WELCOME TO MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
A city of profound impact on the world’s music, Memphis delivers the goods as a destination for families, couples and singles. Downtown abounds with lively activities and sights, day or night. Meat lovers commune in more than 100 barbeque establishments that deliciously proclaim Memphis “The Pork Barbeque Capital of the World”. A renaissance city and outstanding barbeque are great attractions, but perhaps the most compelling reasons to visit this city on the bluffs of the Mississippi River is its musical and Christian heritage.
America’s most productive musical distillery, Memphis first packaged the creative genius of Blues artists who were scattered throughout the Mississippi Delta, enabling the city to earn the title “Home of the Blues.” From its Blues roots, this city of the Mid-South added a rhythm section to help user the development of R&B. Apologies to Cleveland, but a Memphis record company contributed more to the development of Rock & Roll. Memphis also lays claim to recording some of the earliest Soul Music. And to think Memphis missed the recording output from Aretha Franklin, who was raised here.
When downtown, explore Memphis' musical heritage at W.C. Handy House Museum and the Center for Southern Folklore, both on Beale Street. Take your picture next to the “Father of Blues”, W.C. Handy Monument. Venture over to the Music Hall of Fame, which honors the Blues, R&B and Rock & Roll heritage of the city. Drop in BB King’s place on Beale Street, then rocket over to Sun Studio Museum on Union Ave to visit the birthplace of Rock & Roll. A gazillion Elvis Presley fans also make the pilgrimage to his Graceland home. Remember to stop in Al Green’s church, since both in southern Memphis. Your “Must Visit Reasons” are the marvelous Stax Museum of American Soul Music and the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel.
Reachable by inverted tram, Mud Island River Park features an 18-gallery Mississippi River Museum, Memphis Belle Pavilion amphitheater, shops and restaurants. The tram conveniently connects to the Main Street Trolley, which makes a 4-mile loop of the Riverfront, Pyramid, Pinch District cafes, Performing Arts/Convention Center, Peabody Place, Beale Street, Orpheum Theatre, Central Train Station, and the National Civil Rights Museum. Memphis’ sister city status with Memphis, Egypt attracts annual tours of world-class Egyptian antiquities to the Pyramid and influenced Egyptian architecture at the Memphis Zoo. Pro basketball fans cheer for the Grizzlies in the FedEx Forum. The Pink Palace museums and planetarium, Children's Museum, and a nature center round out general and family attractions.
Spend some quality time at Peabody Place, an emporium of shopping, dining, hotel, atrium, a Cineplex and Isaac Hayes Restaurant. Peabody Place gracefully merges into Beale Street entertainment district for one contiguous people place. A fascinating collection of nightclubs, shops, restaurants, and museums also await you in Overton Square and Cooper Young Entertainment District.
The Black church has always played an integral part of the city. A Black millionaire and several Black churches helped return Memphis from the brink of financial ruin. Mason Temple Church of God in Christ is the home of Dr. King's last speech and the COGIC Mother Church. Memphis is also home to Temple of Deliverance Church of God in Christ and Collins Chapel, the mother church of the Christian Methodist Episcopal congregation.
Teeming with historic, entertainment, cultural, religious and dining sites, Memphis is a bridge from the Old South to the New South. As one of our nation's essential destinations for musical and barbeque heritage, Memphis has forged a new identity as a premier national entertainment destination. Make your next renaissance on Beale Street, Soulsville or the Temple of Deliverance.