Date: Oct. 14, 2019 - Oct. 22, 2019
Departure Regions: Midwest (WI, IL, IN)
Departure Cities: Appleton, WI, Beloit, WI, Burlington, WI, Cedar Grove, WI, Clintonville, WI, Coloma, WI, Delafield, WI, Denmark, WI, Fond du Lac, WI, Germantown, WI, Green Bay Area, WI, Janesville, WI, Johnson Creek, WI, Juneau, WI, Kenosha, WI, LaCrosse, WI, Lomira, WI, Madison, WI, Manitowoc, WI, Mauston, WI, Menasha, WI, Milwaukee North (Brown Deer), WI, Milwaukee South (13th & College Ave.), WI, Milwaukee West (Hales Corners), WI, New London, WI, Oconomowoc, WI, Oshkosh, WI, Plover, WI, Port Washington, WI, Portage, WI, Racine, WI, Shawano, WI, Sheboygan, WI, Sparta, WI, Tomah, WI, Waukesha, WI, Waupaca, WI, Wausau/Rothschild, WI, West Bend Area (Allenton), WI, Wisconsin Rapids, WI, Franklin Park, IL, Gurnee, IL, Hinsdale, IL, Rockford, IL, South Holland, IL, Hammond, IN, Merrillville, IN
Settin’ on the Porch In Mayberry
9 Days / 8 Nights
Departure Date: October 14-22
Tour Code: MAYB99
Get to know your fellow travelers as we enjoy the late summer breezes of the autumn season. Our travels take us through the Chicago area and across the border into Indiana where we will overnight for our first stay at the Drury Inn, Indianapolis, IN
DAY TWO – CB, L
Our travels continue as we make our way through Indiana into Ohio. Lunch will be included today as we make miles on our way to West Virginia. Stopping at the artisan colony called Tamarack watch highly acclaimed artisans craft items made of metal, wood and glass plus unusual apparel, jewelry, one-of-a-kind souvenirs, furniture, pottery, outdoor decor, fine art, musical instruments, and homemade specialty food items and candies. Our evening’s accommodation will be in the town of Beckley, WV and the Country Inn & Suites.
DAY THREE – CB, L, D
This morning finds us looking at the beautiful rural state of West Virginia. Travels today take us along the celebrated Blue Ridge Parkway enroute the Chateau Morrisette Winery. Located in a spectacular mountain setting, the Morrisette family is proud to be both a grower and buyer of Virginia fruit and is the largest purchaser of Virginia-grown grapes.
The quaint town of Floyd is our next stop. Enjoy the Floyd Country Store for a traditional Appalachian musical experience and a unique selection of merchandise and clothing. Our accommodations are right here in town, so stroll the Main Street shopping and walk to your hotel if you wish. The Floyd Hotel has a variety of artfully decorated room styles for guests to enjoy.
Tonight’s dinner will be at the Historic Pine Tavern. The fare hasn’t changed much since they began serving meals in 1927 and most of the recipes used are still from their original cook Mama Nell.
DAY FOUR – CB, L, D
Known for its bluegrass and “hillbilly” music, we check out of our hotel and continue to the town of Galax. Meeting our local guide, take a leisurely walking tour of the downtown area. We’ll stroll into Barr’s Fiddle Shop to see handmade and vintage banjos, fiddles and autoharps. Watch as local luthiers make and repair these instruments and learn how they have passed their craft down to the next generation.
For those who have the gumption a highlight of our time in Galax will be learning the art of “flat foot” dancing.
After burning some calories it’s time for some scrumptious Memphis-style BBQ at the Galax Smokehouse. Then it’s back on the bus to travel down what’s known as the Crooked Road portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway enroute to the Blue Ridge Music Center. Tour this world class exhibition that tells the story of how, in earlier days, the mixing of European and African musical cultures and ideas in the Appalachians created new sounds that have profoundly influenced the development of music in the south.
We finally reach Mt. Airy, the real hometown of Andy Griffith and the inspiration for the much loved TV show in the fictional town of Mayberry. Our hotel for the next two nights will be at the Hampton Inn right here in Mt. Airy. Put your feet up for a bit before we head to dinner then experience an “evening jam” at the historic Earl Theatre.
DAY FIVE – B, L, D
We link up with our guide once again for more interesting information on this very old southern town and throughout the day pass by Andy’s boyhood home, the Mayberry Jailhouse, Floyd’s Barbershop and learn more about the famous Siamese Twins, Eng & Cheng Bunker who made Mt. Airy their home.
The Andy Griffith Museum is home to the largest collection of Andy Griffith memorabilia anywhere. It was lovingly collected by his long-time friend Emmett Forrest and features hundreds of items from the life and career of Andy from his early days in the movies, on television and music, so important in his life. There are also props from the The Andy Griffith Show and Matlock given by Andy Griffith himself plus donated items from cast members and actors from the show.
There are many interesting facts to learn and we move on to the Mount Airy Museum of Regional History. The permanent exhibit is spread over 4 floors and tells the story from the very early settler’s and Native Americans to an authentic turn-of-the-century country store. Learn the history behind the largest open face granite quarry in the world then listen to Old Time music unique to this region. It will prove to be a fascinating and enlightening journey through time.
Lunch at the Snappy Diner, of course, will be another nostalgic experience as we eat in the oldest restaurant in town, circa 1923. Andy used to eat here as a young boy and it was even mentioned on The Andy Griffith Show!
Dinner is included before taking our seats at the historic Rex Theatre. Every Friday night, thousands of radio listeners tune into WBRF to hear old-time mountain music and we’ll be a part of this live radio broadcast!
DAY SIX – B, L, D
After breakfast we take a short drive to Heartwood. Tucked into Virginia’s ancient mountains and home to music, crafts and food of the area you will no doubt hear music as you wander through town as impromptu jam sessions just happen!
We’ll linger in the mountains for a bit and enjoy the brick sidewalks and historic atmosphere of the oldest town west of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Abingdon. It’s filled with outstanding examples of Federal and Victorian architecture.
Nearby and originally built in 1832 we’ll enjoy our luncheon in the gracious Martha Washington Inn. Our travels will then continue to the town of Bristol, Virginia and the Holiday Inn for a little R & R. Tonight, dinner will be in the completely restored and elegant 1850’s Troutdale Dining Room. Hear wonderful tales of the home as it was during the Civil War and marvel at its history.
Our finale this evening is in one of the most historic music venues in the south. The Carter Family Fold is where A.P., Sara and Mother Maybelle Carter are honored as the first family of country music. Enjoy toe-tapping country and folk music in this rural setting and hey, you can even get up and practice your flat foot dancing like the regulars!
DAY SEVEN – B, L, D
What a night we had last night, but we have to keep on schedule, so we’re back on the coach heading for the Daniel Boone Trail.
One of the nation’s most historic routes, this trail was blazed by the legendary frontiersman in 1775 from Kingsport, TN (originally known as Long Island) through the Cumberland Gap of Virginia then into Kentucky. It became the route for hundreds of thousands of settlers enroute to the western frontier. An important landmark for frontier travelers and one of our stops is the Wilderness Road Blockhouse. It served as the gathering place for pioneers traveling the Wilderness Road between 1775 and 1800.
Continuing after lunch, we visit the Southwest Virginia Museum. The collection includes more than 25,000 pieces and state-of-the-art exhibits telling the story of the exploration and development of Southwest Virginia from the pioneer era of the 1700s to the mining era of the late 1800s. This area is also known for its huge deposits of coal. We’ll tour the Harry Meador Coal Museum and learn about the history of the people, their lives and the influence coal has on the area population.
Tonight enjoy dinner at the John Fox Jr. Museum. Originally home to the famous mountain author John Fox is most notable for his book “Trail of the Lonesome Pine.” Tonight we rest our heads at the Holiday Inn, Norton, VA.
DAY EIGHT – B, L
It’s time to begin our homeward bound travels as we make our way north towards Kentucky. Enjoy a delicious luncheon at the Old Talbot Tavern in Bardstown and a little shopping time before we continue into Indiana and our final overnight at the Drury Inn & Suites in Indianapolis.
DAY NINE – CB, L
While we’re here in Indianapolis we would be amiss if didn’t visit the most famous racing track in the world. First visit the Hall of Fame Museum to learn some history then our coach, yes, our coach takes a lap around the famous oval! I would say this was one heck of a great trip and hope you all come back now ‘ya hear!
PER PERSON PRICING:
Deposit: $200 per person within 7 days of making reservation. Final payment is due 60 days prior to departure. Luggage handling is included for one suitcase. RoamRight Insurance is available and strongly recommended.