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Tracks of the Deep South

Charlotte to New Orleans

Trip Code: RJTDSG13
13 Days
  • Travel & Accommodation
  • Map & Itinerary
  • Similar Trips

Trip Inclusions

  • Services of a Great Rail Journeys Tour Escort and expert local guides
  • 12 nights in premium hotel accommodation
  • Tipping and airport transfers
  • Tour the Jack Daniels Distillery in Lynchburg
  • See a live show at Grand Ole Opry
  • Explore the life of Elvis Presley and visit Graceland
  • Take Amtrak’s City of New Orleans service to Hammond
  • Enjoy a historic-themed cruise in New Orleans

Map & Itinerary

Trip Notes

  • Itinerary, inclusions and pricing are subject to change
  • All prices include airport transfers and tipping
  • Porterage is not included
  • Hotels are subject to change and will be confirmed at documentation
  • No meals are included in this tour
  • Prices are for land/rail only. Flights not included unless specified
USA Map 2025 RJTDSG13
Charlotte to New Orleans

Designed exclusively for our guests

Insider Experience

Enjoy an included special or unique excursion or event

Your journey through America’s Deep South begins today on arrival in the city of Charlotte. Here, you’ll be met and transferred to our city centre hotel. In this sleek modern city, Downtown is known as Uptown, due to its position on a slight ridge. Our hotel is right in the heart of Uptown, which has a cosmopolitan atmosphere, pedestrianised streets and a great range of restaurants to choose from when you head out for dinner this evening.

Stay: Courtyard Charlotte City Centre

Travel by coach to Gatlinburg, Tennessee with a stopover in Ashville, in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. See Biltmore House, once the home of the railroad magnate, George Vanderbilt and his family. Enjoy a buffet lunch at the Stable Cafe before a self-guided tour of this grand, historic estate.

Continue to Gatlinburg, mountain resort town at the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Check into your hotel and explore the town. Discover local restaurants of typical Deep South fare, steakhouses and Cajun-style restaurants plus the local brewery and a 'moonshine' distillery.

Stay: Two Nights, Gatlinburg, Park Vista DoubleTree

Enjoy a tour highlight as you journey into the fabulous Smoky Mountains National Park on the historic Great Smoky Mountains Railroad. Follow the Tennessee and Nantahala River aboard a restored heritage railway, crossing a historic bridge into the stunning Nantahala Gorge. Relax and enjoy the scenery on this four-hour journey and choose from a range of onboard dining options.

We transfer back to our hotel in Gatlinburg and have another chance this evening to savour some great Southern food in one of the town's inviting restaurants. Local specialities to try are the clam chowder, crab stuffed with shrimps, and seafood hush puppies.


Journey to Chattanooga, set on the banks of the Tennessee River and famous for its railways and surrounded by the Appalachian Mountains, Chattanooga's official nickname is 'Scenic City'. Board the Lookout Mountain Incline Railway for a trip on one of the world's steepest passenger railways and enjoy sprawling views of the town. Return to Chattanooga to check into your hotel and explore the buzzing city and its many southern style eateries, bars and bluegrass music venues.

Stay: Chattanooga, DoubleTree by Hilton Downtown

Visit the iconic Jack Daniels distillery for a tour and whiskey tasting en route to Nashville. Since the 1940s, Nashville has been synonymous with country music, with its collection of recording studios and record labels on ‘Music Row’ and the Ryman Auditorium, home of the Grand Ole Opry for three decades. In the early evening we visit one of Nashville's most famous institutions, the legendary Grand Ole Opry, an excellent introduction to Nashville's music heritage.

Stay: Three Nights, Nashville, Hyatt Place

This morning delve further into Nashville's musical history on a guided tour which introduces you to the main sights of the city. Visit the legendary RCA Studio B, where artists including Elvis, The Everly Brothers and Dolly Parton once cut records and wrote songs. Our guided tour ends at the fantastic Country Music Hall of Fame, the world's largest music museum. The rest of the day is free to enjoy at leisure.

Today is yours to explore Nashville as you choose. You might like to take a tour tracing the city’s Civil War and plantation history. Alternatively, why not join a walking tour to explore the city’s local honky-tonk heritage or dine out in Nashville’s collection of cafes, bars and restaurants (own expense).

Close up of a musican playing the banjo

Your journey continues to Jackson today. The capital of Mississippi, this city hosts many significant sights of the civil rights movement. From here, perhaps visit the West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center (own expense). Then it’s time to head for Memphis on the mighty Mississippi River.

Stay: Two Nights, Memphis, The Guesthouse at Graceland

Begin your day with a visit to Graceland - the mansion Elvis Presley called home. Enjoy a fascinating insight into the King of Rock' n' Roll as we experience his preserved living quarters with an eclectic mix of memorabilia on display and admire his incredible car collections.

This afternoon discover the main attractions of Memphis' musical history. We visit the iconic Sun Studio, where legendary blues artists Howling Wolf and BB King first cut records. The studio also claims the title of 'the birthplace of rock 'n' roll’. Be transferred back to your hotel and the rest of the afternoon and evening is free. Perhaps explore Beale Street, known as rock'n'roll street and the birthplace of the Blues. With live music in every bar, the street buzzes with an upbeat energy and fun atmosphere.

Show cases some of the famous costumes Elvis wore


Take Amtrak’s City of New Orleans service. It is widely claimed that the blues spread along this railroad and you will have the chance to follow this iconic route as the pretty towns of Brookhaven and McComb lead into the exotic Cajun swamps of the Louisiana Bayou.

This morning you’ll board Amtrak’s City of New Orleans service, heading through Mississippi to Louisiana. Stopping in the city of Hammond, you’ll be transported back in time on a tour of Oak Alley Plantation, located on the banks of the Mississippi, before continuing to New Orleans for a three-night stay.

Stay: Three Nights, New Orleans, Sheraton Downtown

This morning, enjoy a tour of New Orleans’ French Quarter. Be sure to stop at Cafe Du Monde for beignets (donuts) and a coffee. After lunch, take a cruise along the Mississippi, joined by a local historian who shares insights into the city’s past as you sail downriver to the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and the historic Chalmette Battlefield. The ‘Big Easy’ boasts unique architecture, influenced by Spanish, French, Creole and American styles, representative of the cultural melting pot that the city has become. Perhaps take a stroll and experience these influences or sample some of the cuisine for which New Orleans is famous.

Red and yellow street car travelling the palm lined street with buildings either side

Today, continue your discovery of New Orleans with time at leisure. Perhaps walk to the Mardi Gras Grandstand, the venue for the city’s famous annual parade.

This morning, your journey comes to an end as you are transferred to the airport for your onward flight.

Travelmarvel's program runs smoothly from go to whoa, with great guides, perfectly paced excursions.