A Southern Sojourn

  • Chattanooga + 7 more
  • Self Drive Ideas
  • 14 Days
from  £1,325pp
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Introduction

A 14 day Deep South Fly-drive through the best of Georgia, Tennessee, Louisiana and Alabama. The Southern States today are a blend of lively, colourful and fun cities.

A Free Personalised Road Book is included as standard with our Self Drive itineraries. 

 

Please note: – This is a suggested itinerary only and is intended to give an overview of what is possible. All of our holiday itineraries are fully customisable and can be tailor-made to suit your own individual requirements.  If you would like to start in a different destination, use specific hotel accommodation, include an extra night here, a side-trip there and/or include tickets to an event please let your Discover North America travel specialist know. They’ll also book you the best value flights to ensure a seamless holiday experience.

 

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Itinerary

Day 1 Atlanta

Arrive Atlanta and transfer to your hotel.

This evening, one may want to visit Underground Atlanta. Located in the heart of downtown, this six block area was once the city center. During the 1920’s, construction of the concrete “viaducts” elevated the street system one level, thus giving birth to what is now Underground Atlanta. Today it is bustling with activity. Take a guided history tour or enjoy a variety of clubs and restaurants..

Day 2 Atlanta

Spend the day exploring Atlanta from its place in the Civil Rights movement to the iconic attractions of today.
Drive to the birthplace of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the Sweet Auburn district to see the restored King birth home, the Ebenezer Baptist Church where three generations of the King family preached, and Dr. King’s burial site. Or visit the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum, next to The Carter Center. The library includes a replica of the Oval Office and Jimmy Carter’s Nobel Peace Prize, as well as travelling exhibits.
This afternoon, return to downtown. Choose to take the Inside CNN Studio Tour and watch behind-the-scenes action of the newsroom, or head to the World of Coca-Cola where the famous soft drink’s story is told through fascinating exhibits, a 4-D theatre, classic ads and a fully-functioning station.more than 70 Coca-Cola products from around the world.
In the evening visit the Virginia-Highland district, Atlanta’s most popular neighbourhood for shopping, dining and nightlife.

Day 3 Atlanta – Gatlinburg (209mi/336km)

Travel northwest to the Gateway of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Blue Ridge was once an elite health resort because of it mineral waters. Today people visit it for its upscale antique and specialty shops, galleries, restaurants and small town atmosphere.
This afternoon ride the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway.The railroad connects the towns of Blue Ridge and McCaysville, and offers a journey along the beautiful Toccoa River. Cross the blue line in McCaysville and stand in two states at one time, Tennessee and Georgia.
Keep heading north on routes 74 and 441 through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park for your overnight in Gatlinburg, TN.

Day 4 Gatlinburg – Chattanooga – Nashville (290mi/465km)

En route to Nashville, stop in Chattanooga. The Downtown Riverfront District runs along the Tennessee River and offers visitors museums and cruises along the river. Walk across the nation’s longest pedestrian bridge, the Walnut Street Bridge and enjoy lunch at one of the Riverfront’s many restaurants.
Upon arrival in Nashville visit the Country Music hall of Fame and Museum. Rhinestone costumes, seasoned instruments and tear-stained lyric sheets are only the beginning. Here one can also take a tour of Historic RCA Studio B – where Elvis and others recorded over 35,000 songs.
This evening, enjoy the area between Broadway and 2nd Avenue, filled with entertainment venues, night clubs and an assortment of restaurants.

Day 5 Nashville

This morning, tour the Grand Ole Opry House. Guides provide a rare glimpse of what happens behind the scenes of the world’s most famous country music show.
And in the afternoon, visit Ryman Auditorium. Built in 1892 and designated a National Historic Landmark, one can take a self guided museum tour or guided backstage tour or record a CD in the new Ryman Recording Studio. evening, return for a show or concert at this premier performance hall.

Day 6 Nashville – Memphis (212mi/341km)

Route to Memphis, visit Belle Meade Plantation. Once a 5,400-acre world-renowned thoroughbred horse farm, today it is a 30-acre historical site. Period costumed interpreters guzweide visitors through the 1853 Greek Revival Mansion. Also on site are 7 historic outbuildings, including The Winery at Belle Meade Plantation.
Arrive Memphis, where the roots of Blues, Country and Gospel music formed in the 1930s. Begin your visit at The Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum and learn about the explosion of Sun Studio, and Memphis’ musical heyday in the 70s, to its global musical influence. Stroll at your own pace through the seven galleries featuring audio visual programs, instruments, costumes and other musical treasures.

Day 7 Memphis

No visit to Memphis is complete with a tour of Graceland. Walk in the footsteps of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll Learn of Elvis’ humble beginnings through his rise to superstardom. See how a rock ‘n’ roll legend lived and relaxed with family and friends. The Graceland experience includes Graceland mansion, Elvis’ Automobile Museum, Elvis’ custom jets.
This afternoon and evening spend time on Beale Street, the melting pot of delta blues, jazz, rock-n-roll, R&B, and gospel. Enjoy the the rich, spicy food of the south, cold brew and hot music.

Day 8 Memphis – Indianola – Natchez (300mi/480km)

Travel to Natchez this morning. On the way stop in Jackson is a treasure trove of African-American and Civil rights history. Follow along the Civil Rights Driving Tour featuring sites such as: Freedom Corner, the former home of slain NAACP Field Secretary Medgar Evers and explore the Farish Street Historical District, a 125-acre late nineteenth c. neighbourhood, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In the afternoon continue to go to Vicksburg and visit the Vicksburg National Military Park. The park preserves the site of the American Civil War Battle of Vicksburg. Arrive in Natchez for a 2-night stay.

Day 9 Natchez

Today, enjoy Natchez, a postcard-perfect town filled with antebellum inns, noble churches and stately mansions built before the Civil War. Stroll by some of the most well preserved and architecturally stunning homes in the American South and tour one of the historic structures that remained untouched during the plight of the South.

Day 10 Natchez – New Orleans (207mi/333km)

Steeped in a history of influences from Europe, the Caribbean, Africa and beyond, New Orleans is one of America’s most culturally and historically rich destinations.
This afternoon, tour some of the city’s various neighbourhoods. The Garden District homes are still known by the names of the families that built them over a century ago, and the Arts District features the national World War II Museum and the Contemporary Arts Center.
Of-course the French Quarter is the most famous New Orleans neighbourhood. Filled with restaurants, nightclubs and bars, it is be a unique place to spend the evening.

Day 11 New Orleans

There are 20 historic districts on the National Register in New Orleans, more than any other city in the United States. Inside these districts, an array of architectural styles from different time periods and cultures are reflected in individual homes and buildings. Visit homes such as the 1850 House, the Beauregard-Keyes Home and Houmas House Plantation and Gardens, a Grand Southern Mansion surrounded by the some of the South’s most beautiful gardens.

Day 12 New Orleans – Mobile (146mi/233km)

Before departing New Orleans, make time to enjoy a traditional Louisiana Creole Brunch at Brennan’s. Located in the French Quarter, breakfast at Brennan’s is a tradition among New Orleanians.
Depart for Mobille and explore Mobile Bay. Start at Bellingrath Gardens and Home, the 1930s Eden of Mobile’s first Coca-Cola bottler. Tour Fort Gaines, an old federal citadel guarding the bay’s entry, then ferry to Fort Morgan. Take scenic Route 98 to Point Clear and ogle gorgeous mansions on its seaside walk. Before crossing the bay back to Mobile, visit Fairhope, a resort and arts haven founded as a utopian town in the 1890s. “The Fairhope Museum of History has lots of local stories, and the views and sunsets from the public park are spectacular.

Day 13 Mobile – Montgomery (168mi/271km)

Depart Mobile for Montgomery, the capital of Alabama and a center of activity during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950’s and 60’s.
This afternoon, visit the Rosa Parks Library and Museum. Rosa Parks, a 42-year-old seamstress, sparked the modern civil rights movement by taking a stand and keeping her seat on a city bus. Watch a reenactment of the events and listen to actual participants of the l955 Montgomery Bus Boycott. One can also visit the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church and see the actual pulpit where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., first preached his message of hope and brotherhood.
This evening, explore downtown Birmingham’s many dining and nightlife options.

Day 14 Montgomery – Atlanta (160mi/257km)

This morning, visit “Old Alabama Town”.This village features authentic 19th and early 20th century homes and buildings that have been saved from demolition, carefully restored, and reopened to the public as a history museum. Here one will learn how early Americans of all backgrounds lived and worked in Central Alabama.