Memphis’ most obvious draw is its incredible history as the birthplace of soul, blues and rock ‘n’ roll. Every year, hundreds of thousands of music fans flock to requisite sites like Graceland to absorb as much of their idols’ pasts as possible. Beyond that, the largest city in Tennessee also has a ton of distinctive dining options, with particular focus on barbecue. There are plenty of hotels downtown for travelers of any budget, but quality options for a friendlier price can also be found in outlying neighborhoods such as River Oaks.
- The relatively small Sun Studio is nevertheless packed with musical relevance, as stars such as Elvis and Johnny Cash recorded songs there. Plus, take a picture with the microphone the legends once used -- and for a commercial rate, you can shell out to record your own tunes in the studio!
- Converted from the former Lorraine Motel, the National Civil Rights Museum immerses visitors in the tensions of life for African Americans in the civil rights era. Much of the museum focuses on Martin Luther King, Jr., as the motel was where he spent his final night and was ultimately assassinated.
Best Places To Pig Out
- For some of the best ribs and pulled pork sandwiches in the state -- even by Tennessee's high standards -- head to one of Central BBQ’s three locations. While you’re at it, wash down your slow-cooked meal with a local draft from their extensive beer menu.
- For further proof that delicious food doesn’t have to empty your wallet, Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken serves up chicken-on-the-bone that has a super-crisp exterior with juicy, tender meat inside. Make sure to order the fried pickles as well, which come in spears instead of discs.