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Chicago to New Orleans
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Travel to some of the USA’s most vibrant cities on this self-drive journey, taking in the skyscrapers and deep pan pizzas of Chicago, the musical flavours of both Nashville and Memphis and the jazz and cocktail bars of New Orleans. With the scent of southern soul food in the air, you’ll visit Elvis Presley’s home at Graceland and sail the swamps and bayous of Louisiana in search of alligators.
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Your Example Itinerary
Fly from the UK to Chicago and check into your hotel.
Spend a couple of days exploring Chicago’s museums, art galleries and green spaces and chow down on the Windy City’s delicious deep pan pizza. Don’t forget to look up at the diverse architecture too. For the best view of the city head up to the 94th floor of 360 Chicago, a towering skyscraper which gives panoramic views over Illinois, including Lake Michigan. Sip on a cocktail in the bar, people watch with a coffee, or test your nerve with TILT, a moveable viewing platform which tilts visitors 30 degrees into the view.
4* Hotel Palomar Chicago
Check out the towering skyscrapers of Indianapolis, the state capital of Indiana. Known as the Racing Capital of the World, this lively city hosts the Indy 500 and the Brickyard 400 motor races, so race car fans are in for a treat. But even if cars aren’t your thing, come for the fabulous dining scene, the Indianapolis Museum of Art and the Indiana State Capitol. Also worth a visit is Eagle Creek Park, a peaceful spot where you’ll find a nature centre, bird sanctuary and a fitness course.
4* Omni Severin Hotel
Cross into Kentucky and admire the Victorian architecture in Louisville. The city is blessed with a collection of green spaces known as the Emerald Necklace – try Iroquois park for lovely views or Cherokee Park for the pretty woodlands and meadows. Finish your day testing out one of the city’s many bourbon bars. If you’re lucky enough to come to Louisville in April, don’t miss the largest fireworks display in the world at the Thunder Over Louisville festival.
4* Hyatt Regency Louisville
Dance to a different beat in Nashville, known as ‘Music City’ and famous for its country music. Discover more about Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash at the Country Music hall of Fame or catch a show at the famous Grand Ole Opry. Check out the life-sized replica of Greece’s Parthenon, which looks out over Centennial Park and has led to Nashville being dubbed the Athens of the South. Finally, do not leave the city without feasting on the local, cayenne spiced hot chicken.
4* The Aertson Hotel, A Kimpton Hotel
From the country music of Nashville continue on to the soul and blues rhythms of Memphis, the home of rock ‘n’ roll. While you’re here you’ll follow in the footsteps of Elvis Presley at his Graceland mansion, where he lived for 20 years from 1957, taking a look around the house and grounds and viewing the memorabilia. It’s not just about Elvis though, the National Civil Rights Museum is well worth a look too, especially for its Martin Luther King displays.
Vibrant Vicksburg is a veritable mishmash of old and new found right by the Mississippi River. Take a look at the magnificent antebellum mansions, catch a theatre performance or visit the National Military Park, the preserved site of the 1863 Battle of Vicksburg, now a commemorative area. Be sure to try the tasty southern cuisine, including steaks, po-boys (a meat and seafood sandwich) and tomato aspic, where tomatoes are made into a jelly using meat stock.
2.5* Corners Mansion Inn
Finish your journey in colourful New Orleans, which is alive with European, Caribbean and Creole influences. Take in a jazz performance, wander the gardens and lively streets of the French Quarter and tuck into steaming hot bowls of gumbo. Finish it off with a cocktail or two in the bars of famous Bourbon Street. For a fun-filled day trip, travel through scenic cypress swamps and discover the waterways of the Louisiana wetlands, keeping an eye out for alligators.
Plantation & swamp tour
Depart New Orleans and return to the UK.
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