The Elvis Presley Birthplace in Tupelo, Miss., has a pretty good slogan on its website that reads, in part, “We all know about the mansion called Graceland. We all know how it ended. This is how it began.” As an Elvis fan, long-ago part-time employee at Graceland and full-time Memphis resident, I know about the story of the king of rock ‘n’ roll. I traveled an hour and a half south of Memphis to Tupelo to learn more about how the story began.
Writing the above headline makes me think of the line from “Sweet Home Alabama” when Reese Witherspoon’s character says to an old high school friend, “You have a baby … in a bar!” Yes, we visited a casino with our 7-year-old son. We decided to drive south of Memphis to the Mississippi gaming community to discover if kid-friendly Tunica really does exist. We were only in Tunica County for a night, but it was long enough to have a little family fun at Gold Strike at MGM Resort.
New Orleans is known for its outstanding food, authentic culture, beautiful architecture and amazing music. I’ve visited New Orleans many times through the years, and have enjoyed all those things. But one of the standouts to me has nothing to do with the city’s unique culture. The National WWII Museum provides a look at one of the most important periods in modern world history, and it’s located in the heart of the New Orleans Central Business District.
When we choose a hotel for a trip, a number of criteria go into the selection. It really depends on what we’re wanting to get out of the stay, but location is consistently near the top. I want to be able to either walk or have a short drive to most of what we’re in town to experience. So when we found ourselves staying the weekend in Memphis for our NBA Road Trip series, having a hotel near the action at FedExForum was a plus. The fact museums, restaurants, shopping and nightlife also were all within walking distance made the Westin Memphis Beale Street hotel a good choice for this trip. But could it be a winner for us?
What once was a small festival set up on a corner of Beale Street, today the Memphis in May Beale Street Music Festival has grown into a three-day celebration of music that draws more than 150,000 attendees each year. Beale Street Music Festival is the kickoff to Memphis in May International Festival, a month-long party that is possibly the best time to be in the city. But before you head to Downtown Memphis and Tom Lee Park, check out this guide to Beale Street Music Festival.