Your Mississippi adventure begins, as you fly into your starting destination of Memphis today, located close to the border of Tennessee and the Magnolia State. Pick up your Alamo car rental on arrival and drive to your hotel. You will easily see why Memphis is a much loved city of the South, from its musical background in the blues and rock ’n’ roll, to its historic roots and authentic southern dining; Memphis truly offers something for everyone. Stay 3 nights at Holiday Inn Select Memphis Downtown (Beale Street) (or similar).
Follow Elvis’s trail around the city, from where he recorded at Sun Studios to where he lived at the immortal Graceland, located just outside of downtown. Learn, hear and feel the sounds of the music legends at the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum and the Stax Museum; and experience Memphis’s electric music and nightlife along Beale Street. Apart from the music, make sure to visit the National Civil Rights Museum which provides a moving portrayal of the struggles for equality and human rights, as well as being built on the site where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. Last but not least, let’s not forget the tastes of southern barbeque food found on every corner.
Day 4: Memphis – Oxford – Tupelo (approx. 129 miles)
Today, it’s time to drive south through rural Mississippi via the historic university town of Oxford where you can stop for a bite to eat before arriving into Tupelo, the birthplace and boyhood home of Elvis Presley. Visit the humble two-room home where Elvis grew up, then stop by the Elvis Presley Museum that pays tribute to the early years of Elvis and his influences, and pay a visit to the Tupelo Automobile Museum, where Lincoln’s car is on display. Stay 1 night at the Wyndham by Wingate Tupelo (or similar).
Day 5: Tupelo – Natchez Trace Parkway – Jackson (approx. 173 miles)
With Tupelo ideally located along the Natchez Trail Parkway, it’s the perfect starting point to take a drive along one of the most scenic, beautifully restored and historic routes in America. Drive through the heart of Mississippi, passing by glorious views of unspoilt natural beauty towards Jackson, the state capitol. Take a tour of the Governor’s Mansion or the Old Capitol Building, and Jackson is never short of a festival or two, from the Dixie National Rodeo to the Rhythm & Blues Festival, discover a city of diversity and charm. Stay 1 night at the Courtyard Jackson (or similar).
Day 6: Jackson – Vicksburg (approx. 44 miles)
Spend a little extra time relaxing in Jackson this morning, before leaving at your leisure for the short drive eastwards towards Vicksburg. Set on the banks of the Mighty Mississippi River, this iconic city was a pivotal location for the ending of the Civil War, which is commemorated at the Vicksburg National Military Park, honouring the valiant soldiers of the Civil War. Stay 2 nights at the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, Vicksburg (or similar).
Day 7: Vicksburg
There’s lots on offer in Vicksburg - explore the Old Court House Museum and tour one of the many antebellum homes. Browse the boutique shops and galleries of Washington Street, enjoy lunch downtown, and then perhaps take a guided tour in the afternoon of the Vicksburg National Military Park. This 1,800 acre park is home to numerous monuments created by leading artists across America. Or there’s the Yesterday’s Children Antique Toy and Doll House to see, which houses the South’s largest collection of antique toys. In the evening, why not try your luck at a riverside casino whilst watching the sun come down.
Day 8: Vicksburg – Natchez (approx. 72 miles)
Today, follow the Great River Road towards Natchez, the oldest civilised settlement on the Mississippi River and home to an opulent collection of mansions that were left undisturbed after the Civil War. Natchez is the quintessential southern town, transporting you back in time to place when the South thrived with beautiful plantations and resplendent natural beauty. Stay 2 nights at the Hampton Inn Suites Natchez (or similar).
Day 9: Natchez
With so many magnificent antebellum mansions and historic homes still preserved intact today, it’s definitely worthwhile taking a tour to discover the elegant lifestyle of the ‘Old South’. Stroll down historic downtown, or even on a horse-drawn carriage ride; browse through the collection of antique shops to find a bespoke southern souvenir; visit Natchez Under-The-Hill, where the saloons and scandals of yesteryear have been replaced by colourful shops, quaint restaurants and a gaming casino; and take in a marvellous sunset over the Ol’ Man River for spectacular views of the Mississippi River.
Day 10: Natchez – Hattiesburg – Gulf Coast/Biloxi (approx. 217 miles)
Your journey will be taking you further south towards the splendid Mississippi coastline, with an opportunity to stop in the charming town of Hattiesburg where you can enjoy lunch in the Historic Neighbourhood District. Then it’s onwards to Biloxi for blissful relaxation. Stay 2 nights at the Holiday Inn Biloxi (or similar).
Day 11: Gulf Coast
With miles of pristine beaches, casinos, golf and historic sights, you will be simply spoilt for choice on how you wish to spend your day. After your journey through the old-world of the South, Mississippi’s Gulf Coast offers a refreshing twist into the new-world of the south, where signature golf courses, exciting casinos, and fun-filled entertainment can be found amidst a collection of charming seaside towns offering boutique shopping districts and renowned restaurants serving freshly produced local cuisines. Or simply, sit back and relax along 26 miles of white sandy beaches and watch the world go by.
Day 12: Gulf Coast – New Orleans (approx. 93 miles)
Your tour nears its end with a final stop in the city that never sleeps that is New Orleans. The heart and soul of the city can be found in the French Quarter, where decorative iron wrought balconied-buildings, antique shops and world-class restaurants and jazz clubs fill the streets. Why not squeeze in some last minute shopping at the French Market or Magazine Street where you can pick up bespoke souvenirs, whilst no visit to The Big Easy is complete without sampling the delicious flavours of Cajun and Creole cuisine along Bourbon Street, whilst the sounds of jazz fill the night air. Stay 1 night at the Wyndham New Orleans French Quarter (or similar).
Day 13: New Orleans – London
Either extend your stay and take in some of the Deep South’s finest destinations, or return your car to New Orleans Airport before boarding your departure flight travelling overnight back to London.