3-Day Memphis Best Tour

See all the best educational sights Memphis Tennessee has to offer on this exciting 3-day adventure! Your group will have the chance to tour the home of the King, the recording studio that made Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley famous, and the museum that boasts the country's first grocery store! Learn all about the Mighty Mississippi and its impact on Memphis at Mud Island or Beale Street Landing, and take in all the sights with an authentic Memphis Riverboat cruise. You will even get a lot of outdoor time to learn about the ecological surroundings of Tennessee, as well get recreational fun at the same time! Let Group Tours help you book this thrilling tour today!

 

Day One

Graceland - Everybody in your group is going to be "all shook up" over your first Memphis stop at the legendary home of the King, Elvis Presley, in Graceland! Graceland is the most famous rock and roll residence in the world, giving the hundreds of thousands of annual visitors an intimate glimpse of the personal life of Presley. This 13.8 acre Colonial Revival Style mansion features majestic white columns, as well as 20 years of memories of Elvis and his closest friends and family. Upon entrance each member of your group will receive an iPad loaded with an interactive tour narrated by John Stamos. You will see video footage on your personal iPad based upon where you are standing in the house, as well as rock and roll trivia and photos. Explore all of the on-site structures to get the full Elvis experience, seeing his gold and platinum record collection, glittering jumpsuits, and film and music memorabilia at the Graceland Plaza and Graceland Crossing. You can also see the automobile museum which contains over 20 of Elvis’ pristine vehicles, or take the VIP tour to see many behind the scenes exhibits unavailable elsewhere. This is one stop that your group is going to love tenderly, and love truly.

Sun Studio - The year is 1954, and a shy teenager with big hair and an even bigger voice has laid his first track at Sun Studio, called "That’s All Right." From there the rest is history, as Elvis Presley helped launched Sun Studio’s fame, and vice versa. Rock pioneer Sam Phillips began this historic birthplace of rock and roll in 1950 with the technical first rock and roll single in history, "Rocket 88" by Jackie Brenston. BB King followed soon, then came the million dollar quartet of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lewis, and Carl Perkins. Sam Phillips helped musicians blend blues and country, making rock and roll, with his no-rules new style of recording that provided a non critical, spontaneous environment to promote creativity and vision. The music he has created has stood the test of time and reached across race, age, and gender boundaries to make one of the biggest impacts on American pop culture in musical history. A guided tour of Sun Studio will allow your group to hear about session outtakes of the best musicians, touch Elvis’ first microphone, plus hear the story of the famous quartet and studio launch. You can even stop by the cafe for a handmade milkshake or head to the gift shop for some essential records, books, or posters of your own rock and roll icon.

Stax Museum of American Soul -  Next your group will visit the world’s only museum dedicated to preserving and promoting the legacy of American Soul Music, at the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. This museum is located on the original site of the historic Stax Records Studio and serves to pay tribute to the recording artists from Stax history, as well as American soul legends. Through their amazing collection of over 2,000 artifacts, interactive exhibits, films, and galleries the Stax Museum will amaze your group and teach them all they need to know about the groovy beginnings of American Soul. On a tour of the structure you will see the actual birthplace of soul music, a modest country Mississippi Delta Church from 1906 that has been fit inside the museum. Next go express yourself on the Dance Floor next to reruns on the big screen of Soul Train. You will also see a replica of recording Studio A, as well as the Hall of Records/Wall of Sound, featuring labels from 1957 to 1975. Stop by the Stax Shop on your way out to pick up any soulful souvenir you can think of!

 

Day Two

National Civil Rights Museum - The National Civil Rights Museum is one of the nation’s premier heritage and cultural museums, established in 1991. The museum aims to share culture and lessons from the American Civil Rights Movement and also to explore how that era still shapes equality and freedom today worldwide. The building is located in the former Lorraine Motel, the site of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s untimely assassination in 1968. Featured on the History Channel, CNN, USA Today, and the award-winning documentary The Witness, the National Civil Rights Museum is among the top 5% of accredited institutions in America. Inside this museum your group can walk through history and learn more about the difficult and rewarding period of change through interactive exhibits, historic collections, dynamic speakers, and special events. Explore the 260 artifacts that span through 5 centuries of history, from the beginning of slavery resistance in the 17th century to Jim Crow’s contribution to equality. Be sure to check out the many themed exhibits such as The Year They Walked and Is This America before hitting the gift shop and picking up your essential Civil Rights souvenir and "Eracism" shirt.  

Beale Street Landing - Welcome to the area where Memphis meets the mighty Mississippi, the famous Beale Street Landing! This grand civic space was created to allow guests to fully enjoy the scenic waterfront while learning valuable history of Memphis and Tennessee. This landing was created over 250 years ago as the city-founding trade and commerce center. The 6 acre landing features a sloping grass roof for guests to take in the vistas from, a truly "green" part of the structure that aids in cooling off the building and reducing rain runoff. While here your group can visit the islet filled with indigenous trees and grasses, take part in the finest recreation around such as hiking, biking, or picnicking, or even spend some time fishing or soaking your feet off of the 410 floating dock. Once you’ve worked up an appetite head over to the River Front Bar and Grill for some great Memphis wares. You can even unleash your inner kid at the large kids interactive water park and play area! Whatever your group decides to do at the Landing, be sure to bring your camera and sense of learning, because the facts and views here are unbeatable!

Memphis Riverboats - Your next stop will board right at the Beale Street Landing, with a 90 minute sightseeing tour of the Mississippi River aboard one of the Island Queen paddlewheelers! The Memphis Riverboat tours take you a few scenic miles up and down the river, giving you tons of river history, Memphis history, and some of the best skyline views of downtown Memphis you can find! This 100 foot enclosed deck vessel provides a comprehensive and interesting narrative of past and present Mississippi River life, while fully entertaining their thousands of yearly guests. Enjoy the history of the cruise line itself as well, as you will learn about the 1955 beginning of the then Memphis Queen Cruise Line. The company was bought out, renamed, and refurbished in 2005 and has since provided insightful seasonal entertainment to the city. Your group can also choose to take the evening dinner or music cruises, one featuring the best Memphis BBQ and the other the best jazz and blues house band. Each cruise features an open snack and alcohol bar for full relaxation. Bring your camera for this stop and be prepared to see gorgeous Mississippi River views!

Beale Street - Your last stop on day one will give you the most wonderful case of the Beale Street Blues, as you explore the 1.8 miles of America’s most iconic street, Beale Street! Stretching from the Mississippi River to East Street, Beale Street is a top Tennessee attraction that is best known as the home of the blues that was officially established as a merchant paradise in 1841. Beale Street saw its heyday in the roaring '20s, when this carnival like atmosphere featured the best and the worst of Memphis. On the average day on Beale Street you could see booming nightclubs, theaters, restaurants, stores, pawnshops, and hot music, as well as gambling, drinking, prostitution, murder, and voodoo. Today a stroll down the street will show you the best blues clubs and restaurants, as well as many frequent festivals and outdoor concerts. Visit the Hard Rock Cafe, BB King's Blues Club, the Beale Tap Room, or the original Coyote Ugly Saloon. Pretend you’re in the '20s as you pass the Monarch Club, a frequent gangster body disposal location, or the street stand Machine Gun Kelly peddled whiskey out of. Still today you can pass the Palace and Daisy theaters, which used to be packed full of Vaudeville fans, eat a "hot snoot sandwich" at the corner cafe, or see the red light district that rivaled any other in its time, Gayso. Whatever your group decides to do on Beale Street enjoy the classic Memphis sights, sounds, and history on every corner!

 

Day Three

Mud Island River Park - Start your third day out with a trip to the premier family fun destination on the Mississippi River, Mud Island River Park! This 40,000 square foot recreational and educational facility showcases the Mighty Mississippi through its scenic views, epic riverwalk model, and on site museum. The 5-block riverwalk model features an exact replica of the lower Mississippi from its confluence at the Ohio River in Illinois to the Gulf of Mexico, including all cities, bridges, and drain basins along the way. You will see historic info markers along the way as you sneak in chances to dip your feet in (wear sandals!) or just head over to the 18 gallery museum to learn more! You can even board 2 full sized paddle boat models within the museum! While here your group can also canoe, kayak, rent bikes, or rent a pedal boat! Once you’ve seen all you can see and done all you can do head over to the restaurant for some lunch, hit up the gift shop for the perfect Mississippi River souvenir, or go tour the 5,000 seat outdoor amphitheater that has featured such acts as Steely Dan, BB King, and Fall Out Boy. If you’re wanting more opt to take the guided riverwalk tour to see everything you didn’t before plus get some interesting facts the markers don’t tell you!

Pink Palace Museum - Welcome to one of the largest museums of its kind in the Southeast, the Pink Palace Museum. Technically a family of museums, the whole complex features wide ranging historic, educational, and technological attractions and encompasses the neighboring CTI 3D Theater, Sharpe Planetarium, Lichterman Nature Center, and Mallory-Neely House. The Pink Palace Museum itself explores the cultural and natural history of the Mid South. The story behind the name comes from the first part of the museum, the country's very first self service grocery store, Clarence Saunders’ Piggly Wiggly. The Saunders family owned a pink Georgian marble 36,500 square foot home during this time on this location that they converted into a museum. After walking through the piggly wiggly replica get ready for some exciting exhibits, dioramas, and audio visual presentations that trace Memphis’ development from the Spanish explorers to the Civil War to the yellow fever epidemics. Check out their award winning medical exhibit that covers the history of the healthcare industry in Memphis, one of its largest overall industries. See why hundreds of thousands of guests have annually visited this unique grouping of museums, and learn a bit about Memphis and its history along the way!

Shelby Farms Park - End your visit at one of the nation’s 20 largest urban parks, Shelby Farms Park. This 4,500 acre green space park is 5 times the size of Central Park in New York City and is unrivaled in size and potential anywhere else in the U.S. This protected conservation land was opened for recreational use in the 1970s and has since helped define and shape the great city of Memphis (technically Shelby County). Within this stunning park you will find over 20 bodies of water, acres of natural forest, and protected wetlands! Frances Wright is the man behind the land, first using it as an emancipation site for slaves. After that the land was used as a penal farm for the Shelby County Jail, from 1929 to 1964. Get ready to be overwhelmed by your recreational options, as inside the park your group can choose from disc golf, laser tag, paintball, BMX trails, bike rentals, hiking trails, horse stables, boat rentals, buffalo herd viewing and feeding, and a Go Ape Treetop Adventure canopy tour feature! Be sure to spend plenty of time on the 6.5 mile urban trail from Midtown Memphis to the park, called the Greenline. You can even bring your furry friend to the 100 acre Outback dog park, or take a scenic stroll along the 200 foot Wolf River Bridge. Shelby Farms Park is the perfect place to unwind after your trip, so get ready to let loose and spend the afternoon in this natural Tennessee Oasis!


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