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Your guide to Memphis
All About Memphis
Located along the banks of the Mississippi River, Memphis is America’s musical mecca, where enduring ties to blues, soul, and rock ‘n’ roll linger at every turn. Music lovers from all over the world make the pilgrimage to the holy altars of Graceland and Sun Studios, birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll. And when it comes to honoring its past, the Tennessee city packs in some great music museums, including Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, and the Blues Hall of Fame. For an immersive way to learn about the American Civil Rights Movement and its legacy, the former Lorraine Motel, forever etched in the collective consciousness, is now home to the National Civil Rights Museum, featuring displays and exhibitions that span five centuries.
The pulse of the city, Beale Street, hums with activity and entertainment. Live music spills out of the restaurants, bars, and nightclubs and onto the neon-lit roadway. The city is known for its Memphis-style barbeque and is brimming with local eateries and restaurants serving succulent, distinctively smokey, pit-cooked delights. For some downtime, take the short drive to Shelby Farms Park, a lush oasis spanning 4,500 acres of scenic greenery and open space with more than 20 lakes, where you can fish, kayak, paddleboard, and chill out. The park also offers 40 miles of trails for walking, hiking, and cycling.
When is the best time to stay in a vacation rental in Memphis?
Memphis experiences four distinct seasons. Summers tend to be long and hot, while winters are typically short, cold, and rainy with little snow. The fall and spring months boast pleasant, cool temperatures, a great time for booking your Memphis vacation rental. The city has a packed annual calendar as well. September hosts 30 Days of Opera, a month-long event featuring free opera performances at festivals, parks, and opera houses. In October, the River Arts Fest features hundreds of artworks from regional and national artists displayed along the Mississippi River.
Come spring, some of the area’s most beloved events — a barbeque cooking contest, riverside race, and music festival — span the entire month of May. Summer welcomes many famous musicians to Memphis for live concerts and music fests.
What are the top things to do in Memphis?
Sun Studio is where musical legends recorded some of their biggest hits. The studio is overflowing with memorabilia from notable artists who pioneered the genre. Guided visits provide insight into the music history embedded in the walls of the studio.
Along Adam Avenue, a row of Victorian-era mansions dot the street once nicknamed Millionaire Row. Victorian Village is home to six spectacular sites that feature grand mansions with elaborate decorative trim, steeply pitched roofs, and pastel colors. These architectural gems, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, offer a glimpse into the lives of wealthy Memphis residents who built these homes and created the city’s first suburb during the mid-to-late 1800s.
National Civil Rights Museum
One block south of historic Beale Street lies the South Main Arts District, where you’ll find the National Civil Rights Museum. The museum traces the history of the Civil Rights Movement through detailed exhibits, multimedia presentations, films, more than 260 artifacts, interactive displays, and oral histories.