Delight in the best of Western Georgia and Southern Alabama as we steep ourselves in southern culture. Following the civil rights trail as a guide, we’ll see amazing natural spectacles and visit attractions of historical importance. Our journeys take us from Atlanta, GA down to Gulf Shores, AL for a relaxing two-night stay on the Gulf of Mexico’s white sugar-sand beaches. On the way we meet the friendly locals, including quilt- makers, tea growers and more to appreciate the charming people of this unique region. We also visit well-known attractions such as the home of Jimmy Carter, the USS Alabama battleship and Callaway Gardens. You’ll experience true southern hospitality as we wind our way through the Heart of Dixie in Georgia and Alabama.
- Learn the history of the civil rights movement in and around Montgomery, Birmingham, Selma and more
- Two night stay in Gulf State Park with gulf view room
- Lunch and tour at the beautiful Callaway Gardens
- Walk in Jimmy Carter’s footsteps in Plains, GA
- Meet Quilt makers in Gee’s Bend
- Tour the USS Alabama warship
- Go inside a storybook castle in charming Fairhope
- Spot wildlife on a scenic Nature Cruise near Gulf Shores
- Visit one of the largest working Tea Plantations in the South
- Explore Providence Canyon known as ‘Georgia’s Little Grand Canyon’
- Free Airport shuttle and hotel parking
- Bag handling (1 per person) at hotels
- Fees/tips for included attractions and meals
- Welcome reception, 24-hour emergency call service, free bottled water on coach
DAY 1-WELCOME TO GEORGIA!
Welcome to Atlanta, GA. Upon arrival, settle in at our comfortable hotel and meet our Discoveries Director and fellow travelers at this evening’s welcome reception.
DAY 2–FREEDOM RIDERS/GOLDEN FLAKES/CIVIL RIGHTS INSTITUTE
After a satisfying breakfast we leave Georgia and travel to Anniston, AL. Here we meet with a historian at one of the country’s newest National Parks to learn about the Freedom Riders fight for equality. Next we head to Birmingham to visit the Golden Flakes Snack Factory. We’ll see firsthand the production process of Golden Flake snacks, from fresh whole potatoes and corn to the completed packages of tasty snacks. After lunch, we’ll visit the Arlington House and Gardens. This beautiful and historic home is on the National Register of Historic Places. The two-story frame structure was built in the mid-1800s and features antebellum-era Greek revival architecture. Next we are transported back to the 1950s and 1960s at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. As an interpretive museum and research center, this renowned museum depicts the struggles of the Civil Rights Movement. Tonight we relax in downtown Birmingham at the 100-year-old Tutwiler Hotel, a National Historic Landmark. B, L
DAY 3–GEES BEND QUILTMAKERS/CAMDEN SHOE SHOPPE/LOCAL ARTISANS
Today we head to Gee’s Bend a small town bordered on three sides by the Alabama River to meet ancestors of the internationally-acclaimed Gee’s Bend Quilters. The town’s women developed a distinctive, bold, and sophisticated quilting style reminiscent of Amish quilts and modern art, passing their skills down through at least six generations. Across the river in Camden, we stop for a delicious southern lunch before visiting local Betty Anderson’s Camden Shoe Shoppe Museum and the Black Belt Cultural Center. Wilcox County born and raised, Betty Anderson grew up surrounded by heritage arts that were created out of necessity from her family making their own soap and clothing, to furniture and quilts. In addition, Betty’s father was a successful entrepreneur who ran the longest open business by an African American. At the nearby Black Belt Cultural Center, local artisans display their talents and their own unique art. Tonight we enjoy a comfortable stay in Mobile, AL. B, L
DAY 4-MARDI GRAS MUSEUM/USS ALABAMA/STORYBOOK CASTLE/TEA PLANTATION
Feel the excitement of Mardi Gras in the city that started it all at the Mobile Carnival Museum. Located inside the historic Bernstein-Bush mansion, learn about the rich history and traditions of 300 years of Mardi Gras celebrations. Next, we tour USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park which features vintage aircrafts, tanks and artillery, the USS drum submarine and more. As we head south toward Gulf Shores we will stop at the charming town of Fairhope and its antebellum homes, sprawling oak trees and quaint downtown with plenty of choices for lunch on your own. After lunch, Pagan and Dean Mosher will lead us on a private tour of their home. We’ll be amazed by this storybook castle that was spotlighted on HGTV’s “Extreme Homes”. Then, hidden in the quiet woodlands, wetlands and agricultural fields near Gulf Shores is the Fairhope Tea Plantation. Here we will discover how tea is grown on over 60,000 tea bushes. Tonight unpack for two nights and relax gulf side at The Lodge at Gulf State Park, A Hilton Hotel. B
DAY 5–GULF STATE PARK/NATURE CRUISE/GULF SHORES
Today a park naturalist will show you the extensive beaches and unique flora and fauna of Gulf State Park. At 6,150 acres, the park is world-renown for its size and diversity of preserved ecosystems. Gulf State Park is also home to two miles of white sugar-sand Gulf of Mexico beaches, which we can enjoy at our resort. After a delightful seaside lunch, take time to roam Gulf Shores’ downtown shops or relax at our pool or beach. Later this afternoon, we embark on a nature cruise along the pristine waters of the Alabama Gulf Coast. Our vessel will allow us to experience up-close viewing of dolphins, seabirds, stingray, sea turtles, and a variety of other marine life. Tonight we enjoy another night on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. B, L
DAY 6-ALLIGATORS/ALBAMA’S LITERARY CAPITAL/SELMA CIVIL RIGHTS
This morning we depart Gulf Shores as we head back inland to visit Alligator Alley. Here we safely walk on elevated viewing platforms and walkways to view over 200 alligators from hatchlings to mature adults. The alligators thrive in this natural habitat along with turtles, ospreys, owls and bull frogs. Next, visit Monroeville, known as the ‘Literary Capital of Alabama’. This town is home to Harper Lee, the Pulitzer-Prize winning Author of To Kill a Mocking Bird. Here we visit the informative courthouse museum with its displays on Harper Lee and her childhood friend Truman Capote. Don’t miss seeing the famous courtroom, restored as it appeared in the 1930s. After a scrumptious lunch in Monroeville, we travel to Selma to meet T. Dianne Harris for a guided tour of the Brown Chapel AME Church, Edmund Pettus Bridge and more. Harris was a student activist with firsthand knowledge of the area’s Civil Rights movement. Tonight we spend the night in Montgomery. B, L
DAY 7–TUSKEGEE AIRMEN/LITTLE GRAND CANYON/CARTER HOME
After breakfast, we travel to Tuskegee to learn about the famous Tuskegee Airmen, the men and women in the Army Air Corps who taught African Americans to fly and maintain combat aircraft at their National Historic Site. Next, we head over the border to visit Georgia’s Providence Canyon, also known as the ‘Little Grand Canyon’. Here a park naturalist will lead us on a tour around the rim of the canyon. Bring your camera for the amazing picture opportunities found here! Next, we discover there is nothing plain about Plains, GA home of the 39th President of The United States, Jimmy Carter. Carter was born, raised and still resides in Plains. Our local guide will give us a private tour of the small town where we will see everything from Jimmy Carter’s Boyhood farm, to the train depot home of the 1976 Jimmy Carter Presidential Campaign Headquarters, to a giant Peanut Statue. Tonight we stay in the small historic town of Americus. B, L, D
DAY 8–GLOBAL VILLAGE/CALLAWAY GARDENS/HOME SWEET HOME
After breakfast at the beautifully-restored Windsor hotel, we head to the Global Village & Discovery Center. Here Habitat for Humanity International works in partnership with families to build strength, stability and self-reliance. This six-acre village displays life size Habitat houses from countries around the world. Next, we travel to Pine Mountain, GA to take in Mother Nature’s beautiful landscapes and colorful blossoms at Callaway Gardens. An experienced guide will take us through their abundant and colorful gardens. Before heading back toward Atlanta and home, we savor a delightful lunch at Callaway Garden’s Country Kitchen. Reminisce on our amazing journey through Alabama and Georgia as we head back to Atlanta. B, L
Night 1: Holiday Inn, Atlanta Airport, Atlanta, GA
Night 2: The Tutwiler Hotel, Birmingham, AL
Night 3: Holiday Inn, Mobile, AL
Nights 4-5: The Lodge at Gulf State Park, A Hilton Hotel, Gulf Shores, AL
Night 6: Drury Inn, Montgomery, AL
Night 7: Best Western Plus Windsor Hotel, Americus, GA
March 23-30, 2020
October 19-26, 2020
Price Per Person:
Double $1,927; Single $2,415
Depart/Return: Atlanta, GA
Pre-/Post-Tour Hotel: $158/night
Highs in the 70's /lows in the high 50's (March)
Highs in the mid 80's /lows in the mid 60's (Oct)
Eastern (Gerogia)/ Central (Alabama)
Schedule your flight to arrive by 5:00 p.m. on Day 1.
Schedule your flight home anytime after 3:00 p.m..
Starting hotel offers 24-hour complimentary shuttle service.
Complimentary for duration of tour.
Moderate to moderately extensive walking is required to fully enjoy this tour. Some walking can be on uneven surfaces.
Refrigerators, microwaves, hair dryers, irons, ironing boards, Coffee makers, swimming pools and exercise rooms throughout tour.
Further information is mailed upon receipt of your reservation. A total of three mailings are sent to assist you in preparing for your tour…Get Ready, Get Set and Go! Our “Get Ready” packet is sent confirming your reservation. Our “Get Set” packet provides further details approximately 90 days prior to departure with important details regarding making your travel arrangements. Finally, our “Go” packet arrives 2-3 weeks before departure containing all your final documents.
Updates: Updates to this document are available from our Discovery Reservations Team, and will be posted online at CountryTravelDiscoveries.com/GAL.
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