(LOUISIANA – MISSISSIPPI – TENNESSE – MISSOURI – IOWA – ILLINOIS)
TOUR DATES: 12 – 25 May
DURATION: 14 days / 10 days bike hire – 1,670 Miles (2,690 km) ridden
PRICE: 5,800 Euro (Rider) / 2,800 Euro (Passenger)
Motorcycles and music: riding a Harley-Davidson on Highway 61, the homeplace of music: that’s what The Blues Highway is all about… A journey that begins in New Orleans, the cradle of many musical styles, and ends up in Chicago, hometown of Blues music. The route runs along the Mississippi river and touches mythical places like Nashville, the capital of country music, or Memphis, the city of the immortal Elvis Presley. The undisputed King of Rock’n’Roll had a passion for Harley-Davidson; visit Graceland, the house that has become a mausoleum, to get a taste of it. But Highway 61 takes travellers also through less known towns, and yet of immense importance to music fans: it is the case of Indianola, where BB King spent his childhood. In the end, The Blues Highway is a fascinating journey to the roots of American music, where legend and reality merge.
|12 May||Flight from Europe to New Orleans||–––||New Orleans|
|13 May||New Orleans – City visit||–––||New Orleans|
|14 May||New Orleans – Bike hire / Lafayette||140 Mi – 225 Km||Lafayette|
|15 May||Lafayette / Vicksburg||205 Mi – 330 Km||Vicksburg|
|16 May||Vicksburg / Memphis||260 Mi – 420 Km||Memphis|
|17 May||Memphis||30 Mi – 50 Km||Memphis|
|18 May||Memphis / Nashville||215 Mi – 345 Km||Nashville|
|19 May||Nashville / Cape Girardeau||225 Mi – 365 Km||Cape Girardeau|
|20 May||Cape Girardeau / St. Louis||130 Mi – 210 Km||St. Louis|
|21 May||St. Louis / Fort Madison||200 Mi – 320 Km||Fort Madison|
|22 May||Fort Madison / Chicago||265 Mi – 425 Km||Chicago|
|23 May||Chicago – Bike drop-off||20 Mi – 32 Km||Chicago|
|24 May||Return flight from Chicago to Europe||–––||–––|
|25 May||Arrival in Europe||–––||–––|
Days shown in bold are with bike hire
THE TOUR DAY BY DAY
DAY 1 • Getting to New OrleansParticipants get to New Orleans. Hotel accommodation, dinner and good music on Bourbon Street to end the day with.
DAY 2 • Jazz Music all AroundA full day dedicated to discovering picturesque New Orleans, one of the most charming, unique and intriguing cities in the US. New Orleans means Jazz Music, like no other place in the world. So, between steam boats and the French Quarter, we spend the day in the thrilling environment of a city that has been able to survive the devastating Katrina tornado. Needless to say, great live music and good food is on the menu for the night.
DAY 3 • From Dixie to CajunAfter spending a few more hours discovering picturesque New Orleans, we pick up our Harley-Davidson® Authorized Rental motorcycles and start our ride on the Highway of Blues. First stop past Baton Rouge at the end of the afternoon, is Lafayette, which is off the 61, but is where the Cajun culture developed. Can't miss that!
DAY 4 • Charming LouisianaAfter leaving Lafayette, we head north through the charming Louisiana scenery to get back onto Hwy 61. Through Natchez soaking up the Mississippi atmosphere riding past Gone With The Wind style colonial houses, we reach Vicksburg, rich with Civil War battle memories. A nice and relaxing close to the day with sightseeing and live music. Do not forget, this is the place where the legendary Willie Dixon was born...
DAY 5 • The Delta of the BluesHeading north on Highway 61 we enter the very heart of the Mississippi Delta. The piece of land where legendary Robert Johnson and B.B. King were born and spent part of their lives. After visiting places like, Indianola, we get to the crossroads in Clarksdale which could be described as the symbol of Highway 61, where routes 49 and 61 cross. Then, north again to end the day in Memphis, Tennessee.
DAY 6 • The King Will Never DieWe take a little break form riding and the full day is dedicated to visiting Memphis. After stopping at the Lorraine Motel, where Martin Luther King was killed, we are in for a real taste of gospel. Finally it’s time for Graceland, the house where Elvis Presley lived and where the undisputed King of Rock’n’Roll music is buried. A real Mecca for all music enthusiasts, a place filled with magic.
DAY 7 • From Blues to CountryWe leave Highway 61 for a detour which is an absolute must east of the Blues Highway lies the Capital of Country Music, Nashville. No need to explain, simply the cradle of American music. We couldn't miss a visit to the factory where one of the American music icons is built - Gibson Guitars. And in the evening it's all about good old Country music!
DAY 8 • Back to the 61A beautiful ride through country backroads, to experience the real flavour of the region, that's what today is all about. We then reach Cape Girardeau, a charming little town on the Mississippi river and rest our heads for the night.
DAY 9 • Where the 66 and 61 MeetSt. Louis is a very special place, it is where the two most important roads in America, Route 66 and Highway 61 cross. That's why so many people have visited this town, so rich in history and music. Artists like Scott Joplin, Miles Davis and Chuck Berry were born in St. Louis. That's why this is one of the key stops in our journey.
DAY 10 • Going North on Highway 61After St. Louis Highway 61 develops through never ending plains, as far as eyes can see. And we finally enter Iowa State, to reach Fort Madison, where we stop for the night.
DAY 11 • Last stop, ChicagoAfter Davenport, we take Highway 88 eastbound to reach Chicago, the final destination of our trip. One of the most beautiful cities in the US is also a true paradise for Blues enthusiasts. Chicago has, for decades been one of the most influential places in the history of American music. So, an evening out, live band and good food is the best way to celebrate the ride home.
DAY 12 • The Magnificent MileThe day is fully dedicated to the city of Chicago and sightseeing. We start by climbing the Sears Tower, from which you can enjoy a four-state wide view; then we take a walk on Michigan Avenue and the Magnificent Mile, ending up at the Navy Pier. And after dinner in Chicago some more Blues if you still haven't had enough...
DAYS 13/ 14 • Participants fly back to Europe and get to their final destination.
All pictures shown in the website have been taken during Bikers American Dream’s tours
Images and music are the property of Coast2Coast Communication – All rights reserved. Music by Steve Anderlini / Lead Guitar by Bob Lonardi