Fodor’s Go List 2018

Fodors Editors, November, 2017

52 places to remind you what a wonderful world this is.

Yesterday, we published our No List, which underscored many of the challenges we face as travelers—as human beings, really—around the world. Sometimes it’s scary out there. Bad news seems to be everywhere, constantly upsetting our daily lives with fear and sadness. But resist, fellow mortal! Have hope for this extraordinary planet and its curiously charming inhabitants. This planet is, at heart, a magical place that’s worth exploring.

So, behold: our 2018 Go List.

We compiled it with the hopes that it might be a reminder to hold strong to your enthusiasm for exploration. To be a part of something enormous. To observe and experience. To allow your mind to expand and your heart to enlarge. To travel, witness life and earth, savor the varieties, and marvel the majesty. To look around you. To be alive. To get going. And to always, always, always remember what a wonderful world this is.

—Jeremy Tarr, Digital Editorial Director & Rachael Levitt, Managing Editor

6 OF 52

Memphis, Tennessee

From blues and BBQ to the bright lights of Beale Street, Memphis is a city that feeds the soul.

Why It’s Wonderful: The birthplace of rock-n-roll, the blues, and arguably some of the best BBQ on the planet, there’s no denying the fact that Memphis is a city with a lot of soul. Even Elvis Presley’s home, Graceland, has continued to attract more than 20-million visitors over the years. First-timers and veterans alike are attracted to the bright lights and good vibes of Beale Street, where the party tends to go all night. Longtime Memphis staple, BB King’s Blues Club is the perfect place to post up for some live music. On the third floor, Itta Bena’s speakeasy-style restaurant and bar is not to be missed, while lunch or dinner at The KitchenBistro won’t disappoint. If you have time to spare, a trip to Shelby Farms Park, a 4,500-acre stretch of land is an oasis of boating, picnicking, and horse-back riding.

Where to Stay: When it comes to iconic hotels it doesn’t get much better than The Peabody. Dating back to 1869, this classic haunt is located in the heart of downtown Memphis. Don’t miss a chance to watch the hotels longest live-in guests, the Peabody ducks, waddle their way across the hotel lobby and into the fountain, a tradition that dates back to the 1930s. Nestled along the Mississippi River, the River Inn of Harbor Town is a hop, skip, and a jump away from the action of Beale Street. With only 28 guestrooms to choose from, all beautifully decorated to evoke a mix of southern comfort with European influence and décor, don’t miss a chance to enjoy a raspberry creamsicle and shrimp and grits in the hotel’s on-site restaurant Paulettes. If you’re looking for something a bit more modern, the Madison Hotel is located downtown and offers nicely appointed rooms along with some of the best views of the city from the hotel’s rooftop bar.

Insider Tip: While there tends to be some debate about who serves up the best Memphis BBQ, you really can’t go wrong with Corky’s BBQ or Charlie Vergo’s Rendezvous downtown. Another perennially popular spot, The Bar-B-Q Shop (originally Brady & Lil’s Bar-B-Q Restaurant) on Madison Avenue is known to serve up some of the best BBQ ribs, tips, and coleslaw in town. While there’s nothing fancy about this spot, its cozy atmosphere and award-winning rubs have kept the local clientele coming back year after year.

When to Go: While Memphis is a popular city to visit year-round, every May the city plays host to a month-long International Festival aptly called Memphis in May that includes the Beale Street Music Festival, the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, and the Great American River Run. In October, the Memphis Food & Wine Festival invites local and nationally acclaimed chefs to show off their talents.

What to Read: Randomly pick up any John Grisham novel–chances are it takes place in Memphis.

Plan Your Trip: Visit Fodor’s Memphis Guide.

Michelle Gross

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November, 2017