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ROMANCE OF THE SOUTH

Duration: 8 Days    Tour Code:AS
From: $1649
Overview

ROMANCE OF THE SOUTH
The South comes to life during this amazing vacation! Your trip begins in Memphis, Tennessee, with guided sightseeing and a tour of Graceland. Then on the way to Natchez, visit Vicksburg National Military Park, commemorating one of the most decisive battles of the American Civil War. A guided tour includes the historic monuments, miles of reconstructed trenches, an antebellum home, and more. Travel to Natchez, Mississippi, where there are more antebellum mansions than anywhere else in the United States, and experience true Southern hospitality at a candlelight dinner in an elegant Natchez antebellum mansion. Tour a working cotton plantation in Frogmore, Louisiana, and soak in the Creole and Cajun cultures in Lafayette. Cruise through the winding Atchafalaya Basin and look for wildlife on the banks. Explore Nottoway Plantation, once the most palatial home on the Mississippi, and tour its opulent 64 rooms. Finally, discover the beauty and charm of New Orleans, including the French Quarter and St. Charles Avenue. Tour the city and see one of New Orleans’ above-ground cemeteries. Enjoy a farewell celebration dinner at the famous Court of Two Sisters restaurant—a great way to end your Romance of the South vacation.

Departs From: Memphis

Tour Type: Regional Discoveries

ROMANCE OF THE SOUTH



Itinerary

Day 1

Memphis. (Fri.) Welcome to Memphis! This evening, mix and mingle with your traveling companions at the 6 pm welcome reception. Your Tour Director will prepare you for your upcoming adventure. (WR)

Day 2

Memphis. (Sat.) This morning, enjoy a guided tour of the city, followed by a visit to the gardens and mansion of Elvis Presley’s GRACELAND. You’ll also be able to board his private jet. Afternoon at leisure. This evening perhaps take in a blues club on recently revitalized Beale Street. (B)

Day 3

Memphis–Vicksburg–Natchez. (Sun.) Depart Memphis and drive south to VICKSBURG NATIONAL MILITARY PARK for a guided tour of the historic monuments, miles of reconstructed trenches, an antebellum home, the restored Union gunboat USS Cairo, and the Vicksburg National Cemetery. Continue to the charming port of Natchez, which features vast plantations and magnificent mansions from the boom days of the cotton industry. (B,D)

Day 4

Natchez. (Mon.) Spend the day in Natchez visiting some of the antebellum homes, which are more plentiful here than anywhere else in the United States. A guided tour of ROSALIE, built in the early 1820s overlooking the Mississippi River and once the headquarters of the Union Army, highlights the furniture, paintings, and clothes used by the very family that lived here for more than 100 years! Next, visit LONGWOOD, a National Historic Landmark and a site on the Civil War Discovery Trail. This lavish octagonal home, dating back to 1859, is the largest of its kind in the country. View the interior, where construction was halted during the Civil War and was never completed. Experience true Southern hospitality this evening at a candlelight dinner in an elegant antebellum mansion. (B,D)

Day 5

Natchez–Frogmore–Lafayette. (Tue.) Cross the mighty Mississippi for a tour of FROGMORE PLANTATION, an 1,800-acre working cotton plantation. Then, head into the heart of Cajun Country, an area first settled by French Acadian farmers. Visit VERMILIONVILLE, a restored Acadian village in the bayou. Local folk in period costumes re-enact the colorful lifestyle of French settlers who moved here to escape British encroachment on Acadia. You’ll enjoy the live music and craft demonstrations. This evening, take the optional outing for a typical Creole dinner with local Cajun entertainment, an appropriate introduction to the region’s Francophone heritage. (B)

Day 6

Lafayette–Nottoway Plantation–New Orleans. (Wed.) On to St. Martinville to see the famous oak tree of Longfellow’s poem, “Evangeline.” Afterward, board your boat for a CRUISE through the winding, swampy Atchafalaya Basin. Try to spot wildlife on the banks while en route. Then, continue to NOTTOWAY PLANTATION, once the most palatial home on the Mississippi. Tour this opulent 64-room mansion and admire the manicured grounds. Continue to New Orleans. (B)

Day 7

New Orleans. (Thu.) A Local Guide leads a full-morning tour dedicated to the sights and sounds of New Orleans. Visit the French Quarter, including Jackson Square and Pirate’s Alley. Then, stop at a typical New Orleans above-ground cemetery and visit the Saint Louis Cemetery Number One and learn about the city’s unique burial customs. Enjoy a leisurely drive along tree-lined St. Charles Avenue to see stately mansions bordering the historic Garden District. This afternoon is free to explore the city on your own, or maybe board an authentic riverboat for a delightful optional luncheon cruise on the Mississippi River. This evening your Tour Director hosts a special farewell dinner at the Court of Two Sisters. Wonderful conversation and cuisine make the perfect finale for your vacation. (B,D)

Day 8

New Orleans. (Fri.) The vacation ends this morning after breakfast with guests departing on individual schedules. Airport transfers are provided. (B)



More Details City Highlights: Memphis:
Welcome reception; sightseeing tour; Graceland

Vicksburg:
Guided sightseeing tour

Natchez:
Visit Rosalie and Longwood Mansions; enjoy dinner in an antebellum mansion

Frogmore:
Visit Frogmore Plantation

Lafayette:
Visit Vermilionville

St. Martinville:
See “Evangeline” oak tree; take Atchafalaya Basin boat tour

White Castle:
Visit Nottoway Plantation

New Orleans:
Sightseeing tour; farewell dinner at the Court of Two Sisters

Meals: Welcome reception (WR); American breakfast daily (B); 3 three-course dinners (D), including a farewell dinner at the Court of Two Sisters.

Hotels: Memphis Hilton Memphis (SF), Natchez The Natchez Eola (F), Lafayette Lafayette Hilton and Towers (SF), New Orleans Marriott New Orleans (SF)