Sightseeing:In New Orleans, Nashville, Atlanta; Savannah Trolley Tour, orientation tours in Baton Rouge, Natchez, Memphis, St. Augustine, Natchez including a pre-Civil War home, Graceland, Studio B, Country Music Hall of Fame, reserved premier seating at the Grand Ole Opry and ICE!.
Scenic Highlights:French Quarter, Celebration in the Oaks, Cajun Country, and Chattahoochee National Forest.
Local Guides for city sightseeing in New Orleans, Nashville, and Savannah; services of a professional Tour Director.
Day 1New Orleans
Enjoy time at leisure to relax or to do some independent exploring. Your Tour Director is on hand this evening to answer any questions.
Day 2New Orleans
The birthplace of jazz is a lively colorful city with a distinctly French feel. On your morning city tour you will see the French Quarter, including St Louis Cathedral and Jackson Square. Then drive by the Garden District to see its stately mansions and stop at a typical New Orleans above ground cemetery. Christmas shopping in New Orleans is an absolute treat and the afternoon has been set aside for you to explore Canal Street and the French Quarter offering an extensive array of unique stores and designer boutiques. You are sure to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list. This evening we make our way to Celebration in the Oaks a must see festive display of nearly two million lights decorating one-hundred-year-old oak trees decorated with handmade ornaments. Afterwards we make our way to the Roosevelt Hotel where Christmas decorating dates back to the 1940s, with Christmas trees, wrapped presents, elves, angels and a gingerbread house. End the evening with a drive down Canal Street and see it at its best lit up with Christmas lights.
Day 3New Orleans
A full day at leisure. Roam through the centuries-old French Quarter or take a carriage ride while listening to tales of voodoo queens and pirates. History enthusiasts can roam through sprawling Victorian mansions and celebrated museums, catching a glimpse of life the way it used to be in the Old South. Tonight, you might like to experience the city’s beauty and romance on a 2-hour cruise from the heart of the French Quarter on New Orleans’ only steamboat.
Day 4New Orleans–Baton Rouge–Natchez
Drive through the heart of Cajun Country to Baton Rouge for an orientation tour that features the Governor’s Mansion and the State Capitol. Next, on to elegant Natchez, a thriving port in the golden years of the cotton trade. Visit a gracious PRE-CIVIL WAR HOME featuring fine collections of period furniture and paintings. In the evening, relax and perhaps sip a refreshing mint julep as the sun goes down.
Drive to Jackson, then north through rural Mississippi to Memphis. On arrival, acquaint yourself with the town during an included orientation tour. For your first night in the “Home of the Blues,” why not visit one of the famous music clubs on Beale Street, immortalized in WC Handy’s famous songs? (B)
Day 6Memphis–Graceland Visit–Nashville
A trip to Memphis would not be complete without visiting GRACELAND, the palatial home of “The King,” Elvis Presley. Our guided platinum audio tour focuses on the splendid garden and the opulent 15,000-square-foot mansion. Afterward, the “Capital of Country Music,” Nashville. Tonight you have reserved premiere seats for an unforgettable show at the world-famous Grand Ole Opry.
Its association with country music has made the name “Nashville” world famous, but it’s not just music fans who will find this charming Southern city a delight. Start your day with a visit to STUDIO B, Nashville’s oldest surviving recording studio and one of the country’s most important. Afterward, enjoy a sightseeing tour of the famous landmarks, including the Parthenon, the State Capitol, Bicentennial State Park, and the recording studios of Music Row. Then, visit the COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME with its glittering costumes, rare instruments, and Elvis Presley’s “solid-gold” Cadillac. Afterwards experience the spectacular ICE exhibition. Held in the Gaslight Theatre located at the Gaylord Opryland Resort, ICE is enclosed in a 20,000 square-foot refrigerated theatre. This fabulous winter wonderland is carved out of 1.5 million pounds of ice and features interactive displays and three-dimensional, larger than life sculptures in a rainbow of colors, some weighing more than two tons!
First stop today is Chattanooga, home of the Chattanooga Choo Choo. Then, enter the “Peach State” of Georgia and continue through Chattahoochee National Forest to the fast-growing metropolis of Atlanta, former home and burial place of civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr. After an included sightseeing tour of the city, the rest of the day is yours to explore or relax.
We head south through rich, rolling farmland to the historic seaport of Savannah for a 2-night stay. On this afternoon’s TROLLEY TOUR, your tour highlights attractions such as the City Market, Forsyth Park, Mercer House, Madison Square (where General Sherman concluded his “March to the Sea”), Colonial Park Cemetery, and the world-famous River Street. This evening is free to explore this charming city on your own. (CB)
A day at leisure to explore. Shop on cobblestoned River Street or stroll among the many squares surrounded by elegant homes and majestic gardens. Don’t miss the impressive Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum, where you can learn about Savannah’s important role in maritime history. (CB)
Day 11Savannah–St. Augustine–Orlando
Travel into the “Sunshine State” of Florida, stopping first at St. Augustine, the oldest city in the United States. You will see the Oldest House and the Spanish fortress, Castillo de San Marcos, on your orientation tour. Then, drive to the magical city of Orlando. (CB)
A full day to relax and explore the many sights in the Orlando area. Your Tour Director will suggest a varied and exciting selection of optional outings, such as Disney’s huge entertainment parks, including the Magic Kingdom®, Animal Kingdom®, Epcot®, and MGM Studios®. Also on the list are SeaWorld® (America’s biggest marine life park) and exciting Universal Studios®.
The trip ends today with guests departing on individual schedules. Transfers to Orlando International Airport are included. You can extend your vacation with extra nights and explore the “Sunshine State” further with a variety of exciting optional activities.
Transportation:Private, deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach while touring.
1 breakfast, 3 continental breakfasts