Only In Memphis

January, 2017

Memphis is a one of a kind destination. It's where many musical genres converge to create that extraordinary Memphis Sound; and where family fun meets urban energy. It's these unexpected combinations that make the Memphis experience so unique and why, no matter how many times you visit, you'll always discover a new beat.

Here are some of our attractions that you'll only find right here in Memphis. 

Crowds on Beale Street
Blues Hall of Fame, Memphis
Memphis Music Hall of Fame
Peabody hotel ducks in memphis
Beale Street, MMHoF, Blues Hall of Fame, Peabody Ducks

Beale Street

www.bealestreet.com | 901-526-0110
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.  

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. But that was it: achievements that changed the way the world listens to music, a ceremony and nothing more. View the original art, artifacts and interactive exhibits. 

• Suggested Tour Time: 1 ½ hours 

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. Take in the mansion, the Hall of Gold, “Sincerely Elvis” museum, the vintage automobile collection and his airplanes. That’s right, there’s more than one.  

• 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    

LAUDERDALE COURTS

901-523-8662
Though Lauderdale Courts began life in 1938 as one of America’s first public housing projects, the Uptown Square location is known not so much for its history as for its most famous resident. From 1949 to 1953, Gladys, Vernon and their teenage son Elvis called Apartment #328 home. Now restored to reflect the Presley family’s simple life and times, The Elvis Suite is officially the only place in town where visitors can sleep exactly where the King did.

• Tour Length: 15 minutes
• Guides available

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

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 

Metal Museum

metalmuseum.org | 901-774-6380
Known for one of the most picturesque views of the Mississippi River, the Metal Museum gives craftsmen and casual observers alike the opportunity to have a magical experience along the banks of the mighty Mississippi. With a working blacksmith shop, more than 3,000 pieces of decorative metalwork, and library in a renovated 1877 hospital with the largest collection of metal working slides, books and portfolios in the country, and it’s safe to say this is anything but your typical museum. Take in a blacksmithing class, see contemporary and historic metal work, or just enjoy a sunset (and if your timing is right, a wedding) at one of the hottest spots in town.

• Suggested Tour Time: 1 hour
Stax Museum of American Soul Music sign. Photo Credit: Dan Ball
Elvis mic at Sun Studio, Memphis
Graceland: EPE
Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Sun Studios, National Civil Rights Museum, Graceland

NATIONAL CIVIL RIGHTS MUSEUM

civilrightsmuseum.org | 901-521-9699
Site of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Bringing the stories of civil and human rights to life in moving fashion through interpretive exhibits and in-depth audio/visual displays, the museum focuses on milestone events like the Montgomery bus boycott and the Memphis sanitation strike, as well as more recent struggles and achievements of the Civil Rights Movement following King’s death. Audio-guided tours are available in English, and docent guides for groups available with advance request.  

• Suggested Tour Time: 2 hours

Peabody Duck March

peabodymemphis.com | 901-529-4000
If it looks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck, it must be in the lobby of one of the most elegant hotels in the South. The history began in the 1930s when two duck hunters thought it would be great fun to place live ducks in the beautiful lobby fountain. What started as a joke has now become a much-loved tradition where the world-famous ducks promenade the red carpet daily at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. 

• Suggested Tour Time: 30 minutes

WITHERS COLLECTION MUSEUM & GALLERY

witherscollection.org | 901-523-2344
Peek into the more recent past at the Ernest Withers Collection, a gallery featuring an expansive collection of photographs depicting life throughout the 20th century: musical legends, sports stars, pivotal events during the Civil Rights movement and daily life in Memphis.
• Suggested tour time: 1 hour

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 minute
• Call ahead to avoid wait times

W.C. Handy Home and Museum 

www.heritagetoursofmemphis.com | 901-527-3427
Composer, teacher, publisher, bandleader and businessman, William Christopher Handy is credited as the first musician to document the raw, emotional lyricism of the blues. His modest Beale Street home-turned-museum may be small, but it is the axis upon which Memphis music turns, and quietly captures the spirit of Old Beale like no other place on Earth.

• Suggested Tour Time: 30 minutes
Authentically Memphis
Memphis Can't Stop the Feeling
Memphis Soul