5400km or 6000km (Optional)
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Miami - Miami
Miami - Daytona Beach
This morning depart Miami northbound on Hwy 1, enjoying a fabulous ride along the Atlantic shoreline via Palm Beach to Titusville, where we’ll visit the Kennedy Space Center. We’ll then continue north to Daytona Beach, renowned for the “Daytona Races” in late February/early March. Here we’ll check out (and maybe enjoy a pace-car-led ride around) the track. OVERNIGHT: Hilton Daytona Beach, Daytona Beach
Daytona Beach - Savanna
Continue on Hwy 1, passing Fort Matanzas—built by the Spanish in 1740 and today a National Monument—to enter St. Augustine, a delightful colonial-era town that is the oldest permanent settlement in the USA. We’ll enjoy a brief walking tour, plus lunch, before continuing via Neptune Beach into Georgia. We’ll make a brief visit to Jekyll Island, with its salt marshes and elegant mansions, before arriving in Savanna, considered perhaps the most beautifully preserved city in the Deep South. We’ll overnight in the walkable and partially cobblestoned historic downtown, lamp-lit at night. OVERNIGHT
Savanna - Walhala
In the morning we head northwest through rolling farmland to Augusta, then follow the Savanna River Scenic Byway through the dense woods of Sumter National Forest. Our route is dotted with historical sites, such as the former gold-mining town of McCormick, and the Ninety Six National Historic Site—site of a battle in the Revolutionary War of 1776. We end in Seneca, a small lakeside town in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Seneca - Knoxville
Today we’ll thrill to awesome mountain riding, with adrenalin-charged twisties and hairpins, as we ascend over the Blue Ridge Mountains via Highlands, Sylva and Waynesville. In Maggie Valley, we’ll visit the Wheels in time Museum, displaying the world’s largest collection of rare American motorcycles. Next, head through the valley for lunch in Cherokee, where we’ll explore the Museum of the Cherokee Indian. The riding gets even better as we cross Great Smoky Mountains National Park and snake down to Knoxville, TN, for overnight.
Knoxville - Chatanooga
Today we savor perhaps the most famous ride in the USA—the infamous “Tail of the Dragon.” With its 318 curves in 11 miles coiling through the mountains, it’s one of America’s most sought after and challenging motorcycle roads. We’ll lunch in Robbinsville before continuing along the twisties, hairpins and sweepers of the Blue Ridge Parkway that lead us to Ocoee and Chatanooga, at the western base of the Appalachian Mountains. OVERNIGHT: The Read House, Chatanooga, TN
Chatanooga - Nashville
This morning we’ll ride uphill to the spectacular rock formations of Rock City, plus Point Park (the site of a Civil War battle), atop Lookout Mountain; you can see seven states from this sensational viewpoint overlooking Chattanooga. Then continue on Hwy 41 via Lynchburg to tour the Jack Daniels Distillery. We’ll lunch here before continue via Shelbyville, nicknamed “The Walking Horse Capital of the World.” We’ll tour the Rising Star Ranch breeding farm to learn about this fascinating horse before continuing into Nashville, the country music capital of the world.
Nashville - Nashville
Today is free to explore this fascinating city—known as the “Music City” and the ultimate place of pilgrimage for music lovers of all genres. Take your pick of the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Willie Nelson Museum, and the Grand Ole Opry theater. Plus, this ever-lively city is full of historic neighborhoods, while Broadway is packed with legendary bars.
Nashville - Memphis
We head out of town on the northern section of the Natchez Trace Parkway and turn west at Laurenceberg for Shiloh National Military Park, a seminal Civil War site where 23,746 soldiers were killed during a two-day battle in April, 1862. Continue west through Holly Springs National Forest to Memphis, renowned as the former home of Elvis Presley and also the capital of Blues.
Memphis - Vicksburg
This morning, inevitably, we’ll visit Graceland—Elvis’s extravagant former home—then head southeast for Tupelo, birthplace of “The King.” Here we’ll admire the guitar street art and visit the Tupelo Automotive Museum, displaying more than 200 classic and antique cars. From Tupelo, we follow the beautiful Natchez Trace Parkway to the Cypress Swamp, where we’ll walk the boardwalks in hopes of spotting alligators. Then continue via Jackson to Vicksburg for overnight. Vicksburg was the site of a major Civil War battle, and the site of the longest siege in U.S. history.
Vicksburg - New Orleans
This morning we’ll visit the superb Vicksburg National Military Site, with its many Civil War cannons, ramparts, and excellent visitor center. Then we follow the Great River Road National Scenic Byway, which traces the snaking course of the Mississippi River past posh antebellum mansion and beneath glades of oaks draped with Spanish moss. Reaching Natchez, you’ll be awed by the astonishing wealth (derived from slave-picked cotton) of the antebellum era. At Woodville, we’ll visit Rosemont Plantation, boyhood home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Crossing into Louisiana, we’ll pass through the charming and distinctly French town of St. Francisville, atop a ridge overlooking the Mississippi, then follow “Plantation Alley” via the Nottoway antebellum plantation mansion to arrive in New Orleans in late afternoon.
New Orleans - New Orleans
New Orleans - Panama City Beach
Depart New Orleans this morning and head east through the heart of the backcountry bayou, steeped in Creole history and culture. We follow the Gulf Coast via Biloxi (rebuilt since being destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005), with casinos and Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum. In Mobile, we’ll stop to explore USS Alabama Battleship Park, with its battleship, destroyer, fighter planes, tanks, and other WWII hardware. Then on to Daphne to walk the Gator Alley Boardwalk—a great place to spot alligators from a safe distance. Then follow the dune-lined shore of the Florida Panhandle for overnight in Panama City Beach.
Panama City - Tarpon Springs
Tarpon Springs - Miami
Our last leg takes us along the beach-fringed Gulf of Mexico shoreline via St Petersburg and the Sunshine Skyway bridge to Sarasota. At Naples, we turn east to follow the “Tamiani Trail” (Hwy 41) through Everglades National Park, the largest subtropical wilderness in the USA. We’ll stop at the Shark Valley Visitor Center and perhaps hike a trail. We arrive Miami mid-afternoon.
Miami - Airport Transfer
Miami - Key West (Optional)
Key West - Key West (Optional)
Key West - Miami (Optional)
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