The world of travel blogging seems to live in the opposite world of print newspapers. But in today’s journalism, there really aren’t any rules. It only makes sense that as a veteran newspaper reporter and editor, I’d finally combine what I do here at Trips By Lance and the other online publications I write for with my newspaper life. So I’ve recently launched a bimonthly travel column, The Daily Traveler, in The Daily News.
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.
I know readers don’t visit this site to learn about trends in travel blogging or “inside baseball” information about my career as a journalist and travel writer. And I won’t start today. But as I stand here in a beer garden in the awesome Tennessee Brewery property in Downtown Memphis, I can’t help but reflect on what I see a lot on other travel blogs: the desire to escape something. If you’re like me, you have roots in a particular place, probably with family obligations and, while you enjoy traveling, you also enjoy where you live. Sometimes, travel at home can be enough. Why do we have to escape something?
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.