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
Why you’ll love this self-drive
• Head to a 17th-Avenue honky-tonk bar in Nashville to hear some straight-from-the-heart country songs
• Learn about the life of Elvis Presley in Tupelo and at his former Memphis home, Graceland
• Follow in the footsteps of iconic musicians through the doors of Sun Studio in Memphis
• Stay overnight on a historic sugar plantation before your visit to New Orleans, the Birthplace of Jazz
• This itinerary can also be done in a motorhome.
Suggested self-drive itinerary
Day 1: Nashville Begin your road trip in Music City USA and catch some live country music along Music Row. Stay 2 nights at Holiday Inn Vanderbilt Downtown.
Day 3: Tupelo Travel onwards to Tupelo, the birthplace of Elvis Presley. Stay at Best Western Plus Tupelo Inn & Suites.
Day 4: Memphis From country music to the blues and rock ‘n’ roll: the next stop is the city of Memphis. Stay 2 nights at The Guest House at Graceland.
Day 6: Vicksburg Drive south to Vicksburg, a city filled with Civil War heritage. Stay night at Corners Mansion Inn.
Day 7: Natchez On your way to riverside Natchez, join the end of the Natchez Trace Parkway, which follows the path of a historic trail followed for hundreds of years. Stay at Natchez Grand Hotel & Suites.
Day 8: Baton Rouge Cross into Louisiana and follow the course of the mighty Mississippi as you travel towards the city of Baton Rouge. Stay at Indigo Hotel Downtown.
Day 9: Lafayette Sample the Cajun flavours of South Louisianan fare in Lafayette. Stay at Holiday Inn & Suites Lafayette North.
Day 10: Oak Alley Spend the night on a historic plantation in Vacherie. Walk in the shade of the famous canopied avenue of southern oak trees that line a path between the house and Mississippi. Stay at Oak Alley Plantation.
Day 11: New Orleans Arrive in New Orleans, the final stop on your journey. Listen to live music in jazz joints along Frenchman Street, share a po’boy sandwich and explore beyond the iconic French Quarter. Stay 2 nights at Chateau LeMoyne French Quarter.
Country Music Hall of Fame
Take a journey through the history and hits of country music in Nashville’s most popular museum
See the majestic mansion of Graceland, the place Elvis called home for 20 years
Follow the course of the winding Mississippi River as you travel south from Memphis to New Orleans
New Orleans’s French Quarter
Wander through the ‘Crown Jewel of New Orleans’, the historic French Quarter
Tailor your tour
Make it your own
We’ve crafted this self-drive based on our own experiences and customers’ feedback. It’s fully flexible, so talk to us and we can create your perfect trip.
Where to stay
All the hotels on this itinerary are simple in style but a handful are full of character. We love the Antebellum-style architecture of the Corners Mansion Inn in Vicksburg and the cottages at Oak Alley Plantation. In Memphis, you can upgrade to The Peabody, a historic hotel known for its daily duck parade.
It’s not often that we’d recommend visiting a tool shop, but as the frozen-in-time Tupelo Hardware Store is where Elvis’s mother bought his first guitar, we’ve made an exception. In Memphis, listen to live blues music along Beale Street and visit the thought-provoking National Civil Rights Museum.
Two nights is the minimum amount of time you should spend in Nashville, Memphis and New Orleans. If you prefer one genre of music, spend another night in the respective city. You’ll have longer to find cool live music venues, perhaps seeing a star of the future perform in an intimate venue.
Add this self-drive to a trip around Georgia and the Carolinas to create an all-encompassing Deep South holiday. Or make it a round trip and follow the Civil Rights Trail through Alabama back to Nashville.
Good to know
When to go
• We love visiting the Deep South in the spring before it gets too hot, humid and crowded
• To soak up the cities at their most lively, travel in the summer. In Memphis, live music spills out onto the street and free music events take place throughout the city
• In the very deep south, the summer weather gets very hot and humid; hurricane season can affect southern Louisiana from June to October
• Winters are cooler but still tend to be relatively mild; this is a great time to travel if you want to get away from the majority of the crowds