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Memphis, the home of BBQ & Elvis! Memphis is the dream destination for music lovers, it’s was the home of The King, Elvis Presley, Gibson Guitars, and Sun Studios where many musicians jammed out and recorded albums. And, of course, a trip to Memphis is not complete without a mouthwatering BBQ meal.
CTW Must See
Beale Street is best known as the Home of the Blues! It is nearly two miles in length in downtown Memphis, and holds many blues clubs and restaurants, filling the streets with live music and soulful vibes! During the day, check out all of the hand decorated guitars dedicated to music legends. At night, the street becomes full of live music and dancing!
At the start of Beale Street, snap a photo of Elvis jamming out on his guitar! The sculptor, Andrea Lugar, created The Elvis Presley Statue in 1997, and spent a lot of time perfecting his clothing and guitar, creating a younger Elvis, still new to Beale Street.
Arcade Restaurant is the oldest restaurant in Memphis, dating back to 1919! Speros Zepatos opened the diner after migrating from Greece. In 1925, the original building was torn down and the Arcade Restaurant that you see today was built. Among its claims to fame is that Elvis, the King himself, was once a regular here! If you’re lucky, you might be able to grab a spot at his favorite booth in the corner by the window!
The original Grand Opera House opened in 1890. It stood as one of the classiest theaters outside of NYC and became popular for Vaudeville performances. In 1923, it burned down. By 1928, the new Orpheum Theatre opened where the Grand Opera House stood. With its new name and larger capacity, the theater suffered a bit, especially as Vaudeville was dying; it was sold as a movie theater in the 40s. Fortunately, in 1977, the theater was bought by the Memphis Development Foundation and restored to its former name and concept, the Orpheum. Just outside the theater, you’ll see the Sidewalk of Stars, with many stars featured!
Memphis Music Hall of Fame
The Memphis Music Hall of Fame opened in 2012. It honors musicians for their achievements in music history. Each artist added to the Hall of Fame receives the Mike Curb Award, named after a music producer, songwriter, and record company owner. The Hall of Fame currently features about 60 artists. It features memorabilia from each artist, including Justin Timberlake, B.B. King, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and more.
Memphis Rock N’ Soul Museum
Located on Beale Street, the Memphis Rock N’ Soul Museum tells the story of the birth of rock and soul music and the musicians who created some of the most influential music of their time, all while overcoming economic and racial barriers.
A tour of the Gibson Guitar Factory will show you how some of the finest guitars in the world are made, perfected, and tested before being sold. The brand has been around for over 100 years and has been loved by musicians ever since.
National Civil Rights Museum
Built around the historic Lorraine Motel, where the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, is the National Civil Rights Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate Museum. The museum houses a range of exhibits, showing the history of African-Americans.
Sun Studios, located on Union Avenue in Memphis, recorded the likes of Jonny Cash, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison and more throughout the 1950’s under the name Memphis Recording Services. Sun Studios is also the home of the famous impromptu jam session of Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash on December 1956, now known as the Million Dollar Quartet.
Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley, is located 9 miles from Beale Street. Graceland is one of the most visited houses in America, second to the White House. The building was built in 1939 and was purchased by Elvis in 1957. It now stands as a museum for people to explore the Presley Residence. There are a number of ticket options to choose from, from a basic mansion tour to an Ultimate VIP Tour, which allows access to Presley Motors Automobile Museum and more.
If you love Memphis, then one of these destinations might be your next adventure...