Orlando and The Deep South Self DriveReference WW39059
ORLANDO - OCALA - SILVER SPRINGS - TALLAHASSEE- APALACHICOLA - EMERALD COAST – PENSACOLA-- MOBILE - NEW ORLEANS- NATCHEZ – VICKSBURG- MEMPHIS – NASHVILLE- GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS – CHEROKEE- COLUMBIA – CHARLESTON- SAVANNAH - JACKSONVILLE - ST. AUGUSTINE - DAYTONA BEACH - KENNEDY SPACE CENTER - ORLANDO
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Arrive in Orlando and pick up your car at the airport before proceeding to your hotel.
Today, visit the small country town of Ocala which still retains much of its provincial atmosphere. In Silver Springs, home of the world's largest array of crystal clear springs, view these bubbling waters from a glass-bottomed boat (optional), before heading west to Tallahassee, Florida's tranquil capital with the charm of the Old South.
Drive along Florida's "secret" Gulf Coast and discover well-kept wildlife preserves, elegant southern homes, and the colorful fleet of the fishing and oystering village of Apalachicola. Soak in the beauty of the Emerald Coast with its string of postcard-perfect beaches. Arrive in Pensacola and stroll about the Seville Historic District.
This morning, reach the Grand Dame of Alabama's cities, Mobile, founded nearly 300 years ago by the French. The city remains an elegant combination of European culture and southern charm. Then continue to New Orleans, the city on the bayou. Discover the unique atmosphere of this city tonight, when spicy Cajun cuisine thrills the senses, and the sounds of blues and jazz bring the French Quarter to life.
Enjoy a full day at leisure in The Big Easy, representing more than 250 years of French, Spanish, and American cultures.
Today, drive along the Mississippi River through Baton Rouge to the great state of Mississippi, land of once great plantations and moss covered magnolias. Natchez is home to over 500 well preserved antebellum homes.
Depart Vicksburg for the home of the blues, Memphis. This city combines the charm of the Old South with the exciting pace of a modern metropolis. An optional tour is available of Downtown Memphis with its famous Beale Street. Don't miss the chance to visit Elvis Presley's palatial home, Graceland.
Leave Memphis and reach the capital of country music, Nashville. Among the attractions in Music City U.S.A. are the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Grand Ole Opry, Opryland U.S.A., and world-famous Printer's Alley.
Today drive east to Knoxville and on to the Great Smoky Mountains, the most visited national park in the country. The Great Smoky Mountains are renowned for their diversity of animal and plant life, the beauty of their mountains, and the preservation of Southern Appalachian mountain culture. The wondrous Smokies get their name from the blue haze that hovers over mossy mountain peaks. Visit the Cherokee Indian Reservation before arriving at your hotel.
Leave Cherokee and continue to Columbia, considered one of the country's most beautiful state capitals. Arrive in historic Charleston in the afternoon. Charleston is a city built for walking. Take a leisurely stroll through the historic district with its unsurpassed antebellum architecture.
After leaving historic Charleston, a popular place to visit is the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. Then drive south to the port city of Savannah, where the city's 24 green shade squares form the foundation for one of the largest urban historic landmark districts in the country.
Continue south and return to the Sunshine State of Florida. In Jacksonville, stroll along the Riverwalk on the south bank of the St. Johns River before heading south to the oldest town in North America, St. Augustine. Narrow lanes and houses built in the Spanish style with their typical inner courtyards, balconies, and wrought-iron screens add to the Spanish ambiance of St. Augustine.
Depart early for Daytona Beach, a meeting place for motor-sports fans from all over the world, and on to Cape Canaveral. Visit NASA's Kennedy Space Center, home of America's space program, before returning to Orlando.
Return your car at the airport before your departure flight.