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Memphis for Music Lovers: Elvis, Blues, and More

Growing up 2 hours from Memphis means that for the longest time I associated it with the closest airport, never really looking for other things to do in Memphis. But as a got older, I started to associate the city with something more true to its self- Blues, BBQ, and Elvis. If there was ever a city misunderstood, I’d say it was Memphis. Anthony Bourdain’s episode on Detroit shows how a city’s image can tarnish. Memphis has had its claim to bad PR. For a while it was the murder capitol of the US and it seemed that it was just a city you quickly drove through but never visited. 

Photo by Thomas Hawk, All CC

Things To Do in Memphis for Music Lovers

Today, Memphis is growing into its own heavy blues influence and BBQ roots. As it straddles the Mississippi River and the Arkansas border the city offers music lovers a great adventure! Start making a list of things to do in Memphis and if you are a music buff make sure you check these awesome places out.

Blues Hall of Fame: 421 South Main, Memphis, TN

Stopping by the Blues Hall of Fame is stepping into Blues Brilliance. And you can’t experience Memphis without a trip to the home of Blues legends. It is filled with artifacts that bring to life the music and careers of Blues Hall of Fame members. This unique American art form is showcased throughout the year with interactive exhibits that share stories of blues eras over the years, styles, and the talented artists who created (and continue to do so!) this well loved music.

The Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum: 191 Beale St, Memphis, TN

Memphis Rock n Soul Museum is your one stop shop for the city’s music history. This Smithsonian Institution Affiliations Program presents the story of those rebellious musical pioneers who created something that changed the sound of American Music forever. You will quickly fall into a history that includes musical legends like Elvis, gangsters, Civil War, Civil Rights, and American heroes as your stroll along the infamous Beale Street. The museum also has hourly shuttles to Graceland and Sun Studio so you can easily continue your music lovers adventure!

Sun Studio: 706 Union Ave, Downtown Memphis, TN

Sun Studio is the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll! It is where Elvis walked in and changed music history forever. A National Historic Landmark, Sun Studio is a must see for any history buff or music lover. Tour the studio and stand in the very same spot that the King first recorded in. While you are there learn about the talent that was drawn to this studio. Grab a shake, record a song, and see priceless memorabilia from the 50s.

Photo by billy kerr, All CC
Photo by LauraGilchrist4, All CC
Photo by jameskadamson, All CC

Graceland: Elvis Presley Blvd, Memphis, TN

Elvis Presley’s Memphis story starts at Sun Studio, but it didn’t take off until Graceland came into the picture. A house fit for The King, Graceland Mansion gives you a look into the personal side of Elvis. If it isn’t at the top of your “Things To Do In Memphis” list, you need to add it! The tour gives you an intimate experience as you see the famous Jungle Room and personal details of the music legends life. The tour, narrated by John Stamos features commentary from Elvis and his daughter Lisa Marie.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Elvis The Entertainer Career Museum is where you can immerse yourself in Elvis’ impressive career. The Graceland Archives have hundreds of artifacts on display that include memorabilia from Elvis movies, a collection of gold and platinum records, and so much more. As the largest and most comprehensive Elvis museum in the world, it certainly does not disappoint.

And no day to Graceland is complete without stopping by to see the Presley Motors Automobile Museum and Presley Cycles. You can see that famous Pink Cadillac! And while you are at it, head over to see Elvis’ custom jets where you can step aboard the aircrafts to see how he traveled in style. The Lisa Marie and the Hound Dog II are waiting!

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Elvis’ Memphis has quickly become a hub for visitors, complete with dinning and shopping areas as well as a hotel! So you can make this your hub as you explore everything Memphis has to offer!

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