Blues and souls have their roots in the Grind City on Mississippi River. Sun Studio where Elvis started as King of Rock ‘n’ roll is in downtown along with his home in Graceland few miles away. The Stax Museum and legendary Beale Street are also amongst must see landmarks for tourists.
There are plenty to see and do in Memphis but this does not mean you will need to destroy your budget. There are easy ways to manage your transport, accommodation, eating and sightseeing activities.
Vintage trolley system can be a cheap way to get around Memphis city and visit sights. If you are staying for more than a single day then buy a 3-day pass, which helps you to save a lot. If you prefer a bus ride then get a pass that can cover 21 bus rides.
If you think about staying at the posh Peabody Hotel just to watch the popular ducks marching to the fountain in the hotel lobby then there is no need. This spectacle can be watched every day for free at 11am and 5 pm. There are cheap accommodations downtown like the SpringHill Suites, Sleep Inn and Inn Select.
Moreover, if you stay in town then most of the attractions are at walking distance or you can go around in a trolley. Make sure to book your accommodation two months early, especially during festival seasons.
BBQ in Grind City is popular, so foodies may wish to taste it. Few places they can do it without damaging their budget is at Rendezvous on Second Street Downtown. It is popular amongst tourists. Corky’s has a franchise at many locations and is good. Commissary in Germantown is also awesome. If you want something besides BBQ then go for soul burgers at Ernestine & Hazel.
Beale Street was a home for gamblers, prostitutes and musicians in the past. Today, you can see plethora of restaurants, shops, and bars. It is always crowded with tourists. Even live music is enjoyed at cheap prices, while some are free.
Get to know Elvis
Elvis started his career from Sun Studio, which can be reached via Orleans Station on a trolley. Studio even offers free shuttle service to Graceland, which is the home of Elvis. It is nine miles away. There are admission fees for the Sun Studio and Graceland but buy Elvis souvenirs from outside vendors.
National Civil Right Museum
The museum was a motel, where Martin Luther King got assassinated. American Civil Rights Movement chronicles are exhibited in a compelling way. Visitors get to engage visually as well as read the historical events. It is a popular educational and cultural organization.
A short drive from the Beale Street is the Stax Museum. The highlight of this museum is the slowly rotating gold-plated Cadillac of the late singer Issac Hayes. The museum even has plethora of soul music work of art.
Plan your visit to Memphis months ahead, especially when you wish to participate in the May International festival. It is also a time when the BBQ world cooking championship is hosted. It is a good time to visit because you can enjoy the best food and great live music.