Exploring the Southern Heartland

Pilgrimage to the Muscle Shoals

  • Northern Alabama | Sewanee, Tennessee | Rome, Georgia


October 29 – November 2, 2024


  • Cherokee and Chickasaw stories
  • Rome, Georgia and Cave Spring
  • Sewanee, Tennessee and the story of Tennessee whiskey
  • Muscle Shoals studio and music touring
  • Lovely inns, perfectly located for exploring what’s beyond the front door

Trip Description

Let’s go to the Muscle Shoals!  Join us on a newly minted trip to the South’s historic heartland – North Alabama and a slice of Middle Tennessee.  We’ll spend two nights in a beautiful boutique hotel in Florence, Alabama, on the Tennessee River.  There we’ll join local experts to pick up stories of the remarkable Muscle Shoals “sound” – recording studios, music, and bands that put pop music on the airwaves.  We’ll also uncover stories about the first hydro dam on the Tennessee River, the story of native-born Helen Keller, and the natural history of this karst environment.

En route to “the Shoals,” we’ll spend our first night in Sewanee, Tennessee, at one of our favorite Southern hotels.  The next day will bring us face-to-face with “elixir innovators” George Dickel and Franklin Mars, as we pass through the fall-clad, deep landscapes of Middle Tennessee.  Our route home will take us to lovely Rome, Georgia, for our last night.  Enjoy the beauty of nearby Berry College, and Rome’s enchanting “confluence” zone.

What's Included

  • Comfortable van transportation
  • Accommodation for 4 nights
  • Breakfast, 3 lunches, and 2 dinners
  • All activities / admissions per the itinerary
  • Guide and concierge service throughout the trip

Trip Price

$3,321 / person (double occupancy; single supplement, $570)

What's Not Included

Price does not include alcohol, other meals, or optional trip insurance.

You planned everything perfectly - just the right pace, and a wonderful trip!

Trip insurance safeguards your travel investment, your belongings, and most importantly, you. Though trip insurance is optional, we strongly encourage travelers to purchase trip insurance in the event you have to cancel or leave a trip for any reason. Please note, all trip participants should wait for confirmation from Explore Up Close that the trip has the minimum sign-up required to be a “go” before purchasing travel insurance. Please confirm with Explore Up Close before making any additional travel arrangements.

Once you have received confirmation from Explore Up Close, we recommend contacting a travel insurance provider directly to request a quote and compare pricing and features. You can find other providers that may fit your needs at www.insuremytrip.com, or we can gladly connect you with our travel agent.

This trip departs from Greenville / Spartanburg, South Carolina and Asheville, North Carolina. If you live elsewhere, please contact us to discuss travel arrangements, and we will look forward to assisting you!

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