Swedes going from Chicago to New Orleans

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1. Posted by KingQte (Budding Member 2 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

Hello all!

In July me and my four siblings are leaving Sweden for a shorter road trip in the USA. In three weeks we are going from Chicago to New Orleans, and the plan right now is to go to Nashville and Memphis in-between those two. This can change though.

Now we would love some help with tips of what we should do along the way, places to visit, hidden gems and stuff we just can't miss.
Anything would be appreciated, from nice places to stay at to restaurants and sites we cant miss.
And not just for the four citys earlier mentioned. We would love to hear about places we would be passing along the way

Even if the tip is obvious for a tourist or an odd, hidden gems, we would love for you to tell us.
Our interests are multiple, so anything goes.

Please help a few swedes who might only see these places once.
Thank you!

2. Posted by road to roam (Respected Member 142 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

We knew nothing about Nashville before going there, but we found out there are loads of free music venues throughout the city, all day every day. Broadway Street is the most well-known and is heavily touristed. The pubs here feature live bands all day FOR FREE. Expect to give a few dollars - a bucket gets passed around for donations to the band. Just a really good feel here - everyone is having such a good time.

Music is part of the scene in Nashville, so going from pub to pub and listening to live music is a good way to go. We are not country music fans, but free shows featuring talented musicians and cheap beer make for a great way to spend a day or two. Plus, you can easily walk around the center of Nashville and there is a pedestrian bridge that spans the Cumberland River, along with several riverfront parks.

In Memphis, Graceland is about $80, and that is the cheapest admission option. We debated whether or not to go due to the price and decided to do it. We spent about 10 hours there! There is so much more than the house to see., like his personal plane which you can board, a museum featuring his vehicle collection, dozens of his famous jumpsuits, his first guitar and an archives center where you can see several of the televisions he shot. It's good fun - and we are not even fans of Elvis!

Also in Memphis, you can walk for miles along the Mississippi River and visit Beale Street for more music and legendary BBQ food. All sorts of buskers work the crowds on Beale Street and, again, it's just such a nice atmosphere.

I can tell you one thing to avoid - skip the Natchez Trace Parkway. It is meant to be a scenic drive, but is hemmed in by trees, so no scenery to speak of. The route is several hundred miles, but is total rubbish for almost the entire way.

Keeping with the Elvis theme, we did stop in Tupelo to see where the King spent his days when he was merely a prince. There is a museum there, which was closed due to the hour we arrived, but we still got the chance to peek into the house where he was born. This town (Tupelo) is off the Natchez Trace Parkway, but you CAN get to Tupelo bypassing this route.

[ Edit: Edited on 02-Mar-2019, at 14:20 by road to roam ]

3. Posted by Andrew Mack (Travel Guru 774 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

Quoting road to roam

I can tell you one thing to avoid - skip the Natchez Trace Parkway. It is meant to be a scenic drive, but is hemmed in by trees, so no scenery to speak of.

In March will the trees have any leaves?
If they aren't pine trees then there may be some views...?

4. Posted by road to roam (Respected Member 142 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

The OP mentioned visiting in July.

5. Posted by Andrew Mack (Travel Guru 774 posts) 7w 1 Star this if you like it!

Yes, sorry. I glance at the 1st and saw '3 weeks'... looked again and finally noticed that's the duration...

6. Posted by Beausoleil (Travel Guru 1050 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

Since you will probably go right through Indianapolis where they have the famous Indy 500 auto race, you might enjoy stopping at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum. You see the track and can even get into at least one of the famous race cars. Click here for the Indy Racing Museum web site

Another city on your way is Louisville, Kentucky. Home of the Kentucky Derby where you can visit Churchill Downs, the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, and the Muhammad Ali Center which covers interests in horse racing, baseball and boxing. There are also two bourbon distilleries you can tour. Information is on the city web site although it's not a well-organized web site. It might be easier to Google the things that interest you. Click here for the City of Louisville web site

If you want a different experience, you could get off the road between Louisville and Memphis and visit the town of Bowling Green, Kentucky. It is a cute American college (university) town and very typical of Midwest small towns. Yes, I know it's in the south, but it is still typical of Midwest small towns. In July it will be pretty quiet but that's good because you won't have trouble finding parking. Just a thought.

Sounds like a fun trip. Enjoy yourselves.

7. Posted by KingQte (Budding Member 2 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Andrew Mack

Yes, sorry. I glance at the 1st and saw '3 weeks'... looked again and finally noticed that's the duration...

Ill take the blame here! I think my English is passable, but the grammar isn't on point all the time ;)
Leaves or not, I will take it into consideration.

Quoting road to roam

We knew nothing about Nashville before going there, but we found out there are loads of free music venues throughout the city, all day every day.

Quoting Beausoleil

Since you will probably go right through Indianapolis where they have the famous Indy 500 auto race

And thank you all for the amazing tips so far, you are all to kind.
We are very much looking forward to experiencing Broadway Street, and as a sports journalist both the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum and all the places mentioned in Louisville sounds very interesting.

8. Posted by Andrew Mack (Travel Guru 774 posts) 7w Star this if you like it!

Quoting KingQte

Quoting Andrew Mack

Yes, sorry. I glance at the 1st and saw '3 weeks'... looked again and finally noticed that's the duration...

Ill take the blame here! I think my English is passable, but the grammar isn't on point all the time

No, you wrote it quite clearly.
It was just me rushing through a thread too quickly because It's not a subject I have much knowledge about.

[ Edit: Edited on 03-Mar-2019, at 04:31 by Andrew Mack ]

9. Posted by greatgrandmaR (Travel Guru 951 posts) 6w Star this if you like it!

If you are in Louisville (and you can tour Churchill Downs even if it is not the racing season), you can go a little bit east to Frankfort KY which is the state capitol. There is Salato Wildlife Education Center right near there where they have local animals and a small museum. You can tour the old capitol, there is a big floral clock. Frankfort was built between Louisville and the other big town in KY - Lexington because they didn't want to pick one or the other. The main attraction for me in Lexington is the Kentucky Horse Park, where they have the parade of breeds as well as a bunch of other things to see and do. You could also tour a horse farm. And of course there are breweries and wineries and distilleries.

I didn't care for Nashville, but I enjoyed visiting the Hermitage which is right outside the city - it was the home of Andrew Jackson (one of our presidents)

[ Edit: Edited on 03-Mar-2019, at 10:21 by greatgrandmaR ]