Destinations Drives USA

Where To Stay On Your Tour Of The American Deep South


The Deep South, the region that shaped rock and roll. One of the classic road trips is a drive up the iconic Highway 61 ‘the Blues Highway‘ from New Orleans, Louisiana to Memphis, Tennessee. To complete the Mojo music triangle take the I40 to Nashville, the capital of country music. So if you love blues, soul or country then this is definitely the road trip for you.

But where to stay? These are the hotels we stayed in during our Spring trip. Ranging from the historic antebellum and southern classic to the cool boutique and sleek contemporary. All very different but all highly recommended.

So let’s start in New Orleans, even after visiting we still don’t know how to pronounce the place. Everyone seemed to have a different version from ‘Nawlins’ to ‘New Or-Linz’ but it’s definitely not the way we Brits pronounce it!

Hotel Le Marais, New Orleans, Louisiana

Le Marais Hotel on Conti Street

Le Marais Hotel on Conti Street in the French Quarter

Just off tumultuous Bourbon Street in the heart of the French Quarter is an oasis of calm, the Hotel Le Marais. We loved the mix of classic New Orleans style combined with contemporary design. The pretty courtyard was a perfect place to enjoy an evening cocktail while we enjoyed the sound of jazz which gently reverberated over the city.

Le Marais Courtyard

The peaceful courtyard of Le Marais

We stayed in New Orleans for 5 nights before picking up the car and following the Mississippi River up Highway 61 to Natchez. Don’t forget to take your time and visit some of the plantations on the way, a fascinating yet sombre experience.

The lounge at Le Marais Hotel

The lounge at Le Marais Hotel

Read more about the city and our 5 Reasons Why You Must Visit New Orleans.

Dunleith Historic Inn, Natchez, Mississippi

The Dunleith Inn

The Dunleith Historic Inn

170 miles from New Orleans and sitting on the banks of the Mississippi is the historic town of Natchez, the oldest settlement on the Mississippi River. Natchez has a large number of preserved antebellum houses and most of these are open to the public.

Dunleith Inn Rooms

Our room at the Dunleith Historic Inn

In Natchez, we stayed at the Dunleith Historic Inn which dates from 1856 and with some original buildings dating back to the 1790’s. We loved its southern charm and sitting on the veranda overlooking the landscaped gardens. We also loved the great accents and southern hospitality of the staff.

Read more about Touring The Plantation Houses.

Dunleuth Famous Guests

We stayed in the same room as Mick Jagger

Our large room at the Dunleith was in a traditional southern style with access to the large veranda, we found out that one of the former guests in this room was Mick Jagger. We couldn’t look at that bed again without seeing that face and lips!

We stayed in Natchez for 2 nights as we explored the area, what was great about the hotel were the southern breakfasts, with biscuits, waffles, cheese grits, deep fried bacon and assorted eggs.  Don’t even think about dieting when you visit.

The Peabody Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee

The Peabody Hotel Memphis

Watch out for the ducks at The Peabody Hotel, Memphis

Next stop, we were “Walking in Memphis” and staying at The Peabody Hotel Memphis, a grand old Tennessee hotel built in 1925. From the hotel, it’s only a short walk to the bars and Blues clubs of Beale Street.

For any music fan, must-visits include Sun Studio, the Stax Museum, the Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum and of course Graceland, the former home of the king of rock’ n roll, Elvis Presley.  A sobering but important museum to visit is the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel, where Martin Luther King was shot in 1968.

The Peabody Ducks

The “Duckmaster” and the Peabody Ducks

The Peabody Hotel is the home of the famous Peabody ducks. Every morning a group of ducks leave their penthouse on the roof and waddle down a red carpet to spend the day in the lobby fountain. Then at 5 pm the ducks leave the fountain, waddle back to the elevator and up to their penthouse for the night. The whole bizarre ceremony is presided over by the ‘Duckmaster‘.

Read more about Things To Do In Memphis.

Loews Vanderbilt Hotel, Nashville, Tennessee

Get your cowboy boots on at the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel

Get your cowboy boots on at the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel

Finally, it was off to the home of country music, Nashville. We stayed at the Loews Vanderbilt Hotel in midtown Nashville. Although slightly up from the Honky Tonks of Lower Broadway, it was still a convenient base and also close to Centennial Park, inexplicably complete with an exact replica of the Greek Parthenon.

We like staying at Loews Hotels when travelling in the USA as we find them stylish and contemporary with a local twist and you know you’ll get a great room and excellent service. We can’t really think of a comparable chain in the UK.

The Grand Ole Opry

A night at the Grand Ole Opry

No stay in Nashville is complete without experiencing the Grand Ole Opry. The Grand Ole Opry show has been broadcast live on the radio for over 90 years. We really enjoyed our night at the Opry and Mellissa let British reserve down and actually let out a couple of American ‘Whoops!’

As most of the international flights to the South fly into Atlanta, we also stayed at the Loews Atlanta at the start and end of the trip. Instead of getting straight on a connecting flight to New Orleans we definitely recommend spending a couple of days to get over the jet lag and to see a bit of Atlanta.

We are going back later this year and can’t wait to experience America’s Deep South again.

Where to stay on your tour of the American Deep South. Exploring the Mojo triangle.

Where To Stay On Your Tour Of The American Deep South – Pin For Later

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Peabody Hotel Building Image courtesy of Trevorbirchett under Creative Commons License 3.0

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  • Tamara Elliott
    February 17, 2018 at 3:48 pm

    I love the idea of a southern road trip- those gorgeous plantation houses would be amazing to explore, plus we all know how good southern cooking is!

    • Mr and Mrs W
      February 17, 2018 at 6:21 pm

      Southern US cooking is new to us coming from the UK. Very tasty but definitely not low in calories.

  • Indrani
    February 18, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    These seem some good places to stay. I liked Dunleith Historic Inn, Natchez in Mississippi. The facade is impressive. Its interiors too seem stylish.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      February 18, 2018 at 5:10 pm

      Yes, the Dunleith was very nice, Mick Jagger seemed to like it too.

  • Carol Colborn
    February 18, 2018 at 7:15 pm

    Wow, you stayed at iconic accommodations! If money we’re no object, these lodging choices will definitely give anyone the best of this southern music/cuisine tour. Love your choices.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      February 18, 2018 at 10:35 pm

      They were all very different but excellent in their own unique way.

  • Linda
    February 19, 2018 at 12:25 am

    This looks like a fun musical tour from New Orleans to Nashville. The trip along Highway 61 is one road trip we have missed in the U.S. Need to fix that! You certainly made a good choice with staying right in the French Quarter in New Orleans. We stayed outside and spent so much time in transit. The Dunleith Historic Inn looks like such an authentic plantation house. So much fun.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      February 20, 2018 at 5:45 pm

      It was great staying in the centre of the French Quarter, the hotel was surprisingly quiet too considering its location.

  • Medha Verma
    February 19, 2018 at 8:33 am

    These are some really good places you’ve summed up here and each is unique. The Dunleith Historic Inn almost looks like the White House from outside haha.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      February 20, 2018 at 5:46 pm

      The Dunleith was a great place to stay, loved the little town of Natchez too.

  • Bella WW
    February 20, 2018 at 2:35 pm

    First of all, I have to say that I would totally love to make this tour! Secondly, staying at The Dunleith Historic Inn seems really interesting. The vintage touches make all the difference.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      February 20, 2018 at 5:49 pm

      We loved this area and really and can’t wait to do it again, there are a number of places we had to miss out, there was so much to see.

  • Rosemary
    February 20, 2018 at 3:56 pm

    What a fun filled and historical trip. I’ve been to New Orleans and Nashville separately and had a blast. The idea of a road trip sounds like so much fun. The Dunleith Historic Inn is amazing. Great recommendations!!

    • Mr and Mrs W
      February 20, 2018 at 5:51 pm

      They call the 3 venues New Orleans, Memphis and Nashville the Mojo triangle. Doing the three in on trip was amazing.

  • Suruchi
    February 20, 2018 at 5:23 pm

    These all sound like some great and unique place to stay while taking the tour of American deep South. Dunleith Historic Inn stands out to be our favorite among all. Sitting in Verandas overlooking gardens will be just awesome.

    • Mr and Mrs W
      February 20, 2018 at 5:52 pm

      Yes, sitting on the Veranda with a drink as the sun went down was one of those perfect moments.

  • Sandy N Vyjay
    February 21, 2018 at 3:57 am

    These are some really great choices for places to stay. They seem to combine rich heritage with contemporary luxury and convenience. Staying in the same room where Mick Jagger once stayed must have been quite an experience.

  • Harsh
    February 21, 2018 at 7:01 pm

    These are such differing and amazing accommodation options in South America. I am pinning this for later reference. New Orleans is definitely on my must visit list for 2018.