Day 1 Chicago
Today, guests will gather in Chicago to begin this tour. Those who fly in O'Hare International Airport can meet the tour guide at the baggage claim area and transfer to the hotel for free between 9:00am and 9:00pm. Those who arrive before 3:00pm will also receive free transportation to the Chicago Premium Outlets to do a little shopping. Any guests who arrive before 5:00pm are also invited to take a Night Tour of this marvelous city for $25 per person (a minimum of 4 guests is required for this tour to be arranged).
Day 2 Chicago
On this tour, guests will get to see the best of Chicago in one day. Today, we will take a walk in Millennium Park, where we will see a combination of stunning architecture, sculpture, and landscape design in the heart of downtown. There, we will see the famous Cloud Gate before taking a break at the Clarence Buckingham Memorial Fountain. After that, we will stroll around the Navy Pier. Then, we will get an exclusive tour of the Chicago Theater, an exquisite French Baroque style building. Walking along Michigan Avenue, we will be strolling down the brilliant Magnificent Mile, where we will see the Art Institute of Chicago, Grant Park, and the historical Chicago Water Tower. For the best view of the city, we will go to the top of 360 CHICAGO. Afterward, we will take a Architectural cruise to further admire the city's architecture (the cruise will be closed in winter).
Day 3 Chicago - Springfield - St. Louis (264 miles)
Today we will depart from Chicago and then tour Springfield, the capital of Illinois. There we will visit the Lincoln Home National Historic Site (outside) and see the Old Illinois State Capitol Building. We will then head to St. Louis, MO, where we will stop at the Gateway Arch and the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis. This is also where we will spend the night.
Day 4 St. Louis - Memphis - Jackson
From St. Louis, we will head to Memphis, TN, where we will visit Graceland, the former estate of Elvis Presley. We will got to Jackson, MS for the night.
Day 5 Jackson - New Orleans (162 miles)
We will make our way from Jackson into Louisiana, where we will have the chance to take a Swamp Tour on a riverboat that will bring us closer to the unique nature of the South. From there, we will head to New Orleans, LA, stopping along the way at the Oak Alley Plantation. There is an optional Night Tour of New Orleans available.
Day 6 New Orleans - Birmingham (312 miles)
Today, we will get to explore New Orleans. Our stops will include the French Quarter, Jackson Square, Royal Street, and the many antique stores and jazz bars on Bourbon Street. We will head to Birmingham, AL for the evening, where we will get to see Kelly Ingram Park.
Day 7 Chattanooga - Great Smoky Mountains - Gatlinburg - Pigeon Forge - Knoxville (149 miles)
In the morning, we will explore Chattanooga, TN, heading up the slopes of Lookout Mountain and Rock City. Then, we'll drive through the Great Smoky Mountains, home to a variety of animals. Eventually, we will reach Gatlinburg, a charming mountain town with a variety of unique shops, restaurants, and hotels. Afterwards, we will continue to Pigeon Forge, TN to see the Dixie Stampede show, created by the famous country singer Dolly Parton.
Day 8 Knoxville - Berea - Lexington - Louisville (351 miles)
Today, we will stop by the Kentucky Artisan Center, which celebrates the state's charming local folk art. Later, we will arrive in Lexington to visit the Kentucky Horse Park. At noon we will head towards the Ark Encounter theme park. After that we will visit the historic Findley Market to enjoy local food for dinner.
Day 9 Indianapolis - Lafayette - Chicago (189 miles)
After seeing the exterior of the Indiana State House in Indianapolis, we will travel to Lafayette to see the campus of Purdue University. Later in the day, we will reach Chicago, where the tour will come to an end. Please see "Departure and Return" for more detailed information regarding pickup and drop-off times and locations.