See The South: Blues Music Highway & Civil Rights Trails

Take A Fun Trip to Muscle Shoals! Enjoy your time in Nashville and visit famous studios used by legendary musicians. Tour the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Grand Ole Opry, and Honky Tonk Row! Visit the National Civil Rights Museum in Tennessee, the Magnolia Mound Plantation in Louisiana, take a trip to Alabama to go on the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail, and much more!

Duration
18 Days /17 Nights

Group size

Customization
Available!
Estimated Tour Pricing Inclusions: 17 nights’ accommodation; 17 breakfasts; 5 lunches; 10 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:
  • RCA Studio
  • Country Music Hall of Fame
  • Elvis Presley Museum
  • Stax Museum
  • Graceland
  • Civil Rights Museum
  • Memphis Music Hall of Fame
  • Johnny Cash Boyhood Home
  • Tenant Farmers Museum
  • Winery and Distillery Tour
  • Plantation Visit
  • Air Boat Tour
  • Atlanta Civil Rights Tour
  • Jazz Cruise
  • World of Coca-Cola

Sample Itinerary:
Day 1 - Arrival & Dinner
  • Arrive in Muscle Shoals and check in to your local hotel.
  • Dinner included at Swampers Restaurant. Your meal will be accompanied by Muscle Shoals musicians and a special guest appearance of a “Swamper”
 
Day 2 - FAME, Muscle Shoals, & Jack Daniels Distillery
  • Breakfast at the hotel this morning prior to checking out.
  • Tour FAME Studios. See the studio where artists like Aretha Franklin recorded “Do Right Woman” and “I Never Loved a Man”; Wilson Pickett recorded “Mustang Sally” and “Hey Jude”; and many others.
  • Visit Muscle Shoals Sound Studios, formed in 1969 by four musicians, The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, who had left Rick Hall's nearby FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals to create their own recording facility.
  • Tour the Jack Daniels Distillery and enjoy an included lunch. While visiting, experience The Flight of Jack Distillery Tour.
  • Check into your Nashville hotel and enjoy dinner on own.
 
Day 3 - RCA Studio, Country Hall of Fame & a Grand Ole Opry Show
  • Breakfast at the hotel this morning.
  • Tour Historic RCA Studio B.  Once a recording home of popular music titans such as Elvis Presley, Chet Atkins, Eddy Arnold, and the Everly Brothers, it is both a classroom for Nashville-area students, as well as a popular cultural attraction.
  • Explore the Country Music Hall of Fame, a treasure trove of historic country video clips, recorded music, dynamic exhibits, state-of-the-art design, live performances, and public programs.
    • Enjoy lunch on own in the museum’s café or along Honky Tonk Row.
  • Depart on foot to the Johnny Cash Museum to visit the world's largest collection of Johnny Cash artifacts and memorabilia in the world.
  • Depart on foot and stroll along The Music City Walk of Fame on Nashville's Music Mile.
  • Enjoy free time, shopping, and dinner on own along Honky Tonk Row before departing for a Live show at the Grand Ole Opry this evening.
 
Day 4 - Downtown Tupelo & Elvis Presley Museum
  • Breakfast at the hotel prior to checking out and departing with your Guide.
  • Tour Ryman Auditorium, a National Historic Landmark and former home of the Grand Ole Opry.
  • Visit The Tennessee State Museum, home to 13,000 years of Tennessee art and history.
  • Depart for Tupelo, Mississippi, the birthplace of Elvis Presley, and visit the Elvis Presley Museum and the Elvis Presley Memorial Chapel at the Elvis Presley Birthplace Park.
  • Explore downtown Tupelo and the Hardware Store for unique Elvis souvenirs and enjoy a milkshake served at Elvis’ favorite drive-in.
  • Dinner included this evening featuring a Live Elvis performance.
  • Check in and retire at your local Tupelo area hotel.
 
Day 5 - Memphis, Stax Museum, & Graceland
  • Breakfast at the hotel prior to checking out.
  • Tour Rowan Oak, the home and estate of William Faulkner and his family for over 40 years.
  • Attend a “Blues 101” class at Ole Miss, The University of Mississippi.  Here, the Blues Archives houses one of the largest collections of blues recordings, publications, and memorabilia in the world. The Blues Curator and Associate Professor will discuss the genre as you listen to sound recordings.
  • Depart for lunch on own in Oxford's beautiful Town Square before arriving in Memphis, Tennessee.
  • Visit the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. What began as a tiny record store in an old movie theater, grew to become one of the most important music recording studios in the world.
  • Check in to the Guest House at Graceland.
  • Enjoy an included dinner and Show at King’s Palace right on Beale Street.
 
Day 6 - Civil Rights Museum & Memphis Music Hall of Fame
  • Enjoy breakfast at the hotel.
  • Visit Graceland Mansion to follow in the famous footsteps of Elvis Presley via audio-guided tour featuring commentary and stories by Elvis and his daughter Lisa Marie.
    • Lunch on own while visiting.
  • Visit the National Civil Rights Museum, an award-winning museum tracing the history of the American Civil Rights Movement.
  • Enjoy tours of Sun Studio, the birthplace of Rock ‘n Roll, the Memphis Music Hall of Fame, featuring some of the greatest musicians of all time, and the Rock n’ Soul Museum, telling the critical story of the musical pioneers who overcame racial obstacles to create the music that changed the cultural complexion of the world.
  • Dinner on own and free time on Beale Street.
  • Later this evening, experience a Mojo Tour, a musical journey complete with live music, tambourines, and bongos.
 
Day 7 - Johnny Cash Boyhood Home & Farmer’s Museum
  • Breakfast at your hotel prior to checking out and departing for Dyess, Arkansas.
  • Explore the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home Visitor Center which is completely furnished as it appeared when the Cash family lived there.
  • Visit the Historic Dyess Colony Visitors Center which includes a brief film, exhibits, and a gift shop. After touring the exhibits, travel to the Johnny Cash Boyhood Home via shuttle.
  • Tour a working cotton gin, prior to enjoying lunch included at a local favorite restaurant.
  • Take a tour the Museum Lepanto USA, housed in a 1915 bank building.
  • Visit ‘The Painted House’, patterned after the boyhood home of novelist John Grisham.
  • Experience the Southern Tenant Farmers Museum before departing for Clarksdale, Mississippi, and checking into your local hotel.
  • Enjoy dinner this evening will include authentic “Juke Joint” Live entertainment.
 
Day 8 - Blues Music Highway
  • Breakfast at your hotel prior to checking out.
  • Explore the Delta Blues Museum before having lunch across the road at Ground Zero Blues Club and "Juke Joint" where you can see the best of today's Delta Blues musicians.
  • Visit the Grammy Museum in Cleveland with interactive exhibits & showbiz artifacts honoring music greats past and present.
  • Tour the B.B. King Museum & Delta Interpretive Center in Indianola.
  • Depart for Ridgeland, Mississippi, and enjoy dinner included with an island-style atmosphere overlooking central Mississippi’s “Big Water”.
 
Day 9 - Natchez, Carriage House, Winery, & Jazz Concert
  • Breakfast at your hotel.
  • Visit the Natchez Visitors Center and enjoy the film “Natchez Story.”
  • Tour Longwood Plantation, the largest octagonal home in the United States.
  • Visit the Carriage House and enjoy lunch on the grounds of Stanton, also known as Belfast.
  • Explore the Old South Winery, a quaint local winery with a cozy tasting room.
  • Dinner tonight will be a very special location within one of the most magnificent Antebellum homes found anywhere in the country.
 
Day 10 - Baton Rouge, Plantation Visit, & Governors Mansion
  • Breakfast at your hotel prior to checking out and departing for Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
  • Visit the Magnolia Mound Plantation, a 1700s plantation with restored French Creole architecture featuring tours led by costumed guides.
    • Enjoy lunch on own today while visiting.
  • Stop by the Old Governor's Mansion, constructed in 1930 to look like the U.S. White House.
  • Tour the Louisiana State Capitol, which at 450 feet high, is the tallest capital building in the United States.
  • This evening, check-in to your hotel and enjoy free time exploring Downtown where you can find local pubs, bars, and restaurants for dinner and fun on own.
 
Day 11 - Airboat Tour & Mardi Gras World
  • Breakfast at your hotel prior to checking out and departing for New Orleans.
  • Arrive and board an airboat for a tour of the southern swamps of New Orleans.
  • Explore Mardi Gras World, a showcase of the Mardi Gras floats, Mardi Gras souvenirs, and learn about the Carnival of Mardi Gras.
  • Check in to your local hotel to rest and refresh.
  • Enjoy dinner included at a local hot spot serving luscious Creole and Cajun cuisine.
 
Day 12 - Explore New Orleans & Jazz Cruise
  • Breakfast at your hotel then depart for Crescent City Cooks where you’ll take a cooking class in the French Quarter to learn how to make all the classics!
    • Lunch included while visiting.
  • Free afternoon to shop and explore New Orleans!
  • This evening, enjoy a Dinner Jazz Cruise aboard the Paddlewheeler Creole Queen.
    • Experience the lively sounds of the amazing Sullivan Dabney, Jr. and the Muzik Jazz Band while feasting on an incredible Creole Buffet.
  • Return to your hotel for the night.
 
Day 13 - Explore New Orleans
  • Breakfast at the hotel, then enjoy a free day to explore New Orleans on your own!
 
Day 14 - Selma to Montgomery
  • Enjoy breakfast at the hotel prior to checking out and departing for Selma, Alabama.
    • Lunch on own while en route.
  • Upon arrival, meet your Guide and walk across Pettus Bridge. Learn about the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail where you can trace the march toward freedom on the 54-mile trail and connect with their stories at the Interpretive Centers.
  • Stop at Lowndes Interpretive Center, which serves as a repository of information for the unfortunate and significant events that occurred in Lowndes County during the Selma to Montgomery march. Depart for Montgomery, Alabama.
  • Check into hotel, enjoy dinner, and gospel entertainment this evening.
 
Day 15 - Montgomery
  • Breakfast at your hotel.
  • Tour the Montgomery Area Visitor Center in Historic Union Station.
  • Meet your Guide and visit the National Memorial for Peace & Justice.
  • Explore the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. It’s big, it’s beautiful, and it’s bursting with all kinds of art: paintings, porcelain, prints, and glass.
  • Visit the Hank Williams Museum and pay tribute to America’s first country music superstar.
  • Enjoy lunch on own at Central, one of the hottest locally sourced restaurants in town.
  • Depart for a Performance at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival at Blount Cultural Park, one of the largest Shakespeare Festivals in the world and the largest professional theater in Alabama.
 
Day 16 - Birmingham, Kelly Ingram Park, & Guided Tour
  • Breakfast at your hotel prior to checking out and departing for Birmingham.
  • Upon arrival, enjoy a Guided City Tour of Birmingham.
  • Visit Kelly Ingram Park, the heart of the Civil Rights District.
    • Enjoy lunch on own while sightseeing.
  • Take a Guided tour of 16th Street Baptist Church, site of a terrorism bombing before Sunday services on September 15, 1963.
  • Explore the Civil Rights Institute, a large interpretive museum and research center that depicts the struggles of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s.
  • Enjoy dinner included this evening in Downtown Birmingham.
  • Check in to your local Birmingham hotel.
 
Day 17 - Atlanta Civil Rights Tour
  • Breakfast at your hotel, check out, and depart for Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Enjoy lunch on own at CNN Center Food Court.
  • Tour CNN Studios World Headquarters.
  • Meet your Civil Rights Tour Guide at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park and enjoy a Journey on a Civil Rights Tour of Atlanta: Visit the tombs of Dr. King and Coretta Scott King, the famous Atlanta Student Movement Rush Memorial Church, the house Dr. King lived in at the time of his assassination, Dr. King's birth home, the Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, and much more!
  • Check into local area hotel before enjoying a Farewell Dinner at Paschal’s Restaurant, featuring some of the best Southern cooking in Atlanta.
 
Day 18 - World of Coca-Cola & Depart
  • Breakfast at your hotel this morning prior to checking out.
  • Visit the National Center for Civil & Human Rights, a museum dedicated to the achievements of the civil rights movement in the U.S. and the broader worldwide human rights movement.
  • Lunch on own in downtown Atlanta prior to departing for home.
 

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.
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