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Pack your dancing shoes and prepare your jazz hands because we're getting bluesy. This adventure from Atlanta to New Orleans takes you through the musical meccas of Nashville and Memphis with all the sights, sounds and sauces you could ever ask for. Learn to line dance in Nashville, get your hands dirty eating Memphis-style barbecue, visit the iconic Sun Studio, let your hair down on Bourbon Street and finish it all off with two days at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. As they say in NOLA, 'pass a good time' (let the fun begin)!
Day 1: Atlanta
Hey y’all! Welcome to Atlanta! Join your fellow travellers at 6 pm for a welcome meeting at the hotel. Later, take part in an optional group dinner or head out on your own to explore. Atlanta is a popular tourist city with a fascinating history and a booming music and arts scene. If you arrive with time to spare before the welcome meeting, why not visit the Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site and learn more about Atlanta and the USA's turbulent recent history.
Day 2: Nashville
Hit the road and drive approximately 4 hours to Nashville, Tennessee, with an optional tour of the Jack Daniel’s Distillery on the way. On arrival, take an orientation walk with your leader around Broadway in the downtown area and then enjoy free time for the rest of the afternoon. There's a reason Nashville is known as Music City: maybe check out some iconic venues like the Grand Ole Opry or the Ryman Auditorium. In the evening you can choose to visit the famous Wildhorse Saloon to try your hand (or feet) at line dancing, or enjoy a night out on the Honky Tonk Highway – a road packed with live music venues and bars playing country music and open for business all day, every day.
Day 3: Nashville
Today's free for you to continue exploring the home of country music. Why not visit the Country Music Hall of Fame, or take a tour of RCA Studio B? This historic studio was instrumental in the development of the ‘Nashville Sound’ and artists like Dolly Parton, Roy Orbison, The Everly Brothers and Willie Nelson have all recorded here. The King himself, Elvis Presley, is said to have taped over two hundred songs in the hallowed halls. Afterwards, maybe take a break to grab a beer and treat yourself to some fried chicken. In the evening perhaps check out a show with a cocktail in hand at The Listening Room Cafe.
Day 4: Memphis
Say farewell to Nashville and howdy to Memphis, the only place where it feels good to get the blues. On arrival take an orientation walk with your leader through historic Beale Street, which Congress declared ‘Home of the Blues’ in 1977. Then choose whether to join the group during a visit to the former home of Elvis Presley, on an optional tour to Graceland to see the famous Jungle Room. After paying respect to the King, feast like a king on Memphis-style barbecue – Memphis is home to the annual World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest and dinner is included in your trip, so all you need to bring is a good attitude and an empty stomach.
Day 5: Memphis
In the morning, visit Sun Studio – another legendary studio and the setting for the well-known photo of Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins gathered around a piano. Following the tour, there are several optional activities to choose from including a visit to the National Civil Rights Museum, the Gibson Guitar Factory or the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. Chat to your leader for details on these. Hungry? Perhaps grab some fried chicken with a side of slaw and history at Gus' World Famous Fried Chicken. In the evening, maybe form a crew and hit up iconic Beale St for all your music and nightlife needs.
Day 6: New Orleans
Today involves a long drive through Mississippi to reach The Big Easy – New Orleans. Check into the hotel on arrival, then it's free time for dinner and a walk around the buzzing French Quarter and the world-famous strip of hedonism: Bourbon Street. It's a never-ending party here and the party is wild, so it can be equal parts exhilarating and overwhelming. But with bars, restaurants and serious people-watching opportunities, there's no denying it's a damn good time.
Day 7: New Orleans
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival begins today. With more than ten stages showcasing a diverse range of musical styles, Jazz Fest isn’t just about jazz – it’s a raucous celebration of the city where the genre was born. Since its inception in 1970 the festival has hosted a huge variety of local and international musicians, from small local acts to global superstars. Beyond the music, there’s sizzling Cajun food and southern delicacies aplenty (smoked brisket anyone?), cultural exhibitions and a palpable buzz in the air. Make sure you’ve got your schedule sorted and dive on in!
Day 8: New Orleans
Cruise the festival food stalls and the stages where you can catch old favourites and discover new ones, then hit Bourbon Street or choose to take an optional jazz dinner cruise on a steamboat down the Mississippi River. If the festival has got you all fired up with the spirit of jazz, make sure you check out an act in Preservation Hall, an historic venue dedicated to intimate acts and keeping the city’s legacy alive.
Day 9: New Orleans
There are no activities planned today. Can’t get enough of NOLA? Why not nurse the post-festival blues with a Cocktail Tour with Urban Adventures? Find out more at urbanadventures.com/destination/New-Orleans-tours.
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The trip was both both educational and exciting. I very much enjoyed the sights and culture.
The itinerary was just as I expected! The guide was very good as were the accomodations
Intrepid did such a great job. I never had to worry about where I was supposed to be and it felt so good not to worry about a thing but just to enjoy myself. Our guide was extremely knowledgeable about culture and history.
Taiwan people very friendly. Accommodation were centrally located and easily accessible. Did extra activities then in brochure which was greatly.
Larus our tour guide did an excellent job and was very attentive to our needs. He is very knowledgeable and has a great sense of humor.
Our guide Tarang chandola was exceptional. Courteous, knowledgeable, organized, polite, professional and went above and beyond taking care of our needs and requests offen anticipating what that might be. He made sure we all had the best possible time and offered suggestions to meet the needs of everyone on the tour. This made the trip even more enjoyable.
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