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Thoughts on roadtrip - Memphis to Dallas

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Thoughts on roadtrip - Memphis to Dallas

Hi all

wondering if you could provide thoughts on a roadtrip from Memphis to Dallas. I'm not interested in getting there in the shortest amount of time but seeing some of 'urban' or 'country' America - would you recommend going through Mississippi? Or through Arkansas?

Are there any small towns or sites that interest you?

I plan to fly into Memphis, stay 2 nights (is this enough? I don't actually even like Elvis but think Graceland would be fascinating - I'm sure there are non-Elvis things to do in Memphis, can you advise?) and rent a car to get to Dallas.

I'm also concerned by some of the references to Memphis' poverty. I assume females travelling on their own shouldn't have too many problems if they are sensible. Is this true?

Thanks!

Memphis
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1. Re: Thoughts on roadtrip - Memphis to Dallas

There is plenty to fill up 2 days in Memphis. Graceland is 1/2 a day, easy. Sun Studios, Civil Rights, Rock and Soul, Beale, Mud Island, zoo, etc etc. Lots of other sites to see.

Memphis is poor, but all the tourist attractions are safe. Graceland is not in a good area, but during the day it is crowded and fine.

MS and AR would both be really rural and country!! Not sure which you'd prefer.

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2. Re: Thoughts on roadtrip - Memphis to Dallas

thanks for the prompt response, pearlbob. It's local experts like you who make TA what it is.

Are you able to give me an idea of how different AR and MI are, so I can gauge which I might prefer?

thanks

Kate

Memphis
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3. Re: Thoughts on roadtrip - Memphis to Dallas

I really see no differences with AR and MS. Honestly. Both are going to be looooong rural drives. I'm probably not too much help on that, because I do my best to avoid small towns and stops while driving. I go the shortest route, straight through.

Thru AR there is Little Rock, not much else between Memphis and LR...that's as far as I've driven on 40.

Going down on 55 thru MS....you'll go thru Jackson....and that's about all I remember. I guess if you go that way, you could go a little further and hit New Orleans. A huge town obviously, still with a lot of problems from Katrina, but the Quarter is still there and it is definitely a unique city here.

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4. Re: Thoughts on roadtrip - Memphis to Dallas

Kate, I live in West Tn and I wouldn't waste more than a day or so in Memphis, max maybe 2 ! driving to Dallas from Mem is one boring of a drive, lots of trucks ! lots of bad drivers too, and lots of highway patrol just this side (east) of Little Rock ! so watch your speed, ha ! going through Mississippi is a waste of time, nothing to see along the way. Females traveling alone is no problem as long as you don't do something stupid like stopping at thw wrong gas station in the wrong town, but along the interstate system, you shoul have no problem, again, don't forget to lock your doors and travel during the day if possible ! I think Graceland is a total waste of time and overblown unless you're an Elvis fanatic plus it's in a gross part of the city of Memphis

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5. Re: Thoughts on roadtrip - Memphis to Dallas

Please ignore the above poster...he has about 50 profiles on here and has been kicked off repeatedly. He's just trying to start problems. Memphis has PLENTY to offer for well over 2 days.

Little Rock, AR
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6. Re: Thoughts on roadtrip - Memphis to Dallas

I live in the Litte Rock area, and have driven between here and Memphis many times. It is rather boring on I-40 and there are tons of 18 wheelers. People drive rather fast and it stays congested a lot of the time. Since you're driving alone, I would recommend that you NOT stop at any of the road side rest stops along I-40. I actually won't stop at them even with my husband. Several have closed over the years--there's no security and a young woman was murdered several years ago at one. To me, they are just not a great place to stop for restroom breaks b/c they may not be safe. Always go to a well lit gas station; you will find plenty along this route.

I will confess that I can't tell you of any great small towns to stop in along this route--sorry. I always try to get to Memphis and back on the fastest route. You might try posting on the AR forum for some ideas and also on the Texas forum as well. I do know that if you are traveling along I-30 from Little Rock to Dallas, there are some possibly interesting little towns once you get into Texas--little antique shops, restaurants, etc. that might be worth stopping for. On the AR side, you would be going near Hot Springs, which has the hot springs, many lakes, old downtown with little shops and restaurants, bath house row, etc. Maybe some of that would be interesting to you? If you want to visit Hot Springs, you'll have to get off of I-30 though.

Memphis is a lot of fun and I think you'll stay busy if you're there for 2 days or so. The Civil Rights Museum is wonderful--really well done and touching. Graceland is interesting; I'm an Elvis fan and felt like one visit was plenty. It's interesting and fun to see Beale street and the downtown area. Have a great trip!

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7. Re: Thoughts on roadtrip - Memphis to Dallas

One more thought on Memphis--the Rock and Soul Museum is excellent! I went last year and thought it was one of the best museums I've ever been to. It was informative but done in such a fun way b/c you get to hear so much of the music on your own MP3 player. I think we spent about 1 1/2 to 2 hours but it's one of those places that you could easily spend more or less time since you can go at your own pace. I highly recommend it.

Memphis
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8. Re: Thoughts on roadtrip - Memphis to Dallas

Lee4: very good point about posting the questions on the AR, MS, and TX forums to get better responses. Memphis is a world away from rural MS! :)

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9. Re: Thoughts on roadtrip - Memphis to Dallas

Fly into Memphis, do the typical attractions and food (see other topics), and then head into Mississippi. There are lots of good places to go in North Mississsippi. Oxford is a cool town with a lot of history, unique shops, and great restaurants. It's about an hour south of Memphis. From there you can head to the Delta and do a tour of the many musical museums, awesome and very unique restaurants, and great folk artists' studios, juke joints, and casinos. From there you can cross into Arkansas at either Greenville or Helena, and take backroads through Arkansas (the interstates are horrible there). I recommend plotting a way to Hope or Hot Springs (east Arkansas doesn't offer much). The book Off The Beaten Path: Misssissippi can be really helpful. Some of these places can range from really nice (Oxford) to third world (many places in the Delta), but you can really make a cool trip out of it. It's a side of America most people don't ever get to see, especially in Dallas. The Delta is like a place trapped in time.

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10. Re: Thoughts on roadtrip - Memphis to Dallas

Assuming that you're not in a hurry here's an itinerary that I think you'll enjoy:

Memphis:

Go to Graceland, it's hokey but fun

Stroll down Beale Street, It's a tourist trap but again, Fun

Have a drink in the Peabody Hotel Bar and watch the ducks

Leave Memphis and head to Oxford, MS.

Visit the town square, it has some good restaurants and a great bookstore, Square Books.

Visit the campus of the Univ. of Mississippi, Ole Miss

Leave Oxford and travel to Helena, Arkansas. You can cross the Mississippi River here and then check out the old town's Main Street which is run-down but interesting. Visit the Delta Cultural Center. Consider spending the night in Helena. There is an outstanding B&B, the Edwardian Inn.

From Helena drive to Little Rock staying off the interstate and going through the small towns. Try to hit De Valls Bluff on Hwy. 70 about lunch time an eat at Craig's Cafe for some great BBQ. Leave De Valls Bluff on Highway 70 and go through Hazen, Carlisle and Lonoke. In Lonoke take a quick tour of the old part of town, Center Street, and view some beautiful old homes.

Travel on in to Little Rock on 70. Stay at a hotel on Markham /President Clinton, There are three goods hotels on this street, The Doubletree, the Peabody and the Courtyard. Visit the Clinton Presidential Library and consider the Historic Arkansas Museaum and the Old State House Museum. All these are in or close to the RiverMarket which is a restaurant and entertainment district.

From Little Rock drive to Hot Springs. Stay in the Arlington Hotel and visit Bath House Row and the National Park. Another fine attraction in HS is Garven Woodland Gardens on Lake Hamilton.

Leave HS and drive to the town of Washington and visit the Old Washington State Park.

After Old Washington drive to nearby Hope and visit Bill Clinton's boyhood home

Spend the night in Hope and then drive on to Dallas on I-30, it's about a four hour drive.

The things I've mentioned can be found on the internet so I've not tried to give detailed descriptions. I've also not given a lot of directions as I'm sure you can read a map.