Civil rights history, country music and more in America

In association with: Brand USA

Have your clients ever wanted to get under the skin of the United States’ diverse music scene? How about seeing where Kentucky Derby racehorses are bred? Or perhaps they’d like to learn about the Southern states’ civil rights history?

The US has so much to explore, and Brand USA’s self-drive itineraries are packed with handy information to help you sell it. Each itinerary highlights the must-sees and dos in each destination, as well as the distances between stops. Here we delve into two self-drive itineraries for those wanting to explore the authentic regions in the southeast and Midwest.

Bourbon, Bluegrass and Horse Country

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Starting and ending in Nashville, Tennessee, the suggested route in this itinerary spans four states, ticking off big cities, rural ranches and everything in between.

Nashville is known as Music City – and it’s not hard to see why with excellent live music so easily accessible. Bars and restaurants line Broadway, the city’s main street, where dinner and drinks are almost always accompanied by live performances.

The city is also home to the Country Music Hall of Fame, as well as iconic live music venues such as the Grand Ole Opry and the Ryman Auditorium – the latter renowned as the ‘birthplace of bluegrass’, thanks to Bill Monroe’s legendary performance here in 1945.

Stop by Jack Daniel’s whiskey distillery in Lynchburg, before heading to Pigeon Forge, home of Dollywood, with its jam-packed schedule of music events, particularly during the holidays.

Another highlight, soon after crossing into Kentucky, is the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame, to learn about some of the state’s musical legends, before stopping in Lexington to tour some stables and meet Kentucky Derby-winning horses.

Before trying out some more craft spirits, take a stroll along the Purple People Bridge that connects Cincinnati, Ohio with Kentucky. The banks on either side of the Ohio River are home to some lively bars and restaurants.

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Indianapolis, Indiana

A particularly interesting stop on this route is Indianapolis, Indiana where craft distilleries can be found all over the city and glasses of whiskey come with stories of the state’s prohibition past.

Louisville in Kentucky is one of the final stops before returning to Nashville, and the Kentucky Derby Museum is a must-visit to learn about the history of one of the world’s most famous horse races.

Download the ‘Bourbon, Bluegrass and Horse Country’ itinerary in its entirety here.

Do you have a client that is interested in making this trip a reality?

Gold Medal offers this itinerary from £1,999 per person, based on two adults sharing. The price includes return flights with American Airlines from Heathrow, 14 nights’ accommodation and four-door intermediate care hire for the duration to be picked up and dropped off in Nashville. The price is valid for departures between September 13 – October 6.

To book, please call Gold Medal on 0800 014 7777.

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The Southern Civil Rights Story

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This self-drive itinerary explores one of the most significant movements in USA’s history. Starting and ending in Nashville, Tennessee, clients can follow in the footsteps of those who made change happen, venturing across five of the southern states.

In Memphis, Tennessee visitors can stop by the National Civil Rights Museum, next to the Lorraine Motel, where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968. There’s also the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, where this genre is celebrated as the music was key to the civil rights’ marches.

Little Rock in Arkansas has a recognisable civil rights monument at Little Rock Central High School Historic Site. It was here that African American students were initially prevented from enrolling in the school, and riots ensued when they later did.

Stop in Jackson, Mississippi, home to the relatively new Mississippi Civil Rights Museum, which opened in 2017, detailing civil rights struggles across the state, before reaching neighbouring Alabama.

Start in Selma, where the right-to-vote marches that culminated in ‘Bloody Sunday’ in 1965 began. Thousands of people took part in these marches, headed for Montgomery, Alabama’s state capital. This was also the city where Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a local bus.

There’s also a lot of civil rights history in Atlanta, Georgia, not least because it is the birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr. Visit Ebenezer Baptist Church to hear some of his sermons, and The King Center, for an exhibition on his life and works.

Venture back into Alabama to visit Birmingham, where sit-ins, boycotts and marches took place. Stories of the city’s struggles for equality are recounted at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.

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Montgomery, Alabama

Download ‘The Southern Civil Rights Story’ itinerary in its entirety here.

Do you have a client that is interested in making this trip a reality?

Gold Medal offers this itinerary from £1,899 per person, based on two adults sharing. The price includes return flights with American Airlines from Heathrow, 13 nights’ accommodation and four-door intermediate car hire for the duration to be picked up and dropped off in Nashville. The price is valid for departures between September 13 – October 6.

To book, please call Gold Medal on 0800 014 7777.

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For more destination information, rights free images and videos, and other helpful resources to assist you as you sell the USA, visit Brand USA’s travel trade website: traveltrade.visittheusa.co.uk

Want to further expand your USA knowledge?

The USA Discovery Program is an award-winning, online agent training programme. With more than 60 modules, this training programme provides you with the knowledge and skills needed to sell trips to the USA more effectively.

Whether it’s must-visit places and unique experiences or historical facts and dining tips, this resource offers comprehensive overviews of states, cities, and experiences across the USA. Register at USADiscoveryProgram.co.uk to read up and complete the Kentucky badge!

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