Self-Drive - Music & Movie Trails
(14 days / 13 nights - Begins & Ends Chicago)

Tour Itinerary

Day 01 - Chicago Arrival
Arrive in Chicago. Pick up your rental car at the airport and proceed to your hotel. Enjoy your evening at leisure. Hotel: Doubletree Hotel Chicago or similar

Day 02 - Chicago
This morning at 08:00 hours you will be met in the lobby of the hotel by a representative for a complete briefing on your tour. While exploring this vibrant city located on the shores of Lake Michigan, you will notice many famous landmarks and buildings from films such as My Big Fat Greek Wedding, While You Were Sleeping, and The Road to Perdition, not to mention The Blues Brothers film. Try and locate the Blues Brothers Soul Food restaurant on Maxwell Street, and don’t forget to pay a visit to the original House of Blues jazz club.

Day 03 - Chicago – St. Louis
Driving distance: 290 mi./460 km.
“Meet Me in St. Louis” is a summary of today’s journey. Upon arrival, take a tram ride to the top of the famous St. Louis Arch and get a city view from 630 feet. Then take time to view Lewis & Clark: Great Journey West, a movie produced by the National Geographic Society and viewed on a giant four-story screen at the Gateway Arch River front.
Hotel: Red Roof Inn Westport or similar

Day 04 - St. Louis – Memphis
Driving Distance: 280 mi./451 km.
Memphis offers a multitude of musical and movie moments, and there are two nights to explore your favourites. Start with a visit to Graceland, home of the late Elvis Presley, then choose between the Rock & Soul Museum, the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, the Gibson Guitar factory, or Sun Studio where musicians such as B.B. King, Elvis Presley, and Jerry Lee Lewis recorded rock’n’roll hits.
Hotel: Red Roof Inn Downtown Memphis or similar

Day 05 - Memphis
During your stay, check for any outdoor concerts at the Mud Island outdoor amphi theater. Located right on the Mississippi River. Mud Island River Park is a historical and scenic outdoor area. Or, dine in B.B. King’s restaurant on famous Beale Street.

Day 06 - Memphis – Vicksburg
Driving Distance: 146 mi./234 km.
Travel from Memphis to Clarksdale, heart of the Delta Blues. Stop to tour the Delta Blues Museum filled with memorabilia from B.B. King and Muddy Waters. Follow the banks of the Mississippi River along Hwy 1, and take the opportunity to roll the dice in one of many Mississippi casinos; they never close!
Hotel: Quality Inn & Suites of Vicksburg or similar

Day 07 - Vicksburg – New Orleans
Driving Distance: 294 mi./470 km.
On to the Big Easy! New Orleans is a jazz lover’s paradise, and the familiar backdrop in a string of successful movies. The jazz & blues clubs are too numerous to mention, but there are two days in New Orleans to check them out!
Hotel: Holiday Inn Downtown Superdome or similar

Day 08 - New Orleans
Continue to explore this city of riverboats, jazz, and Creole cuisine. Take time to visit the beautiful Garden Ructer or perhaps take a ride on the mighty Mississippi River.

Day 09 - New Orleans – Birmingham
Driving Distance: 340 mi./544 km.
Sweet Home Alabama! Today, we head for Birmingham, Alabama. For music fans, the highlight would be a visit to the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame. Entrance to this exhibition is free and inside, you’ll find a wonderful tribute to jazz greats with ties to Alabama. For movie lovers, try and locate the original Whistle Stop Café, the setting for the novel, and later film, Fried Green Tomatoes. Although scenes in the movie were actually filmed in Atlanta, the original café is located in North Irondale, just outside of Birmingham.
Hotel: Econolodge Oxmoor or similar

Day 10 - Birmingham – Chattanooga
Driving Distance: 148 mi./238 km.
Returning to Tennessee today, set forth to Chattanooga. Summer travellers should check the dates of the annual Chattanooga Riverbend Festival. While in Tennessee, don’t miss the opportunity to try a ‘moon pie’, a favourite Southern snack since the early 1900s.
Hotel: Holiday Inn Chattanooga Choo Choo or similar

Day 11 - Chattanooga – Nashville
Driving Distance: 133 mi./213 km.
Nashville, ‘Music City USA’ is the destination today. Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame, a multimedia music shrine including live performances, movie theatres, costumes, instruments and other artifacts detailing country music’s colorful history. Don’t miss a visit to the Ryman Auditorium and a night at the Grand Ole Opry. Hotel: Guesthouse International Inn & Suites or similar

Day 12 - Nashville – Louisville
Driving Distance: 175 mi./280 km.
From Blue Grass to Brass Bands, Kentucky has popular music for every listener. Today’s destination is Louisville, Kentucky, home of the famous Kentucky Derby, which takes place at Churchill Downs the first Saturday each May. Recently featured in the movie Sea Biscuit, Churchill Downs is the mecca of American horse racing and home of the Kentucky Derby Museum. Take a short side trip to Bardstown and visit My Old Kentucky Home State Park, the inspiration for Stephen Foster’s anthem of the same name, which is sung by the crowds every year at the Kentucky Derby. No visit to Kentucky would be complete without a visit to a bourbon distillery, but remember that many Kentucky counties are “dry,” so often there are no tastings. Baseball fans should ensure they fit in a visit to the Louisville Slugger Museum, an interactive museum honouring many of baseball’s greats.
Hotel: Baymont Inn & Suites or similardrive tours

Day 13 - Louisville – Chicago
Driving Distance: 300 mi./480 km.
Today, your tour returns you to the Windy City, Chicago, having visited seven different states, experienced many popular movie set locations, and heard music ranging from blues to jazz to soul to gospel to country to bluegrass and rock’n’roll.
Hotel: Doubletree Hotel Chicago or similar

Day 14 - Chicago
A final day in Chicago before you return the car at the airport before your departure flight.

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