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 (5)
Program No. 21154RJ
Length
7 days
Starts at
1,749
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7 days
6 nights
13 meals
6 B 3 L 4 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Check-In, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Nashville, TN
D
Hyatt Place Nashville Downtown

Afternoon: HOTEL CHECK-IN: Available from 3:00pm. PROGRAM REGISTRATION: After you have your room assignment, come to the Road Scholar desk located at the conference room to register with the program staff. The conference room is located on the opposite end of the lobby where you check in and receive your room key. You'll receive your arrival packet containing the most up-to-date schedule and program information that we'll review during our orientation session. INTRODUCTIONS & ORIENTATION: 5:00 pm.: After introductions of your fellow participants and the program staff, we will have an informative overview of the program including a review of the updated daily schedule, responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Dinner will follow orientation. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: Dinner is at a popular restaurant adjacent to the hotel. Enjoy tasty Italian cuisine and begin getting to know your fellow music lovers. Dinner will be at 6:30 pm.

DAY
2
Studio B,Country Music Hall of Fame, Live Music & Dinner
Nashville, TN
B,D
Hyatt Place Nashville Downtown

Activity note: Country Music Hall of Fame Museum is 1 block walk from hotel. Live music and dinner is 2 block walk from hotel.

Breakfast: Enjoy a deluxe hot & cold breakfast buffet. Selections include eggs, bacon or sausage, biscuits, toast, bagels or English muffins, fruit, cereals, oatmeal, juices, coffee and tea. Various muffins and pastries are also served daily.

Morning: FIELD TRIP: This morning we will visit 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 guide 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 artist in Sudio B. After Studio B, we'll board our motor coach with a local guide 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.

Lunch: We will drop participants off at the Country Music Hall of Fame (across the street from your hotel). You can pick up a sandwich here 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 coordinator for lunch at one of the many popular spots. This lunch is not included in your program cost.

Afternoon: After lunch spend as much time as you like at The Country Music Hall of Fame. It is a self guided tour and we'll provide the ticket for you as you get off the motor coach. 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. Some people will stay the entire afternoon, while others will spend part of an afternoon. It will be left up to you as to how much time you spend. You are a block from your hotel. For information on the special exhibits, go to: countrymusichalloffame.org

Dinner: This evening we will be dining at a popular restaurant on Broadway. It is two blocks from your hotel- an easy walk.

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

Activity note: Ryman Auditorium involves a backstage tour and an auditorium tour of the Ryman. Walking and standing for approximately one hour. Grand Ole Opry House backstage tour is walking and standing for approximately one hour. Ryman tour is before lunch, Grand Ole Opry House tour is after lunch.

Breakfast: Enjoy a deluxe hot & cold breakfast buffet. Selections include eggs, bacon or sausage, biscuits, toast, bagels or English muffins, fruit, cereals, oatmeal, juices, coffee and tea. Various muffins and pastries are also served daily.

Morning: FIELD TRIP: Take a guided tour 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 is on your own at one of the casual restaurants in the Gaylord Opryland Hotel complex. Set on 40 acres complete with streams, waterfalls, bridges, and greenhouses, it is the largest non-casino hotel in the continental U.S. outside of Las Vegas, adjacent to the Opryland USA theme park and the Grand Ole Opry House.

Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Grand Ole Opry House. On March 15, 1974, the Opry made its last broadcast from Ryman before moving to its new custom-built home, The Grand Ole Opry House at Opryland. During the historic flood in May 2010, the Opry House was severely damaged and as a result received a major renovation. Learn the fascinating story of the Opry from a knowledgeable guide who will share stories about the Opry and country music greats past and present, take you onstage for a first-hand look at the tiered auditorium as seen through the eyes of the performers, and and go backstage for a rare glimpse of what happens behind the scenes including the artists’entrance. You can also spend some time strolling through the halls filled with Opry memorabilia.

Dinner: DINNER ON YOUR OWN. There are numerous choices including a restaurant within walking distance of the hotel. Be sure you're done in time for this evening's performance!

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: Walking on the grounds of Belle Meade Plantation is sometimes uneven terrain. Distance is no more than 1 city block of walking at the plantation.

Breakfast: Enjoy a deluxe hot & cold breakfast buffet. Selections include eggs, bacon or sausage, biscuits, toast, bagels or English muffins, fruit, cereals, oatmeal, juices, coffee and tea. Various muffins and pastries are also served daily.

Morning: We will check out of the hotel and load our luggage onto the motor coach bound for Memphis. We have one last thing to do before leaving Nashville. We will visit Belle Meade Plantation. The American Civil War brought deprivation and danger to Belle Meade Plantation. During the Battle of Nashville, Union and Confederate forces skirmished in the front yard, and the mansion's massive stone columns were riddled with bullets. Evidence of the violence is still visible today.

Lunch: Lunch will be in the 1800’s Carriage House of the Belle Meade Plantation.

Afternoon: TRANSFER: We depart for Memphis via motorcoach (approximately a 4 hour drive).

Dinner: The menu at world-renowned B.B. King’s Blues Club and Restaurant on Beale Street offers a variety of the South's most delicious comfort food influenced by flavors from New Orleans all the way to the Mississippi Delta, including authentic Memphis-style BBQ ribs, chicken, pulled pork, and other delicacies.

Evening: PERFORMANCE: B.B. King's Blues Club. The house band is B.B. King’s All Stars, and 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 — a good show every night of the week. Feel free to jump up and dance or sit back and relax. This is the real deal! Then go out and hear music up and down Beale Street on your own.

DAY
5
Beale St. History, Beethoven Club, Graceland
Memphis, TN
B,L
Hampton Inn & Suites Memphis - Beale Street

Activity note: Travel by motor coach to Beethoven Club, lunch, and Graceland.

Breakfast: Enjoy a deluxe hot & cold breakfast buffet. Selections include eggs, bacon or sausage, biscuits, toast, bagels or English muffins, fruit, cereals, oatmeal, juices, coffee and tea. Various muffins and pastries are also served daily.

Morning: Enjoy a special presentation 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, the professional historian/musician will perform a private session for our group at The Beethoven Club. He will be playing the piano and talking about types of music and how music is written and played.

Lunch: Lunch will be at a popular, local restaurant.

Afternoon: Field trip to the 14-acre estate 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. Explore Graceland Mansion, see his personal mementos and gold and platinum awards. Your ticket includes: Graceland Mansion Audio-Guided Tour with New Orientation Film NEW - Full Access to all-new Elvis Presley’s Memphis Entertainment Complex, which includes: Self-guided tour of Presley Motors Automobile Museum Self-guided tour of Elvis: The Entertainer Career Museum Self-guided tours of Elvis Discovery Exhibits ** Does not include Presley's airplanes, which are no longer owned by Graceland. $5 fee if you decide to go on your own to see the airplanes.

Dinner: No need to rush back for dinner but instead we have left this dinner selection for you to choose the restaurant. You may decide to join the coordinator for dinner also.

Evening: Free evening to explore Memphis on your own or with newfound friends.

DAY
6
Miss River Hist./Sun Studio/Rock n Soul Museum/Kings Palace
Memphis, TN
B,L,D
Hampton Inn & Suites Memphis - Beale Street

Activity note: We will travel by motor coach to Sun Studio and Arcade Restaurant

Breakfast: Enjoy a deluxe hot & cold breakfast buffet. Selections include eggs, bacon or sausage, biscuits, toast, bagels or English muffins, fruit, cereals, oatmeal, juices, coffee and tea. Various muffins and pastries are also served daily.

Morning: Learn about the Mighty Mississippi River. The Mississippi River is the chief river of the largest drainage system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, it rises in northern Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for 2,530 miles to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains all or parts of 31 US states and 2 Canadian provinces between the Rocky and Appalachian Mountains. The Mississippi ranks as the fourth longest and tenth largest river in the world. We will take the motor coach to Sun Studio afterwards. Sun Studio is a recording studio opened by rock pioneer Sam Phillips at 706 Union Avenue in Memphis, Tennessee, on January 3, 1950. It was originally called Memphis Recording Service, sharing the same building with the Sun Records label business. Reputedly the first rock-and-roll single, Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats' "Rocket 88" was recorded there in 1951 with song composer Ike Turner on keyboards, leading the studio to claim status as the birthplace of rock & roll. Rock-and-roll, country music, and rockabilly artists, including Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison, Charlie Feathers, Ray Harris, Warren Smith, Charlie Rich, and Jerry Lee Lewis, recorded there throughout the mid to late 1950s. In August 1953, fresh out of his high school graduation the previous June, the 18 year old Presley walked into the offices of Sun. He aimed to pay for a few minutes of studio time to record a two-sided acetate disc: "My Happiness" and "That's When Your Heartaches Begin". He would later claim he intended the record as a gift for his mother, or was merely interested in what he "sounded like", though there was a much cheaper, amateur record-making service at a nearby general store.

Lunch: Lunch will be at a popular restaurant near downtown.

Afternoon: You have a free afternoon. We suggest going to the Civil Rights Museum first, and then using your vouchers to go to the Rock n Soul Museum. The Civil Rights Museum is only about .2 miles from Arcade Restaurant, and the Rock n Soul is about one mile.

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

Breakfast: Enjoy a deluxe hot & cold breakfast buffet. Selections include eggs, bacon or sausage, biscuits, toast, bagels or English muffins, fruit, cereals, oatmeal, juices, coffee and tea. Various muffins and pastries are also served daily.

Morning: Program concludes after breakfast. Independent departures. Hotel front desk is happy to assist with taxi from the Memphis downtown hotel to the Memphis airport. Anyone wishing to return to Nashville may travel on the motor coach from Memphis back to Nashville , which will drop off at the Nashville International Airport and at the downtown Nashville hotel for people who left their car at the hotel. The motor coach will depart the Memphis hotel for Nashville by 8:00 am. It is a four hour ride. No charge for motor coach.