Most large tour operators, including Sweet Magnolia, tailor some of their trip offerings to music guests. Others have options for Civil War buffs, including tours of historic battlegrounds and plantations. African-American history tours include sites related to the American Civil Rights movement.
If you're more interested in barbecue and turnip greens cooked in "pot likker" than you are in Tennessee's music attractions, you probably already know about the Southern Foodways Alliance, P.O. Box 1848 University, MS 38677 (tel. 662/915-5993; www.southernfoodways.com). Based at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, about an hour's drive south of Memphis, the fun-loving and highly regarded nonprofit organization specializes in culinary tourism. Special events, field trips, and symposia often sell out, so check their website for special activities that may be scheduled when you plan to visit the area.
Escorted General-Interest Tours
For travel planning to Memphis, Northwest Airlines, which has a hub in Memphis, offers convenient packages. (From Europe, KLM airlines offers direct flights from Amsterdam to Memphis.) For travel to Nashville, Southwest Airlines offers similar packages into Nashville from major U.S. cities.
The convention and visitors bureaus' websites in Nashville and Memphis allow tourists to book vacation packages that include hotel and attractions options. For example, the Nashville Nights "Honky Tonk Heaven" package includes 2 hotel nights, and tours to Ryman Auditorium, the Tennessee State Capitol, Historic Second Avenue, the Wildhorse Saloon, and the Hard Rock Cafe. All packages can be customized online, allowing you to book additional nights and add attractions to your itinerary.
Sweet Magnolia Tours (www.sweetmagnoliatours.com) is one of the few tour operators in Tennessee with offices in both Nashville and Memphis. In 2008, the company began offering specific vacation packages that combine the best of both cities. The land-only packages include hotel and attractions. For more information, call tel. 800/235-5295 or 615/646-0030 in Nashville, and tel. 901-369-9838 in Memphis.
For European travelers interested in touring Tennessee as well as Atlanta and New Orleans, check out the following website: www.deep-south-usa.de.
For more information on escorted general-interest tours, including questions to ask before booking your trip, see www.frommers.com/planning.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.