Three amazing cities in three states. How do you go about getting to see all of them in one trip? The answer's one of the most beautiful, interesting road trips in America. Start at the gateway city of Atlanta, at the busiest airport in the world.
Atlanta to Nashville
A journey of less than 250 miles, so an easy day's drive. Head north west on Interstate 75 past the rust-coloured soil of Red Top Mountain State Park, up through the Chattahoochee National Forest and down into Tennessee and the charming riverside town of Chattanooga. Glen Miller sang about the Chattanooga Choo-Choo, and now the town's glorious station is a hotel and the trains are bedrooms.
Riverside walks through the art district atop a bluff and Civil War battle monuments atop Lookout Mountain. From here take I-24 over Mont Eagle Mountain straight to Nashville or take a detour along the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains to find Pigeon Forge, America's factory outlet mall capital and home to Dollywood, Dolly Parton's family fun park. Drive up to Newfound Gap for the classic hazy, purple-tinged view of the Smokies, the most popular National Park in the US. Point your car west on Interstate 40 for the 180-mile cruise to Nashville.
Nashville to New Orleans
From Nashville take I-40 west for the pleasant, tree-lined 210-mile drive to Memphis. Stop in the city to gaze at the wide, serene Mississippi, listen to the blues as you walk down bustling Beale Street and visit the Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum. But whatever you do, don't miss Graceland, Elvis Presley's home.
South from Memphis can either mean the fast, straight I-55, just under 400 miles to New Orleans, or the slower, meandering Highway 61, the River Road, shadowing the river on its journey south through the cotton fields of Mississippi...the legendary Mississippi Delta. Stop at little Clarksdale, home of the blues where Muddy Waters used to play on street corners, birthplace of John Lee Hooker, Ike Turner and Sam Cooke.
Visit Vicksburg's Civil War memorials then call in at pretty Natchez, sitting on a bluff above a bend in the river. Cross over into Louisiana and visit Baton Rouge, the state capital. From there it's an easy drive down I-10 past the bayous and swamps to the heart of the city.
New Orleans to Atlanta
From New Orleans head east, swiftly passing into Mississippi. I-10 takes you along the sultry coast for less than 100 miles, past evocative Gulfport and Biloxi, before crossing into Alabama, for a 30-mile hop up to Mobile, a busy port and one of the state's oldest cities. Take a 50-mile detour east and you're in Florida at the historic seaside resort of Pensacola. Back to Mobile then I-65 takes you across Alabama, past Montgomery, about a 250 mile run, before reaching Georgia.
Experience the Music of the American South
The original song, “Rhythm of the South,” was written & recorded by
Sugar + The Hi-Lows: Trent Dabbs and Amy Stroup.
Click here to listen
Trent Dabbs came to Nashville with many stories to tell and has received national acclaim for his own recordings and also for his collaborations with other artists. An artist with a unique business sense, he’s the founding member of Ten Out of Tenn, a touring and recording collective of some of Nashville’s best up-and-coming musicians.
His own songs have been featured on many TV shows such as “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Pretty Little Liars”, “Hawaii Five-O,” “One Tree Hill,” and others as well as feature films. His songs “Undermine” and “Shine” were featured on Season One of ABC’s “Nashville.”
Trent is a member of Sugar & The Hi-Lows with fellow Ten Out of Tenn’er Amy Stroup.
Amy Stroup, who makes up the other half of Sugar & The Hi-Lows, has had songs featured on more than 20 TV shows including “Parenthood”, “Grey’s Anatomy”, “Pretty Little Liars”, and “Private Practice”. She’s released 3 digital EPs, and two full-length solo records, The Other Side of Love Sessions and most recently Tunnel.
Amy released a single called “Fell Like A Feather” on a collaborative project called Mercyland with artists The Civil Wars, Mat Kearney, Emmylou Harris and More.
Trent Dabbs and Amy Stroup recently joined forces with the Nashville Ballet for Attitude and are releasing the live recordings in the seven-track release Wild Desire (Johnny Cash Live Session).