You will experience the best sights, the best sounds and definitely the best roads that the Deep South and the Far East has to offer on EagleRider’s Pensacola Motorcycle Tour. This 15-day 14-night self-drive adventure begins in the Florida Panhandle at Pensacola, travels to New Orleans, Louisiana and takes you through the heart of the south as you head up to Tennessee, where you will ride the best roads that America has to offer – names like The Tail of the Dragon, The Rattler, and Cherohola Skyway that will resonate with you for years. Delve into the sounds of the Blues in Memphis and Nashville, sip a Jack Daniels in Lynchburg, maybe catch a Nascar experience in Charlotte, spook yourself with a ghost walk in Savannah, wind down in Tallahassee, and finish your journey along the white sands of Pensacola Beach.
The Far East and Deep South Tour Tour Itinerary
Pick your bike up in Pensacola and follow Hwy 90 along the coast, via Biloxi to New Orleans- the birthplace of jazz. You will have two nights to have a Hurricane or a Hand Grenade, soak in the ambiance, and grab some beads on Bourbon St.
During the day wander around the ancient St Louis Cemetery featured in Easy Rider, explore a backcountry bayou, visit an antebellum (pre-Civil War) Plantation, or book a ghost tour and learn the Creole history of the Big Easy.
Take Hwy 61 and enjoy a scenic ride up to Natchez, where the restored antebellum houses in town and the settlement known as Natchez-under-the-hill on Silver St are definitely worth a look. At Hwy 61 and Liberty Rd, you join the beautiful Natchez Trace Parkway which follows the historical Natchez Trace, a 400-mile long trail system connecting central Tennessee with the Mississippi River, and the first road through Clinton, where you will stop for the night.
Stay on Natchez Trace Parkway for 179m until Tupelo, the site of the last battle of the Civil War and the birthplace of Elvis Presley. Check out the guitar street art, the home Elvis was born in, the church he patronized, the store where his first guitar was purchased and the meditation and gospel chapels dedicated to the King. Follow Hwy 78 to Memphis.
Enjoy a relaxing day looking around Memphis, the home of all things Elvis. Visit Sun Studio, one of the city’s most important Rock and Roll icons, and a tour of Graceland is mandatory, as is the 50’s diner across the road where you can get his favorite peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and deep fried chicken for lunch. Elvis is everywhere – climb aboard his jet plane “the Lisa Marie”, look in the Elvis Car Museum, the Clothes Museum, and of course the Heartbreak Hotel on Lonely St. Make sure to check out “Super Cycle”, a bike shop that sells sexy customized Harleys, parts and accessories, and collectibles on Bellevue Blvd and finish the night rocking away on Beale St, the heart of Memphis Blues
From Memphis you take Hwy 40 all the way to Nashville, the country music capital of the world. Alternatively, you can take Hwy 64 out of Memphis and head to Shiloh National Military Park, which is located approximately 110 miles east of Memphis. The park commemorates one of the most crucial battles of the Civil War, where over 20,000 men were killed. A self-guided ten-mile driving tour takes you in the national cemetery, whose moss-covered walls contain thousands of unidentified graves. From Shiloh National Military Park you take Hwy 45 north to enter Hwy 40 for Nashville,
Visit the home of the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Grand Ole Opry, the Willie Nelson Shop and museum, Cooters - The Dukes of Hazzard Museum, the historic Ryman Auditorium, and Broadway which is packed with legendary honky-tonks, dive bars and dance halls.
From Nashville you ride south, take Hwy 41A to Shelbyville, where you enter Hwy 231 to get to Lynchburg to tour the Jack Daniels Distillery. Wander down to the pretty town center and pick up a souvenir at the Lynchburg Hardware and General Store. After lunch head out on Hwy 55 to Tullahoma and then Hwy 41 to Chattanooga, set in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. Take a train or ride (SRs 58 &148) up Lookout Mountain before reaching Ruby Falls and Rock City, featuring sweeping views, sandstone formations and gardens. Point Park, also atop Lookout Mountain, marks the site of a Civil War battle.
Take Hwy 58, turn onto Hwy 30, 411, 72 and finally 129 for the legendary ride of all rides – the Tail of the Dragon - with 318 curves in 11 miles, it is America’s number one motorcycle road. Continue on to Robbinsville and relax for the afternoon, or go for another ride on one of the many roads on offer.
Today is your choice of ride. Any of the roads here will do! - you can ride back through the Tail of the Dragon, or go onto enjoy the breathtakingly beautiful Cherohala Skyway which crosses through the Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee and the Nantahala National Forest in North Carolina. It connects Tellico Plains, Tennessee, with Robbinsville, North Carolina, with elevations that vary from 900 - 5400 feet above sea level.
Travel on Hwy’s 143, 78, 28, 74 and finally 19 - through the Great Smoky Mountains, over to Cherokee, NC to explore the Cherokee Indian reservation. Stop by The Museum of the Cherokee Indian and/or the Wheels in time Museum (home to the world’s premier collection of rare American motorcycles, but closed Tues/Wed). Hop on Hwy 209 and Ride ‘The Rattler’ – an amazingly scenic twister which riding the Dragon’s Tail has almost prepared you for! Stop at Hot Springs for lunch. Take Hwy’s 25, 213, 19 and 226 down to overnight in Charlotte.
Often called the City of Trees or Queen City, Charlotte is better known by many as the home of Nascar Racing, so this is the perfect time to catch a race, have a look behind the scenes at the impressive facility of Hendrick Motorsports Complex, visit the Nascar Hall of Fame for an interactive racing experience, or get in behind the wheel of a 600HP NASCAR race car with Richard Petty Driving Experience at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Hop on Hwy 601 and ride into the 13th and last colony ever settled by England. Savannah has a large historic downtown area that borders the cobblestoned River St and is filled with bars, shops and characters of all description. The district’s walkability makes barhopping easy and the lax open-container regulations make it fun. Join in one of the city’s ghost walking tours and see how well you sleep tonight!
Hwy 84 takes you all the way south to Tallahassee, the capital of Florida, which was built on the site of an important prehistoric meeting place, and was the only uncaptured Confederate State Capital east of the Mississippi. Visit the Mission San Luis or the Natural Bridge Battlefield Historic State Park….or wind down and relax, ready for your last days ride along the Gulf Coast back to Pensacola
Join Hwy 319 which leads you south to Hwy 98 where you will ride the coastal route through Panama City Beach, Destin, Fort Walton, Navarre and then onto Hwy 399 along Pensacola Beach and back to drop your bike off in Pensacola.