I went on an awesome adventure recently. Starting in St Louis we drove for a total of 8 days, 1850 miles and saw numerous attractions. First stop was Tupelo MS where we saw Elvis’ Birthplace. We then headed south to Mobile and spent a day touring both sides of the bay. Enjoyed lunch at Montego’s Caribbean Cafe and spent the night at The Battle House Renaissance Hotel. What a fabulous hotel with beautiful decor and some history. Stopped for a quick photo of the USS Alabama Battleship. Then off to enjoying time in Daphne AL where we stopped for a drink at Manci’s Antique Club. Once featured on Diner, Drive Ins and Dives we listened to some live music while talking to locals.
The next day we went down the West side of the bay toward Dauphin Island. Saw some cool beach houses then checked out Fort Gaines which was imperative to the Battle of Mobile. Cool history there as we started our Civil War history part of the trip. Grabbed a bite before boarding the ferry across the bay to Fort Morgan, another historical part of the battle. Then we viewed more beach homes on the way to Gulf Shores. You can’t help but be a little jealous when living in the Midwest all of your life. Took a break from driving for a few days to enjoy some beach time. Dined at a few popular venues including the Pink Pony, The Hangout and famous FloraBama where we heard some live country music. (Oh, they had bingo downstairs also).
Then off to a dolphin cruise on the Cold Mil which was awesome. We saw at least 4 dolphins including a 2 week old baby. She was jumping waves like a big dog. Also in site were a bald eagle and osprey along with pelicans taking perch on the journey. The next adventure was a stop in Birmingham to see some Civil Rights sights such as Four Spirits Sculpture. We saw the 16th Street Baptist Church. There is some history if you want to research the events related to these locations.
Back on the road with a surprise stop in Franklin. I was just looking for a cheap hotel outside of Nashville. This turned out to be a highlight of our trip. We did some quick research on the area and had dinner at the Bunganut Pig. Turns out a place to spot celebrities although we didn’t get so lucky. However we enjoyed dinner outside listening to some local music. The next day we started off running as we returned to Civil War history. Carnton Plantation was so interesting. The home was turned into a hospital and later a private Confederate Cemetary. Some other visitors on the tour talked us into one more stop, Carter House. We were so happy we went. Their home was actually in the middle of the battlefield. So sad as you could see the bullet holes inside and outside. This is real history. The Battle of Franklin lasted 90 minutes but thousands of casualties on both sides. Horrific event took place in this small rural town. The downtown area is so quaint and we really needed another day. Before departing, we took one last sidetrip to see Winstead Hill where the Confederates looked at the Union troops before making their move.
On to our last stop, Nashville. I had one thing on my list left, Country Music Hall of Fame. My last visit was over 30 years ago in the old location. It is huge and right in the middle of downtown. Plan on a few hours for your tour and purchase the audio option to enhance your visit. This is a fabulous city to explore if you have time. Check the calendar for special events so you can avoid crowds (and high hotel rates along with low vacancies).
This was a great roadtrip although so much time traveling and researching along the way. I learned so much about the Civil War and battles. Next time we might just focus on Tennessee. There is so much to see and learn. I believe seeing is much better than just reading.