Featuring New Orleans ‘n More!
A Brand-New Southern Itinerary
DAY ONE: Away we go with our TLC Tour Team and new Travel Friends on this very unique and fascinating Southern vacation! November traditionally doesn’t have a lot going on until the end of the month, and it’s also the perfect time to visit a Southern location when the temps are at their best. Today we travel to Hendersonville, TN for our overnight with dinner included at Demo’s, a family-owned Italian restaurant. Rest up for some fabulous touring just ahead! (D)
DAY TWO: Today we depart with a local Guide on a “Country Stars Tour”. We’ll see Conway Twitty City which is now home to Gov. Mike Huckabee’s TV show and Trinity Broadcasting Network, the former home of Johnny Cash & June Carter, and more as time allows.
* Continuing on to Mississippi, we stop for lunch at Rusty’s BBQ in Alabama – Yum!
* Arriving at the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, we join over 1/4 million people who come each year to see over 900 motorcycles from all over the world as well as the world’s largest Lotus collection – Wow!
* Our day concludes with dinner at Weidmann’s in Meridian, MS and overnight at the Drury Inn nearby. (B, D)
DAY THREE: About an hour’s drive this morning takes us to Laurel, MS, home of Ben & Erin Napier of HGTV’s “Home Town” TV show fame. Some free time over lunch will allow you to poke into their Mercantile and Scotsman’s stores if you wish – Fun! While in town, we’ll also visit the beautiful Lauren Rogers Museum of Art with 5 galleries of American art and much more.
* Journeying on, we arrive in New Orleans, Louisiana, and check into our home for the next 3 nights, the highly rated Drury Plaza Hotel located in the historic Cumberland Phone Building just one block from the St. Charles Streetcar and easy access to the Garden District and French Quarter.
* This evening is a very special treat as we sit down to a wonderful “Welcome Dinner” at the famous ‘Court of Two Sisters’ on Royal St. It’s much more than a restaurant – it’s a legend. Pass thru the Charm Gates, make a wish at the Wishing Well, and hear the story of the two sisters who ran a little shop once-upon-a-time in the French Quarter – a charming experience, to be sure! (B, D)
DAY FOUR: A local Guide will join us today for a Tour of the Garden District of New Orleans. Oak-shaded streets are lined with a diverse mix of homes from cottages to grand historic mansions. You’ll see the lavish gardens of St. Charles Ave. on the Mardi Gras parade route. An interesting stop will be at Lafayette Cemetery filled with ornate 19th-century tombs, many above ground! On Magazine St., view boutiques, antique shops, fine-dining restaurants, cafes & more.
* Have fun getting your lunch along the Riverwalk which follows the scenic Mississippi River waterfront.
* More guided touring takes us to the historic French Quarter, also known as the ‘Crown Jewel’ of New Orleans! One of its most historic neighborhoods, it’s also famous for the vibrant nightlife and colorful buildings with cast-iron balconies. See beloved antique stores, old restaurants, artisan boutiques, and more.
* Later this afternoon, you have Free Time to visit the French Quarter on your own. Perhaps you’ll want to check out popular Bourbon Street featuring Jazz clubs, Cajun eateries and unique cocktail bars. Or perhaps visit quieter streets which lead to the French Market with gourmet food and local crafts, and also look around Jackson Square where street performers entertain in front of soaring St. Louis Cathedral (great picture op!).
* What an exciting evening is just ahead… We’ll board the Paddlewheeler “Creole Queen”, an 800-passenger vessel offering New Orlean’s most luxurious excursions on the Mississippi and depart on a “Jazz Dinner Cruise”. Powered by a 24-ft paddlewheel, there are 3 elegant dining rooms which serve a lavish Creole Buffet. You will have stepped back into the glamour and romance of the riverboat era as you experience the lively sounds of traditional New Orlean’s music – perhaps you’ll choose to dance or sit and listen… or maybe just enjoy the canopy of stars from an outside deck. No matter what you choose, this cruise is pure New Orleans fun! ~ What an excellent day! (B, D)
DAY FIVE: One of the things New Orleans is best-known for is the annual Mardi Gras Parade held in February. We’re going to experience a behind-the-scenes tour of Mardi Gras World housed in a building that designs the sets and floats that bring this parade to life! We’ll see, right in front of us, what hard work and extensive planning goes into this grand event as we walk thru the studios and operating workshop that have created breathtaking floats for Mardi Gras and other major parades around the world… yes, the world! A very special opportunity!
* During free time for lunch today, may we suggest you pop into Cafe DuMonde, an iconic New Orleans Cafe from 1862, known for its chicory coffee and DELICIOUS deep-fried Beignets – they are wonderful!
* This afternoon, we visit the world-renowned National WWII Museum – this is the top-rated tourist destination in Louisiana and #2 of all museums in the USA (and 8th in all the world!). It’s truly an unforgettable way to experience this multi-faceted war, from industrial efforts on the home front to the combat experience of the American serviceman abroad, and everything in between – Truly an amazing place – you’ll wish you had more time here!
* Another gem of this whole tour will be when we take our seats at Preservation Hall for an intimate acoustic concert featuring bands made up from over 60 masters of traditional New Orleans Jazz – Wow! These musicians have learned from the greats who played before them and are now working to pass it on themselves – you’ll love this!
* Dinner will be on your own in the historic French Quarter – ‘Have fun choosing where! (B)
DAY SIX: We check out of our New Orleans hotel and make our way to Darrow, LA and the plantation known as Houmas House. One of the most sought-after attractions in the state, you’ll experience life on a sugarcane plantation in the 1800’s. The mansion has been restored to the antebellum era, reflecting the opulence and wealth this farm boasted.
* What a special place for lunch today as we sit down at the Oak Alley Plantation Restaurant housed in a 19th-century cottage and allow ourselves a taste of the local Cajun-Creole cuisine – so fun to experience it first-hand! Then we’ll tour the Plantation and explore the grounds which include an alley, or canopied path, created by a double row of southern live oak trees about 800 feet long, planted in the early 18th century – pictures, pictures!
On we go to LaPlace, LA to check into our home for 2 nights * Dinner is included at Spuddy’s where you’ll learn how to make a rue and participate in a class on making andouille sausage – it’s not just a cooking class, it’s a wonderful experience! Plus, you’ll enjoy live Creole and Zydeco music – you’re welcome to dance along! What a fun time this will be!! (B, L, D)
DAY SEVEN: Joined by a local Guide, we have a really unique and exciting day ahead! We’ll start by boarding for a “Down the Bayou Shrimp Tour” to learn the ins & outs of the seafood industry from this multigenerational family business. View shrimp boats and nets, learn safety regulations, and walk thru the processing plant – super-interesting and a once-in-a-lifetime experience, for sure!
* Then we’ll embark on another feature of Louisiana you’ve likely never explored before… a land-based alligator farm – Woo-ee! At Greenwood Gator Farms in Vacherie, LA, we’ll tour this facility that hatches between 5 & 10 thousand baby alligators each year! Your guide will explain how they’re born, raised, and later hunted by real-life alligator hunters. Find out how they go from an egg to boots & purses…. and (get ready for it) … enjoy an included lunch here! (You’ll find out later what the menu is – haha!)
* Continuing with the rather ‘exotic’ theme of the day, we head over to the Cajun Man’s Swamp Tours and take off on a narrated adventure thru the swamps and bayous. (Never fear – it will be on a comfortable vessel with covered roof). You’ll see some of the most beautiful cypress bayous in this part of the country – maybe you’ll even have a chance to feed the wildlife! Captain Billy is your tour guide and an experienced alligator hunter for over 30 years – ask all the questions you want – he’ll love to tell you the answers! (Other groups we’ve taken on swamp tours LOVE it!)
* The perfect ending to this day awaits at the Houma Visitor’s Center where we are served a “Down South Boil Dinner” as you enjoy music by the Cajun Music Preservation Society * What great opportunities this day has provided!! Be sure to get lots of pictures! (B, L, D)
DAY EIGHT: Away we go to beautiful Natchez, Mississippi. We’ll start at the National Park & Visitors Center where state-of-the art exhibits and an introductory video greet us. A local Guide will take us to Stanton Hall – Built in the 1850s, it’s one of the most opulent antebellum mansions to survive in the southeastern USA. Lunch is ours in the adjacent Carriage House with views of the Mississippi River.
* Hear history & stories on our driving tour of the Natchez Antebellum District – Did you know this town had more millionaires than anywhere else in the USA before the Civil War? We also include a tour of one, Longwood. It is the longest octagonal house in the country and a National Historic Landmark -The cotton planter owner’s story is fascinating!
* Dinner is at Restaurant 1818 inside Monmouth Historic Inn, an antebellum mansion set in 26-acres of manicured gardens
* Our overnight is at the Natchez Grand Hotel standing atop the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River in the heart of downtown. (B, L, D)
DAY NINE: Driving a short ways north, we have a very special event for you this morning – one of our very favorite southern’ things to do… it’s Frogmore Plantation! One of 8 plantations originally owned by a wealthy Natchez planter, Frogmore was selected by Rand McNally as a “must-see” site in the South. This 1800-acre early 19th-century cotton plantation has been perfectly preserved from the 19 historic buildings to the 6 which we’ll be able to tour. When we visit the cotton fields, you can pick cotton (if in season) and take photos as a momento!
* Lunch is at Jackie’s Riverside for a yummy buffet and then we continue for a late-night check-in at our hotel outside of Nashville. (B, L)
DAY TEN: Today is a day of travel as our great TLC Driver returns us to our pickup points from a marvelous visit to New Orleans, also known as “America’s European Masterpiece”. (B)
$3,298 per/person, double occupancy
$3,058 p/p, triple occupancy
$2,938 p/p, quad occupancy
$4,058 single occupancy
Please note: The following are TLC's general polices and procedures that cover all of our tours, so some of these may or may not be applicable to this particular tour.
On all overnight tours, we use a daily seat rotation. The first day of a trip, you choose your seat when you board, and rotate from there. We feel this is fair to all. If the coach is not full, a less formal rotation may be used at the Escort’s discretion. Persons traveling single or with uneven amounts in their group may need to sit with other like-travelers. We cannot guarantee that small groups will be seated together. We welcome single travelers, but the single rate does not include two seats on the coach. * We cannot accept doctor’s notes regarding requests to sit in the front seat/s. Please consider boarding at the first pickup location if your seat location is of concern. It is also recommended to see your doctor for motion sickness medication, if this should apply.
We make regular stops for restrooms and for the convenience of smokers; however, we have a NO SMOKING (or vaping) policy aboard all coaches. If someone violates the non-smoking policies of places we are staying or visiting while on tour, it is the sole responsibility of that person should there be any penalties and/or fines for not adhering to their rules and regulations. Consumption of alcoholic beverages is not permitted at any time on the coach.
All of our tours use beautiful modern, deluxe wide-body motorcoaches from Campbell Bus Lines. Campbell has received the highest possible rating with the Dept. of Transportation. The motorcoaches are equipped with air-conditioning, reclining seats, public address system, DVD player, outlets for each passenger, and emergency restrooms. Our intent is for all overnight tours to be professionally escorted. Upon occasion, in order to avoid canceling a trip with a low passenger count, our Driver may serve both positions of Driver and Escort, and all are professionally trained to do so. ~ Also, on air trips with low passenger counts, we will not be able to provide an Escort from our company. However, once you arrive at your destination, a guide from our connecting company will be with you throughout the entire tour.
Your lodging is included on all overnight tours. All hotels are AAA rated. We never use second rate hotels, restaurants, or activities on any tour, to the best of our ability to make that determination. If you need two beds in your room, please state this when making your reservation. Generally, some meals are included on overnight trips (see individual tour inclusions); however, we cannot guarantee any special dietary requirements.
As of June 2009, a Passport or Passport Card is required for border crossings. Either of these travel documents may be obtained through your local courthouse. The Passport Card is limited but is sufficient for Canadian border crossings and is good for 10 years – it is also very easy to apply for. Your Driver and/or Escort will be asking to see one of these documents before boarding the coach for trips with this requirement. We cannot be responsible if you are unable to travel due to failure on your part to obtain the proper documentation. Please begin the process early enough to ensure that you will have it in time for your tour’s departure. Click here for for more information.
One suitcase per person is included in the price of your tour. You are also permitted a carry-on, which is your responsibility. Additional luggage may be transported at the cost of $10.00 per bag, per day. It is wise to travel light. Luggage tags are provided and required for hotel identification and are sent with the final letter and phone numbers of your hotels.
Medical devices must be handled by you, the passenger. They are either to be stored under your seat (not protruding out into the person’s space behind or in front of you), or if too large for that accommodation, they must be placed under the coach by you, and taken off at each place it’s needed by you. It is not safe for a medical device to ride in an overhead compartment for multiple reasons, nor are our Drivers or hotel personnel allowed to handle it for safety and liability reasons. If it needs to ride under the coach, please have it in a quality container (as small as possible) to assure it rides safely.
All taxes and gratuities for included meals and activities are included, unless otherwise mentioned by the Escort. Driver and Escort gratuities are not included in the price of your tour. The suggested rate for a “job well done” is a minimum of $4.00-$4.50 per person/ per day for the Tour Escort, and a minimum of $4.00-$4.50per person/per day for the Driver. We request that you express this on an individual basis and let the quality of service received be your guide.
All prices listed are per/person rates. On one day tours, full payment must be made with the reservation. For overnight tours, see “How To Make A Reservation”. Balance of an overnight tour is due 45 days prior to departure (unless otherwise stated/notified). Confirmation will be sent after we receive your deposit. Please call as soon as possible if you should decide not to go.
FYI: About a week before your overnight trip departs, you will receive from our office a letter packet with updated itinerary, passenger list, departure and return times, luggage tags, hotel phone numbers, and other pertinent information.
1– Our intent is to have all our tours accompanied by one of our professional Escorts – However, occasionally a low passenger count may make it necessary to send that tour out as “Driver Only” in an effort to ensure that the trip you wanted to go on does not have to be cancelled. Please be assured our Tour Drivers are first-class professionals, capable of handling any trip we offer from beginning to end. You will be in great hands and have a wonderful time!
2- Please Note – We’re truly sorry if we’ve canceled a trip that you wanted to go on. Sometimes excellent trips with super itineraries are canceled when people wait ‘til the last minute to put in their reservation. OUR monies are usually due at least 45 days ahead on regular trips, and sometimes 90 on certain ones. If we don’t have enough signed up at that time, we have no choice but to cancel it. Then when you call later, it’s already too late… and disappointing for us all! Please help us and CALL EARLY – Thank you so much.
3- The information about trips on this website (funwithtlc.com) is complete. It contains the same information that a paper flyer has. However, if you prefer a paper flyer you can call for Fully Detailed Flyers for Most Trips of 3 Days or More. We’ll gladly send extras for you to pass along to your friends! We will also happily send a Tour Book to anyone you feel would enjoy receiving one.
Up to 45 days prior to departure date, a full refund will be made. *Air and cruise tours, and some longer tours, may be different—be sure to ask for details when making your reservation. Tours including tickets also generally have earlier non-refundable dates. There are no refunds for cancellations made within 45 days prior to your departure date. However, we will do our best to recover as much as we can, but cannot guarantee anything including prepaid reservations and other costs that are non-refundable to us. There will be a $25.00 per/person charge for this service. There will be no refund, for any reason, for a “no-show” on the day of the tour.
Please Note: Refunds will be made by the same method you paid us, e.g., if you paid by credit card, the refund will be put back on that credit card. No exceptions.
TLC Tours offers a “Refund Protection Plan” for overnight tours that is available at our office at a minimal cost. It needs to be purchased when you book your trip. This insures you a full refund in case of:
Call our office for full details about TLC’s RPP. We encourage you to take advantage of the protection plan, or secure insurance on your own if you prefer “cancel for any reason” coverage. Our Refund Protection Plan is not available for Day Trips, nor are there any refunds for Day Trips, with a few exceptions.
TLC Tours reserves the right to cancel any tour that has not reached a minimum number of reservations. We always avoid changes and cancellations, if at all possible, as we realize the inconvenience to you, our valued customer. We reserve the right to cancel or refuse service to anyone, in our sole discretion. Any person may be dismissed from a tour at any time by the Tour Escort or Driver should their conduct be problematic in any way. No refund will be made, nor will any further responsibility be assumed by TLC Tours or anyone in their employment.
TLC Tours, LLC is insured. Campbell Bus Lines is registered and insured with the ICC. TLC Tours acts only as an agent. We are not responsible to any person for any loss of time or money due to a change or delay beyond our control. Nor are we responsible for non-performance by those we have contracted with. We reserve the right to change tour prices, inclusions, and itinerary, if so, dictated by circumstances beyond our control. We are not responsible for pricing, typographical, or other errors. Any claims against TLC Tours must be made, in writing within 30 days of the trip.
HOW TLC IS ADDRESSING COVID/VARIANTS FOR 2023
We are so thankful that much of our country has ‘opened up’ and we are back to being able to travel freely, for those who desire to get out & about again. While rejoicing over such good news, there are still a few things we must remain aware of that are listed below. We believe these things are a very small price to pay to be “On the Road Again’! ~ Thank you for your gracious understanding and kind cooperation as we wisely embark on wonderful memory-making journeys together this year!
A- There are a few parts of the country that are still enforcing a mask mandate in their particular area. Please tuck a mask in your pocket just in case we should arrive somewhere and find out unexpectedly that we are required to wear one for entrance. We continue to pledge to be good neighbors and help these establishments stay open by cooperating with whatever they are required to ask of us, and to do it with a good, kind spirit. If you’re not in agreement with this, please refrain from traveling with us at this time.
B- At this writing, all the places we plan to visit are open for business. However, as mentioned above, that can change by the time we arrive. Should there be some place that is not able to take us, we will do our very best to substitute an activity or attraction of an equal quality. We just have to “go with the flow” again this year somewhat – but trust me, every single place we plan to visit WANTS to be open for us and will be doing everything they can to do so.
C- We ask that you take your own temperature before leaving home on the morning of Day One, and if you show any fever at all, please stay home. If you have additional/other symptoms that suggest Covid-19 or a variant, we ask that you please stay home. If you have been around someone with Covid-19/variant, or highly suspected Covid-19/variant, we ask that you please follow the CDC guidelines according to their timeline, and possibly stay home. Any of these methods are somewhat dependent on the “honor system”. We trust that our upstanding TLC customers will “do the right thing” and not put anyone else at risk for contracting Covid or a variant on a TLC tour.
D- Should someone come down with Covid during or after their tour, we assume no responsibility or liability. We cannot control every minute of everyone’s day, nor can we control how people handle themselves when off the coach. We have done our very best to secure accommodations and venues that state the highest sanitation protocols to the best of their ability. If on tour you should come down with Covid-19 or a variant, or strongly suspect it, you would be responsible to quarantine yourself and arrange for transportation home when appropriate. — By traveling with us, you are agreeing that TLC Tours, LLC will not be held responsible for contracting Covid-19 or a variant, nor liable for any expenses involved in any way.
E- If you do need to cancel at the last-minute because of having covid/variant, being exposed to covid/variant, or suspecting a possible case of covid/variant, our normal cancellation policies apply, just as they would to any other last-minute illness that prevents you from going on a tour. See General Information/Refunds in this book. Without insurance, there is no refund except what we might be able to get back from individual vendors on your behalf. We highly suggest taking out either our in-house Refund Protection Policy, or another more comprehensive insurance plan of your own choosing.
Overall, please lovingly respect the concerns of others if they differ from yours.
Some may have health issues that cause them to be more cautions than you may feel is necessary for yourself.
– Here’s the best plan: “Do Unto Others as You Would Have Others Do Unto You!” –
ON THE COACH
(1) Every Campbell coach is completely disinfected before they depart for a trip. You can be assured that the bus that arrives to pick you up has been thoroughly cleaned with an environmentally friendly solution that is EPA-approved, and not diluted or mixed at our facilities. The solution is rated on the EPA K-List that supersedes the current EPA suggestion for elimination of Corona Virus and has no harmful properties. It has received the Green Seal certification. The solution is applied with electrostatic sprayers to increase coverage to eliminate all pathogens on hard surfaces.
(2) We have upgraded all air filters and increased the frequency that we change the air filters on the coach to reduce contamination. Our motor coaches refresh the air on the coach every five minutes, and combined with the upgraded filters, will reduce stale used air in the coach.
(3) We have UV lights in our HVAC system to eliminate any airborne pathogens.
(4) Disinfecting wipes available for the Driver & Escort, and hand sanitizer on board for your use.
(5) Should the situation regarding pandemic conditions rise during the year, we are prepared to increase the level of our procedures accordingly.
Our departure points are as follows
Alliance: The front parking area of Lowe’s, 2595 W. State St.
Other departure points may be established for groups of 10 or more if the itinerary and direction of travel permits. We reserve the right to change departures. Departures are arranged in the direction of travel, with last departure being the closest to the destination, for the convenience of all passengers.
*We may use smaller shuttle buses to make these pickups and will join the tour en route at a logical transfer point.
For Overnight Trips:
For TLC DAY TRIPS:
For day trips, we do not have any insurance or Refund Protection Plan available. Payment must be made in full when booking a day trip, and if you cancel your reservation up to 45 days prior to the trip’s date, you will receive a full refund. *Occasionally a day trip may have a different cancellation date other than 45 days out – it is good to inquire when making your reservation. — If TLC should need to cancel the entire day trip, you will receive a refund.
For TLC OVERNIGHT MOTORCOACH TOURS:
For most overnight tours, a full refund will be made up to 45 days prior to departure date. However, some of our tours, especially the longer ones, may have a 60-day cancellation date. The specific date will be listed on your confirmation which you will receive in the mail once you make your reservation. Tours including tickets may have earlier non-refundable dates – please inquire when making a reservation for a tour that includes tickets. There are no refunds for cancellations made within the 45 (or 60) days prior to your departure date. However, we will do our best to recover as much as we can, but cannot guarantee anything including prepaid reservations and other costs that are non-refundable to us. There will be a $25.00 per/person charge for this service. There will be no refund, for any reason, for a “no-show” on the day of the tour.
** Please Note: Refunds will be made by the same method you paid us; e.g., if you paid by credit card, the refund will be put back on that credit card. No exceptions.
TLC’s REFUND PROTECTION PLAN for Overnight Motorcoach Tours:
TLC has an in-house “Refund Protection Plan” which we offer for overnight motorcoach tours through our office at a minimal cost. It needs to be purchased when you book your trip. This insures you a full refund in case of:
The RPP covers you up to the morning of departure; however, you must call your Escort (number will be provided) that morning before your pick-up time in order for the RPP to be valid. She will need to call all the places the tour is going to change the passenger counts. Failure to call the Escort that morning cancels your RPP coverage.
Feel free to call our office for full details about TLC’s RPP. We encourage you to take advantage of the protection plan, or secure more comprehensive insurance on your own, if desired.
TLC “FLY TRIPS”:
For any of our tours that involve flying, the connecting companies we use for our air tours offer their own insurance plans and instructions. You will find that information listed on each tour’s page and/or flyer near the respective pricing and other pertinent details. It is up to you, of course, whether or not you choose to take insurance out, but it is highly recommended.
PLEASE NOTE: Sometimes excellent trips with super itineraries are canceled when people wait ’til the last minute to put in their reservation. OUR monies are usually due at least 90 days ahead on “fly trips” and at least 45 days ahead on regular trips. If we don’t have enough signed up at that time, we have no choice but to cancel it. Then when you call later, it’s already too late… and disappointing for us all! Please help us and CALL EARLY – Thank you so much.