Memphis-Bound for a Conference? Get the Most Out of Your Time

Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen: Justin Fox Burks

Chefs from Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen put the final touches on a dish. Photo by Justin Fox Burks.

Memphis Hop Tour Bus map

Hop on. Tune in. Rock Out. Get on the bus and take in Memphis' unique and vibrant culture. Photo provided by Blues City Tours

Front Porch at Rock n Soul Museum - Justin Fox Burks

Explore the history of Memphis music at the Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum. Photo by Justin Fox Burks

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.

Cotton Museum - Andrea Zucker

Cotton Museum at The Cotton Exchange

Sheraton Exterior - Dusk: Starwood Hotels and Resorts

Sheraton Memphis Downtown Hotel near the Memphis Cook Convention Center. Photo by Starwood Hotels and Resorts.

Live music at Rum Boogie Cafe: Andrea Zucker

Live music at the Rum Boogie Cafe on Beale Street in Memphis. Photo by Andrea Zucker.

Elvis at Graceland. Photo Credit: EPE

Elvis Presley on the grounds of Graceland.

Interior dining area at Restaurant Iris

Restaurant Iris was named Best Restaurant, Best Service and Best Chef in Memphis. Photo by Justin Fox Burks

Memphis neon sign

Memphis neon on Beale Street. Photo by Andrea Zucker.

You finally made it! You’ve checked into your hotel, and you’re excited to be in Memphis for your conference or convention. But now what? You’ve got some down time, and we’ve got the tips to help you experience all the Bluff City has to offer.

Make sure to carve out some time to explore world famous Beale Street. One of the country’s most visited avenues boasts live music every night of the week. No matter what style of music turns your tables, you’ll be able to find someone performing it on Beale. 

The Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum is just a stone’s throw away from every Downtown Memphis hotel. Curated in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institute, this popular attraction traces the history of rock, soul and gospel music in the Mid South. 

No rental car? No problem. You can catch the Memphis Hop bus right outside of the Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum and take it to ten other attractions, including Elvis Presley’s Graceland. Graceland offers an insider’s look at the life of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. View his family home, private plane and even his enormous collection of luxury cars.

Relive moments of Southern history at the National Civil Rights Museum. Trace the Civil Rights Movement from its earliest inception in 1619, through Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and all the way to current struggles for racial equality. This museum not only outlines Memphis’ place in the movement, but contributions from the entirety of the American South. Your tour comes to a close in room 306 at the Lorraine Motel where Dr. King took his last breath. The National Civil Rights Museum is a quick trolley ride from the Memphis Cook Convention Center and Downtown Memphis hotels

Did you know that from the late 1800s through the mid 1970s people traded cotton right here Memphis, in almost the same way that stocks are traded on Wall Street today? The Cotton Museum showcases the integral part Memphis played in the rise of the cotton industry. Discover how Memphis’ geographic location and quick access to river and rail transportation made it the perfect spot for the Mid South’s Cotton Exchange.

A trip to Memphis isn’t complete without experiencing some of our fine cuisine. Join other barbecue aficionados at Central BBQ for a pulled pork sandwich, barbecue nachos, and of course, ribs. 

Visitors and locals alike flock to Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken, where the special of the day is always chicken. If you have a large party, grab a Family Pack to get the most bang for your buck. 

We know you might not think Memphis when it comes to pizza, but Hog & Hominy will definitely change your mind. Named one of the best new restaurants of 2013 by GQ Magazine, Hog & Hominy’s menu of eclectic Italian favorites will have you talking about barbecued pig tails, roasted rabbit and succulent pork belly for weeks to come. 

Want to entertain a client? We’ve also got you covered if you’re looking for something a bit more upscale. Chef Kelly English’s award-winning flagship eatery, Restaurant Iris, will impress any business dinner companion. The mix of traditional Creole cuisine with unique Southern flair, top-notch cocktails and outstanding service puts this popular spot at the top everyone’s list.

Memphis is full of great things to do, so get the most out of your conference and time in the city! Looking for additional Memphis attractions, trip ideas or hotels near the Memphis Cook Convention Center? Check out