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help with road trip from chicago-nashville-new orleans-memphis

help with road trip from chicago-nashville-new orleans-memphis

Jan 29th, 2009, 06:15 AM
  #1  
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help with road trip from chicago-nashville-new orleans-memphis

Hi,
My husband and I are planning a road trip and looking for some help.
Here is the itinerary:

chicago to Nashville
Nashville to New Orleans
New Orleans to Memphis
Memphis back to Chicago

Any advice as to what route would be the best from Nashville to NO and from NO to Memphis?

Any suggestions for what we can stop and see along any of our routes to break up the trip?

thanks so much
lutherkins is offline  
Jan 29th, 2009, 06:31 AM
  #2  
 
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A couple of options to consider depending on your time - Louisville, Jackson, Vicksburg & Natchez would all make good additions to your itin. In addition, if you are in no hurry, the Natchez Trace Parkway may also be an option. http://www.scenictrace.com/ http://www.nps.gov/natt/ How much time do you have ?
SAnParis2 is offline  
Jan 29th, 2009, 07:01 AM
  #3  
cd
 
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Yes, I agree with SAnParis, the Natchaz Trace Parkway from Nashville to Natchaz is a beautiful and peaceful drive, allow enough time to really take your time and stop to read the signs along the way. Pack a picnic lunch and stop in a roadside park as there are no restaurants on the Parkway. Let me suggest staying in Natchaz at Monmouth Plantation and having a wonderful, wonderful meal in their dining room. You will feel as if you've stepped back into another time. http://www.monmouthplantation.com/co....html&nav_id=1
cd is offline  
Jan 29th, 2009, 07:38 AM
  #4  
 
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I definitely agree with the Natchez Trace route.

From NO to Memphis, I55 of course is the straight shot. It's a good road. Ii's pretty but rather boring. Trees almost to the edge of road most of the way, so hard to see anything. We've also taken the River Road (US 61) which is more interesting but takes longer. Goes through the Mississippi Delta country.

On the Chicago to Nashville leg, definitely stop at Mammoth Cave NP (KY) if you've never been there. Pretty amazing.

Also the covered bridges in IN around Parke and Putnam Counties (west of Indianapolis) are very interesting.
dfr4848 is offline  
Jan 29th, 2009, 09:36 AM
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You don't mention when you are going, but if you are planning early spring, then consider visiting NAtchez during Spring Pilmgrage. in 2009, it's from March 7 to April 11. There are several antebellum homes open during that time and the azaleas should be in bloom.

http://www.natchezpilgrimage.com/spring.htm
notbob is offline  
Jan 29th, 2009, 02:33 PM
  #6  
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Thanks everyone.
We are going from March 28-April 4th. We won't be able to stay the night anywhere other than Nashville, NO, and Memphis but would like to take little "breaks" along the way. Our navigation system will obviously take us on the shortest route so we were curious if there were other routes we should be considering. The Natchez Trace sounds like fun!
lutherkins is offline  
Jan 29th, 2009, 03:35 PM
  #7  
 
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You do realize that you're going to have some very long driving days? I'm just wondering whether you're going to have time to make any stops.

We did a similar trip several years ago. Our first day was from Chicago to Blythville, Arkansas. A fairly long and fairly boring day. The next day we had a long lunch stop in Oxford, MS and spent the night in Vicksburg. We toured the battlefield the next morning and then took the Trace to Natchez where we spent the night. From there we went to a town in the bayous whose name escapes me at the moment. I think it starts with a B! We spent the night and did a swamp tour in the morning. The next four nights were spent in NO.

From there we went to Orange Beach, Alabama for two nights. And from there we went to Nashville (another fairly long day if I recall correctly). We toured the Hermitage in the morning and then drove back to Chicago. Again, a long day.

I'm not saying that you can't do what you're planning to in the time you've alloted. I'm just not sure that you're going to have time to do much besides drive though.
CAPH52 is offline  
Jan 29th, 2009, 04:15 PM
  #8  
 
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YOu have 8 days and four of those are taken up in what are essentially all day driving, 7 to 8 hours for three of them and about six for the New Orleans Memphis leg. That's on interstates the whole way. You are not going to have much time to see anything other than the road.

It can be done but maybe you could add some time or skip Nashville.
notbob is offline  
Jan 29th, 2009, 07:31 PM
  #9  
 
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I just did this many miles (last week) because I had to and it was EXHAUSTING! Way too much driving. We had no choice, but you do.

Slow it down. Forget the NO leg and enjoy more of Nashville and Memphis. 1/2 of your vacation is in the car!
starrs is offline  
Jan 30th, 2009, 04:52 AM
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Chicago - Memphis is 8+ hours. All interstate and a fairly boring drive. Memphis - NO is 5 hours and again somewhat boring. Natchez Trace Parkway is beautiful but speed limit is STRICTLY enforced at 50 mph. A speeding ticket on NTP is a federal ticket, not local, so watching speed is crucial which means drive time is going to be longer. I agree with other posters. For 8 days, you are going to have 4 of them in the car for long periods of time.
nygvic is offline  
Jan 30th, 2009, 05:30 AM
  #11  
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Our intentions are to see New Orleans. Driving straight through to New Orleans from Chicago is long and we don't want to do it without a stop...which is where a night in Nashville on the way there and a night in Memphis on the way home came from. Maybe there are better places to make our stops? We didn't want to just stop at a highway off the highway...we wanted to make it worth it and be able to have dinner and maybe catch some music at night after driving.
lutherkins is offline  
Jan 30th, 2009, 05:42 AM
  #12  
 
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If your goal is NO, why not fly? At $300 a ticket, your gas and parking would already pay for one ticket. You won't need your car in NO. And, the trip would be A LOT less...tiring.

8 days in NO - rather than 4.
starrs is offline  
Jan 30th, 2009, 05:44 AM
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You can fly direct from Midway on those dates for $223 each, R/T. Take a look @ Kayak.com & skip all this driving when you could enjoy the entire week in NOLA. You would spend @ least $200 in gas alone.
SAnParis2 is offline  
Jan 30th, 2009, 10:44 AM
  #14  
 
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If NOLA is the goal, then flying would really make a lot of sense. Flights out of Midway are around 450 for the both of you.

Money wise if you drive, you are probably looking at 150-200 in gas plus another 100-120 for parking your car in New Orleans if you stay near the Quarter or downtown. It's usually 25 -35 a day for hotel parking. And you won't really need the car in NOLA.
notbob is offline  
Jun 8th, 2009, 04:36 PM
  #15  
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Wanted to update everyone. We went ahead with the road trip. Left Friday night from Chicago and drove to Louisville. Got there around midnight and stayed the night. Woke up Saturday and drove a few hours to Nashville and stayed there Saturday night. Loved Nashville! Jack's BBQ and Live music. Sunday we got up and had breakfast at Loveless Cafe and headed out for New Orleans. Got there in time for dinner and drinks. Spent 5 nights in New Orleans before driving to Memphis. Another fun night of BBQ and live music. Got up Saturday morning and visited the Civil Rights Museum and hit the road for Chicago.

Sounds like a ton of driving, but having those 5 nights in New Orleans really broke it up. We had a blast! We had never been to Tennessee and figured we would hit Nashville and Memphis on a trip to New Orleans. It worked out nicely. I'm really glad we left Friday nigh and stayed in Louisville...that helped us have more time in Nashville.
lutherkins is offline  
Jun 9th, 2009, 04:07 AM
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Thanks for the follow up. Always appreciate those. Glad you enjoyed it.
dfr4848 is offline  
Jun 9th, 2009, 05:58 AM
  #17  
 
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So what did you do for 5 days in Nola ??
SAnParis2 is offline  
Jul 25th, 2009, 10:42 AM
  #18  
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Sorry, I haven't been on this site in a long time. Let's see if I can remember our trip clearly enough. We spent a lot of time in Nola just walking around really. We wandered through the French Quarter, walked along the river all the way to the aquarium, took the street car out to Audobon Park and walked through the park, hung out at the French Market and Margaritaville while it rained one afternoon. At night, we basically went to dinner and then bar hopped looking for good music. Surprisingly that keeps you busy.
lutherkins is offline  
Jul 25th, 2009, 01:38 PM
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We just took a nice long road trip. We went to Graceland in Memphis and Beale Street. Stayed overnight over the border in Mississippi in Grenada MS. Had a wonderful buffet at an old restaurant -think the name was 333 - had all kinds of seafood, frog legs, seafood chowder etc.
The next day we drove to Jackson and picked up the Natchez Trace Parkway. Was nice the first miles but then got boring. We turned south at Natchez into LA. Visited a plantation - stayed overnight in Baton Rouge.

We stayed overnight in LA at a plantation and had dinner and breakfast at the plantation. Also, visited the Creole Plantation which was the most interesting.

Went on a swamp boat tour and then on to N.O. and stayed in the French Quarter. From there we went to Orange Beach and stayed at a hotel on the gulf coast. If you go to Orange Beach be sure to try Lamberts Cafe - Home of the Throwed Rolls. http://www.throwedrolls.com/

Then north to Huntsville Alabama where we visited the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. Was very interesting. Had a great dinner at a Mexican Restaurant called Rosie's Cantina in Huntsville.

Then to Nashville and the Grand Ole Opry. We continued on from there further east.

A few years ago we went to Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill.
http://www.shakervillageky.org/ It could be on the way to or from Chicago. A bit out of the way but worth the journey.

Have fun on your road trip. We sure did.
bratsandbeer is offline  
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