The phrase “Only in America” is a comment we have all made and heard as we explore this amazing country of contrasts and curios. For an experience like no other, 'Only in America' is a new 14-night driving tour arriving in Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati and departing from Atlanta. It highlights one-of-a-kind destinations and attractions that can literally be found only in America...
DAY 1 & 2
Fly from the UK and Europe via Paris (CDG) non-stop/direct and arrive at Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati Airport. Collect your car rental and make the short transfer to your hotel in Covington, Kentucky (14 miles) overlooking the Ohio River and the city scape of Cincinnati.
The banks of the Ohio River in Cincinnati meant freedom to entrapped slaves and the striking National Underground Railroad Freedom Center portrays three centuries of slavery from its introduction into the Americas to its abolition at the end of the American Civil War.
DAY 3 – 80 miles
Covington to Louisville
Depart Covington and head south toward Louisville on I-65. Louisville is firmly embedded in the American national consciousness for its multimillion-dollar Kentucky Derby held each May at Churchill Downs. Downtown Louisville rolls gently down towards Main Street then abruptly lunges down to the river where the historic Belle of Louisville leaves for daily sightseeing cruises. Don’t miss the Slugger Museum and Factory and be sure to sample the Urban Bourbon Trail along Whiskey Row and around town.
DAY 4 - 101 miles
Louisville to Pleasant Hill
Learn about the “Louisville Lip” at The Muhammad Ali Center and travel to the heart of Kentucky horse country, Lexington, before spending the night at a historic Shaker community. If you are in Lexington in April or October, make an afternoon of racing at Keeneland Race Course, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill is home to an impressive collection of Shaker architecture, furniture, artefacts and historians. With 34 Shaker structures, built from 1809 to 1875, the site is the country’s largest private collection of original 19th century buildings.
DAY 5 - 167 miles
Pleasant Hill to Bowling Green (via Bardstown & Mammoth Cave)
Among the highlights of today’s journey are Bardstown (voted America’s most beautiful small town), and the Heaven Hill Bourbon Heritage Center, driving the Bluegrass Parkway and the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site in Hodgenville.
As I-65 heads south toward Bowling Green you are in the heart of Kentucky’s Cave Country and the region’s “karst” topography is responsible for hundreds of ancient caverns and the idyllic rolling hills seen on the surface. The four hundred miles of labyrinth passages and domed caverns of Mammoth Cave National Park contain amazing geological formations which are carved by acidic water trickling through limestone.
General Motors began production of the esteemed Corvette at the Bowling Green assembly plant in 1981 and the facility has remained the exclusive home of the Corvette for more than 30 years. The guided tour of the factory shows how man and machine combine to produce137 cars a day – all on order!
DAY 6 - 149 miles
Bowling Green to Paducah
Creativity is the common thread that connects people from around the globe to Paducah. The world’s 7th City of Crafts and Folk Art in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, Paducah is home to the National Quilt Museum, the Lower Town Arts District and 50 life-sized panoramic floodwall murals.
DAY 7 - 178 miles
Paducah to Memphis
Continue to Memphis on the mighty Mississippi River and immerse yourself in the city renowned as the Home of the Blues and Birthplace of Rock’n’Roll.
Pilgrims flock from all over the world to find a vibrant city that while cherishing its past remains very much alive. Don’t miss the tour at famous Sun Studio and be sure to see the Stax Museum of American Soul Music as well as the Smithsonian’s Rock’n’Soul Museum and the Gibson Guitar Factory.
Discover African-American history at Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum and explore the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel.
DAY 8 & 9 – 210 miles
Memphis to Nashville
Leave Memphis and head east through cotton fields to Nashville via Brownsville and be sure to sample the Southern delicacies served at The Old Country Store at the Casey Jones Village in Jackson.
Nashville may be best known for its country roots, but the word is out that it’s also home to a diverse mix of musicians (Kings of Leon, the Black Keys, Jack White) and a diverse mix of music (rock, Americana, bluegrass, blues, gospel) as well as the largest song writing community in the world. Nashville’s creative spirit has also led the way to an evolving arts, fashion and culinary scene that’s starting to share the spotlight with its music scene.
DAY 10 & 11 - 225 miles
Nashville to the Great Smoky Mountains
Continue to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, America’s most visited, and stretching for half-a-million acres across Tennessee and North Carolina. Hike, cycle, horse-back ride, drive or rent a motorbike and explore the scenic roads. The nearby towns of Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge, Sevierville and Townsend offer a wide array of activities from to mini Nascar racing to zip-lining. Make time for the extraordinary Titanic Museum and the excellent outlet shopping.
As unique as its namesake, Dolly Parton’s Dollywood theme park spans 150 acres and celebrates the heritage and people of the East Tennessee region popularised by the entertainment legend in her songs.
DAY 12 & 13 - 125 miles
Great Smoky Mountains to Chattanooga
Drive south from the Smokies to Chattanooga and you are travelling through the ancient homeland and territory of the Cherokee Indians. Chattanooga is nestled along the beautiful Tennessee River and surrounded by spectacular mountains and scenic beauty. Chattanooga has a newly revitalised riverfront, first class attractions, a free electric shuttle, a clean and Green environment, outdoor adventures, rich American Civil War history, a thriving music scene and plenty of annual events that offer year-round entertainment.
DAY 14 - 118 miles
Chattanooga to Atlanta Airport
See the scenic sights of Chattanooga before driving south to Atlanta for your evening flight back to Europe. Ride the Lookout Mountain Incline Railway – the steepest incline in the world, or go underground to Ruby Falls, a 145-foot waterfall deep inside the mountain, or stroll to the National Park Service’s American Civil War Battlefield at Point Park.
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