Discovering the Old South    *alt*

13 days, from £2445
Audley
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Description

Sample the highlights of the Deep South, beginning in New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz and a city of many different cultures. Here you can try delicious Cajun and Creole dishes such as jambalaya, gumbo and grits, visit intimate bars where talented saxophonists play each night, and explore the city's past with a stroll through the historic French Quarter. Venture through Natchez and Vicksburg, where you can take guided tours of antebellum mansions once owned by wealthy plantation owners and learn about the Civil War. Meanwhile, the waterside city of Mobile offers historic architecture, beautiful botanical gardens to explore and views across the bay.

Places visited
- New Orleans
- Vacherie
- Natchez
- Vicksburg
- Mobile

Highlights
- Explore the grand antebellum homes and plantation mansions along the Mississippi.
- Enjoy the truly unique Cajun culture, sampling the array of Cajun and Creole dishes on offer.
- Wander the streets of New Orleans, the birthplace of Jazz and home to the world famous French Quarter.
- Take in the views across the delta from the expansive Mobile Bay.

Good for:
Cultural
Self-drive
Classic

Itinerary


 Day 1 New Orleans

International outbound flight , New Orleans
Today you begin your journey by boarding your international outbound flight to New Orleans. Upon arrival into New Orleans make your way to your accommodation where the remainder of the day is free to relax after your journey. You could spend the evening exploring Frenchman Street, which is lined with intimate jazz bars where you can enjoy a drink while watching a live band.


 Day 2 New Orleans

New Orleans
Spend the day exploring New Orleans, one of the USA's most captivating cities. A good place to start is the famous French Quarter with its Caribbean-colonial architecture. You could also join a cookery course to learn how to make Creole and Cajun dishes such as jambalaya and gumbo, or take a stroll through the affluent Garden District with its opulent mansions and distinctive cemetery filled with elegant above-ground vaults.


 Day 3 New Orleans

New Orleans
Cajun country is the gateway to the Atchafalaya Basin, the largest wetland area in the USA. Here you can enjoy the wild beauty of swamps, bayous and marshes on a three and a half hour shared boat trip. Your local guide will tell you about the ecology of the area and point out any wildlife you encounter, which may include alligators, nutria (river rats) and migratory birdlife.


 Day 4 Vacherie

New Orleans , Vacherie
Make your own way to your nearest car hire depot this morning, where your car will be ready to collect. All insurances, road maps and a sat-nav are included. Heading into plantation country, the day is spent exploring the historic plantation homes of the area such as Oak Alley Plantation, Laura Plantation, San Francisco Plantation and Houmas House. We can arrange guided tours of these grand mansions, where you'll learn all about the region's slave trade roots and the lives of the wealthy plantation owners. Your driving time between New Orleans and the city of Vacherie is around two and a half hours, not including any stops you make.


 Day 5 Natchez

Vacherie , Natchez
Following the winding Mississippi river upstream, you'll drive for three hours from plantation country to the charming river town of Natchez. Upon arrival to your hotel the remainder of the day is free to relax or explore at your leisure. The town is the oldest on the Mississippi and you'll find several museums detailing its history. Heading to Bliff Park at sunset allows for beautiful views over the river.


 Day 6 Natchez

Natchez
Spend the day getting to know Natchez. Its historic stately mansions survived the Civil War and have been beautifully restored. Cycling and walking trails criss-cross the area, many along the historic Natchez Trace Parkway.


 Day 7 Vicksburg

Natchez , Vicksburg
Continuing northwards, your two hour drive brings you to the historical town of Vicksburg, site to some of the most prominent battles of the civil war. You may wish to take a tour of the graceful antebellum homes that stood proudly through the siege of the Vicksburg battle, or perhaps enjoy one of the many re-enactments at landmarks dotted throughout the town. Alternatively, visit the Union and Confederate cemeteries, which commemorate the men from both the North and the South that fell during the war.


 Day 8 Vicksburg

Vicksburg
Enjoy a full day exploring Vicksburg. Today you could discover four Mississippi Blues Trail markers commemorating Highway 61 South, the Red Tops, and famous blues musicians Willie Dixon and Marcus Bottom. Alternatively, you could visit historic homes such as the Duff Green Mansion, which served as a hospital for Confederate and Union soldiers during the Civil War.


 Day 9 Mobile

Vicksburg , Mobile
Make your way through Mississippi today, driving for four hours through the town of Hattiesburg, home to the University of Southern Mississippi, to the historic bay city of Mobile. Upon arrival into Mobile, spend the afternoon exploring the city's shops, museums and galleries at your leisure or relaxing in your hotel.


 Day 10 Mobile

Mobile
Once called the Paris of the South, Mobile has long been the cultural centre of the Gulf Coast and you'll find an authentic experience found nowhere else in the southern United States. Home to America's original Mardi Gras, well preserved in the Mardi Gras Museum, and Battleship Memorial Park, home of the USS Alabama, your first day in Mobile will give you lots to explore.


 Day 11 Mobile

Mobile
Spend another day in Mobile. Today you may wish to head south to the beautiful Bellingrath Gardens. Throughout the year, this tranquil garden estate is in full bloom with camellias in the winter, azaleas in the spring, roses in the summer and chrysanthemums in autumn. Exploring the house here provides an insight into 1930s architecture, and you can enjoy views across the delta.


 Day 12 International return flight

Mobile , International return flight
There's time this morning for any last-minute shopping and sight-seeing before you make the two hour drive back to New Orleans in time for your onward flight.


 Day 13 International return flight

International return flight
Arrive home today to complete your journey.