If you’ve got plenty of time in which to experience the friendly Southern charm we recommend choosing this all-encompassing self-drive that allows for an in-depth insight into the heart of this truly unique region. You'll travel through the states of Florida, South and North Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana on a round trip from the playground city of Orlando.
Suggested route & duration
Suggested duration: 17 nights Orlando round-trip
• Orlando: 1 night
• St Augustine: 1 night
• Savannah: 2 nights
• Charleston: 1 night
• Atlanta: 2 nights
• Asheville: 1 night
• Nashville: 1 night
• Memphis: 1 night
• Vicksburg: 1 night
• Vacherie: 1 night
• New Orleans: 2 nights
• Tallahassee: 1 night
• Orlando: 2 nights
About this independent tour
Southern State Experience is a recommended self-drive itinerary including 18 days car hire, accommodation for 17 nights in mainly 3 and 4 star hotels and a personalised documentation pack. Destinations, durations and accommodation are all completely flexible and easily adapted to suit your own needs. All sightseeing is a suggestion only and is not included. This is an unescorted, independent journey and no Kuoni representative will be available. Transfers are not included so upon arrival at each destination you will be required to make your own way to your hotel and you will also be required to independently reconfirm any arrangements locally.
A useful e-Road Book (in PDF form) will be provided for you prior to departure that will help guide you along your itinerary and find local sites of interest as well as your accommodations. We can book a range of rental car types from a range of different providers, please speak to one of our Personal Travel Experts for more details.
ST AUGUSTINE, FLORIDA With a rich history and plenty of heritage sites, St Augustine sits on the Atlantic coast in northern Florida and is one of the United States' oldest continuously-inhabited cities established by European settlers. The cobbled streets of the old town are lined with beautiful Spanish colonial buildings where you'll find charming cafés, bars and shops.
Hotel: Courtyard St. Augustine
SAVANNAH, GEORGIA Set on the banks on the Savannah River, the historic town of Savannah is full of colonial mansions, beautiful squares and delightful antebellum architecture. Highlights of the city include the City Market, the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist and River Street, a cobbled, waterside entertainment district that's popular with tourists and locals alike.
Hotel: Hampton Inn & Historic District
CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA Continue north east towards the South Carolina city of Charleston, another city that is proud of its welcoming southern charm and historic architecture.You can learn more about the region's often sobering past at well-preserved plantation houses, the Charleston Museum and many of the other city attractions. There's a pleasant climate year-round and plenty of chic bars and restaurants and it certainly punches above its weight when it comes to world-class dining. Hotel: Holiday Inn Riverview Charlestown
ATLANTA, GEORGIA Renowned as the capital of the South, Atlanta is a pretty city that’s covered with trees and elegant homes. Aside from the major attractions, Atlanta has grown as a production hub for Hollywood and there is a definite influence that can be seen reflected in the popular restaurants.
Hotel: Hilton Atlanta.
ASHEVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA Gateway to North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains, the city of Asheville has a varied history, an arty, hippy vibe and a rich Indian American culture as the city lies within the boundaries of the Cherokee Nation.
Hotel: Crowne Plaza Resort
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE Welcome to the home of country music... Nashville, Tennessee. A must-see highlight is the Country Music Hall of Fame which boasts a colourful array of costumes from music stars throughout the ages, guitars and fascinating memorabilia. After a day of exploring, the place to head is Broadway. Here you’ll find juke joints and authentic honky tonk music clubs next to some of the city’s favourite eateries.
Hotel: Gaylord Opryland
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE Another musical hot spot, this is home to the famed Sun Studio where music legends such as Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis and Johnny Cash recorded hit records. Claiming the title as the birthplace of rock’n’roll, there’s so much here for the avid music lover to explore.
Hotel: Crowne Plaza Memphis
VICKSBURG, MISSISSIPPI Situated at the confluence of the Mississippi and Yazoo Rivers, the city of Vicksburg and its surroundings are rich in American Revolution and Civil War history.
Hotel: Best Western Vicksburg
VACHERIE, LOUISIANA Home to the famous Oak Alley Plantation, the small community of Vacherie is South just as you have imagined it. The plantation itself is know for it's impressive 240-metre-long avenue of oak trees which was planted in the early 1700s, and the typical Antebellum mansion which is a joy to explore.
Hotel: Oak Alley Plantation
NEW ORLEANS Life in the Big Easy never stops and there’s so much to experience that it’ll be hard to drag yourself away. To get a real flavour of the South, sink your teeth into one of Cafe du Monde’s delicious beignets, try out the regional jumbo or embark on a dinner cruise aboard one of Mississippi’s iconic red paddlewheelers.
Hotel: Best Western Plus New Orleans French Quarter
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA En route back to Orlando you can spend one night in Florida's state capital, laid-back Tallahassee.
Hotel: Courtyard Tallahassee Capital
ORLANDO, FLORIDA Orlando is the perfect destination for thrill seekers. With some of the world’s largest and most famous theme parks found here, you can’t help but be swept away by the magic. You can meet your favourite characters, explore a number of different lands, be catapulted along on a variety of heart-pounding roller-coasters, and cool off in the waves of one of the many water parks.
Hotel: Holiday Inn & Suites Across from Universal
Tailor your tour
Don’t forget that you can tailor make your own self-drive around the USA, choosing your number of nights, where you stay, and even adding excursions. Or combine your self-drive with a stay at any of our city, beach or resort hotels in USA or Canada.