East Coast & Smoky Mountains Self-Drive Tour
Welcome to an amazing 16-day tour on US Historic East coast with lots of music experiences. We ride the magical Blue Ridge Parkway, challenging Tail of the Dragon, Cherohala Scenic Skyway, Devils Triangle, Diamondback and several US best back roads. In addition, we will explore the legendary Blues District with New Orleans, Memphis, Elvis’ Graceland and Blues Route Hwy 61. On our way to the breathtaking Smoky Mountains, we stop in Homosassa, Don Garlits Drag Racing Museum, and spend two nights in Nashville; Music city (we visit County Music Hall of Fame, RCA Studio B, Grand Ole Opry, Johnny Cash museum, Music Drive, etc).
|DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION||Orlando / MCO|
|DEPARTURE TIME||Please arrive at least 2 hours before the flight.|
“At Explorify Tours we believe that good experiences and camaraderie are at least as important as the journey. Our goal is to fill your tour travel bag with as many positive memories as possible, so you go home with a big smile on your face. And with friends, you didn’t have before you started the tour.”
Day 1: Departure - Arrival Orlando, Florida
Day 2: Orlando - Homosassa
(Driving day 1: 192 km/120 miles)
We start the day with an information meeting, where we cover information about your tour on the East Coast & Blue Ridge Parkway. We also cover practical information & preparations regarding mc and car rental checkout at Explorify Motorcycle Rentals, which has prepared the bike you have ordered. Thereafter, we pick up our bikes or cars.
When everyone is ready on their bikes, we start our ride on the 4.200 km/2600 miles long East Coast & Blue Ridge Parkway Adventure tour. We say goodbye to Orlando, set course west, and start by driving by beautiful Lake Opopka. We continue to the world-famous Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing, where you will get an up-close view of the fascinating beginning and evolution of the Drag Racing sport. After a nice lunch, we enjoy a nice drive on the Florida west coast, to our end destination; Homosassa.
Day 3: Homosassa - Panama Beach
(Driving day 2: 478 km/299 miles)
Today will be a spectacular ride along the Florida coast & beaches. We start by driving through Apalachicola National Forest, before we ride by spectacular Cape San Blas. Thereafter, we ride along the Mexico & Panama City beaches, before we arrive in Panama City beaches where we will enjoy a nice evening on the pier.
Day 4: Panama City Beach - New Orlèans
(Driving day 3: 500 km/313 miles)
We continue our ride along the beautiful Gulf shores and the Mexican Gulf, through the US states; Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida. We drive through harbors, bridges, and sumps (Moss Point, Biloxi, Gulfport, Bay St. Louis). We continue our beautiful coast ride to the mythical New Orleans and check-in at our hotel in the French Quarter. When everyone is settled in their rooms, we meet for a dinner on the famous Bourbon Street, where we will spend the rest of the evening in true New Orleans style. You are in one of the most exciting and fun cities in the US.
Day 5: New Orléans
(Fun and explorer day)
This day we will explore New Orleans, which is one of the world’s most fascinating cities. It has a unique blend of history & influences from Europe, the Caribbean, Africa, as well as other continents. It’s a brilliant mosaic of culture, food and music. Here you will find full plates of “gumbo”, long nights in jazz- & blues clubs, historical suburbs and consuming festivals year long.
Day 6: New Orléans - Vicksburg
(Driving day 4: 389 km/243 miles)
We head north on Hwy 61 The Blues Route towards Baton Rouge and historic Vicksburg, which is our final stop for the day. Vicksburg was central to the American Civil War. It was here that General Grant and Lee supported together in a legendary battle in the last stages of the war between south and north. We visit the National Monument and Old Courthouse, where we know the historic rush. We also visit the Coca-Cola Museum, since Vicksburg is the birthplace of the famous drink. It was here that the first bottle was produced by Bierdenharn Candy Co. The evening is spent on one of the city’s fun blues clubs.
Day 7: Vicksburg - Memphis
(Driving day 5: 357 km/223 miles)
We start our Blues & Music tour, as we head north on Highway 61. We drive to the famous “Gateway to the Blues” in Tunica, where we stop at Blues visitor center and museum. We stop at “The Crossroads” (where Hwy 61 and Hwy 49 cross each other), the place symbolizes Robert Johnson’s famous 1936 blues song. Johnson (also known as “Father of The Blues”) played the song solo with acoustic guitar, in Delta blues style, and has become part of Johnson’s mythology, since it refers to where he has sold his soul to the devil to become best at playing the blues. The song has since also been recorded by Elmore James and Eric Clapton. Hwy 61 The Blues Route is also made famous by Bob Dylan through his album “Highway 61 Revisited”.
Day 8: Memphis - Graceland - Nashville
(Driving day 6: 396 km/248 miles)
Welcome to one of the tour’s absolute highlights! We visit Graceland; home of the legendary King of Rock’n Roll; Elvis Aaron Presley. Graceland was Elvis’s main home from 1958 until his death in 1977. Here he was found dead in the bath by his fiancé Ginger Alden in the afternoon of August 16, 1977. Today Graceland is opened to the public as pilgrimages in thousands annually to see how “The King ‘lived and lived. They also come to see his grave in the large park at Graceland. Here Elvis is buried with her parents and one of her grandmothers. We spend the morning absorbing the story of the life of this wonderful man and artist. Afterward, you will no longer be in doubt: “The King still lives”.
Full of impressions we go from Graceland to visit another of the most trendsetting music cities in the world; Nashville, also called «Music City». We spend the evening at the famous «Music Drive».
Day 9: Nashville
(Fun and explorer day)
A day dedicated to music lovers. Spend the day as you wish, whether you want to stroll the streets of Nashville, enjoy the music venues on Music Drive, visit the local Harley Davidson store, or take a dive into the rich music history of this fascinating city.
For those interested, we start the day by exploring the famous “Country Music Hall of Fame” and “RCA Studio B” (where Elvis Presley made several famous recordings). Thereafter, we visit the interesting “Johnny Cash Museum”. We head back to the hotel for a rest before we spend another evening on fun Music Drive.
Day 10: Nashville - Maryville
(Driving day 7: 324 km/203 miles)
We leave Nashville with fun and joyful memories and head towards the famous Great Smoky Mountains National Park (the most visited national park in the US) and some of the best motorcycle roads you will ever ride in your life. We spend the day riding small curvy roads in nice surroundings and concur with the amazing Devils Triangle. We end up in Maryville, where we will spend a cozy evening before the great adventure.
Day 11: Maryville - Cherokee
(Driving day 8: 329 km/206 miles)
We continue our beautiful ride in Smoky Mountains as we head south for Hot Springs and Franklin. For those who feel for it, we will another fun motorcycle road; “The Moonshiner”. Thereafter, we ride to Cherokee.
Day 12: Cherokee - Little Switzerland
(Driving day 9:241 km/151 miles)
We have conquered most of the best back roads the Great Smoky Mountains can offer, and head south towards beautiful Historic Savannah. We spend the evening absorbing the magical atmosphere.
Day 13: Little Switzerland - Savannah
(Driving day 10: 303 km/309 miles)
We start the day with another challenging ride; “The Diamondback” (Hwy 226A). Thereafter, we set course for Savannah and Florida coast. On our way, we make a stop in Norway and Denmark.
Day 14: Savannah - St.Augustine
(Driving day 11: 303 km/188 miles)
We head south towards warmer climate and Florida beaches. Before we reach St Augustine, we start driving the famous Highway 1. Our end stop for the day is Historic St Augustine, the former capital of Florida and a major tourist attraction. We enjoy a nice evening together.
Day 15: St.Augustine - Daytona Beach - Orlando
(Driving day 12: 204 km/128 miles)
Today we will drive next to the Atlantic Ocean all the way to Daytona “Biker” Beach. We embark on the famous “Ormond Scenic Loop & Trail”, a 50 km double loop of road that crosses some of the most beautiful and diverse scenery in Northeast Florida. “The Loop” is not like other rides; enjoy the freedom, sunshine, open road and graceful curves, it is a dream for all motorcycle enthusiasts everywhere. The comfortable ride is a must for those who like an open highway and Florida’s natural beauty. We drive to Destination Daytona (by the world’s largest Harley Davidson dealer, Bruce Ross Meyer, with a showroom of 109,000 sq. ft.). Here we eat our lunch and enjoy the great atmosphere.
Thereafter, we start our final leg to return our bikes/cars and celebrate everyone made it home safe after a fun and eventful tour together. We head to International Drive, to end the day at fun B.B. Kings Blues Club. We celebrate everyone made it home safe after a fun & eventful tour together.
Day 16: Departure Orlando - Home Travel
We say goodbye to America’s Smoky Mountain Blues Tour, Orlando and return home. Thanks for a great ride, good times and sincerely thank you for choosing to tour with JoyRides. We wish you a safe trip home and hope to see you again on one of our other tours in the US, South America, Asia, Oceania or Europe.
Note: Because of the time difference travelers from Europe will arrive home the date/day after departing the US.
Also: This program is a guideline for activities and experiences on the tour. Deviations may occur, but we guarantee that our positive tour leaders will do their utmost to execute the program as described – as far as it is feasible and circumstances allow. We are continually working to improve the program, thus you may experience positive surprises.