1 Chicago, the Jewel of the Midwest.
Your complimentary, private transfer takes you to your local departure airport. Welcome to Chicago. Upon arrival, you will be met and taken to your exclusive retreat near the Magnificent Mile. At 18:00, join your Travelling Concierge for a scrumptious Welcome Dinner with wine at your hotel. (DW) Stay: Fairmont Chicago Millennium Park.
2 Scaling Chicago.
Start 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. Continue your discovery with one of the Windy City's greatest highs - the 360 Chicago Observation Deck. Enjoy a Highlight Dinner with wine at Gibson's Bar and Steakhouse, a classic Chicago-style chophouse. (B/DW)
3 St. Louis, Gateway to the West.
Journey to St. Louis where you'll take an exclusive guided tour of the Fabulous Fox Theatre which opened in 1929. This vibrant city played host to the World's Fair and Olympics of 1904, with both being held at St. Louis' prestigious Washington University. (B) Stay: Four Seasons Hotel, St. Louis.
4 St. Louis Arch to Louisville.
Get a bird's-eye view of the city with a visit to the top of the famed St. Louis Gateway Arch standing 630 feet (190 metres) tall. Next, head east through the Hoosier National Forest to Louisville, before enjoying a Dinner with wine at The English Grill in the evening. This elegant venue is situated at your hotel and offers a refined menu of contemporary American cuisine with a Kentucky twist. (B/DW) Stay: The Brown Hotel, Louisville.
5 Spirit of Louisville.
Take a private tour of a working Kentucky Thoroughbred farm this morning set in the beautiful rolling Kentucky farmlands. Stops along the way include the foal and yearling division and the stallion complex. You never know which champion or future champion you may encounter! Later enjoy a private tour and tasting seminar complete with chocolate pairing at one of Kentucky's newest members of the Bourbon Trail, Lux Row Distillers, producing award-winning Kentucky straight bourbon brands. This evening is yours to enjoy at leisure. (B)
6 Highway to Nashville.
The fun continues with a guided historic walking tour of Churchill Downs to learn about the history of the Kentucky Derby, followed by a visit to the Kentucky Derby Museum. Once here you'll gain an insider's perspective during a private visit with a retired Kentucky Derby jockey. Next, discover the history behind one of America's favourite sports cars at the National Corvette Museum, where you'll have lunch. The museum features over 80 Corvettes in periodic settings, including mint classics, one-of-a-kind prototypes and modern-day wonders of engineering and design. (B/L/DW) Stay: JW Marriott Nashville.
7 Nashville's Musical History.
Enjoy a tour of historic Studio B with a professional sound engineer in a 30-minute, choir-style recording session. You'll be able to take home a copy of the recording as a one-of-a-kind souvenir. Head on to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, full of memorabilia from stars such as Hank Williams, Loretta Lynn and Garth Brooks. Once there, you'll join your Local Expert, a songwriter and singer, who will tell you the stories behind the biggest hits sung by well-known country music stars. End your day with a trip to the Grand Ole Opry or "country's most famous stage", for a live performance. If you are on a Chairman's Collection departure, today you will meet Hall of Fame musician Charlie McCoy. (B)
8 Memphis and Graceland.
Travel from the home of country music to the birthplace of blues and Rock 'n' Roll. The evening is devoted to a private, after-hours, and docent-led tour of 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. Enjoy a memorable dinner with wine inside the Presley Motors Automobile Museum. (B/DW) Stay: The Westin Memphis Beale Street.
9 The Best of Memphis.
Experience Memphis Your Way by visiting Sun Studios or the the National Civil Rights Museum. Later today you'll visit the Rock and Soul Museum, where you'll learn the stories of musical pioneers who overcame racial and socioeconomic barriers to create music that shook the world. (B)
10 Mississippi mystique in Natchez.
Depart for Natchez, founded by the French in 1716 when it became home to a flowering colonial culture. There you will experience a private, owner-led tour of Sunnyside, a restored antebellum cottage. At your charming luxury country mansion inn, whet your palate during a mixology class and learn the 'science' behind the signature drink of the South, the Mint Julep. Then enjoy a delectable three-course Highlight Dinner with wine, in the stunning main house. (B/DW) Stay: Monmouth Historic Inn and Gardens, Natchez.
11 Frogmore, Houmas House, and New Orleans.
Stop at Frogmore Plantation and journey back to a time when cotton was king. With your costumed hosts, tour a reconstructed 19th century plantation. Next, 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. In the evening, you'll learn about Creole cuisine during a lively cooking demonstration. Enjoy these culinary creations over a special Highlight Dinner with wine. (B/DW) Stay: Hotel Monteleone, New Orleans.
12 New Orleans Sightseeing.
Join a Local Expert for a tour of the city as you learn about its rich history steeped in the myriad of cultures that have found a new home here. See Jackson Square and the Treme neighbourhood before exploring City Park. Take in this picturesque scene and admire the oak trees with a warm café au lait in hand. Next, visit one of the city's famous above ground cemeteries and learn about their uniquely joyful perspective on life and death. (B)
13 Exploring the Big Easy.
Start the day with a bayou expert on the rural side of the Crescent City, as you board a boat to meet the resident alligators and other fauna and flora. Enjoy some free time before gathering with your new friends and toasting to lifelong memories during a Celebration Dinner with wine at the famous New Orleans restaurant, Arnaud's, with toe-tapping live jazz as your backdrop. (B/DW)
14 Depart New Orleans.
Bid 'au revoir' to the Big Easy in the morning. A complimentary transfer is provided to Louis Armstrong Airport or choose to extend your stay at Hotel Monteleone. On arrival at your home airport, your driver will greet and escort you to your waiting car for your private transfer home. (B)