Memphis is best known for music. In fact, it claims authorship of not just one genre but two, calling itself the "Home of the Blues and the Birthplace of Rock 'n' Roll." Plus it's got Graceland. But beyond the music, the place offers much more. And, as the largest city in Tennessee, it should. The thriving metropolis features a long list of things to do and see, from its lively festivals and intriguing museums to its excellent Southern food and historic tours. A haven for artists of all sorts, Memphis hums with creativity.
Graceland is the destination for the majority of Memphis tourists but if you're a true (or even casual) fan of Elvis, you should also pay a visit to the landmark Sun Studio, because it was here that Presley recorded many of his early songs. If you want to get outdoors and mingle with the locals, head over to Tom Lee Park, where there are regular culture and music festivals. Or take a stroll along legendary Beale Street downtown, which throbs with the blues after dark but also has a lot of daytime attractions. There are plenty of stores for shoppers, as well as cafes, galleries, and regular concerts and festivals that draw large crowds. For a quieter time, spend a few hours at the Memphis Botanic Garden, a charming expanse of lakes, glens and 23 different specialty gardens.
Even if your shopping list is long, you can check most of the boxes in Memphis. If you're in the mood for a mall, the majority are on the east side of town. Two of the largest and most elaborate are Oak Court Mall and Wolfchase Galleria. But if you're looking for merchandise that's a little more...Memphis, have a browse around the city center. This is the spot for shops with personality, many of them trendy new places installed in refurbished old buildings. Two other neighborhoods worth some time are the South Main Historic Arts District, which is also full of repurposed old architecture, and Cooper-Young, where you'll find the Memphis Antique and Design District.
Many parts of the country have their own signature barbecue style and all claim to be the best. Memphis is no different. Barbecue here is almost always pork, traditionally dry and flavored with a variety of rubs. Whether it's the best or not is up to your taste. It is certainly delicious. You can get mouthwatering barbecue from any of the more than 100 joints scattered around the metropolis but to sample some of the finest in one place, try either North Parkway or Lamar Avenue, where many locals get their fix. For more barbecue, as well as burgers and fries, milkshakes and patty melts, make your way to the busy districts of South Main and G.E. Patterson Avenue.
7300 Hacks Cross Rd
2000 Prentiss Place
Located inside Overton Park off of Poplar Ave. (2000 block) between N. McLean Blvd. and E. Parkway N
13615 Old Highway 61 North
182 Beale Street