New Orleans to Nashville; this classic US road trip that should be on the bucket list of all 20th century music fans. It takes around 10 days at a leisurely stroll, winding your way along the Mississippi before taking a right turn eastwards and on to Nashville. New Orleans is a great starting point, famous for its French Quarter and the birthplace of Dixie Jazz, you could easily spend your time just taking in all that the music scene has to offer, but with Voodoo tours, steamboat cruises, exhilarating Swamp boat rides as well as the Hurricane Katrina Tour, there is plenty to keep you busy before you head out of town.
There are many motel options along the route that allow you to free-wheel your way to Nashville, should you wish. If you are looking for stopovers with a little more character then pre-booking is the way to go. One such place you may like to consider is the wonderfully bizarre Houmas House on Louisiana’s River Road, boasting a room where Bette Davis once stayed. Next stop Lafayette, the main city of the Cajun population, descendants of the exiled French Acadians who moved to Louisiana in the 1700s, and they have stamped their culture across the south of Louisiana with a distinctive style of cooking and music.
As you head north, Natchez, the next stop on your tour is home to some of the finest antebellum era plantation homes and mansions, built by the wealthy plantation owners of the 18th century. These beautiful homes are set in large gardens and showcase the wealth of the early years of the United States.
Natchez is also home to Monmouth Historic Inn, An early 19th-century antebellum mansion set in 26 acres of manicured gardens. This Historic Landmark reflects all that is charming about the South; expect gracious hospitality, excellent cuisine, wine tasting, historic tours of the house and a lovingly restored garden.
Memphis is looming large on the map by now, before you get there you should definitely spend some time in Vicksburg, driving into Vicksburg, you immediately feel the Southern tradition that flows through the city’s veins. The city is rich in history, but especially Civil War history- from tours of graceful antebellum homes that stood proudly through the siege of Vicksburg to re-enactments at landmarks and cemeteries that honour the men from both the North and the South that fell during the war… Just south of Memphis in the town of Clarksdale you will find another great little Inn, Clark House, this is well worth considering for a stopover before finally arriving in Memphis.
The town that gave birth to rock ‘n’ roll still throws a daily party on famous Beale Street, where bands play Buddy Holly and Jerry Lee Lewis to excitable tourists. It’s a city whose dramatic past feels eerily present. At the Lorraine Motel, now a wonderful civil rights museum, you can stand on the very spot where Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated.
At Graceland, you can follow in the footsteps of Elvis, take a mansion tour, and enjoy live presentations showcasing artefacts from the Graceland Archives. Come the evening, head down to Ernestine and Hazel’s, a haunted brothel-turned-bar, the jukebox plays all by itself.
Last stop, Nashville, Home of the Grand Ole Opry and the fabulous Country Music Hall of Fame, Nashville doesn’t call itself Music City for nothing. Musicians still come to the city to be discovered. At RCA Studio B you can sit at the Steinway at which Elvis composed Are You Lonesome Tonight and see where Dolly Parton once drove into a wall.
Planning a road trip such as New Orleans to Nashville is never easy and it pays to speak with the experts. At Amity Travel, we believe that your trip should be truly unforgettable, our expert knowledge allows us to select the best possible accommodation, guides and excursions to suit your tastes and budget.
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