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North Carolina

  • North Carolina

    Asheville Blowing Rock Duck Pinehurst Wrightsville Beach

    Often referred to as “America’s best kept secret”, the State of North Carolina boasts an incredible range of holiday possibilities. From cosmopolitan cities bursting with culture, shopping and fine dining to the untouched beaches of the Outer Banks and the unmatchable mountain vistas of the Great Smoky Mountains, there is sure to be something to intrigue every member of the family.

    • Blueridge Parkway

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    • Outer Banks

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    • Stone Mountain

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    • Golfing in North Carolina

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    • Wrightsville Beach

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    Endless opportunities surround the coastal area with two stretches of stunning beaches to explore; the gentle inner waters of the sounds which are ideal for families with young children and the rugged Atlantic coast of the Outer Bank islands which draw surfers and hang gliders alike. Together they provide some of the most unspoiled beaches anywhere in the world.

    For those who prefer their activities on dry land, North Carolina can proudly claim to be one of the greatest golf destinations in the world, with over 500 golf courses scattered throughout the state offering year round golf. The village of Pinehurst, which lives and breathes golf lays claim to being the spiritual home of the sport. It has hosted the US Open twice (1999 and 2005) and will be hosting it once again in 2014.

    The state features a selection of outstanding spa resorts, two of the best can be found at The Grove Park Inn, tucked away in the mountains and The Umstead sitting just outside Raleigh. The Umstead was North Carolinas first five star hotel and boasts membership in ‘The Leading Spas of the World’. The Grove Park Inn is a unique property located just outside the town of Asheville whose spa is built deep into the rock, preserving the unusual look of the property. The outside deck offers unsurpassed views across the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

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    • Top Tip 1

      Chimney Rock Park is a not-to-be-missed highlight of the Great Smokey Mountains.

    • Top Tip 2

      Indulge in some wine-tasting in North Carolina's Yadkin Valley.

    • Top Tip 3

      The Outer Banks, North Carolina are a beautiful string of small islands connected by road bridges and ferries and are a great treat to visit.

    • Top Tip 4

      ake a walking tour with a professional guide in Wilmington, North Carolina for insights you won't find in a guide book. If you enjoy great nightlife, visit during the weekend.

    • Top Tip 5

      inehurst, North Carolina is a picture perfect challenge for the avid golfer. Simply legendary.

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  • Carolinas & Country

    Begins in and ends in Atlanta, Georgia

    16 Days / 15 Nights

    Departures: year round

    Add this Fly Drive to planner

    Your fly drive includes:

    • Round trip scheduled flights
    • Intermediate 4 door car hire, including insurances and satellite navigation
    • Accommodations as stated
    • Personalised Road Book
    • Boone Hall, South Carolina

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    • Nashville By Night

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    • Sun Studios, Memphis

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    Day
    01

    Arrive Atlanta

    Depart the UK on your chosen scheduled flight to Atlanta. Upon arrival, collect your rental car and proceed to your hotel. If time allows, enjoy visits to some of Atlanta's fabulous attractions; including the Coca Cola Museum, Atlanta History Center and Martin Luther King Jr. Historical Site.

    Hotel: Grand Hyatt Atlanta

    Day
    02

    Chattanooga

    Travel north today into the Appalachian Mountains and on to Chattanooga, a diverse city with a variety of cultural activities. Don’t miss the Tennessee Aquarium, Ruby Falls and, of course, the infamous Chattanooga Choo Choo.

    Hotel: The Chattanoogan

    114Mi/182Km

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    Memphis

    Today’s journey takes you along the southern state line of Tennessee from east to west, and to Memphis, the home of the Blues. Beale Street, W. C. Handy and Elvis Presley are all very much a part of Memphis, as is Mud Island, a 52 acre park showcasing the mighty Mississippi River.

    Hotel: The Peabody

    340Mi/547Km

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    05
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    06

    Nashville

    From the southwest corner of Tennessee, today you head northeast to Nashville, the home of country music. Visit the homes and museums of the country music giants, the Country Music Hall of Fame, Ryman Auditorium and, of course, Grand Ole Opry.

    Hotel: Gaylord Opryland Hotel

    222Mi/357Km

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    07
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    08

    Great Smoky Mountains

    From Tennessee to North Carolina, and the magnificent Great Smoky Mountains. In Chimney Rock Park, reach the top of legendary Chimney Rock for a spectacular view and explore the nature trails, waterfalls and caves. Then head onwards to Asheville, where you will spend the next two evenings.

    Hotel: Grand Bohemian Hotel Asheville

    293Mi/469Km

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    Charleston

    Today’s drive takes you into the rural surroundings of South Carolina. Visit the small-town city of Newberry and the State Museum in Columbia en route to historic Charleston, one of the South’s best preserved cities. Stroll through Magnolia Plantations and Gardens, one of many plantations in the area and view the historic buildings and cobbled stone streets. There’s no shortage of restaurants to keep you busy into the evening.

    Hotel: Belmond Charleston Place

    267Mi/430Km

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    Hilton Head Island

    Enjoy a coastal drive today as you head south along South Carolinas' Atlantic Coastline, perhaps taking a stop at historic Beaufort to experience the Civil War history and fine antebellum homes. Hilton Head Island offers over 12 miles of beautiful beaches, providing an ideal opportunity to relax and enjoy the sunshine. We suggest a boat tour of the area for the best orientation, and visits to the fresh fish restaurants and boutique shops.

    Hotel: Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort

    107Mi/172Km

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    13
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    Jekyll Island

    Stop at the small beach town of Tybee Island, boasting an 18th century lighthouse, as you continue journeying south to the pretty destination of Jekyll Island. Your hotel for the next two nights, Jekyll Island Club Hotel, was a 19th century retreat for the wealthy industrialists. Top up your tan on the beach or if the great outdoors is your passion, try the exceptional golf, wildlife watching or horseback riding.

    Hotel: Jekyll Island Club Hotel

    132Mi/213Km

    Day
    15

    Savannah

    Arrive in romantic Savannah and explore the revitalised waterfront, wander the shops and visit the iconic white steeple church as seen in Forrest Gump. Many of the old mansions and churches have been restored and are open for touring.

    Hotel: Andaz Savannah

    92Mi/148Km

    Day
    16

    Journey home

    Drive along the Antebellum Trail through Macon, famous for its plantation-style homes, as you make your way back to Atlanta, where you will return your rental car and check-in for your flight back to the UK.

    241Mi/389Km

    Prices

    From £2899 per person based on twin occupancy of Standard rooms in low season. Other prices available on request. 

    A Carolina Experience

    Begins in Asheville, North Carolina and ends in Charleston, South Carolina

    15 Days / 14 Nights

    Departures: year round

    Add this Fly Drive to planner

    Your fly drive includes:

    • Round trip scheduled flights
    • Intermediate 4 door car hire, including insurances and satellite navigation
    • Accommodation as stated
    • Personalised Road Book
    • Wrightsville Beach

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    • Duck

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    • Blueridge Parkway

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    • Downtown Charleston

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    • Golf at Pinehurst

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    Day
    01

    Arrive Asheville

    Depart the UK on your chosen scheduled flight to Asheville. Upon arrival collect your car rental and drive to your hotel where you spend the next three nights.

    Hotel: Grand Bohemian Asheville

    Day
    02
    Day
    03

    Asheville

    Over the next two days soak up the sublime atmosphere of The Grand Bohemian, a fabulous hotel located on the edge of the Biltmore Estate and just a short stroll from shops and restaurants. Enjoy its beautiful surroundings, which are perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. Make sure to visit the spectacular Great Smoky Mountains during your stay and stop by Chimney Rock Park for another stunning view of this amazing area.

    Hotel: Grand Bohemian Asheville

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    04
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    Pinehurst

    This morning, set off for a leisurely drive to Pinehurst in central North Carolina. This is a beautiful drive so keep your cameras ready for the spectacular scenery. En route we suggest a stop at Winston Salem, which is rich in African American history and home to Bethabara Parak: an early colonial town which showcases life in 1788. Wine connoisseurs will also love Yadkin Valley, filled with vineyards, amny of which are open for tastings! Pinehurst is legendary, and even if you're not a golfer you'll be charmed by the elegance of the 2,000 acre resort, which also offers tennis, croquet and a wonderful spa.

    Hotel: Pinehurst

    215Mi/346Km

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    06
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    Duck

    Today continue your journey east towards coastal North Carolina, and the quaint seaside town of Duck. En route you may choose to stop for lunch in Raleigh, which specialises in BBQ treats. For the next two nights soak up the tranquil setting of The Sanderling Resort & Spa, which is perched on the shoreline overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Why not take a leisurely morning stroll on the secluded beach or take advantage of the exquisite spa, indoor pool and fitness centre.

    Hotel: Sanderling Resort & Spa

    285Mi/458Km

    Day
    08
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    09

    Pawley's Island

    It’s an early start this morning as you hug the coastline during a beautiful drive into South Carolina. The Litchfield Plantation, Pawley’s Island is your base for the next two nights. Sitting on 600 acres of coastal plantation, there is plenty to see and do during your stay. When you tire of exploring the spectacular plantation grounds you may choose to enjoy a game of tennis or take a leisurely stroll on the private marina.

    Hotel: Litchfield Plantation

    386Mi/621Km

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    Kiawah Island

    Just a short drive south today through Francis Marion National Forest brings you to beautiful Kiawah Island. We’ve included three nights here at The Sanctuary, a magnificent property offering golf, tennis, three outdoor pools, a spa and much more for a leisure filled stay. We recommend you take a trip to Hilton Head Island during your stay, which is covered with a wide array of exceptional golf courses as well as some of the east’s most beautiful beaches.

    Hotel: The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island

    98Mi/158Km

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    13
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    Charleston

    The final destination of your itinerary is the pretty and historic town of Charleston. Enjoy two nights at the charismatic Charleston Place hotel, which exudes timeless elegance and sits in the heart of downtown. Experience ‘time gone by’ with a visit to a one of the grand Antebellum Homes, browse the historic art galleries and take to the cobbled streets aboard a horse drawn carriage ride.

    Hotel: Belmond Charleston Place

    27Mi/43Km

    Day
    15

    Journey Home

    There’s time for some last minute shopping or sightseeing this morning before you return your rental car and check in for your flight to the UK.

    Prices

    From £2999 per person based on twin occupancy of Standard rooms in low season. Other prices available on request. 

    A one way drop off charge on the car hire of $100 is not included and payable locally.

  • Bluegrass and Blue Ridges: Louisville to Nashville

    Starts in Louisville and ends in Nashville

    9 Days / 8 Nights

    Departures: May, June, July and September

    Add this Escorted Tour to planner

    Your escorted tour includes:

    • Round trip scheduled flights
    • Accommodation for 8 nights as specified
    • 8 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 7 dinners
    • Air-conditioned motorcoach transportation
    • Services of a Tauck Tour Director
    • Classic tour
    • My Old Kentucky Home

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    • General Jackson, Nashville

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    • Equestrian Kentucky

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    • Derby Museum

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    • Country Music Hall of Fame, Nashville

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    • Blueridge Parkway

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    Day
    01

    Arrive Louisville

    Depart the UK on your chosen flight to Louisville. A transfer is included from Louisville International Airport to The Brown Hotel, a landmark in the heart of downtown Louisville near the theatre district. Since 1923, this gracious hotel has entertained celebrities and dignitaries with its opulence, charm, and impeccable Southern hospitality, and is on the National Register of Historic Places. A welcome reception and dinner is held at the hotel this evening.

    Hotel: The Brown Hotel (Dinner included)

    Day
    02

    Churchill Downs & Stephen Foster

    You'll begin the day with a visit to Churchill Downs, the legendary thoroughbred racetrack that has hosted The Kentucky Derby since 1875. Your visit includes a Tauck Exclusive tour of the backstretch with a professional jockey who’ll share insider views of the track’s history and daily operation while the horses take their morning exercise. On the racetrack grounds, you’ll also visit The Kentucky Derby Museum for insights into the race’s celebrated history, and what goes into the breeding and training of a thoroughbred champion. A short drive to Bardstown takes you to another iconic landmark, Federal Hill, a Georgian-style plantation house built in 1795 by Judge John Rowan that once entertained dignitaries like Andrew Jackson and Marquis de Lafayette, but is better known as the inspiration for Stephen Foster’s 'My Old Kentucky Home'. You'll tour the impeccably preserved mansion and formal gardens. After lunch at a historic tavern, you head to Frankfort for a guided tour of the Buffalo Trace Distillery, famous for its fine Kentucky bourbon, which it has produced continuously since 1775. During Prohibition, the distillery was permitted to output whiskey 'for medicinal purposes'. You arrive late afternoon in Lexington where the evening is free.

    Hotel: Griffin Gate Marriott Resort (Breakfast, lunch & dinner included)

    Day
    03

    Shakers, Bourbon & Bluegrass

    This morning you'll drive to Pleasant Hill, site of what was once the largest, most successful Shaker community in America. Founded in England in the 18th century, the sect known as Shakers had a profound effect on 19th century America, as documented in Ken Burns’s film, Hands to Work, Hearts to God. Known locally as 'Shakertown', the village, which flourished here from 1805 to 1910, comprises 34 original buildings, wonderfully restored as a living museum with costumed interpreters, where you’ll gain insights into the hearts and minds of the Shakers, and marvel at their engineering achievements; besides their fame for furniture making, the Shakers invented the circular saw, the clothespin, the wheel-driven washing machine, and numerous other labor-saving devices. Following lunch at the village, delve deeper into equine culture at The Kentucky Horse Park, a working horse farm and theme park showcasing breeds from around the world; you’ll also visit the International Museum of the Horse. Next you return to your hotel for a special, private 'Bluegrass & Bourbon' evening, including a banquet dinner, a live band, and bourbon tasting.

    Hotel: Griffin Gate Marriott Resort (Breakfast, lunch & dinner included)

    Day
    04

    Cumberland Gap

    Once you've stood at the Cumberland Gap you’ll never forget it. You’re standing at the first frontier, the first gateway to the west. Off the beaten pathway, it was a break in the Appalachian Mountains that provided a gateway to the west for migrating buffalo herds, American Indian tribes, and restless pioneers – including Daniel Boone, who blazed a trail known as the Wilderness Road here in 1775. And today you will join that long list of travellers when you pass through the gap yourself. Explore its rich history and cultural currents at a private presentation at the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park visitors’ center. The park also features unique geologic sandstone formations, magnificent underground caverns, and restored log cabins from an early 20th century pioneer settlement. Next it is on to Asheville, North Carolina, where your accommodation is both historic and gracious, exemplifying the best of Southern hospitality. Asheville has emerged as one of America’s top culinary destinations – a 'foodie haven' with many new twists on traditional southern cuisine.

    Hotel: The Inn on Biltmore Estate (Breakfast, lunch & dinner included)

    Day
    05

    The Biltmore Estate

    Back in 1895 George Vanderbilt II, grandson of railroad tycoon Cornelius Vanderbilt, decided to build himself 'a little mountain escape' in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. The result was the Biltmore Estate, a fabulous 250-room French château for which he employed architect Richard Morris Hunt for the castle design and Frederick Law Olmsted (the designer of Central Park) to lay out the woodlands and formal gardens. You’ll have an opportunity to learn more about this magnificent estate on tours of both the estate grounds and through the mansion itself. See Antler Hill Village, a town built to house the employees who worked on the estate and tended its crops and livestock. After lunch on the estate, you'll take a short drive to the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway, a museum of Appalachian arts and crafts, for a private presentation on Appalachian music. Your evening in Asheville is at leisure.

    Hotel: The Inn on Biltmore Estate (Breakfast & lunch included)

    Day
    06

    Great Smoky Mountains National Park

    Today you’ll experience one of the most beautiful, and one of the oldest, places on Earth – Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most visited national park in the US. Historically, it is known as a place of refuge; the fascinating story of its creation includes the heroic efforts of Horace Kephart, George Masa and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Ecologically, it is one of the world’s best examples of a deciduous hardwood forest – a UNESCO World Heritage Site with one of the most diverse ecosystems on Earth, it is dedicated as an international biosphere reserve. Scenically, the grandeur and beauty of the Southern Appalachians is at its very core – from mist-shrouded mountains with their wide range of elevations to fresh streams and miles of forests; it is the very definition of the word 'vista'. In Cherokee, North Carolina, you'll explore 19th century wilderness settlement life with period interpreters at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park visitors’ center. You’ll also visit the Museum of the Cherokee Indian for a guided tour and exclusive private viewing of its archival collection of artefacts. A catered private lunch at the museum includes samples of traditional Cherokee flavors and is accompanied by a Cherokee flute musician. You arrive into Knoxville late afternoon.

    Hotel: Hilton Knoxville (Breakfast, lunch & dinner included)

    Day
    07

    Nashville

    You'll travel today to what has emerged as the music capital of America; the infamous Nashville, Tennessee. First up is a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame, where you’ll truly get a behind-the-scenes look at the industry during lunch with a Nashville songwriter. Enjoy time on your own to explore the museum, then head to the Ryman Auditorium for a private front-of-house and backstage tour. The venerable hall is best known as the former home of the Grand Ole Opry, from 1943 to 1974, having hosted the biggest country stars of its day. Your downtown hotel is a palatial Beaux-Arts landmark built in 1910.

    Hotel: The Hermitage (Breakfast, lunch & dinner included)

    Day
    08

    General Jackson & Grand Ole Opry

    Today you will visit The Hermitage, the plantation home of Andrew Jackson, military hero, populist, and 7th President of the United States. Dayton Duncan notes that you can understand Andrew Jackson by his own words – “I was born for a storm. And a calm does not suit me.” Jackson lived here until his death in 1845 and his brick mansion is considered the most accurately preserved presidential home in the US, with restored décor and original furnishings. Your next stop is the General Jackson Showboat, a paddle wheeler on the Cumberland River, where lunch includes live entertainment. Drive along Music Row to your hotel for an early farewell reception and dinner, then this evening it's a performance of country music at the inimitable Grand Ole Opry (schedule permitting).

    Hotel: The Hermitage (Breakfast, lunch & dinner included)

    Day
    09

    Journey home

    A transfer is included from the hotel to Nashville International Airport, where you check in for your flight back to the UK.

    Prices

    From £4,319 per person based on twin occupancy of Standard rooms in low season. Other prices available on request.