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  1. Default New orleans to denver in january


    Coming from Australia to US for 5 weeks and planning road trip as part of this for 10 days. The plan is to start in New Orleans and drive to Nashville and Memphis. Dates will be early January. If possible could keep going all the way to Denver instead of flight. So some questions.
    1. What is there to see between New Orleans and Nashville? Always wanted to go to Lynchburg TN. Is a detour through smokey mountains worthwhile considering time of year.
    2. What is there to see between Nashville and Memphis?
    3. Is it feasible to drive from Memphis through Albaqurque/ Santa Fe to Denver? Anything to see along the way? always wanted to go to Santa Fe. how long would you need?
    4. How long would you need to drive New Orleans to Nashville to Memphis?
    5. any other suggestions for 10 day road trip starting in New Orleans. Heard Nashville great ALS want to go to Memphis for it it worth it. Just want to see some of southern states and eat some bbq after watching chow masters!

    Any opinions suggestion appreciated I will take it on board. Love natural scenery and food.

    thanks Terry

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default Time Enough to Wander

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    You certainly have plenty of time to do this RoadTrip right, taking a comfortable pace and seeing quite a bit of what America has to offer. So addressing your specific questions with that in mind...

    1) Between New Orleans and Nashville, the highlight (at least as far as I'm concerned) would be a drive along the Natchez Trace Parkway which you could get on at Natchez having driven up along the Mississippi River through Baton Rouge. If you are interested in Elvis at all, his birthplace is in Tupelo along the Natchez Trace. I'd suggest staying on the Trace until you enter Alabama and then take US-72 east to Huntsville where US-231 and TN-50 would get you to Lynchburg TN. Then use TN-82 to get back on US-231 up into Nashville. I would probably skip Great Smoky Mountains National Park. While the main road through the park will be open, all the secondary roads will be snow-bound and closed. One of the visitor centers is closed and the others are on reduced hours. The Grist Mills are closed. Most of the picnic areas are closed. In short, the park is largely snowed in during January and there is little to do other than drive through on US-441.

    2) Between Nashville and Memphis, you can either just take the motorway, I-40, and get there in a few hours or take a more relaxed approach. The way I'd go would be to take the northern part of the Natchez Trace (the part you missed by 'detouring' to Lynchburg) southwest out of Nashville to Highland TN and take US-64 west from there. A very worthwhile side trip, even if you're not interested in American history, would be to visit Shiloh National Military Park, the site of one of the major battles of our Civil War. From Shiloh, TN-57 provides a very nice back road into Memphis.

    3) Going to Denver by way of Albuquerque/Santa Fe is possible, of course, but would add just under 500 extra miles, or a full day, to your drive. If you do decide to go this way, be sure to also check out the scenic 'high road' between Santa Fe and Taos.

    4) To just do the driving along the roads that I've suggested, with the detour to Lynchburg and without going to Great Smoky NP, you'd need about two and a half days. Plan on a good bit more than that for all the places you'll want to visit along the way.

    5) You have the time to wander the back roads rather than just barrel down the motorways, and that's my main recommendation. Just as an example, the best barbeque I ever found in the south was in a one-room 'restaurant' in rural South Carolina that was only open one day a week. I know there are other such enterprises. Saturday is a good day to look for them and inquire locally as to what's available. Nashville and Memphis would be excellent places to look for more established, seven-day-a-week barbecue joints. The main thing to keep in mind is that barbecue in the South is very regional and no two joints will offer the same combination of meats/sauces/cooking times and temps/final outcome. So try several!


  3. Default

    Thanks for the reply i appreciate the effort to address each question. Will make sure I leave enough time to do it right and not be driving all the time esp. With two kids. Talk of bbq I can almost smell it.have previously had a go at Texas bbq on a previous trip and loved it.
    If anyone has any specific recommendations for great bbq ribs in particular in the LA or TN area please let me know

    Thanks again

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin


    Quote Originally Posted by Tntdoyle View Post
    If anyone has any specific recommendations for great bbq ribs in particular in the LA or TN area please let me know
    Memphis is one of the top BBQ cities in the US, especially when it comes to ribs. There are entire books and websites on the topic. Neely's Interstate BBQ and Central BBQ are two of the most famous, but there are many others. The only one I've tried myself is Rendezvous, which is also very famous and is in a neat location downtown, but I wasn't overly impressed with the ribs myself (and arguably, they aren't even BBQ, because they aren't smoked) but your tastes may be different.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Years ago, I ate at Jack's BBQ in Nashville, downtown on Broadway location, and was impressed. I didn't have the ribs though.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Albuquerque, New Mexico


    We had some great meals while we were in Nashville a couple years ago. These aren’t barbecue places, but here ya go:

    • The Pancake Pantry, near Vanderbilt University, was really good. Show up early - the line to get in the place went halfway around the building when we were there.
    • Had a good dinner at the Loveless Café.
    • The Weekend Country Breakfast at Monell’s was outrageous. As much food as you can eat, and all of it very good. I’d go back to Nashville just to eat there.

    Some favorite New Mexican places in Albuquerque

    Cecilia’s Café
    Mary & Tito’s
    Duran’s Central Pharmacy
    El Charritos
    El Modelo Take-out & patio dining only – no indoor seating
    Barelas Coffee House
    Red Ball Café Breakfast & Lunch only - Good idea to call ahead 505-247-9438. Closed Sunday - Monday
    The Range Café

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