“I put on my blue suede shoes, and I boarded the plane”… sorry, we lost ourselves there for a minute. Memphis, hey? You must love your music. There could hardly be a more iconic city, the spiritual home of blues and host to the infamous Beale Street. In amongst the humid heart of the downtown on the banks of the notorious Mississippi River, you’ll soon find yourself swept away in the rush of it all.
Beale Street is genuinely unmissable, a spot where you can watch an army of blues musicians strut their stuff in performances that vary from the untraditional but entertaining to the straight up blues that started out all those years ago. As if Beale Street and its cheap beer wasn’t enough musical entertainment, you’ll find Graceland - Elvis’ old home – here, too. It’s a slightly tacky location and by far the city’s most popular tourist spot, a place where Elvis birth and death are celebrated/ commiserated annually, and you can see a lot of the riches the King bought in. The personalized airplanes, flared costumes, gold records and tearful fans make it well worth the effort.
In fact, you could easily make a trip to Memphis entirely about the musical euphoria, but there are other things worth checking out, too. The National Civil Rights Museum is a great spot for those who love their political history, while if you simply want to see the scenery, you can’t do much better than a Mississippi boat tour. The bizarre exhibits at the Pink Palace will have you chuckling for hours, while you can see the entire place from a princely carriage should you want to be treated like royalty.
Another benefit of the city is that Memphis is one of the most affordable spots in the entire US. If you’re on a budget, the combination of impressive tourist destinations and cheap prices will make it a superb draw, one that’s genuinely the envy of the pricier end of the US market. If you’re into your music, you’ll do well to top this anywhere, If not, it’s still well worth a look.