Themed road trips can take on a whole different meaning than simply loading up the car and heading out on the highway. Choosing to stop along the way at everything from each National Park for a photo by the entrance sign, every major sports venue and coming away with a home-team ball cap or all airports along the way just to watch planes take off can transform a simple drive into a memorable road trip of a lifetime. Whatever your interest, a well-planned and themed road trip can be a lot of fun. Even a tour devoted to Elvis Presley can work.
The Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) in Phoenix, Arizona will be All Shook Up next month with the introduction of an Elvis Presley exhibit in the museum’s newly renovated Artist Gallery on August 6th.
Guests will get to experience The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll through a collection of personal items, clothing, and musical instruments. One highlight of the exhibit will be the priceless 1975 Martin D-28 acoustic guitar that Elvis played during his 1977 tours, including his last concert on June 26 in Indianapolis, Indiana. In addition to displaying it, MIM has been chosen by Elvis Presley Enterprises to restore the guitar to the condition in which Elvis last played it.The new Elvis exhibit, opening August 6, 2011, will also feature a collection of items on loan from Elvis Presley’s Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee and is located at 4725 E. Mayo Boulevard in Phoenix .
Other choices for stops on an Elvis road trip might include a stop by Elvis’ favorite roller coaster, a classic wooden coaster known as the Zippin Pippin in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Earlier this year, Gadling’s Joel Bullock told us:
“It was known to be Elvis Presley’s favorite roller coaster as he often rented out the park so that he could ride it without being bothered by fans. Reports are that Presley rode Zippin Pippin eight days before he died. To support the ride’s history, Bay Beach Amusement Park is working on adding Elvis’ favorite food, peanut butter and banana sandwiches.”
Surely no Elvis road trip would be complete without a stop by Las Vegas to visit the city’s official Elvis, Jesse Garon. Garon sponsored rescued miner Edison Pena in 2010 after the music and movies of the King including the 1960s Elvis movie Viva Las Vegas and Jailhouse Rock were to pass the time and keep up the spirits of all the miners trapped underground. Stick around Vegas for a while too, Cirque du Soleil’s show Viva Elvis at ARIA Resort & Casino is worth the overnight.
Even Branson, Missouri has a Elvis stop to consider with their Elvis and the Superstars show where they throw in Tom Jones and Stevie Wonder (impersonators) for a two hour show that AOLTravel says “you will forget that the people on stage are not the real thing”.
As with any travel, planning is half the fun and a themed road trip is no exception.
I remember a high school road trip I took once: stopping at (what seemed like) every Ford dealership between Kansas City and St Louis for repairs. That wasn’t the original plan, a theme we had thought of in advance or realization of any dream but one we won’t forget any time soon.
Photo courtesy Elvis Presley Enterprizes