1998 Toyota 4runner (manual)
1998 Toyota 4runner (manual)
Wonderful weather, 700 miles of trails, and oodles of history and culture make Tallahassee a worthy stop on any vacation. As the starting point to an exciting RV road trip from Tallahassee to Memphis, this Florida state capital is full of unexpected surprises. You can encounter wildlife, visit a mission built in 1633, take pictures of street art, and attend a live blues show all in one magical day.
Highlights of your RV road trip starting point in Tallahassee are numerous. Get a glimpse of an alligator while enjoying a safe walk at St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. Visit the Mission San Luis de Apalachee to tour a restored Spanish Franciscan mission dating back to 1633. For something a little different, explore the Tallahassee Antique Car Museum featuring more than 140 vehicles.
As you leave Tallahassee, the well-maintained and RV-friendly roads will take you through Montgomery and Birmingham in Alabama. You'll venture into northeast Mississippi before crossing the Tennessee border to Memphis. Camping options for your weekend RV road trip along this route are plentiful.
Memphis, the ideal destination for music lovers, is famous for blues, country, and soul. Stop in at Graceland or just enjoy the exciting nightlife as your perfect southern US adventure comes to an end.
Once you've got some RV miles under your belt, stop for the day in Alabama's capital city - Montgomery. Often considered the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement, this important city will definitely appeal to American history enthusiasts.
As the site of the bus boycott in 1955, the city invites you to the Rosa Parks Library and Museum. Visitors can also tour the Civil Rights Memorial, which honors 40 people who died between 1954 and 1968 fighting for equal rights. Montgomery is also home to the Alabama State Archives and History Museum to delve even deeper into the state's past.
Literary lovers must visit the F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum located in their former home. If you're a fan of country, you can visit the car where country music's first superstar, Hank Williams, died. Continuing the slightly morbid theme, you can also visit Hank's gravesite in the Oakwood Cemetery. You'll spot the grave quickly since the natural grass had to be replaced with astroturf. Overzealous fans were plucking the grass to take home as a keepsake.
While on your RV road trip from Tallahassee to Memphis, it's nice to spend some time in nature, outside the vehicle. Luckily, just before you reach the major city of Birmingham, you will pass the Talladega National Forest on the southern edge of the Appalachian Mountains.
Hop out and stretch your legs on one of the many hiking trails scattered over almost 400,000 acres. For overnight accommodation, head to either the recreation areas at either Payne Lake or Coleman Lake. Over 100 RV-friendly campsites with water and electric hookups are waiting.
Payne Lake and Coleman Lake offer opportunities for peace and quiet by fishing for bass, bream, and catfish. Take your kayak on the water and encounter waterfalls set in amazing natural scenery. Jump at the chance to beat the summer heat with a swim in the cool lake waters. After a day or just a few hours here, you'll leave feeling relaxed and refreshed to continue your journey.
It's not often that industrial facilities are preserved or restored and then opened to the public. That's why you should take the opportunity on your RV road trip to visit the Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham. Now named a National Historic Landmark, this site was in operation from 1882 until 1971 as a pig-iron-producing blast furnace.
This industrial site now serves as an interpretive museum, runs a program in metal arts, and opens its doors to hosts both concerts and festivals. In all, the area boasts over 50 acres containing hundreds of pieces of machinery.
If you're feeling adventurish, and not at all scared, book a tour with the Fright Furnace Company for a haunted tour of the facility. Although all characters and events are said to be fabricated, only you can be the judge of that. The tour highlights the life of the furnace's foreman of the graveyard shift - James “Slag” Wormwood.
While the general public may not have heard of the tiny Mississippi town of Tupelo, if you're a fan of "The King", Elvis Presley, you might know this as his birthplace. It's no surprise that due to his incredible fame, the humble two-room house where he was born has been preserved.
Aside from the actual home where Elvis lived for the first few years of his life, the Elvis Birthplace also features other attractions. Take a selfie with the statue depicting Elvis at the age of 13, visit the Elvis Memorial Chapel, or learn some new information about the King of Rock and Roll at the onsite museum.
The small church that Elvis frequented as a child has been relocated to the Elvis Birthplace grounds. It's where Elvis got his first exposure to music, and we all know how that turned out.
You can also spend a little time exploring the pond and lush vegetation on the grounds. Bring a light snack and take advantage of the picnic area. They also offer special parking for large RVs.
Music lovers, especially admirers of the blues, will be happy to have made it all the way to Memphis. Often called the Home of the Blues, Memphis encourages its music-centric past. Visit the Blues Hall of Fame, the Rock 'n' Soul Museum, or Beale Street for some live tunes. The legendary Sun Studio, where Johnny Cash, B.B. King, and Elvis recorded albums is not to be missed. Although your trip may be drawing to an end, it's not complete without a visit to Graceland, another former home of Elvis.
Now that you've finished the perfect weekend surrounded by history, music, and nature, remember you've visited four US states, and you now know what people mean when they talk about southern hospitality. You might even have some insight into paranormal activity. That's time well spent!