There are a variety of great drives to explore across the southern portion of the country, but if you love culture and music, a road trip from New Orleans to Memphis may be just what you need. For most of the trip, you will be traveling along Highway 61. Along the way, you'll find state parks and museums that will enhance the time you spend traveling to your destination. Hot Springs National Park and the Jim Henson Delta Boyhood Exhibit are some stops to make on your journey if you want to explore more than music.
Hot Springs National Park
Hot Springs National Park is a great side trip option when you hit Clarksdale, Mississippi. The national park is in Arkansas, but it's only a little more than an hour's drive from Clarksdale. The cooler the temperature of the air, the more soothing the thermal baths will be. There are also plenty of hiking opportunities around the park to enjoy.
Bayou Segnet State Park
Bayou Segnet State Park is only about 20 minutes from the French Quarter of New Orleans. If you would like to explore a more relaxed scene outside of the city, the park hosts a wave pool where you can cool off as well as a boat launch where you can enjoy fishing for a while. There's also a campground in the park that you can make use of if you’d like to extend your stay.
Natchez State Park
Natchez State Park is located right off Highway 61. It's a great place to take some time to hike, boat, fish, and enjoy nature during your trip. This park also features a campground where you can stay for a day or so if you want to take advantage of all the area has to offer.
Leroy Percy State Park
Leroy Percy State Park is the oldest state park in Mississippi. It has lots of ancient oak trees and cypress trees throughout, and it can be a quiet place to enjoy hunting, fishing, hiking, swimming, and more. The park is known for its alligator population that can safely be viewed from two observation towers above their home.
Roosevelt State Park
Roosevelt State Park is a beautiful park with numerous panoramic views to take in. Inside the park, you can enjoy the wildlife on the nature trails, enjoy some fishing, swim in the lake, or try your hand at a round of disc golf. The pool has a splash pad as well as waterslides for you and the family to ride. Camping in this state park is also welcome.
Vicksburg National Military Park
Vicksburg was a notable location in the Civil War, and at the Vicksburg National Military Park, you can learn about the history regarding the North's taking of the location and how it helped the Union Army win the war. The battle there lasted 47 days, and there are over 1,400 monuments and memorials on display to help honor the veterans who fought at Vicksburg.
The USS Cairo is featured at the museum as well. Some of the most notable monuments and commemorations on display include the Navy Monument that pays tribute to the important role that the Navy officers played in the campaign for Vicksburg and the African American Monument that honors the sacrifice that African Americans made to serve in the campaign.
Jim Henson’s Delta Boyhood Exhibit
Jim Henson is adored by fans of many ages, especially those with an affinity for his Muppet creations. This is the birthplace of Kermit the frog, and here you can learn more about the character as well the life of Jim Henson himself. If you're traveling with kids, there are a variety of puzzles that they can explore at the museum. There are also Kermit-themed videos to enjoy during your visit.
Ground Zero Blues Club
If you're a fan of the blues, this is a must-see destination on your road trip itinerary from New Orleans to Memphis. The club is located in Clarksdale, Mississippi, and it’s also known as the Morgan Freeman Club due to the fact that it's a club he frequents. The blues scene all began here, and the town that this club is located in is home to musicians who changed the world. Some of the artists who came from this town include Muddy Waters, Sam Cooke, and Ike Turner. The club also offers a few food options so that you can feed the family before continuing on the road.
Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum
Another stop that's sure to garner the attention of music fans is the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum. This establishment is a tribute to the musical heyday that Memphis helped create in the 70s. The city is the birthplace of rock 'n' roll, and the museum is located on Beale Street and B.B King Avenue, which can mark the end of your New Orleans to Memphis RV road trip. Backstage passes are available as well that will give you access to this museum, Graceland, Sun Studio, and the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. You don’t have to visit these four locations all in one day, so if you're planning on staying in Memphis for a while, you can extend your trip in order to take in the sights and sounds at a more relaxed pace.
Baton Rouge, which is the capital of Louisiana, is only about a two-hour drive from New Orleans. It is a great place to experience the culture of the South along with some truly amazing food and music. There's even a riverfront casino in the city that can provide a fun night on the town. If you want to stay the night, Baton Rouge has quite a few campgrounds that are RV-friendly, such as Cajun Country Campground and Lakeside RV Park.
Natchez is a place where you can find Southern hospitality at its finest. It is positioned about 200 feet above the Mississippi River. Because it was not considered a strategic location during the Civil War, the buildings and the homes that were built there were spared. These historic homes can still be seen in the town, and tours are offered to visitors to the area. If you plan on staying for a day or two, then Natchez State Park is an excellent place to camp. If you need a dump station, there are plenty in the area that you can use.
Vicksburg is another town that you will travel through during your New Orleans to Memphis RV road trip. Since this is a town that was crucial to the Civil War, there is a state park full of commemorative monuments. You'll also find museums, casinos, tour homes, and shopping that you can explore in the city. If you need a place to stay in the area, there are a number of Mississippi campgrounds nearby.
Clarksdale is the birthplace of the blues, and it's definitely a town that you must stop to see during your road trip. There's live music in the town every day of the week, and you can find some tremendous Southern cuisine as well to enjoy each night. If you find that you're having too much fun to leave after just one night, you'll easily be able to find a campground to stay at in this part of Mississippi.
If you enjoy music, then make the most out of this New Orleans to Memphis road trip. There are plenty of locations along the way that pay tribute to rock 'n' roll, the blues, and other forms of popular music. There are also several state parks along the way that are sure to provide history buffs the opportunity to learn more about the Civil War. If you don’t have an RV, consider renting one that you can use in New Orleans. Don’t forget that if you are traveling someplace just outside of Memphis, you can also rent an RV at the destination city so that you can continue your exploration of the nearby areas.