Get picked up at home and whisked off to your departure point (within 50 miles).
Meals included: 1 breakfast,
Discover the treasured musical traditions of Chicago and Dixie, from its Nashville country roots and ‘Windy City’ blues to the rock ‘n’ roll of Elvis in Memphis and sultry jazz of New Orleans: cruise the swampy waterways and ride the railroads of Louisiana past the landmarks, memorials and musical attractions of the South.
Please call our Travel Specialists to book this holiday with an extension
Fly to Chicago where you will transfer to your hotel for two nights.
Explore the landmarks and attractions of the ‘Windy City’ on a morning sightseeing tour. The afternoon is at leisure. Ride the lift to the top of the Willis Tower (formerly known as the Sears Tower), or stroll in Grant Park. Perhaps enjoy dinner on the Navy Pier.
Journey across the fertile Illinois farmlands and cross the mighty Mississippi River as you enter St. Louis, the 'Gateway to the West'. An orientation tour includes the towering Gateway Arch, which commemorates the city's key role in westward expansion. Visit the Old Courthouse and enjoy a film on the monument.
Start today's journey by re-crossing the Mississippi River, and travelling to Paducah, on the Ohio River, by lunchtime. Late afternoon, arrive in Nashville - the spiritual home of country music - in the heart of Tennessee.
See Nashville's famous musical landmarks on a sightseeing tour, including the recording studios of Music Row. Tour historic RCA Studio B, the cradle of the 'Nashville Sound' in the 1960s and host to stars such as Dolly Parton, Elvis Presley and Willie Nelson. Afterwards visit the Country Music Hall of Fame with its glittering costumes, rare instruments, and Elvis Presley's solid gold Cadillac! Tonight you have reserved seats for an unforgettable show at the world-famous Grand Ole Opry, a mecca for country musicians.
Travel across Tennessee today to Memphis, the 'home of the blues', and a city with a distinctly southern flavour. On arrival acquaint yourself with the town on an orientation tour. An optional excursion includes a visit to the legendary Sun Studio, where the early rock ‘n’ roll hits were recorded, followed by dinner at a local restaurant.
A good portion of the day is devoted to Graceland, Elvis Presley's beautiful estate. The Graceland Mansion Audio Tour focuses on the opulent 15,000-square-foot mansion and includes the memorial garden, where Elvis and his parents were laid to rest. Why not upgrade (locally) to the Elvis Experience, an audio guided tour which includes full access to the state of the art visitor entertainment complex and Elvis's private planes? Later, return to downtown Memphis. Tonight, why not visit a blues club on famous Beale Street?
Climb aboard this famous locomotive for today’s trip from Tennessee, through the cotton fields and catfish ponds of the Mississippi River delta into Louisiana, to arrive in New Orleans – the ‘Big Easy’. The rest of the evening is at leisure.
Soak up the sights and sounds of New Orleans on a guided tour that includes the French Quarter landmarks, St Louis Cathedral, Jackson Square and a visit to one of its distinctive above-ground cemeteries. This afternoon why not join an optional cruise through the swampy waterways ? The rest of your day is free to explore New Orleans further.
A free day with a wide selection of optional activities to choose from, including a visit to a beautiful Louisianan plantation home. Shoppers should head to Canal Street and the French Quarter to browse its speciality shops, boutiques and art galleries. Tonight’s optional excursion is a Mississippi River dinner cruise aboard an authentic steamboat, with a buffet dinner and live jazz - the perfect finale to a memorable touring adventure of the South.
Transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK.
Special Departure: Dixieland & Rhythms New Orleans Jazz Festival 27 April 2018. The 'Dixieland' sound was made popular throughout the world by New Orleans' own Louis Armstrong. Why not join us and listen to the best sounds of New Orleans, by some of the hottest names in music from the USA and around the world? Don't miss the food, crafts and music, which make this festival one of the best of its kind and the best Louisiana has to offer. Your Jazz Festival package includes a one day pass to the Jazz & Heritage Festival plus roundtrip transportation to the Jazz Fest grounds.
French Quarter Festival: New Orleans coincides with 3 April 2018 departure
The following departures will be at Holiday Inn Chicago O'Hare 8 May, 04 Jun, 19 Jun, 10 September and 16 October
Accommodation as stated or similar
Good range of optional tours/ visits
We packed a lot in and it was all good
Very enjoyable. Plenty to see and with enough free time alongside the formal visits and optional excursions to look around the places on our own. Excellent Tour Director (Brenda) and driver (Joe). Informative, approachable, friendly and committed to providing a great experience. Great pity that you are removing the LaFayette part of the tour from next year. We loved the Cajun music and dancing evening there, the Evangeline Tree and the boat trip across the Atchafalaya Basin. Thanks for a wonderful experience.
Early starts (6 - 6.30 am) were one disadvantage but I realise this was done to pack in as much as possible. Sometimes I felt we were given too long in stops along the way - others may not share this opinion.
Our best ever trip with Archers! Packed with interesting things to see and do, with an excellent, knowledgeable guide. A very enjoyable tour.
I would actually rate somewhere between good and excellent. Tour guide could have been more friendly (she had her favourites) and was not always good at communicating e.g. when the coach driver failed to turn up and it was not clear what would happen to us or what she was doing about it. Also, on the first night I could not find her (reluctant to walk up to a random person in a bar to see if they were the Archers contact) as she did not have a sign or badge and the reception staff in the hotel did not know her. She kept referring to Cosmos rather than Archers as it was a joint trip. Hotel in La Fayette a little run down and the hotel in New Orleans, whilst well located, was lacking in facilities - no fridge, no access to a microwave, hot water not hot (only able to have tepid showers) and my room was not serviced two of the nights I was there for which I had to complain to the hotel. My room in Chicago was VERY noisy located next to the generator so I didn't sleep at all well. the places we visited + excursions themselves were excellent. Shame breakfasts weren't included in the cost of holiday (other than 2 nights) as food was pretty expensive.
The itinerary was great, the tour director was excellent and kept us informed and entertained all the way. The tour could have been a day or two longer and had a better hotel at Lafayette.
If you have even a passing interest in Blues, Country, Jazz or Cajun this trip is a must do. Add in an overview of the lands around the Mississippi and this was a truly memorable trip.
There's no need to shop around. Find a cheaper like-for-like tour from another company, and we’ll not only match their price but also give you a £50 discount when you book with us.
They have in-depth knowledge of the places you’ll visit and will be on hand every step of the way with commentary entirely in English. 96% of customers rate them 'excellent' or 'good'.
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