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Self-Drive American Music & Movie Trails

13 Nights Standard from £1,729 per Person Including Flights

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Overview

This is a fabulous circular itinerary, starting and ending in Chicago, and taking in the very best music cities of America plus sites recognisable from popular movies. Your first stop will be St Louis, where you can ride the tram to the famous St Louis Arch. You'll then enjoy a couple of nights in Memphis, with time to visit Graceland and sample a few live music venues on Beale Street. Then it's onto historic Vicksburg, an important part of the Civil War, and then onto the birthplace of Jazz - New Orleans. After a night each in Birmingham Alabama and Chattanooga Tennessee, you'll then stop off at the home of Country Music - Nashville. Your final stop will be Louisville Kentucky, where you can sample Bourbon and Blue Grass music.

Highlights

  • Enjoy the ultimate rock n roll experience at Elvis Presley's Graceland
  • Visit the very first House of Blues in Chicago
  • Follow the banks of the Mississippi, stopping at the Delta Blues Museum in honour of BB King and Muddy Waters
  • Walk Nashvilles Music City Walk of Fame honouring the best country performers
  • Search out the original Whistle Stop Cafe, the setting for the novel "Fried Green Tomatoes"
  • Stroll down Beale Street for a taste of the music Memphis makes today

Details

Day 1

Fly to Chicago

Arrive in Chicago and pick up your rental car at the airport and proceed to your hotel. Enjoy your evening at leisure.

Standard Hotel: Chicago's Essex Inn

Superior Hotel: The Whitehall Chicago

Day 2

Chicago

While exploring this vibrant city located on the shores of Lake Michigan, you will notice many famous landmarks and buildings from films such as My Big Fat Greek Wedding, While You Were Sleeping, and The Road to Perdition, not to mention The Blues Brothers film. Try and locate the Blues Brothers Soul Food restaurant on Maxwell Street, and don’t forget to pay a visit to the original House of Blues jazz club.

Standard Hotel: Chicago's Essex Inn

Superior Hotel: The Whitehall Chicago

Day 3

Chicago – St. Louis (290 miles)

Today you will... “Meet Me in St. Louis”  - Upon arrival, take a tram ride to the top of the famous St. Louis Arch and get a city view from 630 feet. Then take time to view Lewis & Clark: Great Journey West, a movie produced by the National Geographic Society and viewed on a giant four-story screen at the Gateway Arch River front.

Standard Hotel: Red Roof Plus St. Louis

Superior Hotel: The Hotel Majestic St. Louis

Day 4

St. Louis – Memphis (280 miles)

Memphis offers a multitude of musical and movie moments, and there are two nights to explore your favourites. Start with a visit to Graceland, home of the late Elvis Presley, then choose between the Rock & Soul Museum, the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, the Gibson Guitar factory, or Sun Studio where musicians such as B.B. King, Elvis Presley, and Jerry Lee Lewis recorded rock’n’roll hits.

Standard Hotel: Comfort Inn Downtown

Superior Hotel: Holiday Inn Memphis Downtown

Day 5

Memphis

During your stay, check for any outdoor concerts at the Mud Island outdoor amphitheatre. Located right on the Mississippi River. Mud Island River Park is a historical and scenic outdoor area. Or, dine in B.B. King’s restaurant on famous Beale Street, where you can enjoy some amazing live music with traditional fried chicken or BBQ ribs

Standard Hotel: Comfort Inn Downtown

Superior Hotel: Holiday Inn Memphis Downtown

Day 6

Memphis – Vicksburg (146 miles)

Travel from Memphis to Clarksdale, heart of the Delta Blues. Stop to tour the Delta Blues Museum filled with memorabilia from B.B. King and Muddy Waters. Follow the banks of the Mississippi river along Hwy 1, and take the opportunity to roll the dice in one of many Mississippi casinos; they never close!

Standard/Superior Hotel: Quality Inn Vicksburg

Day 7

Vicksburg – New Orleans (294 miles)

On to the Big Easy! New Orleans is a jazz lover’s paradise, and the familiar backdrop in a string of successful movies. The jazz & blues clubs are too numerous to mention, but there are two days in New Orleans to check them out!

Standard Hotel: Holiday Inn New Orleans

Superior Hotel: The Monteleone Hotel

Day 8

New Orleans

Continue to explore this city of riverboats, jazz, and Creole cuisine. Take time to visit the beautiful Garden Ructer or perhaps take a ride on the mighty Mississippi River. Or take one of the specialist tours - there are ghost and cemetery tours, cocktail and cuisine tours, voodoo and historic tours.

Standard Hotel: Holiday Inn New Orleans

Superior Hotel: The Monteleone Hotel

Day 9

New Orleans – Birmingham (340 miles)

Sweet Home Alabama! Today, head for Birmingham, Alabama. For music fans, the highlight would be a visit to the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame. Entrance to this exhibition is free and inside, you’ll find a wonderful tribute to jazz greats with ties to Alabama. For movie lovers, try and locate the original Whistle Stop Café, the setting for the novel, and later film, Fried Green Tomatoes. Although scenes in the movie were actually filmed in Atlanta, the original café is located in North Irondale, just outside of Birmingham.

Standard/Superior Hotel: Comfort Inn, Birmingham

Day 10

Birmingham – Chattanooga (148 miles)

Returning to Tennessee today, set forth to Chattanooga, located in the foothills of the Appalacian Mountains. You could also visit the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum or the Aquarium. While in Tennessee, don’t miss the opportunity to try a ‘moon pie’, a favourite Southern snack since the early 1900s.

Standard/Superior Hotel: Chattanooga Choo Choo

Day 11

Chattanooga – Nashville (133 miles)

Nashville, ‘Music City USA’ is the destination today. Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame, a multimedia music shrine including live performances, movie theatres, costumes, instruments and other artifacts detailing country music’s colorful history. Don’t miss a visit to the Ryman Auditorium and a night at the Grand Ole Opry.

Standard Hotel: GuestHouse Inn & Suites Nashville / Music Valley

Superior Hotel: The Inn at Opryland, A Gaylord Hotel

Day 12

Nashville – Louisville (175 miles)

From Blue Grass to Brass Bands, Kentucky has popular music for every listener. Today’s destination is Louisville, Kentucky, home of the famous Kentucky Derby, which takes place at Churchill Downs the first Saturday each May. Recently featured in the movie Sea Biscuit, Churchill Downs is the mecca of American horse racing and home of the Kentucky Derby Museum. Take a short side trip to Bardstown and visit My Old Kentucky Home State Park, the inspiration for Stephen Foster’s anthem of the same name, which is sung by the crowds every year at the Kentucky Derby. No visit to Kentucky would be complete without a visit to a bourbon distillery, but remember that many Kentucky counties are “dry,” so often there are no tastings. Baseball fans should ensure they fit in a visit to the Louisville Slugger Museum, an interactive museum honoring many of baseball’s greats.

Standard/Superior Hotel: Red Roof Inn Louisville Fair & Expo

Day 13

Louisville – Chicago (300 miles)
Today return to the Windy City, Chicago, having visited seven different states, experienced many popular movie set locations, and heard music ranging from blues to jazz to soul to gospel to country to bluegrass and rock’n’roll.

Standard Hotel: Chicago's Essex Inn

Superior Hotel: The Whitehall Chicago

Day 14

Chicago

A final day in Chicago before you return the car at the airport and fly home

What's Included

  • Return transatlantic flights
  • Economy size car rental including comprehensive insurance
  • Hotel accommodation as specified, or of a similar standard
  • Welcome kit with comprehensive maps and day-to-day itinerary
  • Entry fees are not included

The weather information shown below refers to the first stop on the tour, call us and speak to one of our travel experts for the most up-to-date forecasts and weather details for your tour.

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Book today

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01342 3317989am - 9pm Mon - Sun

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