Atlanta & The Alabama Gulf Shores
April 6-16, 2021
Deluxe Roundtrip Motorcoach Transportation
On-board Friendly Host
10 Nights Hotel Accommodations
20 Meals Including:
- Mary Macs Tea Room
- Lamberts Cafe III
- Kings Palace Cafe
- Favazzas on the Hill
Falcon Rest Mansion
Sweet Auburn District
Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site
Jimmy Carter Presidential Museum
CNN Studio Tour
Guided Civil Rights Tour
- Dexter King Memorial Baptist Church
- Rosa Parks Museum
Dolphin & Eco Nature Cruise
Fairhope Storybook Castles
Perdido Queen Dinner Cruise
Guest House at Graceland
Graceland Elvis Experience Tour plus Airplanes
Gateway Arch National Park
$2500 pp Double / $3460 pp Single
Non-members add $75
Activity Level 2:
Travelers may be required to walk on uneven surfaces (dirt paths, cobblestone streets or hilly terrain) and up to a distance of 1/2 mile at a time.
Deposit & Final Payment:
A $250 deposit per person is required within one week of reservation. Must be paid in full by February 12, 2021. No refunds will be issued after February 12, 2021. Travel protection is available, please call to inquire. A policy from Travel Insured can help protect your travel investment at a very affordable group rate when traveling.
Day 1: Tuesday, April 6, 2021
Join us this morning from the available departure location of your choice, meet your friendly onboard Trailways host, then sit back and relax as we head for the Gulf Coast!
We arrive in Bowling Green, Kentucky this evening where we’ll overnight at the Drury Inn & Suites. Arrive in time to enjoy the complimentary Kickback Reception at the hotel or choose to have dinner, on your own, at a nearby restaurant.
Day 2: Wednesday, April 7, 2021
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel this morning before departing for McMinnville, Tennessee. Arrive at the Falcon Rest Mansion for a guided tour, delicious lunch, and entertainment. There’s something for everyone at this historic mansion located between Nashville and Chattanooga.
Enjoy a “no ropes or barriers” group tour of manufacturer Clay Faulkner’s 1890’s Victorian Mansion. In 1896, entrepreneur Clay Faulkner told his wife May he’d build her “the grandest mansion in Tennessee” if she would move next to their “Gorilla Pants” factory (textile mill), 2 ½ miles north of McMinnville. Faulkner’s solid-brick, 10,000-square-foot mansion had all the “modern conveniences” when it was built – electric lights, indoor plumbing, central heat, air conditioning and more. Today, Mr. Faulkner’s Falcon Rest Mansion is open for tours as a historic attraction. It’s filled with museum-quality Victorian antiques, and some say it’s presided over by a friendly ghost – perhaps the proud builder himself. The gardens reflect the bounty of McMinnville, “the nursery capital of the world.”
Enjoy a tour of the mansion and gardens with lunch and some entertainment telling a great story of the history there before departing for Atlanta, Georgia this afternoon.
Check into the Drury Inn & Suites Atlanta this evening where we’ll spend two nights. Enjoy the complimentary Drury Kickback Reception with finger foods and cocktails or choose to have dinner, on your own, at a nearby restaurant which include Malones, Ruby Tuesday and Spondivits.
Day 3: Thursday, April 8, 2021
After breakfast, depart for the Sweet Auburn District / Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site with a local guide. Concentrated along a short mile and a half of Auburn Avenue, the Sweet Auburn Historic District reflects the history, heritage and achievements of Atlanta’s African Americans. The name Sweet Auburn was coined by John Wesley Dobbs, referring to the “richest Negro street in the world.” Like other black communities throughout the country, Sweet Auburn’s success was intricately tied to the residential patterns forced on African Americans during the early 20th century – the result of restrictive laws in southern states which enforced segregation of the races, known as Jim Crow laws. It was here that many African Americans established businesses, congregations, and social organizations.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site includes his boyhood home and the original Ebenezer Baptist Church, the church where King was baptized and both he and his father were pastors. On the site’s 35-acres you will find the Visitor Center contains a museum chronicling the American Civil Rights Movement and the path of King. An 1894 firehouse that served the Sweet Auburn community until 1991 now contains a gift shop and an exhibit of desegregation in the Atlanta Fire Department. The “I Have a Dream” International World Peace Rose Garden, and a memorial tribute to Mohandas K. Gandhi are part of the site, as is the “International Civil Rights Walk of Fame” which commemorates some of the courageous pioneers who worked for social justice.
Enjoy an included lunch at “Atlanta’s Dining Room.” Mary Mac’s opened in 1945 and today it is the last of sixteen tea rooms that once dotted intown Atlanta in the 1940s. Mary Mac’s believe they are still here 70 years later because of their focus on serving made-from-scratch true southern fare served with genuine southern hospitality. From the time you come in the door you’re welcomed with open arms and a big smile.
After lunch, visit the Jimmy Carter Presidential Museum. Trace the life and career of the 39th President of the United States. Completely redesigned in 2009, the museum offers a fascinating look at not only Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, but the American Presidency and the political system.
Visitors can step into an exact replica of the Oval Office, experience “A Day in the Life of the President,” hear first-hand accounts of the difficult decisions that confront the President each day, and take a virtual trip with the Carters around the world to fight disease, promote democracy and defend human rights. The Carter’s work after leaving the White House is featured in the museum as well.
After, enjoy a CNN Studio Tour. Experience an exciting way to discover how a newsroom operates on this nearly one-hour walking tour. Watch behind-the-scenes action of the newsroom, see what it takes to put a news broadcast together, sent to viewers all over the world and learn how the weather map works.
Arrive back at the hotel this evening in time to enjoy the Drury Kickback Reception or enjoy a dinner, on your own, from one of the nearby restaurants.
Day 4: Friday, April 9, 2021
After breakfast this morning, say good-bye to Atlanta and hello to Montgomery, Alabama on our way to the Hilton Garden Inn Beachfront Hotel in Orange Beach and the beckoning Alabama Gulf Shore!
Upon arrival in Montgomery, enjoy a guided Civil Rights Tour. On this tour, you will visit the Dexter King Memorial Baptist Church where Martin Luther King, Jr. was a pastor from 1954 to 1960. Formed by a breakaway segment of the congregation from the “Brick-a-Day” First Baptist Church, on January 30, 1879, the Church’s trustees purchased a 50’ by 110’ lot for $270 on the corner of Dexter Avenue and Decatur Street near the Capitol building as the permanent location of their church. A small wood frame structure located on the lot was used for worship service and educational puposes; the current red brick building was constructed between 1883 and 1889.
Visit the Rosa Parks Museum where historic markers designate the site where Rosa boarded the public bus and where she was arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger and move to the back. This museum is centered on her story and its place in the Civil Rights movement featuring a restored bus and other artifacts. Continue on and visit a few other sites related to the Civil Rights movement.
Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant in Montgomery before departing for Orange Beach, Alabama. Arrive at Hilton Garden Inn Beachfront Hotel to enjoy a 5-night stay in either a “Gulf View Room” or a “Pool View Room” just steps away from the beach and the Gulf of Mexico. It is close to coastal attractions, restaurants, and has an outdoor pool to enjoy with whirlpools and a tiki bar. Enjoy an included Welcome Dinner this evening at a local restaurant.
Day 5: Saturday, April 10, 2021
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel this morning before spending the morning at leisure in Orange Beach. This small city on Alabama’s Gulf Coast is known as a water sports hub. Located on Wolf Bay, Waterfront Park has a fishing pier and picnic areas. The Orange Beach Indian and Sea Museum explores Native American and fishing history. To the west, The Wharf is a shopping area with an amphitheater. The Backcountry Trail winds from the city through Gulf State Park’s beaches in the nearby city of Gulf Shores. Enjoy an independent lunch, on your own, before meeting back at the hotel to depart for Foley.
Spend two-hours exploring the waters of the Gulf Shore this afternoon. What better way to begin your stay on the Gulf Shore than with a dolphin cruise? Enjoy a two-hour cruise and spot these playful dolphins that are sure to bring a smile to your face while the guides can identify many of the resident dolphins and share fun facts about their behaviors, their habitat and the relationships within the pod. Enjoy some extra floating time through the hidden creeks of the back bays to spot other wildlife and local flora and fauna.
You may see osprey and their nests, herons, bald eagles, red-tailed hawks, and maybe even an alligator or two. The boat allows you to get as close as safely possible to the banks and the local marine and wildlife. Because the boat only needs 16 to 18 inches of water underneath, the Captain can sneak into creeks and swamps where few other boats can go, providing you with a truly unique and memorable experience.
Feeling just a little bit of nostalgia for the Midwest we left behind? Enjoy dinner this evening at a Midwest favorite – Lambert’s Café, known for their “thrown rolls!” Who knew there is a Lambert’s in Alabama?!
Day 6: Sunday, April 11, 2021
After an included breakfast at the hotel this morning, enjoy your day at leisure. You’ll have the entire day to lounge on the beach, explore the town, or seek out some adventure – either on land, or in water. Lunch and dinner will be on your own today, giving you the opportunity to enjoy some great local seafood!
Day 7: Monday, April 12, 2021
After breakfast, depart for Fairhope Storybook Castles. Let your imagination take you where it will – just as Craig Sheldon did when it all began as an addition to the family home, shortly after World War II. The Sheldon Castle took shape, as Mr. Sheldon recycled, reused and repurposed everything he could salvage, far, far ahead of his time.
The Fairhope Storybook Castles are actually two properties joined together by family legacy and artistic creativity. These magical one-of-a-kind handcrafted treasures were created over more than a 60-year span beginning with Sheldon’s Castle, home of legendary artist and sculptor, Craig Sheldon. Filled with artwork inside and out, the house itself is a work of art. Featured on HGTV, the Ananda Lewis Show and APT, this unique building is recognized as one of America’s most artistic structures. From floor to ceiling, there is a delight to be discovered in every painstaking detail, each created over lifetimes dedicated to an artistic family legacy resulting as a testament to ingenuity, resourcefulness, creativity and beauty.
The Sheldon Family Castle was such a special place, it sparked magic in Sheldon’s daughter, Pagan, as well. Married to Dean Mosher, a longtime friend and fellow conspirator of Craig Sheldon, Pagan was delighted when her husband wished to help continue her father’s work. Keeping up with the “Castle Next Door,” the Mosher Castle began coming to life after the Mosher’s purchased property adjacent to the Sheldon Castle. Work began all over again! In keeping up with the original style, the Mosher’s too, have used local materials, art and craftmanship wherever possible, including much of their own.
You will also get to visit Dean Mosher’s art studio. He has paintings of great moments in Early American Naval history hanging in several of our nation’s National Parks. His large painting hangs at the University of Alabama and Virginia. He has a tribute painting to the American Military hanging in different state Veteran’s facilities; he even has a painting hanging in the Air & Space Museum on the Mall in D.C.
Take a little time to discover and explore downtown Fairhope and to enjoy some lunch, on your own, before we visit the Fairhope Museum of History. The museum features permanent exhibits of Fairhope’s unique history including Fairhope’s founders, the Single Tax theory, the town jail, the Jubilee phenomenon and many other interesting displays. The mezzanine gallery has been used for large changing exhibits such as Civil War in Baldwin County, Stewart the Picture Man, History of Pottery on the Eastern Shore, Fairhopians who fought in WWII and the Bay Boat years on Mobile Bay.
Depart for Mobile, Alabama this evening for the Perdido Queen Dinner Cruise. Enjoy dinner on the water while cruising along the coast. Dinner is served as a two-entrée, self-serve buffet with plenty of sides and salad to select from for your meal. During your tour, the vessel is temperature controlled for your comfort. Recommended dress is “business-casual” for your special evening. Enjoy your meal, live entertainment and the opportunity to dance the evening away.
Day 8: Tuesday, April 13, 2021
After having breakfast at the hotel, enjoy a free day at the beach or out exploring, and have lunch, on your own. Dinner will be included this evening with the group at a local restaurant.
Day 9: Wednesday, April 14, 2021
After breakfast, depart the hotel for Memphis, Tennessee. There will be a stop for lunch, on your own, before we arrive this evening and check into the Guest House at Graceland. Dinner this evening will be included at King’s Palace Café on the famous Beale Street. King’s Palace Café is a cozy little joint offering a full menu of appetizing Southern delicacies, such as Memphis Style BBQ Ribs, Shrimp and Crawfish Etouffee, Chicken Pontabla and many other Cajun specialties. The dining area features plenty of room for hungry patrons, but step off to the side area for a comfortable, relaxed evening of local blues, usually featuring David Bowen, Cowboy Neil, Sensation Band, and Big Don Valentine.
Day 10: Thursday, April 15, 2021
After enjoying breakfast at the hotel this morning head for Graceland to take part in the Elvis Experience Tour plus Airplanes which includes Graceland Mansion’s audio-guided tour with new Orientation film, Elvis’ two custom airplanes, full access to the state-of-the-art Visitor Entertainment Complex, Elvis Presley Car Museum and Elvis: The Entertainer Career Showcase Museum and Elvis Discovery Exhibits. Take time to enjoy lunch at the Graceland Complex before departing for St. Louis, Missouri.
Arrive at the Drury Plaza Hotel St. Louis at the Arch for an overnight stay. On 4th Street between Market and Walnut in downtown St. Louis, three buildings on the National Register of Historic Places were carefully renovated to become the Drury Plaza Hotel St. Louis at the Arch. Acquired in 1997, Drury renovated and restored some of the original building features like matching millwork, Italian marble and Waterford crystal chandeliers. In 2017, an eighth-floor terrace was added, allowing guests to enjoy stunning views of the Gateway Arch and downtown St. Louis.
Enjoy the hotel’s Kickback Reception or perhaps choose to go out to dinner, on your own, at either Carmine’s Steakhouse or Angelo’s Taverna both located in the hotel or at one of the other nearby restaurants.
Day 11: Friday, April 16, 2021
Have breakfast at the hotel this morning before visiting the Gateway Arch. Gateway Arch National Park, formerly known as the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial until 2018, is an American National Park located in St. Louis, Missouri, near the starting point of the Lewis and Clark expedition.
Gaze at over 43,000 tons of concrete and steel making an iconic, elegant arc 63 stories high into the Midwest sky. Shaped by the inspired design of Finnis-American architect Eero Saarinen, the Gateway Arch celebrates the westward expansion of the US and the pioneers who made it possible. Since its completion in 1965, the monument has taken millions of visitors on the trip to the top to enjoy stunning views stretching up to thirty miles to both the east and west.
Begin your tour with the new, interactive pre-boarding exhibits featuring 60’s era animation and gateway Arch trivia. Then, be transported 630-feet to the top of America’s tallest manmade monument.
Monument to the Dream Movie – Learn about the inspiration behind Eero’s timeless design and the determination of the men who brought the Gateway Arch to life in this award-winning documentary.
Please Note: The tram ride to the top of the Gateway Arch is not fully accessible for guests with mobility impairments as no wheelchairs, scooters or strollers are permitted on the Observation Deck. To reach the top and return, you must be able to manage at least 96 steps, divided into six flights, and the ability to stand for 30 to 60 minutes. There is no seating or restrooms available at the top of the Arch.
Enjoy a farewell lunch at Favazza’s before we depart St. Louis and head for home this afternoon.
Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.
Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.
|Davenport, IA CASI|| 1035 W Kimberly Road |
Center for Active Seniors
|Ft. Madison, IA|| Ft. Madison Prison Industries Parking Lot |
1st Street & Avenue E
|Mediapolis, IA|| Mediapolis, IA - Mepo. Foods |
111 N. Wapello Rd.
|Muscatine, IA|| Muscatine - Wal*Mart 3003 US-61 |
|Wapello, IA|| Wapello, Jack N Jill on Hwy 61 |
503 US 61, Wapello, IA
|West Burlington|| West Burlington, IA Westland Mall |
South Lot by AmericInn
|Departure Date||Pick-up Time||Drop-off Time|
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