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Nashville, Memphis, and The Great Smoky Mountains.

Nashville, Memphis, and The Great Smoky Mountains.

Dec 18th, 2008, 06:45 AM
  #41  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 444
Maria

I have done the Historic Tour 3 or 4 times and the Frozen Niagra Tour 1 or 2 times.I think if I was taking people there again I would probably take the River Styx Cave Tour as it covers all of the Historic Tour plus some other features.I have not taken a tour in several years but we took our GS there last summer to do the Trog Tour.You do not need 2 tours ,if you read the descriptions carefully you will see that many of the features are repeated in different tours.If you look at the NPS web site for Mammoth Cave you will see the winter and spring cave tour schedule.I think it is to early now to book a summer tour but I would book the one I wanted as soon as it becomes avalable. Mammoth Cave National Park is just beautiful to hike or drive. We usually bring a picnic lunch and find a lovely spot for a picnic after our cave tours.Be sure to take the drive down to the river. At one time you could take a boat ride in the park but when we were there a couple of years ago it didn't look like the boat was still running. When you look at the NPS web site it will tell you all that is available in the park.DH and I have gone there many times and don't often take the tours any longer but our house guests go there often.The cave is cool so be sure to bring light jackets to throw on while you are touring.
letsgo39 is offline  
Dec 18th, 2008, 03:34 PM
  #42  
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THANKS LETS GO!!! I looked at the styx tour and that looks good. COuple more questions, if you don't mind.

1. Do you think that tour will be ok for my inlaws? My mother in law is pretty active still and my father in law, although retired, still can go walking all day in England.

2. I get the feeling that the frozen niagra is a feature but is not included in the styx tour. What do you think of the frozen niagra? In that tour, it also includes their ribbon room and we LOVE ribbon formations. We loved the bacon in Jewel cave in SD and the smaller ones in wind cave.

3. We were planning to leave nashville fairly early, visit the park grounds then doing a tour at noon so was thinking of doing a picnic before the tour. Then after the tour, make it back to nashville. do you think that's a doable plan? What else should we not miss in the park and could you suggest a good picnic spot?

MANY THANKS!!!!
maria_so is offline  
Aug 10th, 2009, 03:02 PM
  #43  
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Hi All!

Leaving in just a few days! Here's what we have so far:

8/14 arrive Nashville ~6pm. Booked Embassy Suited Airport. Booked dinner and show at Bluebird Cafe. Early night.

8/15 see sights, peabody ducks,lunch then leave Nashville for Memphis. Arrive memphis, booked Springhill Suites on Beale St. See sights (help?) rendezvous for dinner that night and walk around Beale St.
8/16 graceland - any suggestions for dinner?
8/17 leave memphis super early. booked homewood suites downtown near broadway area. nashville site seeing.
8/18 nashville in am, leave late am for kentuck, visit makers mark distillery. staying at la quinta in Elizabethtown.
8/19 early rise for Mammoth Cave. Do River Styx tour, some sight seeing around mammoth cave then head to Seiverville for GSMNP. Grocery shopping in Seiverville. Cabins booked at Hidden Mountains.
8/20-8/22 GSMN with a day to visit artist community in gatlingburg and Asheville, NC and MAYBE Hotsprings, NC via xrae's route suggestion around the park and not through.
8/23 leave for Nashville airport, flight out at 6pm

Any additional tips would be great!
maria_so is offline  
Aug 11th, 2009, 05:14 AM
  #44  
 
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I think you have the Peabody in the wrong city - it's in Memphis, not Nashville.
jent103 is offline  
Aug 11th, 2009, 06:01 AM
  #45  
 
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Yes, the Peabody (and therefore the ducks) are most definitely in Memphis...get there early so you can see...it's quite the attraction!

You may want to re-read your post, maria...it's a little confusing and I think nashville and memphis got mixed together a bit...you were likely in a hurry and excited...I would be!

Don't plan on having dinner near graceland at all...there's nothing around anyway. We enjoyed our dinner at Rendezvous (BBQ Charcoal grilled ribs) in Memphis...very near the Peabody Hotel and downtown/Beale Street area.

You will notice a BIG difference between the downtowns of Nashville and Memphis.

We didn't get to see it this trip, but I would have liked to see the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis. Also BB King's on Beale Street looked fun. Beale Street may be the street that is closed to cars.
musicfan is offline  
Aug 11th, 2009, 06:23 AM
  #46  
 
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OK, I can read a little more closely now! I agree - I think you got your towns mixed up in your excitement. Part of Beale Street is pedestrian-only, yes, and I would definitely recommend the Civil Rights Museum. It's really great.

What are you planning to see in Nashville? You don't really list much specific in this version of your itinerary.

Do you know how long the tour of Makers Mark is going to take? It takes 2+ hours to get to just Elizabethtown from Nashville, longer to get to Loretto, and with lunchtime in there you may not have too long to linger at the distillery. Just an FYI.

Your 8/19 will be a really long day, just so you're prepared!

Your trip hits some good spots, though it's kind of disjointed. Personally I might put all your Nashville time together without splitting it up in the middle. But if you're OK with a lot of driving I'm sure you'll have great time.
jent103 is offline  
Aug 11th, 2009, 07:39 AM
  #47  
 
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Also, just so you are prepared, and especially now that I see you are from the UK, my daughter and I did a trip to Nashville (3 nights--we are big country music fans) and Memphis (1 night at the Peabody) in March...the drive from Nashville to Memphis (I-40 I think) was VERY busy...many large semi-trucks. And this was on, I think, a Tuesday morning. I do more long-distance/interstate driving than most anyone I know so it's now like I am inexperienced, but it was very stressful to me.

I hope you have a wonderful and memorable time!
musicfan is offline  
Aug 11th, 2009, 07:58 AM
  #48  
 
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musicfan - I've heard that from a few people, and it's always been interesting to me. I do that drive pretty often and most of the time it's not too bad (just boring), although occasionally I've hit it on a bad day. I always wonder if I've just been lucky or if the other people are hitting it at a busy time! (Or maybe my perception is just skewed... I went to grad school at UNC and drove home to Tennessee a lot through the mountains, and *that* stressed me out with the semis, so the super flat stretch between Memphis and Nashville doesn't bother me.)

I will say, though, there are usually state troopers around on that drive, so watch your speed!
jent103 is offline  
Aug 11th, 2009, 08:24 AM
  #49  
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oh so sorry. i think you're all correct. i did get the two cities mixed up.

we have to split nashville. Dh doesn't want in laws to fly all day then drive to memphis. in any case, the nashville hotels are already paid for in advance.

so let me try this again:

8/14 arrive nashville. staying at embassy suites by airport. having dinner and show at bluebird cafe - already reserved.

8/15 (am)was going to do something in nashville that am and leave for memphis early afternoon but no idea what to see and do. i know there's broadway and 2nd street that has a few things. maybe just look around?

8/15 (pm) arrrive at memphis. we stay at sprinhill suites near beale street when we get to memphis that day. perhaps visit the civil rights museum. i wanted to have dinner at rendevouz that evening then walk around beale street at night.

8/16 peabody ducks in the am ( i think they do their deal at 11:30, someone mentioned) then graceland the rest of the day.
maybe bb king's cafe that evening for dinner then more beale street that night? suggestions would be good here. thanks.

8/17 leave early to go back to nashville. i have no idea what to see and do in nashville. can someone recommend something? also a place for dinner?

8/18 (revised)leave early for mammoth cave. stay in cave city. any recommensations on hotel?

8/19 head to elizabethtown early for breakfast and a little walk in town. head to makers mark distillery do a tour and have lunch there. head to seveirville after lunch. we want to break up that 4 hour ride with a stop in daniel boone forest area. just for a little stretch. anything to see in that area? if not, even just to get our groceries? hidden mountain cabins check in.

8/20-/23 smokey mountains, etc. flight out to nashville on /23 at 6pm.

Thanks!
maria_so is offline  
Aug 11th, 2009, 10:19 AM
  #50  
 
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Since you're staying out by the airport your first night, you could go to the Opryland Hotel on your second morning before you leave for Memphis. Opryland is not near anything else touristy (so seeing it in your second Nashville segment would be out of the way), but is fairly close to the airport. The hotel itself is like a giant conservatory - it's really a sight to behold. There's also Opry Mills mall next door; I personally avoid this place like the plague (it's usually packed when I'm out there, on the weekends), but if you want to do some American-style mall shopping, you could do it there.

As for the rest of Nashville, I really think you need to do some research and see what interests *you*. There's a lot to do and see, but you only have one day, and what I would do with that day may not be what you would do. Fodor's Destinations page is a good place to start (http://www.fodors.com/world/north-am...see/nashville/). Things that aren't on there that I would include are the Schermerhorn Symphony Center (I'm not sure if they'll let you tour the inside, but it's a pretty great building), Belle Meade Plantation, Centennial Park, and the Hillsboro Village area. If you're into country music, the Ryman or the Country Music Hall of Fame make perfect sense, but if you hate country I wouldn't see much point in going to the Hall. Those sorts of questions we can't answer!
jent103 is offline  
Aug 11th, 2009, 10:22 AM
  #51  
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Belle Meade planatation! Yes! My MIL was curious about that so I think that's a good one to do that single day we have in Nashville and the Opryland hotel is a good shout for that morning before heading to Memphis. Thanks a bunch!
maria_so is offline  
Aug 11th, 2009, 11:49 AM
  #52  
 
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Here's a tip for visiting the Opryland Hotel...find the parking lot for Opry Mills shopping center and park as FAR away from it as possible then walk across the street to the hotel. Depending on where exactly you park, you may have to walk on a short path to get to the street you need to cross, but in doing so you will save $18(if I am remembering correctly)which is what the hotel charges to park in their lot! It's something I wish someone had told me before I went! And it IS a pretty amazing place to see...we found a good deal and actually stayed there...wouldn't necessarily do it again, but glad we had one chance.
musicfan is offline  
Aug 11th, 2009, 11:52 AM
  #53  
 
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Oh, good call, musicfan - I forgot to mention that. If you get off at the Opry Mills exit and go all the way to the end of the mall parking (behind the IMAX theater, almost to the trees), you can park there and it's just a short walk to the hotel, along a pathway. (The pathway partially goes along the route of what used to be the Grizzly River Rampage, before Opryland USA was torn down to build the mall. RIP, Opryland...)
jent103 is offline  
Aug 11th, 2009, 12:22 PM
  #54  
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OH THANKS! That's a really super tip! I will remember that one, definitely.
maria_so is offline  
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