Blues, Blue Ridge, and BBQ Tour
Ride Blues, Blue Ridge, and BBQ Tour, and you will find great roads, food, and music at every turn. The rolling mountain roads will have you on cloud nine, while the soulful sounds of the South penetrate to the bone. From Washington DC you will head south along the famous Blue Ridge Parkway, a 470-mile dream that will take you through the Appalachians and drop you at the base of the notorious Tail of the Dragon – 318 turns in only 11 miles! From here, we head to the Country Music capital of Nashville and then drop into the Blues history of the Deep South! These roads sing the history of America. Nightclubs, juke joints, speakeasies, and honky-tonks abound, and the mouth-watering BBQ and bourbon will satisfy the biggest of appetites. Make sure you pack your Lust for Life in your suitcase, you’re gonna need it!
Guided Tour – 14 Days / 13 Nights
Arrival in the US Capital. Many clients like to add on a couple of days at the start of the tour in New York which is an easy train ride away from DC. Washington DC has many sights and is also a great walking city. It also houses the fantastic Smithsonian Museum which is well worth a visit.Tonight you’ll meet your Tour Guides and fellow travelers at an Orientation Meeting at the hotel.
Picking up the bikes in the morning we hit a rural freeway with light traffic for the first hour (71 miles) leading us to the foot hills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the famous Skyline Drive. This scenic drive leads onto the Blue Ridge Parkway and together make up a 520 mile ribbon of asphalt that winds its way without a Yield Sign or a Stop Light the whole way. Tonight we celebrate your first day on the road in the historic mountain town of Waynesboro.
Speeds are slow but the views are spectacular with your biggest issue being the amount of wildlife along the road. We have seen wild pigs and bears on this ride. Your hotel for the night is right on the edge of the parkway in rural Virginia.
Crossing into North Carolina, the whole day will be spent on the Blue Ridge Parkway with lunch in one of the many great country diners along the parkway.
Today we head into the Great Smoky Mountains and it’s all Blue Ridge all the way! And what a day with endless views out across North Carolina and the perfectly surfaced parkway leading you to one of America’s greatest and most famous roads. Stop in historic Asheville for lunch or the whole day, near the base of Tail of the Dragon in Cherokee.
Let’s just say the first 100 miles of this day will stay with you forever! We’ll ride up to Deals Gap and then drop down the 318 curves in 11 miles that is the Tail of the Dragon. Make sure none of the fairings on your bike get nailed to the Tree of Shame!! We’ll talk about our iconic ride at one of the back country cafes for lunch then head out for the amazing city of Nashville!
The Capital of Country music throws its doors wide open for us to explore! We’ll use our free day to seek out some of its museums and icons, such as the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry
Today we head south into the southern Appalachian foothills of Tennessee to ride along the beautiful and historic Natchez Trace Parkway. From there, we continue to the famous city of Muscle Shoals. Since the 1960s, the city has been known for music – developing the “Muscle Shoals Sound”, as local recording studios (including FAME Studios in the late 1950s and Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in 1969) produced hit records that shaped the history of popular music. Tonight we’ll spend along the shores of the mighty Tennessee River in this lively music and arts district.
Today we head to Memphis!! Music lovers around the world know Beale Street, a national historical landmark which showcases the impact Memphis has had on the Blues and Jazz. Legends such as Louis Armstrong, Muddy Waters, Memphis Minnie, and most notably B.B. King, all helped develop the style known as Memphis Blues. One of the city’s most important Rock and Roll icons is Sun Studio, which discovered the talents of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Roy Orbison. We’ll have plenty of time to explore this amazing city.
After a leisurely morning in Memphis, we’ll turn our wheels south once again. And no trip to the South is complete without visiting the blues town of Clarksdale, which preserves and promotes awareness of the Blues. On our way we’ll see more Blues-influenced destinations such as the Gateway to the Blues Museum in Tunica, MS and make a stop at the “Crossroads” where Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil. Tonight, it’s cold drinks and live blues.
Today we continue to immerse ourselves in the history of the Mississippi blues. There are tons of Blues Trail Markers to hit today, as well as some incredibly preserved “Juke Joints” such as Po’ Monkeys in Marigold. We’ll ride through plantations of cotton and have lunch where Teddy Roosevelt got his famous name! The food, well, that goes without saying. It’s a menu of soul food, BBQ, and sweet tea. Tonight, we get to explore the great blues town of Natchez, on the banks of the Mississippi.
Today we begin our ride rolling through the backroads of Mississippi before dropping into our final state, Louisiana. We’ll roll into New Orleans by way of the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway, at 28 miles it is the longest bridge over water in the world! Finally, we’ll end our ride in the heart of the French Quarter where New Orleans retains much of its French colonial influence. This unique American city is famous around the world for its culture, cuisine, and music.
Today we will spend exploring one of the Antebellum Plantations and gardens, soaking in the landscape and cultural history of this special region. When we’re done, we will ride back and say a final good-bye to our bikes before being shuttled back to our hotel. Tonight is all about our Farewell Dinner and celebrating the amazing experiences we’ve shared together.
We hope you had a wonderful tour, and we’ll see you on your next great motorcycle adventure!