The heartland of America is stacked with attractions, history and culture, but few cities have a great mix of all three like Memphis, Tenn. Located just hours by car from anywhere in Mid-America, Memphis offers some of the best attractions, hotels and restaurants that can be found for your entertainment dollars.
Planning a weekend trip to Memphis is relatively easy if you go in with some knowledge of the city’s layout and history. Try taking this route on an upcoming visit:
Graceland, the former home of Elvis Presley, was built in 1939 and is located at 3764 Elvis Presley Boulevard. This vast estate is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of the most visited private homes in America.
Over 600,000 visitors a year come to Graceland, not only as Elvis fans, but as fans of great architecture. An iconic feature of the estate is the front gate that is shaped like a book of sheet music, complete with musical notes and a silhouette of Elvis.
Graceland is only about nine miles from Downtown Memphis, home of the historic Peabody Hotel.
The Peabody Hotel
Located at 149 Union Avenue, the Peabody is a luxury hotel that opened in 1925. It’s known for the “Peabody Ducks” that live on the roof of the hotel and are trained to make daily treks to the lobby. The Peabody Ducks have established notoriety through past television appearances on the Tonight Show and Oprah Winfrey.
Following a duck sighting, eating at Rendevous Barbecue is a Memphis tradition.
“Not since Adam has a rib been this famous,” is a quote by the late Charlie Vergos, whose family now owns Rendevous Barbecue at 52 South Second Street.
Memphis is a town filled with top-notch barbecue joints, but even the locals agree, when you want exceptional barbecue this is the spot.
Rendevous opened in 1948 when Vergos discovered a coal chute in the basement of his restaurant and started using it for grilling. Today, the rib tradition continues with a special dry rub seasoning and sauce, combined with great atmosphere, that make this a must-stop location.
With a belly full of barbeque, you may want to take a stroll along historic Beale Street and catch some live music.
Beale Street Historic District
Beale Street is listed on the U.S. National Historic Landmark District list, and features an architectural style of buildings from the late 19th and early 20th century American Movements period.
Many music history buffs consider Beale Street to be the epicenter of the Blues. Today, many blues clubs and restaurants line the street and contribute to the outdoor concerts and festivals that can be found throughout the year.
Visit the Memphis Convention and Visitor’s Bureau site for more events and attractions to round out your weekend.