Sightseeing: In Memphis and Nashville; orientation tour of Tupelo, Stax Museum, Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, Sun Studio, Elvis Presley Birthplace, Graceland, private performance with John Carter Cash, Country Music Hall of Fame, Studio B, and reserved premier seating at the Grand Ole Opry.
Local Guides for sightseeing in Memphis and Nashville; services of a professional Tour Director.
Welcome to Memphis! Enjoy time at leisure to relax or to do some independent exploring. The first three nights of your stay are centrally located, with easy access to Beale Street and the entertainment district with its blocks of nightclubs, restaurants, retail shops, and a melting pot of music. Your Tour Director is on hand this evening to answer any questions.
Today you will feel like a part of Memphis as you experience this amazing city on your guided city sightseeing tour. Your expert Local Guide knows Memphis history like no one else—including the inside, “backstage” stories from the folks who were there, as well as those hard-to-find, hidden Elvis sites (his Lauderdale Courts apartment, Humes High School, the Overton Park Shell Theatre where Elvis gave his first paid concert, places where he worked and played, and many others). You’ll hear your favorite Elvis songs, along with entertaining stories about Elvis, his family, and the city he called home. For music lovers, a visit to the STAX MUSEUM of American Soul Music is next. Stax celebrates great Memphis soul music made famous by Otis Redding, Booker T. and the MGs, Aretha Franklin, and others. Then, on to the ROCK ‘N’ SOUL MUSEUM, which traces Memphis’ cultural and musical past. End the day with a visit to SUN STUDIO, probably the most famous recording studio in the world, where Rock ‘n’ Roll was first recorded. Hear outtakes from sessions, touch Elvis’ first microphone, see memorabilia, and relive the history of the studio that launched the careers of Johnny Cash, BB King, Roy Orbison, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, and many other music legends.
Day 3Memphis. Excurstion To Tupelo
This morning we journey to Tupelo, Mississippi, to visit the ELVIS’ BIRTHPLACE & MUSEUM, a small, 2-room house built by the singer’s father, Vernon Presley. You will also visit the Elvis Presley Museum, featuring “Remembrance of Things Past,” an exhibit displaying memorabilia from Elvis’ childhood. It’s here that you can see, feel, and touch where the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll began his musical journey. Return to Memphis, “Home of the Blues,” where the evening is free for independent activities. You may choose to visit one of the famous clubs on Beale Street, immortalized in WC Handy’s famous songs. Visit the National Civil Rights Museum, housed in the Lorraine Motel and site of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., or sample some famous Memphis barbecue.
Day 4Memphis. Excurstion To Graceland
Today is dedicated to a guided audio tour of GRACELAND. The mansion tour consists of the living room, music room, Elvis’ parents’ bedroom, the dining room, kitchen, TV room, pool room, and “jungle den” in the main house. Behind the house are Elvis’ racquetball building and his original business office. You will also see his trophy building, which houses his enormous collection of gold records, awards, and career mementoes. Recently opened is a section of the mansion with never-before-seen items, such as the desk from his personal office and an extensive collection of his stage costumes. The tour ends with a quiet visit to the Meditation Garden, where Elvis and members of his family have been laid to rest. You’ll also be able to board “The King’s” private jet. Overnight at Elvis Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel.
Today we head to Nashville—“Music City USA.” No one told a story quite like Johnny Cash, and that tradition continues as you settle in for a PRIVATE PERFORMANCE & DISCUSSION with Johnny and June’s only son, John Carter Cash. John Carter will entertain you with his own original music, as well as a few numbers made famous by his legendary family, and he’ll even be available for photographs and autographs afterward. Your day doesn’t end here! Get behind the scenes of the music industry by visiting the COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME with its glittering costumes, rare instruments, and Elvis Presley’s “solid-gold” Cadillac.NOTE:The private performance with John Carter Cash is not available on the following departures: March 4 & 25, May 20, June 3 & 17, July 8, October 7, 14 & 28. A private performance with Tommy Cash (Johnny Cash’s brother) or one of Nashville’s most accomplished songwriters, with insight on the songwriting craft, will be substituted for these dates and any additional conflicts.
Nashville is the ideal destination for music fans, history buffs, and lovers of the South. Start your day with a visit to STUDIO B, Nashville’s oldest surviving recording studio and one of the country’s most important. Between 1957 and 1977, more than 35,000 songs were recorded here, including 262 Elvis Presley recordings. Studio B is a “must-see” for any music fan, but especially for those who love Elvis. You even have the chance to make your own recording and take it home with you. Afterward, enjoy a sightseeing tour of the city, passing by famous Music Row recording studios, the center of the recording industry, which first developed in the 1950s. Tonight, see an unforgettable show at the world-famous GRAND OLE OPRY, the world’s premier country music venue since 1925 and the setting for the nation’s longest-running music show.
Today is at leisure to explore more of this vibrant city. You may choose to visit the historic Ryman Auditorium, restored home of the Grand Ole Opry from 1943-1974. Perhaps visit the Hermitage, home of Andrew Jackson, seventh president of the United States. You’ll have an opportunity to view the fully restored mansion, walk through the gardens, and see the tomb of the late president.
The trip ends today with guests departing on individual schedules. Transfers to Nashville International Airport are included. You can extend your vacation with extra nights and explore “Music City USA” further with a variety of exciting optional activities.
Transportation:Private, deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach while touring.
This Cosmos travel package does not include meals. Most of our hotels offer anything from coffee to a full breakfast, so you can start the day the way you like best. At most lunch stops, your Tour Director will have information on local restaurants. Dinnertime is your chance to sample local cuisine. Sometimes your Tour Director will offer an optional dinner outing.
With Cosmos, there’s no better way to get to know your destination than through the eyes of your Tour Director. Averaging over a decade... we’d like you to meet a Tour Director, who is representative of the type of expert that will be with you on your vacation.
Years of Experience: 21 years
I have been conducting tours for many years. I love sharing my part of the world with travelers and watching them have fun, knowing that I play a part in their enjoyment. I am from the Deep South, so I feel that I have much to share in that area. I also conduct tours in the Midwest, the East, Southeast, Northeast, and Eastern Canada. Some of my favorite hobbies are cooking, entertaining, playing the piano, daily walks, reading, and travel!