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Best of America's Music Cities

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Let the sounds of country music, rock n' roll, blues, and jazz lead the way for this rail tour through America’s music cities.

You are viewing the 2023 itinerary. Select your departure year
20232024
8 days From $2,695 per person
Travel among a group of like-minded travelers led by a professional tour manager
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Book a qualifying 2023 escorted rail tour & save up to $300 per person. Book by October 7, 2022.

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2023 Tour code: MW-MCSA-23

About the tour

Nashville, Memphis, and New Orleans: Three unique cities bound by one common vein, music. This eight-day train tour explores this theme, from Nashville's beloved country music attractions to Memphis' rock n' roll landmarks and New Orleans' festive atmosphere that embraces live music from impromptu street performances to local clubs. We begin in Nashville, following in the footsteps of country music titans to places like the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Grand Ole Opry, and RCA Studio B. Artists ranging from Willie Nelson to Dolly Parton have made their name in these musical destinations. Their stories - as well as those of other artists past and present - capture your attention during your stay. From Nashville, we head south toward Memphis, where rock n' roll music was born. Tours of Graceland and Sun Studio are just two highlights of our time here. Amtrak's City of New Orleans whisks us deeper into the South to New Orleans. The lively atmosphere here is cultivated through jazz and blues music, and their notes carry us through the city to places like the French Quarter and Mardi Gras World. Follow the rhythm of this tour to discover the rich history and unexpected delights in each metropolis.

Highlights

Activity level Natural Explorer

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You don’t mind spending the day on your feet. You enjoy sightseeing that includes walking, standing or stair climbing. You’re okay with longer days that are more active, such as multiple sightseeing stops, longer motorcoach journeys and getting on and off ships and trains.

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - Nashville

America's premier country music destination welcomes you to the great state of Tennessee. Upon arrival in Nashville, make your way independently to the hotel for check-in (please arrive hotel by 4:30 p.m.). Take the day to get acquainted with your surroundings and soak in the ambiance that can only be found here. This evening, join the group for dinner and a heavy dose of country music at the Nashville Nightlife Dinner Theater. Savor an endless buffet of homestyle dishes while listening to country music hits both past and present. Local legends sometimes join the performers to enhance the show and make your evening one to remember. Overnight Nashville, TN. 

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 2 - Country Music Hall of Fame/Grand Ole Opry Backstage Tour

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel this morning before setting out into the city to see some of its most notable attractions. We begin our day at the Country Music Hall of Fame. Peruse the exhibits and watch country music history come to life through displays dedicated to the genre's titans, both past and present. The Hall of Fame Rotunda is a highlight of any visit and showcases the inducted members, from Hank Williams in 1961 to his son, inducted in 2020.

From here, we continue to another iconic site that is beloved by country musicians and fans alike, the Grand Ole Opry. We join a backstage tour to uncover the secrets and glories the Grand Ole Opry has to offer. Hear stories about the artists who have performed on the Opry stage and look over a selection of photos that illustrate the last 100 years. The tour also includes a film journey hosted by Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood in the Opry's custom-built theater. The remainder of your day is at leisure to enjoy Nashville's offerings. Downtown is brimming with fantastic eateries in which to try authentic Nashville hot chicken and honky tonk bars where live country music plays well into the night. Overnight Nashville, TN.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 3 - RCA Studio B/West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center

Nashville's music history is brought to life once more as we venture to RCA Studio B this morning. Opened in 1957, this studio has seen numerous innovations and musical styles throughout the years and is the place where the "Nashville Sound" came to be. Elvis Presley, Willie Nelson, and Chet Atkins are among those that have graced the studio's halls and made it the landmark site it is today. Following our time here, we hit the road and are enveloped in lush Tennessee scenery as we drive from Nashville to Memphis on the far western border of the state. Memphis is set on the banks of the mighty Mississippi and is a city built on the shoulders of the blues and rock 'n roll. En route, we stop at the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center. This unique museum tells the story of the state's culture and past through fascinating exhibits dedicated to cotton and the Hatchie River. There is also an onsite museum dedicated to Tina Turner, housed in her childhood schoolhouse, and an exhibit featuring the home of blues musician Sleepy John Adam Estes. We continue to Memphis, where we enjoy our first taste of the city this evening with an authentic Memphis barbecue dinner. Overnight Memphis, TN. 

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 - Graceland/Sun Studio

Elvis Presley's former residence and one of the most iconic homes in the state of Tennessee, Graceland, is on the itinerary for today. We visit the King of Rock n Roll's former home and admire its unique decor, from the aptly named "jungle room" to the psychedelic billiard room in the basement. Each room is clad in its original furnishings, and there are artifacts detailing the King's life throughout the house. We also have time to head across the street to Elvis Presley's Memphis, a massive museum filled with over 1.5 million artifacts detailing Elvis's life and success.

Next, enjoy a guided tour of Sun Studio, often called the Birthplace of Rock n Roll. During the 45-minute excursion, look upon photos and memorabilia spanning the decades. See where greats like Johnny Cash, B.B. King, and Jerry Lee Lewis recorded their hits. We return to the hotel following the tour with the rest of the day at leisure. You may wish to make your way to Beale Street for music and dancing or to one of the numerous museums, such as the National Civil Rights Museum. Overnight Memphis, TN.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 5 - Memphis to New Orleans by Train

Grab a quick breakfast at your hotel this morning before we transfer to Memphis Central Station to board Amtrak's City of New Orleans bound for New Orleans. The journey takes us south through the varied scenery of Mississippi in pursuit of the Big Easy. We arrive in New Orleans late this afternoon and transfer to our conveniently located hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure to explore this atmospheric destination. Look upon historic homes as you discover vibrant neighborhoods. Listen to the sounds of jazz and blues filling the air. Seek out historical sites, such as St. Louis Cathedral, St. Louis Cemetery No. 1, Lafayette Cemetery No. 1, or the LaLaurie Mansion. Of course, Bourbon Street is where to go for food, drinks, music, and nightlife. Overnight New Orleans, LA. 

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 6 - French Quarter Sightseeing

New Orleans' oldest neighborhood greets you as we embark on a guided walking tour of the French Quarter. The group is joined by an expert guide who is well-versed in the city's legends and history. Over approximately two hours, we venture between famed sites, including St. Louis Cathedral, Jackson Square, and gorgeous historic homes. The 2-hour excursion concludes as we arrive at Cafe du Monde and savor decadent, sugar-covered beignets. Following the outing, feel free to continue sightseeing on your own. Spanish moss-clad New Orleans City Park is a gorgeous place to take respite from the city's hustle and bustle, and there are museums dedicated to subjects ranging from art to voodoo. Overnight New Orleans, LA.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 7 - Mardi Gras World

Dive head-first into the South's most festive celebration during today's visit to Mardi Gras World. This incredible attraction has been featured on numerous television channels, including the History Channel, Food Network, and HGTV, and is your ticket to all things Mardi Gras. During our hour-long tour, learn the holiday's history and the traditions surrounding it. Our tour also includes time in the "float den," where all the magic happens. Get an up-close look at the festive floats while learning more about the float-making process. Before you leave, dress in masks and costumes and embrace the Mardi Gras spirit. Following the tour, your afternoon is at leisure. We gather again this evening for a dinner cruise on the Mississippi. We board an authentic steamboat, and with live jazz music floating through the air, savor a delicious Creole-inspired dinner. Incredible, illuminated views of the city complement the journey. Overnight New Orleans, LA.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 - Tour Conclusion

Bid farewell to New Orleans this morning as you check out of your hotel. A group transfer to New Orleans International Airport will accommodate flights departing after 11:00 a.m. 

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

Departure times

Departure times vary based on selected rail vacation. This information will be provided in your final documents. For more information please speak with your rail specialist.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular vacation with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Train

Amtrak's City of New Orleans
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