Among the best American street journeys we did was our household roadie beginning in Nashville to Memphis, ending in New Orleans!
Mum, dad, my husband and me on the street. We known as it the Music Tour and spent 10 nights in complete with a playlist that included Willie Nelson warbling “on the street once more” as we hurtled down the freeways to fulfill my brother, his spouse and daughter from the Cayman Islands (the place they stay) for a reunion in New Orleans.
Flying in from Hawaii we made our first mistake: not stopping for an evening in LA. Consequently, attributable to a later flight being cancelled from Honolulu we needed to go away early and landed in LA with about seven hours to kill on the airport. And we weren’t utilizing the brand new Tom Bradley Terminal (read that blog post here) so needed to whereas away our hours hopping from pizza restaurant to beer bar and staying so long as we may earlier than being turfed out to sit down within the gate seats.
Okay, let’s go: the 10-day Nashville to New Orleans music street journey!
Day 1 : Nashville
The place to remain in Nashville : Loews Vanderbilt Hotel
(For the very best charges on the Loews, go to Booking.com>>)
Our 8pm departure from LAX to Nashville had us flying by means of the night time (though we have been nonetheless on Hawaii time so it wasn’t too dangerous) and arriving at 5.30am native time. Sure within the morning! That was dangerous. I had cleverly thought to ebook a room for the night time earlier than so we had a minimum of one to test into after we arrived. Because it occurred each rooms have been prepared so we determined to have a brief nap and bathe then we have been off to Honky Tonk Row to take a look at Nashville’s well-known music scene and discover one thing to eat.
I actually liked Nashville! I used to be so shocked by the superb music scene with stay music in every single place. Sure it’s very “nation” however you’ll discover different venues doing all of your favorite style and ladies in sundresses and cowboy boots strolling in every single place added the color and enjoyable to this metropolis. Them, and the booze trolly cycle…
The Johnny Cash Museum had opened the day earlier than and folks had lined up around the block. Luckily the hype had died down as we speak and we strode proper in (shopping for some souvenirs on the way in which). It is a big assortment of Johnny memorabilia. Photographs, outfits, lyrics, his assortment of framed gold and platinum albums. A should for Money followers.
The jetlag hadn’t but kicked in so as my dad is a fan of piano bars, and dueling pianos much more so, we pottered across the many bars with stay music and out and in of memento outlets till 6pm when dueling the doorways opened. Early I do know, however we have been a bit knackered. The group was small at this early hour at The Large Bang however the sound was big. The entertainers have been good, younger guys in T-shirts and denims and we have been all inspired to put in writing tune decisions on a chunk of paper and provides it to them. In the event that they preferred it they’d screw it up and toss it to the opposite piano. Billy Joel’s Piano Man which started with one of the incredibly talented players on a harmonica was my hit of the night. <<click to see my video
Day 2 : Nation Music Corridor of Fame, Studio B and Loveless Cafe
I used to be shocked to search out what number of nice musicians have their roots in nation music – and The Country Music Hall of Fame is crammed with memorabilia together with Elvis Presley’s automobile that’s fitted with an enormous TV and quaint phone. We added a tour to Studio B solely as a result of somebody on the Johnny Money Museum mentioned it was nice, and so it was. A must-see. I sat on the piano stool the place The King recorded about half his catalogue of hits and realized how he was all about lighting and atmosphere when he recorded and for one tune even had his musicians taking part in at the hours of darkness, because the information turned the lights crimson and informed us what Elvis had recorded underneath the attractive crimson lights.
Loveless Cafe is about 25 minutes drive from downtown Nashville by means of stunning countryside and large homes with rolling entrance lawns. They smoke their very own hams and make bacon and serve a imply brunch – with grits. We’d be advisable by almost everybody we met to come back out right here, in order we had a automobile and have been all the time up for a superb nosey at how different folks stay, we set off. Couldn’t get my dad to strive the grits although!
Day 3 : Drive Nashville to Memphis
It’s about three hours drive from Nashville to Memphis – time to cease and store on the way in which. Drivers are so courteous on these multi-lane roads too, they pull over a lane while you’re getting into the freeway on the on ramp (so we did likewise) and all the large container-carrying vans preserve proper (within the gradual lane). Driving to Memphis is just about all we did as we speak after taking our time leaving Nashville.
The place to remain in Memphis : The Peabody Hotel
(For the very best charges on the Peabody, go to Booking.com>>)
Day 4 : Graceland and Beale Road
The Peabody is simply two blocks from the famous Beale Street, and was ideally positioned for strolling down and again once more with no need a automobile. It’s well-known for its geese residing on the roof who come down within the raise each day and stroll on a crimson carpet to swim within the fountain within the foyer earlier than being returned with pomp and ceremony at 5pm underneath the flashes of a dozen cameras!
To be sincere I didn’t like Beale Road a lot. It was grubby and the cool bars with stay music have been few and much between. However a spotlight was the BB King Cafe the place we stayed for dinner and tapped heartily to the band on stage. My husband was right here years in the past when BB himself walked in and commenced jamming with the band. He thought it was regular and solely realized later that this occurs a few times a yr.
Graceland was cool although and you must permit a superb three hours right here. Count on to see Elvis lookalikes roaming across the souvenirs and if in case you have about $3000 you should buy a duplicate Elvis onesie. On one aspect of the road are outlets and museums all devoted to the King – and the place you purchase your tickets to tour his home. (We didn’t pre-book and received on the following tour). You then’ll get on a bus to drive you throughout the street and up the driveway. About 50 metres. However you recognize what they’re like in America – somebody would sue in the event that they received hit crossing the street! Here’s my photo blog inside Graceland.
Day 5 : Central BBQ and Martin Luther King’s memorial
I’d actually wished to strive Memphis BBQ so Googled the very best locations in Memphis and located Central BBQ. Good selection! This retailer is so widespread they now have three of them. I had emailed them from NZ and had a plan to go in Monday morning to fulfill the supervisor and learn how to make pork sliders – which you’ll be able to learn by clicking this hyperlink). By now I had my American household who’d dashed out from Delaware for a few nights to fulfill us in Memphis so all of the sudden we have been six who all rocked up and received to pattern essentially the most scrumptious fall-apart pulled pork I’ve ever had! Then we went again for dinner and tried the remainder of the meals 😀
Proper throughout the street from Central BBQ is the notorious Lorraine Motel the place Martin Luther King Jnr was shot and killed. It’s now a memorial and the motel room has not been touched for the reason that day he was shot down by a man with a gun within the rest room of the hostel reverse. Eerily this rest room – and constructing – is now the Martin Luther King Jnr Museum the place you’ll be able to monitor the time line (and sight-line) of each protagonists till the second of that deadly shot.
Day 6 : Drive Memphis to New Orleans
The place to remain in New Orleans : French Quarter boutique hotels
It’s a superb six hours to drive from Memphis to New Orleans so we set off straight after brekky and took slightly detour to Vicksburg for lunch as a result of I’d visited a cool gallery (Attic Gallery) right here just a few years in the past. However in New Orleans, staying within the French Quarter means you’ll be able to stroll in every single place and pop again while you want some peace.
I’ve been to New Orleans six instances now and have extra posts on the place to search out music and the place to remain too. Love this metropolis for its meals, the music is definitely the spotlight whether or not they’re skilled bands in bars and golf equipment or buskers on the streets. Maintain just a few greenback notes with you to drop into guitar containers and buckets.
Days 7-10 : Jazz and play time!
There are such a lot of nice bars serving stay jazz in New Orleans and also you’ll discover all of the vacationers alongside Bourbon Road. But for the places where locals go read this post on Frenchmen Street and Preservation Hall.
Different issues to do in New Orleans embrace a Cemetery Tour, learn to cook gumbo, eat beignets, buy paintings from artists around Jackson Square and attempt to discover these awesome buskers singing A Closer Walk with Thee on the trombone.
In case you love a USA street journey as a lot as we, leap over this nice listing of the 55 best small town road trips in America >>
About Megan Singleton
Hello, I am Megan Singleton and I am the phrase slinger of this journey weblog in addition to on radio each week and some newspapers and mags sometimes. I set off on this journey writing journey 18 years in the past and I’ve just about all the time received a suitcase half packed (or half un-packed!)
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