Memphis Culture & History Group Tour
Day 1 You'll See:
- Slavehaven Underground Railroad Museum
- Elmwood Cemetery
- The Cotton Museum
- W.C. Handy House and Museum
- Stax Museum of American Soul Music
Day 2 You'll See:
- National Civil Rights Museum
- Center for Southern Folklore
- Robert Church Park
- Full Gospel Tabernacle
Slavehaven Underground Railroad Museum
Located in the former Burkle Estate, this historic attraction was once a stop on the Underground Railroad. From there, slaves joined waiting for riverboats that would take them upstream to free states in the North. When you visit Slavehaven, you will learn about the slave trade and have the opportunity to explore the trap doors, secret cellars and attics through which so many sought freedom.
Established in 1852, Elmwood is Memphis’ oldest active cemetery. Every year visitors marvel at its striking tombstones, monuments, and mausoleums. Memphians from every walk of life are buried on these grounds, including political and military leaders, entertainers and outlaws. It’s the final resting place for Marlin Carter, one of the stars of the Negro Baseball League; Dr. R.H. Tate, the first African-American physician to practice in Memphis; and Ernest Withers, a prominent photographer during the civil rights movement.
The Cotton Museum
The Memphis Cotton Exchange Building was built in 1922 and is now The Cotton Museum where you can learn about the history of the cotton industry in Memphis and see how slave labor and sharecropping propelled it to become the backbone of the local economy. Stand on the actual floor of the Cotton Exchange, view video histories, and explore interactive exhibits and artifacts.
W.C. Handy House and Museum
Visit the Beale Street home where the Father of the Blues lived when his famous “Memphis Blues” was published. As you tour this shotgun house, browse through memorabilia and enjoy tales from your guide that give you a glimpse into the life of Mr. Handy and the history of the blues.
Stax Museum of American Soul Music
Located on the site of the original Stax Records, this museum showcases the history of the recording studio, as well as soul music and its influences. Listen to the sounds of Stax artists like Isaac Hayes and Otis Redding and view soul memorabilia from days gone by. Kick up your shoes and dance on the museum’s dance floor. And stroll Stax’s Hall of Records – a display showcasing covers of the hundreds of albums and 45s recorded here through the years.
National Civil Rights Museum
Located in the Lorraine Motel, this museum brings to light both the tragedies and the triumphs of the Civil Rights movement. It features exhibits showcasing the fight for equality. Catch a unique glimpse into the trials and successes of those who fought so hard for equality and expect to be angered, enlightened and ultimately inspired along the way.
Center for Southern Folklore
This is the place to experience the sights, sounds, and tastes of Memphis. Listen as many musical genres are performed live on stage, from the blues to country, folk and more. Then take in the artwork of regional artists who capture the essence of the area in their work. And before you go, enjoy some of the best soul food in the city, and be sure to save room for the peach cobbler.
Robert Church Park
This park was founded in 1899 by Robert Church Sr., who was born into slavery but thanks to his entrepreneurial spirit became the South’s first black millionaire. In its early years, the park hosted political rallies, concerts and other events for the African-American community in Memphis. Today, families of all backgrounds enjoy the seven-plus-acre park with its play areas, pavilions, and historical markers.
Full Gospel Tabernacle
What would a trip to Memphis be without a good dose of gospel music? On Sunday mornings, Sunday evenings or Wednesday evenings, visit this church where the Reverend Al Green is the presiding pastor. Best known as an R&B singer with hits like “Let’s Stay Together” and “I’m Still in Love with You,” Reverend Green isn’t always at the pulpit, but you can be sure you will enjoy an uplifting and spirit-filled service abundant with gospel music and the Christian message.
There’s still much more to enjoy to help you discover Memphis. Fill out the form below to begin customizing your Memphis group tour today.