Clare, James, Katie and Matt continued their journey in the huge RV that has been their home for a few weeks. They have already covered a lot of ground and this week head south to the states of Kentucky
Kentucky is a southern state and one of just four constituted as a commonwealth. It's known as the "Bluegrass State" because of its native bluegrass, which grows in fertile soil. The pastures are obviously very suitable for breeding high-quality livestock, particularly thoroughbred horses.
Missed the first and second parts of the American Road Trip? Catch up on the road trippers' recent adventures in Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky:
Kentucky Bourbon Trail
For more than 200 years, Kentucky's distilleries have produced the world's finest bourbon whiskies using secret recipes and processes passed from generation to generation. The Bourbon Trail features six signature distilleries in beautiful settings of historic towns with winding roads and the promise of bluegrass hospitality.
Maker's Mark Distillery
Mother Nature is credited at Maker's Mark for giving them a four-hectare lake of pure, iron-free limestone spring water. They produce small handmade quantities of bourbon using red winter wheat. The smooth, rich and full-bodied flavour was created more than 50 years ago and Maker's Mark accounts for 77 percent of premium bourbon sold in the US.
The whisky is aged for between six and seven and a half years, being bottled and marketed when expert tasters agree that it is ready. The end product is sold in squarish bottles, sealed with red wax.
Tours take in the old gristmill, master distiller's house, toll house, fire department, still house, fermenting room, barrel warehouse and other parts involved in the long process.
The group moved on to Nashville, the capital of Tennessee. Nashville stands apart from other cities as it is all about music. Even traffic lights play music. It's the destination of wannabe country singers, writers and fans, but first our travellers had to find somewhere to stay.
Nashville KOA Campground
The campground has RV and tent sites, one- and two-room cabins and kamping lodges. There's a pool in operation between May and October, firewood, minigolf, a pet playground and they will help plan tours and activities.
They bring top-notch entertainment in and have shuttles to Opry Mills Shopping and Entertainment Center and the Grand Ole Opry. KOA is only minutes from the bright lights, but is in a country setting amongst lots of trees.
RCA Studio B
This noted recording studio became famous in the 1960s for being part of what is known as "the Nashville sound". It's a sophisticated style characterised by background vocals and strings and revived the popularity of country music. It also helped establish Nashville as an international recording centre.
About 35,000 songs were brought to life in Studio B, including more than 1000 top 10 American hits and more than 150 Elvis Presley recordings.
One-hour studio bus tours start at the museum. There are several options to enjoy. "Star for a Day", and "Stories Behind the Music" are popular.
Video Continued: American Road Trip part three: Nashville and Kentucky
Related gallery: American Road Trip part two: Kentucky and Indiana
Related gallery: American Road Trip part one: Chicago
Kentucky and Tennessee in the US.
Apollo has a special rate for Getaway
viewers, with an 8.2m six-berth Eclipse Camper RV for 12 days from Los Angeles, San Francisco or Las Vegas for $1299. There is a free upgrade to a 9.4m Apollo US Wanderer for booking online. The offer is valid for travel until March 31, 2011. Log on to www.apollorv.com/getaway
for all the details.
If you want to travel closer to home, Apollo has a pre-Christmas special in Australia and New Zealand. Log on to www.apollocamper.com and use the booking code: APUSGETE.
Numbers for both are limited.
Maker's Mark Distillery tours are free and tastings are available for those older than 21. Tours run on the half-hour from 10.30am to 3.30pm between Monday and Saturday. On Sundays tours run at 1.30pm, 2.30pm and 3.30pm, except in January and February. Participants are invited to hand-dip their own bottle in red wax.
Studio B tours run between 10.30am and 2.30pm every day from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Seats and tour availability may be limited. Tickets for the platinum package are around $30 for adults and $22 for children. They are available only in conjunction with museum admission. Transportation is included.
V Australia has flights to Los Angeles from:
- Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane $1339
- Adelaide $1639
- Perth $1939
On sale until November 18, 2010, and for travel between January 17 and March 31, 2011. Conditions apply.
Prices correct at November 4, 2010.
For further information
Ph: 1800 777 779
Maker's Mark Distillery
3350 Burks Spring Road
Loretto, Kentucky 40037
Ph: + 1 270 865 2099
Nashville KOA Kamp Ground
2626 Music Valley Drive
Nashville, Tennessee 37214
Ph: + 1 615 889 0286
Fax: + 1 615 885 6694
RCA Studio B
222 Fifth Avenue South
Nashville, Tennessee 37203
Ph: + 1 615 416 200
Visas: Most Australians do not need a visa, providing they have a machine-readable passport with at least six months' validity after the departure day, have a round-trip non-refundable ticket and do not intend to stay longer than 90 days. Australians need to complete a pre-travel authorisation at www.cbp.gov/esta.
Electricity: 110V to 115V at 60Hz using two parallel, flat prongs. Australian visitors will need a US adapter and converter.
Time zone: Loretto is GMT -5 and Nashville is GMT -6.
Currency: The American dollar.
International dialling code: +1.