United States
Memphis

Here you’ll find travel reports about Memphis. Discover travel destinations in the United States of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

47 travelers at this place:

  • Day71

    Day 71 - Walking to Memphis

    July 1 in the United States ⋅ 🌙 25 °C

    Got up at 8:30am for breakfast, then retired back to our room for a couple of hours. The plan was to walk to downtown Memphis, just 1.9 miles away, for some sightseeing, have a drink in Beale Street at dusk & then return to the hotel.

    At 11.00am we left our hotel & marched down Madison Avenue until we saw an Enterprise Car Rental Office, so we decided to call in to seek advice about the damage to Doodle. It was too busy & after 5 minutes we gave up & carried on.

    Our 1st planned stop was ‘The Legendary Sun Studios’, which is without doubt the Birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll. The recording studio was set up by a Mr Sam Phillips in 1950 & is where he discovered and first recorded such influential musicians as Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Carl Perkin, Roy Orbison and Jerry Lee Lewis. "Rocket 88" by Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats, who were actually Ike Turner and his Kings of Rhythm was the first record to be recorded & released by Sun Studios.

    Sun Studios were open to go inside, where it consisted of a cafe & a record shop, both crammed full of memorabilia on the walls. You could pay to visit the actual recording studio on a tour, but we declined. After the obligatory photos, we continued.

    Next stop was downtown to the National Civil Rights Museum. On the way we passed AutoZone Park, home of the Memphis Redbirds baseball team & The Peabody Hotel, home of some ducks.

    The National Civil Rights Museum is situated in two locations, half in the Lorraine Motel & half in the Legacy Building across the Street. The significance of these locations is that Martin Luther King Jr was shot dead on the balcony of Room 306 of the Lorraine Motel & James Earl Ray (or did he?) shot him from a room in a rooming house on S. Main Street, now the Legacy Building.

    Security was tight at the Museum, but after being scanned & searched we went to the ticket desk. The ticket girl asked if we qualified for a discount by being Military or senior citizen’s 55 or over. I told her I was 55 & quite rudely she accepted my word for it without asking for proof & gave me a $2 discount. Bloody cheek. This was the very 1st time in my life that I have got a discount for being so old, luckily Jackie didn’t mention it!

    The Museum was exceptionally good, providing us with a visual & audio history of the black Civil Rights struggle from slavery up to the current day. It presented the history in a very dynamic way with lots of video footage & sound recordings. There were mock ups of the Rosa Parks bus incident & the Selma to Montgomery March amongst others.

    The ultimate highlight was that we were able to view the exact location where MLK was shot & the exact location from where he was shot. The Legacy Building contained a lot of exhibits, items left by Ray when he fled the scene, including the actual gun. There were also displays setting out the conspiracy theories & the evidence for & against. I was intrigued to discover that Ray was actually arrested at London’s Heathrow Airport.

    For us, the National Civil Rights Museum was extremely poignant having only recently visited a lot of the scenes of the significant events described, including at Topeka, Selma, Montgomery, Birmingham & now Memphis.

    When we exited, we were amazed to realise that it was gone 3.00pm, so we walked along the Mississippi River Bank to the moored American Queen Paddle Steamboat, then headed up Beale Street in search of refreshment. We stopped at King’s Palace Cafe Patio on Beale Street, where we ordered one can of beer each, which came to the extortionate price of over $15. We supped (very slowly) our beer, whilst enjoying the blues band that were playing.

    About 45 minutes later, we couldn’t make our beer last any longer, so we headed out in search of food. It was not looking good, then it started to rain, so we made a dash for Hooters & ‘Happy Hour’. We ordered a pitcher (5 pints) of Dos Equis XX beer & a large plate of sliders & curly chips, which came to the grand sum of $14.

    About 5:00pm, we dragged ourselves away & headed for the Memphis Rock n Soul Museum. Again the ticket girl asked if we qualified for a discount & I immediately piped up “OAPs?” to which without question she gave us BOTH $1 off the entrance fee. The Museum started off with a 15 minute film in the theatre, providing a visual history of music in Memphis. We then were given an audio headset to listen to the story of Memphis Music as we made our way around the exhibits. Again it was superb & we exited just before 7.00pm unable to stop foot tapping!

    I was keen to see Beale Street in the dark, but it was still light, so we hotfooted it back to Hooters for another Pitcher of our favourite Mexican beer. We sat outside & watched the world go by. Eventually we left & made for Beale Street for a final drink before going back to the hotel.

    We walked up & down & selected the Blues Hall, which had a decent band playing. We ordered our drinks, Jackie a Long Island Tea cocktail & me a Big Ass beer, which we paid for as well as a $5 cover charge. I then went to the loo, which was in the adjoining building, the Rum Boogie Cafe & was blown away by the sound of the blues band playing.

    Jackie & I then relocated to the Rum Boogie Cafe & sat down at a table with a couple from Canada, Nick & Lisa. Nick was a massive Blues fan & went crazy when I told him about our visit to Buddy Guy’s Legends & Buddy actually sang.

    Anyway, the music by the band was utterly fantastic. The lead singer played the harmonica like I couldn’t believe possible & the young drummer was incredible. We ended up staying for another 2 drinks each & possibly getting a bit tipsy. During a break, I approached the lead singer Vince to enquire about their name, Vince Johnson & the Plantation Allstars & we got a group selfie with him, Nick & Lisa.

    It was just before midnight that we finally left Beale Street & got an Uber home. Luckily we were still in reception, when our Uber driver came running in with my iPhone that I had left in the back of his car. Maybe I was a bit tipsy!

    I’ve said it before several times, but This was the best day of the trip so far.

    Song of the Day - Walking in Memphis by Marc Cohen.

    Bonus Songs of the Day :-

    Rocket 88 by Jackie Brenston & His Delta Cats
    Beale Street by The JT Blues Band
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  • Day1369

    USA Tour - Memphis, Tennessee

    December 11, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 7 °C

    Arrived in Memphis today around 7pm after a 12 hour coach journey but probably close to 15 hours in total.... shattered isn’t the word. Staying in a Airbnb about 2 blocks from Beale street which is awesome, and the room I have in the house is pretty cool! I just went out for a few beers last night, nothing major but the bars here are cool and so are the people - I just wish coyote ugly was busier...Read more

  • Day1370

    USA Tour - Memphis

    December 12, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 9 °C

    Last day in Memphis today as it was just a quick stop before moving on to Nashville. I decided to have a short walk around the town (it’s not that big) and tbh there isn’t much there, the Gibson factory has closed Down which was a bummer. However I did manage to get a picture with the king, eat at gus’s world famous chicken and drink in BB Kings bar - so not too bad of a day all told. I probably wouldn’t come back to Memphis anytime soon, however the bars on Beale street are cool and I would say if you’ve not been to Memphis and you pre thinking about going... go in the summer!Read more

  • May10

    Fahren nach Memphis....

    May 10 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 14 °C

    Gestern hatten wir eine kleinere Etappe von ca. 190km nach Memphis und war ganz im Zeichen von Elvis Presley. In Tulepo besuchten wir die Geburtstätte (eine kleine schäbige Hütte) und am Nachmittag sein letzter Wohnsitz "Graceland". Leider blieb uns ein Film über Elvis Leben verwehrt, da der Projektor kaputt war (es ging aber ziemlich lang, bis wir dasitzend gemerkt haben, dass das Fehlen des Bildes nicht so gewollt war...). Graceland ist ziemlich gross und voll touristisch mit viel blingbling....ganz nach dem Geschmack von Stefan.
    Auch Memphis hat so was wie die Bourbon-Street in New Orleans...also hinein ins Getümmel beschützt von einer Hundertschaft Polizisten...
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  • Day42

    Hot Springs National Park to Memphis

    May 15, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 34 °C

    We originally booked 2 nights at Hot Springs National Park but figured it would be better to have Mothers Day with family rather than traveling.

    The Hot Springs KOA was lovely. It was unlike most of the other KOA's as it was not next to a highway and we didn't wake up to sounds of trains, trucks or airplanes. So we all had a lovely sleep.

    We were out of the campsite and at the National Park by 10. This National Park is very different to other National Parks that we visited as its not really in a park. It mostly consists of a street with the heritage buildings which were all old bath houses using the Hot Springs from the mountain..

    We checked out the inside of the Fordyce bathhouse, which had a separate women's and men's area. The mens area was so much nicer. Only one of the buildings is used today and I believe they mostly closed in the 80's.

    As it was a National Park, Brandon got another junior ranger badge. This booklet was all about the bats in the park. Behind the houses was the promenade, which was a paved walkway with historical information. We saw a few outlets to the hot springs and got to touch it at the well, which was really hot.

    We had our lunch on the promenade and then we had a few hours drive to Memphis. We stayed at Memphis KOA, about 20 min from the Tennesee/Arkansas boarder and downtown Memphis city. The KOA was basic but they did have a pool and a cafe for breakfast in the morning. As like most KOA's it was next to a highway.

    We got the tent up, a swim in the pool and then we headed into the city. Our original idea was to eat dinner at the Hard Rock cafe, as we knew it was kid friendly and had live music but when we got there it looked pretty dead. We had a walk down Beale street, the main night life street in the city. There were many venues with bands playing and music blaring from inside. They all seemed to have a cover charge and no kids.

    We found live music outside on a side patio of one of the venues. The bouncer invited us in and kids were allowed. We had a great time listening to the band and Brandon even requested to get the CD, which we bought. Elisa ordered this massive PBR which cost less than $6. The kids had chicken fingers and it was the best chicken we have had yet here and it was real southern chicken. Inara fell asleep while listening to the music. We left just before 10 and right before kids had to leave.

    It was an enjoyable night and so far Memphis has lived up to its expectations.
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  • Day43

    Mud Island River Park

    May 16, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    Today we had a full day in Memphis. Our campsite is on the Arkansas side of Memphis. Memphis consists of areas of Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi. As we learned last night, heading into Beale st, we are about 15 min from downtown Memphis in Tennessee.

    We started our day checking out Mud Island River Park. Mud river consist of a miniature size Mississippi river where the kids can play in the river. Every 1 mile of the river is a foot and this miniature river goes on for over half a mile. It has depth, speed and even areas where it has dried up, just like the real Mississippi. It's really impressive and the kids enjoyed it, as well as the adults. The Mississippi river was very important for many years for expansion and cultural exchange.

    To get to and from the park/museum you could either walk the 1/3 of the mile on the pedestrian bridge across the Mississippi river or take the monorail. As we crossed 4 times, we did it both ways twice.

    We headed back to the car to make lunch and while Inara slept in the carrier, Brandon had a rest in the stroller, we were able to walk some of the museum in piece and quiet.

    The musueum gave information on the native Americans, the settlers , the advancement of boats and significance on the river, as well into jazz, rhythm and blues and rock and roll.

    We are supposed to have the next week full of rain, so we headed to Shelby farm park before the storm came. Shelby farm park was another 25 min east, out of the city. Shelby Farm Park has a playground which was named in the top 16 play grounds in the world. We have kids so we had to check it out.

    We probably spent an hour at Shelby farm and it was pretty cool. There was 4 areas, and all the areas were surrounded by arboros and plants growing up them. Everything in the park is sustainable and not bad for the environment. There was swings, slides, sand and a whole climbing ropes course which looked awesome. We were secretly happy it was closed as Inara is becoming a monkey and would love it.

    The kids were exhausted but we didn't have any food to cool for dinner so we found a brewery on the way back to the campsite from the farm. Boscos had good beer, great food and we had a very relaxing dinner and a great waiter. We tried fried green tomatoes for the first time and the kids had their first Shirley temple.

    We are now back at the campsite, kids are in bed and we are awaiting for the storm to come. The lightning has been going on for a while, the wind is picking up and you can smell it in the air.

    Memphis has been hot though, and didn't cool down over the night last night. Hoping tonight with the rain it will be a bit cooler.
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  • Day6

    Birmingham to Memphis

    June 12, 2017 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 29 °C

    We breakfasted with our friends Malcolm and Huj and said a temporary farewell to Malcolm because we are staying next weekend with him in Alpharetta near Atlanta, but unfortunately Huj leaves for the UK on Thursday to attend a funeral. Driving out of Birmingham was a doddle and the newly completed interstate was a dream to drive on: great surface, little traffic and lovely, green, rolling, forested countryside. During a three and a half hour drive though, the qualities of even such a nice interstate start to pall and the standards dropped when we entered Mississippi.

    We came off at a town called Jasper (the second we have visited in the Americas, the first being in the Canadian Rockies). This was to give us a break from tedium but also to see real life around here and to visit a local wonder, the largest natural stone bridge east of The Rockies. Alabama is one of the poorest areas in America, Mississippi being the poorest, and this drive took us on well maintained roads through mile after mile of largely forested countryside with tiny houses dotted along the way and a few permanent trailer parks. Not much in the way of towns as we know them, it being mainly ribbon development along the roads, but sadly many decaying commercial properties. The most prosperous looking buildings were the churches and we passed an astonishing number of them. We are in the bible belt and a very large proportion of the population are churchgoers.

    Natural Bridge Park was hard to find, privately owned, cost $2 each to get in and was quaintly interesting. The bridge was soon reached and as we stood underneath it was obvious it must have been formed by water, but we had no idea how.

    Back on the road we headed for the interstate as it was slow on ordinary roads. Coming off again we found a burger chain I didn't know, Hardees. Avoiding Burger King (I think they are too soggy), we were very pleased with what we ate, although we had to scour the menu closely to find small burgers.

    The sprawling outskirts of Memphis arrived eventually although we did not know we had passed into Tennessee, and the Maddison Hotel was easily reached once we got away from the traffic. It was maybe 33C and very humid, so we kept to our room for a while before visiting the rooftop bar, a roasting space even with awnings, but with spectacular views of the Mississippi River and countryside all around. After a drink and a chat with some British tourists, we went back downstairs until sunset when again went for a drink in a slightly reduced temperature and watched the most beautiful sunset overlooking the river.
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  • Day7

    Cotton and Ducks in Memphis

    June 13, 2017 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    Whether it was just the heat or the drink or a combination of both we both had sore heads in the morning. Rich had it so bad he was quite poorly so I decided to go on a little walking tour on my own to find my way around Memphis.

    Even at 8:30 I was hopping between shadows trying to keep myself cool as the temperature was already in the low 30s and the tendrils of humidity started to entwine and exhaust. I first walked to the riverside Memphis Park. At this time most of the benches were still occupied by rough sleepers but it didn't feel dangerous and most people nodded and were courteous. Here, honour was paid to various civil war figures including the president of the confederate states between 1861-1865 Jefferson Davis. The civil war stills hangs over the people of the south generations on, as the sting of defeat and humiliation still exists under the surface sometimes betrayed by their responses to innocent questions.

    Wandering on from there I walked along the river front passing Mud Island river park where you can walk along a scale model of the Mississippi, taking in all the convolutions and oxbow lakes as it makes its way to the Gulf of Mexico. I crossed the train tracks and passed early morning blues music blaring from the Mississippi River Welcome Centre. There was no shade from the sun so I paused below trees along the river bank where I passed an old casino riverboat presumably from Mississippi state that looked closer to being scrapped than restored. I thought briefly of the musical Showboat and sang a bar of 'Ol Man River' before being cut short by an oncoming jogger.

    Further on at Beale Street landing was a large cruise ship sized riverboat which would be heading down to New Orleans taking in the many turns and chicanes of the river. I was reliably told that it costs $4500 for that one way trip. To the side of that was a little paddle boat which did day trips on the Mississippi so I booked tickets on my phone for that afternoon.

    I headed up from Beale Street landing to Beale Street itself where the majority of the Blues clubs are. Of course most were quiet at 9am but the neon was still flashing away in the blaring sun. This is the 'strip' of Memphis and we will return there this evening to sample its atmosphere. I headed back via a Walgreens to get some basics like water and milk and headed back to my patient who was feeling a bit better.

    Heading out together we walked past the sadly non-running trams and through a rather sketchy district to The Cotton Museum at the Cotton Exchange. We had a brief chat with the rather fey ticket seller about the heat in Memphis. He explained that air conditioning was essential but lamented that air conditioning was why people in the south were so fat as they didn't sweat anymore. I suggested that this had more to do with the huge plates of barbecue ribs and chicken which dominated every restaurant menu which he agreed could have an effect!

    This tiny museum allowed access to the now disused cotton trading floor and explained the importance of cotton to Memphis. It was interesting to see the huge pricing blackboard with each days prices logged including those at Liverpool. The fall of the cotton industry has led to huge poverty in the Mississippi delta, some towns there are now practically third world. Of course the real outrageous story is that of slavery and it was explained very well by the exhibits and moving illustrative videos.

    We went onto the Peabody Hotel which is the main 'grand dame' hotel in Memphis. It's unique selling point are the ducks which come down from the roof of the hotel via the main elevators each day and spend it in the pond in the centre of the lobby before heading back up at 5pm. All of this is choreographed by the Duck Master who rolls out a red carpet and trumpets their arrival and departure. All good clean fun and clearly a huge money spinner for the hotel as crowds of people watch this happen each day.

    We then had lunch in a Canadian themed restaurant across the street and soaked up the a/c ready for our time aboard the boat.
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  • Day7

    Boats and Blues in Memphis

    June 13, 2017 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    All aboard The Mississippi Queen for our 2 hour trip around the Mississippi River. We boarded early and found a tiny space under the canopy on the top deck where we squeezed in with fellow travellers from Germany, Australia, The Netherlands and US. It was an interesting trip under the bridges down river and then into Arkansas waters which the Mississippi borders, all made more informative by the jolly commentator who made it seem like it was the first time he had delivered his jokes in his lilting southern drawl. After the boat ride we walked back to the hotel in the blazing sun and by the time we hit the fierce air conditioning of the hotel lobby we were almost orgasmic in our appreciation to the amusement of the friendly women on the front desk. 'How do you cope with this' I wailed? 'You won't believe this' said one woman 'But I wore a sweater into work this morning' The mind boggles. Up to the room where we showered and basked under the cool flow of air. After a brief snooze we got ready to go to BB Kings and Beale Street.

    In Memphis everything is just a short but sweaty walk away. We got to BB Kings early but the blues was already-a-playing. After an initial keffuffle when they didn't have our reservation we were seated to the far left of the stage where I ordered a nice cool beer and enjoyed the blues. Now the band were these very white overweight guys so you could be forgiven for not believing that they could be so talented and soulful but hell, they were and we were mesmerised by their talent. We ordered fried pickles and catfish and later ribs and beans. Everything was delicious especially the catfish which was lightly dusted in cornmeal. The ribs were sweet and sticky and fell straight of the bone. After eating we moved closer to the stage and enjoyed the rest of the set. The atmosphere was electric and people watching was amazing. In particular, an extended black family taking a long table and celebrating a birthday, they were in the mood to party and were so much fun to be near.

    Afterwards I shook the surprisingly soft hand of the keyboard player and vocalist who had the sweetest manner and blushingly received my gushing compliments. Outside we walked the full length of Beale Street taking in the beggars, tourists and street performers. In particular a group of athletic young black men who carelessly flipped and somersaulted their way along the street much to the amazement and appreciation of watching crowds. A truly magical evening.
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  • Day23

    day 19/20: memphis

    December 19, 2015 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 6 °C

    in the morning we said goodbye to the ones that hadnt left allready, lost a couple of gronks tom and raph who i hanged with alot and also sophie. so we now had 20 new people on the contiki so we hada day of introductions and stuff again. we got to memphis and we decided to go to the main strip for a few beers , the main strip was small but very bright. the firdt pub we went to we were all just chilling and then the power went off not just the pub but the whole street ha so we sat in the dark we made our way to the restaurant for tea where we werr about to have a candle lit dinner when the power finally came back on. after tea we went yo bb kings which was pretty cool listening to the local band playing. the next day we went to graceland (Elvis's home) which was cool to check out u got a tablet and headphones and done a tour at your own pa e throughout the house. Was a really nice house with plenty of themed rooms and got to see all his awards and costumes and such. never knew he was such a charitable guy also. After graceland we went and chilled for couple of hours and eventually went out to a pub for few games of 8 ball then tea before we all went to a NBA game. it wasmemphid grizzlies vs the pacers. the grizzlies won. after nba we went to some pub where there was a guns n roses cover band playing ended up having a fairly big night too.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Memphis, ممفيس, Memfis, Горад Мемфіс, Мемфис, মেম্ফিস, Μέμφις, ممفیس، تنسی, 孟菲斯, ממפיס, मेम्फिस, Մեմֆիս, MEM, メンフィス, მემფისი, 멤피스, Memfisa, ممفیس, 37501, Mênfis, மெம்ஃபிஸ், เมมฟิส, Mémfis, Мемфіс, میمفس، ٹینیسی, מעמפיס, 孟非斯

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