Written by 6:32 pm Camp America - Road Trips, Travel

Road Trip | Blues and BBQ

Blues and Barbecue Road Trip


Road Trip New Orleans, Memphis, Kansas City and St. Louis

Blues and Barbecue are both important aspects of American tradition and culture. Exploring some of the important historic and present spots within the Blues and Barbecue traditions is a perfect way to enjoy different parts of the country. Not only do Blues and Barbecue have individual points of interest, but they make great companions, combining great music and delicious food. One way to really experience both the Blues and Barbecue traditions is to design a road trip taking you to some of the best spots in modern and historic Blues and Barbecue.

Here are a few suggestions for great destinations to plan a road trip around. Depending the time that you have available, you can limit your road trip to two of these destinations, or you can make a real adventure of your trip and visit all four of these key points.

New Orleans
Most people think of Jazz when they think of New Orleans, and Barbecue isn’t the first style of cooking that comes to mind. However, New Orleans played an important part in the development of Blues, and although maybe not known for its barbecue there are certainly plenty of options for unique dining.

Today, New Orleans visitors can stop at the House of Blues, where they can enjoy the unique blues style in New Orleans. The House of Blues is just one of the many blues clubs in the city. New Orleans rich musical history also might want to take in some jazz clubs. Also while in New Orleans, visitors can find some world-class seafood barbecue.

In addition to the Blues and BBQ, the city has many attractions to keep visitors coming back for more. New Orleans Mardi Gras is one of the best events held throughout the country.  New Orleans also has a fascinating Voodoo tradition. The French Quarter is another excellent place to visit while enjoying New Orleans.

After taking in the wonders of New Orleans, head north, through Mississippi, and make Memphis your next official destination. On the road to Memphis, there are many fun places to stop and explore, so plan to allow plenty of time for your trip through Mississippi.

Memphis, Tennessee played a pivotal role in the evolution of Blues music. Today, a whole style of blues is attributed to Memphis. From the 20s and beyond, musicians based in Memphis composed and created a unique style of music. Visitors to Memphis looking for a Blues experience should start their trip on Beale Street. This street was the center of the Blues culture in the early years, and continues to be a great starting point for exploring Memphis.

The city is also known for its world-class barbecue, especially the dry style pork ribs. Memphis style BBQ is generally pork ribs rubbed with a unique blend of spices, cooked in a smoker until they are tender. Another tradition in the region east of Memphis is whole hog BBQ.

Kansas City
After consuming way too much Memphis Barbecue and exploring all of the cities Blues Clubs,  the next stop on the Blues and Barbecue road trip is Kansas City. This city is renowned for its barbecue. This style of barbecue uses all different types and cuts of meat, including pork and beef ribs, brisket, smoked chicken. Kansas City baroque also uses plenty of tangy, tomato-based sauce on the smoked barbecue. A unique Kansas City specialty are burnt ends, which are the ends of meat cut from the brisket. During your exploration of Kansas City BBQ, make sure to stop at Arthur Bryant’s BBQ, one of the best spots to enjoy Kansas City’s amazing barbecue.

Kansas City appears a little later in the history and development of the Blues than Memphis, but also played an important role in its development. Visitors can stop at some Kansas City Blues Clubs to enjoy long jam sessions, which have been essential to the development of the Blues. There are many great Blues Clubs throughout the city that introduce visitors to the beauty of the Blues in Kansas City. From clubs with concerts to late night jams, Kansas City has plenty for all Blues fans.

St. Louis
Finally, continuing north, finish your road trip in St. Louis. After traveling from New Orleans all the way to St Louis, this ending city is a great destination.

Like Memphis and Kansas City, St. Louis barbecue is unique and a great finish to a delightful exploration of some of the countries best cities for barbecue. Visitors will find  that St. Louis has fantastic pork ribs and steak, which can be grille and coated in a sweet and spicy tomato-based sauce. On true St. Louis specialty are are Snoots; crispy, cooked pig snots.

St. Louis is also filled with great Blues clubs. Many of these clubs pair jazz and blues, but offer excellent examples of both. In addition, some of these clubs will finally completely unite your road trip experiences of blues and BBQ, by serving up delicious St. Louis barbecue, and excellent blues musicians.

Visitors to St. Louis have to take the time to stop at the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial and the Gateway Arch. Visitors to the Gateway Arch can even take a tram to the top of the arch to enjoy the views of the city. In addition to lots of entertainment and dining, St. Louis is also home to the Museum of Westward Expansion, and the National Museum of Transportation. St. Louis is also home to Forest Park, at 1,300 acres is one of the largest urban parks in the United States. At the park, people enjoy biking, jogging, skating at the rink and much more.

Each of these destinations is a whole trip by itself. However, if you want to be sure to visit the best of the blues and the best of BBQ, these four cities will cover your basis. Although long, each of these unique destinations has something special to offer in both blues and barbecue.

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