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Trips - Battlefields to Distilleries: Tracing the Civil War Trail in Kentucky and Tennessee

October 23-28 - 5 Nights/6 Days

civil war image.jpgIncludes: admission fees, guided tours, deluxe hotel accommodations, ten meals, luggage handling, professional tour directors, deluxe motor coach transportation and all gratuities. Trip cancellation insurance available for additional fee. Please note: some meals are on your own. The description for each day lists the meals that are included.


Day 1: Thursday, Oct 23

We begin our journey by heading south to St. Louis, Missouri on our private motorcoach. The Show Me State was the scene of the third most battles and skirmishes fought during the Civil War; and was bitterly divided. Upon arrival you will visit the Lodge at Grant’s Trail, a B&B open only to groups for private dining. Enjoy a fried chicken buffet in the open ceiling room that has just been completely refurbished this year. John Nischwitz, a member of the Civil War Roundtable and author of Civil War Trivia Junkie will speak to us during lunch.

Our next stop is the Missouri Civil War Museum; recently opened in historic Jefferson Barracks. Enjoy a special “Behind the Glass” tour, where we not only learn more about artifacts collected but also get to touch some of them! Next we head to Historic St. Charles. You will have time to enjoy the shops on Main Street followed by dinner at the Mother-in-Law House. Donna is the consummate hostess. She will regale you with stories about the house while you dine on her delicious homemade salad bar buffet and enjoy roast beef with oven roasted potatoes and one of her delicious homemade desserts. After this charming meal, check into your hotel, the Wingate in Weldon Springs, MO (L, D)


Day 2: Friday, Oct 24

Meet the rest of the group as they gather at your hotel to begin heading east to Louisville, KY, one time zone away. After lunch on our own in the Fourth Street Live! District, we’ll head to the Evan Williams Experience located right in town! Learn how whiskey is made and participate in an optional tasting in Louisville’s first urban distillery. This evening we’ll explore the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular, with hundreds of artistically carved pumpkins displayed in Iroquois Park. But don’t get spooked, you’ll love our accommodations at the renovated Galt House Hotel with its multiple restaurants and even its own gift shop. Or check out other local restaurants nearby. We’ll check in and relax for the rest of the evening. (B)


Day 3: Saturday, Oct 25

After breakfast this morning we head to the Civil War Museum of the Western Theatre in Bardstown, KY. Ranked as one of the four-most important Civil War Museums, it is Kentucky's largest collection of Civil War artifacts. Authentic uniforms, battle flags, weapons, maps and documents are on display. Then we head to My Ole Kentucky Dinner Train for a great meal and ride through the Kentucky countryside. The three cars of the dinner train are all steel skirted cars built by the Budd Company in the late 1940's after World War II. They have been refurbished extensively by R. J. Corman Railroad Company, far exceeding the original interior design. The RJC-007 was built for the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1941 as a 54 seat day coach. The RJC-021, built in 1948, was used on the El Capitan train by the Santa Fe Railroad and has been outfitted with the most up-to-date equipment to serve as their kitchen car, so all the food is prepared right on the rails. The RJC-777 was refurbished and added to the dinner train in May of 1992.

The Bardstown railroad branch was originally constructed by The Bardstown and Louisville Railroad in1860. Subsequently, the Louisville and Nashville Railroad purchased the line at a foreclosure sale in 1864. R. J. Corman Railroad Company purchased the twenty-mile branch from CSX Transportation in 1987 and developed the Dinner Train, which had its inaugural run in 1988. In addition to the Dinner Train, the railroad provides freight service to local industries.

The depot where we depart was constructed in 1860 and was used as a freight and passenger depot until 1953, when passenger service was discontinued on this portion of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. It is constructed of native limestone and is the last remaining "dry-laid" limestone depot in the state of Kentucky. Because of its historical significance, the depot is listed on the "National Register of Historic Places." The original freight portion of the depot has been preserved intact as much as possible, while the passenger portion was demolished in 1953. A new waiting room addition was constructed in 1992. Depart the station to visit our second distillery, Barton 1792 Distillery and Visitor Center to enjoy a tour and optional tasting.

This evening we stay at the Drury Hotel in Franklin, TN. Their happy hour includes hot food and free drinks until 7:00 pm. If you are still hungry you can go to a local mall for more food or relax at the hotel. (B, L, Heavy Apps)


Day 4: Sunday, Oct 26

This morning, experience a Battle of Franklin History Tour conducted by Margie Gould Thessin, author and long-time guide in Franklin. We will visit the Carter House, Lotz House and the Carnton Plantation and Cemetery. Enjoy lunch in between home tours, on our own or with new friends in the town square. Then we continue to Clarksville, TN, where we are invited to a very special dinner! Mrs. Smith, will be holding her annual Clarksville Cotillion in honor of her husband, Mr. Smith, before his trip to New Orleans. A Candlelight Dinner will be served, followed by a night of dancing. Don’t worry; Mrs. Smith will have guests who can teach you how to do such dances as the Virginia Reel and Patty Cake Polka. We overnight at the LaQuinta Inn in Clarksville. (B, D)


Day 5: Monday, Oct 27

After breakfast we embark on a driving tour of Clarksville. Hit with a devastating tornado in January of 1999, we’ll see how far the rebuilding process has come as well as the history of this river city. We’ll stop at the Customs House Museum and Cultural Center; built in 1898 as a Federal Post Office. Be sure not to miss the model trains that run in the lower level.

Next head to Fort Defiance. Located on a bluff 200 feet above the confluence of the Red and Cumberland Rivers in Clarksville, Tennessee, the Fort Defiance site has been a hub of activity for more than two centuries. Originally inhabited by American Indians, white settlers began arriving in the late 18th Century. The area became a trading center and settlement. During the Civil War, the hilltop was chosen by Confederate troops as a site to construct a fort to defend the river approach to Clarksville. In February 1862, the fort was captured by Union forces, renamed and occupied for the remainder of the war. The site was a magnet for runaway and freed slaves, and many were employed in and around the fort. A visitor today will find Fort Defiance remarkably well preserved; the outer earthworks, powder magazine and gun platforms are still discernible.

We then head back towards St. Louis, with a stop at Beachaven Vineyards & Winery. Founded by a local judge who wanted to bring back wine making to TN, Beachaven Winery has been making wine for over 30 years. With a stop for lunch on our own in Paducah, Kentucky we make our way back to St. Louis. After your new friends from the tour depart for home, you will head to The Hill for dinner at Favazza’s. Enjoy salad, Chicken Siciliano, pasta and bread. After dinner enjoy a delicious included dessert at Ted Drewes Frozen Custard before checking into your downtown hotel, the Crowne Plaza, right across from the Arch, Busch Stadium and the Metropolitan Square Building. (B, D)


Day 6: Tuesday, Oct 28

Enjoy a full, hot breakfast at the hotel in the restaurant before our visit to the Campbell House Museum, after a monumental five-year, $3 million restoration, the Campbell House Museum is one of the most accurately restored 19th Century buildings in America, reflecting the high-Victorian opulence of the 1880s. Built in 1851, the first house in the elegant neighborhood Lucas Place, the Campbell House was the home of renowned fur trader and entrepreneur Robert Campbell and his family from 1854 until1938. The museum contains hundreds of original Campbell possessions including furniture, paintings, clothing, letters, carriages and a unique set of interior photographs taken in the mid-1880s.

Head to the remarkable Cathedral Basilica on Lindell Blvd. The Cathedral Basilica’s interior is covered with 83,000 square feet of mosaics, one of the largest collections in the world. Many relics have been recently consecrated due to the canonization of Pope John Paul II who visited St. Louis in 1999. This awe inspiring structure also houses a bronze made from Michelangelo’s Pietà to save from possible destruction during World War II.

After these visits we sample a bit of Missouri local flavor with Square One Brewery and Distillery! A small brewpub in the historic Lafayette Square district, Square One has been brewing beer since 2006, and have recently began dabbling into spirit production, from Absinth and Bourbon to Whiskey and Vodka. Don’t forget to check out the great artwork in the garden; created by Bob Cassilly, who went on to design the St. Louis landmark the City Museum.

All good things must come to an end as you return home to the IVCC campus. (B, L)


Dates: October 23-28
Time: 7:45 a.m.-6 p.m.
Where: IVCC Parking Lot, #4


Single Occupancy                   HLR-8312-410            $1,299 
Double Room Occupancy       HLR-8312-421            $1,069
Triple Room Occupancy         HLR-8312-431            $989
Quad Room Occupancy          HLR-8312-441            $925


Travel Insurance: Travel Insurance is available for an additional fee. Travel Insurance Information will be mailed upon registration.

Refund/Cancellation Policy: No refund after September 15; unless travel insurance was previously purchased and applies. 

Payment: Payment is due in full at time of registration.

Questions? Please call the IVCC Continuing Education Center at 815-224-0427 or email Kim Koehler, Program Manager, at: kim_koehler@ivcc.edu