Elvis Presley, BB King, and Jerry Lee Lewis; all legendary figures who defined the music industry of their time and iconic symbols in American history. Memphis, Tennessee is synonymous with music and famous for the above musicians who have all recorded in the town, but regardless of whether these are some of your favorite artists, Memphis still offers a perfect destination for a weekend getaway in the US and unique escape from the predictable nature of the big city.
Here are 5 reasons you need to visit Memphis, Tennessee:
Beale Street: You can finally go walking in Memphis
Bruce Springstein once sang the line about this famous street in the song “Walking in Memphis” and simply put, Beale street offers some of the most vibrant, musical and diverse nightlife in the United States. Many bars will cater to particular musical tastes, with Jazz clubs next door to Rock n’ Roll on outdoor terraces and modern themed bars in between.
Colorful street artists fill the pedestianized street outside, while many nightclubs will stay open into the early hours of the morning. Expect Elvis impersonators, energetic shows, enthusiastic local bar staff and a headache worth having the following morning; Beale Street in Memphis is a night to remember.
Sun Studios: Immerse yourself in the most iconic studio in America
A young Elvis Presley once walked into these studios to make his very first recording, as too did Jerry Lee Lewis and many more famous musicians over the years such as U2, Van Morrison and BB King.
Sun Studios is steeped in history and while the venue is very small, it offers an opportunity to follow in the footsteps of musical history and stand in the very spot where these artists began recording. With worn black and white photographs adorning the walls and many of the original instruments and devices still in place, Sun Studios certainly makes for a unique experience.
Graceland: Visit the home of the King
Visitor often comment that you need not be an Elvis fan or interested in his music to appreciate the grandeur and importance of Graceland. Elvis truly was the King of Rock’n’Roll and one of the first celebrities who exuded a huge and overwhelming presence.
Flash cars, diamond clad chandeliers, incredibly intriguing furniture and luxury far beyond anything existing in those times; Graceland is an intimate encounter to a place which has long left a mark on peoples live, even the most famous. When you stand in the living room and realize that Elvis once played host to the Beatles on the very sofa before your eyes, you will need no explaining what is so special about a visit to Graceland.
Food: Enjoy the taste of Southern style cooking
Golden pancakes covered in syrup for breakfast; what better way to start a day than with a hearty Southern styled breakfast?
Memphis is renowned for fine food, great coffee shops and world class restaurants. While coffee may be a good way to pass time in the afternoon, the succulent barbecued meats are a major attraction in Memphis; try Huey’s for an enormous burger or dry ribs at the Bar-B-Q Shop.
No matter what taste you may have, Memphis has a wide range of Southern style restaurants and an endless variety of foods on offer at reasonable prices.
American History: National Civil Rights Museum
Forgetting about the music for a minute, Memphis is also the location for a much more important part of history, the Civil Rights Museum.
Highly educational, the Museum is a walk down memory lane to a time when civil rights were largely denied and then overcome. Martin Luther King is naturally very central to this movement and it is a very eye opening account of America’s social history.
While it is sometimes sad and incredibly emotional, the National Civil Rights Museum is another great reason to visit Memphis.