Travel TVL: Walkin’ in Memphis, Tennessee
What to do in Memphis
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (TENNESSEE VALLEY LIVING) - As the holiday reason is in full swing, Tennessee Valley Living visited Memphis, Tennessee, to see Graceland, the National Civil Rights Museum and much more!
- Uncle Lou’s Fried Chicken
- If you are looking for some of the best fried chicken in Memphis, Uncle Lou’s is the place to go! Uncle Lou has his own sauce he’s known for called “Sweet Spicy Love.” That and his “Corruption Seasoning” helped put this restaurant on the map!
- Beale Street
- Beale Street is in the heart of Downtown Memphis with tons of restaurants and bars to visit! Since Memphis has played a major role in music, you’ll never miss a beat on Beale Street!
- WISEACRE Brewing Company HQ
- WISEACRE Brewing Company is one of the premiere breweries in the state of Tennessee. WISEACRE touts some staples such as “Tiny Bomb” and the “Memphis Sands”. WISACRE Brewing Company HQ is definitely the place to be if you are looking for a place to hangout with friends and family while enjoying some local brews.
- You’ve probably heard of Elvis Presley, right? Well Graceland is the home of the King of Rock and Roll! When you visit Graceland, not only do you get to see Presley’s home, but you can also see the largest collection of Elvis memorabilia in the world. From his jumpsuits to his cars, Graceland has everything and more when it comes to the King.
- Hernando’s Hideaway
- Not far from Graceland is Hernando’s Hideaway! This historic Honky Tonk has seen some legennds, from Johnny Cash to Jerry Lee Lewis and even Elvis himself! Every week there is live music! So once you take a trip to Graceland, head down the street to Hernando’s Hideaway to check out a major piece of Memphis music history.
- Eat at Central BBQ
- Central BBQ is home to some of the best Memphis-style barbeque in the city! There are multiple Central BBQ restaurants in Memphis so it’s hard to miss when you get a craving for some brisket or BBQ chicken.
- The Arcade Restaurant
- Memphis’ oldest café was a favorite of Elvis Presley’s! If you want to eat like Elvis then you must get the “Fried Peanut Butter n’Banana” sandwich! If you’re lucky, you may even get to sit in the booth that Elvis liked.
- National Civil Rights Museum
- The National Civil Rights Museum takes you through the historic Lorraine Motel in downtown Memphis where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968. The museum has many permanent exhibits that show the history of the Civil Rights Movement and much more over the years.
- Sun Studio
- Take the opportunity to step into history where music producer Sam Phillips, an Alabama native, discovered young talents such as Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, B.B. King and Johnny Cash!
What to do in Oxford
OXFORD, Miss. (TENNESSEE VALLEY LIVING) - Keeping with the theme of college towns, Tennessee Valley Living took a trip to Oxford, Mississippi, and the University of Mississippi. Even if you are not visiting for an Ole Miss gameday, the charming little town has plenty to offer!
- Rowan Oak
- The Antebellum home known as Rowan Oak was purchased by well-known writer, William Faulkner, in 1930. He named it “Rowan Oak” after the rowan tree which symbolizes courage, wisdom and protection. Many famous authors have spent time in Oxford, so look behind the scenes of a Pulitzer Prize winner like Faulkner.
- Square Books
- Square Books is located in the heart of downtown Oxford at “The Square”. The store opened in 1979 and in 2019, it became four stores on five floors in three buildings just 100 feet apart.
- City Grocery
- If you’re looking for some good food, City Grocery is a must in the Oxford dining scene. The brick walls are lined with vintage photos and its several James Beard Awards. A few of the popular items on the menu include Rueben Hand Pies, Strozzapreti Bolognese, Pork Cheek Ranchero and Shrimp and Grits.
- The Oxford Creamery
- If you’re looking for some of the best ice cream in the south, you have to stop by The Oxford Creamery. Their ice cream is made in-house with some of the craziest flavors you can imagine.
- Vaught-Hemingway Stadium
- Vaught-Hemingway Stadium has been the home of Ole Miss football since 1915. Since then, it has seen large crowds and even larger college football games. The stadium was named after the late Judge William Hemingway who was a professor of law and a longtime chairman of the university’s Committee on Athletics. As of 2022, the stadium has a capacity of 64,038.
What to do in Auburn
AUBURN, AL. (TENNESSEE VALLEY LIVING) - There is a lot to do down on the plains, sometimes it’s hard to choose! That’s why TVL headed to the football town to find some of the best places to check out when you’re visiting for a game or just want a day to explore.
- Behind the Glass
- Behind the Glass is a women’s fashion and lifestyle brand located in the heart of downtown Auburn. From game day fits, to home decor or the perfect gift for your bestie, they have it all!
- Well Red Bookstore
- Everyone loves to curl up with a good book and a cup of coffee, or maybe a glass of wine. So, why not both? Well Red is the cutest little bookshop that features local authors as well as popular modern reads and cult classics. They have amazing baked goods that pair perfectly with their delicious coffee drinks. Heading to the shop a little later in the evening? Be sure to check out a wine tasting!
- The Hound
- If you’re looking for a place to sit down and enjoy a meal with some friends or a fun night, we can’t reccommend The Hound enough. The family-owned bar and restaurant loved tow things: bacon and bourbon. The flavors are infused in many dishes that will bring your taste buds to life. Our favorites? The Shrimp and Grits, Meatloaf and the Bread Pudding.
- Toomer’s Corner and Toomer’s Drugs
- What’s a trip to Auburn wihtout visiting the famous Toomer’s Corner? The popular spot is right next to campus with tons of shopping and sights to see. After an Auburn win, this is where the community comes to roll Toomer’s Oaks. And on a nice day, pop inside Toomer’s Drugs for some of the best lemonade you’ll ever have.
- Jordan-Hare Stadium/Auburn Home Game
- There’s nothing like seeing the Auburn Marching Band and the eagle soar across Jordan-Hare Stadium before a home game!
- Southeastern Raptor Center
- The raptor center works along side the College of Veterinary Medicine in Auburn and provides educational and entertaining shows for the public at different events thorughout the year. The eagles you see soar at Jordan-Hare come from here! It’s also home to the a is a non-profit rehabilitation center where many beautiful birds go when they’re injured, orphaned, or ill wild raptors.
What to do in Tuscaloosa
TUSCALOOSA, AL. (TENNESSEE VALLEY LIVING) - College football is in full swing and if you are planning a trip to see an Alabama football game, we have got you covered! Check out some of our favorite places to visit.
- Capitol Park
- Did you know the state of Alabama has had five different places serve as the state capital? Tuscaloosa was the seat of government from 1826 until 1846. In Tuscaloosa, you can visit where the state capitol building once stood.
- Bama Theatre
- Bama Theatre was established in 1938 through funds from the Public Works Administration. There are performances year round and the theatre is currently undergoing a significant renovation.
- River District Park
- This new park opened along the banks of the Black Warrior River and right next to the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater.
- Rama Jama’s
- Rama Jama’s sits conveniently right next to Bryant-Denny Stadium. If you are looking to take in some Alabama football history or to try the “National Champ Burger” you must stop by this gameday tradition!
- Paul W. Bryant Museum
- If you are taking a trip to Tuscaloosa, then you need to make a stop at Paul W. Bryant Museum. This museum gives an in-depth look at one of the most decorated college football programs in the country. It also shines a light on the head coach that played a large part in all that success, Paul Bryant.
- Druid City Brewing Company
- Druid City Brewing Company is just a stones throw away from the University of Alabama campus. It’s a perfect hangout spot to relax and try some local brews!
What to do in Mentone
MENTONE, AL. (TENNESSEE VALLEY LIVING) - Mentone is a perfect mountain getaway for anyone looking for relaxing weekend.
- Mentone Vacation Rentals
- Mentone Vacation Rentals provides visitors with a wide variety of places to stay when they make the trip to Mentone. Retired Army General Joe and Chanelle Cosumano take care of many rental properties on the mountain that give anyone looking for a place to stay a unique experience.
- Tiger’s Inn in Valley Head
- Tiger’s Inn in Valley Head gives customers some unique menu options including the traditional meat and three and fried deviled eggs. There are also choices like a classic cheeseburger or even a crispy fish sandwich.
- Miracle Pottery
- If you’re looking to shop in town, visit Miracle Pottery for some beautiful creations. From handmade mugs to dinnerware, kitchen essentials and more, you’re sure to find a great keepsake in this local shop.
- DeSoto Falls
- DeSoto Falls is part of DeSoto State Park as it features a 104-foot waterfall. There are many things to do at the falls including kayaking, fishing and even swimming. At DeSoto State Park, which is about seven miles south of the falls, there are cabins to rent, places to hike and even an area to do rappelling.
- Little River Canyon National Preserve
- Stop by Little River Canyon for beautiful waterfalls, breath-taking views and more. The park is open each day from sunrise to sunset. Visitors can take a hike, go for a horseback ride, hit the water fro some kayaking and much more.
- Additional spots and local favorites to visit include lunch at Wildflower Cafe, shopping at Moon Lake Trading Co. or The Groovy Goat and dessert at Village Ice Ceam Shop.
What to do in Nashville
NASHVILLE, TN. (TENNESSEE VALLEY LIVING) - Nashville is known as Music City for a reason. With honky tonks, boutiques and bites on every corner, you’re sure to have some fun.
- The Butter Milk Ranch
- The Butter Milk Ranch is located quaintly in the 12 South area of Nashville. Here, you’ll find fresh baked croissants, pastries and Nashville’s best voted Sandwich, the C’rueben. The Butter Milk Ranch also has plenty of delicious gluten free options that you would never believe were glute free if we hadn’t jus told you.
- White’s Mercantile
- If you’re looking for local shopping, White’s Mercantile is like a local general store for the modern tastemaker. The store comes to life an old remodeled gas station in 12 South and makes for the perfect one-stop-shop. The store is located just down the street from other popular boutiques like Stoney Clover Lane and Reese Witherspoon’s store, Draper James.
- Edley’s BBQ
- Just down the street from White’s Mercantile is a perfect place to get your grub on. Edley’s BBQ is known for delicious brisket and their own take on Nashville hot BBQ. Grab something to eat and one of their iconic Bushwhackers, and you may be too stuffed to eat for the rest of the trip.
- Boot Country
- What’s Nashville without a little boot, scootin’ boogie? If you’re looking to hit some of the honky tonks, do so in style and grab a pair of boots, or two, from Boot Country. Located right on Broadway, browse aisles upon aisles of the perfect cowboy boots. The store is always running a deal, buy 1 pair get two free. So, go with a couple of buddies and get the best bang for your buck. Or, keep them all to yourself!
- Ryman Auditorium
- Once you’ve got your boot, how about a show? The Ryman Auditorium is considered sacred among country music. The hallowed halls have welcomed everyone from Elvis Presley to Johnny Cash and June Carter. Today, award-wining musicians are still gracing the stage and filling the old church with music. Catch a show or take historic tour of one of America’s favorite music venues.
- Assembly Food Hall
- Broadway can be packed with people trying to dine and dance. That’s why Assembly Food Hall is one of the best spots to stop in when you’re downtown! The Food Hall is a new addition to the area with over 30 places to eat, multiple bars and 3 stages for music. Our favorite ting about the Food Hall is all the restaurants are local to Nashville! So, if you’re looking for something you can only get in Music City, Assembly is waiting for you!
- Tennessee Brew Works
- Brewing craft beers that pay homage to the traditions of it’s namesake, Tennessee Brew Works is the perfect place to stop in for a cold drink. The taproom offers plenty of unique beers and some ciders for the folks who prefer something a little lighter. If you’re hungry, be sure to check out the food menu featuring some delicious plates such as the Wagyu Beef Hot Dog, Nashville Hot Chicken, Tacos and more.
- Jack White’s Third Man Records
- If you’re a fan of rock music, or just music in general, take a step inside Jack White’s Third Man Records. White launched Third Man which houses a record store, a unique novelties lounge, label offices and distribution center, a photo studio and even a live music venue.
What to do in Birmingham
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (TENNESSEE VALLEY LIVING) - Summer is here and we’re all looking for some fun to get into. So, we’re hopping in the car and showing you where to head this summer for a quick day trip or a weekend away!
Birmingham is known as the Magic City with fun things to do for miles. Some of the TVL crew loaded up the car for a day trip to see some of the city’s best sights.
- Vulcan Park and Museum
- Vulcan is the Roman god and bare-bottomed statue that looks over the city of Birmingham. Perhaps one of the most-recognizable pieces of the area, Vulcan Park and Museum offers a gorgeous view of the city scape.
- Hero Doughnuts and Buns
- Looking for a tasty breakfast or midday pick me up? Hero Doughnuts has some of the best and wildest donut creations you’ve ever seen. From the “OG” Vanilla Glazed to Pistachio, Bread Pudding and Cereal Milk, you’ll be calling these bakers your hero before the day is done. The menu doesn’t just have doughnuts though, they’ve got burgers, salads sandwiches and more for any craving.
- Rickwood Field
- When you think of Birmingham you may not think about baseball. But did you know city is home to one of the oldest baseball stadiums in the country? Rickwood Field opened in 1910. It wash such a big deal, the whole city shut down for opening day. Baseball legends like Jackie Robinson and Babe Ruth played in that stadium and it’s still standing today. Take a tour and go back in time to experience some of baseball’s greatest history.
- Johnny’s Restaurant
- If you’re looking for some more spots to sit down and dine, check out Johnny’s Restaurant. Known as a “Greek and Three,” Johnny’s serves up the south’s classic meat and three options while adding some Greek food to the mix. Folks line up around the block for this restaurant so make sure to get there early!
- TrimTab Brewery
- For a night out or a quick drink, stop by TrimTab Brewery for some local craft beers. They rotate seasonal batches and keep their favorites, such as the Paradise Now Raspberry Weisse and the IPA.
- Southern Museum of Flight
- Get ready to take flight at this museum! The Southern Museum of Flight houses over 100 aircraft and is one of the largest aviation museums in the southeast.
What to do in Chattanooga
CHATTANOOGA, Tn. (TENNESSEE VALLEY LIVING) - Chattanooga is known as the Scenic City, and for good reason. On any given day, you can find locals and visitors strolling down Walnut Street Bridge overlooking the Tennessee River and gorgeous mountains nearby. Grab an ice cream cone as you pop in and out of local shops and make plans to visit one of the many attractions the city has to offer.
TVL loaded up the car and took a day trip to Chattown, as it is lovingly called by many. We’re showing you some of the best spots to visit whether you’re with the whole fam or on a romantic evening out.
- Bluff View Art District
- The Bluff View Art District sits just above the Tennessee River. The district is made up of Tony’s Pasta, Rembrandt’s Coffee Shop, Back Inn Café, Bluff View Inn B&B, a gallery, Houston Museum, Hunter Museum of American Art and even an outdoor sculpture garden. You can also find homemade bread, pastries, pasta and chocolates. They also roast their own coffee and grow several herbs in the garden.
- Northshore District and The Walnut Street Bridge
- Explore the Northshore’s Coolidge Park and visit the nature trails, interactive water fountain, kayak/SUP launch, plenty of open green spaces, a restored antique carousel, and access to Walnut Street Bridge. Coolidge Park is close to Frazier Avenue filled with art galleries, shopping, bookstores, restaurants, and more!
- Dine at STIR
- STIR is a modern restaurant mixes urban aesthetics with historic remnants of the iconic Chattanooga Choo Choo Terminal Station. Enjoy elevated cocktails made with unique, artisanal ice, premium oysters and seafood and classic southern dishes everyone will love. Enjoy the weather out on the patio and walk up to the bar to enjoy one of their famous drinks.
- The Chattanooga Choo Choo and Chattanooga’s Entertainment District
- Explore Station Street, the gateway to Chattanooga’s Entertainment District. Walk through the historic Chattanooga Choo Choo grounds with access to Songbirds, Terminal Brewhouse, STIR, Regan’s Place, Westbound Bar, and Back Stage Bar. Outside, you’ll run into Market Street which includes fun places like Chattanooga Whiskey, the Hot Chocolatier, Wildflower Tea, and more.
- Chattanooga Whiskey Experimental Distillery Tour
- Inspired by the city’s rich distilling history, Chattanooga Whiskey is a fun spot for adults and aspiring whiskey sommeliers alike. Guests can experience their hand-crafted bourbons on a one-hour Traditional Tour & Tasting or a Whiskey Flight Tasting.
- Creative Discovery Museum
- At Creative Discovery Museum, kids can create a clay sculpture in the Artists’ Studio, zoom a message through a pneumatic tube in the Inventors’ Clubhouse, dig for dinosaur bones in Excavation Station, create an ensemble cast of characters in the Back Alley Theatre, explore the infant garden of the Little Yellow House, lift yourself up on a pulley in the Rooftop Fun Factory, or enjoy the newly renovated Tennessee RiverPlay with interactive watercourse to sail boats, and learn about locks and dams, and shoot jets of water to make whirligigs spin!
- Classic Arcade Pinball Museum
- This interactive museum dedicated to the nostalgia, history, science, and fun behind the fascinating game of pinball. Patrons to the museum can play and/or view our 50+ exhibits including many of the Classica Arcade games from the 80′s and 90′s.
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