Zz – “Pardon me boy. . .” Tennessee Rails & Trails


May 19 – 26, 2013


Special Features

  • Platinum Tour of Graceland
  • Tour Gibson Guitars and Sun Studios
  • Stay in the Famous Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel
  • Ride the Rails in Chattanooga
  • Lookout Mountain Incline Railway
  • Lunch aboard the Steamboat Belle
  • Visit the Tennessee Aquarium
  • Experience Belle Meade and Belmont Plantations
  • Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame
  • Visit the historic Ryman Auditorium
  • See a show at the Grand Ole Opry

Tennessee, the Volunteer state! With its diverse landscape, southern hospitality and mild weather it just makes sense to explore Tennessee, for there is something for everyone here.  We cross the state from East to West to take in the highlights of three major cities; Memphis, Chattanooga and Nashville- from Country to Rock ‘n Roll, steamships to railroads and country homes to city life, this tour has it all!


Double: $1,170/pp
Single: $1,525/pp
Triple: $1,070/pp
Trip Protection Gold $120/pp

Day 1, Sunday, May 19

We start our tour in a big way! After the short ride to Memphis we take a platinum tour of Graceland. This is the best way to get the full Graceland experience. We will have a tour of the mansion and grounds, his two custom airplanes, and his automobile museum. After learning more than we ever thought possible about Elvis we will head over to our hotel in time for hot appetizers and drinks.
LODGING:  Drury Inn and Suites

Day 2, Monday, May 20

This morning we are joined by a local guide that will treat us to some stories of Memphis before Elvis, the Blues or Beale Street. So as not to forget the influence of music in Memphis we will visit Gibson guitars, and Sun studios in the afternoon. You will have some free time on Beale Street to shop or hear some music-you may even see the Ducks at the Peabody Hotel! 
LODGING:  Drury Inn & Suites
MEALS:  Breakfast

Day 3, Tuesday, May 21

After a stop at the Danny Thomas Pavilion at the amazing St Jude’s children’s research hospital, we head toward Chattanooga. “Pardon me boy, is that the……” YES! It is the Historic Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel. The lobby is what was once the grand terminal station and some of the rail cars are being used as diners on the property.  You will have free time to explore the grounds, visit the train museum or simply relax in the beautiful Victorian Lounge.
LODGING:  Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel
MEALS:  Breakfast

Day 4, Wednesday, May 22

It is tough to visit Chattanooga without noticing the importance of the railroad in this area. This morning we take a ride on the Tennessee Valley Local service crossing four bridges and passing through a pre-civil war Missionary Ridge Tunnel that was completed in 1858. When the train stops we get to see it rotate on a turntable and visit the restoration shop before the return trip. After lunch we will ride the incline railway to the top of Lookout Mountain. Here you will visit historic Point Park, a National Park that commemorates the Battles for Chattanooga during the Civil War. You will hear a brief presentation and be able to view a spectacular 3-D electronic map that features 5,000 miniature soldiers, 650 lights and sound effects. Then take time to visit Ruby Falls, America’s highest indoor waterfall. Marvel at the  rock formations as you take the path back to the falls.
LODGING:  Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel
MEALS:  Breakfast

Day 5, Thursday, May 23

You have your morning to yourself to rest and relax or take the shuttle into town if you are feeling adventurous. But we have lunch planned aboard the Southern Belle Steamboat and you won’t want to miss that! Enjoy a BBQ buffet lunch while cruising along the scenic Tennessee River. Then visit one of the most popular attractions in the entire state; the Tennessee Aquarium. The aquarium can take you on two amazing journeys; the river journey and the ocean journey, both treating you to the amazing sights and sounds and creatures in their water habitat.
LODGING:  Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel
MEALS:  Breakfast  Lunch

Day 6, Friday, May 24

This morning we head to the famed Music City-Nashville! We spend today  being wined and dined in two of Nashville’s most stately homes. We will be treated to a tour, lunch and wine tasting at the gorgeous Belle Meade Plantation. We then continue over to Tennessee’s largest house museum and one of the few 19th century homes whose history revolves around a woman, Belmont Mansion. After touring her lovely home we will enjoy a scrumptious dessert before checking into our Nashville hotel. 
LODGING:  Drury Inn & Suites
MEALS:  Breakfast  Lunch

Day 7, Saturday, May 25

Today we see why Nashville has the nickname “the Music City”. First we take a self guided tour through the historic Ryman Auditorium. Long before the Grand Ole Opry started production in 1945, the Ryman hosted dozens of famous people including Helen Keller, Charlie Chaplin and Katherine Hepburn. After some free time in downtown Nashville we will tour the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Here they have identified and preserved the evolving history and traditions of country music. This has been the home of “America’s Music” since 1967. We have our Farewell dinner tonight and end with a rousing show at the Grand Ole Opry! Wow! What a way to wrap up a great tour of Tennessee!
LODGING:  Drury Inn & Suites
MEALS:  Breakfast  Dinner

Day 8, Sunday, May 26

With music still playing in our heads we take the short return trip back to Springfield. With new friends and wonderful memories of the great state of Tennessee.
MEALS:  Breakfast

Highlighted items are part of the travel experience.