After seeing the most amazing Broadway show ever…Wicked here in Charlotte last year, I decided to go see it again..very quickly. So I came home to see where else it would be playing. Perusing around I noticed it would be in Memphis. Since John is a guitar player who loves the blues, I figured he would jump at the chance to go with me. I was surprised when he turned me down! So I called my Aunt Ellen, who used to reside in the amazing town, and she was an all go. So a few months later..off we went!
We would be staying the majority of the time with my Aunt’s friend Beth. But we were very busy our first night and wanted to stay downtown since we would be arriving about 11 and had 8 pm tickets to Wicked. So we stayed at Memphis’ renowned and prestigious 4 diamond property The Peabody hotel . For 75 years now, the well heeled (or travel agents getting the travel agent discount) have been staying at the Memphis gem.
Even if your not staying at the Peabody, you will certainly want to be here either in the morning when the Peabody Ducks arrive for the day at the hotel or watch that evening as they return to their home up on the roof. Then afterwards visit them and enjoy the views of downtown.
After we arrived and checked into out hotel, then grabbed the trolley and went to the Civil Rights Museum . The museum is the former Loraine Hotel, where in 1968, the great Civil Right leader Dr. Martin Luther King, was assassinated.
That evening we headed for the gorgeous and opulent Orpheum Theater where we saw the incredible Wicked . It currently ranks as one of my favorite Broadway shows of all times.
After the show we went back to our room and changed clothes. Then we headed out for Beal Street . This famous street is known the world over for the place to go to catch some down home blues. While here we caught a carriage ride around this divine city.
The next morning, we got up and did what many visitors to the city do, we headed to Graceland former home and final resting place of the king of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley.
After that we stopped off at the magnificent Memphis Botanical Gardens before heading out to Beth’s house. The gardens will simply amaze you with their beauty and feature an incredible Japanese garden.
Later that evening we would return back to downtown and Beal St. to Backstreet Tours Haunted Memphis Tour . Our guide, Jennifer, gave us the lowdown on some of Memphis most haunted spots.
On my last full morning, I left Aunt Ellen to catch up with Beth. I headed out to the delightfully wonderful Memphis Zoo . This is only one of a handful of zoos in the country with the adorable panda bears.
Near the zoo, you can catch the magnificent Brooks Museum . Offering up both modern artists and masters, they also have some wonderful traveling exhibits.
Memphis is known for their food, and I certainly had to sample some. When in Memphis you have to try BBQ. So I tried ribs at the famous Rendezvous and a pork sandwich from Corkey’s. I had a great burger at Huey’s . As always, when there is a Hard Rock in town then so am I. I enjoyed some delish Italian at Old Venice and Mexican at Mi Pueblo .
As always, my first suggestion is to visit the Memphis CVB. You can go to www.memphistravel.com. You can look around for all things Memphis or order one of their visitor’s guides.
Memphis is really a top destination for many and it is advisable to make reservations in advanced anytime you’re traveling. Certain times it is absolutely necessary. One of the biggest events is Memphis in May when BBQ lovers from all over converge for a celebration of all things Q. Around January 8th and Aug, 16th, you certainly need advanced reservations as Elvis fans come in by the droves to celebrate his birthday (Jan) or mourn his death (Aug).
Staying in downtown Memphis can be expensive. If you have access to a car, look outside of the city. If you have to stay in the downtown area and budget is a concern. There is a Sleep Inn located on Front St. overlooking the river. When we were on our carriage tour, I asked the driver about it and she said it is very nice.
Memphis is also a huge convention town. While we were here we saw dozens of tour buses all over the place. There is plenty to do here while in town.
Be careful of this place in the summer. It is miserably hot here. Even for this southern girl. Take all your normal heat precautions. Wear light clothes, stay hydrated, and stay out of the sun when possible.
If your flying in, you will be flying into Memphis International (MEM). Their website is www.mscaa.com. It is about 15 minutes from downtown.
If your coming into the downtown area and staying in that environ, you can get away not using a car. If you are going out beyond there, you will need a car. You can easily pick up one at the airport. I suggest you don’t use Hertz though. Their employees are horrible, don’t know what they are doing, and rude. I have never been treated so horribly.
Once you get to the downtown area, you can get around with ease. You can hop on and off the trolley which runs through the downtown area. Taxis are easily available. You can get around by carriage (some are lit up at night) or even limo! Or just simply walk. This is a great town for walking. The downtown area is fairly compact and easy to maneuver.
If you are going to Beal St. in the evening, you will have to just walk around. The streets are blocked off from traffic.
Some of the attractions in my journals including Graceland, the zoo, botanical gardens, and the Brooks Museum will require a car if you would like to visit.
* This disclaimer is for all 3 of my Memphis journals. I do allow teachers to use my journals information for educational purposes only. I do not allow students to use them. Please do not contact me to use journal information or pictures unless it is for media or press. I do not allow anyone to use my journals if they will not properly credited it.