Deep musical roots, a rich history, and excitement all wrapped up in one city…that’s Memphis, TN. This is such an excellent city for groups to visit, but just from personal experience, we will say that two days is not enough time to enjoy all this great city has to offer. When you go to Memphis for a visit be sure and allow at least four days to enjoy the attractions and great food Memphis has to offer.
We started our tour headed for downtown Memphis on the Backbeat Musical Tour Bus. We were entertained on the ride with a tour guide singing classic Memphis soul music on a bus decorated with pictures of famous Memphis musicians. All the passengers got to get in on the musical action as we played shakers and tambourines while our guide sang and talked about the local Memphis attractions. The tour bus dropped us off on Beale Street and we headed to BB King's restaurant for dinner. BB King’s Restaurant was delicious and we dined on southern favorites such as grits, fried green tomatoes, scallops, and lobster soup. We heard during our visit that if you are there at the right time you might get to meet BB himself! After dinner, we enjoyed a stroll down Beale Street taking in the rich culture of Memphis and watching the Beale Street Flippers perform!
Day two was packed full of Memphis attractions and we loved every minute of it! Our busy day started out with a tour of the home of the King of Rock and Roll, Graceland! It was a step back into American cultural history and the life of one of America’s greatest sons. By the time I had taken in everything I could at Graceland and the Elvis Presley museums, I was ready to download his biographies. (Which I did the second I got home, by the way). Graceland is an American Treasure, and a do not miss attraction for anyone. visiting Memphis.
We took time for a short lunch after Graceland and then we went to the National Civil Rights Museum. This museum incites a somber feeling as you examine the extreme prejudices which existed in our nation not so long ago. After viewing numerous informational exhibits about discrimination and the civil rights movement you arrive at room 306. Room 306 of the Lorraine Motel is part of the National Civil Rights Museum and it takes your breath away as you enter and see the balcony where Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated. The museum then takes you across the street to the building where the assassin was staying and fired the fatal shot. This museum is very moving and an absolute must-see for everyone, young or old.
Our next stop was more on a light-hearted note, the Stax Museum of American Soul Music. It is located where the original Stax Recording Studio was and is a close replica of what the studio looked like in its prime era of the sixties and early seventies. Stax was the recording studio for soul music greats like; Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes, Booker T and the M.G’s, and many others. The studio is full of soul music history, artifacts, and exhibits such as Isaac Hayes' blue Cadillac, Ike and Tina Turner’s stage clothes, a fully assembled southern church, and more. We also enjoyed the disco dance floor and our 1960s themed photos! Next on the agenda was the Rock–N-Soul Museum located next to the Memphis Redbird triple-A baseball field. The Rock-N-Soul Museum starts out with a short film about the history of soul music to educate you for the museum visit. The museum is full of information and exhibits about the history of soul music with an emphasis on soul music in Memphis, TN.
After our full day of touring the great city of Memphis, TN we were hungry and the answer to our growling stomachs was some good ole Memphis Bar-B-Que! Our meal was delicious and our restaurant was conveniently located just down from the magnificent Peabody Hotel, so we stopped in for a visit afterward. We walked around the 1920s style lobby and then went to the rooftop to enjoy the view of the city and visit the ducks! Yes, the Peabody Hotel has ducks living on its roof and twice a day the ducks ride the elevator down to the lobby and take a swim in the fountain and then get back on the elevator for their ride back to the roof.
To end our night in Memphis we took another trip to Beale Street and enjoyed the sights and sounds of this legendary street. We even tried our hand at a little karaoke before we headed back to the hotel for some rest before our early departure the next morning.
Group Tours' trip to Memphis was absolutely wonderful, a special thanks go out to Lisa and Monica. Lisa is the best guide anyone could have for the city of Memphis and Monica and her hotel the Hilton were absolutely wonderful!