From the east of Texas to the north of Florida, the Deep South is just one of those
regions of the USA
that conjures up more than its fair share of historic infamy as well as plenty of music, food and natural beauty to provide the backbone to a truly memorable tour. With religion firmly branded across its belt and cotton picking still big business, it's difficult to imagine how modern times have affected the Deep South however, change is in the air and a tour of cities such as
present a fascinating blend of the old and the new. The Grand Ole Opry, Gracelands, Bourbon Street and Stax Records - if your toes weren't tapping to the sounds of jazz, soul and rock & roll before you arrived in the Deep South then they surely will be when you finally leave.
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New Orleans It's hard not to imagine New Orleans without a balloon cheeked trumpeter on every corner and the sweet southern smells of Creole and Cajun cuisine in the air and thankfully a visit to the French Quarter certainly won't shatter any preconceived imagery. Historic 19th century mansions can be found side by side pastel coloured boutiques, restaurants and bars which makes a tour of the city an exciting blend of cultural heritage and world-famous thoroughfares which all adds up to a whole heap of reasons to head south.
Memphis Nicknamed the River City thanks to its proximity to the mighty Mississippi, Memphis is famous the world over for its musical heritage with blues, gospel and good old-fashioned rock & roll all ground deep into the heart of the city. These days Memphis still promises plenty of toe tapping opportunities as well as plenty more besides, with: the National Civil Rights Museum, the Dixon Gallery & Gardens and the Brooks Museum of Art, all offering some excellent ideas after a visit to Graceland (of course).
Nashville Boasting almost 100 parks and green areas, there's much more to Nashville than just country music and a visit to the full-size replica of the Parthenon in Centennial Park will surely testify. Forts (Nashborough and Negley) are well-worth a visit as is the Tennessee State Museum all of which provide ample excuses to learn more about the American Civil War in between breaks for 'meat and three'. Of course, it is difficult to escape the music of Nashville (and why would you) and from numerous honky tonk bars and jazz cafés to the Grand Ole Oprey and the Country Music Hall of Fame, it's easy to see why Nashville is more commonly referred to as Music City.
Natchez This one time French colony may not be the first name that comes to mind on your Deep South tours however, Natchez should not be overlooked and is a must for any fans of Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. Formed on the banks of the Mississippi River and presenting a fairly untouched image of what life must have been like during the Civil Rights era, this is less a nostalgic glimpse of the past and more an authentic historical tour that will provide plenty of food for thought as well as plenty of waterside walks.
Birmingham Originally designed to replicate the industry of its English namesake, Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama and has recently undergone something of a revival leading to numerous restaurants, theatres, galleries and shops forming the majority of the downtown district. Aside from the modern city that you'll find today, Birmingham was at the epicentre of the Civil Rights movement of the 50's and 60's and as such no trip is complete without filling in the historical gaps by visiting any one of the city's cultural heritage museums.
Music lovers of all persuasions love the Deep South USA and from the twang of guitar strings to the breath of a Cajun accordion, if you're hoping to unearth what makes the big wheels keep on turning then open your ears and fill your soul. Preservation Hall (New Orleans), Morgan Freeman's Ground Zero Blues Club (Clarksdale), Gospel Sundays (Natchez), Sun Studios (Memphis) or the Grand Ole Oprey (Nashville) - listening to the sounds of the Deep South whilst on tour is exactly what you need to truly experience the history and the people of this fascinating area.
Tours that visit the Deep South
12 days | USA South | Hotels
A journey through America's cultural and musical heritage; back in time to the beginning of Country and Western and the birth of the Blues. Learn how these unique genres sprung out of America's past and how they've influenced popular music today.
Highlights: New Orleans | Nashville | MemphisView tour
10 days | USA South | Hotels
Texas, otherwise known as The Lone Star State, has a long and colourful past. As the largest of the lower 48 states, Texas remains today a symbol of strength and the western way of life, and you're guaranteed a big-hearted welcome
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