The Sumptuous Soul Of America

The Sumptuous Soul of America (Summer 2019)

Duration: 14 days Visiting: United States

Prices from {{lowPrice}}

Menu
  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Highlights
  • Accommodation
  • Reviews
  • Dates & prices

Join us for a toe-tapping trip of rock, jazz and country music, as you delve into the sumptuous soul of America. You'll start in Chicago, a great food city also known for its jazz and blues, before heading south to the musical meccas of Nashville and Memphis. End your trip with a little jazz as you head to the Mississippi Delta and on to zesty New Orleans. From visiting the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville to the iconic Graceland mansion, this trip not only comes with behind-the-scenes experiences, but with its own memorable soundtrack.

  1. Day 1

    Chicago, the Jewel of the Midwest.

    Welcome to Chicago. Upon arrival, you will be met and taken to your exclusive retreat near the Magnificent Mile. At 18:00, join your Travelling Concierge for a scrumptious Welcome Dinner with wine at your hotel.

  2. Day 2 - Relaxed Start

    Scaling Chicago.

    Start your exploration during a 90-minute architectural river cruise and discover how the Great Fire of 1871 paved the way for the birth of the skyscraper. Continue your discovery with one of the Windy City's greatest highs - the 360 Chicago Observation Deck. Enjoy a Highlight Dinner with wine at Gibson's Bar and Steakhouse, a classic Chicago-style chophouse. You'll be served with a fixed steak menu that comes with roasted corn, potatoes and seasonal veggies.

  3. Day 3

    St. Louis, Gateway to the West.

    Journey to St. Louis where you'll take an exclusive guided tour of the Fabulous Fox Theatre which opened in 1929. This vibrant city played host to the World's Fair and Olympics of 1904, with both being held at St. Louis' prestigious Washington University.

  4. Day 4

    St. Louis Arch to Louisville.

    Get a bird's-eye view of the city with a visit to the top of the famed St. Louis Gateway Arch standing 630 feet (190 metres) tall. Next, head east through the Hoosier National Forest to Louisville, before enjoying a dinner with wine at The English Grill in the evening. This elegant venue is situated at your hotel and offers a refined menu of contemporary American cuisine with a Kentucky twist.

  5. Day 5 - Relaxed Start

    Spirit of Louisville.

    Continue your immersion into Louisville culture with an up-close look at some of Kentucky's celebrated four-legged residents during a visit to a retired horse farm. Enjoy a guided tour of the grounds where you will learn about some of the horses before taking time for lunch. Later, visit a bourbon distillery, where you will discover the secrets and meticulous details involved in the making of the South's signature spirit, before indulging in a sampling. The evening is yours to enjoy.

  6. Day 6

    The Honky-Tonk Highway.

    The fun continues with a guided historic walking tour of Churchill Downs to learn about the history of the Kentucky Derby, followed by a visit to the Kentucky Derby Museum. Once here you'll gain an insider's perspective during a private visit with retired jockey, Charles Woods Jr. Next, discover the history behind one of America's favourite sports cars at the National Corvette Museum, where you'll have lunch. The museum features over 80 Corvettes in periodic settings, including mint classics, one-of-a-kind prototypes and modern-day wonders of engineering and design.

  7. Day 7

    Enjoy Nashville's Musical History.

    Enjoy a tour of historic Studio B with a professional sound engineer in a 30-minute, choir-style recording session. You'll be able to take home a copy of the recording as a one-of-a-kind souvenir. Head on to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, full of memorabilia from stars such as Hank Williams, Loretta Lynn and Garth Brooks. Once there, you'll join your Local Expert, a songwriter and singer, who will tell you the stories behind the biggest hits sung by well-known country music stars. End your day with a trip to the Grand Ole Opry or "country's most famous stage", for a live performance.

  8. Day 8 - Relaxed Start

    Memphis and Graceland.

    Travel from the home of country music to the birthplace of blues and Rock 'n' Roll. The evening is devoted to a private, after-hours, and docent-led tour of Graceland - as much an object of pilgrimage as a museum dedicated to the late, great, Elvis Presley. From the flowers and painted signs outside the gates, to the tear-streaked cheeks of fans inside, see the effect that Elvis and his music had on popular American culture. Enjoy a memorable dinner with wine at the Graceland mansion itself.

  9. Day 9 - Relaxed Start

    Sun Studios and National Civil Rights Museum.

    Experience Memphis Your Way by visiting Sun Studios or the Memphis Rock n' Soul Museum. Later, visit the National Civil Rights Museum and trace the history of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States from the 17th century to the present. Offering over 260 artifacts and more than 40 new films, you'll be guided through five centuries of American history.

  10. Day 10

    Mississippi mystique in Natchez.

    Depart for Natchez, founded by the French in 1716 when it became home to a flowering colonial culture. There you will experience a private, owner-led tour of Sunnyside, a restored antebellum cottage. At your charming luxury country mansion inn, whet your palate during a mixology class and learn the 'science' behind the signature drink of the South, the Mint Julep. Then enjoy a delectable three-course Highlight Dinner with wine, in the stunning main house.

  11. Day 11

    Frogmore, Houmas House, and New Orleans.

    Stop at Frogmore Plantation and journey back to a time when cotton was king. With your costumed hosts, tour a reconstructed 19th century plantation. Next, get a glimpse into the sweet side of the South with a visit to Houmas House plantation, once the largest producer of sugar in the country. In the evening, you'll visit the New Orleans School of Cooking to learn about Creole cuisine during a lively cooking demonstration. Enjoy these culinary creations over a special Highlight Dinner with wine.

  12. Day 12 - Relaxed Start

    New Orleans Sightseeing.

    Join a Local Expert for a tour of the city as you learn about its rich history steeped in the myriad of cultures that have found a new home here. See Jackson Square and the Treme neighbourhood before exploring City Park. Take in this picturesque scene and admire the oak trees with a warm café au lait in hand. Next, visit one of the city's famous above ground cemeteries and learn about their uniquely joyful perspective on life and death.

  13. Day 13 - Relaxed Start

    Exploring the Big Easy.

    Start the day with a bayou expert on the rural side of the Crescent City, as you board a boat to meet the resident alligators and other fauna and flora. Enjoy some free time before gathering with your new friends and toasting to lifelong memories during a Farewell Celebration Dinner with wine at the famous New Orleans restaurant, Arnaud's, with toe-tapping live jazz as your backdrop.

  14. Day 14

    Depart New Orleans.

    Bid 'au revoir' to the Big Easy in the morning. A complimentary transfer is provided to Louis Armstrong Airport or choose to extend your stay at Hotel Monteleone.

Highlights

 

VIP EXPERIENCES

  • St. Louis: Join an exclusive guided tour of the Fabulous Fox Theatre.
  • Louisville: Visit Churchill Downs on a private tour and meet the world famous horse jockey, Charles Woods Jr.
  • Nashville: Join the ranks of superstar musicians like Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson and record a song at legendary Studio B, take home the recording as a truly unique souvenir.
  • Nashville: Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame and get a private behind the scenes look at the songwriting process with a local songwriter and singer.
  • Memphis: Take a private, after-hours tour of Graceland before sitting down to a special dinner on the grounds of the estate.

JOURNEY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Chicago: Appreciate the variety of impressive styles and achievements in design during your architectural river cruise, as a Local Expert reveals how the city was transformed after the Great Fire of 1871.
  • Chicago: Experience the greatest highs and the best views of the city from the observatory atop 360 Chicago.
  • St Louis: Get a bird's-eye view of the city from the famed St Louis Gateway Arch.
  • Bowling Green: The Corvette is America on wheels. The National Corvette Museum pays homage to this most famous sports car.
  • Nashville: Attend a live taping of the Grand Ole Opry, America's longest-running live radio program.
  • Memphis: Visit Sun Studios, where famous music icons like Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis and Johnny Cash recorded revolutionary albums.
  • Memphis: Visit the National Civil Rights Museum.
  • New Orleans: Visit Houmas House, the crown jewel of Louisiana’s river road, previously voted best Louisiana attraction.

EXCEPTIONAL DINING

  • Chicago: Experience a Highlight Dinner at a classic Chicago chophouse, Gibson's Bar and Steakhouse.
  • Memphis: Enjoy a private, after hours visit to Graceland, followed by a home-style cooked meal, favoured by the King himself.
  • Natchez: Learn to make the signature drink of the South, the Mint Julep, before an elegant, four-course Southern dinner in the period surroundings of the Monmouth Historic Inn and Gardens.
  • New Orleans: Discover the flair of Creole cuisine during a cooking demonstration and special Highlight Dinner.
  • Dining Summary: 13 Breakfasts (B), 1 Lunch (L) and 8 Dinners with Wine (DW).

LUXURY HOTELS

  • Chicago: Experience a world class Chicago hotel at The Gwen.
  • St Louis: Four Seasons Hotel St Louis is a five-star hotel with epic views of the Gateway Arch, located in the heart of downtown.
  • Louisville: A favourite of Kentucky Derby attendees, The Brown Hotel is an opulent choice amongst travellers who will find a blend of Georgian Elegance, timeless Southern charm and impeccable service.
  • Nashville: Experience the finest in Southern hospitality at Sheraton Grand Nashville Downtown.
  • Memphis: The Westin Memphis Beale Street Hotel connects you to the unmistakable sound, culture and history of the blues, whilst offering you a soothing and relaxing retreat.
  • Natchez: The Monmouth Historic Inn and Gardens offers a unique combination of hospitality, world-class service and luxurious surroundings, set in a historic background.
  • New Orleans: The iconic family-owned Hotel Monteleone offers an unparalleled combination of Southern hospitality, world-class service and historic surroundings inside the French Quarter.

INCLUSIVE LUXURY GOLD SERVICES

  • You will be escorted by one of our fine Travelling Concierges, handpicked to serve as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Enjoy the comfort of Luxury Gold's air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom, onboard restroom and and complimentary bottled water for you to enjoy while travelling.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
  • At every hotel, you'll be treated to seamless baggage handling, with prompt delivery inside your room.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travel Concierge will enchant you with a Luxury Gold Flourish, which is a local speciality representing the destination.
  • Complimentary, private airport transfers are included on start and end dates and when additional accommodation has been booked through Luxury Gold.

Accommodation

 

The Gwen a Luxury Collection Hotel

Chicago (Contemporary) - USA

Experience a world class Chicago hotel at The Gwen.

Four Seasons Hotel

St. Louis (Contemporary) - USA

Four Seasons Hotel St Louis is a five-star hotel with epic views of the Gateway Arch, located in the heart of downtown.

The Brown Hotel

Louisville (Heritage) - USA

A favourite of Kentucky Derby attendees, The Brown Hotel is an opulent choice amongst travellers who will find a blend of Georgian Elegance, timeless Southern charm and impeccable service.

Sheraton Grand Nashville Downtown

Nashville (Contemporary) - USA

Experience the finest in Southern hospitality at Sheraton Grand Nashville Downtown.

The Westin Memphis Beale Street

Memphis (Contemporary) - USA

The Westin Memphis Beale Street Hotel connects you to the unmistakable sound, culture and history of the blues, whilst offering you a soothing and relaxing retreat.

Monmouth Historic Inn

Natchez (Heritage) - USA

The Monmouth Historic Inn and Gardens offers a unique combination of hospitality, world-class service and luxurious surroundings, set in a historic background.

Hotel Monteleone

New Orleans (Traditional) - USA

The iconic family-owned Hotel Monteleone offers an unparalleled combination of Southern hospitality, world-class service and historic surroundings inside the French Quarter.

Guest Reviews & Experiences

Our guests rate us 4.4 out of 5 based on
1026 independent user reviews received during the past year.

  • 06 October, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: overall well organized and executed, also loved the cooking school

    Service: Great activities and experiences, the song writer/singer, jockey, after hours at the king's place.

  • 06 October, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Enjoyed most of the attractions.

    Service: Very professional, nothing was too much trouble.

  • 06 October, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: The areas visited were very interesting

    Service: Their Tour Concierge was excellent, with knowledge over and above expected. The Coach Driver was extremely nice and very helpful.

  • 06 October, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: The only part that was questionable was our visit to Monmouth. A beautiful mansion but having enjoyed large beds everywhere else, their beds were smaller and the rooms damp. The breakfast was not good. Kentucky Old Friends Farm and Churchill Downs were exceptional visits as was Graceland in Memphis and the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. The Civil Rights Museum in Memphis was extremely interesting and informative and the visit to Sun Studios was a thrill. All excellent. Watching the marching of the Ducks was cute. We loved Chicago and the river cruise looking at the architectural styles. It was a fabulous tour and we can highly recommend it.

    Service: An excellent tour leader in Missy Chapman who went out of her way to ensure the comfort of the tour members. Howie our driver was very friendly and an excellent driver. We visited places we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to see if we hadn’t been on the tour. Thoroughly enjoyed the whole tour.

  • 28 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: It was good just some places we woukd habe liked more time & others less but overall really good. Only one hotel we didnt enjoy all others were excellent.

    Service: The little extras to ensure we enjoyed our holiday & yes we would recommend them.

  • 17 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: As it was just what we wanted to see that is why we picked this trip in the first place.

    Service: Our drive and concierge were so great. It just made the trip so special. Howard and Missy Chapman worked behind the scenes to make sure everything went off smoothly. The VIP experiences were very special. It was a very good experience with everything that we saw and the places we went. The only thing was the bus did not have any lumbar support and the footrests did not adjust and my wife being shor, itt was not as comfortable as it could have been.

  • 30 June, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Nice hotel. Good guide & coach captain. Cheers

    Service: Good guide , nice hotel & good dinners.

  • 17 June, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Covered everything we were interested in.

    Service: They do everything very well. Tour director and driver go out of their way to make sure you have an enjoyable time.

  • 17 June, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Enjoyed every aspect of itinerary

    Service: Caring Tour concierge and coach driver

  • 16 June, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: From Chicago to New Orleans and the places in between was an excellent way to this part of US. Each location was why I chose this trip. In 14 days I saw so much. Another reason I chose this trip is that most stops were at least two days. I believe we only had two 1 night stops so we had some free time to explore on our own.

    Service: Although I planned my trip with AAA, when referring to Luxury Gold, the travel concierge and driver were excellent. Missy made sure we had snacks (flourishes). gave good commentary and played some appropriate music (although, sometimes too loud for me)/ Howard (Howie) always had a smile, a great laugh and kept us in water on those very hot days. The guides we had a the various venues were also excellent.

  • 05 June, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: The itinerary was enjoyable however there were 40 people on the coach which was more than what we had been told when booking the Luxury Gold tour. We had been told that there were only 25 people on the Luxury Gold coaches.

    Service: Tour Director (Ann Harness) was excellent and very well organised. The driver was also very good and helpful with all people on the tour.

  • 03 June, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: It covered everything we wanted to see and more

    Service: Most of the Hotels were excellent and in good location. Our Tour Director and Driver were above excellent couldn't ask for any better. Probably could have had some later dinner times considering just arriving and not having our cases to get ready. Bus was excellent except for the front seat which does not allow enough room for your legs. Overall not much to complain about. Certainly recommend it.

NB: Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking.
Prices displayed reflect available discounted rates such Early Payment Discount or Red Hot Deal (discounts are not combinable).
Discounts may be withdrawn at anytime, book early to confirm space.
All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however is subject to change, please confirm all details at time of booking. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.