- 12 Days
- 12 Days
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MISSISSIPPI GULF COAST
The Mississippi Gulf Coast is as southern as southern gets. We’re in for hospitality! We’ll hit Music City, USA on the way down. Country music legends were born here thanks to the Grand Ole Opry and the Ryman – and we’ll see them both! We’ll also stay at the Gaylord Opryland Resort, one of two showstopping hotels on our 12-day getaway. Nashville plants a firm twang in our hearts before heading south to Biloxi, Mississippi for 5 nights.
From our base in Biloxi, we’ll explore the southern charm of the area and even spend a day in New Orleans! The Mississippi Gulf Coast is the land of swamps, Spanish moss, po’ boys, gumbo, and gators. You can’t skip a stone around here without hitting an antebellum plantation and the Beauvoir is one such fine example.
Heading north, we’ll visit the private home of the King of Rock ‘n Roll himself and stay at The Guest House at Graceland, one of the top hotels in Memphis. Elvis Presley’s Graceland is filled with hundreds of artefacts, photos, and memorabilia. The pride of Memphis, Graceland is a favourite destination of the DeNureTours’ Mississippi Gulf Coast tour!
5 Nights in Biloxi, Mississippi
We’ll begin our discovery of Biloxi (Bil-uhk-see), Mississippi at The Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum where 300 years of Mississippi’s gritty heritage comes alive through exhibits and replicas. After that, the Biloxi Cruise Company can’t wait to take us out shrimpin’! The Sailfish is our vessel for the next 70 minutes. We’ll learn how to set a trawl net that drags the bottom of the Mississippi Sound for blue crabs, oysterfish, flounder, stingrays, squid, pufferfish… and shrimp! The entire catch is identified and presented by your Captain.
An authentic waterside Biloxi Shrimp Boil is followed by a walking tour of the Biloxi Visitor Center & Lighthouse Park. We’ll tour Beauvoir where Jefferson Davis, the first and only President of the Confederate States of America, made his Home & Presidential Library. Ready to eat? Patio 44 prepares award-winning creole cuisine on the patio. Try the gumbo, the grits, or fried Mississippi catfish tacos.
Nashville is the capital of Tennessee and home to Vanderbilt University. Legendary country music venues include the Grand Ole Opry House, home of the famous “Grand Ole Opry” stage and radio show. The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and historic Ryman Auditorium are Downtown, as is the District, featuring honky-tonks with live music and the Johnny Cash Museum, celebrating the singer’s life.
Experience the finest in Southern hospitality at Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Centerit offers guests an unforgettable getaway with all the excitement and energy of Music City under one spectacular roof. Featuring an extraordinary selection of dining, shopping, recreational activities and entertainment, there’s never a shortage of things to do at the resort. Unwind at Relâche Spa & Salon, practice your swing at Gaylord Springs Golf Links, make a splash at the indoor or outdoor pool, hit the gym at the state-of-the-art fitness center, or explore nine acres of lush, indoor gardens and cascading waterfalls. From an incredible land of ice and snow halfway around the world, a remarkably talented team of artisans travels to the Nashville area — just to create our amazing The ICE! attraction at the Gaylord Opryland Resort! This band of master carvers spends nearly a month of 12-hour shifts inside a 9-degree freezer, transforming two million pounds of ice into a breathtaking winter wonderland. Sound extreme? It is, but to them, it feels much like home.
The Ryman Auditorium, also called the “Mother Church of Country Music,” has had artists as diverse as Jon Bon Jovi and Patsy Cline perform on its legendary stage since 1892. With 90 years under its belt, it’s the world’s longest-running radio broadcast and shows no signs of slowing down, with guest appearances by the biggest names in music.
The Grand Ole Opry is a country music stage concert founded on November 28, 1925, by George D. Hay as a one-hour radio “barn dance” on WSM. Currently owned and operated by Opry Entertainment, it is the longest running radio broadcast in US history. Dedicated to honoring country music and its history, the Opry showcases a mix of famous singers and contemporary chart-toppers performing country, bluegrass, Americana, folk, and gospel music as well as comedic performances and skits. It attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world and millions of radio and internet listeners.
The Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum (MSIM) was established in 1986 to preserve and interpret the maritime history and heritage of Biloxi and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. It accomplishes this mission through an array of exhibits on shrimping, oystering, recreational fishing, wetlands, managing marine resources, charter boats, marine blacksmithing, wooden boat building, net-making, catboats/Biloxi skiff, shrimp peeling machine and numerous historic photographs and objects. The Wade Guice Hurricane Museum within the museum, featuring 1,400 square feet (130 m2) of exhibit space and a state-of-the-art theatre. The Museum has brought life to local maritime history and heritage by replicating two 65-ft two-mast Biloxi Schooners.
In August 2005, the Museum was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. Nine years later, a newly constructed museum opened to the public
Experience the Biloxi Shrimping Trip. The pride and heritage of Biloxi comes alive aboard this unique and interesting cruise. The Biloxi Shrimping Trip exposes guests to the spectacular world of sea life – caught on a real shrimping expedition. “How many legs does a shrimp have?” Learn everything you ever wanted to know about catching, cooking, and eating this delicious southern delicacy, Mississippi Gulf Coast Style.
How does one catch a shrimp? You might wonder? Climb aboard the Sailfish and take a 70- minute peek into how the journey begins for a shrimp and how it ends up on your plate. The Biloxi Shrimping Trip has been entertaining visitors worldwide since 1954. The crew will entertain and educate while dropping a 16-foot trawl and dragging the bottom of the Mississippi Sound for all of the delicacies she has to offer.
Upon leaving the harbor, the shrimping net is set out with full details of how and what makes the net spread and operate correctly. The net will catch any and all sea creatures in its path along with the shrimp. The varieties range from Blue Crabs, Flounder, Stingray, Oysterfish, Squid, Pufferfish and numerous other species of local marine life. The entire catch will be identified and presented for your inspection by the Captain. This 70-minute Living Marine Adventure Cruise is navigated in the calm, protected waters between Deer island and the Biloxi shoreline for your comfort.
The Biloxi Lighthouse Park opened in June 2015. This site is historical as it is just east of where French records show that the building of Fort Louis began in 1720, and where Biloxi became the French capital of the Louisiana Territory. The park’s elevated nature trail follows the present-day ravine that is today considered a bay-head swamp. A November 25, 1720 French document describes it as “a running stream which comes from a spring whose water is cold, clear, and very clean.” The park also offers native plants and flowers, and a covered pavilion as an events venue.
The Beauvoir estate is notable as the historic post-war home (1876-1889) of the former President of the Confederate States of America, Jefferson Davis. Its construction was begun in 1848 facing the Gulf Coastline at Biloxi, Mississippi. It was purchased earlier in 1873 by the planter Samuel Dorsey and his wife Sarah Dorsey. After her husband’s death in 1875, the widow, Sarah Ellis Dorsey learned of former Confederate President Jefferson Davis’ difficulties. She invited him to visit at the plantation and offered him a cottage near the main house, where he could live and work at his memoirs (“Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government”). He ended up living there the rest of his life. The house and plantation have since been designated as a National Historic Landmark, recognized and listed by the U.S. Department of the Interior and its National Park Service (established 1916).
The property was sold it in 1902 to the Mississippi Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans with the stipulation that it be used as a Confederate state veterans home and later as a memorial to Jefferson Davis. Barracks were built nearby and the property was used as such a home until 1953, with the death of the last veteran of the Confederate States Army in Mississippi.
At that time, the main house was adapted as a house museum. In 1998, a Presidential Library was completed and opened on site. The main house and library were badly damaged, and other outbuildings were destroyed, during Hurricane Katrina on August 29, 2005. Beauvoir survived a similar onslaught from Hurricane Camille in 1969. The house was restored and has been re-opened, while work continues on the library.
The Pascagoula River Audubon Centerserves as the gateway to the Pascagoula River, its habitats, and the diverse assemblage of organisms that inhabit or visit the river basin throughout the year. In 1974, more than 35,000 acres of land along the Pascagoula was preserved for the public. This landmark preservation purchase, spearheaded by The Nature Conservancy, has protected a unique ecosystem and grown to the current 70,000 acres that keep the largest free-flowing river in the contiguous United States one of the wildest. Wildlife abounds in the Pascagoula River- including some species that are found nowhere else on the planet. Source: Pascagoula.audubon.org
McCoy’s River & Marsh Tour
Come and enjoy a trip along the Pascagoula River. Let Capt. Benny and Capt. Lynn McCoy take you on the Pascagoula River, one of the most pristine river swamps in America. This nature tours of this unique river and marsh system, lets guests experience the harder to reach small bayous and sloughs of the swamp and marsh. This natural treasure, with its moss-draped trees and abundant wildlife will be an unforgettable part of your trip to the beautiful Mississippi Gulf Coast.
“In order to realize the beauty of man we must realize his connection to nature.” Walter Inglis Anderson
The mission of the museum is to empower lifelong curiosity and connection to the natural world through the art of Walter Anderson and kindred artists.
The Walter Anderson Museum of Art inspires discovery, imagination, and community-building on the Gulf Coast and beyond through programs, exhibitions, and outreach; and embodies Walter Anderson’s vision for societies in harmony with their environments.
Shearwater Pottery was founded in 1928 by Peter Anderson with the support of his parents. From the 1920s through the present day, Shearwater Pottery has produced art pottery, utilitarian ware, figurines, decorative tiles and other pottery pieces. Shearwater Pottery is high-grade hard fired earthenware intended for functional as well as decorative use. Each piece is individual and unique in nature.
Peter Anderson’s four children, Peter Michael Anderson, Patricia Anderson Findeisen, Marjorie Anderson Ashley, and James Anderson, own Shearwater Pottery, and three of the children are still active in the ongoing production of Shearwater Pottery.
New Orleans is a city on the Mississippi River. Nicknamed the “Big Easy,” it’s known for its round-the-clock nightlife, vibrant live-music scene and spicy, singular cuisine reflecting its history as a melting pot of French, African and American cultures. Embodying its festive spirit is Mardi Gras, the late-winter carnival famed for raucous costumed parades and street parties.
Mardi Gras World Come watch us build magnificent floats year-long! Learn history, try on costumes, meet our artists, and enjoy some of our famous King Cake!
How Big is Mardi Gras? It’s very big. The most recent season included 54 parades and featured 1,061 floats, 588 marching bands, and more than 135,000 participants. The combined parade routes covered 301 miles and the processions were on the street for 204 hours. In 2000, it was estimated that more than one billion dollars in spending was tied to Mardi Gras.
When is Mardi Gras?Mardi Gras is scheduled 47 days before Easter and can occur on any Tuesday from February 3rd to March 9th.
Were you affected by Hurricane Katrina?When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, Kern Studios and Mardi Gras World sustained severe wind damage. With the buildings still intact, including the many generators Kern Studios uses to provide electricity during parades, the 82nd Airborne, Red Cross, and Salvation Army eventually used Mardi Gras World as a base to help others more seriously affected.
Has Mardi Gras ever been cancelled? Yes, but not often. Since 1857, only 13 Fat Tuesdays have been affected. Most cancellations were caused by wars: Civil, WWI, WWII, and Korean. What do the colours mean? Purple represents justice, green is for faith, and gold signifies power. Rex, the first king of Carnival, selected them in 1872.
Is Mardi Gras a religious holiday? Technically, yes. Most people do not realize that New Orleans is a predominately Catholic City and that Mardi Gras is a celebration inspired by Catholic tradition and ideology. More than anything, Mardi Gras is an inclusive event for everyone which revels in life and love, family and friends, music and food. Together, we appreciate all the things that make life exciting and worth living, before some of us begin our 47 days of fasting and self-reflection, called Lent.
The Court of Two Sisters is more than a restaurant – it’s a legend. Enjoy luscious Creole and Cajun cuisine. Listen to authentic jazz. Pass through the Charm Gates. Make a wish in the Devil’s Wishing Well. And hear the story of Emma and Bertha, the two sisters who ran a Notions shop here once upon a time in the French Quarter.
If elegance has an address, it’s 613 Royal Street. Court of Two Sisters has charmed and delighted guests at weddings and other social gatherings for more than half a century. This is where both memories and history are made.
Palace Casino Resort: The award-winning accommodations feature a warm, neutral palette, accented with carefully-placed pops of color, to create a relaxing environment. Coastal images taken by local photographers add a finishing touch to each room. The staff is waiting to assist you with your hotel accommodations and more! The guest rooms at the Palace give you the comforts of home, luxuries for relaxation and technology to stay connected. Drift away in our plush-beds and wake up to an amazing Gulf or Back Bay view. The staff will take care of the little necessities, while providing a lot of Southern Hospitality and superior service.
Graceland is so much more than a Mansion. It was the private retreat of The King of Rock ‘n Roll. It was where his family grew up, spent their time together and enjoyed life. Today, you’re invited to Explore Elvis Presley’s home and immerse yourself in his life and legacy. In addition to the Mansion, Graceland offers several exhibits that feature honors, accolades, personal items, and historical exhibits that pay tribute to Elvis and his legacy.
A trip to Graceland is to experience the life of Elvis, celebrate his achievements, and witness the glory of all things The King.
The Guest House at Graceland: Introducing an extraordinary hotel experience in the heart of Elvis Presley’s Graceland®! Located just steps away from the iconic Graceland Mansion, The Guest House at Graceland welcomes music fans, Graceland guests, Memphis visitors and groups from around the world with Southern hospitality, royal treatment and luxurious amenities that would make the king™ proud.
Introducing an unprecedented resort experience inspired by Elvis Presley. The Guest House at Graceland is just steps away from the music world’s most important and beloved landmark — welcoming music fans, Graceland guests, Memphis visitors, world travelers and groups alike. A perfect blend of style and Southern hospitality, The Guest House is a whole new way to experience Memphis — the Birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll and Home of the Blues.
When you visit The Guest House, you’ll enjoy all the luxurious amenities that would make Elvis proud. Inspired by the “make-yourself-at-home” warmth that Elvis always showed his guests, The Guest House at Graceland reflects Elvis’ style and the charm of Graceland. From the Southern colonial features to specialty suites with Priscilla Presley’s design supervision, every facet of The Guest House has a touch of grace and a dash of rock ‘n’ roll that guests will enjoy after exploring Graceland and Memphis.
Best of all, this world-class resort is your gateway to Elvis Presley’s Graceland, recently voted the #1 Best Musical Attraction worldwide. Each year, hundreds of thousands of fans from around the world visit this historic home to celebrate the greatest entertainer of all time.
Deluxe motorcoach transportation, 11 nights accommodation, 11 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 4 dinners, all highlights listed, Tour Director, Connections Program and all taxes.
Prices are in Canadian dollars, are per person and HST does not apply.
• Guided tour of Nashville
• Guided tour of the Ryman Auditorium
• Grand Ole Opry performance
• Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum
• Sailfish Shrimp Boat Tour
• Biloxi Visitors Center & Lighthouse Park walking tour
• Beauvoir – The Jefferson Davis Home & Presidential Library tour
• Pascagoula River Audubon Center
• McCoy’s River & Marsh Tour
• Walter Anderson Museum
• St. Rose de Lima Church guided tour
• Mardi Gras Museum tour
• Guided tour of New Orleans
• Jazz brunch at the award winning “Court of Two Sisters”
• Lima, OH: Hampton Inn (1 night)
• Nashville, TN: Gaylord Opryland Resort (2019) and Holiday Inn Nashville Vanderbilt Hotel (2020) (2 nights)
• Biloxi, MS: Palace Casino Resort (5 nights)
• Memphis, TN: The Guest House at Graceland (1 night)
• St. Louis, MO: Drury Plaza Hotel (1 night)
• Kalamazoo, MI: Four Points by Sheraton (1 night)
Board our deluxe motorcoach and relax as we travel to Lima, Ohio. Check into the hotel and enjoy dinner this evening with your fellow travellers.
Stay: Hampton Inn, Lima, OH
Stay: Gaylord Opryland Resort, Nashville, TN (2019)
Holiday Inn Nashville Vanderbilt Hotel (2020)
Stay: Palace Casino Resort, Biloxi, MS
Meals: B, L, D
Pascagoula, Ocean Springs
Meals: B, D
New Orleans, LA
Meals: B, L
Stay: The Guest House at Graceland, Memphis, TN
St. Louis, MO
Stay: Drury Plaza Hotel, St. Louis, MO
Board the motorcoach after breakfast and relax as we travel to Kalamzoo, Missouri today. After checking into out hotel for the evening, we’ll come together as a group for a farewell dinner.
Meals: B, D
After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll begin our journey home
- Sunscreen is an essential product to have, regardless of the climate. Since UV exposure is unavoidable, a hat and sunglasses are also suggested for your protection, even in the winter.
- Mosquito repellent can prove useful in wooded areas or in the evenings in some regions.
- Comfort is important when on vacation. Bring comfortable walking shoes. And loose, casual clothing is suggested to keep you cozy.
- Pack extra batteries and memory cards for your camera.
- Always pack an extra jacket or sweater in case of inclement weather or cooler evenings. DeNureTours recommends you dress in layers, so you can add or remove layers if the temperature rises or drops.
- Use every corner, nook and cranny of your suitcase when packing. Rolled sweaters and bulky clothing occupy less space, but clothing that wrinkles easily should be laid flat. Roll socks or underclothing and pack them into shoes, and slip smaller items into side pockets.
- Use sample-sized toiletry items and always transport containers of creams and liquids in a sealed plastic bag.
- Keep an extra set of keys for your luggage.
- Always prepare for the possibility of rain. An umbrella, or rain jacket will easily fit in your luggage, and could prove to be the most useful article you pack. When travelling as a couple, bring two so neither person gets half wet.
- Pack your bathing suit.
- Pack a good book, or a deck of cards to keep you busy during free time.
- Leave items of monetary or sentimental value at home. Costume and faux jewelry always travels well.
- If you require corrective lenses, pack an extra pair of glasses or contacts.
- If you wear dentures, and have a second set, pack them just in case. You’d be surprised how often these important items end up where they shouldn’t.
- Not all hotel rooms are equipped with alarm clocks. While most hotels offer wake-up calls, a small travel alarm clock might prove useful.
- Couples travelling together may find it wise to split their belongings between two suitcases. If one suitcase should go missing, neither person is left without a change of clothes.
- Remember to pack any medications or prescriptions in your carry-on and not in your suitcase in case of emergency or luggage misplacement. Medications should be packed in their original containers for security reasons.
- Keep a listing of your recent medical history with you, including medications you currently take, prescription or otherwise, as well as allergies you suffer from, and any medical conditions you have. Carry the listing in your wallet, and leave a copy with your emergency contact person at home.
- Identify your luggage with an identification tag as well as your DeNureTours luggage tags.
- If you carry travellers’ cheques, record the numbers of the cheques and keep this list in a separate location. When travelling as a couple, put some cheques in your partner’s name so you both have access to funds.
- Always carry your travel insurance policy with you, and read it carefully before you leave.
- Always carry your passport, or other important identification on your person. Make a photocopy to keep in your suitcase.
- Ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months after your return date. This is a requirement for entering certain countries.
- Always check the spelling of your name on all documentation you receive. Often, your travel documents must match your passport or birth certificate. It is imperative that your legal name be listed correctly on your documents. Failure to comply may result in your being denied entry to a country, or boarding on an airplane or cruise ship. Name changes on documents may be subject to a change fee.
- Use extra copies of your travel itinerary and hotel listing to distribute to friends or relatives, so you can be reached in case of emergency.
- Keep a log of your purchases, including what you paid in foreign currency and the equivalent in Canadian dollars. This will assist you in filling out customs forms. Keep all receipts.
- Secure your home before you leave. Arrange for a friend or neighbour to pick up mail and check in periodically. Have someone cut your lawn (or shovel your driveway) and care for your property. Set automatic timers on the lights and television. Empty the refrigerator of perishables. Lower your thermostat to save on energy.
- When flying, drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration, and limit your intake of caffeine and alcoholic beverages.
- To avoid circulatory problems on a plane or coach, walk up the aisle every hour or so. Periodically, stretch your legs, arms, shoulders and neck.
- Arrive early for flights. DeNureTours recommends to check-in 90 minutes prior to departure for domestic flights, or 2-3 hours prior for international flights.
- An inflatable travel pillow can make you more comfortable on long coach rides or flights. The U-shaped pillow keeps your head from rolling during travel, reducing the risk of neck pain.
- Avoid the use of perfume or scented sprays on the coach or an airplane. These are confined spaces, so be courteous to your fellow travellers who may be allergic or sensitive to scents.
- Get as much rest as possible before you leave.
- Try your best to be flexible. Unexpected things can happen. Your holiday will be more enjoyable if you are open-minded.
Tips to waiters, taxi drivers, step-on guides, tour directors and drivers are a tangible way for you to express your appreciation for jobs well done. This practice, though customary, is voluntary and is not included in tour prices. As a guide to the amounts to tip, the following amounts are suggested:
- Taxi Drivers – Drivers should be tipped 10% of the taxi fare.
- Waiters – For meals that are not included in the tour price, tip waiters between 15% and 20% of your bill, but never less than $1.
- Tour Directors and Drivers – A gratuity of $4 per person per day is suggested.
The pace of a tour varies by itinerary, as each destination, its sightseeing and the activities are unique. Pacing is often subject to personal interpretation, but our trip pace indicator on each tour page may assist you in determining if a tour is suitable for you.
Day-by-day itinerary descriptions can be found on our website or requested from our office. Generally, the more activities included, distance travelled in a day, or number of hotel changes, will increase the pace of a tour.
Some of the most unique sightseeing is found in locations that can be a challenge for motorcoaches, especially in historic areas. For your comfort, we recommend packing walking shoes so you fully enjoy every aspect of your holiday.
Tours with the highest “On-the-go” ratings require a level of activity that is not suitable for those who use either walkers or wheelchairs. If a trip pace is not ideally suited for you, our reservations team will be happy to help you find your perfect vacation.