So we're planning out next annual roadtrip for the two weeks starting Memorial Day weekend. We'll head out of New England through DC to bourbon country in Kentucky for a distillery tour because we didn't get to take one last year. From Kentucky we'll go to Nashville and spent 1+ days and 2 nights there, then on to Memphis for another 1 or 2 nights. We're debating if we should go to Little Rock to see the Clinton Presidential Library and anything else of interest there or if we should just head up the Mississippi River to St. Louis.
We'll probably spend Sunday night June 5 in St. Louis and we're hoping to get tickets for the Red Sox vs. Cardinals game Monday June 6. The next day we'll travel to the Indianapolis area to visit with family before heading back home over the course of the next two days.
So what recommendations do you have for us in any of our destination cities, along our travel route, or both? What shoudn't we miss?
The distillery tour sounds interesting. I didn't get to do that last year when we were there, either!
In Nashville, just walking around the city can be enjoyable. There are a lot of good restaurants to choose from, and some interesting architecture. I found it as walkable as Boston. Parking in town is easy to find, too.
How are you getting into Kentucky from DC? Do you have a planned route yet? There are several interesting options from there.
Hot Springs, Caverns and Lake of the Ozarks
You might try Hot Springs National Park, and then there are several caverns up by Harrison, AR. Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri is a pretty area before you head back toward St Louis. Bob
Not to be missed :
Mammoth Cave in KY (go for a canoe ride or boat tour on the Green River), in St. Louis, don't miss the Gateway Arch and its museum and the French Quarter (Soulard).
Thanks for all of the ideas.
Gen, we did the Lantern City Tour at Mammoth last year. Great fun! There were some people on that tour that should have taken a shorter/easier one, but oh well, right? We definitely enjoyed it. We camped at the Jellystone camp grounds in Cave City near the interstate. The steakhouse across the interstate from there had deep fried pickles as an appetizer that we just had to try and they were good! I made some myself last week =)
TimboTA, thanks for the suggestion on Cumberland Falls last year. We were there for a full moon, but severe thunderstorms were also visiting. We stayed at the lodge where the power went out shortly after sundown, so we drove to Corbin and ate at the "original" KFC. What routes do you recommend from DC to the Frankfort, KY area? Last year we traveled on non-interstate roads from Corbin to Charleston, WV then to Gettysburg, PA. If you happen to travel through Whitley City, KY, you have to stop at The Dairy Bar. An original 1950's style dairy bar with hop service. We just happened across it because it was on our backroads route, which is just the type of experience we were hoping for. I think that on this year's trip we're going to stay to the divided highways and interstates as much as possible to conserve time.
Bob, I'll plot your suggestions on our trip planner and give them a shot! Thanks!
Mammoth Caves National Park
It's in southern Kentucky and it's wonderful. Take a guided
cave tour 200+ feet into the ground. Not an expensive
thing to do - at least not a few years ago!
Yep, as I said above, we did the Lantern City Tour last year. Pretty amazing place.
The Lantern City tour is quite fun, and I agree with your comment - especially approaching that last hill! There is also a Lost River cave that you can take a boat ride into the cave.
Gen - I took that boat ride on the Green River a few years back, but I remember it being strange...a result of the individuals on the boat, because the area is quite beautiful.
I actually don't have a road recommendation (though that is sure to change after this year's trips).
You mentioned "interesting options" for D to Kentucky, so I thought you had something up your sleeve :) What are the several options you are exploring on the map? I can see which one fits in best with our route.
Mammoth Cave is a Must See - Also Maker's Mark Distillery
You're in for a treat if you got to Mammoth Cave. I've been there numerous times over the years. All of the tours are great. They also have a hotel and restaurant on site, so it is very convenient and very relaxing.
If you can go to Bardstown, Kentucky you'll really see a lovely part of Kentucky. My Old Kentucky Home is located there and you can still tour this lovely old home (and learn about Stephen Collins Foster who wrote songs such as My Old Kentucky Home, I Dream of Jeannie, Way Down Upon the Suwanne River, etc.). Outside of Bardstown you can visit the Maker's Mark Distillery. My husband and I have visited this very rural distillery several times. They have a great gift shop and a super tour.
Enjoy yourself--you're in for a great roadtrip....