East of the Memphis metro, there is a scattering of towns that’ll get the wheels of any day-tripper worth their weight in catfish out on the road. West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center, Brownsville Brooks Shaw’s Old Country Store, Jackson Fried catfish, collard greens, black eyed peas, BBQ pigs feet, cornbread pone, pulled pork, and dumplings. We drove all day so we could eat here! And it’s worth the drive! — eating dinner at Brooks Shaw’s Old Country Store. —DavidandJudy Hlmick, Facebook.com THE HOT LIST Escape to a waterfront retreat in the seven new cabins overlooking scenic Pickwick Lake at Pickwick Landing State Park in Pickwick Dam. Unwind on the outdoor deck, cozy up by an indoor gas fireplace, and cook up a hearty meal for friends and family in the full-sized kitchen. ICONIC EXPERIENCES Step back into the 1890s at Brooks Shaw’s Old Country Store and Restaurant in Jackson, an antique store turned Southern cookin’ buffet and nationally recognized ice cream parlor that is decorated with the antiques proprietor Mr. Brooks Shaw himself found on his extensive travels throughout the South. FREE ATTRACTION Celebrating the people, musical heritage and unique landscape of the Delta is Brownsville’s West Tennessee Delta Heritage Center. Visit the Tina Turner Museum at Flagg Grove School, her childhood schoolhouse-turned-museum, as well as the Sleepy John Estes House, the former home of the legendary blues guitarist, songwriter and vocalist. LOCAL FLAVOR Chow down on some of the best catfish, shrimp and oysters around at Hagy’s Catfish Hotel, a family-owned restaurant on the Tennessee River that earned its “hotel” nickname in the ‘30s, when the warm hospitality and late nights of socializing prompted friends to stay the night after supper. THE UNEXPECTED Bird dogs, pointers, retrievers and other sporting dog breeds have held a special place in the Southern outdoor tradition—so much so that they have inspired the National Bird Dog Museum in Grand Junction, featuring an array of exhibits and resources related to man’s best sporting friend. Visit the museum’s most notorious resident, Count Noble, a dog that was preserved by a taxidermist in the 1890s.
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