Southern Magnolias, Music and Culture

Memphis, Natchez, New Orleans

7 Days

Starting At $CUSTOM
The roots of American music are firmly planted in the South. There's no better way to understand southern music or life than to visit the lyrical landscape of the Delta. Here Antebellum Homes and Plantations are surrounded by soulful blues, brassy jazz, Cajun accordions, calliopes and gospel choirs. Come listen to music.

Southern Magnolias, Music and Culture

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  • Tour Delta Blues Museum & The Crossroads
  • Southern Carriage Tour in Natchez
  • Visit Natchez’ Antebellum Homes
  • Musical Production at the Frogmore Plantation
  • New Orleans Sightseeing by Bus & Carriage
  • Tour St. Louis Cathedral
  • Mardi Gras World
  • Dixieland Jazz Dinner Cruise
  • New Orleans School of Cooking
  • World War II Museum & Stage Door Canteen
  • FAME Recording Studio in Muscle Shoals

 

  • Six Nights First Class Lodging, including
    • Two Nights in Natchez, MS
    • Two Nights in the French Quarter
  • Six Hotel Breakfasts
  • Two Luncheons
    • Morgan Freeman’s Ground Zero
    • Stage Door Canteen
  • Five Dinners
  • All Taxes & Tips on these services
  • Luggage Handling
  • One Free with Every 16 Paid

Tour Prices

Prices can vary based on season and events in New Orleans.

We recommend all pre-formed groups avoid April because of Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest.

Day 1 – This tour begins in Memphis on the Mississippi,  best known for music and food. Tonight’s feature is dinner and live music at B.B. King’s on Beale Street, this club present’s some of the best live music in the south. Relax and enjoy yourself in a place built by “The King of the Blues.”

Day 2 – Just south of Memphis is Clarksdale, MS and you arrive in time for lunch.  Here you are in the heart of the Mississippi Delta, a place long been called “Ground Zero” for blues aficionados from around the globe. Here actor Morgan Freeman has partnered with a couple of his buddies to open the Ground Zero Blues Club where you have lunch. The $9.00 Lunch Special will be written on the chalkboard at the door and will consist of a choice of a down-home southern dishes with iced tea and dessert.

Immediately after lunch you have a chance to visit the Delta Blues Museum next door. Housed in the historic 1918 Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad Depot, it is devoted to the history and heritage of the unique American musical art form known as The Blues.

As you leave Clarksdale there will be a photo stop made at “The Crossroads,” a place where deals are made and legends are born. It was here Blue’s Guitarist Robert Johnson purportedly sold his soul to the devil in exchange for his musical talent.

Upon arrival in Natchez, MS with the smell of sweet Magnolia Blossoms in the air, you check into your hotel for a two night stay.  Dinner is included this evening at a historic Southern restaurant.

Day 3 – You begin this morning on a horse-drawn carriage with tour through the historic district in Natchez, your guide will point out buildings and areas of historic significance. As the oldest settlement on the Mississippi river and the terminus of the Natchez Trace, Natchez played a key role in the economic, social, cultural and political development of the US.  It was one of the wealthiest cities in antebellum America. As the morning continues you will visit two Natchez Antebellum Homes.  It’s like you stepped into the history books, the City contains some of Mississippi’s best preserved homes they are a treasure trove of extravagant architecture and interiors.

The afternoon’s feature is the Frogmore Plantation. It is both antebellum and modern, it is still a working cotton plantation with twenty historic buildings including a steam operated cotton gin, as well as a computerized 21st century cotton gin.  You will not only learn of cotton, but also the history of processing it.   During your visit you will also enjoy a historical music presentation and participate in either a Slave Wedding or a Church Sing.  Dinner tonight is at another nice Southern restaurant.

Day 4 –  This morning travel to New Orleans, you will arrive just in time for lunch at Riverfront Park, situated on 16 acres of green space it stretches from Audubon Aquarium of Americas to Jackson Square in the French Quarter.  After lunch you enjoy a narrated driving tour through historic New Orleans. You’ll hear the City’s history, learn that there’s much here than just the French Quarter. You will see Jackson Square, the French Market, and Congo Square.  You will walk through one of  New Orleans’ famous cemeteries and hear the story of the unique above ground burials.  You will visit the St. Louis Cathedral, one of New Orleans’ most notable landmarks. This venerable building, its triple steeples towering above its historic neighbors, the Cabildo and Presbytere – looks down benignly on the green of the Square and General Andrew Jackson on his bronze horse.

You will also enjoy a French Quarter carriage tour.  The driver will tell stories of the legendary Pirate Jean Laffite and Marie Laveau the Voodoo Queen.  Be sure to bring your camera because taking photographs is much easier than from the bus.

It is said that you won’t know New Orleans until you’ve breathed a little of the air in the Vieux Carre (French Quarter).  We provide you with that opportunity as you have two full nights in a French Quarter Hotel.   You’ll be able to explore the Jazz Clubs, watch the crowds and street performers all conveniently near your hotel.

Dinner this evening includes Dixieland Jazz as you cruise the Mississippi on the Steamboat Natchez.  Boarding in the French Quarter Quarter you head downriver  past the historic Riverfront while the  The Dukes of Dixieland performing for those happy, brassy tunes for which this city is so well known.

Day 5 –  This day begins with a morning at Mardi Gras World where you see the floats and learn the history of this famous event.  The museum was created for you by the people who bring Mardi Gras to life every year.  The colors, the lights, the music, the joie de vivre (exuberant enjoyment of life). It’s all here in one magical place where you can peek behind the curtain and see Mardi Gras in the making!

Next you will tour the National World War II Museum. From the beaches of Normandy to the Sands of Iwo Jima, the Museum’s exhibits are a blend of personal accounts, artifacts, documents, photographs and  original film footage. The stories of the dozens of amphibious landings and the thousands of men and women who made Allied victory in World War II possible are told through three floors of exhibit space.  If you choose a date the corresponds with their schedule, your group will have a memorable brunch at the Stage Door Canteen.  Their stage presents a wonderful series of unique entertainment, showcasing the songs, style, stars and spirit of this incomparable era.

This evening you will return to the French Quarter for free time and a meal at the New Orleans School of Cooking.  You will not only learn about Cajun and Creole cooking styles from your instructors, but you will have ample time to digest the lesson.

Day 6 –  Today’s travel leaves Louisiana, crosses Mississippi and ends up in Muscle Shoals, Alabama for the night.  On the way a video documentary will present the fascinating musical history of this small town.  Here local recording studios produced hundreds of hit records, for dozens of the most famous names in Rocks, Jazz, Blues, Country and Gospel.  You can make a serious argument that Southern Rock actually started right here.   Dinner is included tonight at at restaurant known as “Swampers.”  The name is dedicated to the backup players who worked with everyone from Aretha to the Beatles.  Their memorabilia is on the walls and their story will unfold with music on the stage.

Day 7 – This morning begin your day with a FAME Studio Tour. It was here in 1961 that Rick Hall brought black and white together in Alabama’s cauldron of racial hostility to create the “Muscle Shoals Sound.” He produced hit records for the Rolling Stones, Little Richard, Wilson Pickett, Etta James, Otis Redding, the Osmonds, Jerry Reed, Alabama, Mac Davis the Gatlin Brothers and Bono.

Following your tour you will depart for home.