Deep South Sounds

Deep South & Delta Blues

12 days
incl. taxes
Activity level:
Activity Level: Leisurely
Trip code: 
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
Group size:

Trace the roots of American music in the Deep South USA along the mighty Mississippi

Trace the roots of American music on this Deep South USA tour along the mighty Mississippi and experience the unique cultural landscape that gave birth to the blues, country and rock `n' roll. Days move a little slower in the south, as you pass the time with a sweet tea or a Jack and Coke, taking in the sights and sounds of Music Row in Nashville, Beale Street in Memphis and along Bourbon Street in New Orleans. Savour authentic cuisine and enjoy Southern hospitality as you float down the Mississippi on an included Deep South river boat cruise.


  • Visit Houmas House Plantation and Gardens
  • Mississippi riverboat dinner cruise
  • Two nights in Memphis plus Elvis' Graceland Mansion and Beale Street nightlife
  • Three nights in New Orleans and Bourbon Street's colourful music scene
  • Two nights in Nashville - the country music capital
  • Cajun culture and cuisine

Key information

  • Travel by private minibus
  • Group normally 6 to 13, plus leader. Min age 16
  • 10 nights hotel and 1 night in a historic property 
  • Countries visited: USA

What's included

  • All accommodation
  • 11 breakfasts and 1 dinner
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout

What's not included

  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Arrival & departure transfers
  • Optional activities
Call for general departures:
1 800 267 3347
Call for private group trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 


  • Day 1

    Start Atlanta

    Welcome to Atlanta and the Southern state of Georgia! Today is free for you to explore before an evening welcome meeting at 18:00 hrs in your hotel. A self-guided walking tour of downtown Atlanta is highly recommended and if you fancy a bite of Southern cuisine, stop by Empire State South.

    Optional Activities:
    • Atlanta History Centre US$17
    • Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site US$free
    • Atlanta Botanical Garden US$19

    Accommodation: La Quinta Atlanta Airport North (or similar)

  • Day 2

    To Birmingham, Alabama to learn about the history of the Civil Rights Movement

    Head west into Alabama and to the state's largest city - Birmingham. This city was the primary site of the Civil Rights Movement and where Dr Martin Luther King Jr. began his campaign of civil disobedience. We recommend a visit to the Civil Rights Institute for an excellent introduction to the region's volatile history as you start your journey through the Deep South of the USA.

    Optional activities:
    • Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham, Alabama US$12

    Accommodation: Hampton Inn Birmingham Colonnade 280 (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Days 3-5

    Three days to discover lively New Orleans, the cultural melting pot of the Deep South

    Welcome to the cultural melting pot of the Deep South, New Orleans. Otherwise known as the `Big Easy', the eclectic mix of European, Creole and Cajun culture manifests in every aspect of the architecture, cuisine and musical scene. Take in the sights and sounds of Bourbon Street, relax in the Garden District and absorb the ambience of the French Quarter, known also as 'The Quarter'. Founded by French traders in 1718, there are many layers of history in this city, and all its many attractions combined make it one of the most visited cities in the USA.

    Step back in time to when life was gracefully slow and enjoy an included Mississippi riverboat dinner cruise, dining on delicious local cuisine that is directly influenced by the myriad of cultures that together make up Louisiana. Evenings in New Orleans will be easily spent as there is plenty to do, not least of all continuing your indulgence and appreciation of American music by enjoying some of the many live performances that take place nightly in this vibrant city. This includes the famous Preservation Hall where top-drawer jazz musicians play every evening to a small audience in an intimate space - but be prepared to queue! There will also be the chance to step out of the city and explore the wild river swamplands of Louisiana, where you can head out by boat beneath the cypress trees in search of wildlife.

    Optional Activities:
    • Alligator swamp tour, New Orleans US$23-$40
    • Mardi Gras World in New Orleans US$20
    • New Orleans Voodoo and Graveyard tour US$20
    • New Orleans Preservation Hall US$15-$20
    • New Orleans jazz clubs US$10-$20
    • Scandalous Cocktail history tour US$25

    Accommodation: The Blake Hotel (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Houmas House Plantation and Gardens - Natchez

    This morning we visit Houmas House Plantation and Gardens. This antebellum estate was completed in 1828 and with 38 lush acres of gardens, ponds and a majestic live oak alley, Houma makes for a wonderful stop. Next you follow the river road north to the very first established settlement on the Mississippi River. The original capital of the Mississippi Territory, Natchez, was at the heart of the slave trade and is the birthplace of the Mississippi riverboat. We recommend a self-guided walking tour through the streets of Natchez' historic district with over 50 antebellum homes and historic churches. Also worthy of a visit is the `Under the Hill' area made famous by Mark Twain, or discover one of the most interesting cemeteries in the South. 

    Optional Activities:
    • Antebellum mansions, Natchez US$12-$25

    Accommodation: The Guest House Natchez (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    To Clarksdale

    Next up is Clarksdale and the Hopson Plantation, which is the former home of legendary blues pianist Pinetop Perkins. It is also where they tested the International Harvester automated cotton picker. Your leader will give you some history including the system of sharecropping and the evolution of the cotton industry. Clarksdale is also home to the infamous 'Crossroads', where legend has it that blues musician Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil. Within the town itself you'll find the Delta Blues Museum, a literal blues shrine of artefacts and memorabilia, as well as actor Morgan Freeman's Ground Zero Blues Club. Red's is definitely worth a visit for live music - an authentic 'juke joint' where you'll be transported to the real heart of the South!

    Optional Activities:
    • Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale US$10
    • Ground Zero Blues Club, Clarksdale US$8

    Accommodation: Hampton Inn Clarksdale (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Days 8-9

    Two days to discover Memphis

    Today we cross into Tennessee. Located near the Mississippi River, Memphis has a long and colourful past. Legendary forefathers such as Louis Armstrong, Muddy Waters and the late B.B. King helped to put Beale Street on the musical map. A highlight of your stay in Memphis is an included excursion to Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley, who influenced country, blues and rock 'n' roll music.

    We also have the chance to visit Sun Studio which opened in 1950 and is a place where many great names have passed through, from Howlin' Wolf to Johnny Cash; or the Gibson Guitar Factory to be completely immersed in the fascinating musical heritage of this city. Outside of music, the National Civil Rights Museum located in the former Lorraine Hotel, at the site where Martin Luther King was assassinated, is well worth a visit. 

    Optional Activities:
    • Civil Rights Museum in Memphis US$16
    • Sun Studio in Memphis US$14
    • Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Memphis U$13 (closed Mondays)
    • Gibson guitar factory tour, Memphis US$10

    Accommodation: Crowne Plaza Memphis Downtown (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Days 10-11

    Nashville, Tennessee

    We make our way to Nashville today - the undisputed capital of country music. Home to the Country Music Hall of Fame and the famous Wildhorse Saloon, Nashville offers the perfect opportunity to try some line dancing (select nights only). Broadway is lined with honky-tonks and intimate live music venues playing not only country, but all genres of music.

    As well as its indelible country music links, Nashville is also the capital of Tennessee and the state's second largest city after Memphis. Situated on the banks of the Cumberland River it was established as a major river port by settlers in 1779. Our time in Nashville is free for you to indulge in your choice of the many music and entertainment options available (entrance fees apply). The Grand Ole Opry is the world's longest running radio show and a recommended highlight. You can enjoy performances at the famous Grand Ole Opry House located 24 km east of the city. Book before you arrive to avoid missing out as these shows are popular!

    Optional Activities:

    Grand Ole Opry US$32-$90
    Ryman Auditorium tour US$22-$35
    Country Music Hall of Fame US$25-$40
    Johnny Cash Museum US$19

    Accommodation: The Capitol Hotel Downtown Nashville (or similar)

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 12

    To Atlanta; end Atlanta

    We make our way back to Atlanta today. There is the option of stopping at Lynchburg to pay homage to Tennessee's most famous drink! Enjoy a tour of the Jack Daniel's Whiskey Distillery and a serving of Southern hospitality.

    Our tour of the Deep South ends in the modern day metropolis of Atlanta, known as the New York of the South. If you're staying on be sure to stop by Glady's Knight's famous Chicken and Waffles restaurant.

    This tour ends at our gateway hotel at approximately 17:00 hrs. We can book your post-tour accommodation at our gateway hotel if required. If you are planning to fly tonight, please do not book a flight that departs before 21:00 hrs.

    Optional Activities:
    • Jack Daniel’s Whiskey Distillery US$17-22

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info


United States

British, New Zealand, Swiss and most EU passport holders do not need a visa (and enter the country under the Visa Waiver Program), provided they are in possession of an onward air ticket when entering the USA. Visas for the USA are required by some nationalities and it is always best to check with the relevant embassies. All passengers travelling to and from the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) are required to hold a machine-readable passport (MRP). A MRP has the holder's personal details, e.g. name, date of birth, nationality and their passport number contained in two lines of text at the base of the photo page. This text may be read by machine. The US now charges $14 for the visa waiver program and must be paid by credit card. The US authorities have introduced a mandatory requirement for all passengers travelling under the Visa Waiver Programme to register for an Electronic Travel Authority. As of 21 January 2016, any person who has travelled to Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Somalia, or Yemen since March 2011, or have dual nationalities of these countries, may no longer qualify for the VWP. For additional specifics about the VWP please consult the VWP information on the U.S. Embassy London website. More information and all necessary Internet links can be found on our USA visas page.


United States

There are no mandatory vaccinations required for this trip.

Eating and Drinking

11 breakfasts and 1 dinner included

Meals that aren't included will usually be eaten in restaurants. To help you budget for your meals on average hotel breakfasts cost from US$6-12, lunches from US$8-15 and dinners from US$13-30; this does not include alcoholic beverages. Wine costs approximately US$5 per glass and beer US$4 per bottle. Please also be aware that a tip of approximately 15%-20% is added to group meals in restaurants. Applicable taxes will also be added to all listed menu prices.

Your tour leader may offer your group the option to operate a ‘lunch only’ food kitty, this has proven to be a popular alternative to three daily restaurant meals. Your leader will explain this option while on tour, and the whole group will have to agree for this system to run.

Please make sure we are aware of any special meal requirements before travelling. We will do all we can to accommodate various dietary requirements but in parts of North America certain food types can be limited.


Spring and autumn is the best time to visit the deep south as the temperature is milder, averaging at around 20 degrees. The summer months can be hot and humid reaching highs of mid 30s, thunderstorms are common due to the sub-tropical climate.

Atlanta weather chart

Atlanta weather chart

Is this trip for you?

Activity Level: 1 (Leisurely)

This discovery tour is suitable for people with all levels of fitness. It has a more relaxed pace with an emphasis on sightseeing; discovering local culture, visiting main attractions and enjoying beautiful surroundings. There will be a variety of optional activities available so you can tailor the tour depending on your interests.

Your tour leader will organise any optional activities on your behalf and you can pay for these locally in cash. You’ll find the main optional activities listed under each itinerary day description, along with guideline prices. It may not be possible to do all optional activities listed on each tour. If your plan is to visit the Grand Ole Opry when you are in Nashville, it is advised to book in advance and directly on their website. The shows change most nights but if possible, it’s best to book for the second night in Nashville.

Although each tour follows an itinerary, there is a certain amount of flexibility and from time to time your tour leader may suggest changes. This may be due to road conditions, the weather or a visit to a special attraction or event that happens to be in progress. Flexibility is key and often a side diversion will be a highlight of the tour. Hikes and optional activities cannot be guaranteed and may vary depending on ability, group interest, local weather conditions and time of year.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as not suitable for full wheelchair users, but it may be suitable for other persons of reduced mobility. Please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
1 800 267 3347
Call for private group trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.


Hotels and historic property

10 nights in twin share accommodation and 1 historic property

Accommodation will be clean and comfortable, chosen for their friendly atmosphere and proximity to the highlights of the region. You will be roomed with a fellow passenger of the same sex on a twin share basis (two people per room) unless you are travelling as a couple or with a friend. In the event that you cannot be matched with another passenger there will not be a single supplement charge.

Call for general departures:
1 800 267 3347
Call for private group trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Call for general departures:
1 800 267 3347
Call for private group trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed November 2019
    Anne Ferguson

    Deep South - the story of the Blues and music of America

    If you're into music (especially The Blues) and want to understand where it all started and developed, this is the trip for you. Starting with the background of the Civil Rights movement and visiting iconic sites such as the bridge at Selma and the museums in Atlanta and Birmingham, we followed the development of the Blues from New Orleans through Clarksdale, Memphis and finally Nashville. We experienced a wide range of live music - gospel, blues, jazz, country, rockabilly, bluegrass etc and saw the places where it all began. It was a truly entertaining and memorable trip from the beginning to the end made even more special by our awesome guide, Jay.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Historically - walking over the bridge at Selma, which although not on the original itinary, was made possible by our guide. Musically - listening to great Blues band at a Juke Joint called 'Reds' in Clarksdale.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Top bloke. On a scale of 1-10 we would score him 12 Jay Burleson knew his music, knew the history and did all he could to make the trip special for us. (eg he found out one of the worlds best blues guitarists was playing in a cafe on the outskirts of Nashville and helped us get to see him play!)

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Embrace it all - every day and every night - you can always rest when you get home!
  • Reviewed September 2018
    Jules Beasley

    Good music trip

    This is a great trip if you’re keen to experience the USA Deep South Music and history. Great experience of New Orleans, Martin Luther King and the civil rights movements, Elvis and the music history of Memphis and Nashville. The trip is with Grand American Adventures- Exodus sister Company. You travel in a small tour bus driven by your guide. We were lucky we had 9 people on the trip as any more would have been a squeeze. A few early starts and longest drives on the road were 5-6 hours but had plenty of rest stop breaks. There’s a lot to see and do plus the music & dvds on the van helped get us in the mood and educate us to each area.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    New Orleans is great and the included steamboat dinner on the Mississippi was fantastic. Would also highly recommend the Honey Island swamp tour, we saw much more wildlife than just alligators. Elvis Birthplace & Graceland also amazing.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Nicole was fantastic, she went above and beyond and was really helpful. There were a few timing issues which meant a couple of important sights were rushed. Sadly her boyfriend turned up for the last 4 days which turned the trip a little sour and spoilt the group dynamic.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It’s a great trip but do your research. If you’re not into the music scene then this trip might not be for you. Food is great and atms are everywhere.

Dates & Prices

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Please call one of our experts to discuss your private group requirements on 1 800 267 33477, or fill out the form below and we will give you a call back.

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For anyone leaving from the UK we would be pleased to book your flight in conjunction with your tour. Please contact us for competitive prices on flights departing from most UK airports.

If you are booking your own flights, you are free to arrive at any time on day one but it is advisable that you arrive in plenty of time to reach your joining hotel and attend your welcome meeting. We also suggest that you book your return flight the day after your tour finishes. If you do have to return home on the day your tour finishes, please make sure that your flight does not depart before 21:00 hrs.

Please note that we cannot be held responsible for any delays, cancellations, changes to your flights, or any missed flights. We are unable to delay a tour, or finish a tour early due to your flight times.

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