Discover the rich colonial heritage, musical roots and vibrant entertainment of the USA’s Deep South on this superb 12-night self-drive.
Suggested route & duration
Suggested duration: 12 nights Nashville to New Orleans
• Nashville: 2 nights
• Tupelo: 1 night
• Memphis: 2 nights
• Greenwood: 1 night
• Natchez: 1 night
• Baton Rouge: 1 night
• Lafayette: 1 night
• Oak Alley: 1 night
• New Orleans: 2 nights
About this independent tour
Music Roots in the Deep South is a recommended self-drive itinerary including 13 days car hire, accommodation for 12 nights in all 3 star hotels and a personalised documentation pack.
Explore Tennessee’s iconic capital, known as Music City. Stop off at the Country Music Hall of Fame to see costumes, guitars and memorabilia belonging to some of the world’s biggest country music stars. Visit an art gallery or a barbecue joint, and head for a drink at one of its famous bars such as Mercy Lounge or the legendary Exit/Inn.
This Mississippi city is famous for being the birthplace of Elvis Presley. Visit the Elvis Presley Birthplace, a historic museum dedicated to preserving the humble beginnings of the King of Rock and Roll. Discover Tupelo National Battlefield, site of the 1864 Battle of Harrisburg during the American Civil War, or for something different pay a visit to the Tupelo Automobile Museum and admire vintage cars.
Cruise Downtown by the Mississippi River tours and head to the lively Beale Street, famous for its galleries, cafés and live music; go shopping in Overton or explore the zoo in Midtown; and discover East Memphis’s green spaces including Shelby Farms Park – one of the 20 largest parks in the USA. We also recommend making the short drive down to Graceland, the impressive 13.8-acre estate which previously belonged to Elvis Presley.
Greenwood in South Carolina is known for its lake, a great spot for fishing and boating; there are also a number of hiking trails available in the Greenwood area. Enjoy a stay at The Alluvian Hotel, a luxurious retreat in the Mississippi Delta which even has its own art collection dotted through its halls and lobbies.
This small Mississippi city has fascinating Native American history and antebellum architecture. Visit the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians, a 128-acre site with prehistoric Native American mounds, a reconstructed Natchez Indian house, and a museum. Head to Monmouth, a mansion declared a Mississippi Landmark and a National Historic Landmark – it’s now a small luxury hotel which has hosted names including the Clintons, open for daily tours.
Louisiana’s capital city has a great mix of pretty scenery and rich history. Visit the gothic Old State Capitol building, now a museum overlooking the Mississippi River. If you have time we recommend driving further down to River Road between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, where you’ll find wonderfully preserved antebellum plantation houses.
This southern Louisiana city is known for its Cajun and Creole cuisine dating back to 18th- and 19th-Century French-speaking settlers, including indulgent crispy Po’Boy seafood sandwiches. Head to Lake Martin, a peaceful area which you can explore by canoe or boat, and you may have the chance to spot alligators.
Take a trip to the enchanting Oak Alley Plantation in Louisiana, on the west bank of the Mississippi River. This striking plantation has been used in numerous films including Interview with a Vampire, and you’ll feel like you’ve been whisked back in time as you stroll down the 300-year-old pathway lined with beautiful arching oak trees.
Louisiana’s most famous city is so laid-back, home to Mardi Gras and buzzing nightlife. Head to The Big Easy’s French Quarter and soak up the neon lights of Bourbon Street’s bars, and visit Jackson Square to see the impressive St Louis Cathedral. Be sure to stop by Café du Monde – one of the world’s most famous coffee shops known for its superb café au lait and deep-fried choux pastries called beignets.
Tailor your tour
This itinerary is completely flexible, so you can choose your own itinerary, duration and accommodation, add excursions and extend your holiday. After your final night in New Orleans, it’s very simple to extend your journey to cities in Texas such as Houston or Austin.