MEMPHIS AT A GLANCE
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TAKE A LOOK AT MEMPHIS
Memphis is also known for its rich history, especially its connection with slavery and the Civil Rights movement.
GRACELAND: THE HOME OF ELVIS PRESLEY
Graceland, the former estate of music legend Elvis Presley, has become the ultimate pilgrimage for fans of the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
Elvis purchased the 14-acre property in 1957, and today tourists come to tour his former home, admire memorabilia, and visit his tomb, which sits in the Meditation Garden.
HOME OF THE BLUES
A stroll down Beale Street, nicknamed the “Home of the Blues,” is one of the first places to visit in Memphis.
Here, you’ll find iconic attractions like the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum and WC Handy’s House, now a museum where the “Father of the Blues” composed Memphis Blues and St. Louis Blues. It’s also home to the famous A. Schwab dry goods store.
Sun Studio in Memphis is famous as the recording facility where such greats as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, BB King, and Roy Orbison began their careers.
The studio itself is still used by recording artists, with more recent recordings being made by John Mellencamp and Chris Isaak.
MISSISSIPPI RIVER PARK AND MUSEUM
Mud Island — also known as Festival Island — houses the Riverwalk, a three-quarter-mile-long model showing the course of the Mississippi all the way from Cairo, Illinois to the Gulf of Mexico.
At the scaled-down gulf, visitors can hop aboard a pedal boat and relax on the water while enjoying views of the Memphis skyline.
THE MEMPHIS ZOO
Established in 1906, The Memphis Zoo, home to more than 3,500 animals representing 500 species, is one of only four zoos in the country to house giant pandas.
Other popular inhabitants include polar bears, sea lions, black bears, bald eagles, and ravens in a naturalistic environment called the Northwest Passage, while Cat Country is home to both predators and prey, including lions, tigers, cheetahs, and antelopes.
MEMPHIS BROOKS MUSEUM OF ARTS
Established in 1916, the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art is Tennessee’s largest (and oldest) art museum.
The building itself is something of a work of art and includes an interesting cylindrical design in the extension added in the 1950s. Spread across its 29 galleries is an impressive collection of paintings and sculptures, including works representing the Renaissance and Baroque periods, as well as Impressionist paintings and American prints. Highlights include works by the likes of Gainsborough and Renoir.
SHELBY FARMS PARK
Five times the size of New York’s Central Park, the 4,500-acre Shelby Farms Park is full of things to do for kids, adults, and even your four-legged family members.
Kids’ activities include the Woodland Discovery Playground and the Water Play Sprayground, where they can cool off while having fun.