The Sumptuous Soul of America

13 night tour - Starting in Chicago, Illinois - ending in New Orleans, Louisiana.

A Gold Escorted Tour with Insight Vacations.

Insight Vacations Gold Escorted journeys offer the ultimate in luxury touring with each itinerary carefully crafted to ensure the finest hotels, epicurean delights and absolute comfort. Enjoy VIP return private UK airport transfers, luxury hotels, business class legroom and complimentary WiFi and water onboard luxury motorcoaches.

Rhythms and flavours loom large in the U.S. psyche, and these two great pleasures – music and food – are at the forefront on this sensual journey through the American heartland. There can be no better place to start than Chicago, a great food city, known also for its jazz and blues. Moving south, share in the secrets of some of the nation's favourite drinks and pastimes, before reaching the musical meccas of Nashville and Memphis. Then head down through the Mississippi Delta that shaped the American story in so many ways, and on to zesty New Orleans, a beacon for both gastronomes and saxophones.

With mainly two-night stops, kick back, relax and enjoy this fascinating journey through the heart of a nation's musical and culinary heritage.

2016 Guaranteed departure dates:
May 08th
September 04th
View Itinerary Details

Day 1: Chicago, the Windy City

Enjoy your complimentary private V.I.P. door-to-door transfer to your UK departure airport. Welcome to Chicago! Upon arrival at Chicago International Airport, a transfer takes you to your exclusive retreat high above the Magnificent Mile in Chicago's Gold Coast. At 6.00 pm, join your Tour Director for a Welcome Reception with drinks and a light meal.

Hotel: Ritz Carlton Chicago

Welcome Dinner

Day 2: Scaling Chicago

After a restful night's sleep, start your discovery with one of the Windy City's greatest highs, the 360 Chicago where you get what many call Chicago's best view. Complete with interactive telescopes, this 1,000-foot high vantage point is an experience you'll never forget. Continue your exploration during a 90-minute architectural river cruise and discover how the Great Fire of 1871 paved the way for the birth of the skyscraper. See The Trump Tower, Bertrand Goldberg building, Grant Park and learn about the extreme influence that Chicago still has on the world of modern architecture. Tonight, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.

Hotel: Ritz Carlton Chicago

Full Breakfast, Dinner

Day 3: St. Louis, the Gateway to the West

Continue along to St. Louis and get ready for a real taste of America's Midwest with a guided tour of the Anheuser-Busch Brewery. Witness all parts of A-B (as Anheuser-Busch is known locally) production from the Clydesdales stables to the tasting room and, of course, enjoy a sampling of the famous beer. Check into your luxurious downtown hotel.

Hotel: Four Seasons St. Louis

Full Breakfast

Day 4: St Louis Arch to Louisville

Get a bird's-eye view of the city this morning with a visit to the top of the famed St. Louis Gateway Arch standing 630 ft tall. Then head east through the Hoosier National Forest to Louisville.

Hotel: The Brown Hotel

Full Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Spirited Residents and Resident Spirits of Louisville

This morning, visit a bourbon distillery. During a guided tour, discover the secrets and details involved in the making of the South's signature spirit before indulging in the flavours during a sampling. Continue your immersion into Louisville culture with an up close look at some of Kentucky's most spirited residents during a visit to a thoroughbred farm. Enjoy a guided tour of the grounds where you will learn the ins and outs of breeding champion racers and meet some of the prize horses. The evening is yours to grab dinner in town or enjoy the amenities of your hotel.

Hotel: The Brown Hotel

Full Breakfast

Day 6: A Corvette on the Honky-Tonk Highway to Nashville

The fun continues with a guided historic walking tour of Churchill Downs to learn about the history of the Kentucky Derby and its past winners. This is followed by a visit to the Kentucky Derby Museum for a browse through the events' history told through over 20,000 collectible items and artifacts. Get a closer look during a private “Inside the Vault” tour. Move on to Bowling Green to discover the history behind one of America's favourite sports cars at the National Corvette Museum. Explore the rows of display vehicles including vintage models and contemporary styles before enjoying lunch at the Corvette Café. Arrive in Nashville and settle into your hotel.

Hotel: Gaylord Opryland Resort

Full Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Enjoy Nashville’s Musical History

After a restful night's sleep, enjoy a leisurely morning before your fascinating visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, full of memorabilia from stars such as Hank Williams, Loretta Lynn and Garth Brooks. After a tour of historic Studio B, work with a professional sound engineer in a 30-minute, choir-style recording session. Take home your own copy of the recording as a one-of-a-kind souvenir. How many people can say they recorded a song in the same studio Elvis created so many of his hits! No visit to Nashville would be complete without a visit to the Grand Ole Opry. Attend a live taping of America's longest-running live radio program.

Hotel: Gaylord Opryland Resort

Full Breakfast

Day 8: Memphis and the Birthplace of the Blues

Today, travel from the home of Country to the birthplace of Blues and Rock ‘n' Roll. Enjoy a guided tour of the Gibson Guitar Factory (or the Rock 'n' Soul Museum depending on availability) and discover the manufacturing secrets of this instrument giant. This evening, join your fellow guests on legendary Beale Street for a Highlight Dinner at Itta Bena, a 1920s speakeasy-style restaurant above BB King's Blues Club.

Hotel: The Westin Memphis Beale Street

Full Breakfast, Highlight Dinner

Day 9: You’re going to Graceland

This morning is devoted to Graceland, as much an object of pilgrimage as a museum dedicated to the late, great, Elvis Presley. From the flowers and painted signs outside the gates, to the tear-streaked cheeks of fans inside, see the effect that Elvis and his music had on popular American culture. On an audio tour, marvel at the Jungle Room, the private jets, custom cars and walls full of gold and platinum records. Return to your luxury hotel in the heart of vibrant Beale Street. Enjoy the evening at leisure.

Hotel: The Westin Memphis Beale Street

Full Breakfast

Day 10: The Siege of Vicksburg and Mississippi Mystique in Natchez

Today, depart for Vicksburg National Military Park where the famous Civil War battle is remembered and commemorated. The park features, among many things, 1,325 historic monuments and markers, 20 miles of trenches, 2 antebellum houses, and 144 emplaced cannons. Continue to Natchez, founded by the French in 1716 when it became home to a flowering colonial culture. Check into your charming, luxury country mansion hotel. Whet your palate before dinner during a mixology class to learn the “science” of making a signature drink of the South, the mint julep. Then enjoy a delectable five-course Highlight Dinner in the stunning Main House.

Hotel: Monmouth Plantation, Natchez

Full Breakfast, Highlight Dinner

Day 11: Frogmore and Houmas House and New Orleans

Stop at Frogmore Plantation today and journey back to a time when cotton was king. With your costumed hosts, tour a reconstructed 19th century plantation and compare it to the modern day operation that produces more than 900 bales of cotton each day. Get a glimpse into the sweet side of the South with a visit to Houmas House Plantation. Once the largest producer of sugar in the country, the mansion was often referred to as ‘The Sugar Palace' during its antebellum heyday. The plantation spans over 38 lush acres and is sprinkled with ponds, a majestic live oak alley and a light breeze from the Mississippi River. In the evening, visit the New Orleans School of Cooking, located in the heart of the French Quarter. You'll discover the flair of Creole cuisine during an interactive cooking class and enjoy the culinary creations during a special Highlight Dinner.

Hotel: The Roosevelt New Orleans, a Waldorf Astoria hotel

Full Breakfast, Highlight Dinner

Day 12: Exploring New Orleans, the Big Easy

After a hearty breakfast, join a local expert in the atmospheric French Quarter and visit Jackson Square, originally called Place d'Armes when it was the centre of the old city. Wind your way through the twisted paths of one of the “Cities of the Dead”, the above-ground final resting place of pirates, politicians and voodoo queens. Then it's out to the lovely Garden District, home to one of the best-preserved collections of Southern mansions in the United States. Move on to New Orleans where your opulent hotel has been a French Quarter landmark since 1886.

Hotel: Monteleone, New Orleans

Full Breakfast

Day 13: New Orleans Sightseeing

Start the day up-close and personal with the rural side of the Crescent City as you board a boat for a tour to meet the resident alligators and other flora and fauna. Enjoy some free time to explore before gathering with your new friends and toasting to lifelong memories during a Celebration Dinner at a famous New Orleans restaurant.

Hotel: The Roosevelt New Orleans, a Waldorf Astoria hotel

Full Breakfast, Celebration Dinner

Day 14: Depart New Orleans, entend your stay

After breakfast, enjoy your last few hours in New Orelans before taking your transfer to New Orleans airport to board your flight home. On arrival tomorrow in the UK you driver will be there to escort you to your waiting car for your private transfer home.

Full Breakfast

Your Insight Vacations Tour Highlights



Chicago: Experience the greatest highs and the best views of the city from the observatory atop 360 Chicago.
Chicago: Its love affair with state-of-the-art high-rise means its history is written across the sky and there is no better vantage point than from the deck of an architectural cruise.
St. Louis: Get a bird's-eye view of the city from atop the famed St. Louis Gateway Arch.
Louisville: Enjoy a tour of a local distillery, concluding with a complimentary shot of bourbon. Louisville: Visit one of the premier thoroughbred farms and enjoy a private guided tour of the stables. Louisville: Visit Churchill Downs, home of the 'Kentucky Derby', explore the Museum and take a private 'Inside the Vault' tour. Bowling Green: The Corvette is America on wheels. The National Corvette Museum pays homage to this most famous sports car.

Nashville: Join the ranks of superstar musicians like Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton and Willie Nelson and record a song at legendary Studio B and take home the recording as a truly unique souvenir. Nashville: Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame. Memphis: Visit the Rock 'n' Soul Museum.

Memphis: You'll find Graceland a fitting tribute to both the flamboyant talent and manic excess of the man they call The King. Vicksburg: Capture a piece of American history at the National Military Park. Natchez: At Frogmore Plantation, contrast early 19th century cotton plantation life with the modern processes of today. Natchez: Learn the “science” of making a signature drink of the South, the mint julep, during a mixology class. New Orleans: Visit one of the most famous bars in New Orleans for a mixology class on the city's most famous cocktail – the Sazerac – which was created at the very own bar of the hotel, now named after the famous cocktail. New Orleans: Journey through beautiful marshlands and swamps in search of alligators, turtles, snakes and herons feasting on fish.


St. Louis: Take in the views from the top of the Gateway Arch.
Natchez: Learn how to make a mint julep.
New Orleans: Join a Local Expert to explore the atmospheric French Quarter and tour one of the city's mysterious above ground cemeteries. See the Southern mansions of the Garden District.


Memphis: Dine on contemporary American and Southern cuisines at Itta Bena Restaurant at B.B. King's Blues Club.
Natchez: Enjoy an elegant, five-course Southern dinner served in the beautifully appointed dining room at Monmouth Plantation.
New Orleans: Discover the flair of Creole cuisine during an interactive cooking class followed by a Highlight Dinner.
New Orleans: Join your Tour Director for a grand finale Celebration Dinner with a lively jazz trio at 'Arnaud's', one of the Big Easy's prized restaurants.
1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 13 Full Breakfasts (FB), 1 Lunch (L), 3 Dinners (D), 3 Highlight Dinners (HD) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD).


Memphis: The Westin Memphis Beale Street Hotel connects you to the unmistakable sound, culture and history of the blues, whilst offering you a soothing and relaxing retreat.
New Orleans: The iconic Roosevelt New Orleans luxury hotel offers an unparalleled combination of Southern hospitality, world-class service and historic surroundings near the French Quarter.
Hotel Overview: Welcome to a cornucopia of luxury resorts which range in style from gleaming skyscrapers to charming heritage hotels. Some are backed by prestigious brands such as Westin and Four Seasons, while others are still family-owned, passed down from generation to generation.


An expert Insight Tour Director, at the pinnacle of their career, will guide you on your journey. Serving as your 'travelling concierge', this skilled guide will act as consummate organiser and be your 'friend in a foreign land'.
Enjoy the unique comfort of Insight's luxury air-conditioned 40-seat coach, with extended leg room and an on-board restroom. It's Business Class comfort, complete with complimentary bottled water for you to enjoy during your luxury coaching tour.
A personal radio headset gives you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating insights and commentaries.
At every hotel, you'll be treated to seamless baggage handling with prompt delivery right to your door. Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. Plus, we include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi.
With Insight Flourishes, from time to time, your Tour Director will enchant you with local tidbits, each representing authentic food or beverages unique to the destination.
Included airport transfers on Day 1 and Day 14.


Your holiday begins in true style from the moment we collect you from your front door for a relaxed journey to your choice of departure airport. Your wonderfully appointed executive car is reserved exclusively for your use, ensuring an uninterrupted, hassle-free journey to your departure airport.

Each and every Insight tour begins and ends with our unique and truly unrivalled private car door to door transfer service. You will be met at your front door by your driver who will assist with your bags before whisking you to your choice of departure airport in a private executive saloon car, all in plenty of time to make your way to your check-in desk. With Insight you really will experience an exclusive service, enjoying your journey in a standard of car that you would expect to associate with Insight standards. All of our cars are up-to-date models and maintained to the highest standards. We will arrange a convenient pick-up time from your home that suits you, not us or other passengers. Each car is equipped with the latest satellite navigation intelligence to ensure your continued peace of mind and a speedy journey.

At the end of your tour, on arrival at your chosen UK airport, you will be greeted by your waiting driver in the arrivals hall and escorted to your car for the smooth and comfortable journey directly back home.

Should you wish to make your own way to the airport, all you need do is advise us at the time of making your reservation and a discount will be offered.

Terms and conditions apply.

Tour Only Cost: All prices quoted below are per adult person, per tour in British Pounds (GBP)

Departure Dates

Single Twin/Double Triple Quad
All departures in 2016 £5750 £4135 £3740 Please call
Repeat Client Discount - Have you travelled with Insight Vactions before, within the last 5 years ! - if so you qualify for a 5% discount - Ask us at time of booking.
Children aged 5-17 may qualify for a discount off up to 10% when sharing a room with 2 adults - Please call us for details. 
Not included in your tour cost:
Flights – we can package your tour with flights at very competitive airfares using our airline partners. Please call us to discuss the best airline for your itinerary.
Pre or post accommodation - If you want to extend your stay at the start or the end of your escorted tour or add another destination to your booking please call us and we will be happy to provide a quote.
Meals, other than those listed in the itinerary.
The customary gratuities for the Tour Director and local drivers are not included and are paid locally, if you prefer these can be pre-paid to us in advance for £111.00 per person.
There are many questions and considerations you might have when planning an escorted tour with Insight Vactions. For more information please click here.


Please call us on FREEPHONE 0800 0336 335 or EMAIL us we are open 7 days a week.

We will be happy to answer any questions, check the availability of your tour, offer a quote for flights and any pre or post nights you would like to add.

When you are ready to go ahead with the booking, a non-refundable deposit of 20% will be due at time of booking or the full balance if you are due to travel within 8 weeks.