Ultimate Deep South

Deep South
10 nights private tour from $23,000

Take a thrilling journey into America’s Deep South to discover the immense cultural, musical, and gastronomic heritage of this region steeped in atmospheric landscapes, vibrant cities, and antebellum plantation history. The tour takes in the highlights of Nashville, Memphis, and New Orleans, as well as providing the chance to discover the moving stories of the enslaved on a visit to two plantations and the opportunity to explore the swamplands and peaceful bayous of Mississippi and Louisiana.

Itinerary Name Ultimate Deep South
At a glance
  • Visit the music studios, clubs and bars of Nashville, Memphis, and New Orleans exploring their unique musical traditions, along with driving the Mississippi Blues Trail and a VIP tour of Graceland.

  • Discover the distinct and delicious flavors of the Deep South, enjoying a Memphis-style barbeque and a food tour of New Orleans trying iconic dishes including jambalaya, gumbo, beignets, and po’boys.

  • Stay in a magnificent antebellum mansion, a National Historic Landmark and immerse yourself in plantation history with a tour of two of the plantations that line the banks of the Mississippi. A dark time in Louisiana history, it is a chance to hear the stories of the enslaved and learn of the origins of the American civil rights movement.

  •  Scout for alligators, turtles, exotic birds, and bald eagles on cruises on the Mississippi and Louisiana wetlands. The atmospheric bayous and steamy swamplands will impress you with their calm and peaceful beauty.

Journey highlights
  • Visit the music studios, clubs and bars of Nashville, Memphis, and New Orleans exploring their unique musical traditions, along with driving the Mississippi Blues Trail and a VIP tour of Graceland.

  • Discover the distinct and delicious flavors of the Deep South, enjoying a Memphis-style barbeque and a food tour of New Orleans trying iconic dishes including jambalaya, gumbo, beignets, and po’boys.

  • Stay in a magnificent antebellum mansion, a National Historic Landmark and immerse yourself in plantation history with a tour of two of the plantations that line the banks of the Mississippi. A dark time in Louisiana history, it is a chance to hear the stories of the enslaved and learn of the origins of the American civil rights movement.

  •  Scout for alligators, turtles, exotic birds, and bald eagles on cruises on the Mississippi and Louisiana wetlands. The atmospheric bayous and steamy swamplands will impress you with their calm and peaceful beauty.

Our tailor made journeys include:
  • Your dedicated Travel Consultant who will take care of arrangements
  • Private international airport transfers in destination
  • Your own private, English-speaking local guides
  • Unique experiences, hand-picked by our Journeys team
  • Entrance to must-see local sites
  • Dedicated 24/7 team providing in-country support and guidance
  • Complimentary access to My Scott Dunn – industry-leading travel app providing pre-departure information and in-journey support

When to visit

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New Orleans gets busy during its two most popular festivals, Mardi Gras, typically in February, and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival during the last weekend in April and first weekend in May, Although these are great times to visit, you are advised to book well in advance. New Orleans has a subtropical climate, with milder weather at the beginning and end of the year. Winters bring cool temperatures, averaging daily highs of about 16ºC in January. Spring and fall are pleasant, with temperatures averaging a high of 26ºC in April and October. Summers are hot and humid, with a daily high around 33ºC in July. The average precipitation is 64 inches annually, with the heaviest rainfall in the summer months. Late summer and early fall are the height of the hurricane season, which begins in June and lasts until November.

The best time to visit New Orleans is from February to May when the weather is comfortably cool and the celebrations are in full swing. If you're not interested in Mardi Gras mania, plan to visit in December or January, when the city is calm and you don't have to worry about making hotel reservations a year in advance. To save on room rates, travel in the summer or fall. However, these seasons are known for their stifling heat and humidity, not to mention the threat of hurricanes.

Itinerary

Day 1-4

DC and The South

Days 1 – 4 Nashville

On arrival in Music City, you will collect your car and head to the iconic Hermitage Hotel. A Nashville landmark since 1910, this historic hotel will be your luxurious base for three nights.

After a good night’s sleep, you will be joined by an expert guide for a History of Nashville Tour, learning all about the birthplace of country music. This walking tour will take in the Music City Walk of Fame, Country Music Hall of Fame, Grand Ole Opry, and the famous Ryman Auditorium. Exploring the historic buildings, looking at old photographs and listening to the wonderful stories of the city, will help you to appreciate Nashville, it’s cultural heritage and evolving music scene.

The following evening is a chance to experience live music as only Nashville can deliver on a Honky Tonk Live Music Tour. As the sun goes down and the lights go up, your private guide will meet you at the hotel for a 2.5-hour live music walking tour. As you bar hop from venue to venue, your guide will weave Nashville’s history, culture, and local lore into the experience, along with details about each venue and band. During the tour you’ll visit between three and five of the city’s coolest historic bars to enjoy the music and soak up the energy. At the end of the tour, you’re free to continue enjoying the fun or head back to the hotel.

Two optional experiences are also available to enrich your time in Nashville. The first is a private tour of the historic RCA Studio B, birthplace of the Nashville Sound in the early 1960s. The recording home of legends such as Elvis Presley and the Everly Brothers. The second experience is a chance to leave Nashville with the ultimate souvenir, a recording of your own song in a private recording session.

Accommodation: The Hermitage Hotel, Nashville ( 3 nights )
Day 4-7

Memphis

Days 4 – 7 Memphis

This morning you will head out on the open road to Memphis. For the next three nights, the famous Peabody Hotel will be your base. Once settled, you will meet your private guide who will introduce you to the city, along with the famous Memphis-style barbeque. On the menu is dry-rubbed or saucy wet ribs, pulled pork, pork nachos and even barbeque spaghetti. During this foodie experience, you’ll visit some of the city’s old school joints, steeped in history, to enjoy the sound of blues and soul, taking you back to the city’s Mississippi Delta roots.

The following day brings the opportunity to deepen your knowledge and appreciation of the role of Memphis in the evolution of music. Your hotel, the Peabody was important in the development and recording of blues music and your guide will meet you in the lobby to explain all. Together, you will discuss all the free-wheeling innovators who were at the forefront, as well as enjoying an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the Peabody Duck March. This tradition dates back to the 1930s, when some intoxicated hunters thought it would be funny to put some live ducks in the Peabody fountain. The tradition endured and in 1940, a bellman and former circus trainer, taught the creatures the Peabody Duck March, which you can still see today.

Leaving the hotel with your guide, you will then make your way to Sun Studios to hear stories about the city’s local music legends. There will be time for you to look around or to join a small group tour, if preferred. Your next stop is downtown to visit the famous Beale Street. Rich in history and significant in the development of live music, this National Historic Landmark district is not to be missed. The roots of Memphis music developed here from blues and gospel to soul, rock and hip-hop. This was also where the teenage Elvis Presley liked to hang out. After lunch (payable locally) your guide will take you to Beale Street Landing, a scenic spot on the Mississippi River, to soak up the views and learn more about Memphis and its legendary heroes.

The next day is a treat for Elvis fans with a VIP tour of Graceland. Home to the King of Rock n’ Roll and one of music’s greatest legends, you will spend 3-4-hours with a private guide discovering more about Elvis and his home. Immerse yourself in all that Elvis held dear, as you explore his living room, bedroom, kitchen, and famous Jungle Room, all restored to their 1977 glory. Following the tour, you are free to explore Elvis Presley’s Memphis Entertainment Complex on your own. This includes the Presley Motors Automobile Museum, the Entertainer Career Museum and the Elvis Discovery Exhibits which explore his influence in launching a music and pop culture revolution. The VIP tour also gives you access to the King of Rock n’ Roll’s customized aircraft. 

During your time in Memphis there is the option for an additional private after-hours tour of the National Civil Rights Museum. Located on the site of the former Lorraine Motel, where Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated in 1968, the museum charts the painful progress of the US civil rights movement. Your guide will help you explore the key turning points of history that changed US society through the displays and exhibits of this thought-provoking and deeply moving museum.

Accommodation: The Peabody Memphis ( 3 nights )
Day 7-8

DC and The South

Days 7-8  Blues Trail

The following morning you head south to drive along the iconic Blues Trail as it winds through the Mississippi Delta. Along the way, you can stop to visit various landmarks such as the BB King Museum in Indianola and the Crossroads of the Blues in Clarksdale. Your ultimate destination is the Monmouth Historic Inn in Natchez, Mississippi. Set in glorious gardens, this 19th century mansion is a National Historic Landmark and full of old-world charm, offering delightful Southern hospitality, exceptional cuisine, and luxe accommodation.

Accommodation: Monmouth Historic Inn ( 1 night )
Day 8-11

New Orleans

Day 8 - 11 New Orleans

It’s an early start the following morning, for a fabulous wildlife-spotting cruise along the Mississippi River. Your guide will collect you from your hotel and accompany you on the boat. Full of pristine swampland and tidal marshes, the biodiversity of this region is impressive, and you can expect to see a range of exotic birds, along with the odd alligator or two. Your guide is native to the area and during the journey will tell you about local life, history, culture, and the importance of the land to the local community.

 

After the tour, your guide will return you to the hotel for the drive to New Orleans. On arriving in the city, you will drop off your car and be transferred to the Four Seasons New Orleans, your base for the final leg of the vacation.

 

After a refreshing night’s sleep get ready for an enlightening tour of New Orleans. Your local guide will pick you up from the hotel and tailor the tour to your personal interests. Highlights include the French Quarter, Jackson Square, the historic neighborhoods of Faubourg Marigny and Treme and magnificent homes of the Garden District. Along the way you will learn about the city’s history, architecture, culture, and engaging folklore.

 

The next day offers the chance to step back in time on a Plantation Tour. Your guide will pick you up from the hotel to take you out into the surrounding countryside to discover plantation life in the Deep South. As you drive, your guide will explain the dark history behind Louisiana’s economic wealth and cultural diversity. The tour includes visits to two plantations, Whitney, and Laura. Both were former sugar plantations, with Creole mansions, manicured gardens, and well-preserved slave cabins. During the tour, you will learn about the lives of the free and enslaved people who lived and worked there. Between these visits, lunch is at a local eatery (payable locally).

 

Foodies will not want to miss the following day’s New Orleans Food Tour. This gourmet walking tour led by a passionate and knowledgeable guide will introduce your tastebuds to the signature seafood flavors of The Big Easy. There are two additional tours which could also appeal to foodies: A Private Cajun Cooking Class, where you will learn how to prepare and spice local produce for a slap up four-course lunch and an evening Big Easy Cocktails Mixology Experience, where you will learn how to craft and mix a proper cocktail in one of the city’s lively bars.

 

Those interested in World War II history can also book an additional behind-the-scenes private guided World War II Museum Tour. This is a chance to explore the impressive interactive displays and join a curator for a behind-the-scenes presentation on the museum’s various artifacts to learn to story of the war. There is also a 4D film offering an immersive experience of the battlefield.

 

Your final morning is a chance for a fabulous wildlife-spotting VIP Swamp Airboat Tour through the atmospheric Louisiana wetlands. After greeting your captain, you climb aboard an airboat to travel across swamplands, which have remained unchanged for centuries. An airboat is a flat-bottomed vessel powered by a propeller. With the ability to travel both slowly and quietly, they are great for wildlife spotting. As you travel through the shallow marshes and peaceful bayous lined with cypress trees, keep your eyes peeled for the bird and wildlife which could include alligators, turtles, heron, black bears, and bald eagles.

 

Later that afternoon you will be transferred back to the airport for your flight home.

Accommodation: Four Seasons New Orleans ( 3 nights )
We design each itinerary around you, so this suggested itinerary is a starting point that we can tweak or transform into something completely bespoke to you.
Call us on 858 523 9000 to start planning your holiday.

Your Hotels


When to visit

  • J
  • F
  • M
  • A
  • M
  • J
  • J
  • A
  • S
  • O
  • N
  • D
Best time to visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit

New Orleans gets busy during its two most popular festivals, Mardi Gras, typically in February, and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival during the last weekend in April and first weekend in May, Although these are great times to visit, you are advised to book well in advance. New Orleans has a subtropical climate, with milder weather at the beginning and end of the year. Winters bring cool temperatures, averaging daily highs of about 16ºC in January. Spring and fall are pleasant, with temperatures averaging a high of 26ºC in April and October. Summers are hot and humid, with a daily high around 33ºC in July. The average precipitation is 64 inches annually, with the heaviest rainfall in the summer months. Late summer and early fall are the height of the hurricane season, which begins in June and lasts until November.

The best time to visit New Orleans is from February to May when the weather is comfortably cool and the celebrations are in full swing. If you're not interested in Mardi Gras mania, plan to visit in December or January, when the city is calm and you don't have to worry about making hotel reservations a year in advance. To save on room rates, travel in the summer or fall. However, these seasons are known for their stifling heat and humidity, not to mention the threat of hurricanes.

Ultimate Deep South
Ultimate Deep South

We design each itinerary around you, so this suggested itineraryis a starting point that we can tweak or transform into something completely bespoke to you. Call us on 858 523 9000 to start planning your vacation.

Plan your trip

Why Scott Dunn?

At Scott Dunn, we live and breathe travel. An insatiable appetite to discover the world runs through everything we do. We relish the planning and revel in the detail. We know it’s the smallest touches that make the biggest difference, and we stop at nothing to make every trip not only exceptional but totally unique.

  • Every itinerary is crafted from scratch, based around exactly what’s important to you
  • Packed full of unique experiences, hand-picked by our journeys team
  • Expert local guides enrich your experience in every destination
  • Your own dedicated Travel Specialist who will take care of every detail of your trip
  • We have a 24/7 team providing in-country support and guidance
  • We offer flexibility and financial protection to give you total peace of mind

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