The American South Escorted Tour

13 Nights

Atlanta, GA

Today, Atlanta is a lively tourist and business hub, and you’ll see this captivating city through the eyes of GWTW with a visit south to Stately Oaks Plantation, inspiration for Scarlett O’Hara’s iconic Tara. Then it’s off to Charleston, South Carolina where cobblestones and carriage rides can still sweep you off your feet. However, you’ll be taking a walking tour of the historic locale and breathe in all its elegant splendour like memorable Avenues of Oaks. Your journey will take you further south to sweeping Savannah to marvel at more storied Civil War historic highlights such as what once was the world’s largest cotton port.

You’ll catch some good ole creole flavour in New Orleans before dropping in on the home of blues music in Memphis, Tennessee where Elvis “the King” Presley held court.

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Highlights

  • Visit the numerous sites associated with the classic film Gone with the Wind” in and near the picture-perfect city of Atlanta.
  • View fascinating memorabilia from the film at the Road to Tara Museum like costumes worn by movie greats Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable.
  • Visit more movie-magic sites like Beaufort, South Carolina, easily recognizable as the famous backdrop of “Forrest Gump.”
  • Walk through charming Charleston with its well-preserved historic district and take an optional detour to Boone Hall Plantation and its iconic Avenue of the Oaks seen on movies and TV.
  • Visit spectacular Savannah with its ample and opulent Antebellum mansions and thriving new shops and restaurants built in the city’s old cotton warehouses.
  • Music lovers can indulge in neighbouring Memphis (home of the blues) and Nashville, the capital of country music with landmark locations like the Grand Ole Opry and Graceland.
  • Explore the lively city of New Orleans, Louisiana and its storied buildings, cuisine, and food full of French flavour and spirited jazz music uniquely the Crescent City’s.
  • Day 1 - Atlanta Arrival
  • Day 2 - Atlanta
  • Day 3 - Atlanta - Augusta - Charleston
  • Day 4 - Charleston - Beaufort - Savannah
  • Day 5 - Savannah
  • Day 6 - Savannah - Montgomery
  • Day 7 - Montgomery - Selma - New Orleans
  • Day 8 - New Orleans
  • Day 9 - New Orleans - Baton Rouge - Natchez
  • Day 10 - Natchez - Mississippi River Valley - Memphis
  • Day 11 - Memphis - Nashville
  • Day 12 - Nashville
  • Day 13 - Nashville - Chattanooga - Atlanta
  • Day 14 - Atlanta Departure
  • Additional Information

Welcome to Atlanta, Georgia. During the Civil War, Atlanta was one of the most important Southern Cities as it provided war materials to the South. In 1864, General Sherman marched into Atlanta and burned the entire city. The city recovered from its losses and today is one of the most dynamic in the South, boasting a successful cultural and business hub. Transfer independently to your hotel where you will meet your Tour Director.

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Atlanta Downtown

Welcome to the new Holiday Inn Express Atlanta Downtown. This Downtown Atlanta hotel is conveniently located near I-75 / I-85, 3 blocks from the MARTA Peachtree Center Station, and a short drive from Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL).

This morning, enjoy a comprehensive city tour of Atlanta, including a visit to the boyhood home of Martin Luther King. You will also learn about another of Atlanta’s most famous residents, Margaret Mitchell, who wrote the historical novel that became a masterpiece of American cinema, “Gone with the Wind.” Visit the Road to Tara Museum and Stately Oaks Plantation, which was the inspiration for plantation in the film. You will have the opportunity to see memorabilia from the movie including costumes worn by the stars Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh. In the evening, enjoy a welcome reception which will give you the opportunity to meet your fellow travellers.

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Atlanta Downtown

Welcome to the new Holiday Inn Express Atlanta Downtown. This Downtown Atlanta hotel is conveniently located near I-75 / I-85, 3 blocks from the MARTA Peachtree Center Station, and a short drive from Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL).

Leave Atlanta today and head west to Augusta. Augusta is the second oldest city in Georgia and is home to the prestigious Masters golf tournament. In the late afternoon, you will arrive in Charleston one of the most historic and charming cities of the South. For evening activities, you may wish to consult your Tour Director for the possibilities.

Holiday Inn Charleston Riverview

Property Location With a stay at Holiday Inn Riverview in Charleston (West Ashley), you'll be convenient to Charleston City Marina and College of Charleston. This hotel is within close proximity of Medical University of South Carolina and The Citadel.

In the morning, enjoy a locally guided tour of Charleston. Walk the streets of Charleston’s preserved historic district, the best protected in the nation. Natural disasters, the Revolutionary War, and the Civil War all took their toll on this beautiful city, yet it stands out as a historic gem of the South. In the afternoon, you may wish to participate in an optional excursion to historic Boone Hall Plantation with its famous Avenue of Oaks. The property has appeared in numerous American movies, among them “North and South”. En route to Savannah, route stop on Port Royal Island and see Beaufort, South Carolina’s second oldest city. Its impressive Antebellum architecture has been backdrop for many shows and films, including “Forrest Gump.”

Comfort Suites Historic District

Property Location With a stay at Comfort Suites Historic District in Savannah (Historic Downtown), you'll be minutes from Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum and First African Baptist Church. This hotel is within close proximity of Franklin Square and Chatham County Courthouse.

Today, enjoy the charm of Savannah, once the world’s largest cotton port. When cotton was king, Savannah controlled the prices of the world cotton market at her cotton exchange. Founder James Oglethorpe laid out the famed city squares. The Civil War destroyed a large portion of Georgia, but Savannah was spared. Numerous buildings around the tree-shaded squares are hundreds of years old; providing the setting for the popular novel “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.”

Comfort Suites Historic District

Property Location With a stay at Comfort Suites Historic District in Savannah (Historic Downtown), you'll be minutes from Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum and First African Baptist Church. This hotel is within close proximity of Franklin Square and Chatham County Courthouse.

Set course west across the state of Georgia and into the heart of the Deep South, Alabama. Upon arrival in Montgomery, Alabama’s capital city and a central backdrop of the American Civil Rights Movement, visit the Rosa Parks Library and Museum. Learn about the Montgomery Bus Boycott inspired by Parks, which ignited the Civil Rights movement and changed American history. You may also wish to visit the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, where Martin Luther King Jr. led the Boycott with his powerful sermons.

Comfort Inn & Suites Montgomery East Carmichael Rd

An indoor pool, a 24-hour fitness centre and a spa tub are available at this smoke-free hotel. Free buffet breakfast, free WiFi in public areas and free self parking are also provided. Other amenities include a 24-hour business centre, coffee/tea in a common area and a meeting room.

Depart Montgomery this morning to discover Selma, Alabama, another centrepiece of the Civil Rights Movement. Visit the Edmund Pettis Bridge where the historic March from Selma to Montgomery began and where the brutal events of Bloody Sunday took place. Experience another historic site of the Civil Rights Trail, the Brown Chapel AME Church before heading south through Mississippi to New Orleans, a city immersed in Creole culture. The city today is a unique blend of Spanish, French, Caribbean, African and AngloSaxon influences. This is obvious in the food, architecture and of course, the music. Experience this melting pot aboard a Riverboat Dinner Cruise (optional) and enjoy the rhythms of a Dixieland jazz band.

Hilton New Orleans Riverside

Explore the best of New Orleans from the Hilton New Orleans Riverside hotel in the heart of downtown. Unwind in a comfortable guest room that offers WiFi, a 37-inch flat-screen TV, mini-refrigerator and work desk. Upgrade to a View room for amazing views of the Mississippi River or French Quarter. Choose an executive room to enjoy Executive Lounge access with complimentary breakfast, evening appetizers, complimentary in-room WiFi, and complimentary access to the Health Club by Hilton fitness facility.

The day is yours to explore the charm and excitement of one of America’s most unique cities and for you to take in the French flavour & grandeur of New Orleans. May we suggest starting the day with a visit to a working plantation (optional). Explore the French Quarter with its trademark wrought iron balconies overlooking the narrow cobblestone streets.

Hilton New Orleans Riverside

Explore the best of New Orleans from the Hilton New Orleans Riverside hotel in the heart of downtown. Unwind in a comfortable guest room that offers WiFi, a 37-inch flat-screen TV, mini-refrigerator and work desk. Upgrade to a View room for amazing views of the Mississippi River or French Quarter. Choose an executive room to enjoy Executive Lounge access with complimentary breakfast, evening appetizers, complimentary in-room WiFi, and complimentary access to the Health Club by Hilton fitness facility.

This morning, we will travel to the capitol of Louisiana, Baton Rouge, and conduct a brief city tour. From there, we will travel via the historic Natchez Trace Parkway to Natchez. The parkway is a 444-mile drive through exceptional scenery and years of Native American and European history. Natchez is the oldest European settlement on the Mississippi River. Before the Civil War, wealthy plantation owners from Louisiana built magnificent Antebellum homes here because the area was considered safer from flooding. This afternoon, we will visit one of the homes and learn about the wealth of these 19th century millionaires.

Hotel Vue

Hotel Vue highlights its orientation to the mighty Mississippi and what this river has meant to this community.  Its décor was been refreshed to intrigue all guests by looking back at Natchez's history throughout its artwork and forward with the comfort and interest of modern accessories.  Details strike a balance between the amenities of a franchised hotel and the uniqueness of a local bed and breakfast.

Leave Natchez and drive on to Memphis, home of ‘Sun Records’. As a large river port, it was one of the most important links in the cotton trade before the Civil War. Memphis is also known as the “home of the blues.” A brief city tour will take you to the city’s liveliest street, Beale Street, where the blues and other types of music are played nightly in almost a dozen clubs. Travel along historic Front Street, known as Cotton Row in the days when cotton traders and merchants conducted business here. Of course, no visit to Memphis would be complete without a visit to Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley (optional).

Crowne Plaza Memphis Downtown Hotel

Property Location With a stay at Crowne Plaza Memphis Downtown Hotel, you'll be centrally located in Memphis, steps from St. Mary's Catholic Church and minutes from Memphis Cook Convention Center. This hotel is within close proximity of Cannon Center for Performing Arts and Danny Thomas/ALSAC Pavillion.

Continue on to Nashville, known as the capital of country music. The city earned its title with the very first airing of the WSM Barn Dance radio program, the forerunner of the Grand Ole Opry. The newly renovated Ryman Auditorium in downtown Nashville, once home of the Grand Ole Opry, the studios near Music Row, and Opryland itself attest to Nashville’s reputation as the most important city in country music.

The Inn at Opryland, A Gaylord Hotel

Feel inspired by the sights and sounds of Music Valley Drive during a stay at The Inn at Opryland, A Gaylord Hotel. Located near the historic Grand Ole Opry, our first-class hotel combines the excitement of Nashville with a comfortable, inviting place to recharge. Enjoy complimentary shuttle service to popular area attractions including the Grand Ole Opry, General Jackson Showboat and Opry Mills Mall--Tennessee's largest shopping destination. From the moment you step inside, experience warm hospitality and modern amenities in our vibrant, country music-inspired atmosphere. Perfect for vacations, social events and business meetings alike, our hotel features on-site restaurants, an indoor pool, modern fitness center and 15,000 square feet of stylish meeting space. After a fun-filled day exploring the city, return to comfortable guest rooms complete with stylish furnishings, free Wi-Fi and luxurious bedding. Experience everything our hotel has to offer on your next trip to Music City.

Begin your day in this dynamic and thriving cultural and state capital of Tennessee with a morning city tour. While exploring the city’s landmarks, perhaps you’ll discover a new country music classic before they even hit the charts while visiting one of the many recording studios around town. Perhaps enjoy dinner and a show in the evening as a optional excursion.

The Inn at Opryland, A Gaylord Hotel

Feel inspired by the sights and sounds of Music Valley Drive during a stay at The Inn at Opryland, A Gaylord Hotel. Located near the historic Grand Ole Opry, our first-class hotel combines the excitement of Nashville with a comfortable, inviting place to recharge. Enjoy complimentary shuttle service to popular area attractions including the Grand Ole Opry, General Jackson Showboat and Opry Mills Mall--Tennessee's largest shopping destination. From the moment you step inside, experience warm hospitality and modern amenities in our vibrant, country music-inspired atmosphere. Perfect for vacations, social events and business meetings alike, our hotel features on-site restaurants, an indoor pool, modern fitness center and 15,000 square feet of stylish meeting space. After a fun-filled day exploring the city, return to comfortable guest rooms complete with stylish furnishings, free Wi-Fi and luxurious bedding. Experience everything our hotel has to offer on your next trip to Music City.

Leaving Music City, we head to Chattanooga, home to the famous Choo Choo and which has received national recognition for the renaissance of its beautiful downtown and redevelopment of its riverfront. In the afternoon, our trails lead us back to Atlanta where you may want to check our one of the sites you were not able to experience at the start of the tour like the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca Cola, CNN Center.

Four Points Atlanta Airport West

Property Location When you stay at Four Points Atlanta Airport West in East Point, you'll be near the airport and convenient to Camp Creek Marketplace and College Park Golf Course. This hotel is within close proximity of Point University and Greenbriar Mall.

Morning at your leisure before departure. Your Tour Director will be available to assist you in arranging individual transfers to Atlanta International Airport or with sightseeing recommendation for the day should you want to enjoy this great city further.

Tour Highlights Inclusions:

  • Welcome reception to meet your Tour Director and fellow travellers
  • Visit Stately Oaks Plantation and museum, the  inspiration for “Tara” from Gone with the Wind
  • Sight-seeing tour of Atlanta including MLK’s boyhood home and visitors’ centre
  • Tour historic Charleston and see the iconic piazzas of the beautiful homes
  • Travel to Beaufort, the filming site of the movie Forest Gump
  • Trolley Tour the historic downtown district of Savannah
  • Experience historic landmarks of  the Civil Rights Trail in Montgomery and  Selma, Alabama
  • See New Orleans, home to jazz and beignets
  • See and visit a lavish Antebellum-styled Mansion in Natchez
  • Sightseeing of Memphis: including the Lorraine Hotel, MLK assassination site, and Beale Street, home of the Blues
  • Tour Nashville and go Honky Tonkin’
  • See the renowned Chatanooga Choo Choo

Optional Experiences:

  • Tour and explore Boone Hall Plantation
  • Take a riverboat dinner cruise of Savannah
  • Traditional Steamboat Jazz Cruise on the Mississippi River
  • Swamp tour and jazz brunch in New Orleans
  • Explore Elvis Presley’s magnificent  Estate: Graceland
  • Tour Nashville’s Country Hall of Fame and Studio B