Explore the shores of Lake Michigan and spot famous landmarks from films such as My Big Fat Greek Wedding and The Blues Brothers; take a tram ride to the top of St. Louis Arch; visit Graceland and Sun Studio in Memphis, filled with memorabilia from artists such as Elvis Presley and Muddy Waters and explore the jazz and blues clubs of New Orleans. Spend a night at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville and uncover Kentucky bluegrass on this self-drive taking in the best of the south's music and movie history.

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Day by day Itinerary

American Music & Movie Trails

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Day 1

Chicago

While exploring this vibrant city located on the shores of Lake Michigan, you will notice many famous landmarks and buildings from films such as My Big Fat Greek Wedding, While You Were Sleeping and The Road to Perdition, not to mention The Blues Brothers. Try and locate the Blues Brothers Soul Food restaurant on Maxwell Street, and don’t forget to pay a visit to the original House of Blues jazz club.

Day 2

Chicago

See Day 1 for today's itinerary

Day 3

Chicago - St. Louis

‘Meet Me in St. Louis’ is a summary of today’s journey. Upon arrival, take a tram ride (optional) to the top of the famous St. Louis Arch and get a city view from 190 metres.

Day 4

St. Louis - Memphis

Memphis offers a multitude of musical and movie moments. Start with a visit to Graceland, home of the late Elvis Presley, then choose to visit the Rock & Soul Museum, the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, the Gibson Guitar Factory or Sun Studio where musicians such as B.B. King, Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis recorded rock ’n’ roll hits.

Day 5

St. Louis - Memphis

See Day 4 for today's itinerary

Day 6

Memphis - Vicksburg

Travel to Clarksdale, home of the delta blues. Stop to tour the Delta Blues Museum filled with memorabilia from B.B. King and Muddy Waters before continuing along the Mississippi River to Vicksburg.

Day 7

Vicksburg - New Orleans

New Orleans is a jazz lover’s paradise, and the familiar backdrop in a string of successful movies. The jazz and blues clubs are too numerous to mention, but Preservation Hall is a great start. Take time to visit the beautiful botanical garden or journey out to the levees to see how they protect the city from the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Day 8

Vicksburg - New Orleans

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Day 9

New Orleans - Birmingham

Sweet Home Alabama! For music fans, the highlight will be the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame. For movie lovers, try and locate the original Whistle Stop Café, the setting for the novel, and later film, Fried Green Tomatoes. Although scenes in the movie were actually filmed in Atlanta, the original café is located in North Irondale, just outside of Birmingham.

Day 10

Birmingham - Chattanooga

While in Tennessee, don’t miss the opportunity to try a ‘moon pie’, a favourite Southern snack since the early 1900s.

Day 11

Chattanooga - Nashville

Nashville, ‘Music City USA’ is the destination today. Visit the Country Music Hall of Fame, a multimedia music shrine including movie theatres, costumes, instruments and other artefacts detailing country music’s colourful history. Don’t miss a visit to the Ryman Auditorium and a night at the Grand Ole Opry.

Day 12

Nashville - Louisville

From bluegrass to brass bands, Kentucky has popular music for every listener. Today’s destination is Louisville, home of the famous Kentucky Derby. Featured in the movie Sea Biscuit, Churchill Downs is the mecca of American horse racing. No visit to Kentucky would be complete without a visit to a bourbon distillery, but remember that many Kentucky counties are ‘dry’, so often there are no tastings. Baseball fans should ensure they fit in a visit to the Louisville Slugger Museum, an interactive museum honouring many of baseball’s greats.

Day 13

Louisville - Chicago

Your journey returns to the Windy City, having visited seven different states, experienced many popular movie set locations and heard music ranging from blues, jazz and soul to gospel, country, bluegrass and rock ‘n’ roll.

Day 14

Louisville - Chicago

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