Northeast Region- Blues & BBQ (Memphis-AR-MS)
This tour starts at the home of the blues, Memphis, Tennessee. Begin your day at Graceland, home of Elvis Presley. See the sights and sounds Elvis' time spent while in Memphis. Enjoy lunch at The Chrome Grill that offers American classics and favorites. After lunch stop at the Memphis Rock'n'Soul Museum. Seven galleries examine the history of Memphis music and it's impact on the culture. Retire to your room to freshen up before heading out to the Historic Beale Street, where the blues were born. Dine on world-famous BBQ and dance the night away to the sounds of the delta. Retire to your hotel for the night.
This morning enjoy a filling southern-style breakfast. Next, we're traveling to Mud Island River Park. A trip to the delta is not complete until you visit and see the Old Man River. The Mississippi River Museum preserves the natural and cultural history of the Lower Mississippi River Valley. Also, take a ride on the Swiss-made monorail. Take the 1/3 mile trip and experience great views of downtown Memphis. Enjoy a leisurely lunch at one of the world-famous BBQ restaurants. Shake, rattle and roll to the Backbeat Tour of Memphis Music. Ride the vintage '50s bus and experience Memphis' rich musical heritage. Travel to West Memphis for an overnight stay.
Your Arkansas portion of this tour begins at West Memphis. Stop at Southland Park Gaming and Racing for pulse-pounding excitement of live greyhound racing, and great food. This park also has instant racing machines and simulcast thoroughbred racing. Admission and parking are free! For a late lunch dine at Ray's World Famous Bar-B-Que on Missouri Street. This restaurant features world famous bbq and home-style cooking. It's time to travel down Interstate 40 to Forrest City. Take a brief stop at the St. Francis County Museum. This museum is located in a renovated home and exhibits local history. After your museum visit get back on I-40 and drive to Brinkley. Check out the Central Delta Depot and Museum. The restored depot is a museum that contains exhibits on the Louisiana Purchase survey and other local history. For dinner enjoy an "Ivory-billed cheeseburger" or one of several other southern dishes at Gene's Bar-B-Que on Arkansas 49S. Overnight in Brinkley.
This beautiful morning drive south on Arkansas 49 and enjoy the scenic Arkansas Delta where wheat, rice, soybeans and cotton flourish. Take a short detour to visit the Louisiana Purchase State Park. This monument marks the starting point of the 1815 survey of the Louisiana Purchase. Take your binoculars because you'll see various species of birds and wildlife. After your sight-seeing tour of Louisiana Purchase State Park travel on to Helena-West Helena. Stop in at the Arkansas Welcome Center for brochures, maps and coffee. Follow the signs to downtown Helena-West Helena to the Delta Cultural Center. The museum tells the Delta's story. Interactive exhibits show the heritage of blues and gospel music. Enjoy the live broadcast of the longest running daily blues radio show in the United States-King Biscuit Time. Sunshine Sonny Payne has been hosting this show since 1951. Have a late lunch in historic Helena-West Helena. After lunch visit Blues Corner, a blues history buff's haven and music store. Next, drive to River Reach Park for a brief photo-op of the Mississippi River and Helena-West Helena Bridge. Watch the barges pass by or sit and listen to the passing water. Now we're off to the classic Victorian tour home the Pillow-Thompson house. This tour home is authentically furnished and has free admission! Located in the downtown historic district is the Phillips County Museum, which has Native American artifacts, paintings and civil war exhibits. Overnight in Lula, Mississippi and casino fun!
*If you're in town during the Arkansas King Biscuit Blues Festival, stop by for a weekend of free blues music. The festival is held each October and is free to the public.
Start this morning with a short drive to Clarksdale, Mississippi and the Delta Blues Museum. Learn about the culture and people of the blues. For lunch stop at Ground Zero Blues Club which is located next door to the museum. The menu is good ole southern cookin'.
1 Capitol Mall, 4A-900 - Little Rock, Arkansas 72201 | 1-800-872-1259 or (501) 682-7777 (V/TT)