants and explore Underground Atlanta, a vast subterranean shopping and entertainment district . If you prefer, head out of the city and enjoy a drive along Georgia's Antebellum Trail, enjoying the scenery and neoclassical architecture that characterised the southern United States during the 19th century.
Stay: Ellis Hotel Atlanta (Superior) or Loews Atlanta (Deluxe)
Days 3-4: Nashville
Leaving Atlanta behind, you'll drive to Nashville, the home of country music and the world-famous Grand Ole Opry. This weekly country-music stage concert has played host to the likes of Hank Williams, Johnny Cash and, more recently, Dolly Parton and Garth Brooks. With two days to explore, you'll have ample time to take in the sights, including the Jack Daniels Distillery and the Country Music Hall of Fame to a host of downtown honky tonk bars.
Days 5-7: Memphis
Your journey through America's musical heartland continues, this time in Memphis, the birthplace of Rock 'n' Roll and home of the Blues. We challenge you not to dance your way around the Rock 'n' Soul Museum, and be sure to visit Elvis' former home at Graceland, the iconic Sun Studio and neon-clad Beale Street. And, for a true all-American dining experience, make sure you head to Rendezvous; it's been serving up some of the city's best smoked ribs since 1948.
Stay: Crown Plaza Memphis Downtown (Standard) The Peabody (Superior)
Days 8-9: Natchez
Travel to Natchez, the oldest permanent settlement on the banks of the Mississippi, to explore some of the region's 500 pre-civil war mansions all set to a backdrop of gorgeous river views and delicious Southern food. Take a walking tour of the Natchez's historic centre, take to the waters on a Mississippi cruise, hitch a ride on a horse drawn carriage and discover the city's sometimes tragic past at the African-American History Museum. And, at the Natchez National Historical Park, the city's most elegant antebellum homes help bring it all to life.
Stay: Monmouth Historic Inn (Standard & Superior)
Day 10: Lafayette
Today's journey brings you into Cajun country and the town of Lafayette, the unofficial capital of French Louisiana. Spend the day exploring the city, with ambling strolls along the banks of the Vermillion River and lazing afternoons exploring the flavours of the Deep South at some of Lafayette's wonderful Cajun restaurants. Then, in the evening, take the chance to experience the unique atmosphere and pulsating music of the city's dance halls.
Stay: Doubletree by Hilton Lafayette (Superior)
Days 11-13: New Orleans
Head to New Orleans where you'll drop off your hire car. Famed for its French Quarter and colourful annual Mardi Gras – when music, parades, picnics and floats turn the city into one huge party – the Big Easy is among the United States' most energising cities. You'll have three days here to take in its renowned music venues and sample menus of the tastiest Creole and Cajun cuisine.
Stay: Bienville House (Standard) Hotel Monteleone (Superior)
Days 14-15: New Orleans/UK
Make your way to New Orleans airport in time for your overnight flight to the UK, arriving on day 15. Alternatively extend your stay with a relaxing break on the beaches of Pensacola in the Florida Panhandle, followed by a tour of Montgomery, Alabama, where, in 1955, Rosa Parks left her indelible mark on the history of the United States, galvanising the Civil Rights Movement across the country.
High season: June-September
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
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