Bourbon distillery

10 day self drive itinerary

Bluegrass and Bourbon Trail

A taste of southern hospitality

Take in all the sounds and flavours of the south on this musical tour through Tennessee and Kentucky. Starting with a couple of days in Memphis, the birthplace of the blues, where you can visit Elvis Presley’s former home Graceland, discover delicious BBQ and stop by the Lorraine Motel home to the National Civil Rights Museum where you can learn about this turbulent period in American history. Head out onto the open road to start your self drive adventure, your first stop will find you in the small historic town of Lynchburg, famous as the home of the Jack Daniels Distillery. Next up is Chattanooga and the beautiful Lookout Mountain which is definitely worth a photo stop. Keep an eye out for the abundant wildlife that calls this region home as you travel through Tennessee to America's most visited national park the Great Smoky Mountains. Enjoy a picnic in this beautiful national park and explore some of the scenic hiking trails before heading onto Kentucky. Begin your time in Kentucky with a stay in the ‘Horse Capital of the World’ Lexington, before heading past picturesque horse farms to Louisville home to the Kentucky Derby and the Urban Bourbon Trail. Return to Tennessee as you make your way to ‘Country Music Capital’ Nashville.

Our Experts Recommend:
  • Visit Graceland and Beale Street in Memphis
  • See how Bourbon is made on a distillery tour
  • Explore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • See Churchill Downs, home to the Kentucky Derby

Sample Itinerary Summary

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

Duration
10 days
Destination Breakdown
Options
Private basis
Included
  • International flights
  • 9 nights hotel accommodation
  • Car hire
Not included
  • Car insurance (including any applicable one way drop off fees)
  • Meals or excursions unless specified
  • Park entrance fees (if applicable)
  • Ferry charges (if applicable)

Itinerary Breakdown

Start your journey in the musical city of Memphis and explore the 'birthplace of the blues'. You have two nights in this lively city to explore the BBQ joints and bars on Beale Street and the fantastic museums. Stop by Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Sun Studios and the National Civil Rights Museum to get an ideal Memphis' rich heritage and of course no stay here is complete without a visit to Elvis Presley's former home Graceland.

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • Crowne Plaza Hotel Memphis or similar

Memphis combines the charm of the Old South with the exciting pace of a modern metropolis. During your stay, may we suggest an optional visit to any outdoor concerts at the Mud Island outdoor amphitheatre? Located right on the Mississippi River, Mud Island River Park is a historic and scenic outdoor area.

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • Crowne Plaza Hotel Memphis or similar

Continue your exploration to Lynchburg where you will pass out of the country music for the home of Bourbon. You will discover the famous home of the Jack Daniel's whiskey distillery during your stay. While touring the Jack Daniel Distillery (optional), learn about the great American wonder of the Cave Spring Hollow, and discover more about the history of the distillery. Don't miss Nina's Taste of Tennessee and indulge in the sweet treats and surprises that this quaint shop has to offer. Many of her sweet treats are made with a variety of Jack Daniel's whiskey.

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • Best Western Winchester or similar

Venture into the fourth largest city in Southeast Tennessee and taste the South's favourite snack food, the Moon Pie, which originated in Chattanooga since the early 1900s. The city has received national recognition for the renaissance of its beautiful downtown and expansion of its riverfront. A must visit is the Chattanooga Choo Choo Train Station. This iconic train station has been turned into a hotel. The station was first built in the historic district in 1908. Summer travellers should check the dates of the annual Chattanooga Riverbend Festival.

Points of Interest

  • Lookout Mountain

Overnight Accommodation

  • Chattanooga Choo Choo or similar

Make your way north to Gatlinburg and pass through the rich culture and natural beauty of Knoxville, which has the perfect blend of southern hospitality and modern development. Start off your day by taking a scenic hike in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park with plentiful trails and beautiful surroundings. Afterwards, stroll through the downtown Village Shops and enjoy the beautiful architectures while doing a little shopping with an abundance of restaurants to choose from.

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • Westgate Smoky Mountain Resort & Spa or similar

As you leave Gatlinburg and make your way through Kentucky, you will witness the scenic view of the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River, with the Ohio River forming a northern boundary. Begin your morning in the Horse Capital of the World, located in the heart of Kentucky's Bluegrass Region. Embrace the rugged terrain of the Daniel Boone National Forest, named after the fearless legendary American pioneer and stop at the majestic Cumberland Falls.

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • Red Roof Inn Lexington South or similar

While taking the drive to Louisville, home to the world famous Kentucky Derby, you'll pass by small towns and luscious green fields. Recently featured in the movie Sea Biscuit, Churchill Downs is the mecca of American horse racing and home of the Kentucky Derby Museum. Take a short side trip to Bardstown and visit My Old Kentucky Home State Park, the inspiration for Stephen Foster's anthem of the same name which is sung by the crowds every year at the Kentucky Derby. Baseball fans should ensure they fit in a visit to the Louisville Slugger Museum (optional), an interactive museum honouring some of baseball's greats.

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • Red Roof Inn Louisville Fair & Expo or similar

Nashville, known as Music City USA, is your destination today. Make your way over to the Music City Walk of Fame (optional) honouring the top country performers. It's a multimedia music shrine including movie theatres, costumes, instruments and other artefacts detailing country music's colourful history.

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • Millennium Maxwell House Nashville or similar

Today we suggest a visit the Opry Mills shopping centre or take a stroll through the Music Valley's Wax Museum of the Stars and witness life-size wax figures of many country music stars. The State Capitol in downtown Nashville gives visitors a taste of Tennessee's history and natural wonders and also serves as a lasting monument to Tennessee's Bicentennial celebration. The various large monuments represent Tennessee's unique history that includes a 200-foot map of Tennessee.

Points of Interest

Overnight Accommodation

  • Millennium Maxwell House Nashville or similar

Depart the capital of country and western music to return to the home of the blues. Upon your return to Memphis be sure to end your tour by dining at one of the popular places to eat in town. Return your car at the airport before your departure flight.

Points of Interest

  • Memphis

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Lively Beale Street
    • Sun Studios
    • Memphis BBQ
    • Peabody Hotel Duck March
    • Graceland
  • Tennessee

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Jack Daniels Distillery in Lynchburg
    • Chattanooga Riverfront
    • Lookout Mountain
    • Ruby Falls
    • Chatanooga Choo Choo
  • Great Smoky Mountains

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Great Smoky Mountains National Park
    • Downtown Knoxville
    • Sugarlands Distilling
    • Smoky Mountain Brewery
    • Gatlinburg Village Shops
  • Lexington

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Daniel Boon National Forest
    • Kentucky Horse Farm
    • Mary Todd Lincoln House
    • Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill
    • Downtown Lexington
  • Louisville

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Urban Bourbon Trail
    • Churchill Downs
    • Louisville Slugger Museum
    • Muhammad Ali Center
    • Kentucky Derby Museum
  • Nashville

    Itinerary Highlights

    • Country Music Hall of Fame
    • Historic RCA Studio B
    • Grand Ole Opry
    • Honky-tonks on Broadway
    • The Bluebird Cafe