Nashville knows how to pull the big crowds. For years it’s been one of the most popular destinations in the United States. But the fact is, Tennessee has so much more to offer beyond Nashville — specifically, the cultural landmark of Memphis.
Like Nashville, Memphis is one of the most important cities in American music history. It’s the place where Elvis Presley, B.B. King, and Johnny Cash cut records at the legendary Sun Studio. Not to mention being the home of Presley’s iconic Graceland mansion, which was made a national historic landmark after he passed away in 1977. Presley once famously said of the city, “I’ll stay in Memphis.” After visiting, we had the same thought.
If you find yourself getting a little tired of battling bachelorette parties for bar space on Nashville’s Main Street, then make a move for Memphis’ historic Beale Street. As Nashville and Memphis are a pretty easy drive away from each other, it can easily be a weekend or overnight adventure. To help you out, we’ve built the perfect road trip itinerary to use for your drive along Tennessee’s Music Highway.
The Ride: A Camper Van
This trip is all about having the right vibes, and a classic VW Westfalia Camper Van is stocked with good mojo. This vehicle was built back in the time when Elvis was still alive, and musicians, not computers, wrote music. The engine has been switched out, so you don’t have to worry about being stranded on the side of the road.
Even if you are, this is a sleeper van, so you can pull over to catch zzz’s whenever the need arises. Or you can’t find a hotel room.
The Playlist: Country, Blues & Rock N’ Roll
We realize that not everybody loves country, blues, and rock n’ roll, but also… those people are trash. And ask yourself, do really want to be riding around with that kind of person? Ditch them before driving another inch.
Cruise while playing some Memphis artists like Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Muddy Waters, Johnny Cash, B.B. King, Booker T. Jones, and Al Green. Should you get tired of the “oldies,” crank one of the more contemporary artists from the city like Justin Timberlake and Three 6 Mafia. And yeah, you’re probably getting some angry break-up texts right now, but just throw the phone on airplane mode and cruise on. A solo trip is just what you needed.