Little Rock and Little Soul

Great food, great music, and learn about history! Visit the Rock ‘n Soul Museum, all about the birth of rock and soul music, see the National Civil Rights Museum and explore how this significant era continues to shape equality and freedom globally, visit Graceland, Johnny Cash Boyhood Home, & much more!

Duration
6 Days /5 Nights

Group size

Customization
Available!
Estimated Tour Pricing Inclusions: 5 nights’ accommodation; 5  deluxe buffet breakfasts; 2 lunches; 2 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.
Highlights:
  • Rock ‘n Soul Museum
  • Sun Studio
  • Edge Motor Museums
  • National Civil Right Museum
  • Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum
  • Graceland
  • The Peabody Ducks
  • Johnny Cash Boyhood Home
  • Southern Tenant Farmer’s Museum
  • Tour Arkansas
  • Visit Heifer Village and Urban Farm
  • Rock Town Distillery
  • Old Mill Visit
 
Sample Itinerary:
Day 1 - Rock ‘n Soul, Sun Studio, & Edge Motor Museums
  • Arrive in Memphis, Tennessee and tour some of the area’s most popular sites. Visit the Rock ‘n Soul Museum, the museum’s  exhibition is about the birth of rock and soul music, created by the Smithsonian Institution, tells the story of musical pioneers who, for the love of music, overcame racial and socio-economic barriers to create the music that shook the entire world.
  • Next up is Sun Studio, a recording studio opened by rock-and-roll pioneer Sam Phillips in 1950. It is known worldwide as “The Birthplace of Rock’n’roll”. Sun Studio is the discovery location of musical legends and genres of the 50’s from B.B. King and Elvis Presley to Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis; from Blues and Gospel to Country and Rock’n'roll. Today their goal is to spread the story of Memphis’ history and culture through the music that put Memphis on the map. Stand in the very same spot that Elvis first recorded. Your GUIDE will tell you the inside stories of B.B. King, Howlin' Wolf, and Ike Turner before Elvis, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, & Roy Orbison who were all drawn to the new Sun Sound.
  • Edge Motor Museum. The Edge Motor Museum is Memphis' only car museum. Visit our exhibit, "American Speed" and experience the story of the American sports car.
  • Check-in to your local area hotel for the evening.
  • Enjoy a Welcome Dinner this evening at a circa-1948 basement BBQ spot serving up racks of smoked ribs, sausages, and dry rubs. Welcome to Memphis! Return to your hotel for the evening. (Meals: D)
 
Day 2 - National Civil Right Museum
  • Enjoy breakfast at the hotel this morning.
  • Meet in the hotel lobby and depart for the National Civil Rights Museum. Noted as one of the nation's premier heritage and cultural museums, the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, is steadfast in its mission to share the culture and lessons from the American Civil Rights Movement and explore how this significant era continues to shape equality and freedom globally. Established in 1991, the National Civil Rights Museum is located at the former Lorraine Motel, where civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968. Through interactive exhibits, historic collections, dynamic speakers and special events, the museum offers visitors a chance to walk through history and learn more about a tumultuous and inspiring period of change.
  • Enjoy lunch included at another iconic Memphis BBQ hotspot. Enjoy pulled pork or chicken sandwiches and other southern delights.
  • Tour The Stax Museum of American Soul Music, the world’s only museum dedicated to preserving and promoting the legacy of Stax Records and American soul music. Located on the original site of the Stax Records studio in Memphis, Tennessee, the Stax Museum pays special tribute to the artists who recorded there, as well as other American soul legends, with interactive exhibits, films, stage costumes, musical instruments, vintage recording equipment used at Stax, records, photographs, permanent and changing galleries, and a rare and amazing collection of more than 2,000 items of memorabilia and artifacts.
  • Visit the Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum for ‘A Walk Through History’. A walk through this Antebellum home is a journey through history, revealing secrets of its past that had been kept hidden for more than 100 years. After reaching America, Africans were auctioned off to the highest bidder and doomed to a life of slavery, stripping them of their dignity, their pride and most of all, their freedom. Whenever possible, individuals attempted to liberate themselves by running away. Many runaways were aided by abolitionists who gave them safe passage on the Underground Railroad. As you descend the stairs into the dark, damp cellar and peer through the trapdoors and hidden passages where the fugitives were harbored, you get a glimpse of those turbulent times. Imagine for a moment what daring escapes these must have been for those who were determined to break the chains of slavery.
  • This evening enjoy dinner on own and free time to really absorb the tastes and sounds of Beale Street, “Home of the Blues”. This famous street is chock full of clubs and eateries offering the best of live Memphis sounds and restaurants offering anything from soul food and contemporary southern cuisine to good old American burgers. Beale Street has got it all so stroll, listen, dine, and enjoy the excitement! Retire to the hotel for the evening. (Meals: B, L)
 
Day 3 - Elvis Exploring & The Peabody Ducks
  • Enjoy breakfast at the hotel this morning.
  • Today, enjoy the Elvis Experience at Graceland! Your tour includes: Graceland Mansion Audio-Guided Tour with New Orientation Film, Access to Elvis Presley’s Memphis, Elvis’ Two Custom Airplanes, Presley Motor Car Museum, Elvis: The Entertainer Career Showcase Museum, & Elvis Discovery Exhibits. Enjoy lunch on own while visiting.
  • Visit the Cotton Mill Exchange Museum where you're treading on the legendary floor cotton traders once stood at the center of the global cotton economy. Once, only the elite members of the Cotton Exchange could enter. Today, this historic space is open to the public and is devoted to sharing the story of cotton.
  • Arrive at The Peabody Memphis to see the famous Peabody Ducks ~ Evening March!  Back in the 1930's Frank Shutt, General Manager of The Peabody, and a friend, Chip Barwick, returned from a weekend hunting trip to Arkansas. The men had a little too much Tennessee sippin' whiskey and thought it would be funny to place some of their live duck decoys (it was legal then for hunters to use live decoys) in the beautiful Peabody fountain. Three small English call ducks were selected as "guinea pigs," and the reaction was nothing short of enthusiastic. Thus began a Peabody tradition which was to become internationally famous.® In 1940, Bellman Edward Pembroke, a former circus animal trainer, offered to help with delivering the ducks to the fountain each day and taught them the now-famous Peabody Duck March. Mr. Pembroke became Peabody Duckmaster, serving in that capacity for 50 years until his retirement in 1991. Nearly 90 years after the inaugural march, the ducks still visit the lobby fountain from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, after which they retire to their luxury Royal Duck Palace on the hotel’s rooftop, and is a miniature of the hotel itself, complete with fountain and soft, grassy “front yard”.
  • This evening, enjoy dinner on own and free time to really absorb the tastes and sounds of Beale Street, “Home of the Blues”. This famous street is chock full of clubs and eateries offering the best of live Memphis sounds and restaurants offering anything from soul food and contemporary southern cuisine to good old American burgers. Beale Street has got it all so stroll, listen, dine, and enjoy the excitement! Return to the hotel for the evening. (Meals: B)
 
Day 4 - Johnny Cash Boyhood Home & Southern Tenant Farmer’s Museum
  • Enjoy breakfast at the hotel this morning prior to checking out.
  • Meet in the hotel lobby and depart to cross the Mighty Mississippi River and enter Arkansas.
  • Arrive to The Dyess Colony, established in 1934 as a federal agricultural resettlement community under the Works Progress Administration and the Federal Emergency Relief Administration.
  • Visit the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home where Ray and Carrie Cash were among the nearly 500 colonist families recruited from all over Arkansas to the historic Dyess Colony. The Cashes moved to Dyess in March 1935 with their five children, including Roy, 13; Louise, 11; Jack, 5; J.R., 3; and Reba, 1. Two additional children, Joanne and Tommy, were born in Dyess. The Cash home is one of the few houses remaining in the former New Deal-era colony. Johnny Cash lived in Dyess until he graduated from high school in 1950. His music was greatly influenced by his experiences in Dyess, including such songs as “Pickin’ Time” and “Five Feet High and Rising.” Stop for a visit to a working Cotton Gin.
  • Enjoy lunch included in the heart of the Delta and serving up classic homestyle favorites. Afterwards, enjoy free time for shopping at a unique mercantile located across the street. Stop for a photo opportunity at The Painted House in Lepanto, the original movie set farmhouse used in the 2003 Hallmark Hall of Fame film production of the same name.  The house is patterned after the Arkansas boyhood home of novelist John Grisham, who wrote "A Painted House." Many items used in making the movie are displayed in the vintage-looking house constructed for the film. Visit the Southern Tenant Farmer’s Museum, enhance your knowledge and understanding of tenant farming and agricultural labor movements in the Mississippi River Delta, in an effort to preserve the history and promote the legacy of sharecropping, tenant farming and the farm labor movement. Depart for Little Rock, Arkansas. Stop en route for dinner included and feast on some delicious, fresh, local catfish! Enjoy a signature combo of catfish, shrimp, and BBQ, or any of the other delicious offerings such as grilled chicken breast, pork ribs, and more! Check-in to your Little Rock local area hotel. (Meals: B, L, D)
 
Day 5 - Tour Arkansas, Visit Heifer Village and Urban Farm, & Rock Town Distillery
  • Enjoy breakfast at the hotel this morning.
  • Depart for a fun-filled day of touring to include: The Arkansas State Capitol, often called the Capitol Building, is the home of the Arkansas General Assembly, and the seat of the Arkansas state government that sits atop Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the Capitol Mall in Little Rock, Arkansas. The grand state capitol building features guided tours, temporary exhibits, and a gift shop.
  • Central High School National Historic Site, a unit of the National Park Service, this site tells the story of the Little Rock 9 and the Desegregation crisis of 1957. Rangers provide tours of the high school and share what happened to the 9 African American children who wanted the better opportunity that education at Central provided. Tours of the high school are available, but you must contact the Park in advance to attend a tour.
  • Lunch on own and shopping in the River Market District. The District is Little Rock’s premier entertainment neighborhood, with museums, a park and several restaurants, bars, and shops. Ottenheimer Hall is a great place to begin exploring.
  • The Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, featuring exhibits, special events, and educational programs. The museum includes replicas of the Oval Office and the Cabinet Room. Permanent exhibits utilize documents, photographs, videos, and interactive stations. A timeline and alcoves highlight domestic and foreign policy, as well as life in the White House.
  • Heifer Village and Urban Farm, a place where visitors, staff, volunteers, and the international development community can come together to learn more about world hunger, poverty, and solutions currently being employed to combat those problems. In addition to permanent exhibit space, the Heifer Village provides a valuable educational resource for schools and a forum for individuals to come together to learn and discuss issues through ongoing daytime, evening, and weekend programming.
  • The Urban Farm is a three-acre, multi-purpose garden located behind Heifer headquarters. Created as part of a vision to actively engage in the local community, the Urban Farm has grown from a small community garden into an operation which serves several Arkansas food networks.
  • Rock Town Distillery for a Tour & Tasting, located in downtown Little Rock, is the first legal distillery of any kind in Arkansas since the prohibition-era. They are an artisan craft distillery that uses grains from Arkansas to distill award winning spirits. Rock Town is a true grain-to-glass distillery. Their spirits are carefully distilled from corn, wheat and rye grown within 125 miles of the distillery. Founded in 2010 by Phil Brandon, Rock Town Distillery has won numerous international awards for its spirits and can be found in numerous states, the UK and Canada. Enjoy dinner on own this evening. Return to the hotel after dinner. (Meals: B)
 
Day 6 - Old Mill Visit & Depart
  • Enjoy breakfast at the hotel this morning prior to checking out.
  • Meet in the hotel lobby and depart. Visit the Old Mill, listed on the National Register of Historic Places and famous for the opening scene in the movie, "Gone With The Wind", made in 1939, (It is believed to be the only remaining structure from the film). This three-acre site, officially known as the T.R. Pugh Memorial Park and Pugh's Mill, is more commonly known as the Old Mill. The mill, with a water wheel constructed of concrete but treated to look like wood, is surrounded by a road resembling an old wagon road and a rustic footbridge made of black locust tree limbs. The park is open to the public and a great setting for photographs or a picnic lunch. It is a very restful site with flowers blooming twelve months of the year. Sculptured concrete work, known as faux bois, includes numerous bridges, benches, baskets, etc., sculpted to look like real wood.
  • Depart for home and bid farewell to Memphis and Little Rock but keep the “Little Rock & Little Soul” in your memories and spirits! (Meals: B)

Base rate does not include motor coach transportation, airfare, airport transfers, driver gratuity, guide gratuity, (student groups exempt) or any upgrades or add-ons unlisted from itinerary as stated. Pricing may vary based on day of arrival or other conditions. Personalized itineraries with custom pricing and/or additional transportation can be created and added based on client needs and upon client’s request. MARS will customize quotes or personalize itineraries for FREE.

Click 'PDF' below for a Sample Itinerary:            
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