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Day 1 – Arrive Chattanooga, TN – Buttonwillow Civil War Dinner Theater
Today, you travel to Chattanooga, TN and check into your hotel for a two night stay. Tonight, you enjoy dinner and show at the Buttonwillow Civil War Dinner Theater. Grandaddy’s Watch, a moving two-hour live performance recently featured on PBS and based on actual events. The story follows a Union soldier meeting his Confederate sister on the battlefield, and is based on hundreds of diaries and memoirs from the period. The dining tables are made from old church pews. The food is prepared from authentic recipes from the cookbook of Varina Davis, the wife of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. (D)
Day 2 – Chickamauga Battlefield – Lookout Mountain – Battle of Chattanooga – Southern Belle Dinner Cruise
This morning, you meet your local guide for a tour of the Chickamauga Battlefield. In 1863, Union and Confederate forces fought for control of Chattanooga, known as the “Gateway to the Deep South.” The Confederates were victorious at nearby Chickamauga in September. However renewed fighting in Chattanooga that November provided Union troops victory and control of the city. After the fighting, a Confederate soldier ominously wrote, “This…is the death-knell of the Confederacy.” Chickamuaga was the site of the bloodiest battle of the Civil War with over 36,000 causalities.
Next, ride the Lookout Mountain Incline Railway. Known as “America’s Most Amazing Mile,” The Incline’s trolley-style cars climb through the natural beauty surrounding historic Lookout Mountain at a breathtaking 72.7% grade – straight up! Sit back, relax and enjoy the scenic views of the mountains and valleys from the observation windows on the train as well as the panoramic views from the observation tower at The Incline’s top station.
At the top of the mountain, you visit the Battles for Chattanooga Museum. This one-of-a-kind storytelling experience uses the latest technology to bring to life the tumultuous battle days of one of our country’s greatest struggles fought here in November of 1863. Hear and see about Chattanooga’s “Battle Above the Clouds” and Sherman’s assault on Missionary Ridge before his historic March to the Sea.
Then you stop at Point Park, located next to the Battles for Chattanooga. The site of the Civil War battle commonly referred to as “The Battle Above the Clouds.” The visitor center houses a 33’ by 13’ mural painted by James Walker, an eyewitness to the battle and also several short audio-visual presentations about the painting and battles for Chattanooga. Here you will walk, with guide, to the most important spots in the battlefield area.
The afternoon features a visit to the Tennessee Aquarium where you discover the story of water through exhibits in both Aquarium buildings – River Journey and Ocean Journey. Both experiences feature many different types of aquatic and terrestrial wildlife. Explore habitats found in North America and the Gulf of Mexico, you also encounter a variety of exotic plants and animals from remote regions of our planet. Just as important as these exhibits, the Aquarium’s staff loves to immerse you with the stories of life above, around and within their watershed.
Enjoy a dinner cruise tonight on the Southern Belle Riverboat. Cruise along the scenic Tennessee River with live music and delicious dinner! You will also enjoy the view of the Chattanooga skyline and the colors of the mountains. (B,D)
Day 3 – Southern Museum of the Civil War – Kennesaw Battlefield – Arrive Atlanta – Pittypat’s Porch
Departing Chattanooga this morning, you head south, just like the Union Army as it pushed Confederate troops further south. Your first stop is Historic Prater’s Mill. The site was a camp for 600 Union soldiers in February 1864, and 2,500 Confederates in April 1864.
Then you head to Kennesaw, GA and visit the Southern Museum, who in association with Smithsonian Institution, features exhibits on the Civil War and locomotive history. The museum is home to the “General” locomotive, stolen during the Civil War’s Great Locomotive chase; a reproduction of the locomotive assembly line from the Glover Machine Work; weapons, uniforms and everyday items of Civil War soldiers.
Next, is Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield a 2,965-acre Battlefield that preserves a Civil War battleground of the Atlanta Campaign. The battle was fought here from June 19, 1864, until July 2, 1864. Sherman’s army consisted of 100,000 men, 254 guns and 35,000 horses. Johnston’s army had 63,000 men and 187 guns. More than 67,000 soldiers were killed, wounded and captured during the Campaign.
Continue travel this afternoon to Atlanta where you will be staying for the next two nights. Tonight, you dine at Pittypat’s Porch Restaurant, downtown Atlanta’s Oldest Southern Dining restaurant. Pittypat’s Porch is named after Scarlett O’Hara’s aunt in the film, “Gone with the Wind.” The restaurant was named after Aunt Pittypat not only because of the notoriety it ensued, but the personality of her character. She was shown to be a gracious hostess not only to Scarlett but to Melanie and other visitors, especially on her grand porch. (B,D)
Day 4 – State Capitol – Olympic Park – World of Coca-Cola –
This morning, you meet your local guide for a day of touring in Atlanta also known as the “Phoenix of the South” symbolizing Atlanta’s rise from the ashes of the Civil War to become a world renowned city. Start with a tour of the Georgia State Capitol. During the tour, your guide will describe the history of Georgia’s capitals, point out unique features of this building, recognize important figures from Georgia history, and provide fun facts about Georgia. Next, you visit the Martin Luther King Center where you tour Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birth Home, view films and exhibits, and reflect at King’s gravesite.
Then you head to the World of Coca-Cola where the famous soft drink’s story is told through fascinating exhibits, classic ads and a fanciful representation of the bottling process. Taste Coca-Cola products from around the world and pick your favorite before raiding the gift shop for souvenirs.
Late this afternoon you visit the Centennial Olympic Park, created as a 21-acre gathering spot for visitors and residents to enjoy during the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. The Fountain of Rings is the centerpiece of Centennial Olympic Park and is one of the most recognized and photographed landmarks in Georgia. Millions of international and local guests visit the Park every year to enjoy the world’s largest interactive fountain featuring the Olympic Ring symbol.
Dinner is included this evening at May Mac’s Tea Room. For over 60 years, Mary Macs Tea Room has been setting the standard for Southern Cooking in Atlanta. This evening you enjoy a family buffet style dinner that has remained largely the same for three generations. (B,D)
Day 5 – Atlanta Cyclorama – Arrive Savannah – Old Fort Jackson’s “Mess & Muster”
This morning you visit the Margaret Mitchell House. Margaret Mitchell, Peggy Marsh to her friends, dubbed her apartment, “The Dump.” Surprisingly, it is in this shabby little apartment on the bottom floor that this petite, yet mighty woman wrote a big ‘ol book that sold faster than a duck on a June bug! It is here that the notorious Peggy Marsh wrote Gone With the Wind. A Pulitzer Prize followed. Fame, fortune, and fans, too. Quite the character, she had opinions about how the film portrayed her book and she didn’t much like the attention, but she still responded to every single fan letter.
Then you visit the Atlanta Cyclorama, the world’s largest painting of “the Battle of Atlanta,” you figuratively step back into the year 1864 and Civil War era. This afternoon you make your way to Savannah, which played a major role in the Civil War. In 1864, General Sherman completes his March to the Sea when he arrives in Savannah. Savannah may have been spared the devastation that befell other southern cities on Sherman’s March to the Sea, but the hated general and his troops seized her cotton, guns and artillery and occupied the city for several weeks. Check into your hotel for a two night stay.
Tonight, you head to Old Fort Jackson, Georgia’s oldest standing brick fortification. Here you enjoy the “Mess and Muster,” delicious meal and music along with friendly soldiers of long ago—complete with a cannon firing! (B,D)
Day 6 – Savannah Tour – Sherman’s Headquarters – Afternoon Tea – Mrs. Wilkes Dinner House
After breakfast, meet your local guide for a city your of Savannah. Your tour will see River Street, the Waving Girl Statue, and the Chatham Artillery. Then you tour the Green-Meldrim House located at St. John’s Church. General William Tecumseh Sherman used the house as Headquarters when the Federal army occupied Savannah during the Civil War, upon the invitation of Mr. Green. It was at this time (December, 1864) that General Sherman sent his famous telegram to President Lincoln offering him the City of Savannah as a Christmas gift. In 1976, the house was designated a National Historic Landmark by the United States Department of the Interior.
After some free time for lunch on own and shopping, you will enjoy Afternoon Tea at the Gryphon Tea Room. Located in historic Savannah, Gryphon Tea Room is the epitome of Southern hospitality, elegance, and charm. The waiters are students of the Savannah College of Art & Design.
Tonight, a private dinner is included at Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room. Enjoy a family-style dinner in this historic restaurant. (B,D)
Day 7 – Depart for Home
After breakfast, depart for home having followed in the footsteps of General Sherman and his men on their March to the Sea. (B)