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Footloose in the Midwest & Mississippi - any Suggestions?

Footloose in the Midwest & Mississippi - any Suggestions?

Old May 2nd, 2000, 01:34 PM
  #1  
Robin
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Footloose in the Midwest & Mississippi - any Suggestions?

Hi - I have three or four weeks open to travel at the end of May & beginning of June, and have decided to see some of the U.S. that I have not yet been fortunate enough to visit. I am planning on a combination fly/drive vacation, and would like to visit Kentucky, Illinois, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi and/or Missouri. Any ideas with regard to some sort of logical itinerary, special places, etc. would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
 
Old May 2nd, 2000, 04:38 PM
  #2  
Ed
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Please understand that I mean no disrespect here, but I'm confused. If you don't know what you want to see, when you want to see it, and have no itinerary, why are you going? Robin, you must have something in mind that made you choose these places, other than the fact that you've never been there.

I'm just curious....I see quite a few of these type of posts, saying something to the effect of "I'm going here or there, what should I see and do?" My question is, if you don't have any idea, then why are you going? Are you just hoping someone will plan some sort of itinerary FOR you? Again, don't mean to be rude, but I'm really am curious about these type of posts!
 
Old May 2nd, 2000, 04:59 PM
  #3  
Ben
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Are you interested in seeing the 'standard' attractions, major sites, or doing the Charles Kuralt thing?
The lists are, of course, very different.
 
Old May 2nd, 2000, 06:42 PM
  #4  
Ed
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No offense taken at your post, Ed! I do have specific destinations in mind, but in the interest of brevity in my initial post, did not list them. Perhaps I should have been more specific. I'd like to visit the St. Louis, Louisville, Lexington, Nashville and Memphis areas and possibly follow the Natchez Trace down into Louisiana, and was looking for ideas as to what other travelers have particularly enjoyed seeing and doing along the way. I hope you don't mind my replying to you directly (actually, I'm not exactly sure how "post a reply", or this forum works!), but I thought I'd send you a response - hope it answers your question!
 
Old May 2nd, 2000, 06:45 PM
  #5  
Ben
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Thanks, Ben! I think that the "Charles Kurault thing" is more along the lines of what I'm looking for - I think that I've got the major sites and destinations lined up.
 
Old May 3rd, 2000, 11:43 AM
  #6  
carolyn
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In Louisville, the Spring Meet is presently at Churchill Downs. You could see the Derby Museum, have lunch there, and take in the races in the afternoon. See the Slugger Museum (baseball bats) and check out our new baseball stadium that is part of the neat waterfront park. We have good theater, lovely parks, and plenty of night life. Mammoth Cave is off I-65 on your way to Nashville.
 
Old May 3rd, 2000, 12:08 PM
  #7  
susan
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I have a couple of suggestions for you if you get to Memphis. Graceland - you know, Elvis's house - is open daily for tours, and I promise it's unlike anything you'll ever see. Without question, the tackiest place in the world, but certainly worth a trip! There's a civil rights museum that's supposed to be great (although I haven't been there yet), and of course Beale Street, with its wonderful music history. But if nothing else, you absolutely MUST go to the Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis for the arrival of the ducks in the morning. I think they come down at 11:00 a.m. but you should call for the exact time...again, it's not to be missed!!
 
Old May 3rd, 2000, 12:09 PM
  #8  
Gary
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Robin:

I traveled extensively (for work) to northern Alabama during the last two years. I spent quite a few weekends visiting surrounding areas.

In Memphis, Beale Street was terrific--went to several blues joints and it was a lot of fun. The historic Peabody Hotel is a few blocks away, and worth seeing (even if you can't afford to stay there; if you can afford it--DO IT!). The Mud Island thing is kind of cool. I'm not into tours, so I can't help you with Graceland--sorry, though I did learn one cannot see it from the street. I've never been, but there are a lot of casinos just south of Memphis (in Mississippi) if you're into that sort of thing.

In Nashville, the downtown waterfront is pretty, and there are some microbreweries and restaurants. On the outskirts is, of course, Opryland. I skipped the actual theater, but the Opryland Hotel is well worth visiting--an amazingly overbuilt structure easy to get lost in. Even further to the east is "the Hermitage", Andrew Jackson's home. Pretty tame, but nice to look at.

There is some beautiful countryside down there--take your time and enjoy. Have some grits.
 
Old May 3rd, 2000, 12:44 PM
  #9  
JM
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This is for Ed. My husband and I have taken off for many vacations without an itinerary and these are our most memorable. Sometimes we just get in the car and decide where to go when we come to the proverbial fork in the road. We have a great time with such sponteneity. We never made Florida once, landing in Lafayette, LA and having a great time. We went to Devil's Tower after seeing a sign on the interstate. We discovered Glacier National Park on a whim. Anyway, Ed, we do set out with a supposed destination, as we wish to visit all 50 states (2 left). We feel very constricted with reservations,etc. and have never been burned. Perhaps this gives you some insight in to why someone would take off without an itinerary. JM
 
Old May 3rd, 2000, 02:20 PM
  #10  
kam
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In the very northwestern tip of Illinois is the historic town of Galena, birthplace of U.S. Grant and many other Civil War generals. Lots of Victorians, close to the Mississippi R. with the riverboats, antique shopping and a 4 star resort called the Galena Territory with a nice little hotel and beautiful golf courses. Does this interest you?
 
Old May 5th, 2000, 08:17 PM
  #11  
Ed
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Good evening this message if for everyone who was kind enough to respond to my post. First, thanks for all of your suggestions. I love antique and craft shopping, and suspect I'll be doing a lot of that. Tacky can be fun, too, so Graceland is a must, and I'll probably also pass through Tupelo. My in-laws used to breed thoroughbreds; I'll tour a horse farm in Kentucky and try to catch one of the races if the timing is right. Beale Street and Opryland sound fun, and I'm sure to eat my share of grits and other local specialities before heading home. Finally, for JM - come to Florida, my home state! Florida is so much more than Disneyworld and Miami. The east and west coasts are beautiful, while north and central Florida are actually hilly and more Southern small town in character than South Florida. Once again, thanks for all of your suggestions!
 
Old May 13th, 2000, 08:56 AM
  #12  
Susan
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Sorry, but Opryland closed a couple of years ago. The hotel is still there but the theme park isn't.

I live in Memphis. If you come here, the best (and most authentic)BBQ can be found at Interstate BBQ on Third Street. It's off the beaten path but very worth finding. Another must-see is the National Civil Rights museum. It gives a thought provoking and moving portrait of the civil rights movement.

Also new in Memphis is the River Bluff Walk, a paved path downtown that runs along the Mississippi River.

You can't come to Memphis and miss Graceland. Say what you will about the tackiness of the house, Elvis was a tremendous entertainer and the depth of feeling that his fans still hold for him is truly astounding.
 
Old May 14th, 2000, 07:39 AM
  #13  
arjay
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Susan (above post) -- !! Just had to say the Interstate Bar BQ was one of our 'on-the-road' finds...I posted about it in the thread on finding off-the-beaten track good eats. Serendipity. (Sorry, I know this is off-the-topic).

Robin..What about east TN for the Smokies? It's a beautiful national park/area.
 
Old May 20th, 2000, 08:11 PM
  #14  
Robin
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Thanks again, everyone, for all of your information. For those of you familiar with Memphis, does anyone have any suggestions for accomodations in Memphis or the surrounding area? (I'll either be driving in from Nashville or Birmingham, AL.) Also, I have been to the Smokies in eastern Tennessee (although quite a few years ago) and agree that they are beautiful.
 

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