Tracks of the Deep South Rail journey
- Enjoy a journey on the Lookout Mountain Incline Railway, one of the world's steepest passenger railways which has been running since 1895
- Pay a visit to Graceland, home to Elvis’ 14 acre mansion - view his preserved living quarters and private aircraft collection
- Explore Oak Alley Plantation as we learn about Louisiana’s role in America's Slave Trade during the 19th century
- Enjoy a guided tour and tasting of whiskey at Jack Daniel's Distillery in Lynchburg.
- Discover Café Du Mond in New Orleans' French Quarter and try beignets and coffee on a guided sightseeing tour
Discover the soundtrack of the deep south of the USA's Deep South.
Historic tracks lead us on a rail tour through the heartland of great American music - from Nashville, home of Country Music, to the Blues, Soul and Rock 'n' Roll of Memphis and the jazz of New Orleans - on this culture-packed adventure.
- Heritage Rail Excursions
- All rail and coach travel throughout your tour
- 3-4* Accommodation
- 12 nights' hotel accommodation
- UK Tour Manager from start to finish
- Flights from London Heathrow to Atlanta and from Houston to London Heathrow
Day 1 London to Atlanta
We fly from London Heathrow to Atlanta, the capital of Georgia, where we spend our first night.
On Day 2, we explore Atlanta, a railway city that played a crucial part in the American Civil War. We begin by visiting the Martin Luther King Center and Church, which pays homage to the man himself as well as the civil rights movement he was a driving force of. We continue to Margaret Michell House, where the author wrote her Pulitzer Prize-winning 1936 novel, 'Gone with the Wind.'
After lunch, we make our way to the city of Chattanooga. Set on the banks of the Tennessee River and surrounded by the Appalachian Mountains, Chattanooga is nicknamed the 'Scenic City'. We have the chance to admire this stunning scenery as we board the Lookout Mountain Incline Railway for a journey on one of the world's steepest railways, taking in views across the sprawling city below as well as the striking mountains and river. We continue to our hotel for the night.
Day 3 Lynchburg and Jack Daniel’s Distillery
Today we head through Tennessee to Lynchburg, the capital of Moore County. Moore County has been 'dry' since the days of prohibition, which makes its main attraction all the more extraordinary - it's the home of the world-famous Jack Daniel's Distillery. After a tour and tasting of the iconic whiskey at the distillery, we continue to Nashville, where we spend three nights.
Nashville is a vibrant city famous for its rich country musical legacy, and this evening we visit one of its most famous institutions, the legendary Grand Ole Opry. Founded as a radio station in 1925, today this popular music venue still hosts the same regular broadcast, in addition to stage shows. We enjoy an evening of live music performed on what's often referred to as 'country's most famous stage' - an excellent introduction to Nashville's music heritage.
Day 4 & 5 Nashville
We delve further into Nashville's musical history today. The city has been synonymous with country music since the 1940s, thanks to its collection of famous recording studios on 'Music Row' and the Ryman Auditorium, home of the Grand Ole Opry for three decades. A morning guided tour introduces us to the main sights of the city before we visit the Country Music Hall of Fame, the world's largest music museum. Here, we're immersed in the sounds and history of country music, as we learn the story of the genre through fascinating artefacts, sound recordings, and vintage video.
On Day 5, you're free to explore Nashville at your own pace.
Day 6 Jackson & Memphis
Our journey through Tennessee continues. We stop at Jackson where there's free time for lunch, before continuing to the Tennessee Delta Heritage Center in Brownsville. This series of museums is dedicated to the diverse history of the south; from its musical traditions to its infamous history of slave labour in the cotton fields. We complete our journey to Memphis later this afternoon, checking into our hotel.
Day 7 Graceland & Sun Studios
We begin our day by paying a visit to fantastic Graceland, the mansion that Elvis Presley called home. We have a fascinating insight into the 'King of Rock' n' Roll' as we view his preserved living quarters, as well as his car collections. This afternoon introduces us to the sights of the extraordinary musical history of Memphis. We visit Sun Studio, an iconic studio that lays claim to being the birthplace of rock' n' roll, and once boasted a roster that featured both Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash.
Day 8 The City of New Orleans train and the Oak Alley Plantation
We board Amtrak's City of New Orleans service this morning. It's claimed that the blues spread along this route by rail, and we trace the journey through Mississippi to Louisiana. The views from the train are fantastic, as the pretty, floral towns of Brookhaven and McComb lead into the exotic Cajun swamps of the Louisiana Bayou. We alight in Hammond and take a coach to the Oak Valley Plantation for a guided tour. The restored house stands as a testament to the grand lives of Louisiana landowners and the awful suffering of those enslaved here. Our tour reveals the history of the house, sometimes referred to as the 'Grande Dame of the Great River Road', along with its grounds. Later, we continue to New Orleans, where we check into our hotel for the next three nights.
Day 9 The French Quarter and a Mississippi cruise
This morning's guided tour provides an introduction to one of the best-known areas of New Orleans: the renowned French Quarter. We stop at Café Du Mond for beignets, a delicious deep-fried choux pastry, and coffee. Following some free time, this afternoon we board a traditional paddle steamer for a delightful sightseeing cruise along the Mississippi River, taking in the site of the Battle of New Orleans. Our cruise takes place on board an authentic steamboat, and offers a view of the 'Big Easy' that only a vantage point on the river can provide. After disembarking, you're free to enjoy your evening in this exciting city.
Day 10 New Orleans
Your entire day is free to soak up the splendour of New Orleans. Roaring with life, the 'Big Easy' is known as the south's party city thanks to Mardi Gras, yet year-round there is a sense of spirited adventure and playfulness here. A wander through the colourful streets offers an excellent introduction to the eclectic architecture stretching back centuries.
Day 11 & 12 To Houston
We leave New Orleans behind today and board our Amtrak service to Houston, the famous home of space travel. We delve into the fascinating heritage on Day 12, as we visit NASA's Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center. Here, we see the historic Mission Control of 'Houston, we have a problem' fame, alongside displays dedicated to NASA's history.
Day 13 & 14 Houston & London
We transfer to the airport today for our flight home, arriving into London Heathrow on Day 14.