Deep South & Delta Blues

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Leisurely
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Trip code: 
AFMA
Way to Travel:
Guided Group Adventure Holidays
Activity:
Cultural Wonders
Min age:
18
Group size:
6–13

Experience the vibrancy of the Deep South on this inspired 12 day round trip.

Trace the roots of American music in the Deep South 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 river boat cruise.

Highlights

  • Visit Elvis' birthplace and Graceland
  • Take the Mississippi River Road to Natchez
  • Vibrant Bourbon Street

Key information

  • Travel by private minibus
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Group normally 6 to 13, plus leader
  • 10 hotel nights in twin share accommodation and 1 historic property

What's included

  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Arrival & departure transfers
  • All meals (apart from 1 dinner)
  • Optional activities
Call us on
1 844 227 9087
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… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Atlanta.

    Welcome to Atlanta and the Southern state of Georgia for the start of your Deep South USA tour. The day 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.
    Standard Hotel

  • Day 2

    To Birmingham; hear about the influential 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. Make a visit to the Civil Rights Institute for an excellent introduction to the region's volatile history as you start your journey through the South.

    Standard Hotel

  • Day 3

    Head to the lively New Orleans for three days; take in the Cajun culture and the vibrant Bourbon Street; dine on a Mississippi river boat; visit Preservation Hall.

    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 a delicious local cuisine buffet that is directly influenced by the myriad of cultures that together make up Louisiana. Your evenings in New Orleans will be easily spent as there is much 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.
    Standard Hotel

  • Day 4

    Second day exploring New Orleans.

    Second day exploring New Orleans.
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 5

    Third day exploring New Orleans.

    Third day exploring New Orleans.

    Standard Hotel

  • Day 6

    Moving on to Natchez; learn about the city's colourful history; overnight at in the historic Eola Guesthouse.

    This morning you enjoy an included visit to 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. Why not go on a self-guided walking tour through the streets of Natchez' historic district with over 50 antebellum homes and historic churches. Worthy of a visit is the `Under the Hill' area made famous by Mark Twain, or explore one of the most interesting cemeteries in the South. You'll overnight in the historic Briars B&B which offers the charm of the 'Old South'.
    Historic Property

  • Day 7

    To the birthplace of Elvis and our first introduction to the Delta blues; learn about the evolution of the cotton industry.

    Next it's onto 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 that shaped life for so many in this region. 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 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!
    Standard Hotel

  • Days 8-9

    Spend two days in Memphis; visit the iconic 'Graceland', Sun studios and Gibson Guitar Factory.

    See the humble beginnings of `The King' with a visit to the birthplace of Elvis in Tupelo, before crossing 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.

    You also have the chance to visit the iconic Sun Studio which opened in 1950 and is a place where many great names have passed through, from Howlin' Wolf to Johnny Cash, and you may like to visit the Gibson guitar factory to completely immerse yourself in the fascinating musical heritage of this city. There's also an opportunity to hear gospel music on Sunday morning (*excluding New Orleans Jazz Festival departure). 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.
    Standard Hotel

  • Days 10-11

    Spend two days in Nashville.

    From Memphis you make your way to Nashville - 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. 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. Your 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!
    Standard Hotel

  • Day 12

    To Atlanta; end Atlanta.

    Make your way towards Atlanta where you have the option of stopping in at Lynchburg where you can pay homage to Tennessee's most famous drink by enjoying a tour of the Jack Daniel's Whiskey Distillery for a serving of Southern hospitality.

    Your 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 approximate 5pm. We recommend booking post tour accommodation if time allows. If you are planning to fly tonight, please do not book flight that departs before 9pm.

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

Visas

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, or Syria 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 at www.exodus.co.uk/Usvisa

Vaccinations

United States

There are no mandatory vaccinations required for this trip.

Eating and Drinking

1 dinner included

On hotel based tours you will usually eat out 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. Leaders 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.

Weather

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 tour is operated in partnership with our sister company Grand American Adventures. As such the departures are not exclusive to Exodus and groups may be a mixture of Exodus, Grand American Adventures, and other clients. This trip is booked through Exodus and you will receive the same award winning customer service that you would expect. Grand American Adventures operate with the same core principles used by Exodus and champion the benefits of small group travel.

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, bad 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.

All travellers over the age of 70 will be requested to complete a self-declaration of fitness form prior to travel.

Legal Note

All group members joining this tour will be asked to sign a liability waiver at the start of the holiday 'Customer's Acknowledgement of Risk'. This document limits the liability of our main supplier and is standard practice in the United States and on all their tours. As a client of Exodus Travels Ltd, your rights under the Package Travel Regulations (1992) are unaffected, and Exodus remains liable for the actions of our sub-contractors. A copy of this document is available from Exodus if required.

Call us on
1 844 227 9087
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.

Accommodation

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 us on
1 844 227 9087
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.

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Dates & Prices

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Call us on 1 844 227 9087