Great River Road Trail
This scenic trail is full of history. Make your way through high bluffs and natural areas brimming with wildlife, stopping through small towns whose stories of Civil War tension and dramatic natural events helped shape the western border of Tennessee today.
Riverside Drive Welcome Center
Pose for great photo memories here with bronze statues of Elvis Presley and B.B. King on the shores of the mighty Mississippi, as you prepare to head out on the Great River Road. Pick up info about area attractions, discount coupons for restaurants and hotels, and get the inside scoop on local events.
119 N. Riverside Dr.
Beale Street Landing
Beale Street Landing is a modern docking facility to safely embark on a riverboat journey, a restaurant for casual dining and an open civic space that closely connects people to the Mississippi River. Managed by the Riverfront Development Corporation.
251 Riverside Drive
Climb aboard a restored vintage trolley car for an unforgettable trip along the mighty Mississippi River and downtown Memphis. The Main Street Line follows the original mule-drawn trolley; the Riverfront Loop travels a breathtaking stretch of the river.
Take a 90-minute sightseeing cruise on the Mississippi led by a "Riverlorian," providing live historical commentary. As entertaining as it is educational, you'll see the river through the eyes of Native Americans, settlers, soldiers, and boatmen. Dinner & music cruises also available.
45 S. Riverside Dr.
T.O. Fuller State Park
This 1,100-acre state park, located within the Memphis city limits, offers camping, hiking and picnicking. Birdwatchers and wildlife lovers will be right at home here. This was the first state park east of the Mississippi to be open to African-Americans, and only the second in the U.S.; it is named for Thomas O. Fuller, who made educating African-Americans his life's work.
Chucalissa Archaeological Museum
Visit the remains of a prehistoric village found during a 1940 swimming pool excavation inside T.O. Fuller State Park. Tour the museum and preserved archaeological dig to learn more about the Chucalissa people--the original Memphis residents--through their pottery, dwellings, weapons, jewelry, and tools. This National Historic Landmark gives you a glimpse into the Mississippian villages Spanish explorer Hernando DeSoto and his party encountered when they arrived near Memphis in the mid-1500s.
This museum gives you a rare opportunity to not only view works of art in metal, but allows you to see them being made as well. Learn more about the art of metalwork, sculpture to jewelry, contemporary to antique,— at the only U.S. institution of its kind.
Slave Haven Museum
This 1849 clapboard house served as a way station on the Underground Railroad, a secret series of hiding places for runaway slaves seeking freedom in the North and Canada. Take the tour and visit the hidden tunnels, trap doors, and cellars where slaves waited for their chance to escape to the Mississippi River on their way to the next secret stop. The house is furnished with period pieces and slavery artifacts. Hours vary; call ahead for information.
826 N. 2nd St.
Jones Orchard Market & Kitchen
This is the spot where the Jones Orchard jams, jellies, and relishes are made in small batches from fruit grown on the nearby farm. Stop in for a home-cooked meal and a jar of jelly to take home.
7170 Hwy 51N
Tipton County Museum, Veterans Memorial & Nature Center
Explore military history, environmental education and West Tennessee heritage at this museum and 20-acre wildlife sanctuary. Take a stroll on the .5-mile nature trail through the forest and wetlands, or enjoy a picnic on the grounds of the largest urban park in the county.
Alex Haley Museum & Interpretive Center
Visit the spot where Alex Haley spent much of his childhood: the home of his grandparents, Will and Cynthia Palmer. It was here on this porch that Haley likely heard the stories that inspired the now world-famous Roots: The Saga of An American Family, which earned him the 1976 Pulitzer Prize. The author is buried on the front lawn of the home, which has been restored and furnished with some of the original 1919 furniture, memorabilia and family artifacts. A state-of-the-art museum and genealogy center sits behind the home.
200 S. Church St.
Visit this newly renovated town square and downtown district with new storefronts and sidewalks that make strolling this quaint spot a true pleasure. The 1930s Art Deco Lauderdale County Courthouse is a unique find for West Tennessee. It has recently undergone extensive eco-friendly renovations as a part of the town's $8 million revitalization project, including gorgeous lighting,— a treat for after-dark visitors.
Lauderdale Co. Courthouse Court Sq.
Immerse yourself in military history and the legacy of the World War II Army Air Corp. at this museum, located in a former B-17 Flying Fortress bomber training facility. The site, now home to Arnold Field, was one of several training bases in Tennessee, chosen for its similarity to the European countryside.
100 Veteran's Dr.
Dyersburg Court Square
Stroll this town square and admire its well-preserved late Victorian and early 20th-century buildings. Stop in the local shops and restaurants; admire the historic 1911 Dyer County Courthouse.
Dyer Co. Courthouse
1 Veterans Sq.
This town dates back to 1855, when the railroads entered West Tennessee and created a new transportation artery that shifted the economic dependence from the river. As Hwy 51 became the more active commercial route in the 1920s, businesses facing the tracks repurposed their back doors as a second storefront to face the highway. The town is home to several well-preserved Art Deco-style buildings, erected during Union City's heyday as a major highway junction
Dixie Gun Works / Old Car Museum
The largest supplier of black powder shooting equipment, parts and antique guns in the world, this shop displays first production replicas of historic rifles, pistols and cannons as well as dozens of antique cars and mechanical devices. Don't miss the replica 1850s log cabin gun shop with more than 1,000 authentic tools, and a Calhoun Boat exhibit.
1410 W. Reelfoot Ave.
Confederate Cemetery & Monument
This is the first memorial to honor unknown Confederate soldiers in the South, erected by local citizens just a few years after the end of the Civil War. These particular soldiers were led by General Nathan Bedford Forrest and were killed in a raid on the occupying Federal troops in Union City. The Confederates attacked the town's railroad junction after destroying railroad tracks in several counties, attempting to disrupt Union supply lines.
Summer St. & Edwards St.
This former grocery store from the 1920s has served fishermen and hunters for nearly 100 years. Today, it has expanded into a full restaurant, feeding hungry lake visitors who come from miles around for the fish dinner.
Reelfoot Lake State Park
Reelfoot lake itself is 14 miles long and 5 miles wide, and is home to almost every kind of shore and wading bird, golden and American bald eagles, and abundant wildlife. The park offers several programs designed to show you its unique sites and landscape, including wildlife tours, eagle tours, boat tours, and more. Stay for a day or stick around for the night; the park offers camping and cabins, boating, hiking and gorgeous scenery. Don't miss the nature center and the chance to see bald eagles, owls, and other majestic birds in person. Eagle tours: 731-253-9652 Reservations: 731-253-9652 Visitor Center: 731-253-9652
R.C. Donaldson Memorial Museum
This museum and nature center, located at Reelfoot Lake State Park, is a great place to learn about the lake. Its boardwalk is the only shoreline trail on the lake, a meandering walk through the cypress grove with impressive views.
2595 Hwy 21E
Island No. 10 Battlefield Sites
Follow the signs in downtown Tiptonville to find this Civil War site, about a mile outside of town. Island No. 10, now underwater, was once located on the New Madrid Bend of the river and provided a strong Confederate defensive position. In 1862, Union gunboats attacked the island and started a weeks-long struggle, eventually gaining access to the South. Over 6,000 Confederate prisoners were taken at surrender, and the Union swiftly moved south to take Fort Pillow and Memphis. Federal troops retained control of this valuable Southern gateway for the rest of the war. Markers at the site tell the story of the island and the fallen Confederate soldiers once buried there.
Explore the local shops and businesses around the historic Lake County Courthouse.
Lake Co. Courthouse
130 S. Court St.
Fort Pillow State Historic Park
This 1,600-acre state park is situated on the first Chickasaw Bluff overlooking the mighty Mississippi. This was a strategic spot for the Confederate Army during the Civil War; they hastily built earthen fortifications here, which are well preserved today. Learn more about the historical and archaeological significance of this park at its museum and interpretive center, where you can view Civil War artifacts and a film about the 1864 battle. The park also offers boat access, camping, fishing and picnic facilities.
Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park
Over 13,000 acres atop the third Chickasaw Bluff are yours to explore in this scenic state park in the bottomland hardwood forest. Take a break among the oak, cypress, and tupelo trees to fish, hike, picnic, or enjoy the wildlife for a day or overnight — camping and vacation cabins are available. Don't miss the nature center on Piersol Lake, the oldest man-made lake in the state; you'll find hands-on exhibits and come face to face with some of the park's wildlife.