Whether you’re into blues, soul or rock’n’roll, Memphis is a must-see destination. Come to the city on the Mississippi to see and hear the places where musical history was made.
Day 1: You-know-who
Even if you’re not an Elvis fan, how can you not be intrigued by the myth and the even more amazing reality of America’s uncontested all-time number one superstar? Though he was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, Elvis moved to Memphis in his early teens, and the city remembers him fondly. You can visit Sun Studios, where he made his first recordings (not forgetting other rock’n’roll and country greats who recorded there, like Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins). The real enthusiasts can climb aboard a 1950s bus and follow the stages of Presley’s life throughout the city, while there’s something for everyone at Graceland, the King’s last home.
Day 2: Rock’n’soul
Of course Elvis is just one piece of Memphis’s amazing musical legacy. The Stax Museum of American Soul Music is a tribute not just to Stax recording artists like Otis Redding, Sam & Dave and the Staple Singers, but to a whole galaxy of soul stars. The Rock’n’Soul Museum celebrates the Memphis melting pot that is Beale Street; after dark the whole street comes alive with jumping bars and top-notch blues bands. Alternatively, catch the Mojo Music Bus, grab a tambourine and play along with the band as you tour the landmarks of musical Memphis.
Day 3: Mississippi
We’re heading for the river today, stopping in at the National Civil Rights Museum and/or the Center for Southern Folklore on the way. Take the monorail to Mud Island and find out more in a museum dedicated to the river, or sit and watch the real thing with downtown Memphis as a backdrop. Paddle steamers work the river giving you some great vistas and the city’s history thrown in. Then in the evening, learn about the dark side of that history as you move among the undead on a Memphis Ghosts Walking Tour.