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Day 1 – Home to Normal, IL 

Journey with R&J to Indiana, Kentucky, and Tennessee as we take in The Heart of Christmas! Our first overnight will be in Normal, IL, with lunch on your own along the way. We will gather together for an included dinner this evening as we get to know one another. 

Included Meals: Dinner 

Hotel: Holiday Inn 


Day 2 – Normal to French Lick, IN 

After an included breakfast at the hotel we travel to the Hoosier National Forest where nestled among the hills resides a classic American destination – French Lick Resort, comprised of two AAA Four-Diamond nationally historic hotels! With excitement, we check into one of them: the West Baden Springs Hotel, our world famous home for the night. We’ll be awestruck by this magnificent property! Considered to be the 8th wonder of the world, it was built in 1902 and is on the National Register of Historic Landmarks. Its atrium was the largest free span dome until the Houston Astrodome was built. With a glowing 40 ft Christmas tree in the atrium, there is no word to describe it but: AWESOME! Consider taking a walk on the trails over to the French Lick Springs Hotel (the sister property) and around the resort grounds and see some of the half-million lights that add to the winter wonderland. Christmas Village is a must-see during the 50 Days of Lights with its North Poles scenes and one of the Midwest’s largest real gingerbread houses! A delicious buffet dinner is served this evening at the French Lick Springs Hotel. 

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner 

Hotel: West Baden Springs Hotel 


Day 3 – French Lick to Pigeon Forge, TN 

We start our day off with breakfast at Cafe Sinclair’s, which is located in West Baden Springs Hotel’s original, elegant dining room. Then we depart with comfort stops & lunch on your own along the way. The scenery is great as we travel to Pigeon Forge, a quaint little city nestled on the edge of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We’ll check into the Black Fox Lodge, which combines rustic Southern charm and modern style, for the next three nights. Tonight we’re guests for Christmas at Dolly Parton’s Stampede, where we’ll find a true fantasy land, complete with twinkling lights, evergreens, poinsettias, old-fashioned holiday costumes, Christmas music, and 32 magnificent horses. The elves from the North and South Poles will compete in some friendly competitions while serving up a festive, four-course feast for us to enjoy! Then the true meaning of Christmas comes alive right before our very eyes as three kings ride atop camels on their way to Bethlehem. This live nativity scene is both dramatic and spectacular, especially with the stunning beauty of angels amazing us! 

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner 

Hotel: Black Fox Lodge (3 Nights) 


Day 4 – Pigeon Forge 

After a leisurely breakfast at the hotel, we’ll enjoy some free time. Perhaps you wish to walk next door to the Moon Pie General Store & Original Book Warehouse, where you guessed it…a variety of tasty moon pies, a large selection of books, and more await. Later this morning we will head to Dollywood, Dolly Parton’s Appalachian-themed park. From the award-winning shows and elaborate holiday decorations to the twinkling lights and Christmas-themed menus, we’ll find that Dollywood captures the essence of Christmas. We’ll spend the rest of the day at Dollywood, giving you time to take in all the festivities. As it gets dark and all the Christmas lights come on, it truly is a magical Christmas experience! 

Included Meals: Breakfast 


Day 5 – Pigeon Forge 

Again enjoy a leisurely breakfast and morning before we take in a guided tour of the Titanic Museum. Each of us will receive a boarding pass of an actual crew or passenger member, and at the end we’ll learn our passenger’s fate. Plus we’ll have the opportunity to shovel “coal” in the Titanic’s boiler room, touch an iceberg, feel 28 ̊ water, walk the exact replica of the Grand Staircase, & more! Then after lunch on our own, we’ll head to the Incredible Christmas Place, the largest permanent Christmas retailer in the American south. We’ll thoroughly enjoy shopping time at this classy, premier destination selling all things Christmas! Next up is a scrumptious dinner at Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant, serving up home-style, southern favorites. Afterwards we are headed to the Country Tonite Theatre for their fantastic Pigeon Forge Christmas Show. The magic of Christmas abounds as the talented renditions of Christmas favorites combined with beautiful choreography, brightly decorated holiday sets, and colorful costumes bring the enchantment of Christmas to the stage. 

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner 


Day 6 – Pigeon Forge to Louisville, KY 

Have one last breakfast at the Black Fox Lodge and bid the Smoky Mountains goodbye as we’re traveling up to Louisville today. Along the way, a plated lunch will be served at Boone Tavern and we’ll also make a special stop at Old Friends Living History Farm. They provide a safe haven & permanent retirement to Thoroughbreds whose racing & breeding careers have come to an end. We’ll enjoy meeting these legends during our guided tour. Arriving into Louisville, we’ll settle into our hotel for two nights and partake in the Drury’s Kickback Reception, which is a complete light meal. A unique evening is in store as our motorcoach drives below ground at Mega Cavern’s, allowing us to experience the only underground holiday light show in the world! “Lights Under Louisville” includes more than 40 themed displays, multiple projection areas, over 900 lit characters, exciting themes, two laser locations, multiple light tunnels, holiday music, over 6,500,000 points of light, and the only domestic holographic Santa. As we motor along, we’ll be immersed in a megadose of Christmas cheer! 

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Drury Kickback 

Hotel: Drury Inn & Suites (2 Nights) 


Day 7 – Louisville 

We’ll start our day with breakfast at the hotel. Then our first stop is the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory where we will see how these famous baseball bats are made, along with the history of bat making. Whether you are a baseball fan or not, you will be amazed by this experience! After lunch on own, be sure you have your walking shoes on as we are headed back underground to explore the longest cave in Indiana, Indiana Caverns. During our tour, we’ll view the Midwest’s largest deposits of Ice Age bones and fossils, travel through Big Bone Mountain, and see beautiful formations and a 40-foot waterfall. First we’ll walk on grated steel walkways with sections of stairs scattered throughout as we descend 110 feet below the surface to the underground river. From there, we will board a pontoon-style boat for further exploring. After the boat ride, we will return to the surface, ascending stairs 110 feet back to the Visitor Center. What an experience! Afterwards we’ll return to the hotel to freshen up before we’re guests at the Derby Dinner Playhouse for a tasty buffet dinner followed by the beloved Christmas classic, “A Wonderful Life!”

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner 


Day 8 – Louisville to Rock Island, IL 

Today is a travel day, so after Drury’s breakfast, we’ll make our way to Rock Island, IL. After checking into our hotel for the night, another Christmas show and dinner await at the Circa 21 Playhouse. (At time of print, the show was not released yet.) 

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner 

Hotel: Holiday Inn 


Day 9 – Rock Island to Home 

Breakfast is served before we travel the rest of the way home. Through new friendships and holiday experiences, together we have found The Heart of Christmas! 

Included Meals: Breakfast 

Motorcoach Per Person Pricing Information

Double: $2,979
Single: $3,899
Triple: $2,769
Quad: $2,629

Motorcoach Travel Protection Per Person

Double: $184
Single: $247

Travel Bucks

$40 Travel Bucks per person earned with this tour

Deposit Due

$100 deposit per person due at time of reservation. Full payment due 30 days prior to depart.

Passport Needed


Tour Pace

Moderate to Extensive Walking

Price Includes

15 Meals & 1 Kickback, Hotels and activities & events as stated in brochure, Luxury Motorcoach

The average temperature while R&J is visiting is 57°
Travel with R & J Tours to a warm destination where it is...
Minneapolis, Mn
The Heart of Christmas
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Tour Map

Tour Highlights

* West Baden Springs Hotel at Christmastime
* 3 Nights in Pigeon Forge
* Christmas at Dolly Parton’s Stampede
* Visit Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas
* Titanic Museum
* Pigeon Forge Christmas Show at Country Tonite
* Old Friends Living History Farm
* Louisville Mega Cavern’s Lights Under Louisville Driving Tour
* Louisville Slugger Museum
* Indiana Caverns Tour
* "A Wonderful Life" at Derby Dinner Playhouse
* Circa 21 Playhouse Christmas Show & Dinner

Travel with R & J Tours to a warm destination where it is...
Minneapolis, Mn
The Heart of Christmas
The average temperature while R&J is visiting is 57°
Dedicated to presenting the greatness of God through the beauty of His Creation.