Music Lover's Itinerary

Walk The Line: From Blues to Soul and Rock ‘n’ Roll

Live Music at the Levitt Shelly by Craig Thompson

Day 1:

If you're staying in Downtown Memphis, you won't need a car to get to visit all of these Memphis music attractions. Just tighten those laces, grab a trolley pass, or hail down a horse drawn carriage. 

Gibson Showcase Factory Tours

www.gibson.com (tours listed on homepage)  | 901-543-0800
From the body to the bridge, from the fingerboard to the fret, the pieces have come together for over 100 years from Gibson guitars. Take an unforgettable tour of the Memphis guitar factory and watch highly skilled luthiers craft the one instrument most associated with pop music and culture, the Gibson guitar. Afterwards, check out the Lounge where guests are welcomed with food, drink and music.

• Suggested Tour Time: 1-2 hours

Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum

www.memphisrocknsoul.org | 901-205-2533
No place better dramatizes and organizes the cultural and social ramifications of Memphis’ musical connection to the world better than this Smithsonian Institute seven-gallery chronicle. With over 100 songs, the audio tour is a museum in and of itself.

• Suggested Tour Time: 2 hours

Memphis Music Hall of Fame

www.memphismusichalloffame.com/museum || 901-205-2532
The Memphis Music Hall of Fame (MMHoF) celebrates visionaries who’ve made music in this city that resonates around the world. Some are household names, some aren’t. But spend an hour or so in their Hall of Fame, and you’ll see how they’re all connected to the soundtrack of your life.

• Suggested Tour Time: 1 ½ hours 

Blues Hall of Fame

www.blues.org/hall-of-fame || 901-527-2583
The Blues Hall of Fame has in fact been around since 1980, when The Blues Foundation began inducting individuals, recordings and writings at an annual ceremony. Acknowledging these achievements that changed the way the world listens to music. Now at the Blues Hall of Fame museum, you can view the original art, artifacts and engage with interactive exhibits. 

• Suggested Tour Time: 1 ½ hours 
 

BEALE STREET

When the blues migrated north from the Delta it found a permanent home in Memphis, and that home is alive and well today on Beale Street. Dance to the many bands and artists that perform in open-air Handy Park or spend a night sliding in and out of 15-20 nightclubs, like B.B. King’s Blues Club, Rum Boogie Café or King’s Palace. If good food in authentic settings appeals to you, be sure and visit Itta Bena, a warm, friendly place to eat, drink and have fun in an historic Beale Street environment. Or better yet, hit the district in May when the city jams with music, food and fun during our annual Memphis in May festival.  
• Suggested Tour Time: How much fun do you want to have?
Stax Museum of American Soul Music sign. Photo Credit: Dan Ball
Elvis Presley - 60th Anniversary of Rock 'n' Roll. Photo Credit: EPE
Beale Street at Night

DAY 2:

You won't want to miss these one-of-a-kind Memphis music attractions. Where rock 'n' roll was born and went on to change the world, and where soul music filled the air and helped ignite a movement.  

GRACELAND     

www.elvis.com | 901-332-3322
Now that the legendary home to Elvis Presley and his family is a National Historic Landmark, we can argue that a trip to Memphis that doesn’t include a tour of Graceland is an act of treason against the state. Well, maybe just against the city of Memphis. Either way the 14-acre home of the King is a must-do for any visitor. Opening on March 2, 2017, the new Elvis Presley's Memphis entertainment complex will enable fans to follow Elvis' career, immerse themselves with the things that he loved, and experience the sights and sounds of the city that inspired him.

• Audio tours available in Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish. 
• Some attractions are available for special events and private parties
• Suggested Tour Times: (does not include shopping time) Platinum Tour—3 hours; Mansion Tour—1 ½ hours    

STAX MUSEUM OF AMERICAN SOUL MUSIC 

www.staxmuseum.com | 901-946-2535 
This 17,000-square-foot museum—on the original site of Stax Records— is home to more than 2,000 cultural artifacts, celebrating the music made famous by Otis Redding, Booker T. and the MGs, Isaac Hayes, the Bar-Kays, Al Green, Aretha Franklin, Earth, Wind & Fire and more. In addition to Stax music and memorabilia, you’ll also find exhibits dedicated to the artists of Muscle Shoals, Motown, Atlantic and Memphis’ own Hi Records.  

• Suggested Tour Time: 1 ½ hours 

SUN STUDIO

www.sunstudio.com | 901-521-0664
Sam Phillips’ famous recording studio is ground zero for rock and roll’s explosion onto the world stage. Literally packed with memories and memorabilia, the “Birthplace of Rock and Roll” gives visitors a chance to hear historical outtakes and even touch Elvis’ first microphone. Experience the stories that put legends like Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and more on the map, and see why artists like U2, Tom Petty and Maroon Five continue to flock here today.

• Suggested Tour Time: Studio Tour—45 minutes
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Specialty Music Tours

Need a guide? These tours provide the experts 

BACKBEAT MEMPHIS TOURS

www.backbeattours.com | 901-272-BEAT (2328)
Sightseeing tours led by Memphis musicians performing live aboard a 1950’s era bus! A unique and entertaining insider’s view of the city’s rich musical heritage. Laugh, sing—even play along—on this “backstage pass” to the best of Memphis music history. Get ready to “shake, rattle, ‘n’ roll.”

• Customized tours available
• ​Suggested Tour Time: Varies 

Rockabilly Rides 

www.rockabillyrides.com | 901-264-0819
Founded by two Beale Street entertainers who not only know the music history but also live it every day and are two of the biggest Elvis fans you’ll find in the city. Let them take you on a journey into Rock ‘n’ Roll history while exploring the city streets in true vintage style.  Hop into a 1955 Chevy Bel Air, 1955 Plymouth Belvedere or 1959 Ford Skyliner and have an experience you won't forget. 

• Custom and private tours available
• Can accommodate a group of 7
• ​Suggested Tour Time: About 1 hour 
 
Need a ride?  These are hop on and off shuttles 
Memphis Map & Tourist Guide