Eclipse Trip Leg 11–Little Rock to Memphis

We are almost at the end of our trip. During this leg, we began the trip east toward Memphis, which is the last city we explored.

Where We Stayed

It’s important to note that although this campground is called Memphis Jellystone, it is not actually in Memphis. It’s not even in Tennessee. The campground is actually in Horn Lake, Mississippi.

This campground has a very different feel from the other places we’ve stayed. The other campgrounds have all felt very separate from whatever they were near, but this one feels very much in the middle of things. Maybe there just isn’t as much of a space buffer between the campground and its neighbors. I don’t know. From our site, thing didn’t feel any different, but the drive in did.

Aside from that, it was a fine place to stay. Our site was the perfect combination of pavement and grass. On the pavement, there was space for the truck and RV, as well as a picnic table, a gliding bench, and two chairs. Next to that was a nice amount of grass between us and the next site. It was a surprisingly spacious pull-through site.

Campground NameMemphis Jellystone
LocationHorn Lake, MS (not a typo)
DatesApril 19-21, 2024
Site NumberSite 12
Site SurfacePaved with grass
Hook-upsFull hookups + 50-amp electric
Cost$118.77 per night (including taxes and fees)
Water Pressure60 psi
Voltage125 V
AT&T Speed Test10 Mbps up; 21 Mbps down
Verizon Speed Test40 Mbps up; 26 Mbps down
T-Mobile Speed Test200 Mbps up; 10 Mbps down
Campground WiFiTerrible! Couldn’t stay connected to test.

The campground was oddly quiet. We walked the dogs at 2:00 on a Saturday afternoon. No one was in the dog park. There were no kids out riding bikes. No one was on the playground or playing gaga ball. It was kind of eerie.

What We Did

Shelby Farms Park

“Park” feels like such an understatement for this place. If it’s an outdoor activity you want, I’m pretty sure you can find it at Shelby Farms Park. They hold festivals and events here. There are opportunities for fishing, horseback riding, treetop adventures, paintball, and laser tag. There is a Woodland Discovery Playground and a Water Play Sprayground. There are 40+ miles of trails. We were only there for an hour or so. We could have stayed in the area for a week and I don’t think that would have been enough.

The park is about 30 minutes from the campground. We went for the paved walking trail around the lake. One lap is about 2.25 miles. Some parts are open, while others have more trees and bushes.

There’s even a (fancy) sit-down restaurant!

As a wildlife nerd, I was in heaven. We saw ducks, geese, herons, and more. I’ll just put a couple of photos here and save the rest for a wildlife section at the end of the post.

Bass Pro Shop Pyramid

The Memphis Pyramid was built in 1991 as a sports arena. In 2015, it re-opened as a megastore for Bass Pro Shops. Inside, there are two restaurants, an observation deck, a hotel, an archery range, a shooting range, 13 bowling lanes, live fish and waterfowl, and more.

The 28-story elevator takes you to the top of the pyramid, where you’ll find a bar and restaurant as well as the glass observation deck. Unless you’re staying at the hotel, there is an $8/person charge to ride the elevator.

Restaurant at the top of the pyramid
View of the Mississippi River from the top of the Memphis Pyramid

My favorite part was, of course, the animals. There are many species of waterfowl and fish. I was really surprised to see a sturgeon swimming around! Not sure why, but I’m kind of obsessed with them. This one was maybe five feet long.

A wood duck
Memphis Zoo

I enjoyed the Memphis Zoo more than I expected to. After visiting so many zoos on this trip, it’s easy for them to fade together. The Memphis Zoo had several things that helped it stand out from the others.

Memphis Zoo Travel Tip

Be aware that at this zoo, there is a separate charge for parking in addition to the cost of admission.

I think my favorite part of the zoo was their Animals of the Night exhibit. They have an entire building devoted to nocturnal species. They reversed the light cycles, so it’s always dusk during our daylight hours. For several species, this was the first time I was able to get a good look at them.

A banded palm civet

They also have a small aquarium building. I was thrilled to find an arapima on a sign, but sadly I never saw one. But there were plenty of other cool creatures to see, like these peculiar fish.

Their aviary was indoors and the birds were housed by species instead of all together. They had so many species I’d never seen before! (I included some photos of the birds toward the end of the post.)

The tigers were very active when we were there. It appeared to be a mother and two older cubs. It was great fun watching the cubs run around.

There are two enclosures with red pandas. One had a mother and two babies, and the three of them were busy! The other was an outdoor exhibit with two animals in it. I was impressed to find that they can (and do) climb the trees. I tried to get a photo showing how far up in the tree one was.

The white circle at the top of the photo is where one of the red pandas was sitting.

Many zoos have Komodo dragons, but this was the first time I saw one moving around. There were also several snake species I’d never seen before.

We grabbed some lunch at the Cat House Cafe and were quite impressed with their system. The entrances are along one short wall and one long wall of the building. Near the middle of the building is a collection of maybe eight self-serve kiosks. One employee was stationed there to answer questions and ring up anyone who didn’t want to mess with technology. Along the other short wall is the kitchen. There are screens showing the status of various order numbers (whether they were in progress, ready for pickup, etc.).

The other long wall was the best part, as the windows looked into the gibbon exhibit. Pretty cool to be able to eat your lunch and watch (or be watched by) the animals at the same time!

The grizzly bear area was impressive! It was quite large and had moving water running through it (as opposed to the usual pool of water).

As far as kid-friendliness, two things stood out. First, sea lion training sessions are always fun to watch. They’re short and everything moves quickly!

Second, this zoo has what looks like a pretty decent splash pad. It’s fenced, so that might mean there’s a separate admission. We didn’t look, so I can’t say for sure. But the fence also makes it harder for little ones to run off when your back is turned. There are lockers and even covered cabana-type places to sit.

More Zoo Photos

A pompadour cotinga
A paradise tanager
A pair of blue-naped mousebirds
I’ve never seen three cougars in one exhibit before.


An American coot at Shelby Farms Park
A male red-winged blackbird at Shelby Farms Park

Happy travels!

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