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  1. Default Memphis to New Orleans Road Trip Advice

    Hi Guys

    Next week me and 2 of my friends are flying out to Chicago from the UK and taking 3 weeks to drive down to New Orleans. We have already planned Chicago - St Louis - Nashville - Memphis, we are all into blues and jazz music so we are chasing that kind of stuff! But we are trying to work out the best route from Memphis to New Orleans. We don't intend to drive it all in one go so little (or big!) towns worth checking out or staying in on the way will be much appreciated!

    I am unsure if the image I tried to attach is visible to you but its basically a map displaying the 3 routes (Memphis - N.O) we drew up;

    Route 1 heads east through the national parks towards Birmingham, Alabama, down to Mobile and then along the coast to N.o

    Route 2 follows the Mississippi River down to Jackson, then again down to N.O

    Route 3 heads West over to Dallas, Texas (a longer drive I know, but we have the time), then down to Houston before of course heading back across to N.O

    Any suggestions welcome - Cost and time are not an issue, the main things we are looking for are views on route, anything music related, museums worth checking out, lively nightlife (bars, clubs, gigs, events etc) and any hidden gems (restaurants, national parks, viewpoints, diners) that we should know about.

    Thanks for your help in advance! Whichever route we take we cant wait to visit this beautiful country.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Tucson, AZ

    Default The Blues Highway

    Welcome aboard the RoadTrip America Forums!

    As you might imagine, the main road down along the lower Mississippi River, connecting Memphis and New Orleans and traversing the bayou/delta/plantation regions of the South literally goes through the birthplace and continued home of the Blues. It should also come as no surprise that it is known as the Blues Highway. This is Route 2 on your map. I would suggest that you concentrate your efforts on the small towns along (and near) that route. While there won't be a lot of spectacular national parks, there will be a wealth of national wildlife refuges and quite a few national battlefields if you're interested in American history, most notably the Civil War (e.g. Vicksburg) and our last war with you guys, the War of 1812 (e.g. New Orleans).

    I should warn you that getting views of the Mississippi is going to be more difficult than you might think at first blush. The lower Mississippi is an 'old' river meaning that all the land surrounding it is basically at the same level as the river itself. This leads to frequent flooding. To combat that the river is now largely contained within fairly high artificial banks, called levees, that cut off any casual viewing of the river. Indeed, when I was in New Orleans many years ago, I had to go to considerable effort to view 'Old Man River' and had to climb a rather massive levee. It was only upon reaching the top that I realized that the river's water level was above the city's street level! I was also going to suggest that you try to get on the river at some point by taking a ferry across it, but much to my amazement, there are no ferries across the river south of Memphis. I do know of at least one just north of St. Louis, the Golden Eagle Ferry, that not only lets you get a feel for the river, but also provides an easy 'back' way into St. Louis from the north.

    Anyway, those are the first things that I'd suggest you look at. If you find them to your liking and would like more, don't hesitate to ask.


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