Experience real southern hospitality from New Orleans to Charleston.

Enjoy classic architecture, history, music and food on this adventure through the southern states of the USA. Kick things off in Atlanta before heading down to Savannah, Charleston and Asheville where charming homes, wide front porches and cobbled streets evoke an old world feel. Get among nature in the Blue Ridge Mountains, before heading over to Nashville, Memphis and New Orleans for a serious injection of blues and music. Graceland, Bourbon Street, Blues Alley, Sun Studio and the Country Music Hall of Fame are just a handful of the possible attractions available to see.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Atlanta, United States
Finish
New Orleans, United States
Country
United States
Style
Comfort
Theme
Explorer
Code
SSKE
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 13

Why we love this trip

  • Embark on a road trip across one of the most colourful, musical and hospitable parts of the USA: the Deep South. This diverse trip takes you through six states and the best of the region's contrasting cities, from the historic settlements of Savannah and Charleston, to the mountain town of Asheville and the musical centres of Nashville, Memphis and New Orleans

  • A journey through the USA wouldn’t be complete without a lesson in history. Charleston’s story is told through the former auction rooms of the Old Slave Mart and in the fields of the cotton plantations

  • Experience the pinnacle of pop culture with a visit to Graceland, the iconic home of the ‘King of Rock and Roll’, Elvis Presley

  • Y'all might think you don't like country music, but Nashville’s honky-tonks may well change that. Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and then check out a live band in town

  • Lively New Orleans is a great place to round off your trip. Discover French, Creole, Spanish and American influences in the Big Easy's architecture, food, history and music, and you won't find a cocktail more colourful than the city's signature drink, the Hurricane

Is this trip right for you?

  • The southern states of the USA can be really hot and humid in the summer. September through to November is also hurricane season, so prepare for potentially wet weather.

  • You'll be travelling in a van with a group of travellers, so conditions may feel a little cramped. This is all part of the adventure, however and you might even make some long-term friends.

  • You're in the Deep South of the USA, so expect a lot of (delicious) fried food and barbecue. Vegetarians may also have limited options, as a lot of southern cuisine is meat-based.

  • In some of the cities we visit, some neighbourhoods are deemed more unsafe than others. This is nothing to be alarmed about, as your leader will point you in the right direction. You just may need to be more aware of your surroundings.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2018 to 31 December 2018. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2017 - 31 December 2017

Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm today. Please ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. Your evening is then free to relax or explore.

If you have time before the meeting, perhaps head to one of Atlanta’s world-class attractions such as the Georgia Aquarium, the CNN Centre or the World of Coca-Cola.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Atlanta - CNN Center - USD15
  • Atlanta - Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site - Free
  • Atlanta - World of Coca Cola - USD16
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Notes: If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time for the meeting, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
In the morning drive to Savannah, which takes around five hours. Sometimes referred to as 'a beautiful lady with a dirty face', use your free time to explore the city’s Antebellum mansions, oak trees and colonial public buildings that coexist alongside dive bars and university students. Perhaps take a seat in Chippewa Square, which was used as a setting for the film Forrest Gump, or grab a cocktail and watch duelling pianos in a local bar. Tonight, perhaps take a guided ghost tour of old Savannah.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Savannah - Ft Pulaski National Monument - USD7
  • Savannah - Ghost Tour - USD25
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today, leave Savannah behind and drive to Charleston (approximately two hours). On arrival, perhaps head out on foot to explore this South Carolinian city. Famous for being the place where the first shots of the Civil War were fired, Charleston’s cobblestone streets are paved with history. In the afternoon, take a tour of one of the plantation homes around Charleston. Wander around the well-maintained gardens and learn about the estate's history.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today is free to explore Charleston at your own leisure. Perhaps take a trip out to the seaside fortress of Fort Sumter, where the first shots of the Civil War were fired. Alternatively, you might like to visit the Old Slave Mart Museum, take a walk through Battery Park past the memorials or learn about naval history on the USS Yorktown at Patriots Point.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Charleston - Boone Hall Plantation
Optional Activities
  • Charleston - Charleston Museum - USD12
  • Charleston - Various historic homes - USD12
  • Charleston - Old Slave Mart Museum - USD10
  • Charleston - Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum - USD20
  • Charleston - Fort Sumter National Monument - USD20
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
In the morning, drive into North Carolina and onto the city of Asheville (approximately five hours). Perhaps use the afternoon to visit George Washington Vanderbilt’s 250-room chateau on Biltmore Estate, which was completed in 1895. In the evening, perhaps explore Asheville's modern boutiques, restaurants and record shops.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Asheville - Biltmore House - USD65
  • Asheville - Show at the Altamont Theatre - USD25
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today head up into Asheville's surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains and do some exploring on foot. Dating back over 400 million years, the mountain range is home to wildlife, lush forest, scenic peaks, waterfalls and shallow rivers. There'll be time for a short walk before driving to Nashville, which should take around 4–5 hours.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Asheville - Walking in the Blue Ridge Mountains - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy a free day in Nashville. Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame with the group, which contains the golden Cadillac that once belonged to Elvis. Another point of interest is Music Row, where more than 50 record studios and approximately 200 music publishing houses are located. In the early evening, perhaps head to the Wildhorse Saloon to experience southern food, country line dancing and live music.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Nashville - Country Music Hall of Fame
Optional Activities
  • Nashville - Wildhorse Saloon - USD10
  • Nashville - Tennessee State Museum - Free
  • Nashville - Grand Ole Opry Tour - USD19
  • Nashville - Ryman Auditorium Tour - USD14
  • Nashville - Johnny Cash Museum - USD17
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Drive out to Memphis today (approximately four hours). Depending on time, this afternoon head to the ‘birthplace of rock’, Sun Studio, for an included visit. This active recording studio boasts the first soundtracks of legendary performers Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins. In the evening, consider heading down to check out Beale Street's traditional blues clubs, made famous by legends such as Howlin' Wolf and B.B. King.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Memphis - Sun Studio
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today we'll visit Graceland, Elvis Presley's former home and the site of his tomb. Here you can see the famous jungle room, as well as his cars, private planes and much more. The rest of the day is free. For those with an interest in history, check out the National Civil Rights Museum at the former Lorraine Motel, where Martin Luther King Junior was assassinated. For something a little lighter, perhaps pay a visit to the Peabody Hotel to see the ‘march of the ducks’. These ducks live in the hotel and perform daily marches from their rooftop palace to the lobby fountain and the reverse at 11am and 5pm.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Memphis - Graceland Museum
Optional Activities
  • Memphis - Peabody Hotel Duck March - Free
  • Memphis - Rock 'n' Soul Museum - USD11
  • Memphis - National Civil Rights Museum - USD13
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Drive to Vicksburg, Mississippi (approximately 4–5 hours), travelling along Highway 61 of Bob Dylan fame. On the way there, stop at Clarksdale, where you have the option of seeing Blues Alley, Robert Johnson's Crossroads and the Delta Blues Museum. Other possible stops, depending on group's interests, are Cleveland (for the Grammy Museum), and Dockery Farms. Arrive in Vicksburg. This town is famous for the siege that occurred there during the Civil War, one of the turning points of the conflict. Visiting the National Military Park is an option for something to do. Otherwise there are antebellum mansions to tour, the Mississippi River Museum, the Riverfront Murals or the Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum, where the drink was first bottled.
Accommodation
  • Motel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Clarksdale - Delta Blues Museum - USD7
  • Vicksburg - Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum - USD4
  • Vicksburg - Lower Mississippi River Museum - Free
  • Vicksburg - Riverfront Murals - Free
  • Vicksburg - National Military Park - USD5
  • Cleveland - GRAMMY Museum - USD12
  • Cleveland - Dockery Farms - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Make the drive to New Orleans (approximately 4 hours). Along the way, there may be a stop for a plantation tour or a swamp tour. After checking in to your hotel in New Orleans' French Quarter, use your free time getting to know the ‘Big Easy’. An eclectic mix of European, Creole and Cajun culture manifests in the city's architecture, cuisine and music scene. Possibly take a walk down rowdy Bourbon Street or through the former plantation area of the Garden District. Join the rest of the group tonight for a typical Cajun-style dinner.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • New Orleans - Cajun dinner in the French Quarter
Optional Activities
  • New Orleans - Bourbon Street - Free
  • New Orleans - Cemetery Tour - USD25
  • New Orleans - French Market - Free
  • New Orleans - Mississippi Riverboat Cruise - USD70
  • New Orleans - Presbytere - USD6
  • New Orleans - Preservation Hall Jazz - USD15
  • New Orleans - Ursuline Convent Tours - USD5
  • New Orleans - Voodoo Museum - USD7
  • New Orleans - New Orleans School of Cooking - USD29
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
After breakfast today, your Southern Comfort adventure comes to an end. You're free to depart at any time.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

10 breakfasts

Transport

Private vehicle

Accommodation

Hotel (10 nights), Motel (1 night)

Included activities

  • Charleston - Boone Hall Plantation
  • Nashville - Country Music Hall of Fame
  • Memphis - Sun Studio
  • Memphis - Graceland Museum
  • New Orleans - Cajun dinner in the French Quarter

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available on this trip.
2. See trip code SSKES for our special JazzFest departure

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

Reviews

Our Southern Comfort USA trips score an average of 4.69 out of 5 based on 13 reviews in the last year.

Southern Comfort USA, August 2017

Donna-Jo Fawcett

Southern Comfort USA, April 2017

Kasey Poulton