Bluegrass and Blue Ridges: Louisville to Nashville Tauck Tours

Bluegrass and Blue Ridges: Louisville to Nashville

Stories by Ken Burns

The Bluegrass and Blue Ridges: Louisville to Nashville tour is a 9 day Tauck World Discovery tour. This adventure through North Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky is all about the music, the landscapes and the history that make this place so special. Your luxury tour will be an exploration of Bluegrass, Appalachian and country music.

The Bluegrass and Blue Ridges: Louisville to Nashville tour starts in Louisville, Kentucky at The Brown Hotel. You’ll go behind-the-scenes at Churchill Downs where epic battles have been waged over the years on the horse track. You’ll learn more about music and mountains than you could imagine as you head to some of the most important and interesting cities in the south.


9 Daysfr. $5,290

  • Filmed narratives exclusively produced for Tauck by filmmakers Ken Burns & Dayton Duncan feature new insights based on themes from their films, from national parks to country music
  • TAUCK EXCLUSIVE – Lunch with a Nashville songwriter at the Country Music Hall of Fame
  • TAUCK EXCLUSIVE – Backstretch tour of Churchill Downs – meet a professional jockey
  • TAUCK EXCLUSIVE – Private “Bluegrass and Bourbon” event dinner at a Lexington mansion
  • TAUCK EXCLUSIVE – Culinary expert-crafted and hosted farewell reception and dinner in Nashville
  • Private national park insider presentation at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
  • Private "Legacy of the Land" guided driving tour of Biltmore Estate grounds and history
  • Cherokee Nation experience, including Cherokee Museum, private viewing of vault collections and luncheon
  • Guided backstage / front-of-house our of Nashville's famed Ryman Auditorium
  • Guided exploration of President Andrew Jackson's Nashville home and farm, The Hermitage
  • Lunch and live entertainment aboard the Cumberland River paddlewheeler showboat General Jackson
  • Country music performance at the Grand Ole Opry or Ryman Auditorium
  • Private presentation on Appalachian music and instrument craftsmanship
  • Airport transfers upon arrival and departure as detailed
  • All customary gratuities for hotel and restaurant staff and local guides are included.
  • The customary gratuities for the Tauck Director and local drivers are not included. We ask that gratuities be extended on a voluntary, individual basis and not as a group.
  • All items of a personal nature (room service, beverages, telephone charges, laundry, dry cleaning, special food requests, etc.) and meals not specified on the tour itinerary are not included and must be paid by the client.
  • Airline excess luggage charges, vaccinations, visa fees and services, airport arrival and departure taxes, individual airport transfers (when applicable), and other optional or incidental extras are not included.
  • All rates exclude airfare unless expressly noted.
  • 8 breakfasts
  • 7 lunches
  • 7 dinners
  • The Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky (1 night)
  • Griffin Gate Marriott Resort and Spa in Lexington, Kentucky (2 nights)
  • Inn on Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina (2 nights)
  • Hilton Knoxville Downtown in Knoxville, Tennessee (1 night)
  • The Hermitage Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee (2 nights)

Arrive Louisville

Louisville, USA

Tour begins: 5:30 PM, The Brown Hotel. A transfer is included from Louisville International Airport to The Brown Hotel, a landmark in the heart of downtown Louisville near the theatre district. Since 1923, this gracious hotel has entertained celebrities and dignitaries with its opulence, charm, and impeccable Southern hospitality, and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Please join us at the hotel this evening for a welcome reception and dinner.

Dinner

THE BROWN HOTEL

Behind-the-scenes at Churchill Downs & more

Louisville, USA

Begin the day with a visit to Churchill Downs, the legendary thoroughbred racetrack that has hosted The Kentucky Derby since 1875. Your visit includes a Tauck Exclusive tour of the backstretch with a professional jockey who’ll share insider views of the track’s history and daily operation while the horses take their morning exercise. On the racetrack grounds, you’ll also visit The Kentucky Derby Museum for insights into the race’s celebrated history, and what goes into the breeding and training of a thoroughbred champion.

Bardstown, USA

A short drive to Bardstown takes you to another iconic landmark, Federal Hill, a Georgian-style plantation house built in 1795 by Judge John Rowan that once entertained dignitaries like Andrew Jackson and Marquis de Lafayette, but is better known as the inspiration for Stephen Foster’s “My Old Kentucky Home” – tour the impeccably preserved mansion and formal gardens.

Frankfort, USA

After lunch at a historic tavern, head to Frankfort for a guided tour of the Buffalo Trace Distillery, famous for its fine Kentucky bourbon, which it has produced continuously since 1775. During Prohibition, the distillery was permitted to output whiskey “for medicinal purposes...” Arrive late afternoon at your resort hotel in Lexington where the evening is free.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

GRIFFIN GATE MARRIOTT RESORT AND SPA

Shakers and a private "Bluegrass & Bourbon" evening

Pleasant Hill, USA

Drive to Pleasant Hill, site of what was once the largest, most successful Shaker community in America. Founded in England in the 18th century, the sect known as Shakers had a profound effect on 19th century America, as documented in Ken Burns’s film, Hands to Work, Hearts to God. Known locally as “Shakertown,” the village, which flourished here from 1805 to 1910, comprises 34 original buildings, wonderfully restored as a living museum with costumed interpreters, where you’ll gain insights into the hearts and minds of the Shakers, and marvel at their engineering achievements; besides their fame for furniture making, the Shakers invented the circular saw, the clothespin, the wheel-driven washing machine, and numerous other labor-saving devices.

Lexington, USA

Following lunch at the village, delve deeper into equine culture at The Kentucky Horse Park, a working horse farm and theme park showcasing breeds from around the world; you’ll also visit the International Museum of the Horse. Return to your hotel for a special, private “Bluegrass & Bourbon” evening, including a banquet dinner, a live band, and bourbon tasting.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

GRIFFIN GATE MARRIOTT RESORT AND SPA

Currents of the Cumberland Gap

Middlesboro, USA

When you stand at the Cumberland Gap you’ll never forget it – you’re standing at the first frontier, the first gateway to the west. Off the beaten pathway, it was a break in the Appalachian Mountains that provided a gateway to the west for migrating buffalo herds, American Indian tribes, and restless pioneers – including Daniel Boone, who blazed a trail known as the Wilderness Road here in 1775. And today you will join that long list of “travelers” when you pass through the gap yourself. Explore its rich history and cultural currents at a private presentation at the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park visitors’ center. The park also features unique geologic sandstone formations, magnificent underground caverns, and restored log cabins from an early 20th century pioneer settlement.

Asheville, USA

Continue to Asheville, North Carolina, where your accommodation is both historic and gracious, exemplifying the best of Southern hospitality. Asheville has emerged as one of America’s top culinary destinations – a “foodie haven” with many new twists on traditional southern cuisine. In addition to being ranked #12 on the recent “Top 100 Best Places to Live in America,” its restaurants and chefs have won top accolades in numerous polls. Dine at your leisure at “The Biltmore.”

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

INN ON BILTMORE ESTATE

The Biltmore Estate & Appalachian music

Asheville, USA

Back in 1895 George Vanderbilt II, grandson of railroad tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt, decided to build himself “a little mountain escape” in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. The result was the Biltmore Estate, a fabulous 250-room French château for which he employed architect Richard Morris Hunt for the castle design and Frederick Law Olmsted (the designer of Central Park) to lay out the woodlands and formal gardens. You’ll have an opportunity to learn more about this magnificent estate on tours of both the estate grounds and through the mansion itself. See Antler Hill Village, a town built to house the employees who worked on the estate and tended its crops and livestock. After lunch on the estate, return to Asheville where the remainder of the day is free to spend as you please.

Breakfast, Lunch

INN ON BILTMORE ESTATE

Great Smoky Mountains National Park & Cherokee culture

Gatlinburg, USA

Today you’ll experience one of the most beautiful, and one of the oldest, places on Earth – Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most visited national park in the US. Historically, it is known as a place of refuge; the fascinating story of its creation includes the heroic efforts of Horace Kephart, George Masa and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Ecologically, it is one of the world’s best examples of a deciduous hardwood forest – a UNESCO World Heritage Site with one of the most diverse ecosystems on Earth, it is dedicated as an international biosphere reserve. Scenically, the grandeur and beauty of the Southern Appalachians is at its very core – from mist-shrouded “smoky” mountains with their wide range of elevations to fresh streams and miles of forests; it is the very definition of the word “vista.” In Cherokee, North Carolina, explore 19th century wilderness settlement life with period interpreters at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park visitors’ center.

Cherokee, USA

You’ll also visit the Museum of the Cherokee Indian for a guided tour and exclusive private viewing of its archival collection of artifacts. A catered private lunch at the museum includes samples of traditional Cherokee flavors and is accompanied by a Cherokee flute musician. Arrive in Knoxville late afternoon.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

HILTON KNOXVILLE DOWNTOWN

Nashville rhythms

Nashville, USA

Travel today to what has emerged as the music capital of America... Nashville, Tennessee. First up is a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame, where you’ll truly get a behind-the-scenes look at the industry during lunch with a Nashville songwriter. Enjoy time on your own to explore the museum, then head to the Ryman Auditorium for a private front-of-house and backstage tour. The venerable hall is best known as the former home of the Grand Ole Opry, from 1943 to 1974, having hosted the biggest country stars of its day. Your downtown hotel is a palatial Beaux-Arts landmark built in 1910; dine as you wish this evening.

Breakfast, Lunch

THE HERMITAGE HOTEL

From The Hermitage to the Opry in Nashville

Nashville, USA

Visit The Hermitage, the plantation home of Andrew Jackson, military hero, populist, and 7th President of the United States. Dayton Duncan notes that you can understand Andrew Jackson by his own words – “I was born for a storm. And a calm does not suit me.” Jackson (“Old Hickory”) lived here until his death in 1845 and his brick mansion is considered the most accurately preserved presidential home in the US, with restored décor and original furnishings.

Nashville, USA

Drive along Music Row to your hotel; enjoy some free time to explore Nashville as you please before an early farewell reception and dinner. Join us this evening for a performance of country music at the inimitable Grand Ole Opry (schedule permitting; if an Opry performance is not available on day 8, we may attend a performance on day 7, or a performance at the Opry's original home, the Ryman Auditorium).

Breakfast, Dinner

THE HERMITAGE HOTEL

Journey home

Nashville, USA

Tour ends: Nashville. Fly home anytime. A transfer is included from The Hermitage Hotel to Nashville International Airport. Allow a minimum of two hours for flight check-in.

Departure Date
Price
Fri, May 10, 2019
$5,290.00
Tue, May 28, 2019
$5,290.00
Sat, Jun 15, 2019
$5,290.00
Sat, Aug 31, 2019
$5,290.00
Fri, Sep 06, 2019
$5,290.00
Sat, Sep 28, 2019
$5,290.00
Fri, May 08, 2020
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Fri, May 22, 2020
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Sat, Jun 13, 2020
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Sat, Aug 29, 2020
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Sat, Sep 12, 2020
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Sat, Oct 03, 2020
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Sat, Oct 17, 2020
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Important information:

  • All rates listed are per person based on double occupancy and are subject to change without notice. Your land package pricing will be confirmed and guaranteed once your deposit is received and applied to the booking, except where price increases may result from increases in government taxes or fees. Room configurations are subject to availability. Guests added to your party after the booking are priced at the prevailing rate at the time they are added.
  • If the Grand Ole Opry performance is not available on Day 8, guests will attend a performance on Day 7 or Ryman Auditorium’s live Country Classics show.
  • Tours of May 28 and June 1 will stay at Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center nights 7 & 8.
  • Reserve your preferred 2020 departure date and we will advise you once the 2020 trip is finalized and priced. You will then have two weeks to cancel; should you cancel, you'll receive a full refund of your trip deposit and the cost of the Travel Protection Product (if purchased with Tauck Tours). If you are making your own air arrangements, do not book your flights until this trip is finalized as start and end cities may change.

ALL guests must carefully verify the existing identification requirements for their particular travel situation DIRECTLY WITH THEIR LOCAL CONSULATES OR EMBASSIES or with a visa service, as these requirements may change. Guests without proper documentation may be denied entry and will not be entitled to a refund
  • 60 days or more before departure: $350.00 per person
  • 59-8 days before departure: $600.00 per person
  • 7-1 days before departure: $900.00 per person
  • On departure day and later: 100% of total price
  • Any changes or cancellations to airline reservations made through Tauck either before or after departure are subject to the cancellation / change policies of the individual airlines. In n some instances these cancellation / change fees may be up to 100% of the ticket price.
  • Cancellation fees may also apply to any additional services, including extra night accommodations, independently supplied services, and optional excursions reserved prior to, during, and after the tour. If flight changes, including, but not limited to, flight cancellations or name changes, are requested after full land and air deposits are received, revision fees, change fees, or airline cancellation fees will apply.
  • All cancellations must be received in writing prior to tour departure. The cancellation policy will apply according to the date that the cancellation notification is received. The MINIMUM cancellation penalty is the deposit amount.
  • The purchase to trip cancellation insurance is strongly recommended.
  • Land only “from price” is per person based on two people sharing a room together and does not include airfare unless expressly stated.
  • All prices are in US Dollars.
  • A $350 non-refundable, non-transferable, per-person, per-vacation deposit is required to reserve space for you. Payment of the deposit indicates you have read and accepted all Terms & Conditions. Your booking is not confirmed until the deposit payment is processed and you receive a confirmation invoice.
  • Final payment is due 75 days prior to departure. Within the final payment date, payment in full is required at time of booking to reserve space. Reservations (land, cruise, and air) are canceled if final payment is not received by the due date.
  • Additional deposits or payments are required for international air added to the start and/or end of your vacation.
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