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

Take a deep dive into American southern culture on the way to New Orleans

This twelve-day Atlanta to New Orleans tour takes you deep into the heart of America’s past for an indepth look at how it shaped today's movement for human rights. Immerse yourself in the history and culture of famous cities where you’ll dig deeper to learn more about the mansions of Savannah, land which once housed vast cotton plantations, the refined elegance of Charleston and the toe-tapping tunes of Nashville, the heartland of country and western music. If you want to do more than just see the sights, this immersive historic tour is calling your name.


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

Why you'll love this trip

  • Wander the historic streets of Savannah trying the local food on a walking tour which blends the city’s history with some of its most delicious eats.

  • Learn about Charleston's rich and complex past with a local storyteller and guide and uncover the ‘lost stories’ of Charleston's rich history.

  • Visit a plantation that is known for being ethical in sharing the history of the whites, the blacks, the free, the enslaved, and First Nations people.

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

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.

Itinerary

Welcome to Atlanta! At 10am there’ll be a group meeting where you’ll get to meet your leader and get an overview of the next couple of days. After the meeting, it’s time to immerse yourself in 33 acres of historic houses, gardens and award-winning exhibitions with a specialist guide at the Atlanta History Center where you’ll explore the past like never before. The center is part of a global network of historic sites and museums that connect past struggles to today’s movements for human rights. Next, head to the Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site where you’ll learn more about where Martin Luther King was born and where he lived and worked, as well as his legacy as a leader. Wrap up the day with a welcome dinner – the perfect chance to get to know your group better.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Atlanta - Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site
  • Atlanta - Atlanta History Centre – Curated private tour
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance and emergency contact details at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.
Mornin' sunshine! Hit the road bright and early and make the five-hour journey to Savannah. In 1946, Lady Astor referred to Savannah as 'a beautiful lady with a dirty face', in reference to the crumbling, faded majesty of the city's 18th- and 19th-century mansions. Due to plenty of restoration work, Savannah's face may no longer be dirty, but she's still a city of contradictions. Enjoy free time for the rest of the day. In the evening, perhaps head out on a ghost tour of old Savannah, then maybe seek out spirits of a different kind at one of the city’s many local haunts.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s total driving time is 5 hours.
Take it easy this morning before meeting up at 11am for a three-hour walking tour which blends the city’s history with some of its best and most delicious eats. This fascinating food tour visits spots like a not-so-ordinary pub, an award-winning honey store, and a traditional British pie shop highlighting dishes consumed by some of Savannah’s earliest settlers. This afternoon is all yours so make the most of it! You could join a walking tour to learn more about the town’s slave and cotton trade, immerse yourself in its underreprented history or jump on a Hop-On Hop-Off trolley tour around town.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Savannah – Walking Food tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Leave Savannah in the rear-view mirror and drive two hours to Charleston. On arrival, you might like to grab some lunch before joining a Black History walking tour with an expert local guide. Discover the ‘lost stories’ of Charleston's rich history as you stroll around town and immerse yourself in its complex past. If time permits, you could continue your exploration with a ferry trip to Fort Sumter to see where the Civil War started or join a food tour and check out the local drinking and dining scene.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Charleston – Black History walking tour with a local guide
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s total driving time is 2 hours.
Bid farewell to Charleston and drive to the McLeod Plantation and Historic Site where everyone’s stories are given their due. Here you can learn about the daily lives of those who were free – and the people who were not - and those who worked here before and after slavery. Tracing the struggle for freedom at this site provides a deeper insight into American history as a whole. From here, it’s a five-hour drive through the Blue Ridge Mountains to the charming town of Asheville. Home to the country’s best breweries and some of North Carolina’s finest barbecue, Asheville also boasts an incredible folk music scene. Arriving in the mid-afternoon, you’ll be given an orientation tour by your leader to help you get your bearings. Tonight, you may like to join your group for a good ol’ fashioned BBQ dinner at Buxton Hall.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • James Island - McLeod Plantation and Historic Site guided tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s total driving time is 5 hours.
Make the scenic drive to Nashville, arriving in the country music capital after lunch. On arrival, you’ll be introduced to this famous toe tapping town with an orientation tour. Get your bearings and then enjoy a free afternoon exploring this famous town. You might like to visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, explore the Tennessee State Museum, or drop into a distillery for a tasting or two. Tonight we’ll regroup for a final finger lickin’ good dinner on a barbecue, beer and bourbon foodie adventure with an expert guide. Think house-smoked meats, southern-inspired spirits, traditional southern sides and frosty seasonal beers – the perfect way to toast the end of your trip!
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Nashville - BBQ and Whiskey dinner
  • Nashville – Leader led walking tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Today's driving time is approximately 5 hours.
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 an optional dinner with your group (at own expense) and leader at a local restaurant. 
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Nashville - Country Music Hall of Fame + Studio B Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Hit the road this morning and make tracks for Memphis, Tennessee, a city overflowing with musical history and legends. If time allows, 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. You will join a local expert guide as you take a scenic stroll around the beautiful Louis Armstrong park and check out Frenchmen Street’s most happening music venues.

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 live music.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • New Orleans - Jazz Music Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today begins with a visit to the Whitney Plantation, 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. You’ll then enjoy an afternoon at leisure – you may like to see a wilder side of the city and take a kayaking tour through the surrounding swamps. This evening 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. This evening you’ll learn how to create one of the region’s most beloved dishes, a crawfish boil, then tuck into the finished product for your dinner. Perhaps take the chance to reminisce with your group 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
  • Dinner
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

11 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 3 dinners

Transport

Private vehicle

Accommodation

Hotel (11 nights)

Included activities

  • Atlanta - Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site
  • Atlanta - Atlanta History Centre – Curated private tour
  • Savannah – Walking Food tour
  • Charleston – Black History walking tour with a local guide
  • James Island - McLeod Plantation and Historic Site guided tour
  • Nashville - BBQ and Whiskey dinner
  • Nashville – Leader led walking tour
  • Nashville - Country Music Hall of Fame + Studio B Tour
  • 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: Atlanta 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.

FIRST DAY: 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.
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: 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.
COVID: Please ensure you have checked local state information regarding COVID-19 restrictions and regulations before you travel.

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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