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Day Trips From Memphis

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We all want to get away now and then and experience something new. Unfortunately, our budgets and schedules do not always allow for an elaborate vacation. The good news is, there are a number of fun and unique locations in the Mid-South that you can visit and experience -- and still make it home before bedtime. Check out the day trips below for ideas and be sure to let us know if there is a good one we missed.

Casey Jones Village

Photo by Flickr.com user, rniche -- Creative Commons License

Just down the road in Jackson, Tennessee is the former home of railroad legend, Casey Jones. This circa 1800's home is filled with railroad artifacts, photos, and more. Surrounding the home is Casey Jones Village, which features shops, restaurants, train cars, and a replica of a railroad platform from 1900.

Distance from Downtown Memphis: 83 miles
Estimated Driving Time: 1 hour and 20 minutes

Elvis' Birthplace

Photo by David Jones, licensed under Creative Commons

If you have spent any time in Memphis, you have probably toured Graceland. But south of Memphis in Tupelo, Mississippi is the birthplace of Elvis Presley, a tiny home built by Elvis' father, uncle, and grandfather. Visitors can tour the home and visit other locations in the area that were significant in Elvis' life.

Distance from Downtown Memphis: 109 miles
Estimated Driving Time: 1 hour and 49 minutes

Lambert's Cafe

Photo by Nathan Reed, Creative Commons License

If you are wondering how a single restaurant can land on this list of day trips, you have obviously never been to Lambert's Cafe. This unique southern-food establishment is worth the two hour drive from Memphis for a few reasons, not the least of which is the food. Perhaps the most popular draw to the restaurant is the "throwed rolls," warm soft rolls that servers toss to customers from across the massive dining area. Then there are the "pass arounds." These samples of sides are complimentary and are served from a large serving dish that is brought to each table.

Distance from Downtown Memphis: 143 miles
Estimated Driving Time: 2 hours and 10 minutes

Pinson Mounds

Photo by Brian Stansberry, GNU Free Documentation License

Pinson Mounds is a group of Native American ceremonial and burial mounds that date from 1-500 A.D. These mounds include the second highest mound in the United States, Saul's Mound. Visitors can climb among the mounds and tour the on-site museum to learn more about the mounds and view artifacts that were recovered in the area.

Distance from Downtown Memphis: 101 miles
Estimated Driving Time: 1 hour and 45 minutes

Reelfoot Lake

Photo by Patrick Swint, Creative Commons License

In the early 1800's, massive earthquakes on the New Madrid Fault caused the Mississippi River to flow backwards and form Reelfoot Lake. Today, Reelfoot is a popular destination for fishing, hunting, and especially for Eagle watching.

Distance from Downtown Memphis: 128 miles
Estimated Driving Time: 2 hours and 10 minutes

Tennessee River Freshwater Pearl Museum

Photo Courtesy of the Tennessee River Pearl Museum

Did you know that the only fresh water pearl farm in North America is located right here in Tennessee? The pearls are cultured on the Tennessee River at Kentucky Lake and there is a fresh water pearl museum adjacent to the farm. Visitors are invited to take a guided tour of the farm and the museum and to shop for pearl jewelry and other items.

Distance from Downtown Memphis: 141 miles
Estimated Driving Time: 2 hours and 16 minutes

Tunica Casinos

Photo by Brian Kemp, Creative Commons License

Of all the day trips in this list, Tunica is the closest location. It's a good thing, though, because once you get to the casinos, hours of entertainment awaits. Visitors can indulge in all sorts of gaming, enormous buffets, Las Vegas style shows and concerts, shopping, spa treatments, and much more.

Distance from Downtown Memphis: 41 miles
Estimated Driving Time: 48 minutes

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