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  • 24 May 8:00am - 10:00pm
  • 25 May 9:00am - 7:00pm
  • 26 May 10:00am - 6:00pm
  • 27 May 8:00am - 11:00pm
  • Mon to Fri 9:00am - 9:00pm
  • Saturday 9:00am - 7:00pm
  • Sunday 10:00am - 6:00pm

Southern Explorer

15 days Guided Tours
  • New York
  • Washington D.C.
  • Roanoke
  • Gatlinburg
  • Nashville
  • Memphis
  • New Orleans
  • Pensacola
  • Orlando
  • Miami

Virgin Holidays' view

Getting you into grassroots America, this trip may start in New York City and Washington D.C, but it soon swaps cosmopolitan and political powerhouses for the weird, wild, and wonderful sights sweeping the States’ south-east corner. Beginning with statement landmarks like the Empire State Building and Times Square, then the White House and US Capitol Building, images of NYC and D.C fill your camera before you’ve even touched the South. Moving from (relatively) contemporary to colonial, Williamsburg emerges like a veritable open-air museum, before you break into Great Smoky Mountains National Park, discovering how Appalachian farmers exist in a wilderness as far from D.C’s cut and thrust as you can feel. With a playlist of country music, blues, and jazz, this region also provides America’s bassline, with Nashville, Memphis and New Orleans in its backyard. And no visit’s complete without an invite into Elvis’s Graceland or a stroll below the ostentatious balconies of Bourbon Street. The big sights are a must, but there’s nothing quite like seeing less-mapped places, like the 65-acre gardens of Southern estate Bellingrath, horse ranch-rich Orcala, and Florida Panhandle’s sands at Pensacola (although, given you’re heading that way, we thought you’d like to check out familiar faces like Kennedy Space Center and Miami Beach too).

Itinerary

Day 1: UK– New York

Fly from the UK to New York. Arrive in New York City and meet your ATI tour director at the airport in New York who will assist you with pre-arranged seat-in transfer to your hotel. ATI welcome reception in the evening. Accommodation stay – 1 Night in New York.

Day 2: New York – Philadelphia – Washington, D.C.

Transfer from New York to Washington, D.C. via Philadelphia, the birthplace of the nation, where you will stop to see Independence Mall and Liberty Bell. Accommodation stay – 2 Nights in Washington D.C..

Day 3: Washington, D.C.

Enjoy a city tour with such highlights as the U.S. Capitol Building, Supreme Court, Library of Congress, the F.B.I. Building, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, the White House and Arlington National Cemetery, site of the JFK Memorial. Spend the remainder of the day exploring some of the many museums comprising the Smithsonian Institute or stroll the banks of the Potomac River.

Day 4: Washington, D.C. – Williamsburg – Roanoke

Depart this morning for Williamsburg, Virginia’s colonial capital. Walk along the Duke of Gloucester Street to visit some of the impressive public buildings, colonial houses and the College of William and Mary (admissions not included). Accommodation stay – 1 Night in Roanoke.

Day 5: Roanoke – Blue Ridge Parkway – Gatlinburg

Travel along portions of Blue Ridge Parkway before an afternoon arrival in Gatlinburg, nicknamed the “Heart of the Smokies”. Accommodation stay – 1 Night in Gatlinburg.

Day 6: Gatlinburg – Great Smoky Mountains – Nashville

Enjoy the breathtaking scenery as you visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Stop at the Mountain Farm and Museum to explore the life of an Appalachian farmer. Continue through Knoxville to Nashville, capital of Tennessee and home to country music. Accommodation stay – 1 Night in Nashville.

Day 7: Nashville – Memphis

Travel across the countryside and arrive in Memphis, the city known for blues music, cotton and home of Sun Records. Take a city tour including Beale Street, the heart of the blues music scene. This afternoon, fans of “The King of Rock and Roll” have the opportunity to tour Graceland, former home of Elvis Presley (optional). Accommodation stay – 1 Night in Memphis.

Day 8: Memphis – Jackson – New Orleans

Today’s tour takes you to Mississippi, the Magnolia State. Pass through Jackson, the state capital, and continue to Louisiana and New Orleans, the home of the infamous Mardi Gras celebrations. Tonight, immerse yourself in Creole culture on board an authentic Mississippi Riverboat dinner cruise and enjoy the rhythms of a Dixieland jazz band (optional). Accommodation stay – 2 Nights in New Orleans.

Day 9: New Orleans

A full day at leisure to take in the French flavor and grandeur of New Orleans. Explore the French Quarter with its trademark wrought iron balconies overlooking the narrow cobblestone streets. Stand atop one of the infamous New Orleans levees and gain the perspective of how these unique feats of architecture guard the city.

Day 10: New Orleans – Gulf of Mexico – Pensacola

Travel along the Mississippi Gulf Coast through Mobile, AL to the city of Pensacola. Visit one of the top 10 rose gardens in America at the Bellingrath Home (admission included). While visiting Pensacola Beach, walk alongside the swaying sea oats, dipping your toes in the warm waters of the emerald green Gulf of Mexico. Accommodation stay – 1 Night in Pensacola.

Day 11: Pensacola – Orlando

Travel along the Florida panhandle to Ocala, known for thoroughbred horse ranches. Continue through central Florida, heart of America’s citrus industry, and on to Orlando for an evening arrival at your hotel. Accommodation stay – 2 Nights in Orlando.

Day 12: Orlando

Day at leisure. Revitalize by the pool or visit one of Orlando’s attractions, such as Disney World, Sea World, or Universal Studios (admissions not included).

Day 13: Orlando – Kennedy Space Center – Miami

Visit Kennedy Space Center, home of America’s space program (admission included). Continue to the cultural melting pot of Miami Beach. Your tour ends upon arrival in Miami where you will be dropped off at The Hall Miami Beach. The rest of the evening is at leisure for you to dine in the Miami Beach area. Accommodation stay – 1 Nights in Miami.

Days 14-15: Miami – UK

The morning is free for you to explore Miami before Supershuttle transfer you to Miami International Airport for your overnight flight home back to the UK. Arrive in the UK on day 15.

Dates & prices

The table below shows our escorted tour departure dates.

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Prices are described as Guide prices on this website and may be higher or lower due to availability and date of departure.

Prices are for departure dates listed, ex-UK and are per adult based on two adults travelling and sharing a standard room and with return economy flights where stated. Single room and flight prices are available at a supplement.

Please note some tours are subject to minimum numbers, please call our travel experts or visit your local retail store for full details as well as our latest prices.

Tour information

Please click here to download a pdf of the tour itinerary and additional tour notes.

Pre/Post Tour information

If you would like to extend your trip or make the tour part of a longer holiday, we can easily add on a pre or post night stays for you. Our Sales Team will work with you to arrange the best connecting flights and book any additional hotel stays. Simply tell us what you’d like and we can arrange it.

Time difference

  • GMT -5 hours New York, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Orlando & Miami
  • GMT -6 hours Nashville, Memphis, New Orleans

Tour inclusions

  • Meet & Greet at the airport
  • Pre-arranged (seat-in) airport transfers
  • Private air conditioned motorcoach transportation throughout
  • Accommodation and sightseeing as listed above
  • Service of an English Speaking guide.

Tour exclusions

  • Flight upgrades and airport transfers in the UK
  • Insurance
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, tips & gratuities, video camera fees at monuments
  • The required ESTA application
  • Anything not detailed on the itinerary.

Dining inclusions

Room Only

Included activities

Tours listed in the itinerary.

Optionals

Tours will be listed in the itinerary. Should you choose to participate in an additional excursion, payment to the tour director can be made with cash or credit card. We encourage you to request and save your receipt. Please note that optional tours cannot be booked in advance, as many require a minimum number of passengers in order to operate.

  • Washington Monuments at night with dinner in fashionable D.C.
  • Visit Elvis Presley’s Graceland home
  • New Orleans plantation visit and Jazz Brunch
  • Universal Studios in Orlando to see how movies are made
  • “All-American” Picnic at a surprise destination en route
  • Manhattan Helicopter Tour
  • Circle Line 2 Hour Harbor Cruise
  • Washington DC Night Tour with Dinner
  • Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede with Dinner
  • Nashville Country Hall of Fame and RCA Studio B
  • Graceland Platinum Tour
  • New Orleans Dinner Cruise
  • New Orleans Brunch with Oak Alley Plantation
  • Medieval Times Orlando
  • SeaWorld Orlando
  • Universal Studios Florida
  • Miami City Tour and Everglades
  • Das Historische Key West

U.S. Occupancy

It is important to keep in mind that in U. S. hotels, rooms that have been booked for two people may contain one or two beds, of varying sizes. Normally, hotel rooms contain one Queen / King Size bed, or two Double beds. A room with two Double beds is considered suitable for three or four occupants. Unlike other areas of the world, it is extremely rare to find a “triple” room, or a room containing three beds. Oftentimes, hotels are able to provide an additional “roll-away” bed (for a nominal nightly fee, to be paid on an individual basis by the passenger directly to the hotel.) Please be aware that such extra beds are not available in the National Parks, in some older hotels, and in areas where fire regulations place strict restrictions on the number of guests and/or beds in a room. While requests can certainly be made ahead of time, and while every effort will be made to secure a room that meets your specific bedding needs, ATI cannot guarantee bedding arrangements at any given hotel, as these arrangements lie wholly within the discretion of each hotel.

Journey times

Please note due to long distances covered on some of the tours, there will be some days when the majority of the day will be spent on the coach, so just sit back and enjoy the view