Guests arrive in Charlotte, NC by train or air and transfer to the Holiday Inn Charlotte for our overnight stay. The evening is at leisure.
A short but pretty drive to Asheville, NC where a guided city tour awaits including the Basilica of St Lawrence and Grove Park. We have left the afternoon at leisure to explore the gorgeous town of Asheville with its great galleries, boutiques, shops and bookstores. A welcome dinner is included
tonight, a nice way to meet your fellow travelers. (B ,D)
This morning, a tour of the famed Biltmore Estate followed by lunch on the estate in the Deerpark Restaurant. This afternoon see more of the charming town center or the Estate and all evening is at leisure to enjoy this enchanting town. (B,L)
4Great Smoky National Park
Today is a special treat as we depart the hotel for a ride on The Great Smoky Mountain Railroad through Nantaha Gorge along the Little Tennessee River with highlights like Horseshoe Curve and Fontana Lake Trestle. Later today, we arrive in Pigeon Forge to begin our two-night stay in the Smokies. (B)
5Great Smoky National Park
We depart this morning for Great Smoky Mountain National Park on a magical day, the highlight of which is Cades Cove, a breathtakingly beautiful 11-mile loop road through the Smokies with pioneer homesteads and the backdrop of bluemisted mountains. Wildlife is abundant and you will want to have your camera ready!
Tonight features a special dinner and our second evening in Pigeon Forge. (B,D)
We drive to Chattanooga today, a charming city on the Tennessee River. A special treat awaits this afternoon, a ride aboard the Tennessee Valley Railroad to Etowah, TN through the beautiful Hiwassee River Gorge.
We arrive at our hotel, in a perfect downtown location in late afternoon with the balance of the evening free to relax and enjoy at your own pace. (B)
7Chattanooga / Incline Railway
You will want to have your camera ready for the visual delights today beginning with the incline railway to the top of Lookout Mountain followed by a visit to stunning Ruby Falls, a series of underground cascading waterfalls in Lookout Mountain.
We have left the afternoon free to enjoy Chattanooga at leisure and later tonight, a paddlewheel boat dinner cruise on the Tennessee River. (B,D)
A scenic drive this morning brings us to Memphis, one of the top three cities in America for music, from the Blues to Graceland and a wonderful city in its own right overlooking the Mississippi River. Lunch is a special treat today and we have left the afternoon and evening free for exploring historic Beale St., the home of the Blues with a host of superb clubs and music halls. Our favorite offers a $2 cover charge and features some of the best blues anywhere. (B, L)
We begin today in the lobby of the storied Peabody Hotel where, with military precision, the Peabody Ducks march across the lobby and into the grand fountain to martial music. After this fowl experience, we do the acclaimed Backbeat Tours music trip through Memphis on a retro bus with live music onboard, celebrating some of the famed singers that have called Memphis home, from Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley to Otis Redding.
We have left the afternoon free to take in Graceland or the moving National Civil Right Museum, formerly the Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King was murdered. Later tonight, an elegant farewell dinner hosted by your tour manager. (B,D)
Guests depart for home by air or train or may extend their stay in Memphis. Guests purchasing our New Orleans add-on package will depart this morning aboard the City of New Orleans train for New Orleans, arriving in the Crescent City this afternoon to begin their overnight stay call for details! (UJ)