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travelling St. Louis to Nashville and Memphis

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Sep 18th, 2012, 12:02 PM
  #1
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travelling St. Louis to Nashville and Memphis

thinking about going to St. Louis. My wife wants to go to nashville, i would like to see Memphis. Anyone got any tips on how to do all 3 in a week and what to see between cities?
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Sep 18th, 2012, 02:16 PM
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We spent 3-4 days in each Memphis and Nashville, whcih seemed about right to us--so a week for all three cities and the travel between them seems rushed to me.
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Sep 18th, 2012, 04:26 PM
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It would be rushed, but doable, if you plan to do the typical tourist things in each. What exactly interests you (or your wife) in each place?

There's not that much between cities. Between St. Louis and Memphis you can stop at Lambert's in Sikeston (minor tourist attraction because they serve family style and throw rolls). Between St. Louis and Nashville, you can stop in Metropolis, IL and get your picture made with Superman. Between Memphis and Nashville there's the Casey Jones Village and the ever-popular sign for Bucksnort, TN.
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Sep 25th, 2012, 01:23 PM
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thanks abram and jent. I am now thinking of ditching St. Louis all together and just doing Nashville. Am now wondering if i should do both Nashville and Memphis. I will be flying in to Nashville so would have to drive back and forth between cities. Any suggested highlights. My main reason to drive to Memphis would be to sample the bbq. I hear raves about the Rendezvous.
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Sep 25th, 2012, 02:23 PM
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With a week I'd do both cities - maybe head straight to Memphis when you get there, then drive back to Nashville halfway through or so. A week in either town seems like a lot to me. Nashville does have several good day trips around (Lynchburg, Franklin [more like a half day], even Chattanooga if you're ambitious).

For highlights, I'd start with the Fodor's Destinations pages on both and see what interests you. Without knowing why you picked these two cities beyond the barbecue, it's hard to give any specific advice. (On the barbecue, by the way, people tend to either love or hate Rendezvous. But there are lots of threads here about your options in Memphis, in addition to threads on what to do in both cities.)
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Sep 25th, 2012, 04:10 PM
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Rendevouz is good, but there are about 10 others that are good too. My least favorite is Corky's(which get rave reviews too, so I would still suggest to try it). I would encourage you to try bbq spaghetti along the way too. The big difference in rendevouz is that they use coal not wood for smoke and they use oregano in their spice rub-it is a really good dry rub. Gus's Fried Chicken is good and so is the Peabody Brunch. My favorite restaurant in Memphis is Blues City Cafe on a corner of Beale street(they have ribs, tamales, catfish, and a really good seafood augratin dip-along with other items). Central bbq is good, there are two different versions of Nealy's bbq. A lot of people really like A&R

I like The Loveless Cafe(outside of Nashville) for breakfast or any other meal.
Do go to Las Pasaleta's(this is popsicles in Nashville-the best i've ever had $3 each). I may have spelled it wrong and it will appear to be closed when you do find it and there isn't a sign. Normally plenty of cars at it though.

If you do go to st. Louis, there are two really good bbq places there and I like to eat on "the hill" an Italian area. There is a great Italian bakery there.
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Sep 26th, 2012, 08:41 AM
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spirobulldog, it is Las Paletas. They actually moved just down the street to a new retail building, and do have a sign.
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Sep 26th, 2012, 06:32 PM
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They do have Corky's in Nashville. If bbq is the only reason for your trip to Memphis you might consider going to Chattanooga or Knoxville instead. You will have at least a three hour drive from Nashville to Memphis, and normally with lots of trucks, and a little shorter drive to Chattanooga and Knoxville I believe. The drive would be more scenic with mountainous areas and both are nice places to visit. If you do visit Memphis and would like to be able to walk from the hotel to see most of the downtown attractions the Hotel Peabody would be perfect.
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Sep 26th, 2012, 09:58 PM
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Native St. Louisan who spent 10 years, up until 2009, living in Memphis. I do try to stay out of restaurant recommendations as everyone has such different tastes. But - I will say that imo, Corky's was good years ago but went way down hill over the years. We lived within walking distance to one in Memphis and almost always regretted taking the easy way to BBQ and giving them another try. Germantown Commissary, Neeleys or even Rendezvous are better.

Should be enough to see in all cities without getting dull but not so much you're missing the good stuff. The whole trip is pretty much one big triangle with equal length legs more or less. Probably about 4-5 hours drive each.

Sticking with places I know - St. Louis is actually worth it. It's got a few unique things. Memphis too. Even a couple of things in between worth a leg stretch.

St. Louis -
-- Cahokia Mounds - ancient city/archeological mystery and the only Unesco heritage site in the mid-US. Just across from downtown and down a bit.
-- The Anheuser Busch brewery - old, gargolyes, beer.
-- City Museum - better with kids but cool anyway. Artists run amok.
-- Shaw's Garden aka Missouri Botanical Gardens - Largest Japanese gardens outside Japan, plus 1st geodesic dome rainforest greenhouse, woodland gardens and such. Late 1800's.
-- Just some looking around the beautiful old neighbourhoods and homes in Lafayette Sq, Lindall Ave, Central West End.
-- Old St. Charles. Launching point for Lewis and Clark expedition, 1st capital of the state, the French territory village cobblestoned main street still intact. Site of Elijah Lovejoy's printing press and the resting place of the first American saint, St Rose Philippine Duchesne.

Memphis -
-- Beale Street - Real blues and drinking... cuz that's what you do...
-- The National Civil Rights Museum. Very moving.
"In" the Lorraine Hotel (the fascade and balcony where MLK was shot is retained, there is a large facility attached behind.
-- Sun Studios
-- Graceland
-- Gibson Guitar factory tours
-- Mud Island. Take the tram, see the river museum
-- Peabody hotel. Time it to see the ducks marched out in the morning from the elevator to the fountain.

Enroute - give the legs a stretch.

-- Kimmswick. Interesting old river town preserved just south of St. Louis. ps, best X-mas shop I've ever seen there probably starting up again soon. Old fashioned stuff, my wife loved it
-- Ste. Genevieve. Very old French town, quite a few intact buildings. Oldest settlement west of the Mississippi. (and by the way, I kind of like the little local eatery called "The Anvil" in the main square).
-- Burfordville Covered Bridge - just west of Jackson, MO. Scenic, historic.
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Sep 27th, 2012, 08:00 AM
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BTW, Check out www.hogsfly.com and see the items Rendevous will ship to you.
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