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Romance of the Deep South Holiday

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For prices and availability call our Memphis office at 901-369-9838 or email Memphis@SweetMagnoiaTours.com

Atlanta

  • Learn about the rich history and progress of the refreshing beverage that was created over 110 years ago at the World of Coca-Cola
  • Experience the CNN Studio Tour with an impressive behind-the-scenes look at global news in the making
  • Visit the Jimmy Carter presidential library
  • See the home where Margaret Mitchell wrote her Pulitzer prize-winning novel, Gone with the Wind

Birmingham

  • Tour the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, a tribute to the jazz Greats with ties to Alabama
  • Visit the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
  • Visit the Southern Museum of Flight / Alabama Aviation Hall of Fame

North Alabama

  • Tour the Alabama Music Hall of Fame
  • Visit the home of the “father of the blues,” the W.C. Handy Home & Museum

North Mississippi

  • Visit the antebellum Curlee House & Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center
  • Tour the Northeast Mississippi Museum where the Corinth area history and Civil War Heritage come alive
  • See the birthplace of Elvis – the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll
  • Walk on the Brice’s Crossroads National Battlefield Site
  • Peruse the Blues Archives at Ole Miss in Oxford
  • Trace the history of the blues in an old train depot, now the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale

Memphis

  • Tour Elvis Presley’s beloved mansion Graceland
  • Learn the roots of “the Memphis Sound” at the Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum
  • Visit Sun Studio, the actual studio where Rock ‘n’ Roll was first recorded

West Tennessee

  • Visit the home of blues legend Sleepy John Estes and the adjacent Delta Heritage Center
  • Remember the “roots of Rock” at the Rockabilly Hall of Fame

Nashville

  • Try Country Dance lessons and two bodacious drinks at the Wild Horse Saloon
  • Enjoy live music daily and learn musical history at the exciting Country Music Hall of Fame in the heart of downtown Nashville
  • Tour the legendary Ryman Auditorium, the 1940’s home of the Grand Ole Opry
  • Be part of a radio broadcast of the Grand Ole Opry any Friday or Saturday night
  • Enjoy a tour of the world famous Jack Daniel Distillery in the quaint town of Lynchburg

Chattanooga

  • Witness Ruby Falls, a 145 foot flowing waterfall in a cave over 1100 feet underground
  • Ride the Incline Railway, the world’s steepest passenger railway, to the top of Lookout Mountain
  • See seven states from the famous Lover’s Leap

For prices and availability call our Memphis office at 901-369-9838 or email Memphis@SweetMagnoiaTours.com

DAY 1 – Atlanta
Atlanta may be the capital of the Peach State, but it is also the reigning capital of the Southeast. Atlanta has more sports teams, restaurants, entertainment venues and attractions than any other City in the region. Surrounded by a beautiful Georgia countryside, Atlanta is home to four professional sports teams, more than 200 entertainment and cultural attractions, and thousands of restaurants. Atlanta mixes southern charm and all of the excitement of a big City for an unforgettable vacation experience.

 

Consider a visit to Underground Atlanta, where six City blocks in the heart of Atlanta have been transformed into a spirited urban marketplace featuring 12 spectacular restaurants and over 100 specialty shops and entertainment emporiums, as well as street-cart merchants. Located in a three-story pavilion adjacent to Underground Atlanta, the World of Coca-Cola encompasses the rich history and progress of the refreshing beverage that was created in Atlanta over 110 years ago. While Coca-Cola was first served at a small pharmacy soda fountain, this soft drink can now be purchased in over 200 countries around the world. In fact, it is now served over 850 million times a day! Visitors move at their own pace through an easy-to-follow series of fun and fascinating exhibit galleries.

 

Next, visit the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum at 441 Freedom Parkway. The only presidential library in the southeast United States honors the early life, political career, and presidency of Jimmy Carter. The Museum is open to the public 7 days a week and is designed for a relaxed, leisurely visit. Enjoy a 30-minute historical film on the Presidency, visit the Oval Office and enjoy an exact replica of the beautiful Crown of St. Stephen, a gift from the people of Hungary. Stroll through the lovely gardens, sit by the pond, and take photos of Atlanta’s skyline. Overnight Atlanta

 

DAY 2 – Atlanta
Experience World News live on the CNN Studio tour. The global headquarters of the CNN News Group and Turner Broadcasting is also an entertainment-shopping-dining-hotel extravaganza. The crown jewel of the Center is the CNN Studios tour, a must-see for an impressive behind-the-scenes look at global news in the making. Immerse yourself in CNN by taking the guided tour that offers a dramatic look into the history of the CNN News Group networks and their coverage of the events that shape our world. Tour the state-of-the-art studios responsible for bringing the news to over one billion people around the globe!

 

Also today visit the Margaret Mitchell House and Museum. Tour the home that is on the National Register of Historic Sites and see where Margaret Mitchell wrote her Pulitzer prize-winning novel, Gone with the Wind. Discover how this champion of human rights came to write the world’s most popular book that still sells a copy once every 2 1/2 minutes! Overnight Atlanta

 

DAY 3 – Atlanta to Birmingham (145 miles/ 235 kilometers)
Birmingham, the largest city in Alabama, graciously welcomes you. Once the leading iron and steel center of the Deep South, Birmingham was named for Birmingham, England. The only remnants of the steel industry are a statue of Vulcan, god of the forge, and the Sloss Furnaces. Located in the foothills of the mountains, Birmingham’s natural beauty is further enhanced by antebellum, Victorian, and art deco structures, in addition to gleaming skyscrapers. The City is now the home of a Civil Rights District and the impressive Civil Rights Institute. The Institute’s historic galleries trace the footsteps of the brave men and women who were civil rights activists. The journey moves from the era of segregation to the birth of the Civil Rights Movement and the worldwide struggle for civil and human rights. Along the way, exciting multimedia exhibitions depict dramatic events that took place in Birmingham and other cities, events that stirred the conscience of a nation and influenced the course of an international human rights struggle.

The Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame makes its home in the historic Carver Theatre for the Performing Arts. The Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame presents a tribute to jazz greats with ties to Alabama.

You may also want to stop at the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum: The largest motorcycle museum in the U.S. with 350 cycles dating from 1904 to the present. Stop by the Morgan Creek Vineyards for Southern-style wines made from blueberries, apples and muscadines. Learn more about Birmingham’s iron past by a visit to Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark: A 32-acre blast furnace plant where iron was made for nearly 100 years.

Tour the Southern Museum of Flight / Alabama Aviation Hall of Fame and follow Alabama’s aviation history through Hall of Fame plaques. The Tuskegee Airmen are featured in these exhibits. Overnight Birmingham.

 

DAY 4 – Birmingham to Corinth (165 miles / 265 kilometers)
On the way you will stop in the “Shoals” area of north Alabama at the towns of Florence and Tuscumbia. In Florence you will tour the W.C. Handy Home and Museum (closed Mondays and Tuesdays). “Where the Tennessee River, like a silver snake, winds her way through the clay hills of Alabama, sits high on these hills, my home town, Florence.” William Christopher Handy was born here in a log cabin on November 16, 1873.

 

The most complete collection of Mr. Handy’s personal papers and artifacts in the world are housed in the museum. Exhibits include his famous trumpet, his personal piano, handwritten sheet music, his library, citations from famous people, photographs, household furnishings and a wealth of memorabilia.

 

Next tour the Alabama Music Hall of Fame in Tuscumbia. Whether you like Rock, Rhythm ‘n’ Blues, Gospel, Soul, Country, Opera, Classical or Contemporary music, the Alabama Music Hall of Fame is full of surprises for you! See the many talented Alabamians who have influenced the course of music history. You will learn about the history of the legendary Muscle Shoals music as you listen to the legendary “Muscle Shoals Sound”. See the life-size monochrome statues of the guys from Ft. Payne, Alabama, and board the group’s tour bus and imagine how life was on the road. Hank Williams, Lionel Richie and Nat “King” Cole are just a few of the many superstars you can see when you visit the Hall of Fame. W.C. Handy, “Father of the Blues” is only one of the many Rhythm and Blues artists you can see at the Hall of Fame. “It Starts With a Song”, is a showcase honoring the many hit songwriters from Alabama. Tammy Wynette rose from her roots in Alabama to became “The First Lady of Country Music.” See native Alabamian, Sam Phillips’ Sun Records exhibit, which includes the original RCA recording contract of Elvis Presley. You can even record your own hit song in the recording studio.

 

When you arrive in the small town of Corinth you are arriving in one of the Deep South’s treasures. Corinth is one of America’s most historically significant towns. Visit downtown stores and shops steeped in history. Don’t forget to stop in Borroum’s Drug Store where the old soda fountain is still very much in the center of things and is kept in perfect condition. Borroum’s has everything from malted milks to their famous ice cream sodas. Of course there are the cherry phosphates and old-fashioned cokes. Here you can experience the true Americana of the 1940’s and 1950’s.

 

Corinth is steeped in Civil War history. You will tour the Curlee House and Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center. This antebellum home, built in 1857, is a National Historic landmark and is also a Mississippi landmark. This impressive Greek Revival home features ornate plasterwork, period antiques and one of its sitting rooms is said to be one of the most elegant in Mississippi. At the Curlee House you will understand the gracious splendor of the Deep South. The Superior price category includes special accommodations at the Generals’ Quarters Bed and Breakfast, a beautiful 1872 Victorian home with beautifully landscaped grounds including a lovely pond, magnolias, roses and azaleas. It is situated on a quiet tree-canopied street and here you will really get the feel of what it is like to live in the Deep South. Overnight Corinth.

 

DAY 5 – Corinth to Tupelo to Oxford to Clarksdale (160 miles / 258 kilometers)
Before you depart Corinth, you will tour the Northeast Mississippi Museum where the Corinth area history and Civil War Heritage come alive. You will see impressive displays of Civil War artifacts, a model of the famous Tishomingo Hotel at the railroad intersection, numerous historical pictures and Chickasaw Indian artifacts.

 

When you arrive in Tupelo you will tour Elvis Presley’s birthplace. This modest two-room house, where the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll was born on January 8th, 1935, has been restored and is part of the Elvis Presley Center that also includes the Elvis Presley Museum, Memorial Chapel and Elvis Presley Park. The museum is one of the most unique private collections of Elvis memorabilia in the world.

 

On the morning of June 10th, 1864, Union and Confederate troops clashed near Baldwyn, Mississippi along the sleepy wooded lanes around Brice’s Crossroads. In 1929 Brice’s Crossroads was declared a “National Battlefield Site.” To commemorate the battle the National Park Service erected, and maintains, monuments and interpretive panels on a small one-acre plot at the crossroads. This is the spot where the Brice family house once stood and is a wonderful place to learn more about the history of the Deep South.

 

Depart Tupelo and scoot on to the beautiful little town of Oxford, home of the University of Mississippi and authors William Faulkner and John Grisham. Stop and tour William Faulkner’s home, Rowan Oak (free admission). Also a visit to the Center for Southern Folklore and the Blues Archives on the University campus is a must.

Continue on to Clarksdale. From the 30’s on through the 50’s Clarksdale was a major blues town. John Lee Hooker, Ike Turner, Little Junior Parker and Sam Cooke were born here. Robert Nighthawk, Bukka White, “Gatemouth” Moore, Eddie Boyd, Son House, and Charley Patton all once lived in the area. Clarksdale became the center of the blues world by virtue of its location smack in the middle of the Delta and Delta blues still come from this source. Overnight Clarksdale.

 

DAY 6 – Clarksdale to Memphis (75 miles / 120 kilometers)
Before you leave Clarksdale, visit the Delta Blues Museum. Here you will enjoy unique displays, videotape and slide/sound programs, photographs, recordings, books and numerous other sources of information about the blues. Nearby on Delta Avenue is the Sunflower River Trading Company store with many unusual items for sale. Stop for lunch or evening drinks at Ground Zero Blues Club, an authentically reproduced blues “juke joint” owned by the famous actor, Morgan Freeman. Stop in Stackhouse Records, a record shop and recording studio for Rooster Blues Records. Visit “The Crossroads”, the intersection of Highways 61 and 49, where legend has it that the most famous bluesman of all, Robert Johnson, made his pact with the devil. Bluesmen who knew Johnson were all astounded at how quickly he learned the guitar, and Johnson himself often claimed his extraordinary prowess as a gift from the devil.

Arrive in Memphis: the “Home of the Blues and and the Birthplace of the Rock ‘n’ Roll.” After settling in your hotel, “hoof it” around historic downtown Memphis. Be sure to sample some of Memphis’ most famous food… barbecued pork! Beale Street and the banks of the Mississippi River are both must-see spots. Boogie on Beale Street, where the Blues were born. With its rich musical heritage, Beale Street is a cool place for hot entertainment and live music clubs. Unusual and interesting shops like the ancient A. Schwab’s await you on Beale. Walk Beale Street west to Tom Lee Park and the banks of the Mississippi, where you can stroll, gawk at the Riverboats and barges, and view an awesome sunset. Overnight Memphis.

 

DAY 7 – Memphis
First, stride over to Memphis’ new Gibson Guitar factory and there you’ll find the Smithsonian’s Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum. In the quest to identify the roots of American music, all roads lead to Memphis, “the holy ground of American music”. Learn why Memphis was the epicenter of Rock n Roll, Blues and Soul music. The sounds came from the fields, alleys, juke joints and choir lofts and collided in Memphis. Here something new was created, a kind of musical magic that would eventually transform the hearts, attitudes and ways of the world. Overnight Memphis.

 

DAY 8 – Memphis
Next go to Graceland and tour Elvis’ beloved Mansion. Imagine being in the same place where the most famous musician in the world hung his hat and made music that mesmerized the world. In addition to Elvis’ home, the mansion tour includes the Hall of Gold, Elvis’ private office, the Meditation Gardens and the famous Racquetball Court with its wall of gold and platinum records and the monument given by RCA Records proclaiming Elvis as the greatest entertainer and recording artist of all times. After the mansion, tour the remaining Graceland attractions at your own pace. These include: The Elvis Presley Car Museum, Elvis’ Airplanes – The Lisa Marie and the Hound Dog II, and the Sincerely Elvis Museum filled with personal items and memorabilia. Of course, gift shops abound, overflowing with Elvis souvenirs, cassettes, videos and special keepsakes.

Next you’ll visit legendary Sun Studio, the actual recording studio and “SPOT” where Rock ‘n’ Roll was born! You will be able to listen to recordings of “the Greats” such as Elvis, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash as they “sit-in” on a recording session. These were the sounds that changed American music forever! Overnight Memphis.

 

DAY 9 – Memphis to Nut Bush to Brownsville to Nashville (225 miles / 362 kilometers)
Depart Memphis and drive north through Henning. Stop and tour the home of Alex Haley, the world-renowned author of Roots. Motor on through Nutbush, the birthplace of entertainer Tina Turner, to Brownsville, Tennessee. Here you may want to stop at the home of blues singer, Sleepy John Estes, and the adjacent Delta Heritage Center. Down the road in Jackson, Tennessee is a great lunch spot: Suede’s, operated by the family of singer Carl Perkins. Tour the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in Jackson and visit the Casey Jones Village and the Old Country Store. After lunch zip down the Tennessee Music Highway (Interstate 40) toward Nashville. If you’ve got the time, mosey over to country star Loretta Lynn’s Ranch before arriving in Nashville, “Music City USA.” After settling in at your hotel quickstep over to the Wildhorse Saloon. Practice yelling “Yee HA!” as you chug two not-so-tame drinks and learn how to “cut a rug” (do some real country dancin’). Overnight Nashville.

 

DAY 10 – Nashville
Located on the west bank of the Cumberland River just a few steps from the historic Ryman Auditorium and the authentic honky-tonks of Lower Broadway is the fabulous Country Music Hall of Fame. Through the displays of stage costumes, musical instruments, artworks, films and photographs, the history of country music vividly unfolds in this sparkling, new downtown facility. In a soundproof 75-seat Songwriter’s Theater, songwriters regularly entertain and enlighten museum guests with in-the-round guitar pulls and song swaps, a uniquely Nashville tradition. In this area also, professional “pickers” will be available to introduce the instruments typically used on country recordings. The Country Music Hall of Fame is a shrine inspired by, and a tribute to the many country music stars that have gone before and the many yet to come.

 

Next you’ll tour the Ryman Auditorium mother church of country music and 1940’s home of the Grand Ole Opry. Like to shop? Then you must browse Opry Mills for Shoppertainment at its finest. Opry Mills combines outlet, discount and specialty retailers, themed restaurants and fun-filled entertainment venues in an energetic and exciting environment with more than 200 places to shop, eat and play including Bass Pro Shop’s Outdoor World.

 

Lucky you to be in Nashville on a Friday or Saturday night! Don’t miss the Grand Ole Opry, the world’s longest running live radio show. Enjoy superstars, “Hall of Famers,” legends and hot new stars performing live at this spectacular 4,400-seat broadcast studio. Overnight Nashville.

 

DAY 11 – Nashville area
Drive south out of Nashville to the quaint little historic town of Lynchburg, where you will tour the Jack Daniel Distillery, the oldest registered distillery in the U.S. While visiting the Jack Daniel Distillery, you will be taken on a personally guided tour through each step used in making Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey since 1866. Leave time to visit the Lynchburg Square, which is the social center of the area. It is a place to take care of business, shop or sit all day sharing fishing stories while whittling on a red cedar stick. The whittlers can be found down on the square most any day. They will be more than glad to share a bench with any traveler. You may also want to call ahead and make a reservation for lunch at Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House (phone 931-759-7394) located just off the town square underneath the outstretched branches of an old maple. Since 1908 this simple white Federal-style house has served as home to traditional Tennessee cooking and a gracious taste of Southern hospitality. You are seated at a large table with other guests and served family style.

 

On your way back to Nashville drive along the Tennessee Antebellum Trail. Along this route are several beautiful antebellum homes you may want to stop and tour; such as Rattle and Snap Plantation, Rippavilla Plantation and several other outstanding homes. Overnight Nashville.

 

DAY 12 – Nashville to Chattanooga (135 miles / 217 kilometers)
Chattanooga is a vacation destination with family-friendly appeal and a variety of unique attractions that are conveniently located in close proximity to each other. Lookout Mountain’s Rock City Gardens, Ruby Falls, the Incline Railway the Tennessee Aquarium, the Creative Discovery Museum, and the Chattanooga Choo Choo are just a few of the many attractions that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

 

Your tour in Chattanooga begins with Ruby Falls, a 145 foot flowing waterfall located in a cave over 1100 feet down in Lookout Mountain. Next enjoy the Incline Railway, which is the world’s steepest passenger railway and also known as “America’s Most Amazing Mile.” After this, visit Rock City Gardens, a 14-acre natural and scenic attraction with unique rock formation and gardens. Finally, climb to the top of Lookout Mountain and “See Seven States” from the famous Lover’s Leap. Overnight Chattanooga.

 

DAY 13 – Chattanooga to Atlanta (120 miles, 193 kilometers)

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