When you plan your vacation or holiday escape you want to make it memorable. You plan the time and budget the money according to what you can manage and what your needs are. To get the best from your time and money you should try to incorporate some destinations and activities that you remember. At the end of the day the best thing that you get from your vacations are the memories so make them memorable. That is why I have put together some unusual vacation ideas that you can experience, and you will never forget.
Are you an Elvis Fan?
Graceland is the go to place for hardened Elvis fans. You can take part in the tour to see Elvis’ home and where he spent his life from when he brought the house in March 1956, until his death in August 1977. Here are some unusual
facts about Elvis’ life, that you may or may not know:
Elvis was born on January 8, 1935. He was an identical twin but tragically his twin was stillborn, effectively making Elvis an only child.
Elvis was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, and was part of a close extended family. He was well-loved even though they lived in virtual poverty.
Elvis’ Father Vernon was sentenced to 3 years jail after he forged a cheque to put right a deal that he believed was unfair. Elvis was about 2 years old at the time. Vernon only served 10 months for good behavior.
Elvis had Cherokee and Jewish Ancestry.
Elvis was very close to his mother and promised to buy her a big house and cars, when he was only 4 yrs old. He had vision.
Elvis could not read music.
Elvis stars in 33 movies and has sold over 1 Billion records
Now, talking about Tupelo, that is actually what I want to tell you about. Elvis’ birthplace and this is where he started his music career. Tupelo is actually a memorable place to go to. Check out the local hardware store where Elvis went with his Mother to the store to buy a bicycle. He then wanted a gun but as a compromise his Mother brought him his first guitar for $7.90. You can also visit Johnny’s drive-in where Elvis used to hang out, and go on tours to see his statue and museum and places that he hung out.
Tupelo is not all about Elvis, you can explore the 444-mile-long Natchez Trace Parkway. Even drive along the Trace to get to Tupelo, for a real back to nature treat. Or you can hire a bike and ride some of the parkway.
Getting back to nature and experiencing things the way they were is something you do with a visit at the Tupelo Buffalo Park and Zoo.
Go to the Blue Canoe for some live music or check out some of the 160 choices of restaurants that are available to you. You will find that the accommodation choices are very affordable. You can see some options on Booking.com.
Ole Miss – Oxford Mississippi
Just down the road about 50 miles, is a town with a positive attitude and welcoming people. Oxford also known as Ole Miss. It is named after Oxford in England which is a university town and in keeping with tradition, this Oxford is also a university town. This is quite an unusual vacation destination because it has built in some traditional English tourist icons that you might like to participate in without traveling to Europe.
Try these activities:
Traditional red double-decker bus
Take the William Faukner Tour to find out about this Nobel Prize winning author
Hang out in “The Square” to experience some small town American vibe
Hunt down where the next live music event is. You will find live music almost every night of the week.
Find out why it is the “Cultural mecca of the South” and visit some of the arts a literary arts locations
Check out the university and stay in the University hotel for an experience of Southern Architecture and History.
Dine at one of the many local restaurants that serve fresh locally grown food. I can recommend the Ajax Diner
I found it interesting wandering around the town learning about the local history and the role the the town played during the Civil War.
Jack Daniels Whiskey Tour – Tennessee
You don’t have to be a whiskey drinker to enjoy the interesting tour of the Jack Daniels Distillery. Just down the road from Nashville, so when you have finished with the Grand ol opry, the Country Music Hall of Fame, Painters Alley, and the Johhny Cash Museum, then make your way out to Lynchburg. You can take a guided tour with transport which includes lunch at Miss Mary Bobo’s boarding House. I am sure there will be some information relayed to you about the history of the boarding house. The Jack Daniels Whiskey Tour is set in the historic grounds of the home of Jack Daniels himself.
Wander through the grounds with your guide and see the secret underground stream that delivers crisp clear water to make the Whiskey. This is the original stream that provided clear water for the process from the beginning. See how the filtering process works and how the charcoal is made to filter the whiskey from.
Learn about the history and unusual facts that make up the life of Jack Daniels. How he left home at an early age and brought the distillery from a preacher, and how he lost his life as a result of kicking his money safe in a temper. Don’t think you can get a job there as it is by invite only and the privilege is usually reserved for locals and descendants of the original workers.
You can buy whiskey there although it is a dry state and they have a dispensation to allow it. You cannot however, but any souvenirs on the tour, as you have to go to the town of Lynchburg, which is walking distance from the Distillery. The town has been given sole rights to sell the souvenirs which feeds tourists into the town which hums along nicely. It is well worth the walk into town as it has a nice feel to it and there are quaint shops and history to discover.
Natchez is another small town that has a sad but interesting history. It also has the oldest bar on the Mississippi River and many antebellum mansions.and an historic Indian settlement. If you want to look further into the history of the slave trade you can visit the Forks of the Roads Slave Market for some poignant history and stories of the slave trade. Follow up with a visit to the Museum of African American History and Culture for further insight into the history of the town.
Finish off you day on a lighter note with a meal at the Magnolia Grill which can be found under the Hill. Ask the locals if you aren’t sure. Then go right next door for live music. You won’t be disappointed, I wasn’t on any of my three visits. The Under The Hill Saloon takes you back to the riverboat days, especially when you look at the ceiling and see hundreds of $1 bills pinned to the ceiling. This was the traditional banking system used by the riverboat men when they didn’t have time to take their pay check to the bank so they would “deposit” it on the ceiling awaiting their next visit. What is the bet that the money very seldom left the saloon.
Choose accommodation from budget to high end and stay in one of the mansions, such as Weymouth Hall. I haven’t been lucky enough to stay at any of the historic mansions but there are plenty to choose from. Let me know how you like it, if you have the privilege to stay at one.
Check out the tours, and the arts and crafts while you are there also, there is a lot of choice, and Natchez has so much unusual sights and visits
If you enjoy the thought of live music then check out my bog about a visit to New Orleans.
Find unusual Places and add Spice to your Vacation
I have just given you a few ideas for an unusual vacation but really if you just follow your nose and explore places near and far you will find some gems. It is easy to dismiss a place as you just pass through but it you take you time and stop you can find some great examples of unusual vacation ideas. Spend some time and you will find what you are looking for.