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Westin or not? Mud Island or Civil Rights Museum?

Ohio
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Westin or not? Mud Island or Civil Rights Museum?

Memphis is the first stop on our Music Triangle Road trip in June and I would greatly appreciate some input. TA contributors have never let me down :).

Hotel:

The Westin has the best rate and is super close to the action but it has received some negative reviews lately (I realize all hotels do), many of which keep mentioning the same issues and it is giving me pause. The cost of parking and the fee for internet aren't awesome either. Should we consider paying more for Hampton or Holiday?

Attractions:

Our 1 whole, free day will be all about Elvis. Everything else has to fit into a 2 hour window before we head out to Lafayette, LA.

Mud Island: Is it worth a visit? How much time is required to experience it?

or

Civil Rights Museum: I don't know that we are going to have time to tour the museum. Is it possible to stop and just see the exterior of The Lorraine Motel?

Thanks so much for any info, comments or suggestions relating to my questions or otherwise :).

Memphis, Tennessee
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1. Re: Westin or not? Mud Island or Civil Rights Museum?

As for your hotel choices, I'd say the all have faults. Hampton is known to be loud and Holiday Inn is more dated. So, go with what suits you. All downtown hotels charge for parking except Vista Inn.

Yes, you can just view the balcony of the Lorraine Motel without taking the whole tour. If you decide to tour it, allow at least two hours.

Mud Island takes about 90 minutes to 2 hours. Its a wonderful way to learn some river history and you can stroll along the wonderful replica of the river as well.

Ohio
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2. Re: Westin or not? Mud Island or Civil Rights Museum?

Thanks so much, Deb! :)

Memphis, Tennessee
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3. Re: Westin or not? Mud Island or Civil Rights Museum?

You're so welcome. Have a wonderful trip.

Lakeland, TN
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for Tennessee, Memphis
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4. Re: Westin or not? Mud Island or Civil Rights Museum?

Mud Island is good, but I would spend that tiny two hour window on the Memphis Mojo Tour letting the driver be responsible for the schedule instead of checking your watch every five minutes and rushing for the exit. You'd have good onboard entertainment by a rocknroll singer/guide and visits to Elvis's first home in the projects, Johnny Cash's first Memphis Home, Sun Studio's Soda Fountain & souveniers, Stax Studio's street front with some history, E.P's first concert venue: Overton Park Shell, etc. You can't get through The Civil Rights Museum & take much away within two hours, but the Mojo Tour will stop there briefly for a few comments. Hopefully you will return to the"Home of The Blues and the Birthplace of Rock n Roll when you have a little more time.

www.backbeattours.com

Barnhart
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5. Re: Westin or not? Mud Island or Civil Rights Museum?

Westin is very nice. Just ask for a room on the south side of it and you won't be bothered by noise.

Nashville, Tennessee
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6. Re: Westin or not? Mud Island or Civil Rights Museum?

Mud Island is one of those iffy attractions, people usually love it or hate it. For a cheap way to entertain kids, I love it, but it wouldn't be somewhere I'd go out of my way just to visit. It's really just a large concrete area with this man-made river going through it and a very small museum. Kids love to splash and get wet, but there's really not much to see or do. The up-side is it could be done in your time frame easily, and it offers a good place for some photo opps. Also, the museum is interesting and nice, and Mud island does offer some good views of the river and passing barges.

I really enjoyed the Memphis Civil Rights Museum when I went. I'm not sure what type of museum goer you are. If you are one of those that reads every little sign, you need 3 to 4 hours. But I think last time I went, they told us average time to go through was 2 to 2 1/2 hrs. In 2 hrs you could probably see at least 75%, but if your 2 hrs includes travel time to and from, you really dont have enough time.

I'd go with either Mud Island or tnhighroad's idea of looking into a tour as that would probably maximize your time.

Ohio
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7. Re: Westin or not? Mud Island or Civil Rights Museum?

Thanks so much for the great info about Mud Island, night_owl. My husband love rivers, he grew up on The Ohio and we now live within sight of it. Since the Mississippi is like The Ohio's bigger, older brother, I thought he'd enjoy it. Plus, we are big kids who would like to splash around in water, so maybe it is for us! Thanks again!

Edited: 15 May 2012, 15:55
Nashville, Tennessee
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8. Re: Westin or not? Mud Island or Civil Rights Museum?

If you are really into rivers, then you will probably enjoy Mud Island a lot. There is a to scale replica of a boat complete with real water inside the museum. If you get a chance, go across to the residential part of the island. There is a park that runs along the edge of the river and parking is free. It's a nice spot to watch the barges float by or to take a blanket and have a picnic lunch. More importantly, there is boat ramp. You can walk down the boat ramp, step into the water, and go home with the knowledge that you have actually been in the Mississippi River. I let all the kids walk in the water along the ramp one trip, they got the biggest kick out it. They'd seen the river many times, but never actually been in it.

K T
Libertyville...
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9. Re: Westin or not? Mud Island or Civil Rights Museum?

Can you visit Mud Island in March before the official season opening or is it locked?

Memphis, Tennessee
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10. Re: Westin or not? Mud Island or Civil Rights Museum?

You can't visit the Mud Island attraction area until it opens in April. Note that Mud Island also has a residential area that is accessible all year. The River Inn Hotel is in that area.