Civil Rights & Soul Tour – Muscle Shoals, Memphis, & Nashville

Visit classic recording studios in Muscle Shoals & Memphis; experience a Civil Rights Tour, including the National Civil Rights Museum and Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum, in Memphis; see Honky Tonk Row, visit famous studios used by legendary musicians, the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, and much more on this experiential tour.

6 Days /7 Nights

Group size

Tour Inclusions: 6 nights’ accommodation; 6 breakfasts; 2 lunches; 4 dinners; admissions, entrance, and guide fees as stated in the itinerary, including taxes, and gratuity, except gratuity for guide fees is not included on adult tours unless otherwise requested.
  • Tennessee Kick Back Buffet
  • W.C. Handy Home & Museum
  • Helen Keller Birthplace
  • Muscle Shoals Sound Studios
  • FAME Studio
  • Stax Museum of American Soul Music
  • Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum
  • National Civil Rights Museum
  • Withers Collection Museum and Gallery with Rosalind Withers
  • Civil Rights Tour of Memphis
  • Sun Studio
  • Edge Motor Museum
  • Tina Tuner Museum
  • Casey Jones Home and Railroad Museum
  • Historic Nashville Civil Rights Tour
  • Honky Tonk Row
  • National Museum of African American Music

Sample Itinerary:
Day 1 - Arrive in Tennessee
  • Arrive in Chattanooga, TN, and check-in to your local area hotel for a Kick Back Buffet. (Meals: Reception Dinner)
Day 2 - Muscle Shoals, W.C. Handy Home & Museum, and Hellen Keller Birthplace
  • Enjoy breakfast included at the hotel this morning prior to departing for Muscle Shoals, AL. Arrive and enjoy lunch on own and free time in Downtown Tuscumbia.
  • Tour the W.C. Handy Home & Museum. W.C. Handy, widely recognized as the Father of The Blues, was born in Florence, Alabama, in 1873. Here you can feel the Blues down to your toes standing beside the very piano that shook with “St. Louis Blues” for the first time.
  • Visit the Helen Keller Birthplace, the home and museum are decorated with much of the original furniture of the Keller family. Each is highlighted by hundreds of Miss Keller's personal mementos, books, and gifts from her lifetime of travel and lectures in 25 countries for the betterment of the world's blind and deaf-blind.
  • Check-in to your local area hotel prior to an included dinner at a local town favorite restaurant featuring blues and jazz music. (Meals: B, D)
Day 3 - Muscle Shoals Sound Studios, FAME Studios, Stax Museum, & Beale Street Entertainment District
  • Enjoy breakfast included at the hotel this morning prior to a visit to Muscle Shoals Sound Studios, formed in 1969 by four session musicians called The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section who had left Rick Hall's nearby FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals to create their own recording facility.
  • Tour FAME Studios, see the Recording Studio where artists like Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett fired off a string of classic recordings.
  • Depart for Corinth, MS, and enjoy lunch included at one of the oldest drug stores in continuous operation in Mississippi. It houses Native American artifacts, Civil War relics, an authentic, working soda fountain, and home to the slugburger.
  • Continue to Memphis, TN, explore the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, the former location of Stax Records. It is operated by the Soulsville Foundation, which also operates the adjacent Stax Music Academy and The Soulsville Charter School, all located on one campus. It is a 17,000-square-foot museum with videos, films, photographs, and original instruments used to record Stax hits, stage costumes, interactive exhibits, and more than 2,000 other items of memorabilia.
  • Enjoy dinner on own in the Beale Street Entertainment District. Return to hotel  (Meals: B, L)
Day 4 - Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum & National Civil Rights Museum
  • Enjoy breakfast included at the hotel this morning prior to visiting the Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum.
  • Enjoy lunch included today at a local BBQ restaurant. Their success in Memphis has sparked national interest over the years, their restaurant and founders have appeared on several national TV shows including Pitmasters, The Best Thing I Ever Ate, and BBQ with Bobby Flay, plus national publications such as USA Today, Garden & Gun, Southern Living, and Men’s Health.
  • Arrive at the National Civil Rights Museum, a complex of museums and historic buildings tracing the history of the civil rights movement in the United States from the 17th century to the present.
  • Explore the Withers Collection Museum and Gallery with Rosalind Withers, 7,000 square feet of Memphis History. In February 2011, The Withers Collection opened its doors to the public, inviting everyone to see what Ernest Withers had accomplished. With close to 1.8 million images in the archive, you can imagine what a labor of love it was to sort, preserve, and print the images they chose to put on display.
  • Enjoy dinner on own in the Beale Street Entertainment District. Return to the hotel for the evening. (Meals: B, L)
Day 5 - Civil Rights Tour of Memphis, Sun Studio, & Museum Exploring
  • Enjoy breakfast included at the hotel this morning prior to checking out.
  • Meet your GUIDE for a Civil Rights Tour of Memphis: See Clayborn Temple - served as headquarters and a rallying point for civil rights leaders and activists alike during the Sanitation Workers' Strike in 1968. Visit the I AM A MAN Plaza to learn about the sanitation strike and its major role in civil rights history. See the Mason Temple where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous "Mountaintop" speech on April 3, 1968, which turned out to be his last address. Dr. King Jr. was assassinated on the balcony outside of his room at the Lorraine Motel the following day. Today, Mason Temple is the international headquarters for the Church of God in Christ. Visit the historic Church on A Tour of Possibilities, which focuses on African American heritage in Memphis. See WDIA - Founded in 1947, WDIA became the nation's first radio station to cater entirely to African Americans. Enjoy lunch on own at a local café.
  • Visit Sun Studio, a recording studio opened by rock-and-roll pioneer Sam Phillips at 706 Union Avenue in Memphis, Tennessee, on January 3, 1950. It was originally called Memphis Recording Service, sharing the same building with the Sun Records label business.
  • Explore the Edge Motor Museum and see more than a dozen iconic sports cars from post-war United States to the 1970s, and track the cultural, economic, political, and technological trends that helped mold them into reflections of the era.
  • Visit the Tina Tuner Museum. This former one-room schoolhouse attended by a young Anna Mae Bullock (a.k.a. Tina Turner) is now home to a collection of the “Queen of Rock’s” memorabilia.
  • Arrive at the Casey Jones Home and Railroad Museum. Enjoy a short film about the story of Casey Jones, a walk-through Casey Jones’ historic home, and pictures with the 35-ton locomotive. Enjoy dinner included at a local favorite. Continue to Nashville, TN, and check-in to your hotel. (Meals: B, D)
Day 6 - Historic Nashville Civil Rights Tour & National Museum of African American Music
  • Enjoy breakfast included at the hotel this morning. Meet your GUIDE and embark on a Historic Nashville Civil Rights Tour.
  • See Fisk University, Tennessee State University, Hadley Park, Morris Memorial Bldg., Meigs School, Cumberland Golf Club, Frierson Office Bldg., East High School, Capers Memorial CME, Woolworth’s, S.H. Kress & Co., Walgreens, Griggs Hall American Baptist College, Davidson County Courthouse, the YWCA, and much more.
  • Enjoy lunch on your own along Honky Tonk Row. As the Grand Ole Opry took its place at the Historic Ryman Auditorium and in music history, the nearby Honky Tonk clubs of Lower Broadway became a creative breeding ground for hopeful performers, musicians, and songwriters yearning to make it in Music City. Part live music venue and part musician community, the clubs provided encouragement, a stage, and a tip jar for struggling artists. As you take in the famous sights and sounds of Nashville's Honky Tonks, don't be surprised if the person sitting next to you is a famous athlete, movie star, or politician. They've all been known to go Honky Tonkin' from time to time, and who knows, you might just get a sneak preview of the next big thing to come out of Nashville.
  • Depart and continue touring: See the Hermitage Hotel, The Arcade, War Memorial Bldg., El Dorado Hotel, Pearl High School, & Cohn High School. Arrive at the National Museum of African American Music for a Guided Tour. The museum showcases the musical genres inspired, created, or influenced by African Americans.
  • Depart & check-in to your hotel prior to an included Reception Dinner. (Meals: B, Reception Dinner)
Day 7 - Depart for Home
  • Enjoy breakfast included at the hotel this morning prior to checking out and departing home.
  • (Meals: B)

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