Price: From $8,645 (land content)
Stay: 12 nights
Travel Dates: Friday 14th of September 2018 until Wednesday 26th of September 2018
Description: Featuring Tim Roxborogh as your host; award winning radio announcer, travel writer & photographer, entertainment writer and cricket commentator.
About Tim RoxboroghTim is an award-winning radio announcer, travel writer and photographer, entertainment writer and cricket commentator from Auckland, New Zealand. He has travelled extensively around the world (with a special passion for the United States) with his articles published more than 100 times in major newspapers and magazines.
Tim described his philosophy on travel to Let’s Travel Magazine in 2016:
“For me, travel is about storytelling. It’s hearing people’s stories and creating your own. It’s the fun you can have when things don’t go entirely to plan. It’s about challenging stereotypes and misconceptions. It’s being unrelentingly curious; of wanting to know what’s down that street, what’s behind that door, what’s around that headland and what the view is like from that mountain”.
Tim has been obsessed with music since before he could walk and has interviewed numerous stars like the Bee Gees, Fleetwood Mac, Lionel Richie, Sheryl Crow, Brian Wilson, Burt Bacharach, John Mayer, Hall & Oates and many more. He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of music history and sees this as a dream trip:
“This will be the tour from Heaven for anyone with a passion for American music and history. From Graceland, to Sun Studios, to seeing Isaac Hayes’24 karat gold-plated Cadillac in Memphis, to the live music scenes of Austin, Houston, Nashville and New Orleans to the cultural landmarks of Atlanta like the King Centre and CNN headquarters, this tour is just incredible.”
Hello Austin!! (2 nights)We begin this unforgettable adventure of some of the American South’s greatest Rock & Roll destinations in Austin, Texas. Long recognised as one of the live music capitals of the world, Austin is a fast-growing, forward thinking metropolis that’s attracting ever-increasing numbers of thinkers, artists and musicians.
To get to Austin we fly into George Bush International Airport in Houston. Once there we’ll be met by our friendly assistant who’ll show us to our private coach. From the airport we drive the 3-4 hours to Austin with a playlist of classic American road-trip songs as personally selected by Tim.
While in Austin, we will enjoy a half-day tour with a highlight being a visit to the stunning HOPE Outdoor Gallery – one of the largest outdoor galleries in the USA. HOPE was developed to provide muralists, graffiti artists and community groups the opportunity to display large scale art pieces driven by inspirational, positive and educational messages.
Also included is breakfast at our hotel (the Best Western Plus Austin city or similar) and a 2-course lunch at Launderette – a very funky converted gas station and laundromat (or similar).
There will be enough free time to join Tim in his unquenchable thirst for live music at some of Austin’s bars.
Time to Discover Atlanta (2 nights)Today, we board our flight to Atlanta, one of the most popular destinations of the Southwest and among the most important cities in all of the States. Atlanta is home to fine dining and spectacular shopping as well as rich cultural history (the birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr.) and must-see attractions (CNN headquarters, the Coca-Cola Museum etc.). All of this in a city that combines Southern charm with world-class sophistication.
While in Atlanta Tim will take you on a half-day of sightseeing, including entrance into The King Centre (Martin Luther King Jr. Centre for Nonviolent Social Change). Established in 1958 by Coretta Scott King, The King Centre is the official living memorial dedicated to the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., the central figure of the Black Civil Rights movement in the 20th century. Tim has been fascinated, enraged and inspired by this part of American history since childhood and the struggle for equality has been the backdrop behind so much of America’s best music.
For any news junkies, Tim will also get you a behind-the-scenes look at the CNN headquarters, based in Atlanta. This guided walk lets us peek into the newsroom, control room and much more.
Included in our time in Atlanta is breakfast at our hotel (the Hyatt Atlanta Downtown or similar) and a 3-course dinner at Sweet Georgia’s Juke Joint (or similar).
Music City, Nashville (2 nights)From Atlanta we board our coach (again armed with a road-trip playlist from Tim) and head northward to the state of Tennessee. For Country Music fans and wannabe songwriters the world over, a trip to Nashville is the ultimate pilgrimage since the 1920’s.
On the way to Nashville, we’ll stop off in Lynchburg at the Flight of Jack Daniels Distillery for a tour and tasting of Tennessee’s finest bourbon. Then with a bit of a buzz on, it will be back into the coach and back to Tim’s road-trip favourites as we make our way to Music City.
No American music trip would be complete without a full day filled with the sights and sounds of Nashville. Included in our day is a tour of the iconic Grand Ole Opry. We’ll take a behind-the-scenes look at this grand old lady, walking in the footsteps of some of Nashville’s finest. Listen to live music on Music Row, enter the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and even see the famed RCA Studio B. There will also be time to visit the Johnny Cash Museum and take in the Ryman Auditorium. A full-on day of boot scootin’ boggie!
Included is breakfast at our beautiful historic hotel (the Hotel Indigo or similar). Also, a guaranteed brilliant night out with a 3-course dinner and show at Bourbon Street Blues & Boogie Bar (or similar).
Walking in Memphis (2 nights)Put on your blue suede shoes as we board our coach (with another specially selected road-trip playlist by Tim), and head to the land of the Delta Blues, Memphis.
Memphis is a city like no other. Whether it’s blues, jazz, country, gospel or straight out rock & roll, Memphis has it all. Just Beale Street alone is a bucket list destination for any music lover.
While in Memphis, Tim will take you from those Beale Street Bars to Sun Studios for a guided tour of the place where everyone from Elvis and Johnny Cash to U2 and Maroon 5 have recorded. Then it will be onto Stax Museum of American Soul Music where you can gaze in awe at Isaac Hayes’ 24-karat gold-plated Cadillac.
Though of course there’s another reason to visit Memphis and that’s to see Graceland – the former home of the undisputed King of Rock & Roll, Elvis Presley. Tim can still remember the chills the first time his mum gave him an Elvis tape in the 80’s (he was five-years old) and he’s more than happy to answer any of your trainspottery Elvis-related questions.
But not only will have an audio guided tour of Graceland, our accommodation in Memphis will be the brand-new Guesthouse At Graceland. This enormous Elvis-themed hotel even lets you choose which decade of the King’s career you’d prefer to listen to while in your hotel room.
Included for our Memphis stay is breakfast (fit for a King) at our hotel and an unmissable 3-course dinner at B.B. King’s Blues Club including musical entertainment (or similar)
Welcome to “The Big Easy”, New Orleans (3 nights)Farewelling Memphis, Tim will once again be ready with another road-trip-worthy selection of songs as we board our coach bound for New Orleans. A city that barely needs an introduction, this cultural, culinary and musical melting pot is so rich in things to do that we will spend 3 nights here.
As part of the Memphis – New Orleans road-trip there’s a stop on the way in Clarksdale to visit the museum devoted to the blues, the Delta Blues Museum. Founded by Sid Graves in January 1979, this will whet your appetite for some of the music to come in the Big Easy.
Once in New Orleans, we’ll be treated to a half-day of sightseeing. This will include many of the city’s main sights, including entrance into the famous Lafayette cemetery.
No visit to New Orleans would be complete without the brilliant Cajun Man Swamp Boat tour with live music. This is planned for our final morning prior to our departing the city. By then you will have been left in little doubt as to why New Orleans receives more than 10-million visitors annually.
With New Orleans being such an endlessly fascinating place filled with enough character to suit any and all tastes, you’ll be able to enjoy the first morning to yourself and the third day at leisure. Or feel free to accompany Tim as he revisits some past haunts like the gorgeous Garden District with its opulent homes, lush trees and crumbling footpaths.
Included is breakfast at our primely located hotel (the Omni Royal Crescent or similar – located on the edge of the French Quarter). Our time in New Orleans will continue the trend with an amazing 3-course dinner on the Steamboat Natchez Jazz Cruise (or similar).
Houston, We Are Go! (1 night)Today, we say good bye to New Orleans and head back to Texas and megapolis of Houston. Today’s long drive (approx. 6-hours) will give some time to relax, catch up on some sleep or just talk about the fun times, friendships made and happy memories that will be created during the trip. And yes, Tim will have prepared another singalong road-trip playlist. He might even deliver an impromptu DJ or karaoke session too.
Then for our final night in the States we do what we’ve been doing this entire, amazing, pinch-yourself trip; we head out for some excellent, authentic live music. Tim will take the group to a 3-course honky tonk dinner and live music show at Goode Company Armadillo Palace Texas Bar-B-Q.
As for our hotel, we hunker down in style at what is widely regarded as the premier boutique in Houston, the Hotel Derek Houston Galleria (or similar). Breakfast will be included.
And that will conclude the tour ahead of our flight back to Auckland! What an experience, one which Tim and everyone at Mondo Travel are thrilled you are a part off. Y’all come back now, ya hear!
Twin Share: from $8645* per person.
Single Share: from $11,215* per person.
Pricing is land only as per itinerary. A Non-Refundable deposit of $3000 NZD per person within 3 days of booking. Final balance due no later than 12 July 2018.
Conditions: * It is our policy to present the cost of our flights & holidays inclusive of all airport and government charges. Please accept however that these charges are not within our control, therefore we reserve the right to pass on any increase. Travel agent professional service fees where charged, will be additional to the advertised prices.