Take a delightful trip through the heart of Appalachia, discovering the equestrian culture of Kentucky, the pioneer spirit of Tennessee, and the mountainous beauty of North Carolina. Get a taste of Bourbon, baseball, and Thoroughbreds in Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky. Travel through Daniel Boone National Forest as you make your way to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. From your home base of Gatlinburg, explore the natural wonders of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. After a day of exploring, relax and tap your toes during Dolly Parton’s Stampede and Dinner Show. Travel on to Asheville, North Carolina, and enjoy the city’s historic architecture, engaging neighborhoods and robust arts districts. Tour the Biltmore Estate, George Vanderbilt’s "little mountain escape” in the Blue Ridge Mountains. When you leave, you’ll have the warmth and charm of southern Appalachia still in your heart.
Your tour starts in Louisville, Kentucky, famous for Thoroughbreds, Bourbon and baseball. Tonight, enjoy a welcome reception and settle in for a 2-night stay at your hotel, ideally situated just across the river from downtown Louisville.
Enjoy a visit to Churchill Downs, the Thoroughbred racetrack famous for hosting the pinnacle of all horse races, the annual Kentucky Derby. You’ll tour the Kentucky Derby Museum and learn about the legendary history of the “Sport of Kings.” Then, enjoy a walking tour of Old Louisville, a historic neighborhood that boasts the largest concentration of contiguous Victorian mansions in the United States.* Later, head to “Museum Row” where it’s your choice! Visit the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory for an All-Star baseball experience showing you all there is to know about “America’s Pastime” -OR- explore the Frazier Kentucky History Museum, and its new Spirit of Kentucky exhibit, the official start of the Bourbon Trail. Tonight, join your fellow travelers at a local restaurant for a welcome dinner.
Today we travel to Lexington. En route, we’ll visit Buffalo Trace, the oldest continuously operating Bourbon distillery in America. Learn about the subtle craft of Bourbon distilling, meet some of the people who make it all happen, and of course, taste some of Kentucky’s home-grown spirit. Stop in Midway, a quaint, historic town and the first one in Kentucky to be founded by a railroad. Learn about this area from a local guide as we explore Kentucky’s horse country. Enjoy the stunning, rolling bluegrass pastureland and the many horse farms that dot the landscape. We’ll visit private horse farms and hear about their time-honored traditions.
We travel south, stopping in Berea, the historic college town known as the arts and crafts center of Kentucky. You’ll meet a few artisans while they demonstrate their craft. Enjoy lunch at Boone Tavern, where blue grass country meets the rolling hills of Appalachia. En route to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, travel through Daniel Boone National Forest. Extending across the western plateau region of the Appalachian Mountains, it’s named for the larger-than-life American pioneer who once blazed a trail across these rugged and wild lands. Gatlinburg, a lively mountain resort, is the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and your home for a 3-night stay.
This morning, a local guide leads you into the most visited national park in the United States. Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The park contains one of the most diverse ecosystems on earth and the largest deciduous forest in the eastern United States. Explore the park, stopping at various lookouts on our way to Newfound Gap which boasts views of both sides of the Smoky Mountains – those in Tennessee and North Carolina. Afterwards, enjoy a tour and tasting at the Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery. Then the rest of the day is yours, perhaps you will go experience Dollywood, Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountains theme park.
Today, spend your time however you see fit during a leisurely day in Gatlinburg. Perhaps you’ll want to venture back to Great Smoky Mountains National Park and see more stunning natural sights. Or, for a bit of campy fun, you could head to Pigeon Forge. Tonight, be entertained at the lively Dolly Parton’s Stampede & Dinner Show where you’ll see music, dancing, and professional horse riders performing incredible stunts.
Depart for Asheville, North Carolina, our Blue Ridge Mountains home for two nights. En route, we’ll stop at the stunning East Coast home of the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. Upon arrival in Asheville, a local guide takes you on an orientation walking tour of the neighborhood around your downtown hotel.
Back in 1895, George Vanderbilt II decided to build himself “a little mountain escape” in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. The result was the impressive and decadent grandeur of the Biltmore Estate. Today, tour the sprawling mansion and the manicured grounds, enjoy a wine-tasting at the historic Biltmore Winery and experience what it was like to be a wealthy tycoon in the Gilded Age of America. Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
Today your tour comes to an end. As you venture home, take the spirit and the warmth of America’s Southeast with you.
You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.
|15-Apr-2021 for 9 Nights||Double||
Back in 1918, when Jack Collette started the company, the first tour to ever run was made up of a jitney bus of travellers that left Boston, Massachusetts headed for Florida. This three-week adventure cost just $61.50! At that time few could have foreseen that nearly 100 years later, that same company would be taking guests from around the world to all seven continents.
Collette believe that a true travel experience starts and ends with people and they pride themselves in creating adventures which take you on a journey around the world. They offer over 150 tours taking you to the national parks of North America, the wonders of Central and South America, the culture of Europe, the ancient sites of Asia, the wildlife of Africa and the outback of Australia. Their extensive travel experience and local expertise, developed over their 100 year history, means they take you to the main sights but also to places rarely visited and those you have always dreamed of exploring. Their aim is to deliver authentic experiences so on their tours you can expect to experience and try your hand at local crafts and traditions, meet the locals and see a lifestyle often very different to your own.
Travelling is such an enriching experience, but it is not always straight forward. Language and cultural differences can be a challenge, but Collette have it covered. They have their own experts on the ground who speak the language and understand the customs, and they have designed tours to maximise your stay in your chosen destination. They have organised all the details with airlines, accommodation, transportation, meals, sightseeing and more to ensure your tour runs seamlessly. They transport you from A to B in comfort, so you can sit back, relax and really make the most of your travels.
Collette offer you their ‘Best Value’ approach. Their tours are inclusive of any domestic transportation, accommodation, most meals, daily tours including entrance fees, local guides and exceptional Tour Managers. When you book a flight inclusive tour with them, they will also transport you in style in your own private door to door airport transfers. All you have to pay for are any non-included meals, drinks and non-included excursions – not to mention the odd souvenir along the way! Before you travel, Collette includes, with your full itinerary, details on how to download your personal App for use on tour. The App will become your new travel friend, and is packed with useful information including all the details about your flights and accommodation on tour, useful weather updates, city maps, and restaurant and attraction recommendations. You can also use it to share photos via social media.