Streetcars

11 day self drive itinerary

American Rhythms

Experience the musical rhythms of the Deep South

From the jazz filled streets of New Orleans to the Country music sounds of Nashville and the Memphis blues, American Rhythms certainly lives up to its name. Discover some of the Deep South's most vibrant cities on this 11 day self drive journey through Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee. Start your adventure with a couple of days exploring New Orleans, from the cobbled streets and hanging balconies of the historic French Quarter and the lively bars and restaurants along Bourbon Street to the beautiful mansions in the Garden District before hitting the road to uncover more of this unique region. Travel through Alabama stopping in Montgomery to learn about the Civil Rights movement as you make your way up to Tennessee and the music cities of Nashville and Memphis. These energetic cities are brimming with music history from the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville to famous Sun Studios in Memphis where Elvis recorded his first record. A change of pace is in order as you make your way through Mississippi to visit the beautiful antebellum homes in Natchez and onto the bayous of Louisiana as you wind your way back to where your journey began, ‘The Big Easy’.

Our Experts Recommend:
  • Enjoy great food and music in New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz
  • See the Vulcan, the world's largest iron statue which overlooks downtown Birmingham
  • Visit the church where Martin Luther King Jr. was pastor from 1954-1960
  • Walk Nashville's Music City Walk of Fame
  • Discover some of the Deep South's antebellum homes

Sample Itinerary Summary

We can tailor any part of this itinerary or create a new one just for you.

Duration
11 days
Destination Breakdown
Included
  • International flights
  • 10 nights hotel accommodation
  • Car hire
Not included
  • Car insurance (please contact our Destination Specialists to add this on)
  • Meals or excursions unless specified
  • Park entrance fees (if applicable)
  • Ferry charges (if applicable)
  • Toll fees (if applicable

Itinerary Breakdown

Arrive in New Orleans, one of the world's most exotic cities, famous for its riverboats, jazz, Creole cuisine and a seemingly endless parade of festivals.

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • The Monteleone Hotel or similar

Enjoy a full day at leisure to explore New Orleans on your own. Take a walking tour of the Vieux Carre, popularly known as the French Quarter, a place of narrow streets, wonderful old buildings and beautiful courtyards. Visit Jackson Square, Royal Street, Bourbon Street and the many museums. Why not take a full day bayou and swamp tour or enjoy a riverboat cruise on the Mississippi.

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • The Monteleone Hotel or similar

This morning, experience the laid back, sandy side of Mississippi as you make your way through its coastal region. In Biloxi, seafood lovers will welcome the chance to join a shrimping trip. This unique and interesting cruise will expose you to the spectacular world of sea life caught during a real shrimping expedition.

Continue to the grand dame of Alabama’s Gulf Coast, Mobile. Founded in 1702 as the original capital of the Louisiana Territory and nestled along the beautiful Gulf of Mexico, Mobile continues to impress with its sheer beauty, modern architecture, amazing museums and famous seafood.

From here, it’s on to Montgomery. No city has played a greater role in the history of Alabama than Montgomery. From Civil War to civil rights, Montgomery is steeped in history.

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • Wingate by Wyndham Montgomery or similar

Head north through the fertile highlands of Alabama to Birmingham, a must-see in Birmingham is the Vulcan. Standing 56 feet tall from toe to spear point, the Vulcan is the world's largest cast iron statue and considered one of the most memorable works of civic art in the United States. Cast from local iron in 1904, the Vulcan has overlooked the urban landscape of Alabama's largest city since the 1930s.

Continue north to Nashville, a city that sizzles with American music, Southern hospitality, unbelievable cuisine and a boundless spectrum of nightlife. Head over to the Grand Ole Opry to catch the longest running live radio show in the USA where you can see world class Country music acts and emerging artist perform.

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • The Inn at Opryland, A Gaylord Hotel or similar

Spend a full day exploring Nashville. Start with a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum where you can experience the evolution of one of America's most popular music genres. Take a stroll along the Walk of Fame just outside before heading up the street to the Hatch Show Print. Next up take a tour of historic RCA Studio B, where Nashville legends like Dolly Parton and Elvis Presley recorded. Once evening falls, head to the lively Honky-tonks along Broadway or the Wildhorse Saloon. 

Depart the capital of Country music for Memphis, the home of soul music and birthplace of the blues, Memphis is a layer cake of music, history and heritage. Walk the same streets as Johnny Cash and see B.B. King’s name in neon lights along Beale Street. Visit Elvis' former home Graceland and take a tour of Sun Studios where he recorded his first record. No trip to Memphis is complete without experiencing their famous BBQ. You can’t really go wrong wherever you decide to tuck in. 

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • Holiday Inn Memphis - Downtown (Beale Street) or similar

Today visit Vicksburg National Military Park which commemorates the campaign, siege, and defence of Vicksburg in 1863. Vicksburg has over 1,300 monuments, markers and plaques, a 16-mile tour road and a national cemetery, the nation’s largest burial site of Civil War Union soldiers and sailors with graves totalling over 17,000.

Overnight Accommodation

  • Quality Inn Vicksburg or similar

Today, drive south on the Natchez Trace Parkway which evolved from an Indian trail into a post road and pioneer highway, and on to Natchez, the oldest settlement in Mississippi.

You may want to visit one of the beautiful antebellum plantation homes in Natchez  such as Dunleith Historic House, Monmouth Historic Inn or Longwood. Or take horse drawn carriage ride and learn about the beautiful historic district from your guide. Stop by the Old South Winery for a tour and to taste some of the fabulous wines on offer. 

Overnight Accommodation

  • Eola Hotel or similar

Today, travel south back into Louisiana through Alexandria, Ville Platte and Opelousas to Lafayette, the heart of Cajun Country where the Acadians, or Cajuns, started arriving in 1765.Today these French-American’s are famous for their joie de vivre which is reflected in their lively dancing, music and spicy food.

Upon arrival, you may want to enjoy a walking tour of downtown to discover landmark buildings, or take a short drive to Acadian Village overlooking the bayou and filled with authentically restored Cajun homes and churches.

Points of Interest

  • Acadian Village

Overnight Accommodation

  • DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Lafayette or similar

A short drive from Lafayette takes you to New Iberia and Avery Island, the birthplace of Tabasco sauce. Other attractions include Jungle Garden, lush with tropical plants, and Bird City, a sanctuary filled with flurries of snow-white egrets.

Continue to Morgan City, the “Shrimp Capital of the World,” and Houma, where you may want to take some time for an optional boat tour into the deep swamp and bayou to see alligators and other wildlife. Following the scenic route, and perhaps stopping at Terre Bonne or Southdown Plantation, you will arrive in New Orleans.

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • The Monteleone Hotel or similar

Head down to the Cafe du Monde for a breakfast cofee and beignet and spend some time exploring the open air French Market as you enjoy your last morning in New Orleans. Return your car at the airport before your departure flight.

Points of Interest

  • New Orleans

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Historic French Quarter
    • Lively Bourbon Street
    • Beignets at Cafe du Monde
    • The beautiful Garden District
    • Historic streetcars
  • Montgomery

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Stop for fresh seafood in Biloxi
    • Alabama State Capitol
    • Civil Rights Memorial
    • Old Alabama Town
    • Dexter Avenue, MLK Memorial Baptist Church
  • Nashville

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Country Music Hall of Fame
    • Historic RCA Studio B
    • Honky-tonks on Broadway
    • Johnny Cash Museum
    • Shopping in The Gulch
  • Memphis

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Elvis' former home Graceland
    • Memphis BBQ
    • Lively Beale Street
    • National Civil Rights Museum
    • Sun Studios
  • Mississippi

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Vicksburg National Military Park
    • Natchez Trace Parkway
    • Antebellum homes in Natchez
    • Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum in Viksburg
    • Old South Winery in Natchez
  • Lafayette

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Acadian Village
    • Alexandre Mouton House
    • Vermilionville
    • Blue Moon Saloon
    • Tour the Tabasco factory on Avery Island