Memphis boasts one of the Mid-south's richest cultural histories. It is the home of the blues and the birthplace of rock and roll, and is the home of the National Civil Rights Museum. The downtown area still shows signs of the excitement, innovation, and youthfulness that then-unknown blues and rock and roll artists brought to Memphis in the 1950s. The epic Sun Studios, located a few miles east of Beale Street, recorded such renowned artists as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Ike Turner. During the 1950s and 1960s, Stax Records, a Memphis recording company, recorded some of the most important music in U.S history. Stax would give voice to such legendary musical artists as Sam & Dave, Isaac Hayes, and Otis Redding, and the world would groove to soul classics like “Soul Man,” “Hold On, I’m Comin’” and “Sittin’ On The Dock Of The Bay". And of course, what would Memphis be without B.B King?
The historic Graceland Mansion, Memphis home of Elvis Presley, still stands on Elvis Presley Boulevard. A tribute to the success and fame of one of history's most prolific artists, Graceland is visited daily by devoted Presley fanatics.The legend of Elvis lives on in Memphis, from Graceland, to Sun Studios, to the myriad of great clubs and restaurants where up-and-coming bands try to make a name for themselves just like their rock and roll predecessor.
In recent years, Memphis has seen great growth in technology, entertainment, athletics, and upscale accommodations. In 2000, AutoZone park was constructed downtown to house the Memphis Redbirds baseball team, and in 2004 the $250 million dollar arena known as the FedEx Forum was constructed near Beale Street to host Memphis' basketball team, the Memphis Grizzlies. Last year, Minglewood Hall was constructed to host concerts, boxing, MMA, and roller derby. And in the upcoming years, the downtown Memphis area is slated to undergo a major "face lift", to make downtown Memphis more modern, more technological, and more innovative, than any decade in Memphis' well-rounded history.
For sightseeing, attendees can walk to the Pink Palace Museum and get on the Memphis Hop Bus . Attendees staying at the hotels above can request free shuttle service to the Pink Palace.
Beale Street Historic District
It first rang out over the cotton fields of the Mississippi Delta. It migrated to the streets and clubs of Memphis. It went on to influence the sound of music all over the world. Memphis is the Home of the Blues and the Birthplace of Rock ‘n Roll. And it all starts on Beale Street.
Brooks Museum of Art in Overton Park
1934 Poplar Avenue, Memphis, 38104
The Brooks is a place where you can experience the transformative power of art. As one of the largest and most innovative art museums in the American South, the Brooks is recognized nationally for the museum’s innovative educational programs, continual community outreach, and world-class art collection.
Center for Southern Folklore
119 South Main Street, Memphis, 38103
The Center for Southern Folklore is dedicated to documenting and presenting the people, music and traditions of the region. It has collected images, sounds and artifacts to preserve and share this heritage. Its goal has always been the same: to make the South we know available for access and understanding by future generations.
Cooper-Young Entertainment District
The Cooper-Young district is known for its young, hip patrons. It is home of fashion-forward clothing boutiques, trendy restaurants, exciting nightlife, and a strong sense of eclecticism.
Memphis Pink Palace Museum
3050 Central Avenue, Memphis, 38111
The Pink Palace Family of Museum boasts a wide-ranging collection of historic, educational, and technological attractions maintained by the City of Memphis, Tennessee and Memphis Museums, Inc. Some of the finest attractions and exhibits in the country are operated by the Museum Family, including the Pink Palace Museum, the Crew Training International IMAX Theater, the Sharpe Planetarium, The Lichterman Nature Center and the historic Mallory Neely and Magevney Houses. The Lichterman Nature Center was the first accredited nature center in the United States.
Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum
191 Beale Street, Memphis, 38103
Located at 191 Beale, on the corner of legendary Highway 61 at the FedExForum sports and entertainment complex, the museum offers a comprehensive Memphis music experience from the rural field hollers and sharecroppers of the 1930s, through the explosion of Sun, Stax and Hi Records and Memphis’ musical heyday in the 70s, to its global musical influence. The museum’s digital audio tour guide is packed with over 300 minutes of information, including over 100 songs, and takes visitors at their own pace through seven galleries featuring 3 audio visual programs, more than 30 instruments, 40 costumes and other musical treasures.
2000 Prentiss Place, Memphis, 38122
It all began in 1906 with a black bear named Natch, a retired baseball mascot. Today, the Memphis Zoo spans 70 acres and is home to more than 3,500 animals representing over 500 different species. In 2008, the Memphis Zoo was ranked America’s number one zoo by TripAdvisor.com. In 2009, the Memphis Zoo was rated the top zoo in the country in a national survey by Morey Associates.The Memphis Zoo is home to the world’s longest living hippopotamus, “Adonis”, who died in 1965 at the age of 54. The male hippo sired approximately 25 offspring in his lifetime giving the Zoo claim to being the “hippo capital of the world."
National Civil Rights Museum
450 Mulberry Street Memphis TN 38103
The National Civil Rights Museum is the site of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, TN where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968. The Museum is located at South Main and Huling Streets, in the historic art district of downtown Memphis. Dedicated on September 28, 1991, the Museum exists to assist the public in understanding the lessons of the Civil Rights Movement and its impact and influence on human rights movements worldwide, through its collections, exhibitions, research and educational programs. It chronicles the civil rights movement from 1619 to 2000 with historical exhibits, including Room 306, the hotel room where Dr. King stayed in April of 1968.
Dixon Gallery and Gardens
4339 Park Avenue, Memphis, TN 38117
Founded in 1976 by Hugo and Margaret Dixon, the Dixon Gallery and Gardens is a fine art museum and public garden distinguished by its diverse and innovative programs in the arts and horticulture. The Dixon features a permanent collection of over 2,000 objects, including French and American Impressionist paintings and significant holdings of German and English porcelain. The museum organizes and presents eight to ten exhibitions every year, the diversity of which appeals to visitors of all ages. The Dixon’s 17 acre campus is highly regarded public garden that includes formal spaces, woodland tracts, and cutting gardens. The Dixon is accredited by the American Association Museums and is a member of the American Public Gardens Association and Botanical Gardens Conservation International.