The amount of content from my USA trip in 2017 which I have still yet to publish is unbelievable. It’s also only two months until I head back to the states for 3 weeks so I thought I would uncover some of the lost USA posts. If you didn’t know, I went to America & Canada for 9 weeks in 2017 and the first 3 weeks were spent on the Southern Sun BLT tour with Trek America. We went to so many incredible places and one of the stops in the first week was Memphis, Tennesse.
I didn’t really have too many expectations for Memphis. I knew that there was a lot of Rock and Roll History and obviously, there is the Elvis Presley connection but there really is so much to see in Memphis. We stayed two nights and that was enough time to get around the main highlights which I’m going to take about in this must-see post.
In a city full of some historic sights, the birthplace of musical legends and my top highlight is seeing some ducks in a hotel. The Peabody Memphis Hotel is home to some of the most famous ducks in America. Every day, they hold the Peabody Duck March where the Duke Master will bring the ducks down in an elevator and along the red-carpet where they will spend the day in The Peabody Fountain. It’s an incredible and well-loved tradition. I’d highly recommend getting there early because the march really does attract large crowds. You can also visit the Duck Palace on the roof where they live in their luxury suite with gorgeous views over the city.
It would be criminal to visit Memphis without visiting Graceland. This was one of the things I was most excited about Trek America Tour. As a big Elvis fan, I was slightly beyond myself at the prospect of visiting Graceland. There are different types of tours that you can do such as a VIP experience and Entourage Tour which includes visiting the automobile and plane collection. We did the standard tour which just included a tour of the Graceland Mansion.
Once you’ve checked in at the main reception, you will be transported by bus across to Graceland. The tour is self-guided and you visit the majority of the house including the famous Jungle Room and it’s absolutely fascinating. There was also some exhibit areas housing memorabilia through Elvis’ career and personal life. At the end of the tour, you do visit where Elvis and his family are buried and it actually made me quite emotional. A trip to Graceland is a must for anyone who is a fan of Elvis and his music.
As I said, Memphis is the home of Rock ‘n’ Roll and Blues, many of those legendary music careers started at Sun Studio. In fact, Elvis Presley recorded his first-ever record at Sun Studio. As part of our Trek America tour, we had admission for a guided tour to learn more about all the legends who had graced the studios to record some of the most famous songs in the world. Artists such as Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Roy Orbison recorded at Sun Studios. The whole tour was really informative and we also got to have a go on the same microphone which was used by Elvis! Pre-booking on a tour is necessary as it’s very popular and can get very busy.
Experience first hand the legendary rock ‘n’ roll and blues sounds along Beale Street which is what you would call the”main strip” of the city. Lined with lot’s of different bars, restaurants and shops, you won’t be short of choice if you are looking for live music. We also went for food at the top of Beale Street at a place called Blues City Cafe which served up some insanely delicious BBQ ribs. Just a side note, especially in the Beale Street area to keep your cash safe and exercise caution as it can be a known area for thefts.
Memphis not only has a rich musical history but the historic Civil Rights Movement played a huge part in the city. The Civil Rights Museum is located at the Lorraine Motel where civil rights activist Martin Luther King was assassinated in 1968. The museum has been recently renovated and featured exhibits, films and key items with the historic notation of the Civil Rights Movement. It’s a really powerful museum, if you don’t have time to look around the museum, I think it’s still worthwhile to visit the Lorrain Motel outside which is now a memorial.
Finally, we have something that probably won’t be everyone’s cup of tea but I rather enjoyed my visit. Sat on the banks of the Mississipi River is the giant Memphis Pyramid. It’s actually the tenth-largest pyramid in the world. It’s actually home to the Bass Pro Shop which is an outdoor store. This store is a little different as it’s home to an archery range, bowling alley, an aquarium and lots more! There’s also a hotel attached the base and a viewpoint from the top of the pyramid. The whole place is huge, you could spend a lot of time here just wandering around.
As you can see, there is plenty of incredible and historical sights in Memphis. It’s well worth a visit to Tennesse to explore the legacy of Elvis, see the famous Peabody Ducks and even visit the 10th largest pyramid in the world!
Have you ever been to Memphis? Do you want to go? Are you an Elvis fan?