Cotton Museum - Andrea Zucker

Cotton Museum at The Cotton Exchange

Belz Museum horses

Belz Museum of Asian and Judaic Art Jade Horses

Metal Flower at Metal Museum in Memphis - andrea zucker

The National Metal Museum is a perfect venue for weddings. Photo by Andrea Zucker.

Lorraine Motel Memphis

National Civil Rights Museum sign at the Lorraine Motel

Center for Southern Folklore

Hear live music at the Center for Southern Folklore in Downtown Memphis. Photo by Baxter Buck.

American Dream Safari '55 Cadillac

American Dream Safari - '55 Caddy. Photo by Andrea Zucker.

National Civil Rights Museum - Sanitation Strike Exhibit. Photo Credit: Lisa Waddell Buser

I AM A MAN exhibit at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis. Photo by Lisa Buser.

At the Center for Southern Folklore, tales of the South come alive through storytellers, folk artists, musicians and historians. Cool thing here is no two days are ever the same as a constantly changing lineup of people and tales create an indelible experience. Nearby, the Cotton Museum pays homage to Memphis’ role as the world’s king of cotton. The old trading floor of the Cotton Exchange is the backbone of the museum, which tells the story of the crop as well as that of those who planted, harvested and sold it.

At the National Civil Rights Museum, one of our nation’s darkest days is revealed – yet the hope brought on by the leader of the Civil Rights Movement continues to inspire countless visitors. The Lorraine Motel, site of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968 during the Memphis sanitation workers strike, is eerily preserved, serving both as a solemn reminder of that day and as a showcase for how the Civil Rights Movement here in Memphis influenced the world.

German immigrant Jacob Burkle’s home near the banks of the Mississippi River was unassuming and plain – a perfect combination for the under-the-radar efforts to move slaves northward on the Underground Railroad so they could become free. At the Slave Haven Museum and Burkle Estate, trap doors and hidden passages spark the imagination of what the flight to freedom must have been like for those trying to escape.

Art takes center stage in Memphis’ excellent museums, with offerings ranging from the Dutch Masters to masters of metal. The Memphis Brooks Museum of Art in Overton Park has a highly regarded permanent collection highlighted by an assortment of Italian Renaissance and Baroque paintings, along with British, French Impressionists and 20th-century painters. Traveling exhibitions range from modern photography to impressionism, while weekly events offer the chance to peruse art in a more social atmosphere.

Ironwork is iconic in the South, with gates, railings and porches intricately fashioned from hot metal. So it’s fitting that the only museum in the Americas dedicated to the art of metalwork is in Memphis. Along the riverfront, the Metal Museum showcases a permanent collection of more than 3,000 pieces dating back more than 500 years.

Lorraine Motel Memphis
Lorraine Motel Memphis
National Civil Rights Museum - Sanitation Strike Exhibit. Photo Credit: Lisa Waddell Buser
Metal Flower at Metal Museum in Memphis - andrea zucker
Southern Folklore; National Civil Rights Museum
Lorraine Motel Memphis
At the National Civil Rights Museum, one of our nation’s darkest days is revealed – yet the hope brought on by the leader of the Civil Rights Movement continues to inspire countless visitors. The Lorraine Motel, site of the assassination of Dr. Martin Lut