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Destination – One Day in Little Rock

Little Rock, Arkansas is an often overlooked option for a stop between Memphis and Dallas. I decided to call in on exactly this route and check out this pretty little city.

My day started with brunch at The Corner Diner in the Downtown area. There was a long line of customers waiting to get in, but I was assured it would be worth it.

It certainly was. My Hot Chicken Waffle was tasty and the service was excellent.

After brunch I decided a little exercise was called for, so I walked a roughly 5-mile stretch of the Trail of Tears, a network of trails spanning more than 5,000 miles across 9 states.

The trail took me along the Arkansas River, past the Main Street and North Broadway bridges and several pretty picnic areas.

After my 5-mile stroll I decided to catch the historic tram back to town to pick up my car and head onwards towards Dallas.

Little Rock is a pleasant little city and I definitely think it is worth either a day trip from Memphis, or a stop along the route to Dallas.

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Destination Guide – Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis is a stunning city in which to spend a few days.

I spent three full days in Memphis and could very happily have stayed much longer.

I started my tour on the iconic Beale Street. With its lively bars and soulful restaurants juxtaposed against historical stores, Beale Street truly has something for everyone.

From Beale Street it is only a short distance to the National Civil Rights Museum, located at the Lorraine Motel, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968.

The distance from Beale Street is a very easy walk, but I chose to ride the Main Street Trolley, operated with historical trams plying the routes between many of the top sights of Memphis. This is a very economical option at $1 per ride or $2 for a day pass.

The tram also passes by the iconic Peabody Hotel with its famous duck pond.

To round off a day in Memphis, I can recommend two alternatives.

One option is a cruise on the Mississippi River with live music and a simple, but tasty and unlimited barbecue.

If, however, you really want to sample an authentic Tennessee barbecue, The Commissary in Germantown is well worth the half hour drive.

I have to say that Memphis is an extremely interesting and thoroughly enjoyable option for a city break and was one of my favourite cities of my 7,000 mile road trip.

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Destination Guide – One Day in Detroit

Detroit, Michigan is a city with a turbulent history and not one which many tourists would think to consider.

This however is a shame, because I visited a good friend there in October and found a vibrant and fun city, teeming with old world charm.

The autumn weather was still pleasant enough for a stroll along the Riverwalk, where our day started.

As a natural segue, we joined a lunch cruise on the Detroit Princess with live music and views of both Detroit and Windsor, Ontario.

The $59 ticket price included live music, a very good buffet lunch, coffee and nearly 3 hours on the water. I considered this to be excellent value.

After the cruise, we headed over to the historic Eastern Market for a drink at a couple of the German style beer halls.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my day in Detroit and having a local person to show me around proved invaluable, as the city holds many hidden gems.

I can definitely recommend exploring this underrated city if you find yourself in Michigan.

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Destination Guide – One day in Chicago

Chicago is a very popular choice for travellers looking for a USA city break.

I started my 10-week USA road trip there in October and took a day out to enjoy the city.

As my friend and I only had one day to explore the city, we chose to take the Big Bus tour in order to see as many of the main sites as possible in a short time.

At $45 per person this is an expensive option, but for a one-day visit to the city we considered it worth the price for the convenience and time saving.

We started our tour at Millennium Park, with its famous art and architecture.

This last photo of “The Bean” sculpture was taken by my good friend Stefan later in the year.

Nearby is the beginning of the famous Route 66, running all the way through to Santa Monica, California.

Although I was not planning to drive any of Route 66 on this particular trip, it was nice to see the starting point.


Following this, we moved on to Navy Pier for a pleasant stroll and some views of the city skyline.

For a slightly different perspective on the city, we took a 90 minute river cruise through the central Riverwalk area of the city.

Rounding off our day in Chicago, we headed for the 360 Chicago observation deck on the 94th floor of the John Hancock building.

As the name suggests, the deck provides a 360° view of the city. I recommend visiting at sunset for the best views.

Obviously there is much more to this city than can be experienced in a single day, but I feel that we had a good experience of what the city has to offer.

Chicago is definitely a very good choice for a USA city break.

If you can suggest any improvements to this one-day itinerary, please visit our USA forum and let us know.

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Flight review – LOT Business Class, Warsaw – Chicago

Finally it was time to get into the long-haul phase of my travels, starting with a 7,000 mile US road trip.

But first, there was the small matter of crossing the Atlantic.

I managed to pick up a reasonable deal with LOT Polish Airlines, coming in at a little over €1,600 (£1,400) for the Business Class round trip from Stockholm to Chicago.

After my short connection from Stockholm it was time for the transatlantic leg.

Business Class seats on LOT’s 787-9 are in a 2-2-2 configuration. As a single traveller, I chose 4D in the centre pair, to avoid the climbover factor in the window pairs.

As my seatmate had already settled in by the time I boarded, I snapped a quick photo of the inoperative 3C-D pair in the next row, which are identical.

Shortly after take-off, the meal service began with a choice of drink and a small amuse-bouche, while meal choices were requested.

I chose the onion soup, which was tasty and came with a side salad.

For the main course I chose the pork neck, which was nicely presented, tender and tasty.

The meal was rounded off with a selection of fruit and cheese, followed by a well presented latte macchiato and a couple of sweet, but delicious cherry vodkas.

After lunch, the effects of my early start began to show (or maybe it was the cherry vodka) and I settled down for a short nap.

LOT’s Business Class seats recline to a fully flat position and a “short nap” turned into four solid hours of undisturbed sleep.

Shortly before arrival in Chicago, a second meal was served, this time all on one tray rather than course by course.

The pasta dish was accompanied by salmon and meat appetisers and fresh fruit.

Overall, this was a pleasant flight and certainly felt shorter than the 10 hour block time.

LOT’s Business Class is a solid product and offers a civilised way to cross the Atlantic.

At the price I paid, I would definitely not hesitate to book it again.

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