A History of the Deep South: Music, Food and Spirits

| United States | Louisville | Nashville | Memphis | New Orleans | Natchez | Baton Rouge |
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Summary

Spend 11 days immersed in the rich culture and history of America's Deep South. This road trip of a lifetime will truly stimulate your senses with delicious creole delights and traditional Southern fare, the melodies of B. B. King, Elvis and Dolly Parton and, of course, a little taste of authentic Kentucky bourbon and Tennessee whiskey. Meet with all types of local personalities, from a jazz great and celebrity mixologist in New Orleans to the horses who run in Kentucky's famous derby. 

Itinerary

Day 1 - 2
Excursion starts:

Fly into Louisville, Kentucky where you will pick up your rental car and drive to the 21c Museum Hotel Louisville. In the early evening, drive yourselves (or hop in a cab) to spend a fun-filled night of bluegrass music, history and, of course, an authentic Kentucky style dinner!

Accommodation:
21c Museum Hotel Louisville

Day 2 - 3
Excursion starts:

This morning head out to explore horse country to experience the the South like never before. Your expert guide will take you for a private VIP tour of one the top horse farms in Kentucky where you will have an opportunity to get up close and meet these incredible animals.

In the afternoon, after a stop for lunch, local fine dining establishment Distilled at Gratz Park Inn is recommended. Your expert driver-guide will take you through a few spots along the famous Bourbon Trail! Enjoy a private tour of Town Branch Distillery, a microbrewery and distillery specializing in bourbon-barrel ale, where you will also have a tasting with a Master Distiller.

After the tour will be dinner, it is recommended to enjoy a true Southern meal at 610 Magnolia, where Chef Edward Lee can prepare your meal using only the most fresh, local organic products.

Accommodation: 21c Museum Hotel Louisville

Day 3 - 4
Excursion starts:

This morning your expert driver-guide will bring you to the home of the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks, the Churchill Downs Racetrack. The iconic grounds cover 147 acres of land and have hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championship eight times! Stroll through the historic tracks and take a private Backside and Barn Tour where you will have the opportunity to get up close and personal with the horses.

Once leaving Churchill Downs, your expert driver-guide will bring you to lunch. It is recommended to try Harvest, a lively venue with farm-to-table Southern fare before bringing you back to the hotel to relax before your culinary evening begins.

Tonight your expert driver-guide will take your taste buds on a ride through the very best flavors in all of Louisville on a progressive dinner! Dine on true Southern fare while your host and expert driver-guide explain the culinary history and traditions of the Deep South.

Accommodation: 21c Museum Hotel Louisville

Day 4 - 5
Excursion starts:

Your trip continues as you drive for approximately three hours from Louisville to Nashville where you will check into the historic Hermitage Hotel.

Your guide will meet you at your hotel and drive with you to the Country Music Hall of Fame, where you will go on a journey though the history of Country Music and take a private tour of RCA Studio B, where Eddy Arnold, Dolly Parton, Elvis Presley and Willie Nelson once graced the halls with their musical talents. From here you will be driven to lunch. It is recommended to try Husk, where regional ingredients are cooked on an ember-fired grill to create inventive meals in a historic mansion.

After lunch, you will enjoy an evening of VIP access to the Grand Ole Opry. Here you will go backstage to see the nation’s longest running show from behind the scenes and even meet with the performers!

Accommodation: The Hermitage Hotel

Day 5 - 6
Excursion starts:

Nothing says Tennessee quite like Tennessee Whiskey. This morning, after a quick breakfast, your guide will take you through the countryside’s rolling hills and hollers to indulge in the history of whiskey making while tasting a few samples yourself on a private tour of George Dickel Distillery. Following the tour, your guide will bring you to lunch at a classic country cafe with home-style Southern cooking.

After lunch, your driver will take you back to towards Nashville to enjoy the rest of the afternoon on a private tour of Ryman Auditorium, known as "The Carnegie Hall of the South". Here, a Ryman curator will take you backstage to see where Music City really began. Follow in the footsteps of Hank Williams and leave through the Ryman’s back door to sneak through the back door of a Nashville Honky Tonk. Here you will meet a Nashville singer/songwriter for a drink and to listen to some great country music!

Accommodation:
 The Hermitage Hotel

Day 6 - 7
Excursion starts:

Begin the day on a culinary tour of Nashville, starting with a good ole country breakfast and a famous café. Enjoy the nation’s first combination candy bar, the Goo Goo Cluster, while learning about the deep culinary history of the city!

Stop in for a visit at the famous Johnny Cash Museum to learn all about the man in black and of course, you will have to try some of Nashville’s world-renowned hot chicken!

From here drive 3 hours to Memphis where you will check into The Peabody Hotel.

For the remainder of the evening, go behind the scenes at Sun Studio, a full-functioning recording studio opened by rock pioneer Sam Phillips. Your expert guide will take your through the rich history of the studio and you will even have the opportunity to stand in the very same room where Elvis and Johnny Cash once recorded!

Accommodation: The Peabody Memphis

Day 7 - 8
Excursion starts:

This morning will begin with a visit to the Civil Rights Museum, the infamous site of the death of Martin Luther King Jr. From here your guide will take you to the Stax Museum of American Soul Music where you will see a rare collection of more than 2,000 artifacts, interactive exhibits, films and galleries at the worlds only museum dedicated to preserving the legacy of American Soul music.

From Stax, your guide will take you on a VIP after-hour’s tour of the home of the King, Graceland. Stroll through the halls where Elvis once resided with his family while your expert guide explains the detailed history of the mansion, then enjoy a special private dinner on Graceland grounds.

Accommodation: The Peabody Memphis

Day 8 - 9
Excursion starts:

Today, as your guide takes you on your way to New Orleans, you will stop along the way to visit selected stops on the Blues Trail. Visit Clarksdale, the “Crossroads of the Blues” and Helena, deemed the very first place to have a radio show featuring blues artists, among many other landmark sites that played a crucial role to creating the blues.

Your guide will also take you through the BB King Museum, a true Delta blues museum with the mission to preserve and share the legacy and values of music great, B. B. King. Tonight you will be able to fully relax at Monmouth Historic Inn, an early 19th-century antebellum mansion set in 26 acres of manicured gardens filled with blooming magnolias, roses and azaleas.

Accommodation: Monmouth Historic Inn

Day 9 - 10
Excursion starts:

In the morning, continue your drive to New Orleans, stopping in Baton Rouge along the way to visit the Rural Life Museum, a museum of Louisiana history located in Baton Rouge on a 40-acre agricultural research experiment station, operated by Louisiana State University.

Arrive in New Orleans in the late afternoon and visit a historic bar for a private mixology class with local celebrity mixologist. Here you will learn all about spirits while tasting perfectly paired cuisine. Get behind the bar and create your very own classic New Orleans cocktails while hearing the unique history and long tradition of artistry and pride behind them. 

After your mixology class, enjoy dinner in a classic New Orleans restaurant with delectable creole seafood, oysters and other southern classics. Enjoy the remainder of your evening at the Windsor Court, a property that prides itself on true elegance, you will be greeted with the warmest of welcomes and true hospitality. With 24-hour bell service and a full-time concierge, the staff at Windsor Court are happy and more than willing to make your stay absolutely flawless.

Accommodation: Windsor Court Hotel

Day 10 - 11
Excursion starts:

Foodies rejoice because this morning you will meet your tour guide for a walking food and drink tour through the French Quarter, sampling some of the notorious dishes that truly make New Orleans famous. You’ll learn about the Big Easy’s history through the prism of food and drink as you visit some of the city’s top culinary and cocktail establishments, from high-end restaurants and gentleman’s bars to hole-in-the-wall groceries and pubs, snacking on muffalettas, Gulf Coast oysters, beniegts, po’boys, sazeracs, gin fizzes and much more. By the end you will be full of merriment, and of course, delicious food! By this time you will surely be ready for some relaxation back at your hotel.

Later this evening prepare for an aural feast led by an expert local musicologist with a walking tour through the city, including Congo Square, the Treme and the Preservation Hall Jazz Club.

Tonight enjoy a private meet and greet with one of New Orleans’ current jazz greats, followed by prime seats at their performance as their special guest! For your last evening in New Orleans, it is recommended to enjoy dinner at Restaurant R’evolution with an extensive menu of spectacular Creole fare and a 10,000-bottle wine cellar.

Accommodation: Windsor Court Hotel

Day 11 -
Excursion starts:

Today, at your convenience, drive to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport where you will drop off your car in time for your flight home.

- This is a guide itinerary and can be modified to suit. It is subject to availability and price at the time of booking. Other conditions may apply -

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