If you liked the country music scene in Nashville but you are more of a blues and rock n’ roll person, you would love Memphis because this is where these music genres originated. Some of the iconic places in the city that vouch for Memphis’s glorious musical past include Sun Studios, Beale Street, and of course, Elvis Presley’s famous Graceland estate. Food lovers will have a gastronomical feast relishing the famous Memphis barbecue. Also linked to important historical events such as the Civil Rights Movement and slavery, the city’s museums, namely National Civil Rights Museum and Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum, offer a lot of background to history buffs.
If you are in the city for a holiday and would like to explore the significant places around, here is the list of top 5 weekend getaways from Memphis:
Popularly known as the “Athens of the South”, Nashville is known majorly for its world-class universities and colleges as well as its music scene. Often named the ‘Capital of Country Music”, the city’s famous Music Row District set around Music Square is among the most visited places in Tennessee. Other places of interest here include the Nashville Parthenon (the most iconic landmark in the city), Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage, and of course, the Grand Ole Opry.
Best Time to Visit: The most recommended time to visit the city is between April and October when the warm weather brings this music city to life. If you would like to enjoy Christmas though, come here during the winters.
How to Reach: The fastest way to get to Nashville from Memphis is by a self-driven car which takes around three and a half hours and costs $21 to $30 in fuel. Alternatively, you could take a direct Greyhound bus to Nashville that takes under four hours and costs between $27 to $40 in bus fare.
Forever memorialized thanks to the recognition of the 1941 Glenn Miller super hit song, Chattanooga Choo-Choo, the city is one of the most popular places for visitors to explore in the southern US. You can still witness the original railway station from 1909, enjoy riding the largest steam railway in the south, the splendid Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum. The city houses numerous outstanding world-class museums, too, comprising the Houston Museum of Decorative Arts, Battles for Chattanooga Electric Map & Museum, and the Hunter Museum of Art.
Best Time to Visit: The most recommended time to visit Chattanooga is during the fall, between September and November because of the season’s colorful foliage.
How to Reach: There is a direct flight to Chattanooga that transports you to the city in over three hours and costs between $30 to $400. Otherwise, you can also drive down there in five and a half hours and costs $33 to $48 in fuel.
Birmingham, a former industrial center powered by the steel industry, is now a lively cultural center full of rich history. Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, an important attraction in the city, provides a deeper understanding of the several hurdles that African Americans have faced since time immemorial. The city is brimming with things to see and do. Starting from art museums to botanical gardens to amazing family attractions like the McWane Science Center and the Birmingham Zoo, Birmingham has it all. It is also home to numerous green spaces, including the Ruffner Mountain Nature Center and Red Mountain Park.
Best Time to Visit: The most preferred seasons to visit Birmingham are spring and fall, specifically the months of March till May or September till November. Not only are these off-seasons meaning everything is affordable, but the climate is also wonderful for outdoor activities such as hiking and golfing.
How to Reach: There is a direct bus from Memphis to Birmingham that takes around four and a half hours and costs between $18 to $40 in bus fare. If you are willing to splurge, you can also take a flight that will take an hour less but cost up to $400.
Little Rock, Arkansas
Little Rock, located in the heart of Arkansas, was founded in 1820 briefly after the Arkansas Territory was founded, and has been the capital since then. Offering plenty of cultural and natural sights, the city has been visited by hundreds of visitors for over a century. One of the most important attractions here includes the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum. Additionally, Pinnacle Mountain State Park provides all kinds of adventures all around the year. But, to make the most of Little Rock, you must take a stroll through downtown Quapaw Quarter District.
Best Time to Visit: March till May and September till October are the most recommended months to visit Little Rock.
How to Reach: Whether you take a direct Greyhound bus or drive down, the time taken to travel between the two cities under two and a half hours and costs between $14 to $32.
Hot Springs, Arkansas
A quaint town situated in the southeastern part of the state, Hot Springs has been drawing visitors to the area with its natural beauty for thousands of years. Hot Springs National Park, a national park like no other, is home to age-old thermal springs, mountain landscapes, and copious trails. From the impressive architecture of the legendary Bathhouse Row to the remarkable thermal springs and mountain views, Hot Springs is an exceptionally gorgeous destination with numerous things to do.
Best Time to Visit: The most popular months to visit here are between February to April and August to October. Many of the activities in Hot Springs are related to water, so it will be most ideal to visit during these warmer months.
How to Reach: There are direct flights between Memphis to Hot Springs that take slightly over an hour and costs between $80 to $220. On the other hand, you can take a bus to Malvern and drive down to Hot Springs. The entire journey takes around four hours and costs between $25 to $60.
The melting pot of Blues and Rock n’ Roll, Memphis is a brilliant place for a vacation. However, there is so much more to the city than what is inside its borders. The surrounding areas are all known for offering spectacular attractions to enjoy and activities to explore. This list of the greatest weekend getaways from Memphis brings you face to face with a plethora of cultural, natural, and historic sights. So, pack your bags today and plan your big holiday right away.