, in a partnership with the Memphis Area Association of Governments
, will be introducing more options in June for tourists and sightseers looking for insight into the rich history and culture of the Mid-South.
"We want to promote West Tennessee on a wider scale as far as the history," says Elaine Turner, President and Founder of Heritage Tours. "When we take busloads into the communities, people learn about the rich history there, they are able to shop at some of the businesses and they help boost the economies of those small towns."
Heritage is adding three new tours to the West Tennessee Day Trippin' Tours roster next month: Antebellum Homes, Civil War Trail and Blues & Roots.
The Antebellum tour includes homes in Memphis, Collierville, Bartlett (Davies Plantation) and La Grange, which has the largest collection of antebellum homes in the state. The Civil War Trail tour will run from Fort Pickering on the Mississippi River bluff to Fort Pillow Park and Battlefield near Randolph, Tenn.. The Blues & Roots tour travels from Beale Street to Covington, Tenn., where B.B. King and Bobby "Blue" Bland played the juke joints in their younger years and where Isaac Hayes was born, to Henning, Tenn., for the Alex Haley House Museum and Interpretive Center
"There's a lot of great history in and around Memphis, and many people just don't know it," says Turner.
Heritage introduced its Heritage & Roots tour in February, offering a black history tour of 15 locations in Memphis along with a trip to the Alex Haley House Museum and Interpretive Center in Henning. For the past 30 years, the company has also offered a comprehensive historical sightseeing tour of 30 significant area locations.
To ramp up for the new tours, Turner will hire four new guides and a Civil War specialist, and she plans to do more hiring in the coming months.
The tours are available year-round on Tuesdays through Fridays.
By Michael Waddell