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Known for being the hometown of the Rock and Roll superstar, Elvis Presley, Memphis offers many great attractions all served up with warm Southern hospitality. If you are planning to travel through southwestern Tennessee, don’t miss out on these five places to visit in Memphis.
Hands down, the most popular attraction in Memphis is Graceland, the former residence of Elvis Presley. Located at Elvis Presley Boulevard, the mansion is now a museum that is open daily to visitors. A tour of Graceland offers you an intimate peek into the personal life of the legendary singer as you walk through various rooms that include the Jungle Room, which is famous for its shag carpet, exotic plants and animal-style furnishings. Outside the museum, you can check out some of Elvis Presley’s custom jet planes and cars such as his famous pink Cadillac. You can also visit the graves of Elvis and his family members at the Meditation Garden.
2. Pink Palace Museum
The Pink Palace Museum is worth a visit. Through a host of fascinating exhibits, an IMAX theater, and a planetarium,this huge, downtown museum highlights the natural and cultural history of the Memphis area. You can see things like prehistoric fossils, dinosaur remains,Native American pottery and Civil War artifacts such as medical supplies,uniforms, and weapons. The grand feature of the museum is an exhibit of America’s first self-service grocery store, Piggly Wiggly, which you can walk through and see what it was like to go grocery shopping 100 years ago.
3. Memphis Zoo
The Memphis Zoo is regarded as one of the most popular zoos in the USA. Housing more than 3,500 different animals, you can see up to 500 different species which include elephants, giant pandas, monkeys,bears, giraffes, Komodo dragons, bears and many more. You can walk through different ecosystems such as the Northwest Passage, China, Dragon’s Lair and Teton Trek to see the animals, plants, and birds that are native to each habitat.Additionally, you can enter the huge aquarium to see more than 156 species of fresh and saltwater fish. If you get hungry, the zoo offers a restaurant and numerous concession stands dotted throughout its park.
4. National Civil Rights Museum
Located at the site of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 1968 assassination in the former Lorraine Motel, the National Civil Rights Museum is an unforgettable experience. Here, you can learn all about the history of the civil rights movement through various artifacts, photos, films and documents that are displayed through a chronological timeline. The most moving part of the tour is watching a film that details the events that led up to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
5. Beale Street
A visit to Memphis would not be complete without a stroll down Beale Street, the iconic strip that captures the culture of the city. Walk along this cobblestone street that is lined with flashing neon signs and hear the live music that bells out from bars and music venues.You might even see street performers like tumbling acrobats. You will also discover many restaurants along the street where you can stop in and sample some authentic soul food or traditional barbecue. There are also plenty of shops along the street where you can buy souvenirs to take back home.
Memphis is a bustling city filled with character and captivating attractions that are sure to leave a lasting impression on you. If you can be in Memphis on a Tuesday, several of the city’s main attractions offer free admission in the afternoon, including the Memphis Zoo, the Pink Palace Museum and the National Civil Rights Museum. Gather your traveling gear including your bestconcealed carry backpack and discover more for yourself about Memphis.