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Home » Destinations » United States of America » Louisiana » Riviera Travel Grand Journey from the Deep South to Route 66
Experience the warmth of American hospitality in the Deep South, where the birthplaces of rock n’ roll, blues, and country music await in Nashville, and the vibrant jazz scene of New Orleans beckons. Indulge in the unique Creole and Cajun cuisine of The Big Easy, featuring spicy peppers and fresh seafood that embody the mouthwatering taste of the South. Along the way, visit historic landmarks such as the sites of JFK’s assassination in Dallas, Martin Luther King’s in Memphis, the Battle of the Alamo in San Antonio, and the Space Race hub at NASA’s Johnson Space Centre in Houston. The journey continues along iconic Route 66, exploring quirky American sights, shops, and diners before reaching the awe-inspiring Grand Canyon.
Day 1: Arrive in Atlanta
Travel to the airport for your flight to Atlanta, arriving later the same day
Day 2: Lynchburg
Head to little town of Lynchburg in Tennessee, where you’ll have some time to grab some lunch before visiting the Jack Daniels Distillery. Tour the distillery and learn about the process of producing it. Then, continue across the state to Nashville.
Day 3: Nashville
Spend today explore Nashville’s music heritage, starting with a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame. Then, head to nearby Music Row, where you visit the RCA Studio B, where Elvis record many of his hits. Later on, go to Lower Broadway, the city’s nightlife centre.
Day 4: Memphis
Leave Nashville and head to Memphis. This afternoon, take a guided tour of the legendary Sun Studio
Day 5: Graceland & National Civil Rights Museum
Explore one of America’s biggest tourist attractions today, Elvis’s former home. See the beautiful mansion, tour the aircraft he travelled in and look around his classic car collection. This afternoon, visit the National Civil Rights Museum and learn about the history of the movement. The evening is at leisure.
Day 6: Amtrak to New Orleans
Early in the morning, board the iconic ‘City of New Orleans’ Amtrak train bound for New Orleans. Travel in classic double-decker silver carriages, boasting comfortable reclining armchairs, a panoramic glass deck, and a dining car. Journey through forests, farms, and charming southern towns along the Mississippi. In the evening, spend some free time immersing yourself in live music, cabaret shows, or indulge in the city’s traditional delights like crawfish etouffee or hearty gumbo.
Day 7: New Orleans
Take a walking tour of the French Quarter this morning in the company of an expert local guide. During the tour, explore the enchanting art galleries and antique shops lining Royal Street, visit the white stucco St. Louis Cathedral and vibrant Jackson Square, bustling with artists, musicians, and fortune tellers. You’ll also stroll along the iconic Bourbon Street, the heart of the city’s nightlife.
Day 8: Free day in New Orleans
You’ll have the whole to relax and explore more of the city
Day 9: Houston & NASA
This morning, depart New Orleans and head west towards Texas. Upon reaching the outskirts of Houston, your first destination is NASA’s renowned Johnson Space Centre.
During the visit, explore the restored Mission Control, showcasing its 1965 appearance with original equipment and furniture—a truly unique experience. Additionally, see a full-size Saturn V rocket and learn about the testing and training astronauts undergo.
Day 10: San Antonio
Continuing into south Texas, reach San Antonio this afternoon for a two-night stay. Originally settled by the Spanish, San Antonio is home to the historic Alamo, a symbol of American history. In 1836, the Alamo was the site of a significant battle during the Texas Revolution, and today, explore its remains and the living history encampment, offering hands-on demonstrations of life during that time.
Day 11: Free day in San Antonio
Enjoy a day at leisure exploring the city of San Antonio.
Day 12: Dallas
Leave San Antonio and travel towards Dallas, stopping in Austin for some free time. Upon arrival in Dallas, you’ll visit the infamous Dealey Plaza, where JFK was assassinated in 1963. In the afternoon, visit the historical Stockyard District, which showcases the history of Texas’ livestock industry
Day 13: Palo Duro Canyon State Park & Amarillo
Today, drive from Dallas to Amarillo, making a stop at Palo Duro Canyon State Park, the second-largest state park in America. Palo Duro is often dubbed the Grand Canyon of Texas due to its vast size and dramatic mesa walls. Walk along trails used by Native Americans, Spanish explorers, buffalo hunters, and pioneers, marvelling at the vibrant layers of orange and red rock that form the canyon walls.
Spend on night in Amarillo. A highlight on Route 66, the city symbolizes American independence and freedom, offering a nostalgic journey through a bygone era of drive-ins and neon signs.
Day 14: Albuquerque
Leaving Amarillo, make a stop at Cadillac Ranch, a captivating public art installation along Route 66 since 1974. Created by Panhandle native Stanley Marsh and the San Franciscan art group ‘Ant Farm,’ this installation features Cadillacs buried nose-first in the ground and, visitors are encouraged to leave their mark on the cars, fostering a unique interactive experience.
Continuing the journey to Albuquerque in New Mexico, where you’ll stay for one night. The evening is free for you to explore the city.
Day 15: Williams
From Albuquerque, the journey to Willams takes you through towns like Gallup, situated in the heart of a Navajo Reserve. With 110 trading posts, shops, and galleries, Gallup stands as the undisputed Southwestern hub for authentic Native American art, making it an ideal pitstop on the road trip.
The next destination on today’s drive is the Petrified National Forest, renowned for its Triassic fossils. The park features the vibrant petrified wood of trees over 200 million years old in the south and the surreal Painted Desert in the north, characterized by colourful hills, flat-topped mesas, and sculpted buttes shaped by natural forces such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, wind erosion, and torrential flooding.
Arriving in Williams, the evening is free for you to look around and take in the old-style shops and diners.
Day 16: Grand Canyon
Today, your road trip veers off Route 66 to explore the Grand Canyon National Park, stopping at prime viewing points of this natural wonder. Witness a breathtaking display of shapes, colors, and desert light, juxtaposed with jet-black shadows cast by rock formations and stark promontories.
Day 17: Depart from Las Vegas
Drive to Las Vegas this morning for your flight home
Day 18: Arrive Home
Arrive back in the UK
Courtland Grand Hotel by Wyndham, Atlanta
Hyatt Place Opryland, Nashville
This hotel has a small outdoor pool, and a bar, which serves a room service dinner menu. All the rooms are airconditioned, with a sitting area, shower, mini-fridge, cable and wi-fi
Courtyard by Marriot – French Quarter, New Orleans
Located close to the French Quarter and Bourbon Street, this hotel offers a bistro, with breakfast and dinner options available. The rooms have shower, hairdryer, iron/board, mini-fridge, cable TV, tea/coffee-maker and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Hilton NASA Clear Lake, Houston
Overlooking Clear Lake and next to the NASA Space Centre, you’ll find a gym, outdoor pool, restaurant and bar here. The rooms are large and spacious and have TV, air conditioning, coffee maker, and overlook the lake.
Menger Hotel, San Antonio
Across from the Alamo, this is the oldest continuously operating hotel west of the Mississippi River. The on-site restaurant serves breakfast and dinner. The rooms all feature bath/shower, hairdryer, iron/board, cable TV, coffee-maker and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Courtyard by Marriot, Fort Worth
Located in the centre of Fort Worth, this hotel has a dining venue for all meals, as well as an outdoor pool and fitness room. The rooms here have a bath/shower, hairdryer, iron/board, cable TV, tea/coffee-maker and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Home2 Suites by Hilton, Amarillo
Enjoy amenities such as an indoor swimming pool, hot tub, fitness center, and vending machines. The on-site restaurant serves a daily hot breakfast. In your air-conditioned suite, you’ll find a fridge, tea/coffee facilities, seating area, desk, chair, TV, and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Hampton Inn & Suites, Albuquerque
Located in the Midtown area of the city, this hot offers an outdoor pool and fitness centre. The rooms feature a TV, a desk and chair, a seating area, a mini fridge, tea and coffee making facilities and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Comfort Inn, Williams
The Comfort Inn offers a welcoming indoor pool and hot tub for relaxation, along with a tasty hot breakfast to start your day. The cozy, modern rooms ensure a comfortable night’s sleep and includes a TV, tea/coffee facilities, seating area, desk, air-conditioning, and complimentary Wi-Fi.
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