Memphis may have changed beyond recognition over recent decades, but the defining events of the 20th century still influence its culture and personality. Best known for its musical heritage and its role in the 1950’s and 60’s Civil Rights Movement, Memphis is home to numerous attractions which tell the compelling stories of its turbulent past.
But forward-thinking Memphis now boasts newly renovated historic districts full of contemporary restaurants, craft beer pubs, quirky boutiques and sleek designer stores, as well as some of the best green spaces in America and a well-established arts scene.
The world of popular music owes much of its existence to Memphis, a city whose influence stretches wider and deeper than any other in the US. Having given the world the blues, soul and rock ‘n’ roll, Memphis now capitalises on its heritage with a host of absorbing museums and tours, which tell the story of how this music came to conquer the globe.
On your holiday, visit the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, the Stax Museum of American Soul Music or the legendary Sun Studio, where a young Elvis Presley was first discovered. Or head to the singer’s meticulously maintained former mansion, Graceland, for a dose of 1970s splendour.
There’s more to Memphis than music, though. Take time out from holiday fun and games to learn about the city’s former struggles at the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel. Or wander the history-soaked streets of the South Main district before a country fried steak at the vintage Arcade Restaurant, the oldest diner in town.
In the evening, head to the neon-lit party zone of Beale Street, or take a 90-minute sunset cruise on an old Mississippi paddle steamer, before ending the night with a piled-high plate of pulled pork at a nearby barbecue joint.
There’s so much to see and do on a holiday in Memphis, but there’s even more to discover in the wider metropolitan area and the nearby Mississippi Delta region – so book a holiday in Memphis for a fascinating getaway in the USA.