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Beale Street Crowd Cypress Lake, Lafayette Honky Tonk Highway Nashville Memphis Natchez Plantation Home located on Mississippi River Oak Alley Plantation, Vacherie Music Sun Studio Exterior Memphis Vicksburg National Military Park

Southern Rhythms & Revolutions

New Orleans 3 nights
Vacherie 1 night
Lafayette 1 night
Natchez 1 night
Vicksburg 1 night
Memphis 2 nights
Nashville 3 nights

Day 1: Fly to New Orleans. On arrival make your way to your hotel.

Day 2 New Orleans: Take a stroll around the easily walkable French Quarter, which boasts stunning architecture and a vibrant atmosphere. See Jackson Square where there are beautiful gardens, local artists and entertaining street performers.

Day 3 New Orleans: A further day to explore the Big Easy. Perhaps visit the historic Garden District, take a ride on a streetcar or tour the fascinating Cities of the Dead. Perhaps book an airboat swamp tour or a dinner cruise aboard the Steamboat Natchez.

Day 4 New Orleans/Vacherie: Collect your hire car and set off for Baton Rouge, the Louisiana state capital, which is set along the Mississippi River. Sights include the Old State Capitol building, the Louisiana State Capitol and the Magnolia Mound Plantation. Continue to your plantation home for the evening (81 miles).

Day 5 Vacherie/Lafayette: A short drive brings you to Lafayette, which is at the heart of Louisiana's Cajun & Creole Country. You may wish to explore some of Downtown Lafayette's museums or explore Vermilionville, a 23 acre historic and folklife park (60 miles).

Day 6 Lafayette/Natchez: Travel north into the neighbouring state of Mississippi and to the little town of Natchez. Founded in 1716, it was an important port in the heyday of the cotton trade and as a result the town has many beautiful mansions and estates, several of which are open to the public (135 miles).

Day 7 Natchez/Vicksburg: Drive further north to Vicksburg, a remarkable river city which is perhaps best known for the role that it played in the Civil War. Learn more at the Vicksburg National Military Park or, you may wish to tour one of the many antebellum mansions within the town. This evening, you may want to try and hit the jackpot at one of the world-class casinos (72 miles).

Day 8 Vicksburg/Memphis: Drive into Tennessee and to the musically rich city of Memphis (250 miles).

Day 9 Memphis: Iconic Beale Street is a great place to begin your explorations. It's here that artists such as WC Handy and BB King began performing and today the music still beats on. At nearby Sun Studio you can take a guided tour or hear more about musical pioneers at Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum or at Stax Museum of American Soul Music. Another must see is Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley while at the National Civil Rights Museum you can see where Dr Martin Luther King resided and was then assassinated.

Day 10 Memphis/Nashville: Drive to your final destination on this fascinating tour, big-hearted Nashville (212 miles).

Days 11-12 Nashville: Two full days to explore the undisputed capital of country music. Kick off your Nashville experience at the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum, take a tour of Music Row and visit historic RCA Studio B. Other attractions include The Hermitage, the home of President Andrew Jackson while in Centennial Park there's a wonderful art gallery and museum.

Day 13 Nashville: Return your car at the airport where the tour concludes with your onward journey.

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What you need to know

Departures: Daily.

Accommodation: 3* Wyndham New Orleans; 3* Oak Alley Plantation, Vacherie; 3* DoubleTree by Hilton, Lafayette; 3* Hotel Vue, Natchez; 2*Plus Corners Mansion Inn, Vicksburg; 3* Holiday Inn Downtown, Memphis; 3* Best Western Plus Music Row, Nashville

Meals: Room only. Breakfast included in Baton Rouge,Natchez Vicksburg and Nashville.

Tour price: The price shown is based on the best value travel dates in low season and includes international flights to New Orleans and from Nashville, accommodation and 11 days fully inclusive 4 door compact car hire.

12 nights self-drive tour £2149pp

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