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Southern Road Trip - 1 week in June

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My mate and I are planning a southern road trip in June this year and have done some research and mapped out a plan. I know we are short on time, and we could do so much more if we were here for longer, but I think I have covered a fairly good range of stuff in the time we are here. We fly into Memphis on June 19th at 9.30pm and then out of New Orleans at midday on June 27th. Our itinerary looks something like as follows:

Thu 20-Jun Memphis
Graceland, National Civil Rights museum

Fri 21-Jun Memphis
Possibly do museum this day and fit in Sun Studio as well?

Sat 22-Jun Clarksdale
Hire Car, Drive to Clarksdale, Blues museum etc

Sun 23-Jun Vicksburg
Drive to Vicksburg, Military Park

Mon 24-Jun Natchez
Drive to Natchez (Maybe via trace) Stay and explore Antebellum Home

Tues 25-Jun New Orleans
Drive to New Orleans (Maybe via Abita Springs and Brewery Tour)

Wed 26-Jun New Orleans
Thinking NOLA is more about the nightlife but during the day would like to see a paddle steamer

So that is our thoughts so far. Not sure what people think and if there is anything that we "must do" and havent thought of. As I said we have our flights booked so could change up our days to suit. Maybe 1 less day in Memphis, 1 more day in New Orleans or travelling? Another thought is to just book where we stay on the run and stop where we feel would be good to stop but during June not sure on bookings in hotels etc.

I guess what we are thinking is we will see some good sites, some good history, hear some good music, eat some good food, and meet some good people.

Any thoughts or suggestions are totally welcomed.

Thanks

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    I would spend one less day in Memphis and one more in New Orleans. There are quite a few decent restaurants in Memphis, but if I only were having one meal there, I'd definitely have the BBQ ribs at the Rendezvous. From there it is a very short walk to the Peabody Hotel to check out the lobby and, if your timing is good, you can watch the ducks "march" from the fountain in the lobby to the elevator to their "quarters" on the roof. Beale Street is also within walking distance from there.

    One of my favorite old-school BBQ joints is Abe's BBQ in Clarksdale, which is at the intersection of Hwys 61 & 49, the "Crossroads" made famous by Robert Johnson. I highly recommend the Big Abe bbq pork sandwich. I have not been to the blues museum, but have heard good things about it from people who have.

    The military park in Vicksburg is certainly worth a drive-through tour, and the museum in the Old Courthouse downtown is worth a look.

    If I could only tour one antebellum home, it would be Longwood in Natchez. It's quite different from most, so if you see it, you might want to check out at least one more as well in either Natchez or Vicksburg.

    In New Orleans, Canal Street is the main street downtown and deadends into the riverwalk where you can watch the river traffic. I know you can take a riverboat from there to the zoo and back, but am not sure what else is available there. I'd be sure to stay in or within short walking distance of the French Quarter. Driving in NO is a bit of a challenge and parking is always at a premium. Great food is shamelessly abundant. Two spots I'd not miss (both in the French Quarter) are Cafe du Monde for beignets and cafe au lait and Acme Oyster House for oysters, gumbo, po-boys, etc.

    And I'd drive Hwy 61--at least from Clarksdale to Natchez, regardless of what your GPS tells you. I'm not sure of the best/most scenic routes from Memphis to Clarksdale and from Natchez to New Orleans, but 61 may be best there as well.

    Have fun!

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