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On the way from New Orleans to Memphis!

Updated: Sep 18, 2022

If you follow my route, you will move between several states, namely Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Tennessee. The most important divide is the Mississippi River, but you have to keep your tongue in your mouth to remember where you are.


Here you can experience the authentic USA when you move to this area. For me, the southern states are mostly music and food, but we must not forget the hospitality and all the exciting nature where Mississippi is the very life force. So if you're like me and follow music legends from New Orleans to Memphis and not least to Nashville, you're guaranteed a great trip. For example, you can enjoy nature and good food on one of the paddle steamers up and or down the Mississippi.

When the boat stops at Houmas House and Gardens, stop by the beautiful museum and see a historical presentation of the life of the student and all the battles they have fought through the ages to get where they are today. I have written one of my own articles about this great place.


Here you see the itinerary from New Orleans to Memphis, but I stayed at Houmas House and Gardens, Jackson, and Little Rock, before arriving in Memphis. If you choose to follow this itinerary, I recommend that you include at least one overnight stay in Hot Springs as well. If you are particularly interested in the Civil War and other wars, Vicksburg is also a place where you might want to spend an extra night. A little rental car tip. When you are going to use a car on a trip like this, my recommendation is to choose a company you are sure has good service, especially if something should go wrong on the way to the destination. It is rare that I have experienced better service, right from when I picked up my rental car, changed car due to a small accident, and not least the return delivery. Everything was quick and efficient, yes a big thank you to Hertz. NB! Always remember to fully insure, no matter what.


New Orleans, yes this city is worth experiencing with everything that happens e.g. in the "French Quarter", which is still the heart of the city. Here you can take a horse and cart ride through the streets and enjoy the old architecture and balconies adorning the houses while listening to good New Orleans jazz and other varieties of music.

I also recommend a trip with the tram through the city, and a trip through some of the parks, for example, Louis Armstrong park. New Orleans has a number of museums and galleries, perhaps, you also meet one of the many cemeteries, so you end at Café Du Monde, for example, for a coffee and or a snack.


Don't forget the newer area of ​​the Warehouse District. Here you can experience great modern restaurants such as Herbsaint bar and restaurant and maybe also Gianna. These are two wonderful restaurants, which I can personally recommend. Maybe you're thinking of booking an evening trip on one of the paddle steamers and or a day trip to Natchez, you can probably stop by Preservation Hall for swinging jazz music as dessert. You'll find Preservation Hall, with its intimate venue, in the French Quarter. Here, acoustic New Orleans Jazz concerts are served over 350 nights a year, with different bands and musicians, from a collective of more than fifty local musicians.

Brief history of Preservation Hall The history of Preservation Hall dates back to the 1950s at Associated Artists, a small art gallery at 726 St. Peter Street in New Orleans' French Quarter. Upon opening the gallery, owner Larry Borenstein found that it limited his ability to attend the few remaining local jazz concerts, and began inviting these musicians to join "rehearsal sessions" at the gallery itself. Participants were living legends of New Orleans Jazz - George Lewis, Punch Miller, Sweet Emma Barrett, Billie, and De De Pierce, The Humphrey Brothers, and dozens more. During this period, traditional jazz had lost popularity to rock n' roll. But in the wake of Borenstein's initiative, a life of its own with music enthusiasts sprung up and took over the gallery. Today, this is a must if you are going to say that you have heard New Orleans jazz in New Orleans! Remember you must book tickets. Feel free to read my meeting with one of the guys in the band, who was a real one


Leaving New Orleans, I first stopped by Houmas House and Gardens, but you can also go straight to Baton Rouge, but I skipped this town, so my first stop after Houmas is Natchez.



Natchez is one of the most beautiful towns on this tour, with a downtown that has eight by eight streets lined with oak trees, historic homes,, and beautiful gardens. The town was founded in 1716 and visitors from all over the world make the pilgrimage to explore the beautiful houses. A total of 14 houses are open to the public, including the magnificent Stanton Hall, which was built in 1857. I also visited a great photo exhibition located in the city's central church, as I drove over the bridge on my way to Vicksburg.



As I said, Vicksburg was the next destination and another small town, beautifully situated on a tributary of the Mississippi. My most important tip is to drive your own car through Vicksburg National Military Park. This military park is the actual battlefield from the Civil War, with cannons, monuments and a series of signs pointing out the place, time,Arkansas and battalion of the clashes between the North and the South.


But first I had to go through Arkenas, a slight bend, before I could again pass a new bridge and enter Jackson, Mississippi!


A trip to Jackson might also be in order. If you want to take in a lot of music, the weekends offer the best deals, but there are some bars and restaurants that offer pleasant jazz tunes and good food. I visited Hal & Mal's, which was a pleasant experience on a Tuesday.


I got to see one of the museums, the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. At the same time, on the 2nd floor, I got a pleasant surprise, because when I was in Orlando one of the most popular Country singers performed there. I didn't realize that The World of Marty Stuart exhibit was in Jackson. This exhibit explores Stuart's life and his legacy of collecting country music stories.

The exhibit includes hundreds of items never before seen in Mississippi, including Marty's first guitar, original handwritten Hank Williams manuscripts, guitars from Merle Haggard and Pops Staples, costumes from Porter Wagoner and Dolly Parton, personal items from Johnny Cash, including his first black performance suit, and much more. Here are some tips on what you should visit if you have a day or two: - Jackson Zoological Park, - Mississippi Children's Museum, - Mississippi Museum of Art, - Eudora Welty House and Garden, - LeFleur's Bluff State Park, and lots more. My next stop was Hot Springs and then Little Rock, before Memphis. During this trip, I also pass a number of places that are falling into disrepair, but every now and then there are brave souls who take advantage of the opportunities and create a little historical retrospective. It's always nice to stop and have a quick chat. They appreciate that.



Hot Springs in Arkansas

Hot Springs is the bathhouse capital, here they are lined up. I recommend an overnight stay so that you both reach a bathhouse, otherwise, at 4 pm you have to be out early because they rise at 4pm.

Then I recommend a water boat out into nature and then you finish with a trip to the city's Casino. Unfortunately I didn't get to play because there must have been something wrong with my card, but I went and looked at the other guests and it was easy to see who won and who lost. I tried to have a chat with some of the players, but it wasn't easy. But the one who doesn't give up...

When I went I met Michael and Anna who had been inside playing. They said that once a week they took 30 dollars with them and today it was as usual, - they lost. So then it was a hamburger and not a celebration with champagne, as usual,, they said and smiled, but one day! Little Rock, Arkansas I spent the night in Little Rock because there was a lot to see here. First on the program was The Clinton library. Here you can experience, next, the whole story both before and when he was president. It is quite clear that this is exciting for school class after school class arrived at the museum.

It strikes me when I arrive in even the smallest places that there is always one or more museums that present local history in a great way, even though the United States is only a little over 200 years old. Norway has something to learn here.


Then there was the new war museum. The Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum is located in the North Shore Riverwalk Park along the banks of the Arkansas River in North Little Rock, Arkansas. The museum opened on May 31, 2005. Since then, nearly 300,000 families from all 50 states and 81 countries have visited the museum. They have the only place in the world where you can see two floating naval vessels that served in World War II: the tug Hoga designated a National Historic Landmark and recognized for its efforts during the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack; and the submarine USS Razorback, which was in Tokyo Bay during the formal surrender of Japan, ending World War II.

The USS Razorback submarine is 90 percent operational and kept as authentic as possible, which means a 14-foot ladder climb into space. Visitors experience the sights, sounds, and smells of submarine service when they board the historic submarine USS Razorback. For those who cannot or do not want to climb, the upper side of the museum offers a lot to look at. The museum has exhibits on the following naval vessels: the submarine USS Razorback the tugboat USS Hoga the battleship USS Arkansas and the missile cruiser USS Arkansas The museum also has a collection from the Arkansas River Historical Society with the history of the Arkansas River.



ESSE Purse Museum & Store, is Anita Davis, daughter of Betty Davis, whose dream is to explore concepts of art, history, and the feminine. She has managed that.



Definition; The name ESSE comes from the Latin infinitive for "to be", meaning that a bag is not just a bag in which a woman carries her necessities, but an extension of her personal space, i.e. the essence of the things that make her "her".


If or when you visit this museum, you will discover that the choice of a "bag" tells a lot about the woman and her evolving position in the public sphere. ESSE's permanent exhibition honors and celebrates the progress of the 20th-century American woman – decade by decade – through the "lens" of her purse and especially its contents.

The museum is becoming a cultural hub for women's heritage and storytelling in Central Arkansas. ESSE's delightful museum shop offers high-quality and highly unusual handbags, as well as quirky, eclectic jewelry; scarfs; books; and other items - many handmade by local, national, and international artisans. The purses range from leather, wood, felt, and other materials to rubber and recycled materials. With price points across the spectrum, the store offers something for everyone – including signature ESSE logo T-shirts, mugs, and postcards.


On my tour of this unique museum, I met a grandmother, Linda, and her grandchild, in an intense study of the different decades.

Linda says that her granddaughter Emma is a little "over the edge" interested in everything that touches feminine things and the stories behind them. She loves this technology and especially this museum. It was easy to understand when I observed them. Here, the details were very important. Carly, who told me about the story behind it, says that something that is special and interesting is precisely all the young people who find this most exciting. I enjoy myself every day I come to work, she says with a big smile.

So for me, it's just a welcome, next time you're in Little Rock.




Dyess Colony, Johnny Cash

Then the road went on to Dyess Colony, Johnny Cash's home where he grew up, but as info he was born in Hot Springs. Dyess Colony lies below. an hour from Memphis, far out in the countryside. If you choose to drive from Little Rock, it is a trip of 2h 30min. (see route click on the map)

I had a bit too high expectations about this place because when I arrive there is little that tells you that this is actually the home of one of the USA's biggest country artists youth. But inside one of the main houses there is a picture presentation of the story. Regardless, the most important thing was of course the house where he lived with his family. To get there you have to drive around 10 minutes on a very dusty country road, drive carefully and stop if you meet cars. See the video from the house below here: (sorry but there was a mistake on the film so I have replaced it with pictures, but the speech is original),

Once there is the well-fenced and nicely renovated small house, which is also completely identical inside with furniture and equipment from that time. Even Johnny Cash's bed is made. It's fun to have been here, but when I ask why they haven't made more of this opportunity, they say there's a great museum in Nashville and I'm going there in a few days!


See a separate article about Johnny Cash Memphis in Tennessee. ( see article on Mephis and Greaseland only) When I got into Memphis this giant center appeared. The world's largest outdoor equipment store. Absolutely incredible both outside and inside.


But it was this street that was my first goal and there was an atmosphere here.

This afternoon the tour goes to Beale Street, where the sound of old blues legends hangs in the walls. Today, the street is known for its restaurants and music venues, where the music lasts well into the late hours of the night. I had a few pleasant hours here and met both English and Americans. One of these guys was a Manchester United fan, but when he heard that I was from Norway he said: I really hope that Braut Haaland succeeds, at City, he is a really good young player. It will be fun to follow him, he says, and then we toast to it!


I popped into most of the bars and listened to the different bands and picked out a couple to listen to more tomorrow! Now it was early to bed because I had a busy schedule the next day!

Yes, the day started with a trip to Graceland, the home of Elvis. I bought a VIP ticket, but it's a waste because you end up queuing with everyone else anyway, I might have saved a few minutes, but not recommended. Here you get a small impression of the house and interior and the back, which appeared somewhat neutral.



You get a guided audio file that you hang around your neck and which follows you on your rounds around the house. It means that you get to know Elvis the person and the artist a little more. The visit ends at the grave. I tried to drive up to take a photo, but it took five seconds before the first guard stopped me, so it was just a bad photo outside the gate!



On the opposite side of Graceland, there are a number of exhibitions dealing with the myth and the man Elvis. It's a bit of fun to have been here and seen how he lived and all the costumes, cars, etc. he had.



Sun Studio

Then the trip goes to Sun Studio, where the air vibrates with music history. Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Ike Turner have all recorded mega hits in the tiny studio. Exciting, so you have to make the trip here for it to be complete. Goes well with some black and white photos. Also worth seeing is the National Civil Rights Museum/Lorraine Motel. It was here that Martin Luther King Jr. was shot on that fateful day in 1968 – and in room 306 everything is as it was that day. The rest of the museum deals with the history of the civil rights movement.


As I said, the evening was used to listening to several good bands that filled the streets with a good atmosphere. When you have to plan because you may have to choose either Memphis or Nashville, it will be the last, but I recommend that you bring both, then you have filled up your "memory book"!



Anyway, my trip goes to Nashville the next day.



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