Beale Street

Memphis: A Three Day Itinerary

So, I have always felt that as an American, I needed to visit Graceland. I’m not sure why given I’m not an Elvis fanatic, but I finally decided to visit Memphis in between my trip to Dallas for my high school reunion and my trip to Louisville for the Kentucky Derby.  I was pleasantly surprised by Memphis and Graceland!

History of Memphis

Before the Civil War

The City of Memphis has a rich history.  Located on a bluff above the Mississippi, the original area was inhabited by the Chicksaw Indians and discovered by the Spanish before Tennessee ultimately joined the Southwest United States in 1796.  It wasn’t until 1819 that the City of Memphis was finally founded by John Overton, James Winchester, and Andrew Jackson and named after the ancient capital of Egypt on the Nile River.

Strategically located on the flood-free bluff of the Mississippi, with the completion of the Memphis Charleston Railroad, the City of Memphis prospered as a trade and transportation center of both cotton and slaves.  Its population also grew with floods of Irish immigrants who came to Memphis during the Great Famine in 1840. 

By 1861, Tennessee seceded from the Union, but was captured and occupied by the Union Army during the Civil War beginning in 1862.  As a result, by 1865 at the end of the war, the black population ballooned from 3,000 to 20,000.

After the Civil War

In the 1870’s, Memphis suffered a series of yellow fever epidemics. In 1878, the population was devasted.  Over 5,000 people succumbed to the yellow fever in four months and 20,000 people (mostly upper class) fled the city.  Memphis, once home to 40,000 and twice the population of Atlanta and Nashville, was now reduced to less than 20,000 citizens and bankrupt!

Skipping ahead to the 1950’s, with the mix of all the cultures, Rock-n-Roll was born as Elvis Presley topped the charts.  By the 1960’s, the City of Memphis became the center of the Civil Rights Movement.  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. came to Memphis to support the I Am A Man Movement when two black workers were crushed in a garbage truck.  He was assassinated outside his hotel room.

Today, Memphis is one of the nation’s leading centers in commercial transportation with its largest employer being FedEx.  It is also known for its prominent music scene and barbeque!

Where to Stay in Memphis

While there are many nice attractions outside of downtown Memphis including Shelby Farms Park, Memphis Botanic Gardens, and Dixon Gallery & Gardens, without a car I wanted to stay in walking distance of the downtown attractions.  As such, I reserved a two-bedroom apartment with a kitchen, dining room, living room and laundry at Stay Alfred.  It was actually more reasonably priced than many of the hotels in the area and was also conveniently located in downtown Memphis.

Stay Alfred

Aside from a few maintenance issues such as many burnt out lights and broken shades, the accommodations at Stay Alfred were just fine though slightly odd to have bedrooms with no windows!  I did not wake up with the sunlight.

I arrived in Memphis Sunday afternoon and was fortunate that my friend Ramona actually offered and wanted to pick me up from the airport.  When does that ever happen?!?  It’s all about Uber now!  Anyway, she wanted to show me places around the outskirts of Memphis that she didn’t think I’d see otherwise.

Elvis’ Previous Home (Not Graceland)

We started by driving by Elvis’ previous home.  Elvis purchased the modest, green house at 1034 Audubon for he and his parents in 1956 with his royalties from his hit album “Heartbreak Hotel”.  The home is now owned by the Mike Curb Family Foundation dedicated to music education and restoration of historic music locations.

elvis' previous home in memphis

Shelby Farms Park

After swinging by this home, we then headed out to Shelby Farms Park.  This park with 4,500 acres is enormous.  It includes 40 miles of trails, 20 bodies of water, manicured areas for picnics, paddle boating, and just about any activity for people, horses and dogs.  On this sunny, Sunday afternoon, half of Memphis must have been there enjoying the outdoors!

Dixon Gallery & Gardens

We also took a quick driving tour through Dixon Gallery & Gardens.  The friendly security guard authorized us to drive as far as we could, so we circled through the park for free!  He said if we came back the next day, he’d have passes waiting for us so we could go inside the mansion decorated with art.

Big River Crossing

After a stop at Ramona and Mike’s cute house, she took me downtown but not before we stopped and walked across the old bridge that crosses the Mississippi River to Arkansas.  At the middle of the river, we straddled the state line as we took in the view of Memphis, its new bridge, and a barge navigating downriver.

Dinner at the Gray Canary

Ramona dropped me off at Stay Alfred with an hour to freshen up before dinner at the Gray Canary.  The Gray Canary is an excellent restaurant on Front St. at the south end of downtown Memphis.  Its tapas style menu encouraged us to share six or so plates.  Our server paired our order together, bringing the tuna plate with the brussel sprouts and chicken with the sweet potatoes, and so forth. 

Though the menu changes with the season, the Country Ham and Parker House Rolls are a staple. Be sure to order them. All choices were excellent, and we enjoyed a lovely dining experience with the exception of the frigid air conditioning that literally blew out the candle on a nearby table.

Day 1: Itinerary in Memphis

I had a very busy first afternoon and evening in Memphis, and my three days as a tourist in Memphis hadn’t even started!  On Monday, I walked all over downtown while checking out the prolific street art along the way to each of my stops.  If walking is too much, however, there is a trolley system that runs about every 20 minutes and costs $1 per ride. In addition two different scooter companies, Bird and Lime, operate in Memphis.

I began the morning by following Main St. all the way to the Arcade, the oldest café in Memphis.  While the diner food wasn’t the most amazing, the Arcade is a Memphis icon, and it was conveniently located near my next stop, the National Civil Rights Museum.

National Civil Rights Museum

As I mentioned above, my next stop of the day was the National Civil Rights Museum.  This museum is located in the Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated outside his room.  The $16 entry fee was well worth the price of admission. 

My only complaint…I wish I wouldn’t have arrived at the same time as a school bus of high school students.  I shared the otherwise quiet museum with several loud and discourteous teenagers.

About the Museum

Martin Luther King Jr. stayed in room 306 and the railing outside the room dons a red and white wreath.  Below the room are two old cars which replicate the cars seen in the photos at the time of the shooting.

Inside, visitors take a self-guided tour.  Story boards educate tourists on the history of slavery dating all the way back to 1619 when Dutch traders imported the first 20 Africans to Virginia.  The museum includes slave codes of the southern states; examples of ‘scrip’ paid to slaves for their work which only had value at the plantation store; as well as exhibits on Harriet Tubman, Nat Turner, Dred Scott, the Civil War, Blacks in the Military and the NAACP.

scrip

Civil Rights Movements

I found the presentations about different non-violent, civil rights movement very interesting.  Since most of these movements took place in the 50’s and 60’s, I didn’t live through them and they were also too recent to make it into a history class, thus I was unaware of many details that led to desegregation and black equality.

While I knew Rosa Parks did not stand up for a white man to sit down on the bus, rightfully so as she paid the same fare, I was not aware of the “peaceful” sit-ins at several restaurants around the south.  I put peaceful in quotes because the whites did not treat the blacks who sat quietly at segregated food counters peacefully.

The museum informs visitors of the Freedom Riders, the Freedom Walkers, and the Freedom Singers with moving exhibits.  And the final exhibit addresses the I AM A MAN Movement which resulted when two black sanitation workers were crushed by a garbage truck on February 1, 1968.

I AM A MAN Movement

Generally, the sanitation workers in Memphis were out of work cotton laborers who lost their jobs to machinery and Memphis exploited them.  The workers were paid terrible wages, allowed no sick days and no breaks.  They weren’t guaranteed pay for a rain day, were required to work overtime without pay and could be fired for being one minute late!  In addition, they worked under life threatening conditions.

Two weeks after the men died, sanitation workers went on strike starting the I AM A MAN Movement.  The peaceful protest turned violent later in the month when 1,000 workers sat in the City Council meeting waiting on the approval of improved wages which failed.  Upon leaving the meeting, police maced, beat, and arrested them.

The police brutality and violence meant to quell the strike only redoubled the protestors efforts as other members of the black community of Memphis as well as Martin Luther King Jr. joined in the protesting.  The violence continued, however, so a month later Dr. King returned to Memphis in hopes to bring peace back to the community.  This is when Dr. King was assassinated.

Conspiracy Theories

The shot came from the boarding house across the street which is also part of the museum.  The boarding house features displays on many conspiracy theories and also preserves the area from which the shot is fired.  I spent 2-3 hours in the National Civil Rights Museum before I went for lunch at nearby Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken.

Lunch at Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken

I got the last table, covered in a plastic checkered cloth, before a line formed at Gus’s!  My two-piece, spicy white meat plate came with baked beans, slaw and a piece of white bread.  I substituted fried okra for the slaw and had no complaints.  I was too full to try any pie.  And the price was right.  My lunch actually cost less than breakfast!

The Memphis Heritage Trail

After eating at Gus’s, I visited a few nearby establishments on the Memphis Heritage Trail which included the WLOK Radio Station, the Clayborn Temple, the I AM A MAN Plaza, and the MLK Reflection Park.  Most of these stops were just “walk-bys” in order to understand the history associated with the Civil Rights Movement. 

WLOK Radio

WLOK Radio became the first African-American owned radio station in Memphis in 1977. 

WLOK Radio Station in Memphis

Clayborn Temple

The Clayborn Temple served as the meeting grounds for the sanitation workers strike. 

Clayborn Temple in Memphis

I AM A MAN Plaza

Next door to the Temple is the new I AM A MAN Plaza which pays tribute to the 1,300 strikers and outlines the timeline of events.  For those who can’t fit in a visit the National Civil Rights Museum, this plaza at least highlights the events of the I AM A MAN Movement. 

MLK Reflection Park

The MLK Reflection Park is also new, having been constructed in 2018 upon the 50th Anniversary of Dr. King’s death.  It gives visitors the opportunity to reflect on Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and work.

MLK Reflection Park in Memphis

Tom Lee Park

After strolling around the south side (and less popular area) of downtown Memphis, I headed west to the river with the intention of taking a stroll through Tom Lee Park.  The mile-long park perched on the bluff parallels the Mississippi River.  Unfortunately, it was closed to the public while undergoing preparation for the giant Beale Street Music Festival which takes place the first weekend in May.

Memphis Riverboats Sightseeing Cruise

I thought a walk through the park would be a nice peaceful way to shed the two pounds of fried food I’d eaten today while waiting on the 2:30 departure of Memphis Riverboats sightseeing cruise.  The daily departure costs $20 plus tax, and the paddlewheel boat is available to board one hour before departure from the dock just north of Tom Lee Park off Beale St.

In 90 minutes, the boat travels from the dock, down to the old bridge, and then up to the new bridge before returning to port.  All of the area can be seen from shore, so the tour isn’t as much sightseeing as it is historical and touristy.  The commentator points out sites along the river, talks about barges, and shares stories and history about the Mississippi River and Memphis.

Mississippi River Facts

A few interesting facts about the Mississippi that I learned are:

              The Mississippi River’s average flow is 10mph.  It takes barges nearly twice as long to travel upriver than downriver.

              The river mileage from Memphis to New Orleans is 642 miles while the highway mileage is 412.

But the most interesting fact I heard was of the sinking of the Sultana.  Just a few weeks after the end of the Civil War, the steamboat Sultana was carrying 2,300 recently released Union POWs, crew and civilians north to St. Louis.

The steamboat was operating with a damaged boiler and carrying six times its capacity in passengers.  The greedy captain ignored the safety concerns and the boiler exploded, sinking the ship in Memphis.  An estimated 1,800 people died, making the explosion of the Sultana the worst maritime disaster in US History…WORSE THAN THE TITANIC! 

Sultana’s fate took place during a busy time.  Confederate President Jefferson Davis had just been captured.  President Lincoln was assassinated.  And the Confederate troops under Robert E Lee surrendered resulting in the end of the Civil War. 

As such, the Sultana’s sinking warranted little news coverage and today few people know of the disaster.  In addition, ironically, the Union soldiers were saved by Confederate troops on the Arkansas side of the Mississippi who would have been shooting at them just weeks prior.

Beale Street

With the Riverboat Tour ending at 4pm on the base of Beale St which used to be lined with boat supply stores, I wandered up the street to the famous pedestrian only Entertainment District.  Souvenir shops, restaurants, and blues clubs lined the somewhat deserted street that would be lively in just a few hours.

Beale Street

Withers Collection and Beale Street Baptist Church

On the east end of the street are two more sites on the Heritage Trail, the Withers Collection Museum & Gallery and the Beale Street Baptist Church.  The Withers Collection features many historical photographs while the Beale Street Baptist Church is considered the mother church of all black Baptist churches in the area.

Dinner at Tsunami in Cooper Young

I had wandered around enough for one day and headed back to Stay Alfred to freshen up before my friend Susan picked me up for dinner at Tsunami in the Cooper Young Historic District.  Cooper Young is a hip area with a handful of restaurants located southeast of Memphis.  It is a car ride or Lyft ride away.

I’m thankful Susan, who I hadn’t seen since my 15-year college reunion, was eager to reunite.  We enjoyed a nice dinner at Tsunami, but with the quick service we had much more talking to do, so we went for dessert and tea at the famous Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis.

Before we ordered dessert, we checked out the rooftop and surrounding view of Memphis. It was a quiet evening on the top of the hotel, but for live music during the summer, be sure to visit on Thursday nights.

Dessert at the Peabody

While I’m not that fond of white chocolate, I couldn’t resist ordering the white chocolate duck filled with chocolate mousse.  I mean dessert at the Peabody must encompass a symbol of the world-famous duck march (more on this to come).  We enjoyed a wonderful evening reminiscing despite the somewhat unfriendly service until it was time for a tip!

Day 2: Itinerary in Memphis

Mud Island

I started the following day in Memphis with a walk to Mud Island.  The pedestrian bridge access was only about a quarter of a mile from my hotel.  On this weekday morning, the escalators and tram were not in use making the walk across the bridge eerily quiet.  I almost felt like I was trespassing.

Regardless, I passed by the Amphitheatre which holds concerts in the summer, skipped the Mississippi River Museum which has limited hours and was closed (though I would have liked to see it), and then descended to the Mud Island River Park. 

This section, on the south end of Mud Island, includes a replica of the Mississippi River complete with sandbars, bridges, and water running through it!  Signs posted along the way reference historical events.  For those interested in the river, this is an interesting stop.

Sun Studio

After my quick visit to the park, I walked to Sun Studio.  I followed Google’s fastest route, but I think it is best to follow the alternative route along Beale St. as some of the area is a little “sketch”.  Sun Studio was originally opened as Memphis Recording Service by Sam Phillips in 1950.  Sam allowed anyone off the street to record at his studio. 

The Birthplace of Rock and Roll

He is credited with recording the first ever Rock and Roll record, “Rocket 88”, by Jackie Brenston and His Delta Cats (a band led by Ike Turner) in 1951, and launched his record label Sun Records in 1952.  Sam got his lucky break when Elvis, a young truck driver walked through the door in 1953.  While Sam wasn’t in the studio when Elvis arrived, his longtime collaborator, Marion Keisker, recorded a song Elvis sang for his mother.

Elvis’ First Recording

She pressed Sam to listen to the recording, but he didn’t warm up to the legend until 1954 when Elvis recorded “That’s All Right”, an instant sensation when Sam sent the song to Dewey Phillips to play on the radio.  Sam recognized Elvis’ talent and sold his contract to RCA for $35,000, and shortly thereafter invested in the hotel chain, Holiday Inn.

The Million Dollar Quartet

Sun Studio is also the place of the impromptu jam session in 1956 which became known as the Million Dollar Quartet.  Jerry Lee Lewis was playing the piano for Carl Perkins when Elvis showed up unexpectedly and Sam summoned Johnny Cash.

Sun Studio Tour

The tour of Sun Studio costs $14 and takes about 45 minutes.  The studio may not be toured without a guide and there is nothing else to see aside from the waiting area which is a café and gift shop.  I arrived when the studio opened and took the first tour at 10:30, though it started earlier.  There is one every hour, one the half-hour during opening hours.

The tour starts in the upstairs section of Sun Studio which includes a variety of memorabilia along with the Dewey Phillips DJ booth.  Downstairs, the original studio holds one of Jerry Lee Lewis’ pianos along with a drum set from U2.  When U2 learned the studio was abandoned, they asked to record at the famous place, marking the studio’s revival.

Shuttle to Graceland in the Outskirts of Memphis

The Sun Studio provides a free shuttle to Graceland, so that $14 entry also pays for a round-trip to Elvis’ home.  The shuttle departs from Sun Studio every hour on the quarter hour.  As such, I boarded the 11:15 shuttle to Graceland which arrives to the famous attraction every hour on the hour.

Graceland

I had purchased a ticket to Graceland online for the 12:15 time slot, though the time slot didn’t seem too important on this calm weekday.  The process for visiting Graceland first includes watching a 7-minute film and then a bus ride to the mansion across the street for an ipad guided tour.

Upon completion of the mansion tour, the bus returns to the Graceland Complex and those who purchased a package which includes seeing Elvis’ cars, boats, motorcycles, jumpsuits, awards and other memorabilia, may now wander through the strip center of giant warehouses.  I selected the aforementioned tour called the Elvis Experience Tour for $61 and paid an extra $5 to see his airplanes.  See my detailed Guide to Graceland to aid in visiting this iconic site.

The Famous Peabody Duck March

After about four hours at Graceland, I took the Sun Studio 4pm shuttle to the Rock n’ Soul Museum near Beale St. where I walked a few minutes to the Peabody Hotel for the world-famous Duck March which takes place every day at 11am and 5pm. 

I arrived around 4:40pm for the 5 o’clock march and was rather late.  Patrons filled the lobby, lined the red carpet from the fountain to the elevators and circled the railing of the 2nd floor balcony.  I squeezed in for a decent view of the march, but for a better experience, arriving an hour prior and enjoying a drink at the bar is better option.

The Legend of the Ducks

The tradition of the ducks in the fountain at the Peabody began in the 1930’s when Frank Schutt, the General Manager of the Peabody, and his friend Chip Barwick returned from a duck hunting weekend. 

After one too many rounds of whiskey, they thought it would be funny to put their live duck decoys in the fountain.  The positive reaction to the ducks sparked the now famous tradition that was led by Bellman Edward Pembroke, once a circus animal trainer. 

In 1940, he offered to deliver the ducks to the fountain each day.  The ducks live in house on the rooftop of the Peabody.  They ride down the elevator and march across the red carpet at 11am into the fountain.  At 5pm, they march across the red carpet to the elevators to return to their upstairs home. 

The march takes about 15 seconds, but the pomp and circumstance leading up to the march takes about 8 minutes.  While it may be a lot of commotion for some ducks, it’s an 80 year Memphis tradition worth experiencing. Duck March Video.

Beale Street Entertainment District

My time in Memphis would not be complete without BBQ and blues, so after a short rest at my hotel, I ventured to Beale St., world famous for its music.  Beale St. has its own website and app listing businesses, events, and museums to visit.  Every restaurant and club features live music each night.

beale st in memphis

Blues City Cafe and Band Box

My plan was to eat pork BBQ (a must order when in Memphis) at the Blues City Café and to listen to blue music next door at their famous Blues City Band Box.  I thought I would have to eat at the café prior to enjoying Earl “the Pearl” Banks at the Band Box, but this was not so.

I got the last seat in the house at the Band Box bar around 6:30pm and enjoyed the 83 year old’s show from about 7 to 10pm, though he played longer than that.  Given the place was full at 6:30, I recommend an early dinner in the Band Box section in order to enjoy some fantastic Memphis Blues! Blues Music Video.

Day 3: Itinerary of Memphis

For my final day in Memphis, the weather was dreary.  While I didn’t let it stop me being a tourist, admittedly it slowed me down a little.  I still managed to visit three more attractions and enjoy another dinner with my friend Ramona, but I could have added in one more stop for a truly action-packed day in Memphis.

Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum

I started my day at the Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum.  It is located north of downtown Memphis in Uptown.  Not completely familiar with the neighborhood, it was just far enough away for me to order a short Lyft ride and arrive at its opening at 10am.  I was there before the docent!

I waited outside with the security guard while Asia opened up the museum which only took a few minutes.  After paying the $12 fee, I stood by in the banjo display room as she got organized for my tour.  While biding my time I snapped a few unauthorized photos and justified it with the inefficient museum opening.

Guided Tour

Eventually my private tour, because no one else was there, began. It might have been the best hour tour in Memphis!  Asia, who served our country in the Army, was an absolute wealth of knowledge!  Her energy and passion about educating the public on slavery and black rights radiated the room.

The Middle Passage

While I has studied some of the slavery topics in high school, I learned a great deal.  Asia discussed the slave trade that began in the 1600’s.  Free Africans were kidnapped and transported across the Atlantic by the Dutch to America via the “Middle Passage”.  They were laid across stacked pallets, forced fed, and sprayed down with water to eliminate excrement.  Many died and were tossed overboard causing sharks to follow the path of the ships which is still the path sharks follow today.

Slavery

The slaves were bought and sold at market in auctions, being separated from their families. Buyers inspected their bodies as if they were buying an animal.  Plantations owners whipped and murdered them for no good reason.

Seeing the newspaper ads about slave sales and rewards for runaways really hit home. While I was aware of the atrocities, my young teenage brain just couldn’t truly fathom the cruelty toward slaves.

Underground Railroad

Of course I learned of Harriet Tubman and the underground railroad used as a means of escape to the free North in high school as well, but again many details eluded me. I was fascinated by all the codes and signals of the undercover operation. 

Slaves sang work songs with meaning.  “Swing low, sweet chariot” means run, stay low, and find any means of transportation. In addition, quilts with different stitched designs, were hung out on railings to send messages in plain view.  A square that looked like a star meant follow the north star at night!

quilts

I could have listened to Asia’s stories for hours.  Instead I wrote down several movies and books to review such as 12 Years A Slave, In Plain View, A Birth of a Nation, The Underground Railroad (by Still), Roots, and If Beale Street Could Talk.

The tour ended in the cellar beneath the museum, which is housed in Burkle’s home, an underground, railroad station.  The white house could be recognized by the magnolia trees, the only evergreen trees in the area.  The fleeing slaves entered a small hidden entrance in the back of the house and crawled to the cellar.  At the right time, they ran to river for rides on boats to northern cities.

hatch  door to cellar
hatch door to cellar

The Cotton Museum

After my time at the Slave Haven Underground Railroad Museum, I returned to downtown Memphis for a tour of the Cotton Museum housed in the former Memphis Cotton Exchange.  Aside from standing on the Cotton Exchange floor whose cotton trade revolutionized the world, I didn’t find the museum terribly exciting.  If I needed to save time and $10, this is the attraction I would remove from my three day visit to Memphis.

Having said that, I was still insistent on following the outside, audio-guided tour of historic buildings active in the cotton trade.  The young lady manning the front desk didn’t recommend it, especially with the rainy weather.  She said, it was sort of boring.  She was right.

The Trip Advisor review I read about how much a particular visitor loved the museum and the walk stumped me.  I mentioned it the young lady at the desk, and she asked, “Are you from the North or the South?”

I responded, “The South”

She replied, “Well, the people from the South say they learn one or two things, but the people from the North learn a fair amount.  The number one comment we receive from the North is ‘I didn’t know cotton was a plant’.”

Seeing my look of dismay, she continued, “That’s why we added the extra agricultural room over here that shows how cotton is grown.”

I was left speechless.  For those who don’t know cotton is a plant, I suppose the museum is worth a visit!

Memphis Rock N’ Soul Museum

My final visit of the day was to the Memphis Rock N’ Soul Museum.  I wasn’t sure how interesting I’d find this museum and debated visiting.  There is a plethora of music museums to visit in Memphis including the Stax Museum, the Blues Hall of Fame, and the Memphis Music Hall of Fame.  Of these, the Rock N’ Soul Museum got the best reviews on Trip Advisor and was also the most convenient.  As such, I gave it a shot.

The museum discussed the history of music in Memphis and featured many exhibits including a variety of juke boxes, stories about record producers, outfits of musicians and more.  While some of it was repetitive after visiting Graceland and Sun Studios, there were some different tidbits to appreciate for the $13 admission.

Dinner at Flight

I enjoyed my final meal in Memphis with Ramona at Flight.  I may have sacrificed tasting the best BBQ in Memphis at Central or Rendezvous, but I was rewarded with a creative menu at Flight in a cool wine cellar. 

The restaurant offers flights of food and drinks.  I ordered the fish flight, so I tried three different types of fish with different dressings.  Of halibut, redfish, and snapper, I’ve confirmed I like halibut the best!

Ramona ordered the seafood flight which included crab, scallops and shrimp.  It was excellent as well.  Our dinner wasn’t complete without a dessert flight.  The dessert portions were huge, and we definitely over-indulged!

Other Attractions

While I certainly feel like I visited most all the attractions in Memphis, a few others I might visit upon a return to the city include the following:

The Bass Pro Shop

The Bass Pro Shop is located in the Pyramid complete with a hotel, restaurant, Duck’s Unlimited Museum, shooting range, aquarium with fish feeding, and an observation deck with a view of Memphis.

Memphis

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Believe it or not, this renowned St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital allows self-guided tours of certain areas with registration and also offers a guided tour at 10am and 1pm Monday through Friday as well as on the second Saturday of every month.  I wasn’t aware of this until late, otherwise I might have tried to organize a visit.

Shelby Farms Park

While Ramona was kind enough to drive me through this enormous park,  upon a return to Memphis, I would enjoy exploring the trails at Shelby Farms Park.

An Evening Watching Sports

Memphis is home to two sports team that play downtown. The Memphis Grizzlies are a part of the NBA while the Memphis Redbirds play in Minor League Baseball. No sporting events were scheduled while I was in Memphis, but with the ease of walking to a game downtown, I’d add it to my list.

Overall, I really enjoyed Memphis, especially its walkable downtown.  Memphis is rich in both history and culture and has many interesting attractions for tourists to visit.  ETB 



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Published by

Beth Bankhead

Former public finance professional turned travel photographer and blogger.

6 thoughts on “Memphis: A Three Day Itinerary

  1. Beth loved your information on Graceland ….I was wondering how I can move the photos that are over the printed info….Diane

    1. I believe if you click on the photo, you will see a larger image without the print. At least that’s what it does for me. Hope all is well!

  2. Had a wonderful time taking care of you at the Canary! Happy you enjoyed my city and I really enjoyed reading your outside perspective on things to do. I’ll be sure to share this with other guests. Sorry again I couldn’t keep the A/C off!

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