Have a Thrilling Weekend in West Tennessee
If you want a vacation filled with eye-widening experiences, ones that get your adrenaline pumping, heart racing and to learn a bit of history then head to West Tennessee. With the continuous revving engines at Memphis International Raceway and a real adventure story at Casey Jones Village that is nothing short of legendary, West Tennessee is filled to the brim with attractions you’ll want to visit for an unforgettable summer getaway.
Make your way to Casey Jones Village first, conveniently located off Interstate 40 at exit 80A. The Village is a family destination that includes the Historic Casey Jones Home & Railroad Museum, the Old Country Store, Providence House, Casey Jones Village Amphitheatre, the Shoppes at Casey Jones Village, Music Highway Crossroads, Casey Jones Mini-Golf, the Wellwood store with the Wildlife in Wood Studio of Dee Moss and the Judge Milton Brown Pullman Railcar. You’ll take a step back to slower times as you mosey around the village, taking in the history and excellent food and sweet treats at the Old Country Store. The history behind the village is tragic, heroic and thrilling. The Casey Jones Home & Railroad Museum has the full story, photos and memorabilia.
Amble on over for some lunch or dinner at the world famous Brooks Shaw’s Old Country Store Restaurant. Voted “Jackson’s Best Overall Restaurant and Best Southern Cookin'” in the Jackson Sun Readers’ Choice Awards and “Best Local Attraction,” the Old Country Store takes you back to the 1890s with thousands of antiques on the walls and ceiling. Enjoy Southern favorites and grab a chocolate milkshake or ice cream delight at its 1890’s ice cream parlor, named one of the Top 50 Ice Cream Parlors in America. Don’t forget to buy some fudge, gifts and confectioneries at the store’s “To Go.”
Continue your walk through history by stepping inside the Village Chapel. Constructed in 1905, the Village Chapel has the original steeple and antique bell. It went through an extensive restoration in 2010 and now is open for viewing. Step inside to imagine what church services might have been like in the small village church.
After you’ve wandered to your heart’s content to the Providence House and took part in a fun game of mini-golf, it’s time to head back into the car and drive to Memphis International Raceway for some heart-pounding drag racing.
The 1/4 mile drag strip is built to IHRA and NHRA specifications and is open to private testing. MIR even hosts jet cars, cars propelled by a jet engine. And, boy, are they loud! When these cars are fired up, the glass on the private viewing suites literally shake in its frame. MIR is also home to an oval track, where cars zoom around 11 degree turns and down the 1100 ft. back stretch on the 3/4 mile, paved short track. The road course is a 1.8 mile road course that features eight turns and a 3500 ft. straight-a-way. The autocross track is open to just about any-wheeled car and is a timed competition where drivers navigate between rubber orange traffic cones. Drivers compete solo and against the clock rather than against each other like on the oval and road racing. MIR also hosts lots of special racing events like the Bracket Series, Test & Tune, Midnight Madness, a Bike Night and many more.
If you’ve always wanted to ride or drive a stock car, Memphis International Raceway gives you that chance. With ride-along experiences, you get training, timed and the thrill of driving on the track just like the professionals. Experiences range from one to five hours and prices start at $99.
If you’re ready for a weekend filled with thrill, West Tennessee should be at the top of your list.
Have you ever been to West Tennessee? What other thrilling things have you encountered? Let me know in the comments below!