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Tracks of the Deep South

4.2 stars(12 reviews)

The soundtrack of Deep South USA

You are viewing the 2021 itinerary. Select your departure year
14 days Sold out

2021 Tour code: DSG21

About the tour

Historic tracks lead us on a rail tour through the heartland of great American music - from Nashville, home of Country Music, to the Blues, Soul and Rock 'n' Roll of Memphis and the jazz of New Orleans.


What’s included


Day 1 - London to Atlanta

We fly from London Heathrow to Atlanta and transfer to our hotel, the Courtyard Atlanta Airport South for an overnight stay. 

Day 2 - Chattanooga

On Day 2, entrance is included to the Martin Luther King Center and Church, which pays homage to the man himself as well as the civil rights movement he was a driving force of. Our tour continues to Margaret Mitchell House, where the author wrote her Pulitzer Prize winning novel 'Gone with the Wind'. Following free time for lunch, we transfer to Chattanooga, where we board the Lookout Mountain Incline Railway, taking us on a journey on the world's steepest railway track, overlooking the city below and the Tennessee River. Later, we transfer by coach to our hotel.

Day 3 - Lynchburg and Jack Daniel’s Distillery

Our coach takes us through Tennessee to Lynchburg, capital of Moore County. Moore County has been 'dry' since the days of prohibition, which makes its main attraction all the more extraordinary - it is the home of the Jack Daniel's Distillery. After a tour and tasting at the distillery, we continue to Nashville, staying for 3 nights at the Clarion Downtown. This evening, we visit the legendary Grand Ole Opry. Founded as a radio station in 1925, today this famous music venue still hosts the same regular broadcast, now with a popular extended format, in addition to regular stage shows. We enjoy live music performed on 'country's most famous stage', a wonderful introduction to Nashville's music heritage.

Day 4 - Nashville

Since the 1940s, Nashville has been synonymous with country music thanks to its collection of recording studios on 'Music Row' and the Ryman Auditorium, home of the Grand Ole Opry for 3 decades. A morning guided tour introduces us to the sights, before we visit the Country Music Hall of Fame, the world's largest music museum.

Day 5 - Nashville

Day 5 is free to explore Nashville.

Day 6 - Jackson and Memphis

Our journey through Tennessee continues to Memphis, pausing en-route at Jackson where there's free time for lunch and a spot of sightseeing. We then stop at the Tennessee Delta Heritage Center in Brownsville, a series of museums dedicated to the history of the south; from its musical traditions to its infamous history of slave labour in the cotton fields. We complete our journey to Memphis later this afternoon, checking into our hotel.

Day 7 - Graceland and Sun Studios

We begin our day by paying a visit to the fantastic Graceland, Elvis' 14 acre mansion, and view his preserved living quarters, as well as his private aircraft and car collections. This afternoon introduces us to the sights of Memphis' extraordinary musical history. We visit Sun Studio, which lays claim to being the birthplace of rock 'n' roll and boasted a roster that featured Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash.

Day 8 - The City of New Orleans train and the Oak Alley Plantation

Boarding Amtrak's City of New Orleans service this morning in Memphis, we head from Tennessee, through Mississippi to Louisiana. It is claimed that the blues spread along this route by rail. The pretty, floral towns of Brookhaven and McComb lead into the exotic Cajun swamps of the Louisiana Bayou, and we take the train as far as Hammond. From here, we transfer by coach to the Oak Alley Plantation for a guided tour. This restored house stands as testament to both the grand lives of Louisiana land owners and the suffering of those enslaved here, revealing the history of the house, sometimes referred to as the 'Grande Dame of the Great River Road', along with its grounds. Later, we continue by coach to New Orleans, where we stay at the Sheraton Hotel, New Orleans.

Day 10 - New Orleans

Your entire day is free to soak up the splendour of New Orleans. Roaring with life, the 'Big Easy' is known as the south's party city thanks to Mardi Gras, yet year-round there is a sense of spirited adventure and playfulness here. A wander through the colourful streets will offer an excellent introduction to the eclectic architecture stretching back centuries.

Day 11 - To Houston

We leave New Orleans behind today and board our Amtrak service to Houston. 

Day 12 - Houston

We begin Day 12 in Houston with a guided tour of the city's main landmarks, including Allen's Landing and NASA's Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center.

Day 13 - Houston

We transfer to the airport today for our flight home.

Day 14 - London

We arrive into London Heathrow on Day 14.

Additional information

Mardi Gras

The first origins of Mardi Gras can be traced back to medieval Europe, travelling Italy and then onwards to France. On 2nd March 1699, French- Canadian explorer Jean Baptiste Le Moyne Sieur de Bienville arrived on a plot of land south of New Orleans - now the small town of Mobile - and named it "Pointe du Mardi Gras" when he realised it was the eve of the festive holiday. The Carnival of Mardi Gras refers to the period of feasting and fun that begins on the Christian Feast of the Epiphany (6th January) and ends on Mardi Gras (also known as 'Fat' Tuesday), the final day of revelry before Ash Wednesday when Lent begins. When visiting New Orleans, the festival is in full swing, with floats making their way through the streets, and the vibrant colours of purple, green, and gold - standing for justice, faith, and power.

You can experience Mardi Gras in full swing on our Feburary Departures.

Mardi Gras
Please note

Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.

Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

Mobility information

Please note: This may be suitable for reduced mobility passengers, please call for further information.


Courtyard by Marriott Atlanta Airport South

Courtyard by Marriott Atlanta Airport South, Atlanta

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DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Chattanooga Downtown

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Chattanooga Downtown, Chattanooga

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Marriott Houston West Loop by The Galleria, Houston

Marriott Houston West Loop by The Galleria, Houston

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Sheraton Memphis Downtown Hotel

Sheraton Memphis Downtown Hotel, Memphis

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Hyatt Place Nashville/Opryland Hotel, Nashville

Hyatt Place Nashville/Opryland Hotel, Nashville

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Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, New Orleans

Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, New Orleans

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Amtrak Trains
Lookout Mountain Incline Railway

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4.2 stars4.2 / 5 · 12 reviews

  1. 5 stars
  2. 4 stars
  3. 3 stars
  4. 2 stars
  5. 1 star

Mrs J Simpson

3 stars

Submitted 23 Mar 2020

Not the usual standard experienced on a Great Rail Journey.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mrs S Kirk

5 stars

Submitted 22 Oct 2019

We thoroughly enjoyed Tracks of the Deep South. It certainly was action packed. We also met up with friends in Nashville on our free day. Our friends live just 50 mins out of Nashville

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mrs M Barea

5 stars

Submitted 14 Oct 2019

Really enjoyed the whole trip, tour manager very informative, organised and helpful. Loved Nashvillle, Graceland an New Orleans. The concernt at the Grand Ole Opry was fantastic! Opreyland hotel although not in the centre of Nashiville and we had to use a shuttle to get to the centre was stunning - well worth the distance, beautiful hotel with gardens, pools etc just beautiful. The shuttle was a bit expensive and some complained but Angie managed to get us a great deal. I would definatley stay in that hotel again. If you love the music totally recommend this trip of the music highway.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mrs L Porter

4 stars

Submitted 25 Apr 2019

Very enjoyable. The Houston hotel was a long way out of town and next to a 16 lane highway. Thanks to our tour manager James who kept us busy on the last day, when nothing else had been organised and no way to get anywhere.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mrs J Carman-Meakin

5 stars

Submitted 18 Apr 2019

Well organised, excellent tour manager, good variety of experiences.

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Mrs L Finn

2 stars

Submitted 21 Oct 2018

Hotels not great. Too much coach, not enough trains

Collected by Great Rail Journeys

Show all 12 reviews
Tracks of the Deep South

The soundtrack of Deep South USA


Lynne Broadley
Helen Laverack
Luke Simpson
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