Tennessee Treasures and the Great Smoky Mountains
Get set to experience some of the greatest sights and sounds east of the Mississippi on this tour to Tennessee, North Carolina and Washington, DC. Board Amtrak's City of New Orleans for the short overnight journey to Memphis.
Get set to experience some of the greatest sights and sounds east of the Mississippi on this tour to Tennessee, North Carolina and Washington, DC. Board Amtrak’s City of New Orleans for the short overnight journey to Memphis, arriving bright and early and ready for a full day of sightseeing including visits to Mud Island, Sun Studios and a tour of Elvis Presley’s Graceland mansion. Next, travel to Nashville where highlights of your stay include a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and a performance by the famed Grand Ole Opry. Continue to Gatlinburg, situated at the entrance of the Great Smoky Mountains, where sightseeing takes you along scenic mountain roads around the famous “Loop” with a stop at Newfound Gap. Board the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad for a half-day excursion along the Tennessee and Nantahala Rivers. Depart the Smoky Mountains by train, traveling from Charlotte to Washington DC aboard Amtrak’s Carolinian for a day of sightseeing in the nation’s capital before boarding the Capitol Limited for the overnight journey to Chicago where your tour comes to an end.
Highlights and Inclusions
- Rail transportation on Amtrak (2 nights on train)
- Hotel accommodations for 6 nights including 2 nights at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel
- 10 meals
- Memphis sightseeing tour include Mud Island and Sun Studios
- Tour of Graceland
- Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville
- Enjoy a performance by the famed Grand Ole Opry
- Scenic rail excursion aboard the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad
- Transportation by deluxe motorcoach
- Services of a professional tour manager
Day 1- Depart Chicago
Tennessee Treasures and the Great Smoky Mountains tour members will meet the Tour Director in Chicago's Union Station. At 7:30 p.m. we'll board Amtrak's City of New Orleans prior to its 8:05 p.m. departure. Relax in your reclining coach class seat with leg rest. A limited number of Roomettes and Bedrooms may be available at extra cost. Enjoy a full-course dinner in the dining car. (D)
Day 2- Memphis to Nashville
Throughout the night the City of New Orleans made its way through southern Illinois and western Kentucky and is scheduled to arrive in Memphis at 6:27 a.m. Upon arrival we'll stop for breakfast and then embark on a tour of this dynamic city of 700,000. Our sightseeing tour will include Mud Island, the Pyramid, the Danny Thomas ALSAC Pavilion, Sun Studios, and the Martin Luther King assassination site.This afternoon we'll arrive at Elvis Presley's Graceland. Our Platinum Tour package includes a mansion tour as well as self-guided tours of Elvis' two custom airplanes, the Elvis Automobile Museum and a memorabilia museum called “Sincerely Elvis.” You will enjoy an “on-your-own” lunch at one of the restaurants at Graceland Plaza. This afternoon we'll depart Memphis on our deluxe motorcoach for the 220 mile trip to Nashville. There will be an “on-your-own” dinner stop en route. Our home for the next two nights will be the famous Gaylord Opryland Hotel. After you settle in, you'll want to experience the opulence of this world-class resort. The hotel features stunning indoor landscaping across several sprawling atriums that make the hotel America's largest non-casino resort! (B)
Day 3- Nashville
Following breakfast, we'll enjoy a guided tour of Nashville. We'll visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. This 37 million dollar facility is a beautiful tribute to Country Music and the artists who have made it great. You'll have time for an “on-your-own” lunch. We'll return to our hotel late this afternoon. Select one of the hotel's many restaurants for dinner tonight. We conclude our day in Nashville at the Grand Ole Opry House with an evening performance of the famed Grand Ole Opry. (B)
Day 4- Gatliburg and the Great Smoky Mountains
This morning you are free to further explore Nashville and the Opryland grounds. Early this afternoon we'll board our deluxe motorcoach and head east to Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountains. Gatlinburg lies at the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most visited national park in America. This town of 3,944 residents is dedicated to welcoming its guests with a taste of Appalachian hospitality. Gatlinburg is surrounded on three sides by the natural beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains and is one of America's great mountain resort destinations. One of the great features of Gatlinburg is its walkability. Everyone enjoys walking the Downtown Parkway, which runs from one end of town to the other. It's filled with a rich variety of activities to experience, places to eat, great shopping and attractions. For a quieter stroll, you can take the River Walk and enjoy the sights and sounds of the Little Pigeon River, with gazebos and benches along the way. Once the sun sets, there is a wide range of dining and entertainment options. Our home for the next two nights is the Hampton Inn. (B)
Day 5- Gatlinburg
Today we'll embark on a sightseeing tour and travel the scenic mountain road around the famous “Loop” by way of the high-rising Chimney Tops. At the top of the mountain we will stop at Newfound Gap which marks the Tennessee, North Carolina State line. At 5,048 feet, Newfound Gap is the lowest drivable pass through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Enjoy another great evening in Gatlinburg. (C, B)
Day 6- Bryson City/ Great Smoky Mountains Railroad
This morning we'll board our deluxe motorcoach and travel 45 scenic miles through the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains to Bryson City, NC, home of the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. Enjoy the comfort and style of 1940s-era bar, lounge and dining cars with seating at well-appointed tables and lounge/restaurant style chairs. A delicious lunch will be served by the car's private attendant (included). A highlight of our tour will be the 4.5 hour Nantahala Gorge Excursion along the beautiful Tennessee and Nantahala Rivers. The historic Trellis Bridge will take us across Fontana Lake and into the beautiful Nantahala Gorge. Upon returning to Bryson City we'll transfer to Charlotte, our home tonight is the Drury Inn and Suites. (B, L)
*Please note, due to its historic nature the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad is ADA exempt with limited handicap accessibility.
Day 7: Charlotte, NC to Washington D.C.
Following a Drury QuikStart™ breakfast we'll transfer to the Charlotte Amtrak Station and board the Carolinian for the scenic day-run to Washington D.C. The Carolinian features a dinette serving sandwiches, snacks and beverages. Complimentary Wi-Fi is also available. This afternoon we'll arrive in Washington D.C.'s Union Station and transfer to the 4 Points by Sheraton, our home for the evening. (B)
Day 8- Washington D.C./ En Route
This morning we'll set off on a sightseeing tour of our Nation's Capital. We'll arrive at Union Station early this afternoon. This stately building is much more than a train station. There is an expansive food court, six full service restaurants and more than 100 specialty shops on three levels with items from jewelry and apparel to gifts and boutique items and much more. A walk outside the station provides a view of the United States Capitol Building and the amazing United States Postal Museum is just across the street. Our departure on the Capitol Limited is scheduled for 4:05 p.m. Enjoy a sumptuous dinner in the diner this evening! (D)
Day 9- En Route to Chicago
Our arrival into Chicago Union Station is scheduled for 8:45 this morning. Tour members will depart for hometown destinations. (B)
Train and Hotel Accommodations
Amtrak accommodations are available in Coach class, Roomette and Bedroom. Coach accommodations include a reclining seat with leg rest. Roomette accommodations include a private cabin that features two comfortable seats beside a picture window during the day, which converts to an upper and lower berth at night. Bedroom accommodations feature a sofa and chair by day and upper and lower berth by night. Bedroom accommodations also include a sink and self-enclosed toilet and shower. All train accommodations include access to the Sightseer Lounge car. Upgrades to Roomette and Bedroom sleeping accommodations are available for an additional fee.Hotel accommodations are based on availability; substitutes will be similar in quality and amenities.
Dates & Prices
Select from the packages below to view prices for this tour.
|9th April 2015||$2,295||Book Now|
|9th April 2015||$2,640||Book Now|
|9th April 2015||$2,790||Book Now|
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Included Coach: Departs 9th April 2015 ($2,295)
Roomette Upgrade: Departs 9th April 2015 ($2,640)
Bedroom Upgrade: Departs 9th April 2015 ($2,790)
+Vacations By Rail can supply connecting rail from your closest Amtrak Station