Escorted tour - Taste and sounds of the South!

Suzie Hennessy on 11 June 2019

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Nashville, Memphis, Natchez and New Orleans.

10 days, 4 cities equal an incredible trip.

This trip was such an amazing experience from start to finish! This was my first time doing an escorted tour. I was a little apprehensive about spending a lot of time travelling on a coach and I really didn’t know what to expect from this trip but it exceeded all expectations.

I flew from Dublin to Nashville via London with Virgin Airlines. On arrival we were greeted by our tour guide, he was very professional and friendly. We travelled in a luxury coach with air conditioning, WiFi and sockets to charge your phone! I was so impressed with the comfort of the coach. Our coach driver was just as friendly as our tour guide, which to me was important because we will be spending the next 10 days with them.

We headed for our hotel The Renaissance 4* in Nashville, where we were based for the next 3 nights. On arrival at the hotel we had a welcome reception, this gives you a chance to get to know the other people that will be sharing the trip with you. Later that evening we got to venture out to see the town of Nashville! It was a real honky tonk town and the atmosphere was electric! It was like something you’d see in the movies; each bar had County music blaring and all the locals wore the check shirts, denims and cowboy boots.

During our time spent in Nashville we got to experience the RCA’s Studio B, we had a Q&A session with Johnny Cash’s granddaughter which was very interesting hearing about his life. We then went on and visited the Country Music Hall of Fame and had a backstage tour of the Grand Ole Opry House, as a country music fan, this was a jaw dropping moment!

After spending 3 nights in Nashville, we made our way onto Memphis!

The home of blues, soul and rock and roll. We stayed in the Sheraton Downtown Hotel 4*. We got to visit Sun studios on Beale street, this is where the recording of the first rock and roll single took place. The likes of Elvis Presley, B. B King and Johnny Cash all recorded albums here. Later that evening we got to soak up the atmosphere of Memphis heading to B.B Kings bar for a real night of Jazz and Blues music! The most surreal moment of the trip was getting a VIP tour around Graceland. Being inside Elvis Presley’s mansion, getting to walk onto he’s private air crafts and standing at his grave side, this was an incredible experience that I’ll always cherish!

After spending 2 nights in Memphis and taking in the major highlights they had to offer, we took to road again and carried on to Natchez.

We stayed one night here, in the Magnolia Bluffs Hotel. This was more so to break up the journey from Memphis to New Orleans and gave us the opportunity to tour the Oak Valley Plantation. The stunning views of Oak trees that were over 300 years old! We drove across the Mississippi River and headed straight for New Orleans. A completely different world!! It truly lived up to its nickname “Big Easy” it offers around the clock nightlife and vibrant live music scenes. I had never experienced anything like this! I was excited to think this was home for the next 3 nights, staying in the Sheraton Hotel 4*

We strolled around the French markets eating famous Beignets’. That afternoon we took in a full tour of New Orleans city, and headed for a swamp and bayou tour! I was terrified while observing the grounds of alligators, but I was glad of the experience afterwards.

On our last night of the trip, we had a farewell dinner with our tour guide and coach drive. They both went above and beyond to give us one hell of a trip. It was Au Revoir to New Orleans and we headed back to the airport. We flew from New Orleans to Dublin via Dallas.

All meals and gratitude were included on this trip. All hotels were a fantastic standard and in a great location. Reminiscing on this trip always brings a huge smile to my face and feel so inspired with the knowledge I gained along the way.

If this is a trip you think would interest you, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with me and we can discuss it further.

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