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The beautiful South comes alive on this wonderful vacation featuring locations that have played a role in the evolution of American music. This southern U.S. tour starts with two nights in Chicago, ends with three nights in New Orleans, includes two nights in Nashville and Memphis, and an overnight in St. Louis. Enjoy a sightseeing tour or an orientation tour in each of the cities. Highlights of this tour include places near and dear to music lovers’ hearts. In Nashville, visit the Country Music Hall of Fame, with its rare instruments and Elvis Presley’s “solid-gold” Cadillac, and RCA Studio B, Nashville’s oldest remaining recording studio and where Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, and many more stars recorded their biggest hits. You’ll also enjoy the world-famous Grand Ole Opry, a must for any country music fan and where you’ll have premier reserved seating for a show. In Memphis, see where the film, “Walk the Line,” was filmed and visit Graceland, Elvis’ palatial estate. Other tour highlights include a trip to the top of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis. Experience a ride on the AMTRAK® City of New Orleans train from Memphis to New Orleans. Watch for cotton fields and catfish ponds as you pass through Mississippi. In Louisiana, enjoy a boat cruise through the swampy waterways. On this southern U.S. tour, you’ll also have plenty of time to explore on your own or to join optional outings. In Memphis, you may want to join an optional excursion to Sun Studio or visit a blues club on famous Beale Street. In New Orleans, you may want to visit a plantation or shop in the French Quarter. For music lovers and those desiring to experience the South, this value-minded tour is the perfect vacation!
Destinations & Sightseeing
Sightseeing:In Chicago, Nashville, and New Orleans; orientation tours in St. Louis and Memphis; Gateway Arch, RCA Studio B, Country Music Hall of Fame, reserved premier seating at the Grand Ole Opry, Graceland, and boat cruise through the Louisiana Swamps. ■ Inside visits as shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.Guides:
Services of a professional Tour Director; Local Guide for sightseeing in New Orleans.
Scenic Highlights:Mississippi River, and the Louisiana Bayou Country.
The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on this vacation:
Transportation:AMTRAK® City of New Orleans train from Memphis to New Orleans; private, deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach while touring.
Meals & Itinerary
1 continental breakfast
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.
Day 1 Chicago
Welcome to the “Windy City.” Your Tour Director is on hand late this afternoon to answer any questions.
Day 2 Chicago
Included sightseeing shows off the city’s landmarks, then an afternoon at leisure. Maybe ride the elevator to the top of Willis Tower, formerly known as the Sears Tower, stroll in Grant Park, or cruise on the Chicago River. Tonight, how about dinner on Navy Pier with its delightful shops and restaurants?
Day 3 Chicago–St. Louis
Travel across the fertile Illinois farmlands to St. Louis, “Gateway to the West.” An orientation tour includes a trip to the top of the GATEWAY ARCH, which commemorates the city’s key role in westward expansion. Visit the Old Courthouse and enjoy a film on the monument.
Day 4 St. Louis–Nashville
Recross the Mississippi River today and roll southeast to Paducah on the Ohio River. Late-afternoon arrival in Nashville.
Day 5 Nashville
Start the day with a sightseeing tour of Nashville’s famous landmarks and the Music Row recording studios. Tour historic RCA STUDIO B, cradle of the “Nashville Sound” in the 1960s and where stars such as Dolly Parton, Elvis Presley, Eddy Arnold, Willie Nelson, and the Everly Brothers recorded many of their biggest hits. Afterward, visit the COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME with its glittering costumes, rare instruments, and Elvis’ “solid-gold” Cadillac! Tonight, enjoy reserved premier seating for a show at the world-famous GRAND OLE OPRY, a mecca for country musicians.
Day 6 Nashville–Memphis
Cross Tennessee to Memphis, “Home of the Blues” and a city with a distinct Southern flavor. Enjoy an orientation tour on arrival and see where the film, “Walk the Line” was filmed. Join the optional excursion to Sun Studio, where rock ‘n’ roll was first recorded, followed by dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 7 Memphis. Visit to Graceland
A good portion of the day is devoted to GRACELAND, Elvis Presley’s beautiful estate. Your guided audio tour focuses on the memorial garden, and the opulent 15,000-square-foot mansion. Return to Memphis mid-afternoon where your Tour Director will have suggestions for your free time. Tonight you may want to visit a blues club on famous Beale Street.
Day 8 Memphis–Amtrak City of New Orleans Train–New Orleans
Providing the locomotion for today’s journey through the state of Mississippi and into the Mississippi River Delta is the CITY OF NEW ORLEANS, the famous train of story and song. Cotton fields and catfish ponds slide past on the way to New Orleans. The evening is free to begin exploring this lively city.
Day 9 New Orleans
A full morning is dedicated to the sights and sounds of New Orleans, featuring a guided tour that includes the French Quarter landmarks, St. Louis Cathedral, Jackson Square, and a visit to a unique above-ground cemetery. Next, board a boat for a CRUISE through the winding, swampy waterways. The rest of the day is free.
Day 10 New Orleans
A free day with a wide selection of activities to choose from, including a visit to a beautiful plantation home. For shoppers, Canal Street and the French Quarter offer an array of specialty shops and boutiques. This evening, perhaps join an optional Mississippi River dinner cruise aboard an authentic steamboat to enjoy a delightful buffet dinner, complete with live jazz—the perfect finale to a memorable touring adventure of the South.
Day 11 New Orleans
The trip ends today with guests departing on individual schedules. Transfers to the New Orleans International Airport are included.
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.
Escorting tours for more than 20 years
Years of Experience: 24
“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!”
CHICAGO Hotel Indigo Chicago Downtown Gold Coast (TC)ST. LOUIS Pear Tree Inn Union Station (TC)NASHVILLE The Inn at Opryland (MF)MEMPHIS Crowne Plaza Memphis Downtown (MF)NEW ORLEANS Wyndham New Orleans French Quarter (MF)
* The "Starting at" or listed price is based on the lowest price available to book. Price is per passenger based on double occupancy and does not include airfare; additional fees/charges are not included. If a price is crossed out, the new price includes a limited time promotional offer(s) – please review current promotions or deals
for additional information. Some tours require intra-vacation flights (and in some cases intra-vacation segments must be purchased from Cosmos).