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Eastern Cities and Signature Sounds

11 days
Suitable for:
Age 16+
Activity level:
Activity Level: Leisurely
Trip code: 
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Group size:
Min age:


This 10-day tour explores many of the great music cities in America. Follow in the footsteps of the nation's legendry musical icons across the East Coast and the Midwest, from New Orleans sultry Blues melodies to the driving bass lines of Motown Sound in Detroit. 


  • Visit ‘Hitsville USA’  Motown's legendary record studio
  • Discover the birthplace of jazz with a locally led tour in New Orleans
  • Soak up the blues in Memphis and enjoy Beale Street’s lively nightlife
  • Enjoy a tasting and distillery tour on the Bourbon Trail in Louisville 
  • Two nights in the 'Windy City' to enjoy spectacular city sights 
  • Visit Broadway’s rumbling honky-tonks

Key information

  • 7 US States: Louisiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, New York
  • Length: 11 days land only
  • Departs: New Orleans
  • Accommodation: 10 hotel nights
  •  Meals: One dinner included. All other meals paid locally
  • Staff: Services of a professional tour leader and local guides 
  • Transport: Transportation by private vehicle
  • Countries visited: United States, North America

What's included

  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • We can include flights from the UK.  Please contact us for a quote.

What's not included

  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Arrival & departure transfers
  • Optional activities
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailor made trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 


New Orleans
New York
  • Day 1

    New Orleans

    Start your adventure in the birthplace of jazz, New Orleans. Home to a unique blend of cultures, including Caribbean, African and European influences, this hub along the Mississippi river boasts fantastic culinary delights and a vibrant live music scene around every corner of the city. After you’ve taken a stroll through the Garden District, paid a visit to the beautiful St Louis Cathedral and taken a peek around the colourful Backstreet Culture Museum at your own leisure, join the welcome meeting at 18:00hrs. When the meeting finishes, we kick start the trip with a locally led jazz tour to understand why this musical genre is so deeply rooted in the Big Easy’s DNA.

    Whitney Wyndham Hotel (or similar)

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Days 2-3


    Today, we cross into the landlocked state of Tennessee and head towards Memphis, where rock ‘n’ roll originated from. Memphis shares a colourful past with legendary forefathers such as Louis Armstrong that helped to put Beale Street firmly on the musical map. Take your time soaking in the city’s kitschy boutiques, hipster cafes and up and coming restaurants, while you’re here. Or, take an optional trip to Graceland, to pay your respects to the home of Elvis Presley and visit the Sun Studio or National Civil Rights Museum.

    Crown Plaza Memphis (or similar)

  • Days 4-5


    Make your way to Nashville - the undisputed capital of country music, with museums dedicated to Johnny Cash and George Jones. In the afternoon enjoy pit-stops in the city’s fabulous mix of indie coffeehouses or new distilleries, admiring their vibrant street art along the way. Come evening, enjoy a trip down memory lane by visiting the famous Wildhorse Saloon and Grand Old Opry – a grand musical institution that’s celebrating its 95th birthday in 2020.  Or explore their modern music scene, where locals still line dance in Broadway’s rumbling honky-tonks.

    Capitol Hotel Nashville (or similar)

  • Day 6


    It’s time for bourbon and bluegrass in Kentucky. Serving up some serious Southern Hospitality, discover its award-winning culinary scene – beyond Kentucky fried chicken. Underrated and increasingly hipster, this city that sits on the Ohio River, along the border of Indiana has a lot to offer. Visit the Museum Row on Main and have a bourbon on us. Delve into the city’s interesting bourbon history by entering the gateway to the Bourbon Trail and learn the traditional craft from locals whose ancestors have been distilling since the 18th century.

    HI Express Louisville Downtown (or similar)

  • Days 7-8


    Follow in the footsteps of Louis Armstrong by travelling to the edge of the Great Lakes. Delve into the Windy City’s cultural heritage and see how the Great Migration shaped Chicago’s vibrant music scene. Wander around the city to see its whimsical public art splashed on the street walls, before checking out the Cloud Gate sculpture commonly known as "the Bean" . Afterwards, admire the Millennial Park before opting for a river boat cruise to soak in its spectacular skyline or enjoy panoramic views of the city from Willis Tower Skydeck.

    Cambria Chicago Magnificent Mile Express Louisville Downtown (or similar)

  • Day 9


    Next up is the Motor City, better known as Motown. Visit Hitsville USA, the Motown museum and see the former recording studio of Detroit icon Stevie Wonder. Check out memorabilia that preserves the legacy of founder Berry Gordy who created one of the world’s most successful recording companies. Or take a trip to Detroit Institute of Arts that showcases murals by Diego Rivera and ancient art collected from across Egypt, Asia and the Middle East. For car lovers, head to the Forde Rouge Factory where you can learn about the history of Henry Ford’s American dream.

    Athenuem Suites Detroit (or similar)

  • Day 10


    Say hi to Ohio! Home of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Michael Jackson’s famous gloves can be found in its museum. Take a stroll through Cleveland’s green spaces, browse the Arcade’s boutiques, or indulge in a bit of nostalgia, with a trip to the famed house from the festive film, ‘A Christmas Story’. For world-class breweries, wander towards West 25th street, or what the locals call it “The Walking Hangover” to Great Lakes Brewing Company, that spearheaded the craft beer movement in this bustling neighbourhood.

    Drury Plaza Hotel Cleveland Downtown (or similar)

  • Day 11

    New York

    These vagabond shoes are longing to stray all the way to New York City – our final stop. Be sure to soak up life in the Big Apple and see the bright lights of Times Square, walk in Central Park or take a boat trip to Lady Liberty to enjoy the best this city has to offer. Or if you have the time take in a show on the glittering streets of Broadway or while away a couple of hours enjoy a thick-sliced pastrami monster sandwich at Katz’s Delicatessen before heading to the Rubin Museum of Art, that holds a great selection of live music Naked Soul and jazz sessions, movies and talks all year round.

Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info


United States

British, New Zealand, Swiss and most EU passport holders do not need a visa (and enter the country under the Visa Waiver Program), provided they are in possession of an onward air ticket when entering the USA. Visas for the USA are required by some nationalities and it is always best to check with the relevant embassies. All passengers travelling to and from the U.S. under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) are required to hold a machine-readable passport (MRP). A MRP has the holder's personal details, e.g. name, date of birth, nationality and their passport number contained in two lines of text at the base of the photo page. This text may be read by machine. The US now charges $14 for the visa waiver program and must be paid by credit card. The US authorities have introduced a mandatory requirement for all passengers travelling under the Visa Waiver Programme to register for an Electronic Travel Authority. As of 21 January 2016, any person who has travelled to Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Somalia, or Yemen since March 2011, or have dual nationalities of these countries, may no longer qualify for the VWP. For additional specifics about the VWP please consult the VWP information on the U.S. Embassy London website. More information and all necessary Internet links can be found at


United States

There are no mandatory vaccinations required for this trip.

Eating and Drinking

11 breakfasts and 1 dinner included

On hotel based tours you will usually eat out in restaurants. To help you budget for your meals on average hotel breakfasts cost from US$6-12, lunches from US$8-15 and dinners from US$13-30; this does not include alcoholic beverages. Wine costs approximately US$5 per glass and beer US$4 per bottle. Please also be aware that a tip of approximately 15%-20% is added to group meals in restaurants. Applicable taxes will also be added to all listed menu prices.

Your tour leader may offer your group the option to operate a ‘lunch only’ food kitty, this has proven to be a popular alternative to three daily restaurant meals. Your leader will explain this option while on tour, and the whole group will have to agree for this system to run.

Please make sure we are aware of any special meal requirements before travelling. We will do all we can to accommodate various dietary requirements but in parts of North America certain food types can be limited.


Weather can be changeable so it’s wise to pack something to cover all seasons! 

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailor made trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.



You will spend 12 nights in hotels, all en suite. These hotels are mostly standard city tourist hotels. Service and amenities are generally adequate. 

Hotels in India usually do not have heating as there are really only a couple of months in the year when the weather can get rather cold.  You can however request more blankets or the hotel may be able to provide a standing heater for your room.  Please talk to your tour leader if you need help in this matter.  


Please be aware that the hotels in Delhi are increasingly busy and difficult to book. They are also incredibly expensive and do not compare well to other areas of India. Because of overbooking hotels can cancel bookings and it is not unusual for our hotel to change or for any extra accommodation before or after the trip to be in an alternative hotel. We hope that you understand this situation is beyond our control.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailor made trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Have you been on this adventure? Tell others what it’s like by writing a review.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.


What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros  Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.


2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros  Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.


3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros  Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.


 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 


Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

For anyone leaving from the UK we would be pleased to book your flight in conjunction with your tour. Please contact us for competitive prices on flights departing from most UK airports.

If you are booking your own flights, you are free to arrive at any time on day one but it is advisable that you arrive in plenty of time to reach your joining hotel and attend your welcome meeting. We also suggest that you book your return flight the day after your tour finishes. If you do have to return home on the day your tour finishes, please make sure that your flight does not depart before 21:00 hrs.
Please note that we cannot be held responsible for any delays, cancellations, changes to your flights, or any missed flights. We are unable to delay a tour, or finish a tour early due to your flight times.