Rockin Down the Highway Road Trip
The birthplace of some of the world’s most prominent musical genres like jazz, soul, blues, and rock‘n’roll, the American South is where tumultuous times and a crossroad of cultures converged to create sounds that have changed the world forever. In one short trip, you’ll retrace the trail of music legends, discover the origins of the world’s most influential musical styles, and explore some of the South’s most melodic cities.
Make Memories in “Music City”
Your rockin’ adventure kicks off in Nashville, one of America’s most vibrant music scenes. In Nashville, music is the native tongue and the thread that weaves the city’s past and future together. From legends to up-and-comers, “Music City” is a destination that guarantees live music any day of the week.
To sample the sounds, head to the historic Grand Ole Opry, an American music landmark, whose roster of performers reads like a who’s who of music royalty, and where you can still catch spectacular weekly live performances. Then, it’s off to the Country Music Hall of Fame for a fascinating tour through country music’s rich history. After dinner, it’s downtown to the Lower Broad Entertainment District for a live show at a honky-tonk bar and a local whiskey.
Relive Rock‘n’Roll History in Memphis
From Nashville, you’ll “two-step” down to Memphis, Tennessee where gospel, R&B, jazz, and blues mixed to form one of America’s greatest treasures: Rock‘n’Roll. Find another treasure: the home of “The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll” himself, Elvis Presley. Head to Graceland Mansion for an immersive tour of the home and possessions of one of the world’s most influential music icons.
Next, you’ll walk down world-famous Beale Street, the heart of Memphis’ music scene, where the sounds of jazz, country, folk, and blues waft from bustling venues. For a classic Memphis combination, head to B.B. King’s Blues Club for finger-lickin’ barbecue and live music.
Feel the Rhythm From Shoals to Shores
Leave the city behind and journey down the “Gold Record Road” to Shoals, a collective of four small towns in Alabama, including Sheffield, Florence, Tuscumbia, and “The Hit’s Capital of the World,” Muscle Shoals. Here, in this seemingly unlikely place, the landscape of music was profoundly altered thanks to a group of dedicated producers, session musicians, and artists.
In Muscle Shoals, tour the iconic FAME Recording Studio, where the Muscle Shoals Sound was born. In Tuscumbia, explore the immersive exhibits at the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. In Florence, step into blues history with a tour of “The Father of Blues,” W.C. Handy’s museum and home.
Then, end your Shoals music history lesson at the world-famous Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Sheffield, where music legends like the Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart, and Paul Simon recorded in the 70s.
Your adventure continues further south in the port city of Mobile — Alabama’s oldest city — where history and soulful hospitality are still alive and well. Explore one of the city’s seven National Historic Districts each with its own flavour and style.
Then, step back in time with a fascinating tour of the U.S.S. Alabama, a World War II battleship, that serves up a powerful combination of history and hands-on experience. Next, follow in the footsteps of the South’s brave freedom-seekers with an Underground Railroad bike tour.
Make Some Noise in N’awlins
The final stop on your rockin’ road trip takes you to the birthplace of jazz — New Orleans. Stroll along the historic streets of downtown New Orleans where you’ll hear the city sing with the sounds of street performers and music venues. After all, in the “Big Easy,” live music, strong drinks, good food, and friends to share it with are all essential ingredients for the “joie de vivre” lifestyle.
For dinner, step aboard the historic and glamorous Paddlewheeler Creole Queen for a spectacular cruise up the Mississippi River where you’ll indulge in delectable Creole cuisine, listen to the sounds of live jazz, and take in stunning views of the city.
Next, it’s onto the heart of the New Orleans jazz scene, Preservation Hall, which was originally founded to protect the city’s jazz traditions by giving out-of-work jazz musicians a platform. Today, you can still hear live jazz in this historic music venue seven nights a week.
One Last Dish
Before you depart, there’s still time for one more dish. How about a hot bowl of seafood gumbo?
9 nights' accommodation, information packet at hotel upon arrival with driving directions.
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