One night in Memphis, TN (visit #4) — Tucson for Christmas Trip

We visited Memphis in December 2023 as part of our Tucson for Christmas trip. Read about our first visit in 2017 here, our second in 2020 here, and our third in 2022 here.

Bugsy at sunset on the Mississippi

From Bowling Green, it’s a four-hour interstate drive to Memphis… or should I say West Memphis, AR, where our campground is located, and where we typically spend the vast majority of our time when making this stop. I don’t think we went into Memphis proper at all the last two times (in 2022 and 2020) we came through, but we did this time, so I titled this post Memphis instead of West Memphis.

watching ship traffic on the Mississippi at Tom Sawyer RV Park

Anyway. The main draw for us in stopping here is the Mississippi River. Our campground of choice sits on the bank of the river, giving us a front row seat to the shipping activity on the water.


Bugsy watching the Mississippi at Tom Sawyer

All four times in Memphis, we’ve stayed at Tom Sawyer’s RV Park, in West Memphis, AR, about twenty minutes from downtown Memphis. The focus of the park is, of course, the Mississippi, but there are also trails around the property, and the multi-use crushed gravel Big River Trail, leading to the Big River Crossing (the longest pedestrian bridge over the Mississippi) into downtown Memphis, passes the campground entrance.

running the Big River Trail in West Memphis
My shadow is pointing at the tip of the Bass Pro pyramid in downtown Memphis, visible from the Big River Trail in West Memphis

Running the Big River Trail is delightful–it’s flat and in great shape–but it feels kind of desolate through this part of West Memphis. I’m not sure I’d recommend it to a solo female. Instead, I’d recommend driving ten minutes down the road to the Big River Crossing, where you’ll have lots of running company, and you’ll get to run over the Mississippi! I wanted to run the bridge, but in the interest of time I ran from the campground, and missed the big bridge views.

Eating and drinking

Chai Pani salad at Tom Sawyer RV Park in West Memphis
Chai Pani salad to go!

We ate lunch–a salad from Chai Pani in Asheville, part of our haul when we stopped to stock up on our way to Knoxville–at our picnic table watching the activity on the river.

beers at Crosstown Brewing
Crosstown beers

And then we ventured forth! J had identified several breweries that interested him (based on current beer lists and pics of their taprooms): our hope had been to hit the highly rated Grind City Brewing Co and Soul and Spirits Brewery, both located within walking distance of one another just over the bridge on the western side of Memphis proper, but they are both closed on Tuesdays so we settled on our third choice, Crosstown Brewing Co.

Crosstown’s taproom is a big, airy spot in a cool stretch of music/art/beer/food/apartment establishments, and I liked the highly tart cranberry sour. J, who loves a hazy IPA, wasn’t crazy about Crosstown’s not-very-hazy IPA, but we had a lovely time hanging out in the taproom.

peanut stew from Global Cafe
Very unphotogenic shot of Global Cafe’s peanut stew

To supplement our Chai Pani dinner, we picked up peanut stew form Global Cafe in the same complex as the brewery. It was delicious, and we got extra to boost a future dinner as we trekked west with unclear dining destinations.

sunrise river walk at Tom Sawyer

To do

If we’re not passing though on a Tuesday next time, we’ll try again for Grind City Brewing Co and Soul and Spirits Brewery!

Next stop on our way west: Tulsa!

5 Replies to “One night in Memphis, TN (visit #4) — Tucson for Christmas Trip

  1. We camped there based off your earlier reviews and it was nice. Granted it was in July so really hot, but the campground was nice and the views too. One suggestion for your next visit, try Gus’s World Famous Chicken in Memphis. If you like fried chicken, this place will be on your list!

    Enjoy your blog as we too are Airstreamdoggers!

    1. Hi Tim! Thanks for the comment! I’m so glad you liked the campground; hope the river level wasn’t too low in July and you got to see some boat traffic. Keep letting us know your recommendations! Happy Airstreamdogging!

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