Map of Best of the South: Louisville to New Orleans  including United States Of America

A spirit-lifting adventure in Kentucky and Tennessee

Get a real taste of the south on a eleven-day journey through Kentucky and Tennessee. Kicking off in the flourishing city of Louisville, uncover a progressive food scene, visit a Shaker Village and learn how to cook a classic New Orleans dish. Journeying south, learn the tricks of the trade during a visit to a bourbon distillery before continuing to the country music capital of the world, Nashville, Tennessee. Here you’ll line dance in honky tonks, take part in a recording session in the Country Music Hall of Fame, feast on barbecue and of course sample some bourbon! 


Start
Louisville, United States
Finish
New Orleans, United States
Destination
United States
Style
Comfort
Theme
Explorer
Code
SSKZC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Take a Historic walking village tour with a local guide at a Shaker village followed by a farm to table lunch.

  • Pay a visit to some of Nashville’s most photogenic and colourful murals with a stop along the way for Mimosa and Donut tasting.

  • Earn your place in the Country Music Hall of Fame as you take part in a recording session with a professional sound engineer at the iconic Studio B in Nashville.

  • Discover a kitschy world of Southern glitz and glamour at Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley and his final resting place.

  • Get to know the real New Orleans during a walking tour that celebrates the city’s jazz music heritage, stopping off at some lively venues along the way.

  • It doesn’t get much better than Southern food – learn how to cook a classic New Orleans crawfish boil for a true taste of Louisiana.

  • Join a local Black-owned business for a tour of the Whitney Plantation, where you’ll get a sobering glimpse at what life was like for those enslaved on a Louisiana sugarcane plantation.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Please ensure you consult your local government’s advice regarding domestic travel prior to booking this trip.

  • This trip is new to our range this year. And while we have thoroughly researched every detail of the logistics, new destinations and working with new partners can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a great surprise. But every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that’s what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’.

  • The South gets mighty steamy in the summertime. Pack appropriately, drink plenty of water and you might even grow to love it. September through to November is hurricane season, so if you’re travelling over this period you should pack a rain jacket and waterproof shoes.

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

  • The legal drinking age in the USA is 21 years old – this trip suits those of legal drinking age due to the activities involved.

Itinerary

Welcome to Kentucky, built on bourbon and overflowing with charisma. Your adventure begins in Louisville with a group meeting at 10am. Get to know the city a little better during a walking tour with your leader, covering highlights and local hangouts. Walk the Big Four Bridge which crosses the Ohio River connecting Waterfront Park in Kentucky to Jeffersonville, Indiana. Once on the other side, you’ll check out Jeffersonville’s Arts and Cultural District, where artisans, creatives and historians have come together to transform the area. Take some time to explore the vibrant world of murals, exhibitions and art installations before hopping back across the river to Louisville. The afternoon is free for your own discoveries, then regroup in the evening for dinner. Boasting one of the south’s most celebrated food scenes, head out for a taste of Louisville as you hop between three of the city’s best restaurants. You’ll be served up dynamic dishes carefully curated by top chefs and each paired with an excellent cocktail.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Louisville – Leader led Walking Tour
  • Louisville - Big Four Bridge Walk
  • Jeffersonville – NoCo Arts & Cultural District Walk
  • Louisville - Taste of Louisville Food Tour
Meals Included
  • Dinner
After breakfast, make your way to a historical village that was home to the Kentucky Shakers between 1805 and 1910. The religious sect was known for their simple, peaceful way of living, and today the village provides visitors with unique insight into Shaker life. On arrival, meet a local guide for a tour of the village and learn how the community empowered women under the belief that men and women were created equal, and therefore shared authority and responsibility within the community. Then, enjoy lunch at the onsite restaurant. Traditional favourites and seasonal Kentucky dishes are made with fresh ingredients grown in the village garden, adopting the Shaker’s sustainable agricultural practices.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Pleasant Hill – Shaker Village Farm to Table Lunch
  • Pleasant Hill – Shaker Village Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Total driving time today 3 hours
Say goodbye to Louisville and travel south towards a distillery that has been in a family business since 1875! The distillery use open-pollinated white heirloom corn which makes for a slightly lighter whiskey flavor. After your visit, continue to Mammoth Cave National Park, home to the world’s longest cave system, covering more than 400 miles. Here you’ll find an unbelievable underground world of rock formations, caverns and natural cathedrals. After some time to explore this eerie landscape, travel onwards to Nashville, Tennessee, the country music capital of the world. The city is famous for its “honky tonks” – buzzing bars, clubs and pubs that play live music into the night. This evening, settle into your hotel then you may like to join the group for dinner in a local spot popular for line dancing – a true Nashville experience!
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Bardstown - Distillery tour
  • Kentucky - Mammoth Cave National Park
  • Nashville - Wildhorse Saloon & line dancing
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
After breakfast this morning, get to know Nashville’s trendy and eclectic neighbourhoods during a tour of the city. Pay a visit to some of Nashville’s most photogenic and colourful murals, featuring emblems of the city and positive messages – perfect backdrops for some pictures to remember your trip. You’ll also stop in at a local bakery for a donut – you’re in for a real treat! For lunch today, ready your appetite and embrace more of Nashville’s culture during a barbecue and bourbon tour. Visit some of the city’s most popular eating and drinking establishments to learn the stories of how they came to be. Sample a tempting array of smoked meats paired with southern spirits and classic side dishes. Next up is a backstage tour of Grand Ole Opry, where they say country music started. You will have an exclusive look at what happens backstage of shows and walk in the footsteps of country music's stars!
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Nashville - Murals City Tour
  • Nashville - Bourbon & BBQ Lunch
  • Nashville – Backstage Tour of the Grand Ole Opry
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
After breakfast it’s time to dive straight into the city’s history with a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame. This fabulous piano-shaped building is a work of art in itself, and contains Elvis’s gold Cadillac among other impressive memorabilia. While here you’ll pay a visit to Studio B – Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Roy Orbison and “The King” Elvis Presley have all laid tracks in this studio, and today you’ll be joining this prestigious list. Meet with a professional sound engineer for your own recording session and find out what it takes to create the Nashville sound. Enjoy a free afternoon to explore the city – you may like to check out the Nashville murals, visit the much-loved Goo Goo candy store, or swing by the Johnny Cash Museum. Get back together in the evening for dinner with your group and leader at a local restaurant.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Nashville - Country Music Hall of Fame
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
As this is a combination trip, the travellers in your group and your group leader are likely to change today. There will be a welcome meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and to meet new travellers joining you. It’s important that you attend the meeting as your new leader will be collecting insurance and emergency contact details. Ask reception or look for a note for more information on where and when the meeting will take place.
Hit the road this morning and make tracks for Memphis, Tennessee, a city overflowing with musical history and legends. Your first stop on arrival will be Sun Studio. This studio may be tiny, but its impact on the world of music is immeasurable. BB King, Johnny Cash, Howlin' Wolf and Elvis Presley have all recorded here, and the studio claims to be the 'Birthplace of Rock 'n' Roll' (and they may just be right!). The rest of the day is yours to discover the sights and sounds of Memphis. No visit to this city would be complete without checking out Beale Street, lined with traditional blues clubs – ask your leader where the locals hang out so you can avoid the tourist hotspots.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Memphis - Sun Studio Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
After breakfast this morning, head to Memphis’s most iconic site – Graceland! Elvis’s former home and his final resting place, a visit to Graceland is like stepping back into the 1970s, with a glamourous and kitschy twist. Explore a fascinating world of green shag-carpet ceilings and yellow vinyl walls while getting a sneak peek into the glitzy side of the Deep South. Then it’s time for a change of pace as you leave Graceland and visit the National Civil Rights Museum at the former Lorraine Motel – where Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated – for a dose of history that is both confronting and inspirational. The rest of the afternoon is free for your own discoveries – your leader will have some tips on how to get the most out of this lively city.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Memphis - Graceland, The Home of Elvis Presley
  • Memphis - National Civil Rights Museum
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today you’ll be road-tripping from Memphis to New Orleans, enjoying some charming Southern scenery along the way. Stop off en route to tuck into some classic Southern food for lunch, then arrive into New Orleans in the early afternoon. Jazz is not just a part of the city’s history – it’s alive and kicking today. On arrival, join a local expert for a deep dive into the New Orleans’ music scene, hitting up local haunts and hotspots. Start from the popular French Quarter, explore the thriving Marigny neighbourhood and visit the famous Frenchman Street, where you’ll find the largest concentration of live music venues in the city. Your local guide will show you some of their favourite venues, with time to grab a beer along the way. Finish the tour at a nighttime art market, where you’ll have the chance to admire handmade sculptures and local photography. The evening is yours to further explore this fascinating city – your leader will have some great recommendations on where to grab a bite to eat and listen to more live music.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • New Orleans - Jazz Music Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
You’re in for a real treat – not only famed for its music scene, the food in New Orleans is some of the best in the country. Today you’ll learn about Creole and Cajun cuisine and a local cooking school and find out how to create one of the region’s most beloved dishes, a crawfish boil, then tuck into the finished product for lunch. This afternoon, pay a visit to the Whitney Plantation with a local Black-owned tour company, where you’ll learn about what life was like for those enslaved on a Louisiana sugarcane plantation. With a focus on the lives of slaves rather than the opulent house the slave owners lived in, exploring this plantation is a sobering and eye-opening experience. This evening, perhaps take the chance to join your group for a final dinner and reminisce about all you’ve seen, heard and tasted on your adventure.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • New Orleans - Cooking Class
  • New Orleans – Plantation Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Just like a good song, your adventure must come to an end, with things wrapping up this morning. If you’d like to spend more time exploring New Orleans, just get in touch ahead of time and we can arrange additional accommodation (subject to availability).
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

9 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 1 dinner

Transport

Private vehicle

Accommodation

Hotel (9 nights)

Included activities

  • Louisville – Leader led Walking Tour
  • Louisville - Big Four Bridge Walk
  • Jeffersonville – NoCo Arts & Cultural District Walk
  • Louisville - Taste of Louisville Food Tour
  • Pleasant Hill – Shaker Village Farm to Table Lunch
  • Pleasant Hill – Shaker Village Tour
  • Bardstown - Distillery tour
  • Kentucky - Mammoth Cave National Park
  • Nashville - Wildhorse Saloon & line dancing
  • Nashville - Murals City Tour
  • Nashville - Bourbon & BBQ Lunch
  • Nashville – Backstage Tour of the Grand Ole Opry
  • Nashville - Country Music Hall of Fame
  • Memphis - Sun Studio Visit
  • Memphis - Graceland, The Home of Elvis Presley
  • Memphis - National Civil Rights Museum
  • New Orleans - Jazz Music Tour
  • New Orleans - Cooking Class
  • New Orleans – Plantation Tour

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Best of the South: Louisville to New Orleans trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

Travellers on Intrepid trips are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. Read details here.

1. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 10am. Please make your own way to the Joining Point Hotel listed in the Essential Trip Information for this itinerary.
2. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights on your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
3. Please ensure you have checked local state information regarding COVID-19 restrictions and regulations before you travel.
4. You must be of US Legal drinking age to join this tour.

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.

View Essential Trip Information

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