21154
Tennessee

Music Cities USA: Nashville to Memphis

Pack your dancing shoes and join us on a musical adventure, where you’ll visit Graceland, explore the Country Music Hall of Fame and attend live performances in legendary music venues.
Rating (4.93)
Program No. 21154RJ
Length
7 days
Starts at
2,099
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7 days
6 nights
13 meals
6 B 3 L 4 D
DAY
1
Check-In, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Nashville, TN
D
Hyatt Place Nashville Downtown

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration. After you have your room assignment, come to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, other important information, and to learn when and where the Orientation session will take place. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. Orientation: 5:00 p.m. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. We’ll be accompanied on some field trips by local experts who will provide commentary as we go. Walking at some of our field trip sites is determined by personal preference. Travel and transfers will be via private motorcoach unless noted otherwise. Periods in the daily schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: At the hotel, we’ll enjoy a buffet dinner with coffee, tea water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Settle in and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
2
Country Music Hall of Fame, Nashville Field Trip, Studio B
Nashville, TN
B,D
Hyatt Place Nashville Downtown

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; Country Music Hall of Fame Museum is 1 block walk from hotel. Dinner is 2 block walk from hotel. Walking up to 2 miles throughout the day.

Breakfast: At the hotel, the extensive breakfast buffet offers choices such as eggs, bacon or sausage, cereals, oatmeal, fruit, muffins and pastries, biscuits, toast, bagels or English muffins, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: This morning we will walk over to The Country Music Hall of Fame. It is a self directed field trip and we'll provide the ticket for you. To be invited to be a member of the elite group at the Country Music Hall of Fame is one of the highest honors in country music. The award recognizes persons who have made outstanding contributions to country music over the length of their careers. Explore the Country Music Hall of Fame Museum with its vast collection of memorabilia illustrating the evolution of country music through the turns of two centuries. The museum has a treasure trove of historic country video clips and recorded music, dynamic exhibits, and state-of-the-art design. For information on the special exhibits, go to: countrymusichalloffame.org

Lunch: Lunch will be on your own today. You can pick up a sandwich at The Country Music Hall of Fame or walk a block over to Broadway Street, an area of downtown Nashville that is home to numerous restaurants. We will let you select the restaurant of your choice and then go on your own or with a group of friends or join the group leader for lunch at one of the many popular spots. Please be back at the hotel at 12:50 pm for a 1:00 departure for the Nashville City Field Trip.

Afternoon: After lunch, we'll board our motor coach with a local expert who has a wealth of knowledge and passion for Nashville music. Music has always been the common thread connecting the life and soul of Nashville and its people. The first permanent settlement began on Christmas Day 1779, celebrated with fiddle tunes and buck dancing. Davy Crockett, Nashville's first celebrity, was known far and wide for his colorful stories and fiddle playing. Nashville became a national center for music publishing. The first around-the-world tour by a musical act was by the Fisk Jubilee Singers from Nashville's Fisk University. Their efforts helped fund the school's mission of educating freed slaves after the Civil War and put Nashville on the map as a global music center. Here in the heart of Nashville's entertainment industry you will see the offices of numerous record labels, publishing houses, music licensing firms, recording studios, video production houses, along with other business who serve the music industry, as well as radio networks, and radio stations. After our Nashville City Field Trip, we will take the coach to Studio B, originally RCA Studios, home of thousands of hits that helped to define the “Nashville Sound.” Chet Atkins was one of the originators and Elvis mastered more than 200 songs here. Your expert will share many of the quirks and idiosyncrasies of this unique space where so much history has been created using the pianos, mics, and accessories you will see. Sit back and listen to recordings by your favorite artists in Sudio B.

Dinner: This evening we will 2 blocks to a local popular restaurant in Nashville. Coffee, tea, and water are included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Ryman Auditorium, Grand Ole Opry House & Performance
Nashville, TN
B
Hyatt Place Nashville Downtown

Activity note: Driving about 45 miles throughout the day; approximately 1 hour. Walking up to 1/2 mile throughout the day; standing for approximately 1 hour each during field trips to Ryman Auditorium and Grand Ole Opry House.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: FIELD TRIP: Take an expert led field trip through the dressing rooms dedicated to the stars of the Ryman's rich musical past, including Minnie Pearl, Johnny Cash and Hank Williams. Stand in the wings where performers as varied as Katharine Hepburn, Elvis Presley and James Brown stood awaiting their time in the spotlights. This National Historic Landmark is most famous as the home of the Grand Ole Opry from 1943-1974. Its history as Nashville's premiere theater began with its original incarnation as an evangelical tabernacle in 1892. It went on to become the place for important community events, political rallies as well as operas, symphonies, bands, ballets, and theatrical productions, dubbed the Carnegie Hall of the South. The incredibly popular Grand Ole Opry radio show found a home here in 1943, and Ryman Auditorium was inseparably linked to the origins and rise of the modern-day genre of country music, revered as The Mother Church of Country Music. Although the Opry moved to a new location in 1974, the Ryman has remained as a major attraction, undergoing a multi-million dollar restoration that brought back its original splendor, hosting top performers from around the world who praise its fine acoustics.

Lunch: Lunch will be on your own in downtown Nashville. Your group leader will be happy to make lunch suggestions.

Afternoon: Next, we’ll ride to the Grand Ole Opry House. We’ll learn the fascinating story of the Opry from a local expert who will share stories about the Opry and country music greats past and present, and take us onstage for a first-hand look at the tiered auditorium as seen from the performers’ perspective before going backstage to get a rare glimpse of what happens behind the scenes, including the artists’ entrance. We’ll also have some independent time to stroll through the halls filled with Opry memorabilia before returning to the hotel.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like. There are several restaurants around the hotel and more in the vicinity. Plan to be ready for our 6:00 p.m. motorcoach ride from the hotel to the Grand Ole Opry.

Evening: PERFORMANCE: Grand Ole Opry. Enjoy a great live music show. We will let you know the line-up of musicians for this evening. However, they don't usually release the performances until about 2 weeks prior to the show. The Grand Ole Opry celebrates country music's diversity, presenting the many generations of artists who have formed country music's legacy and continue to forge its future course. Audiences can expect the best in country, bluegrass, comedy, gospel and more by Country Music Hall of Famers, cast members who helped establish the Opry as the home of country music, revered superstars, and young artists just starting to make names for themselves. You have prime seats in the Gold Circle Section of the performance hall. To check and see who will be performing this night, go to www.opry.com about two weeks before the date.

DAY
4
Belle Meade Plantation,To Memphis, B. B. King's Blues Club
Memphis, TN
B,L,D
Hampton Inn & Suites Memphis - Beale Street

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Walking approximately the distance of a city block at Belle Meade; some uneven terrain. The drive to Memphis is a little over 200 miles, approximately 4 hours. BB King’s has no elevator where dinner is served on second floor.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: After checking out of the hotel and loading our luggage onto the motorcoach, we’ll take an expert-led field trip to a living vestige of a bygone era: Belle Meade Plantation. The original Harding family farm began in the early 1800s and developed over the next several decades. The mansion we see today, built in Greek Revival style, was commissioned in 1845. During the Civil War, Union and Confederate forces skirmished in the front yard, and the mansion's massive stone columns were riddled with bullets. Evidence of the war is still visible today.

Lunch: In the 1800s Carriage House/Stable House at Belle Meade, we’ll have a plated meal with coffee, tea, water.

Afternoon: We’ll then be on our way to Memphis. En route, we’ll see a specially selected movie. Upon arrival, we’ll check into our hotel with time to freshen up and relax before dinner.

Dinner: At world-renowned BB King’s Blues Club and Restaurant on Beale Street, the dinner buffet offers a variety of the South's most delicious comfort food including authentic Memphis-style BBQ ribs, chicken, pulled pork, and many other Southern favorites.

Evening: B.B. King's! The house band is B.B. King’s All Stars. Guest musicians include some of the best in the business for one of the most diverse, sophisticated lineups of modern blues and R&B in Memphis. Sit back and tap your toes or get up and dance. Stay on or go out and hear all the music you like up and down Beale Street.

DAY
5
Graceland, Free Time
Memphis, TN
B,L
Hampton Inn & Suites Memphis - Beale Street

Activity note: Driving approx. 45 miles throughout the day, approximately 1 hour. Minimal walking on some uneven terrain at Graceland. Graceland has no elevator, up and down stairs to split level home of Elvis.

Breakfast: At the hotel, the extensive breakfast buffet offers choices such as eggs, bacon or sausage, cereals, oatmeal, fruit, muffins and pastries, biscuits, toast, bagels or English muffins, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: Transferring by motorcoach, we will go on a field trip to the 14-acre estate Graceland that was the home of Elvis Presley. Now a virtual shrine with museums, films, and exhibits for a unique glimpse into the life and times of The King, we’ll explore Graceland Mansion on our own and see his personal mementos including gold and platinum awards.

Lunch: At a restaurant on site at Graceland, we’ll have a plated lunch with soft drinks, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We’ll then return to the hotel. The remainder of the afternoon will be free time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. You may wish to take the trolley to the Civil Rights Museum, use your vouchers to go to the nearby Rock n Soul Museum, or both.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Evening: At leisure. See more of Memphis on your own or with newfound friends.

DAY
6
Miss. River & Beale St. History, Sun Studio, Beethoven Club
Memphis, TN
B,L,D
Hampton Inn & Suites Memphis - Beale Street

Activity note: Driving approx. 10 miles throughout the day; about 1/2 hour total. Minimal walking at Sun Studio and the Beethoven Club. Sun Studio Museum is upstairs with no elevator due to historic building code.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We’ll be joined at the hotel by a local expert to learn about the Mighty Mississippi River and its profound effect on local history and culture. It is the second longest river in North America at 2,350 miles and, as stated by the National Park Service, “The watershed includes all or parts of 31 states and two Canadian Provinces. The watershed measures approximately 1.2 million square miles, covering about 40% of the lower 48 states.” We’ll then head over to Sun Studio, an iconic recording studio where some of the most famous artists recorded in the 1950s. Whether rock-and-roll or country, and genres in between, the likes of Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Charlie Feathers, Ray Harris, Warren Smith, Charlie Rich, and Jerry Lee Lewis could be found there at one point or another. Led by an expert from Sun Studio, we’ll see where they made musical history.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we will enjoy a plated lunch, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We’ll enjoy a special presentation at the hotel with a professional historian who literally “wrote the book” on Beale Street and the blues — an illustrated and entertaining project on the rich variety of music in Memphis through the years. As a special highlight, we’ll transfer via motor coach to the Beethoven Club where the professional historian/musician will perform a private piano session for our group, during which he will talk about different types of music and how music is written and played.

Dinner: Mouth-watering food awaits you at King’s Palace Café on Beale Street, with live music during dinner. Get up and dance or sit back and watch others dance.

Evening: At leisure. Time to go out and enjoy more music. Our dinner at King’s Palace Café waives the cover charge at nearby Rum Boogie Café serving up hot music. Or set out to find the place that vibrates to your inner rhythm from Blues to Soul, Gospel, Jazz, Rock, Fusion, and Reggae. We’re in the heart of old Memphis, where W.C. Handy wrote the first blues song in 1909. Save some energy for packing up when you get back for departure in the morning.

DAY
7
Program Concludes
Memphis, TN
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 11:00 a.m. Motorcoach transfer back to Nashville will depart at approx. 8:00 a.m. and make stops at the Nashville International Airport (BNA), as well as the downtown Nashville hotel. Total mileage is about 214 miles; approx. 4 hours.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Anyone wishing to return to Nashville may travel on the motorcoach from Memphis back to Nashville at no charge. The first stop will be the Nashville International Airport followed by the downtown Nashville hotel for anyone who left their car at the hotel. This concludes our program. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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