Springtime Tour of the South

  • Date

    March 21-29, 2020 | Sat / Sun – 9 Days

  • Location

    Memphis |  Vicksburg |  Natchez  |  New Orleans |  Birmingham |  Nashville

Overview

At this time of year when everyone is more than ready for Spring to arrive, jump start the season and head south where blossoms are already blooming. Wander the Beale in Memphis, “Home of the Blues” and “Birthplace of Rock-n-Roll.” Brush up on your Civil War history at Vicksburg and let the antebellum homes of Natchez impress you with their stately, opulent styles. In New Orleans, lacey cast iron balconies hang over old historic streets and the food casts its spell over locals and tourists alike! Alabama boasts of beautiful Bellingrath Gardens and passionate Birmingham; then end the tour on a positive note in Music City, the capital of Tennessee. Explore the new entertainment complex at Graceland, tour historic homes and gardens, encounter swamp wildlife on a flat-bottomed boat, take a cooking class, and more! Journey through diverse culture, music and delicious cuisine. And did we mention the food?

HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE

  • City tours in Memphis, Natchez, New Orleans, and Birmingham
  • Vicksburg National Military Park
  • Stanton Hall tour and lunch at The Carriage House Restaurant
  • New Orleans School of Cooking
  • Honey Island swamp tour
  • Jazz-themed dinner cruise in New Orleans
  • Lunch and tour at Bellingrath Gardens and Home
  • Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham
  • Country Music Hall of Fame

PACKAGE INCLUDES

  • Roundtrip motorcoach
  • Escorted
  • 8 nights accommodations
  • Breakfast daily
  • 4 lunches, 4 dinners
  • Sightseeing and admissions per itinerary
  • Hotel baggage handling

NOTE:

This itinerary includes activities where moderate walking is required. Some of the most unique sightseeing can be restrictive to motorcoaches, especially in historic areas.

Itinerary

Sat, Mar 21: Depart from Indianapolis via motorcoach for Memphis, Tennessee. Arrive to check in at The Guest House at Graceland for two nights. This hotel was inspired by the same warm southern hospitality that Elvis Presley always showed his guests. Every aspect of the hotel reflects Elvis’ personal style and the unique character of Graceland. Enjoy a Welcome Dinner with the group. (Meal: Dinner)

Sun, Mar 22: Following breakfast at the hotel, visit the Graceland mansion and enjoy the exhibits at the visitor’s complex — including a new museum, interactive exhibits, and restaurants. Later this afternoon, experience the “Home of the Blues” and “Birthplace of Rock-n-Roll” on a guided tour of the city, that highlights its sculptured, tree-lined parkways, important historical significance, and rich musical culture. Catch the world-famous “March of the Peabody Ducks” at the Peabody Hotel before an included dinner on Beale Street for some Memphis-style BBQ and live entertainment. (B,D)

Mon, Mar 23: Today, drive to Vicksburg for a guided tour and time for lunch on your own in historic downtown. Tour Vicksburg National Military Park, site of one of the most critical events of the Civil War when General Ulysses S. Grant laid siege to the town for 47 days. Then it’s time to depart for Natchez, set on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River, this historic city will impress you with its stately, antebellum homes and variety of architectural styles. Check in to your hotel for one night. (B)

Tue, Mar 24: This morning, venture out on a tour through Natchez. Established in 1716 as Fort Rosalie by Jean Baptiste Le Moyne, Natchez is the oldest European settlement on the Mississippi River. Lunch will be served at The Carriage House Restaurant, nationally known for its fine southern cuisine. Lunch is followed by a tour of Stanton Hall, Natchez’s premier historic attraction. Then, continue to The Crescent City — New Orleans, and stay in the historic French Quarter, where lacey cast iron balconies hang over iconic streets. Your boutique hotel is located near Bourbon Street. Known for its mix of cultures – from French/Canadian (“Cajun”), Spanish, Caribbean and African (“Creole”) to Native American, Italian and others, New Orleans’ intimate and unique ambience has cast its spell over artists, writers and tourists since the early 1800s. Dinner and the rest of the evening are on your own. (B,L)

Wed, Mar 25: Travel through three centuries of history, legends, and romance on a guided tour of New Orleans. Visit one of the historic cemeteries, and see homes of former Kings and Queens of the Mardi Gras, stately mansions, and the world-famous Garden District. At the New Orleans School of Cooking, watch a skilled chef prepare a classic Cajun/Creole lunch for you and learn about the vibrant history of New Orleans cuisine. The balance of the day is yours to enjoy. The possibilities are endless — visit the French Market, enjoy a beignet at Cafe du Monde, watch the street performers, visit the World War II museum, take time for some retail therapy, or just enjoy relaxing at the hotel. (B,L)

Thu, Mar 26: The fun continues today exploring Honey Island Swamp where you will get up close with native wildlife in one of the last protected wetlands in the state. Spend your last evening in New Orleans on board a classic paddle-wheeler including a scrumptious buffet dinner and live jazz music performed by local musicians. (B,D)

Fri, Mar 27: Depart for Bellingrath Gardens in Theodore, Alabama for lunch and a tour of the home and gardens. Located along the Isle aux Oies River, an abundance of delightful colors, fragrances and scenic views await among the various garden displays at this 65-acre estate. Travel north to Birmingham for an overnight and dinner with the group. (B,L,D)

Sat, Mar 28:  An enlightening tour of Birmingham will show you all sides of this “Magic City” from the industrial history to the civil rights movement. Visit the Civil Rights Institute, then have lunch on your own at downtown Birmingham’s Pizitz Food Mall — 20,000 square feet of food options featuring cuisine from Alabama and beyond. Continue north, stopping in historic Franklin, Tennessee near Nashville for an overnight and have the balance of the day at leisure. (B)

Sun, Mar 29: After breakfast, head to downtown Nashville. Pass the historic Ryman Auditorium, Honky Tonk Row, and the Parthenon. Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame, and enjoy a Farewell Lunch with the group at the Wildhorse Saloon before returning to Indianapolis. (B,L)

Hotel

The Guesthouse at Graceland, Memphis, Tennessee. A hotel inspired by Elvis’ iconic style and located just a short walk away from Graceland itself. Highlights: in-room mini-refrigerator, coffee station • complimentary high-speed Internet and Wi-Fi • two restaurants • bar/lounge • fitness center • outdoor pool.

Natchez Grand Hotel, Natchez, Mississippi. Hotel is in the downtown district on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River. Highlights: in-room coffee/tea maker • high-speed and Wi-Fi Internet access (fees apply) • bar/lounge • small outdoor pool • fitness center • spa.

The Hotel Mazarin. A luxury boutique hotel located in the French Quarter, a half block away from Bourbon Street. Highlights: in-room coffee/tea maker, refrigerator • complimentary WiFi Internet access • bar • fitness center.

The Tutwiler, Birmingham, Alabama. Enjoy modern amenities in a historic property at the Tutwiler located in downtown Birmingham. Highlights: elegant guest rooms • in-room coffee station • complimentary high-speed internet and Wi-Fi • restaurant • bar/lounge • fitness center.

The Harpeth, Franklin, Tennessee. Opening in the summer of 2019, and part of the new Curio Collection by Hilton, the hotel is nestled between the city’s historic district and the banks of the Harpeth River, offering easy access to entertainment, shopping and history. Highlights: spacious guest rooms • in room coffee station • complimentary WiFi Internet access • restaurant • bar/lounge • spa

Pricing

  • Complete Package
  • Double P/P – $2,549
  • Triple P/P – $2,359
  • Single – $3,269

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