Featuring Louisville, Gatlinburg, and Asheville
Visit Louisville, Kentucky and the mecca of horse racing, Churchill Downs; sip on samples of Kentucky’s home-grown spirit during a tasting at Buffalo Trace Bourbon Distillery; stop in Berea, the arts and crafts capital of the state of Kentucky. Enjoy a visit to a private horse farm in Lexington, Kentucky; explore the grandeur of nature at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park; and enjoy Southern fare an Historic Boone Tavern in the center of Berea, Kentucky. Sit back and watch the wildly entertaining Dolly Parton’s Stampede & Dinner Show; walk the stunning grounds of the Biltmore Estate in Asheville; and take in the vibrant and artistic downtown of Ashville, North Carolina during a walking tour.
September 24-October 2, 2020
Highlights include Churchill Downs, Kentucky Derby Museum, Old Louisville walking tour, Buffalo Trace Bourbon Distillery, Gatlinburg, Lexington Horse Farms, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Dolly Parton’s Stampede & Dinner Show, Asheville, the Biltmore Estate, and more. Includes 9 days, 12 meals, hotel, air, and taxes. $3199 Double; $3999 Single; $3169 Triple
Day 1-2: Courtyard Louisville Downtown, Louisville
Day 3: Double Tree Suites by Hilton, Lexington
Day 4-6: Margaritaville Resort, Gatlinburg
Day 7-8: Cambria Hotel Downtown Asheville
Day 1: Thursday, September 24, 2020: Your tour starts in Louisville, Kentucky, famous for Thoroughbreds, Bourbon, and baseball. Tonight, enjoy a welcome reception and settle in for a 2-night stay at your hotel located in Jeffersonville, Indiana, ideally situated just across the river from downtown Louisville.
Day 2: Friday, September 25, 2020: Enjoy a visit to Churchill Downs, the Thoroughbred racetrack famous for hosting the pinnacle of all horse races, the annual Kentucky Derby. You’ll tour the Kentucky Derby Museum and learn about the legendary history of the “Sport of Kings.” Then, enjoy a walking tour of Old Louisville, a historic neighborhood that boasts the largest concentration of Victorian mansions in the United States. Later, head to “Museum Row” where it’s your choice! Visit the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory for an All-Star baseball experience showing you all there is to know about “America’s Pastime” -OR- explore the Frazier Kentucky History Museum, and its new Spirit of Kentucky exhibit, the official start of the Bourbon Trail. Tonight, join your fellow travelers at a local restaurant for a welcome dinner. (B, D)
Day 3: Saturday, September 26, 2020: Today we travel to Lexington. En route, we’ll visit Buffalo Trace, the oldest continuously operating Bourbon distillery in America. Learn about the subtle craft of Bourbon distilling., meet some of the people who make it all happen; and, of course, taste some of Kentucky’s home-grown spirit. Stop in Midway, a quaint, historic town and the first one in Kentucky to be founded by a railroad. Learn about this area from a local guide as we explore Kentucky’s horse country. Enjoy the stunning rolling bluegrass pastureland and the many horse farms that dot the landscape. We’ll visit private horse farms and hear about their time-honored traditions. (B)
Day 4: Sunday, September 27, 2020: We travel south, stopping in Berea, the historic college town known as the arts and crafts center of Kentucky. You’ll meet a few artisans while they demonstrate their craft. Enjoy lunch at Boone Tavern, where blue grass country meets the rolling hills of Appalachia. En route to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, travel through Daniel Boone National Forest. Extending across the western plateau region or the Appalachian Mountains, it’s named for the larger-than-life American pioneer who once blazed a trail across these rugged and wild lands. Gatlinburg, a lively mountain resort, is the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and your home for a 3-night stay. (B, L)
Day 5: Monday, September 28, 2020: This morning, a local guide leads you into the most visited national park in the United States. Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The park contains one of the most diverse ecosystems on earth and the largest deciduous forest in the eastern United States. Explore the park, stopping at various lookouts on our way to Newfound Gap which boasts views of both sides of the Smoky Mountains – those in Tennessee and North Carolina. Afterwards, enjoy a tour and tasting at the Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery. Tonight, be entertained at the lively Dolly Parton’s Stampede and Dinner Show where you’ll see music, dancing, and professional horse riders performing incredible stunts. (B, D)
Day 6: Tuesday, September 29, 2020: Today, spend your time however you see fit during a leisurely day in Gatlinburg. Perhaps you’ll want to venture back to the Great Smokey Mountains National Park and see more stunning natural sights. Or, for a bit of campy fun, you could head to Pigeon Forge and experience Dollywood, Dolly Parton’s Smoky Mountains theme park. (B)
Day 7: Wednesday, September 30, 2020: Depart for Asheville, North Carolina, our Blue Ridge Mountains home for two nights. En route, we’ll stop at the stunning East Coast home of the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. Upon arrival in Asheville, a local guide takes you on an orientation walking tour of the neighborhood around your downtown hotel. (B)
Day 8: Thursday, October 1, 2020: Back in 1895, George Vanderbilt II decided to build himself “a little mountain escape” in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. The result was the impressive and decadent grandeur of the Biltmore Estate. Today, tour the sprawling mansion and the manicured grounds; enjoy a wine tasting at the historic Biltmore Winery; and experience what it was like to be a wealthy tycoon in the Gilded Age of America. Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. (B, D)
Day 9: Friday, October 2, 2020: Today your tour comes to an end. As you venture home, take the spirit and the warmth of America’s Southeast with you. (B)
All airlines will ask for identification when you check in. It is recommended that you carry a passport if you have one. Your name on your identification must match the name on your air ticket exactly. A driver’s license (with photo ID) is also acceptable for domestic flights.
This tour includes moderate physical activity. You should be in good health, able to climb stair and walk reasonable distances possibly over uneven walking surfaces or cobblestone streets.
Experience it! Great Smoky Mountain National Park
Boasting 520,000 acres, more than 800 miles of hiking trails, and millions of visitors annually, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in the United States. Rising along the Tennessee/North Carolina border, this sprawling park features lush forest and an abundance of wildflowers that bloom year-round. Travel the scenic mountain road and take in the beauty of the high-rising Chimney Tops. Stop at Newfound Gap and see the Rockefeller Memorial that honors the $5 million donation that made this national park a reality. As you take a minute to gaze out at the horizon, you’ll see the magical haze that gives the Great Smoky Mountains their name.