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Day 1 – Home to Bloomington, IL

We depart for a wonderful time down south where the weather is warmer! Lunch is included at Norske Nook along the way. We will travel to Bloomington, IL for the night and enjoy dinner on our own.

Included Meals: Lunch

Hotel: Comfort Suites

 

Day 2 – Bloomington to Nashville, TN

We will continue south today to Nashville, TN. Once we get checked into the Drury Inn & Suites, there will be a manager’s reception to enjoy before heading to the Grand Ole Opry for an evening show.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Manager’s Reception

Hotel: Drury Inn & Suites

 

Day 3 – Nashville to Atlanta

Today we travel to Atlanta. We will have a self-guided tour & lunch at the Chattanooga Choo Choo before picking up the fly-in Travelers. Once again the Drury Inn will have a manager’s reception for all to enjoy.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Manager’s Reception

Hotel: Drury Inn (Atlanta Airport)

 

Day 4 – Atlanta to Amelia Island, FL

After breakfast we board our luxury motorcoach for a drive to Amelia Island. This evening we will enjoy a great dinner at the Crab Trap Restaurant. Our three night stay will be right in the heart of the historic district and only a block from the beautiful Amelia River.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Hampton Inn & Suites, Fernando Beach (3 Nights) 

 

Day 5 – Amelia Island

Today our journey is filled with the history of this quaint Island as the trolley picks us up at the hotel for a tour of the town of Fernandina Beach. We’ll learn its history as we travel the narrow streets of this town. The trolley will drop us at the banks of the river and we will board a boat for an interesting river cruise. We’ll learn of the eco systems of the area, hear more of the history, and get to see Ft. Clinch from this great viewpoint. After some time for lunch in downtown Fernandina, we will drive to Ft. Clinch State Park to learn more about this military installation that was built in 1847, at the mouth of the St Mary’s River, to protect the deepwater port of Fernandina. Later today you will be able to enjoy dinner at one of the nearby restaurants.

Included Meals: Breakfast 

 

Day 6 – Amelia Island

This morning we take the short drive into Jacksonville where we will meet our step-on guide for a tour of the largest city in Florida! Located along the St. Johns River, this city has an interesting history and exciting future, and we will discover it all! Following our tour we will visit the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens for a tour, lunch, and a stroll through the gardens. This afternoon we will visit the Catty Shack Ranch, a wildlife sanctuary that cares for large cats such as tigers and panthers. We’ll learn about this non-profit organization’s mission to rescue large cats and have the opportunity to get some great pictures of the big cats! Back on the Island this evening, you will be able to enjoy dinner at a local restaurant of your choosing.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch 

 

Day 7 – Amelia Island to Tallahassee, FL

After breakfast we depart Amelia Island and travel down I-10 headed for Tallahassee, Florida’s capital city! After lunch, we will walk over to the Capital complex where you can tour the Historic Capitol and Museum before we stroll across the grounds to the current Capitol building. Later we will enjoy some time at Mission San Luis, the western capital of Spanish Florida in the late 1600’s. This walk back in time will give you a great taste of late 17th century living!

Included Meals: Breakfast

Hotel: Best Western Plus 

 

Day 8 – Tallahassee to Mobile, AL

This morning we continue our journey westward, enjoying the sights as we near the western edge of Florida and the city of Pensacola. Here we will have lunch at the Seville Quarter located in the historical district of this Florida community. This afternoon you will have time to explore the National Naval Air Museum, the world’s largest naval air museum on the grounds of Naval Air Station Pensacola. Just a short journey and we will visit the Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum. This 1859 Lighthouse, listed on the National Registry of historic places and restored lightkeeper’s quarters, will give us an enlightening look back into this area’s history. As we head west just into Alabama, we will stop for lunch at a unique diner, the Derailed Diner will give you a chuckle and a great meal! Tonight we arrive in Mobile for a two night stay!

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Hotel: Hampton Inn & Suites (2 Nights)

 

Day 9 – Mobile

Our step-on guide will join us this morning for a tour of this historic southern city. We’ll tour the historic district as well as other stops throughout the town. A historic mansion tour will share some of the insight into the lives of Mobile’s elite! Down a country road we travel this morning on the way to Bellingrath Gardens and Home. This former fishing camp is now home to one of the nation’s preeminent gardens. Located along the Fowl River, the 65 acres of gardens boast a bloom every day of the year! Of course you’ll want to take a step inside and see the Bellingrath home filled with antiques, silver, crystal, and cut glass. Your tour will give you a wonderful insight into how this couple lived and entertained.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

 

Day 10 – Mobile to New Orleans, LA

After breakfast we travel towards Biloxi where we will arrive in time to go “shrimping!” Well, we will at least board the Sailfish for a lesson in how to catch shrimp. It will be an enjoyable morning on the bay as we learn the tricks of the trade! Lunch follows right on the bay, providing wonderful views of all the happenings along the Biloxi Gulf Coast. This afternoon I-10 takes us to New Orleans where our first stop will be Mardi Gras World. Here you will see Mardi Gras magic created right before your eyes and will learn about the Mardi Gras history and culture. Tonight we check into the Drury Inn for a two night stay where the evening manager’s reception is there to enjoy.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Manager’s Reception

Hotel: Drury Inn (2 Nights)

 

Day 11 – New Orleans

Today we begin with a tour of New Orleans. Our step-on guide will take us through the city, sharing history and highlights of the many different city districts. Later, a special lunch is planned and then some free time to enjoy this great southern city! Your hotel is not far from the French Quarter, so maybe a stroll down Bourbon Street or one of the other areas close by is in order! The manager’s reception is available again at the hotel.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Manager’s Reception

 

Day 12 – New Orleans to Baton Rouge, LA

Our destination this morning is Baton Rouge, the Capital of Louisiana. But before we tour Baton Rouge, we will travel across the Mississippi River to the town of Port Allen and learn about the sugar cane industry at the West Baton Rouge Museum. Sugar Cane is one of the premier crops of this area and in our travels we will see some of the fields being prepared for this year’s crop! Back over the river and time to meet our step-on guide for our touring of this capital city. Included in our tour will be time at the wonderful Louisiana Museum as well as the State Capitol Building, with a stop on the 29th floor to gaze from their outdoor observation deck at this beautiful city on the banks of the Mississippi River. Later today we will enjoy a great dinner at a local restaurant.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Best Western Plus 

 

Day 13 – Baton Rouge to Nottoway Plantation

Today is Plantation Day, as we travel the beautiful River Road along the banks of the Mississippi River towards our first stop at Oak Alley Plantation. You will be able to stroll along the lane of 100 year old Oak Trees that canopy the walkway. Tour the Big House and spend time enjoying the 25 acres filled with history! Back on to the River Road, we continue past sugar cane fields and small communities as we travel to Nottoway Plantation. Nottoway will take you back to a time when sugar cane and cotton were king along the Mississippi River. We will tour the Plantation Home and have some time to walk the grounds of this beautiful plantation before we gather around the table and enjoy a Louisiana Crawfish Boil Competition. Savor this great evening of fine food and entertainment with your traveling companions before you settle in for a great night’s rest on the plantation!

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Hotel: Nottoway Plantation 

 

Day 14 – Nottoway Plantation to Jennings, LA

Enjoy your plantation breakfast this morning and maybe a walk on the River Dyke before your luxury motorcoach continues down the road. This morning we will enjoy a swamp tour on the edge of the Atchafalaya Swamp, the largest swamp in the United States. Our native guides will share the history of this area and ecosystems as well as insights into what it is like to live on a house boat on the swamp! Lunch again will be Cajun style on the banks of the swamp. If the alligators haven’t chewed the tires off the bus, we will continue our travels west towards the town of Crowley, LA. Crowley claims the title, “Rice Capitol of America” and their town motto is “Where Life is Rice & Easy.” We’ll learn about the rice industry and enjoy some of the history of this Louisiana community. Later its north of town, past miles of rice fields being prepared for planting, to “Kelly’s Landing” where we will learn about rice and crawfish farming! Kelly will entertain and teach as he shares his passion and prepares for us a delightful dinner served right next to the rice field! We motor to Jennings for our stay tonight.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Hotel: Hampton Inn & Suites 

 

Day 15 – Jennings to Houston, TX

Today we enter the Lone Star State of Texas. Our first stop is Beaumont where Oil is King! At the Texas Energy Museum we will learn how oil is turned into those useful products we use every day! Our lunch today is well…we are in Texas so…how about lunch at a steakhouse! Then it’s off to the Spindletop-Gladys City Boomtown Museum to re-live the excitement of that day the Lucas Gusher blew and changed the face of the petroleum age forever. We will feel the thunder from the depths of the earth as that black gold spews 100’s of feet in the air! I-10 takes us to our final destination, Houston, where we will spend two nights at the Drury Inn & Suites. Enjoy the manager’s reception at the hotel or dinner on your own.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Manager’s Reception

Hotel: Drury Inn & Suites (2 Nights)

 

Day 16 – Houston

After a great breakfast we will board our motorcoach with a step-on guide for an enjoyable morning of touring the Houston area. There is much to learn & see! Lunch is included at Luby’s Cafeteria, a family tradition since 1947. Then we will return to the hotel to relax and freshen up before leaving later this afternoon for RODEOHOUSTON! With over 350 cowboys and cowgirls involved, this rodeo will have us cheering and clapping!

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch 

 

Day 17 – Houston to Denison, TX

A hearty breakfast is served before we bid farewell to our fly-in Travelers and the motorcoach group makes their way to Denison. We will enjoy a tour of the Eisenhower Birthplace State Historic Site. Then we will check into the Holiday Inn Express in time to freshen up before dinner is served at the Cotton Patch Restaurant.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Holiday Inn Express

 

Day 18 – Denison to Blue Springs, MO

After breakfast we will board the motorcoach and continue our way north to Blue Springs, MO where we will check into the Drury Inn & Suites. There is a manager’s reception for you to enjoy if you choose.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Manager’s Reception

Hotel: Drury Inn & Suites

 

Day 19 – Blue Springs to Home

This morning we will enjoy our last breakfast together before we travel the rest of the way home, reminiscing about our wonderful Southern Exposure tour!

Included Meals: Breakfast

 

Motorcoach Per Person Pricing Information

Double: $3,499
Single: $4,599
Triple: $3,299
Quad: $3,099

Flyaway Per Person Pricing Information

Double: $3,999
Single: $4,899
Triple: $3,749
Quad: $3,599

Motorcoach Travel Protection Per Person

Double: $219
Single: $296

Flyaway Travel Protection Per Person

Double: $270
Single: $340

Travel Bucks

$45 Travel Bucks per person earned with this tour

Deposit Due

$200 deposit per person due at time of reservation. Full payment due 45 days prior to depart.

Passport Needed

No

Tour Pace

Light to Moderate Walking

Price Includes

MOTORCOACH: 35 Included Meals & 6 Manager’s Receptions, Activities & Hotels as stated, Luxury Motorcoach; FLYAWAY: Roundtrip airfare from MSP including all baggage fees, taxes & surcharges (approx. $75 per person included), 28 Meals & 4 Manager’s Receptions, all activities as stated in brochure, Hotels



The average temperature while R&J is visiting is 69°
Travel with R & J Tours to a warm destination where it is...
53°
Minneapolis, Mn
72°
Southern Exposure
Motorcoach Departure Date:
02/26/2016
Motorcoach Return Date:
03/15/2016
Flyaway Departure Date:
02/28/2016
Flyaway Return Date:
03/13/2016

Make a Reservation Online

Tour Map


Tour Highlights

3 Night Stay on Amelia Island
Amelia Island History
Cummer Gardens, Jacksonville
Florida Capital Stop
Pensacola National Naval Air Museum
Mobile, AL City Tour
Bellingrath Gardens
City Tour of New Orleans
Mardi Gras World
Shrimping Demonstration Tour
Historic Baton Rouge and State Capital Tour
Beautiful, Historic Oak Alley Plantation
Tour & Lunch
Lodging at the Historic Nottoway
Plantation
Louisiana Swamp Tour
Rice and Crawfish Farming
Texas Oil and Energy History in Beaumont, TX
Houston Rodeo



Travel with R & J Tours to a warm destination where it is...
53°
Minneapolis, Mn
72°
Southern Exposure
The average temperature while R&J is visiting is 69°
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