Depart London Heathrow – 15:00
Arrive Atlanta – 19:05
Journey Time – 9 hours 5 minutes
Fly from either London or Manchester on one of the five daily non-stop flights from the UK to Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. Transfer to your downtown Atlanta hotel.
Overnight – Atlanta
Visit the Georgia Aquarium, where you can see more than 120,000 animals of 500 different species in more than 8 million gallons of marine and fresh water. The world’s largest aquarium houses whale sharks, beluga whales, touch tanks, a four D theatre and Dolphin Show, perfect for all ages.
Be sure to visit the World of Coca-Cola at Pemberton Place™ in downtown Atlanta. It is the only place where you can explore the past, present and future of the world’s best-known brand. See a 4-D movie experience, a fully operational bottling line and sample more than 70 Coca-Cola products around the world.
May we suggest lunch at The SunDial Restaurant Bar & View (atop the Westin Peachtree Plaza, the tallest hotel in the Western Hemisphere) offers breathtaking views of downtown Atlanta.
At the Inside CNN Atlanta Studio Tour, watch behind-the-scenes action of the newsroom, see what it takes to put a news broadcast together and even learn how the weather map works.
Insider’s Tip: Make reservations in advance for the 45-minute tour.
Visit Centennial Olympic Park, the world’s gathering place during the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games. The park features the popular Fountain of Rings and many outdoor events during the summer months.
Insider’s Tip: Wednesday WindDown is a free concert series every Wednesday from 5:30-8 p.m. at Centennial Park during the summer months.
The Sweet Auburn district is the birthplace of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site includes a visitors’ center depicting the story of Dr. King and the civil rights movement; the restored King birth home; Ebenezer Baptist Church, where three generations of the King family preached; and Dr. King’s burial site.
Don’t miss the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame. Stand in the footprints and see the shoes of 17 civil rights leaders displayed as a tribute to the warriors of justice.
Or visit the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum, next to The Carter Center. The library includes a replica of the Oval Office and Jimmy Carter’s Nobel Peace Prize, as well as traveling exhibits.
Enjoy dinner at one of Atlanta’s award winning restaurants either in the Downtown area or up in the vibrant and bustling Buckhead area.
Overnight – Atlanta
Mix and match these cultural must-sees in Atlanta.
Tour the Margaret Mitchell House and Museum, centered around the Midtown apartment where Margaret Mitchell wrote “Gone with the Wind.” Exclusive photographs and exhibits tell the story of Margaret Mitchell beyond the book. The “Gone with the Wind” Movie Museum illuminates the making of the movie with memorabilia including the actual doorway of Tara from the movie set.
Insider Tip: The Center for Southern Literature series at the Margaret Mitchell House hosts well-known authors with an evening reception, reading and a book signing.
The High Museum of Art hosts European and American paintings, special exhibitions, African, decorative, folk and 20th century art and photography. Past exhibitions have included works by Van Gogh, Michelangelo, Picasso, Degas and Elton John’s private photography collection. Explore the museum’s galleries, an open-air piazza and the restaurant Table 1280.
Table 1280 is a critically-acclaimed restaurant and a Tapas Lounge located in the heart of the beautiful open air piazza at the High Museum of Art.
Housing the largest museum dedicated to the art of puppetry, the Center for Puppetry Arts is your ticket to see dazzling sets and the artistry of puppetry from several different areas. Adult shows complement the children’s performances, and a museum hosts the Jim Henson Collection, masks from “The Lion King” and Izzy from the Centennial Olympic Games.
Home to the world’s largest dinosaurs, Fernbank Museum of Natural History is the largest natural history museum in the Southeast. Fernbank uses innovative exhibit design and programming to bring natural history to life through galleries and hands-on exhibits to stretch your imagination. The 315-seat IMAX Theater provides a powerful adventure experience with films showing in the afternoon and evening.
The Virginia-Highland neighborhood is one of Atlanta’s most popular areas for shopping, dining and nightlife. Noted for its renovations of 1920s homes, the area features tree-lined avenues dotted with unique ethnic and chef-owned restaurants, antique shops, art galleries, spas and salons, boutiques and a selection of bars and pubs.
Overnight – Atlanta
Atlanta to Rome
Drive North West up to Rome, Georgia nestled in the foot-hills of the Appalachian Mountains. Take a Step-on guided tour of the historic “Between the Rivers” –hills District: Points of interest include: Myrtle Hill Cemetery, Capitoline Wolf, Clocktower, Victorian residential area.
Enjoy lunch & shopping on Broad Street in Downtown Rome which is predominantly occupied with locally owned shops & restaurants.
Visit the Chieftains/Major Ridge Home – National Landmark & National Trail of Tears Site: 1796 home of Major Ridge, prominent leader of the Cherokee Nation
Overnight – Rome
Take the “Miracle in the Mountains” – Tour of Oak Hill & the Martha Berry Museum: AAA Diamond Rated – The remarkable story of Martha Berry, one of the most admired & respected women in Georgia history. Tour also includes campus of Berry College, world’s largest college campus – 26,000 acres.
Following this try the ‘Roman Holiday’ Excursion: Tour Rome’s riverways aboard the 48-passenger Roman Holiday. Hear Rome’s rich river history from one of the Holiday’s first mates.
Take a trip to Cave Spring – More than 90 sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Named for the cave & natural mineral spring in the center of town. Group can walk inside the cave for a close up view of the beautiful stalagmites & stalactites & the spring which produces 250,000 gallons of water a day. This village is also known for its many antique stores.
Overnight – Rome
Rome to Athens
Drive along the I-75 to Cartersville and visit the Booth Western Art Museum. This unique museum showcases some of the USA’s finest contemporary Western Art, illustrations, movie posters, Civil War art. Also on display are Presidential portraits and letters, authentic stagecoaches, and an interactive hands-on gallery for children based on a working ranch.
Travel to Athens and stop at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia; tour the three-story conservatory, miles of nature Trails and beautiful outdoor gardens. Have lunch at The Garden Room Café and enjoy garden fresh Southern eclectic cuisine in this unique setting.
Take one of the Classic City Tours. You will receive a guided tour of the northern gateway to the Antebellum Trail with its grand Greek Revival mansions characterized by massive columns and magnolia-shaded formal gardens.
Downtown Athens; stroll down Broad Street and dine in one of Athens Award-winning restaurants. Top it off with a Broadway show at The Classic Center or a night at one of Athens’ World famous music venues or pubs.
Overnight – Athens
Athens to Macon
Drive to Madison and stop by the Welcome Center on the square. Learn about our pre-Civil War and Victorian architecture,
why General Sherman spared our town on his march from Atlanta to the sea, and pick up a downtown shopping guide and a walking/driving tour brochure that covers our National Register Historic District, one of the largest in the state of Georgia!
Make your way to Social Circle and enjoy lunch and “Champagne of the South” – sweet tea – at Southern dining icon Blue Willow Inn.
After a busy day of touring have dinner at one of Macon’s fine downtown restaurants. Enjoy dining in a casual, elegant atmosphere in any Southern style restaurant. Check out the Tic Toc Room where artist Little Richard got his start playing in Macon.
Overnight – Macon
Macon to Savannah
Ride a trolley and enjoy the city recently designated “one of the most distinctively historic cities in the country.” Stops include three house museums: Hay House, Cannonball House and Sidney Lanier Cottage.
Enjoy a drive to Juliette and lunch at a The Whistle Stop Café scene and setting of the 1992 movie Fried Green Tomatoes. Explore the unique souvenir and antique stores this tiny town has to offer before setting off for Savannah.
Arrive in Savannah and indulge in authentic, world-famous Southern fare, decadent steak dinners and flavors that will make your mouth water. (Recommendation – The Olde Pink House). The nightlife in Savannah is plentiful and diverse. From live jazz to alternative bands, you can always find your groove in Savannah. Visitors enjoy dueling piano bars, Broadway-style musicals and even karaoke. If that’s not enough, catch the Lady Chablis of “Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil” fame star in her one-woman show. Whatever your pleasure, Savannah has it all.
Overnight – Savannah
The City of Savannah, laid out in 1733 by General James Oglethorpe is the first Master Planned communities in America. Home to 24 squares, Savannah has a charm, a beauty that is unsurpassed in America. Start your day and take a tour of Savannah’s breathtaking Historic District guided by ‘Savannah Dan’ who will provide a unique and highly entertaining insight to the city’s past and how the stunning architecture and sights made Savannah what it is today.
Following a traditional Southern lunch at either Mrs Wilkes Café or Paula Deen’s – Paula & Son’s you will have the option of enjoying a trolley tour or exploring on foot the 2.2 square mile National Historic District of one of the most beautiful cities in America.
For dinner, indulge in authentic, world-famous Southern fare, decadent steak dinners and flavors that will make your mouth water. As a suggestion try the Olde Pink House. If you are in Savannah in the spring be sure to head to an event concert affiliated with the Savannah Music Festival, Georgia’s largest musical arts festival. The world-renowned festival brings a diversity of musical genres to Georgia’s oldest city.
Overnight – Savannah
Savannah to Jekyll Island
Visit and tour Bonaventure Cemetery just outside of Savannah’s historic district. Though not Savannah’s oldest cemetery,
Bonaventure is certainly its most famous and hauntingly beautiful. Quintessentially Southern Gothic, it has captured the imaginations of writers, poets, naturalists, photographers and filmmakers for more than 150 years.
Your next stop is Bull River Marina for the Bull River Eco-Adventure Cruise. This signature cruise travels Bull River through the salt marshes down to the barrier islands. Along this narrated cruise, enjoy and learn about marshland and tidal river ecology. Viewing the barrier islands and learning the history of these pristine wonders is always a treat. Watch dolphins at play and egrets stalking along the oyster beds.
Feast on indigenous low country cuisine for lunch at The Crab Shack. Before leaving the area, visit the Fort Pulaski National Monument, Tybee Island and its Lighthouse and Fort Screven.
Drive to the Jekyll Island Club your base for exploring Georgia’s ‘Golden Isles.
Overnight – Jekyll Island
Experience Jekyll Island and visit The Georgia Sea Turtle Center. Visitors to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center will explore exhibits on sea turtle conservation,
rehabilitation, and their amazing journey from egg to adulthood. Visit the Jekyll Island National Historic Landmark District one of the largest, ongoing restoration projects in the southeastern United States. Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the island’s other historic sites (Horton House, the Island’s oldest tree and others) and grabbing lunch at one of the many restaurants with a view.
Afternoon / Evening
Visit Pier Village on St. Simons Island and take a tour of the lighthouse and keeper’s dwellings. Climb the 129 steps to the top for amazing 360 degree views. Finish the day with a tour of the Maritime Center (included in the lighthouse entrance fee) and a stroll along East Beach at sunset.
Overnight – Jekyll Island
Jekyll Island to St. Mary’s
Drive to Historic St Mary’s on the border with Florida and take a ferry across to Cumberland Island. Nowhere on the East Coast are peace and unspoilt natural
surroundings so perfectly preserved at Cumberland. Take in the National Park Tours where you will get to wander sections of the totally undeveloped 16 miles of the Island’s beach. You will be more likely to see one of the many wild horses that inhabit the island here than other humans! Historically owned by the super-rich Carnegie family you can visit former residences either in ruins or having been restored.
On your way back from the Okefenokee Swamp take-in the General Oglethorpe planned Brunswick downtown and experience the wonderful restaurants like Cargo Portside Grill.
Overnight – St. Mary’s
St. Mary’s to Thomasville
Begin the day with a guided boat tour of the Great Okefenokee Swamp; one of North America’s most unspoiled, fascinating and precious natural areas. It is the largest, intact and un-fragmented wetland wilderness swamp in North America
Take a leisurely drive to Thomasville – known as the City of Roses, renowned for its spectacular Rose Show & Festival every April. Explore the city’s brick-paved streets historic downtown Thomasville offers dozens of charming retail shops, antiques, specialty stores and restaurants. It’s been named a Great American Main Street and has been recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Just outside of Thomasville you will find the magnificent Pebble Hill Plantation (www.pebblehill.com). The house is graced with antiques, horse & hound paintings, a collection of Audubon prints and a wealth of sporting art. Pebble Hill Plantation offers house, art and walking tours.
While you are in downtown Thomasville, be sure to get your picture taken by The Big Oak with the Big Oak Cam. This 325+ year old Live Oak tree stands more than 68 feet tall with a trunk almost 27 feet around! Stand beside the white sign, call the designated number from your mobile and follow the instructions you hear on your phone. Then find your picture online at www.bigoak.rose.net.
Overnight – Thomasville
Thomasville to Columbus
Drive from Thomasville to Columbus, located on the Chattahoochee River which forms the border between Georgia and Alabama.
From Broadway shows to the State Theatre of Georgia – Columbus offers an array of venues with world-class entertainment. From the history of the foot soldier, the Civil War and prisoners of war – Columbus is home to nationally acclaimed museums. Visitors stroll back to genteel times with a guided tour of the Columbus Historic District where brick streets, ancient oaks and century-old homes are the order of the day.
Be sure to take in the city’s renowned Riverwalk, The Cocal Cola Space Science Centre or the very impressive the National Infantry Museum in Columbus, near Fort Benning, Georgia.
Overnight – Columbus
Columbus to Atlanta
Enjoy breakfast and further explore downtown Columbus for driving up to Atlanta’s Hartsfield International Airport for your afternoon (or evening) Departure back to the UK.
Depart Atlanta – 21:15
Arrive London Heathrow – 10:15 (Next Day)
Journey Time – 8 hours