Fly to Detroit, meet your Tour Manager and transfer to your first hotel for two nights in Detroit, the Motor City.
In 1959, Berry Gordy Jr founded a music empire that swept the globe, captured hearts and minds everywhere, and collected every music industry accolade going. Today, you’ll have the opportunity to pay homage to this extraordinary legacy with a visit to the Hitsville USA Motown Museum. Here, you’ll have the chance to stand in Studio A, where countless hits (and quite possibly your favourite songs) were recorded.
You’ll also visit the vast, extraordinary Henry Ford museum to see how his dream of "opening the highways to all mankind" became a reality, as living exhibits bring to life America’s traditions of ingenuity and innovation.
Today you’ll hit the highway, and follow I-90 (America's longest interstate) through Indiana and around Lake Michigan to Chicago.
Don’t miss the chance to explore the highlights of the city where the term ’jazz’ was first coined and where the electric sound of the Chicago Blues was created as southern musicians drifted north. on today’s optional guided. Discover Chicago’s main landmarks, including Wrigley Field and Soldier Field - homes to the Cubs and Bears respectively - lakeside Grant Park and the iconic, enigmatic Bean.
You’ll also be able to take in the extraordinary view from one of the city’s skyscrapers, wander the lakefront parks and, later, perhaps take in a famous blues club, such as Buddy Guy’s famous Legends bar. The city is a foodie paradise where you'll find everything from excellent, authentic Mexican to internationally renowned fine dining as well as the city's famous deep-pan pizzas and Italian beef sandwiches.
Trace the course of Route 66 as we head south - via Springfield, Illinois, and its wayside celebrations of the Mother Road - to St. Louis. Birthplace of Chuck Berry, and once home to the Isley Brothers, and Ike and Tina Turner, it’s a lively city that still boasts an incredibly diverse music scene.
Today’s explorations begin with a drive through St. Louis, past the Gateway Arch, the world’s tallest arch, which towers over the Mississippi and the city, before we turn south and head into Tennessee and Elvis’s beloved hometown, Memphis. Forever linked with The King, Memphis also boasts an extraordinary musical heritage that’s a match for any major city. Soak up the unique atmosphere - and the sounds - on Beale Street, the “home of the blues”, this evening as you spend the first of two nights in the Elvis-themed Guesthouse at Graceland.
Today you’ll have the chance to visit Sun Studio, the recording birthplace of legends from Elvis to BB King, and perhaps the most famous southern ’mansion’ of all: Elvis’s iconic Graceland.
Once you’ve worked up an appetite sightseeing and paying your respects to The King, why not head out to enjoy a feast of pulled pork, ribs, pit beans and mac and cheese? After all, Memphis is one of America’s barbecue capitals.
Continuing your journey through The South, today, you’ll head to Nashville. Nashville’s place in country music history is unmatched. It is home to Studio B, the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Ryman Auditorium (the original home of the Grand Ole Opry) and the 70-year-old country music icon the Ernest Tubb Record Shop, which still stands at 417 Broadway.
Today’s excursion explores the sites, sounds and stories of country music. See RCA Studio B, where Elvis Presley, The Everly Brothers, Roy Orbison, Dolly Parton and many others recorded, and visit the fascinating Country Music Hall of Fame. In the evening, there’s another chance to catch more live music at one of the city’s 150-plus live music venues.
Rosine, Kentucky, was the birthplace of bluegrass legend and father of country music, Bill Monroe, whose ‘Blue Moon of Kentucky’ found worldwide fame as Elvis’ first B-side.
You’ll spend the night in Louisville, home of the Kentucky Derby and the iconic baseball bat the Louisville Slugger (which even has its own museum in the city), and the birthplace of Muhammad Ali.
Today we’ll head north east, through the rolling woodlands and green fields of Ohio, back towards the Great Lakes. Late this afternoon we’ll arrive in Cleveland, on the southern shore of Lake Erie. The USA’s 52st largest city, Cleveland is also a musical melting pot that has given the world artists as varied as Bobby Womack, Tracy Chapman, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and the industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails.
This morning brings the final highlight of your holiday – a visit to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This treasure chest of popular culture celebrates over six decades of the world’s most exciting music, and its list of inductees is a roll call of rock royalty, pop icons, record producers and the stars of hip-hop and R&B. The mix of permanent and temporary exhibits is an absolute must-see for any fan of popular music.
After a fascinating few hours here we’ll say goodbye to Cleveland and head around Lake Erie to Detroit to check in for your flight home.
You’ll reach the UK this morning, after an overnight flight.
The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately 30 minutes.
When travelling to the USA, British citizens require passports with an integrated chip (shown on the front by a small rectangular symbol beneath the word PASSPORT), valid beyond the return date from the USA. Visas are not normally required for entry, but visitors must apply for an ESTA online with US Immigration at least 72 hours before departure at www.cbp.gov/esta . The current charge is $14 for British Citizens. British subjects and anyone who has a criminal record or has ever been arrested should consult the US Embassy as a visa may be required. Note too that if you have visited Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria since March 2011, or have dual nationality with any of these countries, you do require a US visa and cannot travel on the Visa Waiver Program.
Visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out the latest Foreign And Commonwealth Office travel advice for your holiday destination, as well as information about passports and visas.
Should circumstances require, we reserve the right to accommodate you in alternative hotels, of a similar standard, nearby. Full details of your hotels will be sent with your Final Travel Documents.
Standard hotel rooms in North America will contain one or two double- or queen-sized beds, and it is not possible to add extra beds to the room. Parties consisting of more than two travellers, but who have only booked one room, will be expected to make use of the two beds provided. If this is a concern, you may wish to consider booking more than one room for your group.
All outbound flights depart and arrive on the same day. All return flights leave in the evening and land in the UK the next day. On-board meals will usually include lunch and a snack on outward flights, and dinner and breakfast on the flight home. Soft drinks are complimentary, but some airlines will charge for alcoholic drinks.
You are permitted to take one suitcase per person on the aircraft, which should not exceed 23kg.
Smoking is not permitted on any coach forming part of your holiday, though regular stops will be made for your comfort en route. The majority of hotels in North America are non-smoking throughout, including in all bedrooms. In general smoking outside is acceptable, but do look out for signs prohibiting this close to public entrances or bus stops. Smoking is prohibited, except in designated spaces both indoors and on deck, when on your cruise.
Gratuities are a way of life in North America, and it is generally accepted that they form part of a person's earnings. The customary gratuity for a coach driver or Tour Manager is about $5 per person per day. It is normal to tip 15-20 per cent of the bill for a taxi or in a restaurant, and to leave a dollar or so per drink in a bar.
If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.
The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.
This offer applies to new bookings on air-inclusive holidays and river cruise only made between 1st and 28th February 2019 (inclusive) only. Prices shown when booking do not include the discount. The discount will be applied to your booking once the promo code (FEB5) has been entered and will be confirmed before purchase. The discount applies to your final holiday price at the time of booking (excluding holiday insurance if selected). This offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer, is subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time.