Southern Belle

13 Day Self Drive - from £1,211

Time to experience good old southern charm and hospitality! Travel from Atlanta through the southern states to hear the history of music in Memphis and Nashville and enjoy famous southern traditions.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Nashville, heart and soul of country music
  • Graceland, Elvis Presley’s estate
  • Savannah’s southern hospitality
  • Antebellum homes in Natchez
  • Florida’s Beaches

Call 0333 234 0922 orEnquire online

Your Self Drive

Day 1: Arrive in Atlanta

Arrive into Atlanta and make your way to the car rental depot to collect your car. Enjoy an overnight stay in Atlanta, Georgia, 'The Peach State'. Despite being a bustling big city, the state capital welcomes its visitors with the same southern hospitality of any small southern town.

Hotels: (Standard) Indigo Hotel Atlanta Midtown or similar (1 night)
(Budget) Red Lion Hotel Atlanta Airport or similar (1 night)

Day 2: Nashville (250 miles)

Better known as the Music City, Nashville is the heart and soul of country music. Whilst in the city, take the time to visit the Country Music Hall of Fame where you can enjoy historic country video clips and recorded music. Also, visit Historic RCA Studio B, 'The Home of 1,000 Hits' to get an up-close look at what was once the second home of music legends Elvis Presley, Chet Atkins, Dolly Parton and more. In the evening consider a dinner cruise on a paddlewheel riverboat or a dinner theatre experience, both offering exceptional entertainment and cuisine.

Hotels: (Standard) Hyatt Place Opryland or similar (1 night)
(Budget) Red Roof Nashville Fairgrounds or similar (1 night)

Day 3: Memphis (213 miles)

Leaving Nashville behind, travel on to the home of blues, Memphis. Your first stop should be Graceland, Elvis Presley’s 14-acre estate, followed by a visit the “Birthplace of Rock ‘n Roll”, Sun Studios, where you can enjoy a fascinating tour and listen to audio presentations of some of the earliest recordings made there. After, visit the original studio itself, the exact same room where the likes of Johnny Cash and Elvis recorded their first tracks. In the evening, take a stroll down historic Beale Street where blues has been playing for more than half a century.

Hotels: (Standard) Crowne Plaza Memphis or similar (1 night)
(Budget) Comfort Inn Downtown Memphis or similar (1 night)


OPTIONAL EXPERIENCE - Graceland Mansion Tour
Over the 20 years Elvis lived here, Graceland created countless memories for the many friends and relatives who were a part of Elvis’ life. Because Graceland was so close to Elvis’ heart, it also holds deep meaning to his legions of fans from around the world. For many, the Elvis Presley mansion embodies the American Dream - a poor small-town boy who reached superstardom and changed pop culture and the world forever. Other than his daughter and his music, Graceland was probably Elvis’ greatest pride and joy. For fans of Elvis Presley, Graceland is the ultimate pilgrimage. Graceland tours offer a very personal look inside the home of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Day 4: Vicksburg (251 miles)

Vicksburg was once the centre for the aristocracy whose wealth was based around cotton and lumber. A glimpse of its former glory is evident with the preservation of many historic churches, government buildings and grand homes, dating back to the 19th Century. For the history buff, there’s also Vicksburg National Military Park, the Vicksburg Battlefield Museum and Historic Downtown Vicksburg which offers a variety of restaurants, shops and art galleries.

Hotels: (Standard) Cedar Grove Mansion or similar (1 night)
(Budget) Hampton Inn & Suites or similar (1 night)

Day 5: Natchez (72 miles)

Continue on to the town of Natchez, the oldest permanent settlement on the Mississippi River and known for the preservation of many antebellum homes including Stanton Hall, one of the most magnificent palatial residences of antebellum America. Below the town lies Natchez Under-the-Hill, once a haven for all things inappropriate, now home to many bars and restaurants. Here you will also find a riverboat casino.

Hotels: (Standard & Budget) Monmouth Historic Inn or similar (1 night)

Day 6: New Orleans (178 miles)

Drive further south into Louisiana. Along the way, consider a stop in Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s capital, here you can learn about the colourful history filled with controversial politics at the Capitol Building and the Old Governor’s Mansion and sample some of the fine Cajun-Creole cuisines at one of the local eateries. After, continue on to New Orleans, a modern city with a historic soul.

Hotels: (Standard) Maison Dupuy or similar (2 nights)
(Budget) Holiday Inn Downtown Superdome or similar (2 nights)


OPTIONAL EXPERIENCE - The Atchafalaya Experience
Enjoy this expedition on North America’s longest river swamp on board a state-of-the-art aluminium vessel. Photographers, birders, and nature lovers will appreciate The Atchafalaya which ranks among the top 10 wilderness areas in the U.S. Guided by Louisiana ecosystems’ fauna and flora experts, this tour takes you on an encounter with 38 different species of birds and mammals such as beaver, nutria, otters, mink, squirrels, and deer; depending on the season, alligators are also seen.

Day 7: New Orleans

Venture out of the city’s centre to the Garden District, this elegant neighbourhood is home to lovely southern homes (some of which are open to tours) and lined with beautiful parks and cafes, or if you are feeling more adventurous, consider an escapade in the swamp. In these mysterious waterways that surround the city, you will get up close encounters with alligators and other exotic creatures.

OPTIONAL EXPERIENCE - Mardi Gras World Tour
Take a peek behind the scenes and see Mardi Gras Magic in the making! This tour will allow you to see the sculptors, costume makers and float builders at work in their shops. Walk among towering figures of fantasy. Marvel at the skill and technology that animate mega-floats. Acquire an insider’s appreciation of the history and traditions of Carnival and take home Mardi Gras memories you’ll cherish forever.

Day 8: Florida Panhandle (241 miles)

Continue on your journey to the famous sugar-white sands and emerald waters of Fort Walton Beach. Endless strings of recreational fishing fleets, water activities, and gorgeous beachside parks await you at this jewel on the Florida Emerald Coast. Undeniably fresh seafood is served in waterfront restaurants and seaside cafes. Spend a day lounging beside a sparkling pool, play a quiet round of golf and watch the sun set into gorgeous Gulf waters.

Hotels: (Standard & Budget) Wyndham Garden Ft. Walton Beach or similar (1 night)

Day 9: Tallahassee (170 miles)

Tallahassee offers visitors the chance to experience “The Other Florida.” Home to several universities, as well as a centre of aeronautics and engineering, Tallahassee is proud of its scientific contributions, showing off with a 5-story IMAX theatre and planetarium, and the Tallahassee Museum of History and Natural Sciences. If you have dinner out this evening, from fast food to five-star, Tallahassee serves up an excellent selection of tantalizing restaurants.

Hotels: (Standard) DoubleTree Tallahassee or similar (1 night)
(Budget) Wyndham Garden Tallahassee Capitol or similar (1 night)

Day 10: Savannah (300 miles)

Drive into Georgia this morning. Southern hospitality is alive and well in charming Savannah; the Historic District has twenty-two squares and cobblestone streets that will take you back in time. For delicious southern cooking, visit the restored Waterfront area which is lined with shops and restaurants. For something a little different Climb aboard the Trolley of the Doomed on a Ghosts and Gravestones tour, you will journey back in time to explore the mystery and intrigue that surround the many well-known sights and historical places in Savannah.

Hotels: (Standard) B Historic Savannah or similar (1 night)
(Budget) Quality Inn Savannah Midtown or similar (1night)


OPTIONAL EXPERIENCE - Ghosts and Gravestones Tour
Climb aboard the Trolley of the Doomed as we journey back in time and explore the mystery and intrigue that surround the many well-known sights and historical places in Savannah. We’ll take a fascinating look at some of the city’s most haunted sights, exposing the stories that centre upon our most famous and infamous residents. Our Gravedigger Guides will thrill and delight you with their spooky and humorous accounts of the supernatural - and perhaps you’ll experience an encounter with one of Savannah’s lost...

Day 11: Charleston (115 miles)

Continue exploring the traditions of the Old South as you drive toward Charleston. Along the way, visit Beaufort, a little town that claims nearly one hundred antebellum and pre-Revolutionary houses. When you arrive in to Charleston, a fantastic way to see this city is by a horse-drawn carriage, you will be able to see the Old South in the architecture and gardens of the many historic homes and buildings. After, visit the shopping district of King Street in Downtown, see Civil War memorials at the Battery, or venture slightly outside the city and visit Magnolia Plantation and Gardens.

Hotels: (Standard) Francis Marion Hotel or similar (1 night)
(Budget) Days Inn Patriot’s Point or similar (1 night)

Day 12: Atlanta (300 miles)

It’s back to Atlanta today to explore all this great southern city has to offer, visit the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site and Sweet Auburn District, taste the past and present of Coca-Cola products at the NEW World of Coca Cola, experience Inside CNN Atlanta and see global news in the making, or, just east of the city lies Stone Mountain, the world’s largest exposed granite monolith with a relief carving of Confederate heroes.

Hotels: (Standard) Indigo Hotel Atlanta Midtown or similar (1 night)
(Budget) Red Lion Hotel Atlanta Airport or similar (1 night)

Day 13: Depart Atlanta (14 miles)

Enjoy this final day of taking in the charm and hospitality of the Deep South. Depart at leisure for the Atlanta International Airport for your flight home or onwards to your next destination.

13 Day Self Drive - from £1,211

with flights from £1,621

Optional Experiences

Our Budget option includes all the benefits of our standard but offers a lower category of accommodation for the more budget conscious.

  • Budget accommodation – from £1,150
  • Add a Ghosts and Gravestones Savannah Tour – from £26
  • Add a Graceland Mansion Tour – from £79
  • Add the Atchafalaya Experience – from £47
  • Add a Mardi Gras World Tour – from £17

Price is per person, based on 2 sharing a double or twin room and include pre-booked accommodation, air-conditioned car and unlimited mileage. One-way fees charged locally. Hotels specified are subject to availability and may be substituted by one of a similar or higher standard.

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Self Drive Touring

Enjoy independent touring at its very best. Book our self drives as they are or add extra days in the places you choose. Normally available in both directions.

Your self drive includes:

  • Well planned, easy to follow route
  • Travel guide and maps
  • 12 nights pre-booked hotel accommodation
  • A choice of standard or budget hotels
  • Modern air-conditioned car
  • Unlimited mileage
  • Roadside assistance
  • Car upgrades available upon request

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For help and advice on your America holiday

call 0333 234 0922 enquire online