Leg one of the cross-country road trip is officially complete! I thought I would share the full details of our road trip across the United States with you. My sister and I are doing a seven day drive to Los Angeles, California from our starting point in Atlanta, Georgia. Today is the end of day two and we are feeling great so far! Feel free to follow along with my travels on Instagram!
STATES CROSSED: Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee
On day one, my sister and I left Atlanta and headed to our first pit stop in Birmingham, Alabama. We stocked up on coffee and snacks and headed out at around 8:30 AM on a Sunday. We made it to the border and stopped at an Alabama rest stop to switch places. I wanted to give a quick shoutout to that Alabama rest stop off on I20 right at the GA/AL border. Their bathroom is clean, indoor, and super swanky - all things that are nice to know if you are female travelers or a solo traveler! We made it to Birmingham and had lunch at an adorable place called The Pizitz Food Hall. We parked at regular meters on the street there! They had tons of vendors, including Ethiopian food, a biscuit shop, and a classic American diner-style restaurant called The Standard - where I had some absolutely amazing fries. There's also an adorable shop in the hall called Yellowhammer which sells art prints and other fun, kitschy wares.
We hit the road again towards our final day one destination which was Memphis, Tennessee. We crossed through Mississippi for a quick moment, and we stopped in Tupelo, Mississippi where they were having a local arts festival. Our mom actually found that festival for us online! I highly recommend checking Instagram as well as official city websites for fun events and places that can make your rest stops exciting! You can read more of my road trip tips here. My sister and I also grabbed iced lattes at Crave Coffee in Tupelo which were delicious.
We left Tupelo to finish our drive to Memphis, Tennessee and were absolutely exhausted by the end of the day. We had an amazing dinner at Marlowe's Ribs & Restaurant in Memphis. The restaurant is Elvis-themed (it's right near Graceland) and they had an awesome Elvis gift shop inside.
STATES CROSSED: Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma
Our way out of Memphis was an absolute struggle. If you are staying in the Graceland area, I highly recommend avoiding all of the gas stations except for the CITGO. We tried (I kid you not) four different gas stations before finding one that actually had gas and working pumps. CITGO is the place.
We drove out of Memphis through their downtown area which was super cute. If you are going to stop in Memphis, I'd recommend staying in that area rather than the Graceland area. There is a lot more going on there. We missed the Graceland operating hours, but I would definitely suggest trying to stop there if you can!
The Tennessee/Arkansas state line is literally over a river, which is awesome. They have a cool "Welcome to Arkansas" sign on the bridge that crosses the Mississippi River which was adorable. We drove around two hours to Little Rock, Arkansas and stopped there for lunch. There is a nice parking deck across from the Museum of Discovery off of Ottenheimer Plaza. We grabbed sandwiches and coffee at a little cafe called Nexus in the River Market District. They had some awesome art on display and my sister and I ended up picking up a few prints to bring home by Collin Brown. We also passed a cute store called The Freckled Frog which had a whole wall of medicinal herbs and specialty teas (See more of my favorite witchy shops here).
We finished day two with a drive from Little Rock to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. And we drove through Checotah, Oklahoma on the way (obviously) because it is Carrie Underwood's hometown. The drive on I40 between Little Rock and Oklahoma City was super pleasant and scenic. One of my favorite stretches so far.
And that's it! Days one and two completed. I will keep you updated on the rest of the journey, and will link it below once it is completed. Safe travels!