Bourbon, Bluegrass & Blues - USA
14nights / 15Days:
Begins in Cincinnati, Ohio and ends in New Orleans, Louisiana
Round trip scheduled flights
Intermediate 4 door car hire, including insurances and satellite navigation
Personalised Road Book
Day 1 - Arrive Cincinnati
Depart the UK on your chosen scheduled flight to Cincinnati. Upon arrival, collect your rental car and proceed to Covington in Northern Kentucky, where you will be based for the first two nights of your adventure.
Cincinnati Marriott at RiverCentre Covington
Day 2 - Covington
Northern Kentucky makes an ideal destination from which to begin your memorable American holiday. Offering a sassy fusion of big-city fun, one-of-a-kind attractions and authentic experiences, it has a personality all of its own. While you’re here, we recommend a gentle stroll across the Roebling Suspension Bridge and of course The B-Line trail which centres around three distilleries and a cluster of bourbon-centric bars. It’s ideal for people who want to narrow down their bourbon studies a little, as most ‘sipping points’ are within a two-minute stumble of each other.
Day 3 - Lexington
Today you will make the short drive to Lexington, the ‘horse capital of the world’ which is home to more than 450 Thoroughbred and Standardbred farms (many of which open to the public). Be sure to plan a visit to the Kentucky Horse Park, the only park in the world dedicated exclusively to horses, for a true equine experience. If you’re in Lexington in April or October you can enjoy an afternoon of racing at Keeneland Race Course, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Day 4 - Louisville
Make sure you enjoy a hearty breakfast, ready for a full day in Louisville. Renowned for the annual Kentucky Derby, horse racing enthusiasts will enjoy the Kentucky Derby Museum, offering a hands-on experience. Also whilst in town, you may choose to visit the Slugger Museum and Factory, take a river cruise on the Belle of Louisville and follow the Urban Bourbon Trail. No visit is complete without a visit to the Ali Centre, which details the life and legacy of the great Muhammad Ali.
Day 5 - Owensboro
Today you will travel into the heart of Kentucky Bluegrass Music, as you arrive into Owensboro. It is home to The Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame & Museum, the only international museum dedicated to preserving and showcasing the history, collections, and artefacts of bluegrass music. For dinner, why not head to Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn, where foodies, celebrities and even former US president Bill Clinton love the barbecue. Perhaps try the Kentucky speciality of mutton Bar-B-Q.
Day 6 - Paducah
Today’s journey takes you to the heart of America’s inland waterways. We suggest visiting The River Discovery Center, which chronicles life on the river, and making a stop at the National Corvette Museum. Paducah is renowned for its creativity and is home to the National Quilt Museum. Whilst in town, why not plan a tour of the Hotel Metropolitan where you may learn of its famous guests which included Billie Holiday and BB King.
Day 7, 8, 9 - Memphis
Next, you continue along the Mississippi River and immerse yourself in the city renowned as the home of the blues and birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll – Memphis! We’ve allowed three full days for you to truly experience this exciting city which offers a plethora of things to see and do. Make sure you dont miss Graceland – undoubtedly a must see. In addition, why not enjoy a tour to Sun Studio, Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Smithsonian’s Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum and Gibson Guitar Factory. On an evening enjoy live music and sizzling soul food on Beale Street offering a chance to dance the night away.
Day 10 - Cleveland, Mississippi
Follow the historic Highway 61 from Memphis to the Mississippi Delta where you will spend your next night in Cleveland. A charming community, full of music history and friendly faces. Begin your Mississippi Delta tour at the Gateway to Blues Museum Visitor Centre located along the Highway 61 and housed in an original 1895 train depot. It is the perfect start for your journey into the unique blues music heritage of the Delta. This small farm town is home to the GRAMMY Museum Mississippi, and 18 of Mississippi’s Blues Trail markers, including the home of the ‘Father of the Delta Blues’. There is much to taste, see, and hear, so take all of your senses with you.
Day 11 - Jackson
Today you will continue on Highway 61 to Vicksburg and then west to Jackson – also know as ‘The City with Soul’. You can trace Mississippi’s evolution from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement, to the hub of music and culture that it is today. This capital city offers world-class arts and entertainment as well as a large variety of dining options ranging from home-style to fine dining. Be sure to plan a stop in Vicksburg and visit the National Military Park which commemorates one of the most decisive Civil War battles; the campaign, siege, and defence of Vicksburg.
Day 12 - Natchez
Leaving Jackson behind, today you follow the wonderfully scenic Natchez Trace Parkway to Natchez. Known as the jewel of the Mississippi River, and home to the oldest permanent settlement on the river, in the 1850s Natchez had more millionaires than anywhere else in America. It has an incredible location, perched on a natural bluff above the river with 30-mile views both North and South. Because of this, you can experience some of the best sunsets on Ol’ Man River. Many of the historic homes in Natchez are open daily for tours so just stop by!
Day 13, 14 - New Orleans
Your final journey will have you follow the Southern section of Highway 61 to New Orleans, providing your base for the final two nights. New Orleans, affectionately known as ‘The Big Easy’, is a wonderful city with plenty to keep you entertained. Stroll along the narrow streets, enjoy a typical Creole meal or perhaps a spot of jazz in the renowned French Quarter where your hotel is located. During your stay, make sure you ride the famed ‘Streetcar named Desire’, walk through the historic garden district and take a paddle wheeler cruise along the Mississippi River.
There’s time for some last-minute sightseeing in New Orleans, before returning your rental car and checking-in for your flight back to the UK.