Pack your dancing shoes and prepare your jazz hands because we’re getting bluesy. This adventure from Atlanta to New Orleans takes you through the musical meccas of Nashville and Memphis with all the sights, sounds and sauces you could ever ask for. Learn to line dance in Nashville, get your hands dirty eating Memphis-style barbecue, visit the iconic Sun Studio, let your hair down on Bourbon Street and finish it all off with two days at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. As they say in NOLA, ‘pass a good time’ (let the fun begin)!
Hey y’all! Welcome to Atlanta! Join your fellow travellers at 6 pm for a welcome meeting at the hotel. Later, take part in an optional group dinner or head out on your own to explore. Atlanta is a popular tourist city with a fascinating history and a booming music and arts scene. If you arrive with time to spare before the welcome meeting, why not visit the Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site and learn more about Atlanta and the USA's turbulent recent history.
Hit the road and drive approximately 4 hours to Nashville, Tennessee, with an optional tour of the Jack Daniel’s Distillery on the way. On arrival, take an orientation walk with your leader around Broadway in the downtown area and then enjoy free time for the rest of the afternoon. There's a reason Nashville is known as Music City: maybe check out some iconic venues like the Grand Ole Opry or the Ryman Auditorium. In the evening you can choose to visit the famous Wildhorse Saloon to try your hand (or feet) at line dancing, or enjoy a night out on the Honky Tonk Highway – a road packed with live music venues and bars playing country music and open for business all day, every day.
Today's free for you to continue exploring the home of country music. Why not visit the Country Music Hall of Fame, or take a tour of RCA Studio B? This historic studio was instrumental in the development of the ‘Nashville Sound’ and artists like Dolly Parton, Roy Orbison, The Everly Brothers and Willie Nelson have all recorded here. The King himself, Elvis Presley, is said to have taped over two hundred songs in the hallowed halls. Afterwards, maybe take a break to grab a beer and treat yourself to some fried chicken. In the evening perhaps check out a show with a cocktail in hand at The Listening Room Cafe.
Say farewell to Nashville and howdy to Memphis, the only place where it feels good to get the blues. On arrival take an orientation walk with your leader through historic Beale Street, which Congress declared ‘Home of the Blues’ in 1977. Then choose whether to join the group during a visit to the former home of Elvis Presley, on an optional tour to Graceland to see the famous Jungle Room. After paying respect to the King, feast like a king on Memphis-style barbecue – Memphis is home to the annual World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest and dinner is included in your trip, so all you need to bring is a good attitude and an empty stomach.
In the morning, visit Sun Studio – another legendary studio and the setting for the well-known photo of Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins gathered around a piano. Following the tour, there are several optional activities to choose from including a visit to the National Civil Rights Museum, the Gibson Guitar Factory or the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. Chat to your leader for details on these. Hungry? Perhaps grab some fried chicken with a side of slaw and history at Gus' World Famous Fried Chicken. In the evening, maybe form a crew and hit up iconic Beale St for all your music and nightlife needs.
Today involves a long drive through Mississippi to reach The Big Easy – New Orleans. Check into the hotel on arrival, then it's free time for dinner and a walk around the buzzing French Quarter and the world-famous strip of hedonism: Bourbon Street. It's a never-ending party here and the party is wild, so it can be equal parts exhilarating and overwhelming. But with bars, restaurants and serious people-watching opportunities, there's no denying it's a damn good time.
Location: New Orleans
The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival begins today. With more than ten stages showcasing a diverse range of musical styles, Jazz Fest isn’t just about jazz – it’s a raucous celebration of the city where the genre was born. Since its inception in 1970 the festival has hosted a huge variety of local and international musicians, from small local acts to global superstars. Beyond the music, there’s sizzling Cajun food and southern delicacies aplenty (smoked brisket anyone?), cultural exhibitions and a palpable buzz in the air. Make sure you’ve got your schedule sorted and dive on in!
Location: New Orleans
Cruise the festival food stalls and the stages where you can catch old favourites and discover new ones, then hit Bourbon Street or choose to take an optional jazz dinner cruise on a steamboat down the Mississippi River. If the festival has got you all fired up with the spirit of jazz, make sure you check out an act in Preservation Hall, an historic venue dedicated to intimate acts and keeping the city’s legacy alive.
Location: New Orleans
There are no activities planned today. Can’t get enough of NOLA? Why not nurse the post-festival blues with a Cocktail Tour with Urban Adventures? Find out more at urbanadventures.com/destination/New-Orleans-tours.
Location: New Orleans
Intrepid was started by two friends from Melbourne, Australia, in 1988 after embarking on a trip through the wilds of Africa in a modified ex-council truck, crammed with friends, supplies, a handful of aviator sunglasses and a case or two of beer. Could this type of travel be something others would be interested in? The answer was a resounding yes and today Intrepid send 100,000 travellers across the globe each year with the help of a staff of 1,000.
After three decades, founders Darrell and Manch, feel they know what travellers want. They get that it’s a big decision to fly across the world to wander the souks of Marrakech or enjoy a dreamy Angkor sunrise. They understand that you’re looking for a balance of inclusions and free time, a mix of classic highlights and local secrets you won’t find on Google. And of course, an authentic real life experience. Their leaders are born and raised in-country and they know their destination better than anyone. So you’ll do more than just see a place, you’ll live it. Small groups, big adventures and responsible travel – that’s Intrepid’s thing. With 1,000 trips in a variety of styles across 100 countries, you’re sure to find something you like.
Intrepid believe the real magic happens well away from the beaten path. It’s the little noodle bars, hidden galleries and backstreet bodegas and real life experiences you won’t find in a search engine. Real life experiences are those moments you know you’re really alive and experiencing something special. While it could be the instant you see one of the world’s great icons for the first time, it is more likely to be the moment you find yourself in the middle of a village square soccer game, being treated to a home-cooked meal by your new local friends or sharing a laugh with your fellow travellers as you try a new mode of transport … camel anyone? These unexpected moments are what travelling with Intrepid is all about, giving you a trip like no other.
Intrepid realises the world is a really big place. And there’s a plethora of different languages to learn, borders to cross and cultures to negotiate. Small group adventure travel makes these things easy and allows you to maximise your precious time off. Instead of worrying about logistics, you can focus all your energy on having the experience of a lifetime. Their tour groups are small enough to feel like you’re exploring a destination independently, but big enough to create a good social vibe. Group size will vary depending on where and how you’re travelling, but the average group size is about 10.
Intrepid’s themed trips encompass all hobbies and interests or could pique an interest in a new hobby you never knew you needed. From foodie explorations across Asia or India, sailing the seas in Thailand or the Caribbean, wildlife encounters in the Serengeti or Antarctica, scenic cycling or walking to Base Camp or through Tibet, and epic expeditions in Burma or Russia, you’ll be spoilt for choice.
Intrepid is committed to operating in a responsible manner, incorporating the principles of sustainable development in the way they provide travellers with real life experiences. These values are ingrained in the culture and daily operations of every Intrepid office and tour. In addition, they hope their travellers also demonstrate the principles of responsible travel - respecting people, cultures and local environments; in the distribution of wealth; in good will and cross-cultural sharing; and in contributing to sustainable development.
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