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Trip advice: Nashville/Memphis OR New Orleans?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by ruger9, Jan 14, 2019.

  1. ruger9

    ruger9 Poster Extraordinaire

    Dec 31, 2004
    Hackettstown, NJ
    Wife & I taking a trip for my 50th. Music & food.

    We've been to Nashville twice already, but we do love that town. Thank God Robert's, Layla's, and Full Moon (along with BB King's Blues, and the Boogie Bar in Printer's Alley) are still fighting the good fight against the Bro Country onslaught.

    Never been to Memphis, would do a couple night there in the blues clubs.

    As for NO, we went there once, before Katrina. I wasn't a foodie back then, and the crowd I was with was more interested in Bubba Gump's shrimp and finding Hurricanes than they were about finding good music.

    So, what do you think? 2 nights in Nash+2 nights in Memphis, or probably a 3-nighter in New Orleans?
     
  2. Tuneup

    Tuneup TDPRI Member

    Age:
    39
    42
    Jan 6, 2019
    USA
    Go with what you know and love, last time I went to NO (prior to Katrina) I wasn't impressed.
     
  3. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    I'm writing this from the county that Memphis is in (my pup and I walk from here to Memphis and back fairly often) and I would not recommend Memphis. All the energy is in Nashville now; there's simply no way around it. I'm not saying that Beale Street is totally abandoned like Clarksdale MS can be, but from a musician's perspective there's just no spark.

    Ruger, sounds like you were in the wrong car on your previous visit to New Orleans. The sweet spot is a little more the restaurants in Uptown and away from the Quarter and frankly, same thing with the music. Resident who live there love to walk around and around in the wonderful streets and old buildings of the Quarter but the smart money is spent elsewhere there. Downriver of Esplanade Avenue or someplace adjacent to Magazine Street or St. Charles Avenue.

     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019
  4. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Friend of Leo's

    Nov 15, 2010
    Texas
    I loved Memphis...

    Sun Studios.
    Stax Museum.
    Lorraine Motel/Civil Rights Museum.
    Peabody Hotel with the ducks and Lansky Brothers clothiers (and I ran into and conversed with Randy Travis and his wife).
    Beale Street hit the right balance of tourist trap and good scene for music and soul food...and I got me a trilby at J. Schwab’s.
    St. Blues guitar showroom was down the street from Sun Studios—be prepared for some interesting opinions on tone woods, construction, pickups, etc.
    We went off the beaten path and ate some amazing BBQ at Payne’s...with mustard cole slaw!!
    We did the Gibson Factory tour, with the world’s least interested and even less interesting tour guide—we had fun there, too, by asking him nonsensical questions (other people thanked us for making the tour funny)...
    The park that runs beside the Mississippi River, ending near the Cabela’s that is in the old pyramid basketball stadium (a cool building on the outside) is beautiful on sunny days.
    Some really good guitar shops...even the Guitar Center (we had an hour to kill before our flight) was better than usual.

    I want to go back and hit the less-touristy spots...
     
  5. unfamous

    unfamous Tele-Meister

    239
    Jul 19, 2009
    North Georgia
    nashvegas...3rd and lindsley, frequent Jack Pearson hangout. Also the Station Inn if you do bluegrass
     
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  6. dan1952

    dan1952 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    66
    Jun 24, 2004
    Anderson, IN
    Never been to NO, but I have a good friend who lived there till Katrina, and says it's the greatest city of all time. He would move back in a minute if work would allow.
     
  7. d barham

    d barham Tele-Meister

    Age:
    56
    143
    Aug 10, 2018
    Halfway, MO
    Nashville. Time Jumpers, Gruhn's, Carter's, catch somebody cool at the Ryman....
     
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  8. FMA

    FMA Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 29, 2003
    Hard to argue with Nashville. Always a good time. But as someone else mentioned, New Orleans can be fantastic, if you have some native help in navigating the city. I've been there a number of times, both pre- and post-Katrina, and have heard some of the greatest music and eaten some of the greatest food in my life. Yeah, the Quarter has some nice spots, but the real gems lay outside the Quarter and finding them may take some effort. But it's worth it. I'm lucky in that I know people there and always have a great time. People may say the key is avoiding the cheesy touristy things, but sometimes, the cheesy touristy things can be fun, if go into it with the right attitude.

    That said, Nashville would probably take less effort. And Memphis has some great barbecue and blues and Graceland. You owe it to yourself, if you haven't, to see Graceland before you die. It's one of the strangest things ever, if, like me, you're into strange things.
     
  9. haggardfan1

    haggardfan1 Friend of Leo's

    Mar 17, 2014
    Texas and Louisiana
    If you choose New Orleans, do yourself a favor. Stay mostly away from Bourbon Street, the better music is up and down Frenchmen. I'm thinking of The Spotted Cat, and Vaso. There's another club with a Dixie jazz band of older guys in a paneled back room, I can't recall the name of that place but it's awesome, and relatively safe.

    If you like seafood, and don't want to get ripped off, try Acme Oyster Co.

    Wherever you walk, watch your back and keep your wits about you; as in any tourist city, but NOLA is full of con artists.
     
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  10. Guitharley

    Guitharley Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

    635
    Jan 5, 2009
    Ontario Canada
    I don't wanna be this guy that takes ya somewhere you didn't even inquire about...... And if it's a road trip and not a flight it maybe to much..... I've done all 3 of those trips and very much enjoyed them....... But the Texas hill country is where I been doing my music/food fix the last couple years
     
  11. Big_Bend

    Big_Bend Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    55
    Feb 19, 2010
    Houston, TX
    After 2 minutes in Memphis, I would be screaming and going crazy, get me the hell out of this hellhole NOW. Never again, I won't even drive thru Memphis. Avoid like the plague

    2 days in New Orleans is about right before its time to leave. Go to Frenchman Street for the good music.

    2 weeks in Nashville and I'd stil be wanting to say longer.

    YMMVOC
     
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  12. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 5, 2012
    South Louisiana
    I live less than an hour North of New Orleans. A great time can be had there.
    I don't know much about the city, but I know you really don't want to just wander aimlessly.

    Wife and I spent out 10 years anniversary in Memphis. Really cool.

    Spent a cloudy, gray, cold week in Nashville right out of college. Had some fun. Gruhn guitars was awesome.
    Peed at adjacent urinals to Keith Urban at Jack's guitar bar before he was famous.
    Not promising that experience awaits you, but it still makes an interesting story of my trip.
     
  13. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Telefied Ad Free Member

    You might be pleased to know, you can drive towards Memphis on I-55, then jump onto Newly completed I-269 in Desoto County near Hernando and begin to circle Memphis, left to right and I-269 takes you into Marshall County and then into TN over by the Fayette County line. You continue North on I-269 along the Shelby/Fayette County line up to I-40 near Arlington and on from there towards Brownsville and Jackson (TN) towards Nashville and you never touch Memphis at all. Some of the semi-trailer drivers are just loving this new bypass. Not even the slightest bit of congestion on I-269.
     
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  14. bladeswitcher

    bladeswitcher TDPRI Member

    Age:
    59
    8
    Dec 2, 2018
    Missouri
    If you go to New Orleans, don't waste your time on Bourbon Street. Head over to Frenchman Street.
     
  15. mefgames

    mefgames Tele-Afflicted Platinum Supporter

    Oct 31, 2010
    North Bay, Ca
    Just got back from 5 days in NOLA for my wifes birthday. Two years ago we did a road trip starting in Nashville, then Memphis, and ended up in NOLA, but that was a 10 day trip. Hard to beat the great Music and BBQ in Nashville and Memphis, but my choice would be NOLA. We love the food down there, from the beignets at Cafe Beignet to the long standing great dinner places like Arnaud's, try the Oysters Bienville, Bayona restaurant on Dauphine, and The Court of Two Sisters. There are so many more. Frenchmens street also has great music and food, check out 3 Muses. Stay right in the quarter if you can so you don't need to drive at all.
    The road trip was great because we got to see the high points of Nashville, The Ryman, Country Music Hall of Fame, and the Broadway clubs. I was so excited to finally get to Gruhn's, but was a bit disappointed. Very sterile Music store, great stuff, but it just seemed like it just didn't have that vintage looking vibe. Memphis was also great, Stax, Gibson Factory Tour, Rock and Soul Museum, Beale St., Lorraine Motel, and excellent BBQ. Both Nashville and Memphis have some high end restaurants, but NOLA wins on the Foodie end IMHO.

    ps, I agree with blade switcher regarding Boubon street, It's a freak show !!

    Have a great time wherever you go.
     
  16. whitebread

    whitebread Tele-Meister

    127
    Jun 25, 2007
    No. VA (Wash D.C.)
    You mentioned the word "foodie". That leaves only NOLA, world class food all over town. You can get good BBQ in just about any city. Just stay off bourbon street, it's gross. Frenchmen st for the music and take the wifey on a street car ride to the garden district.
     
  17. TheGoodTexan

    TheGoodTexan Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Nashville, TN
    I love NOLA.

    My wife and I tried to spend an afternoon and evening in Memphis about a year ago. We canceled our hotel reservations for the night and just drove back to Nashville. Someone said that Memphis has lost its spark. I agree. 20 years ago we would party in Memphis for an entire weekend. I seriously can’t find much to do there anymore, and there is much more of a safety concern these days.

    By contrast, there is literally (not hyperbole) more new things to do in Nashville every month. There are more places opening than we’ll ever be able to get to before they go out of business in 3 years. It’s a very cool time to live here, traffic not withstanding.
     
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  18. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

    Feb 15, 2016
    Nebraska
    Actually, I wouldn't suggest any of the 3 these days. I was stationed in New Orleans pre-Katrina and although I had many good weekends to show for it I actually found the music to be less than impressive. Used to travel to Nashville a lot as my cousin is part owner of a production company down there just off music row, but the cost is too prohibitive in my view. Spending a few days in Nashville near music row costs as much as a European vacation these days. Memphis....wasn't impressed there either.

    Since the trip music related, I would suggest something like Austin, Tx or even Chicago still. There you will find some excellent local music and for probably a third less money than the others.
     
  19. TheGoodTexan

    TheGoodTexan Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Nashville, TN
    Good suggestions. Absolutely nothing wrong with a weekend in either of those cities. Love’em both.
     
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  20. ruger9

    ruger9 Poster Extraordinaire

    Dec 31, 2004
    Hackettstown, NJ
    Wow, I keep hearing bad stuff about Memphis. Makes me sad.

    Having been to Nash twice, I feel like going again would be "more of the same" (still a good time)... especially since we are not "bro country" fans and would stick to our old favorites (Robert's, Layla's, Full Moon).... we never got out to 3rd and Lindsley or The Station Inn because we were walking (and drinking, which is why were were walking LOL). I'm afraid alot of the "new stuff" there is more in the bro country vain, which really irritates me LOL.

    NOLA, even tho we've been, I feel would be "more different", because we did not hit Frenchman Street... that sounds like an awesome time! Actually sounds more like Nashville's Broadway than the French Quarter does.

    I don't know....
     
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