11 Days/10 Nights – Gateways: Chicago & New Orleans

1 & 2: Chicago, IL

Welcome to Chicago, commonly known as the Windy City. This is a city that has something for everyone and part of any trip should be the Sears Tower, at 1,450 feet the tallest building in North America. The Hancock Observatory provides a wonderful view of the city, as well as a variety of interesting exhibits. Take a stroll along the lakefront of Lake Michigan or explore Chicago’s museums, including the Field Museum of Natural History that has a wonderful recreation of ancient Egyptian life. At night be sure to visit Joe’s Be-Bop Café and jazz Emporium, considered to be one of the best jazz clubs in town.

2 nights Chicago, IL

3: To St Louis, MO (297 mi/475 km)

Travel the legendary Route 66 from Chicago to St. Louis, the ultimate American road trip. Discover quirky landmarks from a bygone era, from small town diners to drive-in movie theaters, from old-fashioned 1920’s – 1960’s style petrol stations to drive-in restaurants, this is roadside America at its finest. Tonight, in St. Louis tour the music clubs of Laclede’s Landing and the Soulard neighborhood.

1 night St, Louis, MO

4 & 5: Nashville, TN (307 mi/492 km)

Drive to Nashville, home of Country Music and the Grand Ole Opry. Visit the museums of music giants; stop at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Studio “B” where the “Nashville Sound” was created by Chet Atkins, Dolly Parton, the Everly Brothers, Elvis and many others. Dance to hot country sounds at the famous Wildhorse Saloon or enjoy a cabaret dinner cruise aboard the General Jackson Showboat.

2 nights Nashville, TN

6 & 7: Memphis, TN (212 mi/339 km)

Welcome to the home of the blues, Beale Street, W.C. Handy and Elvis Presley. The “Mountain Top” sculpture honors Dr. Martin Luther King, who was assassinated here. Mud Island, a 52-acre park showcases the mighty Mississippi River. Don’t miss a visit to Gracelands, Elvis Presley’s beloved mansion and Sun Studio where Elvis, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison and Johnny Cash first recorded. Finish your day by soaking up the atmosphere in one of the live music clubs on famous Beale Street.

2 nights Memphis, TN

8: To Vicksburg, MS (254 mi/406 km)

Today riverboat casinos dock on the Mississippi River, but Vicksburg’s location on the Delta was of strategic importance during the Civil War. At the National Military Park view a multimedia show recalling that era.

1 night Vicksburg, MS

9 & 10: New Orleans, LA (225 mi/360 km)

Head for the “Big Easy”, home to jazz and Bourbon Street, where the party never stops! Explore this marvelous city, which retains the flavor of the French and Spanish cultures which founded it. See Jackson Square, Royal Street and then take an afternoon or evening cruise on a steamboat, before trying some Cajun or Creole cuisine.

2 nights New Orleans

11: New Orleans/Home

Time for last minute sightseeing or shopping before your flight home.

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