Unfortunately familycruisin, you can fly (rather expensively) from Nashville to Memphis and back, but there's really not a scheduled tour bus service between the two. There is a passenger bus connection, but it would be difficult within one day to ride the 4 to 5 hours each way, taking a cab from the bus station to Graceland and back and have any time to tour. Additionally, the bus is not the most plesant way to travel for a family in this region of the country. Your better course would be to rent a car (driving is easy and sort of uneventful down Interstate 40.) and spent the night in Memphis if possible.Edited: 01 March 2011, 17:49
We're not experts but have done months of research on our upcoming trip to Tennessee (AAA maps and this forum and what seems like everywhere on the Internet) and it doesn't seem practical to do it any other way than to rent a car.
Also, in addition to Elvis, there is so much to do in Memphis (an amazing American city with other things besides Elvis) that we're staying three nights (with 8 nights in Nashville on either side of those 3).
Good luck on your trip. Also, I rented a car in Nashville 5 years ago and it was cheaper there than any place I've ever rented a car, not to mention much easier driving that most places I drive on the West and East Coasts.
In both Nashville and Memphis 3 weeks from today. Can't wait!!!, after 8 months of planning! I love your city.
Welcome to Tennessee, MarlySF!
Thanks. Can't wait to show my boyfriend a beautiful area of the US. Be prepared for more questions.
I'm still waiting for info (that I posted on another thread) about how long to devote to the Shiloh Battlefield -- but this might not be the place.
We plan to make BEST use of our 11 days in your beautiful state!
We visited Memphis a couple of years ago and loved it! We went to Tupelo first to see Elvis' birthplace, then on to Memphis. Don't miss Beale St. If you like the blues, Barbara Blue performs at Silky O'Sullivans on Beale, and we loved her! We had BBQ at Blues City Cafe on Beale, and they were the best ribs we'd ever had! We also loved Sun Studio. Not a huge or fancy place by any means, but we loved seeing the studio and the actual microphone that Elvis recorded in and with. I was expecting a lot more from Graceland and was somewhat disappointed. They do have a cafe there that serves fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches--we enjoyed trying those. Have fun and be safe!!
Marly, I know that you probably have your Memphis trip planned out by the sound of it, but hearing those good words from KarenG reminds me that for a trip of three days or so, I always strongly recommend visitors stay Downtown so they can enjoy Beale St. and other area venues at night and walk or grab a trolley back to the hotel without the worry of driving. Transportation to Sun Studio and Graceland is free and easy also since you can catch the Sun Studio Shuttle to S.S., take the tour and be transported free of charge on to Graceland, then back Downtown whenever you want.
KarenG, come back! Thankya, thankya verymuch!
We arrive in Nashville on 3/21 --- staying near the airport for the first night. On 3/22, we take off in the car and travel to Memphis. Whether we stray off Highway 40 to sightsee will depend on the weather.
We stay in downtown Memphis for 3 nights (Beale St., BBQ, Elvis, National Civil Rights Museum, etc.). We're not "bucket list" type of people. We tend to go slow and savor. We do need to go to the Mississippi River though --- crossed it many years ago as a youth.
Then on 3/25, we take our time getting back up to Nashville, romping through the countryside (not Hwy-40) via the Nachez Trace and stopping at the Loveless Cafe on the way into town. Is it open until 6pm or so?
We want to go to Shiloh though --- how long for that?
Can't wait to hit Tennessee and Nashville ---- I toured it for a week all by myself in 2005. Six years later, showing boyfriend the backroads of a place he's never been makes me feel like a travel agent. Fun.
PS: One of the things about Tennessee that cracks me up (as a Californian) is that you all talk about West-Mid-East where we talk about North-Central-South. It's geography, but more than that. I can't wait to get back to the Cracker Barrel --- we don't have those here! ;=))
Thanks for all the tips and advice. I'm getting so excited about our trip.Edited: 02 March 2011, 06:08
We're glad you're coming as well. Glad you're going back to Loveless. You know Franklin is just down hwy. 96 from Loveless and the Natches Trace. The downtown is cool and there are a couple of historic Civil War era houses with unique stories behind them. I'm probably telling you something you already know, but if you haven't done so read "The Widow Of The South" by Robert Hicks before going or going back to "Carnton", a house just outside of Franklin. It will add something to your experience.
I'm ashamed to admit that I haven't toured Shiloh, although I've read a lot about it. Three hours ought to give you enough time to cover the basics, though.
Two things which will give you a real tour guide's knowledge as you travel:
The observation you made about the three regions of TN were reality on the welcome signs when I was growing up. The wide body of the state was spread across the sign with the words: WELCOME TO THREE STATES OF TENNESSEE, and the regions were shown along river and county boundaries. The people of these areas do seem to vary in their interests and concerns, as does the topography.
The other point of interest, which doesn't require you leaving the interstate and visiting is a small spot on I-40 about 35 miles S.W. of Nashville with a sign or two heralding BUCKSNORT! This was a town which grew up around a ferry on a small river and was known to manufacture fine White Lightnin' from a still operated by the Ferryman during Prohibition. It was assumed that if you came to that ferry you were interested in an onboard libation for the very short ride across the river, and the operator would provide it for a Buck a Snort! You had to down it quickly, thus the snort.
Now you can take the TN Tour Guide's exam for certification!
Thanks for all this great information. As mentioned, we will be in Nashville (this is the Nashville forum) for 8 days and Memphis for 3. We are romping around (between the two of those awesome American cities) on all the various *trails* that are in the Tennessee Visitors Guide. We've been studying it for months.
I'll take my our Tennessee road trip (down all the trails in West and Middle Tennessee) to the Tennessee forum. Thanks!