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Nashville and Memphis
May 26, 2016 @ 10:00 AM - May 31, 2016 @ 3:00 PM$1600 – $3375
Spend 5 nights in Nashville with 1 full day-trip to Memphis: Thursday May 26th to Tuesday May 31stt– $3375.
Includes airfare, 5 nights’ accommodation at either the Loews Vanderbilt or the top rated boutique Hutton Hotel. Both ranked 4-stars and are top 10 hotels in Nashville. All included tours, lunches and dinners (no breakfast).
Deduct $200 if choosing NOT to go to Memphis, deduct $250 if flying on your own, deduct $300 if sharing a room.
Loews Vanderbilt– Voted to Travel + Leisure’s 500 Best Hotels in the World in 2015; the only AAA Four Diamond hotel in the state of Tennessee to receive the award; Awarded the AAA Four Diamond designation for 30 consecutive years. $20 million in hotel renovations in 2015, TripAdvisor’s top 10 hotels in Nashville, Certificate of Excellence.
Hutton Hotel– The premier boutique hotel in Nashville, AAA 4 diamond hotel, TripAdvisor’s top 10 hotels in Nashville, Certificate of Excellence, Forbes leading hotels in the world, a member of “The Leading Hotels of the World”, Travel & Leisure’s World’s Best Hotels- We will stay at either one of these 2, I have not decided yet which one.
RSVP ASAP with deposit– It is important to our tour schedules, hotel reservations and to guarantee Opry tickets!
Friday to Monday- If interested in just joining us for the weekend Friday to Monday please contact me to discuss.
For those who were unaware, I lived in Nashville for 5+ years and I know the city and nightlife extremely well.
This IS the current itinerary. Subject to change based on group size:
Thursday- 4+-hour “Discover Nashville” van tour. See sites such as Bicentennial Capitol State Park, Vanderbilt University, The Parthenon (see why Nashville is called, “The Athens of The South”), Tennessee State Capitol, Riverfront Park, Music Row (record labels and studios), “Honky Tonk” Row (music venues), Fort Nashborough and Downtown Nashville. Take a personal tour of the Ryman Auditorium (one of the most famous concert halls in history), RCA Studio B (Elvis recorded 262 songs at Studio B, his piano is housed here, Dolly Parton, Eddy Arnold, Tammy Wynette, Charlie Pride and Roy Orbison recorded here and over 1000 hits were recorded here) and a self-guided tour of the Country Music Hall of Fame Museum. Dinner at a top Zagat restaurant (We can go out after for music downtown)
- Friday- 10am—10pm: First climb aboard the General Jackson-The largest showboat in the world that will take guests past natural and historical sites along the banks of Nashville’s beautiful Cumberland River. Four massive decks offer excellent opportunities to see the beautiful scenery of Nashville skyline and the stunning countryside of central Tennessee. This majestic vessel was designed to recreate the impressive showboats that cruised the waters of America’s rivers in the 19th century. Then enjoy a savory Southern-style buffet in the Victorian theater (drinks not included) as we listen to a lively variety show called “Nashville Live.” The world-class cast includes two country artists, a fiddle player, guitar soloists and a live band.
After the cruise we then head off to tour the stage and backstage dressing room of the Grand Ole Opry to get a behind-the-scenes, look at country’s most famous show. Hear the stories that make up the history of the Opry, and stand in the very circle where the brightest and best of Country Music plays. Then visit the beautiful and famous Gaylord Opryland Resort and enjoy a guided tour of the incredible nine-acre resort with beautiful lush indoor gardens and waterfalls. If we have time, we will ride on a Delta Flatboat down the indoor river that navigates through this truly amazing resort. After an early ‘casual’ dinner on Friday night we head to The Grand Ole Opry 7pm-9:30 show. For more than 90 years the greatest country music stars in the world grace the Opry stage for its terrific show. This is one of the most famous music shows in the world! What began as a simple radio broadcast in 1925 is today a live entertainment phenomenon, dedicated to honoring country music’s rich history and dynamic present. The Grand Ole Opry showcases a mix of country legends and the contemporary chart-toppers who have followed in their footsteps. The Opry, an American icon and Nashville’s number-one attraction, is world-famous for creating one-of-a-kind entertainment experiences. It’s been called the “home of American music” and “country’s most famous stage.”
- Day 3- Saturday: Day trip to Memphis: 7am-10pm. (-$200 if opting out of this). Come experience the legendary character of Memphis, TN and see why this city is mentioned in more song lyrics than any other place on Earth! Memphis is the birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll, the capitol of Blues and home to some of the best BBQ. We walk in the footsteps of legends and celebrate 60 years of Rock ‘n’ Roll with a visit to Elvis Presley’s home, Graceland. We will see the burial site of Elvis, walk through his car museum and see airplanes that he used for tours then we will have a casual quick lunch is at Graceland. In the afternoon, we are off to learn what accident set Rock ‘n’ Roll in motion at Sun Studios in the heart of Downtown. Take a guided tour to see what the recording process used to be like and hear the stories of how the legends got their start: Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, and the King. Take time on your own to explore Beale Street and dive into some Blues. We might see the famous Peabody Ducks if we have time, then enjoy one of the best BBQ dinner’s before heading back.
- Sunday- Historic Nashville Tour- 9am-4pm- first we visit The Hermitage– the home of President Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the United States. Considered to be the most authentic early presidential home in the nation, the Hermitage consists of the Jackson family mansion, garden, slave quarters, and the original log cabin the family occupied in 1804. The Hermitage is one of the largest and most visited presidential homes in the United States. Today, The Hermitage is a 1,120-acre National Historic Landmark with over 30 historic buildings, that welcome 200,000 annual visitors. Historians consider President Jackson’s Hermitage the best preserved early presidential home. A guided tour of the mansion and self-guided audio tour of the museum and grounds are included as we explore The Hermitage just as President Jackson and his staff did back in 1836. Stroll the lovely formal gardens, then visit the slave quarters, the estate’s original 1804 cabin and the sight where the President and his wife were laid to rest. The Hermitage was once home to 150 slaves in addition to the Jackson family. A trip through the plantation grounds gives us an idea of what it would have been like to be a member of an elite family – or a slave – in the Antebellum South. Next we have a guided tour of The Belle Meade Plantation-As the premier thoroughbred racing and breeding farm in the South for over a century, The Belle Meade Plantation was THE center of hospitality in the 1800s. Established in 1807, this home-site tells the history of the Harding and Jackson families and the impact they had on the city of Nashville and their contribution to the development of thoroughbred racing horses in the US. Five United States Presidents have enjoyed the hospitality of the Harding and Jackson families, and the 5,400 acres that made up the Plantation were home to some of the greatest horses in racing history. As we wander the mansion and cross the grounds, our guide divulges facts about famous visitors, such as President Cleveland and General Ulysses S. Grant. After the tour of the Greek-Revival mansion and grounds, enjoy a wine tasting at the on-site winery. Includes a Southern-style cuisine at the Harding House restaurant located on the plantation grounds.
- Memorial Day- 9am-4pm We will visit the historic town of Franklin TN 1799 (where I owned my music venue), 14 miles from Nashville, Downtown Franklin boasts an award-winning Main Street, brick sidewalks, a stunning collection of Victorian buildings and a host of “Best of” accolades. It continues to earn national recognition as an authentic place that offers an atmosphere that reminds locals and visitors alike of a simpler time in our history – a place where community mattered. Honored as one of the best downtown areas in the nation when it received the “Great American Main Street” award held by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Franklin’s accolades have included the “Best Small Town in Tennessee,” “America’s Most Romantic Main Street,” and “One of America’s Greatest Antique Destinations,”. Franklin was ranked #4 “Best Places to Visit for Historic Preservation.” Travel + Leisure Magazine named Franklin 8th best town in the nation and Garden & Gun J magazine named Franklin the “Best Southern Town.” Fittingly it is on Memorial Day, that we visit Franklin and step back in time to 1864 and the Civil War’s Battle of Franklin on a guided, 7-hour tour. The Battle of Franklin was one of the worst disasters of the war for the Confederate Army, known as the five bloodiest hours of the Civil War and THE turning point that ended the Confederacy. During the American Civil War, the Battle of Franklin was fought in the city resulting in 10,000 casualties. We will see parts of the landmarked historic town of Franklin, view its historic sites and visit the Lotz House and/or Carter House and the Carnton Plantation for guided tours to learn about their roles during the Civil War and American History. Our casual southern lunch is at the famous Puckett’s Grocery. Dinner back in Nashville at a top rated restaurant.
Restaurants are the last thing I work on as it is easier when I know the group size but these are a few we are working with already. Subject to change (we will NOT be dining at all of these, but working with them all currently).
The Southern- 25 food, 25 décor Zagat- “Incredible” “gourmet twists” on Southern classics keep the room “buzzing” at this all-day SoBro eatery, a “real winner” for “high-grade” grass-fed steaks and a “phenomenal” oyster bar in “super-cool” environs that “put you in a good mood”; with “fantastic” servers to round out the ever-“popular” experience, most agree “you’re getting your money’s worth.”
Prima- 23 Food, 27 Décor- Sleek” and “oozing sex appeal”, this “breathtaking” This Gulch Area New American gives off a “movie-set feel” with “dramatic” optical-fiber chandeliers, “luxurious booths” and a marble bar; the “thoughtful’ cuisine and “exceptional” service round out a “must-try” experience – provided “you’re willing to spend a pretty penny.”
Capitol Grille- 26 food, 26 décor-Diners celebrating “special occasions” fill this “old-school” Downtowner in the “beautifully restored” Hermitage Hotel for “top-notch” Southern classics; “outstanding” service comes with the territory, along with an “expensive bill”, and don’t miss a peek at its “world-famous” art deco men’s room.
Tours– According to TripAdvisor we will be doing the #1,#2,#3,#5,#6,#8,#10 top things to do in Nashville.
Why Nashville?- In 2015 Nashville was crowned “Destination of the Year” in Travel + Leisure magazine’s Readers Choice poll. They go on to say- “Receiving 15.8 percent of the votes — nearly twice as many as second-place destination, Charleston. Music City topped the list of ALL international and domestic locations beating out international hot spots like Australia, Cuba, Greece, Iceland, Istanbul and Paris as well as fellow domestic darling, New Orleans.” According to Travel + Leisure, “Nashville is a perennial tourist favorite, reveling in its ‘It-City’ status for a while now, but the Tennessee capital only gets more exciting each year… the real pull for travelers visiting Nashville in 2015 was the food!!!”.
“Constant restaurant openings by top chefs are solidifying Nashville’s place as THE culinary capital in the new ‘American South”. According to GQ– Nashville has “Food Worth Flying For”- The city’s creative energy touches everybody – and the ingenious chefs are no exception. This is talent you can literally taste. Whether it’s humble Southern fare or haute cuisine you’re after- you’ll find authentic Nashville flavors all over town.”
The New York Times writes, “Nashville’s farm-to-table eateries are making major waves on the foodie scene, with an infusion of creative genius-chefs moving to Tennessee’s capital to carve out a name for themselves in this emerging epicurean culture.” Eateries throughout Nashville have also received accolades from Conde Nast– “New hotels and tours, emerging food scenes, and special events makes Nashville one of the hottest travel destinations with enterprising chefs that are now the new country-music stars, bringing refined yet unfussy restaurants to Music City. Conde Nast goes on to say, “Nashville seems to be where everyone has just been or is on their way to right now, from friends to colleagues everyone is heading out there and there’s enough going on food-wise to warrant a trip solely for eating, which we and local tastemakers have been telling you about for a while. If you don’t get out to Nashville soon, you might find yourself in the tragically unhip category.”- Conde Nast
Nashville is No. 5 on Forbes.com’s list of cities Americans are “flocking to”, and The New York Times lists Music City #15 on their list of “52 Places to Go”, and more impressively, one of the most “coveted international travel destinations” for foreigners. In fact, Tripadvisor listed Nashville #1 for international travelers.
The Times goes on to tout Nashville’s music scene as well, “Nashville’s music scene rivals the other greats such as Austin, New Orleans, New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.” It ranked second on Travel+Leisure’s, “America’s Favorite Cities” survey, and 2nd for America’s Best Live Music City” (after New Orleans) though the experts (journalists, musicians, academics, producers) ranked Nashville #1 Best Live Music City! According to Forbes, “Nashville scored highest in a Music Index as a center for musicians and the music industry. Almost every venue in town offers live music: coffee shops, restaurants, bars and even the airport! Music continues to define this city’s heart and soul. No doubt about it: Nashville is the center of the universe for country music fans. Just take a short walk down almost any street to see the countless clubs, bars, and restaurants made famous by country stars, past and present. And none of these venues is more legendary than the Grand Ole Opry. Everyone who’s anyone has performed there.”
Nashville is the only U.S. city on Lonely Planet’s high-profile Top 10 list for 2016- “‘Music City’ pulls off a neat trick: meeting your expectations at the same time as subverting them. Yes, country is still the soul of the place, but Nashville is also experiencing rapid gentrification….the crooners on lower Broadway may still sing of heartbreak and ruin, but everyone else is having a ball in this Southern boom town….as tastemakers are busy opening hip breweries, coffee roasters and independent fashion stores and transforming once-abandoned warehouses into creative retail space and top notch restaurants. The new dining scene in particular is unrecognizable: while carnivores shouldn’t miss the region’s signature barbecue and ‘meat and three’, celebrated chefs and food talent are bringing a sleeker brand of eatery to town. Many new Nashville restaurants have been listed as some of the country’s finest new restaurants.”- Lonely Planet. The popularity of the TV show “Nashville” has helped boost tourism as Nashville hosted a record-breaking 13.1 million tourists and it continues to grow. Times are good in Nashville and the spoils are there for the taking.