This past year we spent a lot, I mean days and days, on the road between Louisiana and Louisville, Kentucky. Two of our stops along our travels were the Pink Palace and Casey Jones Village
If you find yourself driving through Memphis onto I-40 East, then here are some great places to stretch your legs in this halfway point from Louisiana to Louisville. Memphis has places to visit like the zoo(click here for some helpful hints when visiting a zoo), the famous Beale Street(not good for young kids after 7pm), Bass Pro shop in the giant pyramid, Sun Studios, Graceland, The National Civil Rights Museum, and little known museums like The Pink Palace. Click here for a list of Memphis Site Seeing locations. Just east of Memphis is the little town of Jackson, Tennessee which has the Casey Jones Village.
The Halfway Point
This area was literally a halfway point for our travels all year. We went through here over 10 times. Yes, TEN TIMES. That doesn’t even include the trip we made a road trip up the Western side of Arkansas and then through Missouri to get to Louisville.(Remember the Uranus post?) To say that we put some miles on our car is an understatement! LOL
Two places we did stop either going or coming from Louisville through Memphis area was The Pink Palace museum and the Casey Jones Village. Actually, the Casey Jones Village was a great potty break because it’s about an hour east of Memphis and someone always had to use the bathroom about once an hour on every trip… SIGH! Ok, really alot of times that was me! LOL The Pink Palace was a planned stop where I made sure to start off early enough to be able to make to to the museum with enough time to see all the exhibits.
What is the Pink Palace Museum?
From their about page…
“The Pink Palace Museum is one of the largest facilities of its kind in the Southeast. Explore the cultural and natural history of the Mid-South through exciting exhibits, dioramas, and audio-visuals. Trace Memphis’ development from the time of Spanish explorers through the Civil War and the yellow fever epidemics. Learn from the award-winning medical exhibit how health care grew to be Memphis’ largest industry.
See how dinosaurs and fossils dramatically chronicle our ever-changing planet. The Museum also hosts a number of touring exhibits to see and experience throughout the year.”
For my kids it was a way to stretch our legs, explore dinosaurs(seemed to be a common theme this year), learn about ancient civilizations, learn about the history of the area both the nature and the culture, and more.
While we were there a rotating exhibit included guides that taught the kids about pottery and archaeology. They had tables setup where the kids would identify the play pottery’s origins based on the markings and designs. This area also had exhibits of actual pottery that had been recovered and restored. So neat!
If you are lucky enough to go during the holiday season, you can visit the Enchanted Forrest with tons of animated characters. I saw these displays 40+ years ago when the department store Goldsmiths hosted the Enchanted Forrest with a chance to take a picture with Santa at the end. There is also the Festival of Trees and Gingerbread Village which is amazing!
Our trip was during Spring Break last year so we will have to go back. We were still amazed with seeing animated dinosaur, history of Memphis, and the traveling exhibits. My favorite thing to see was a horn from a narwhal. Yes, the unicorn of the sea! How cool is this!
The Casey Jones Village
Before or after going through Memphis, we almost always stop at Case Jones Village in Jackson, Tennessee. There is a railroad museum, a “farm”, chapel, grouping of shops, mini golf, cafe, ice cream shop, buffet, and country store. For us, it’s all about the country store. Ok, my kids don’t really care about the gifts, jewelry, coffee cups, signs, canned foods, and tea towels…
But really, for them, Casey Jones Village is all about the CANDY!
Giant barrels are full of all sorts of candies in the country store. Just grab a paper bag and start filling it with candy. My kids get a bag a piece but can only fill it about 1/3 full. It can get pricey adding any more than that; plus, kids jacked up on candy with 6 hours to go in a car trip is not good! LOL
My kids love this stop for the candy but I’m a fan of the clean bathrooms. If that’s your main goal, just follow the red footprints when you get through the front doors!
The Pink Palace and Casey Jones Village Conclusion
These are just two of our favorite stops when traveling the Louisiana to Louisville, Kentucky, route. When we have more time, visiting an attraction like the zoo or a museum is scheduled for our trip. When we don’t have much time, Casey Jones Village is always a favorite(although we could probably spend a couple hours here if we had the time). If you need a place to stretch your legs and break up the monotony of a drive, the Pink Palace Museum and Casey Jones Village are a good bet!