Welcome to the "Windy City." Your Tour Director is on hand late this afternoon to answer any questions.
Included sightseeing shows off the city's landmarks, then an afternoon at leisure. Maybe ride the elevator to the top of Willis Tower, formerly known as the Sears Tower, or enjoy one of Chicago's legendary blues clubs.
Travel across the fertile Illinois farmlands to St. Louis, "Gateway to the West." An orientation tour includes a trip to the top of the Gateway Arch National Park, which commemorates the city's key role in westward expansion. Visit the museum under the Arch, celebrating Lewis & Clark's famous expedition 200 years ago.
Recross the Mississippi River today and roll southeast to Paducah on the Ohio River. Late-afternoon arrival in Nashville. (B)
Start the day with a sightseeing tour of Nashville's famous landmarks and the Music Row recording studios. Tour historic RCA Studio B, cradle of the 1960s "Nashville Sound" where stars such as Dolly Parton, Elvis Presley, Eddy Arnold, Willie Nelson, and the Everly Brothers recorded many of their biggest hits. Afterward, visit the Country Music Hall of Fame with its glittering costumes, rare instruments, and Elvis' "solid gold" Cadillac! Tonight, enjoy reserved seating for a show at the world-famous Grand Old Opry, a mecca for country musicians.
Visit the Tina Turner Museum in the one-room schoolhouse attended by a young Anna Mae Bullock (a.k.a. Tina Turner). See the collection of the "Queen of Rock's" memorabilia, including costumes, gold records and even her high school yearbook! Afterward, cross Tennessee to Memphis, "Home of the Blues" and a city with a distinct Southern flavour. Enjoy an orientation tour on arrival and see where the film Walk the Line was filmed. Consider the optional excursion to Sun Studio, where rock 'n' roll was first recorded, followed by dinner at a local restaurant.
A good portion of the day is devoted to Graceland, Elvis Presley's beautiful estate. Your guided audio tour focuses on the memorial garden, and the opulent 15,000-square-foot mansion. Return to Memphis mid-afternoon and, if you haven't done so already, get a taste of Memphis with some southern barbecue or visit the Rock 'n' Soul Museum on historic Beale Street.
Today, make your way through the state of Mississippi. Visit the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Centre. Discover the life of B.B. (Blues Boy) King, from his humble beginnings to his big break on Beale Street in Memphis, TN. An evening arrival in New Orleans allows the opportunity for exploring this lively city on your own.
A full morning is dedicated to the sights and sounds of New Orleans, featuring a guided tour that includes the French Quarter landmarks, St. Louis Cathedral, Jackson Square, and a visit to a unique above-ground cemetery. This afternoon, join an optional tour of one of the many plantation homes in southern Louisiana. The architecture and beauty of these homes alone is impressive and the stories that go with them are even better. This evening, perhaps join an optional Mississippi River dinner cruise, and enjoy a delightful buffet dinner complete with live jazz-the perfect finale to a memorable touring adventure of the South.
Your holiday ends this morning. You can extend your holiday with extra nights and explore the "Big Easy" further.