While speaking on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. You can relive history here by visiting the balcony and Dr. King's room, restored as it was when he was here to support the sanitation workers' strike. Through interactive multimedia exhibits you participate in the civil rights movement and learn its history from the 1600s through Rosa Parks and the freedom riders until today.
Stax Museum of American Soul Music is located on the site of Stax Records which is known to have much significance in the music industry. The company is known to have launched the careers of many successful musicians. There are around 2000 exhibits that include videos, artifacts, films, photographs, and more. Apart from the exhibits, the museum regularly plays host to events like live concerts, educational programs, and fundraisers.
The Dixons were a childless couple who collected art, both fine and decorative and left it all to the city when they died. The travelling exhibits, are often spectacular and have included Faberge eggs, glassworks by Seattle artist Dale Chihuly, and an explosion of color from Raoul Dufy. The 17-acre (7-hectare) garden is usually open for strolling, except during outdoor concerts, picnics, or theater productions. The museum shop often has items from Memphis' Great Wonders exhibits! The museum is free for everyone on every Saturday between 10 am to noon.
The 2800 animals from over 400 species here have cared for in environments as close to their native habitats as possible. From African veldt to Asian temple ruins, Peruvian rain forests or Jamaican caverns, the animals roam free. Young children will enjoy the "Once Upon a Farm" exhibit and the amusement rides. The whole family will love watching the apes and monkeys in Primate Canyon. Do not miss the lions and tigers in Cat Country. Trams make getting around the park easy; wheelchairs and strollers can be rented.
This tiny house stands as a reminder of both a dark period in American history and the efforts of many to remedy the wrongs of slavery. A merchant named Jacob Burkle, who ran a stockyard before the American Civil War, provided a haven for many runaway slaves on their journey through the Underground Railroad. Here you can see where they waited for the instructions that helped them find their way across the Mississippi River to freedom.
Once home to music legend Elvis Presley, Graceland epitomizes the flamboyant style that the unforgettable seventies packed in. Life came a full circle for the King of Rock 'n' Roll when he purchased this Colonial Revival house in Memphis from Stephen Toof, a way of honoring the city that fed his musical ambitions and set him on his way to becoming a rising star. Rumoured to be the second most-visited house in the United States, Graceland is preserved exactly as it was when Elvis lived here. Elvis Presley bought this 13.8 acre (5.6 hectares) estate in 1957 and spent a large part of his life expanding and improving the opulent property. On the boulevard named after the legend himself, a sleek entertainment complex and adjoining visitors centre feed Elvis' fans still-extant frenzy through a wealth of displays and exhibits that revolve around the musician's life. The Elvis Entertainer Career Museum highlights the main aspects of his singing career, and display his most iconic sartorial collections, while the Automobile Museum showcases the stunning fleet of cars that Elvis rode in, from the Cadillac Eldorado to the Stutz Blackhawk. On August 16, the anniversary of Elvis' death, a candlelight vigil draws worldwide fans to this exceptional monument.
This historic house is one of the very few oldest surviving homes in Memphis. Constructed by Eugene Magevne, the house has been at its current location since the early 19th Century. An erstwhile clapboard cottage, today the historic structure has been converted into a museum and it is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It displays antiques owned by the Magevney family. The museum is open to the public every first Saturday of the month from 1p to 4p.
For an educational outing and a dose of local culture, visit the Mississippi River Museum. The exhibits here cover 10,000 years of history of the Lower Mississippi River, making for a unique mix of exhibits. Artifacts shown range from Native American tools and pottery to Victorian furniture and 20th Century instruments. It's a great field trip destination and a place that visitors to Memphis must go to in order to learn about the rich heritage of the area.
Situated atop the spectacular Memphis Pyramid, The Lookout At The Pyramid is a must visit to get an uninterrupted view of the city and the Mississippi River. For a fee of USD10, you can ride to the top of the tower in a detached elevator, where from the observation deck on the 28th floor, you can enjoy breath-taking panoramic views. When you are done, head inside to dig into a meal of New-American cuisine dishes, in the quirky retro space. With a massive aquarium set in the center and an array of decor that is inspired by a steam-punk theme, this eatery has a casual and fun ambiance. Sip on a crafted cocktail and sit back as you lose yourself to the incredible sights.
Located in downtown Memphis, The Cotton Museum explores an integral part of the South's history. It is located on what used to be the trading floor of the Memphis Cotton Exchange. There are interactive exhibits to keep kids interested as well as archives for research purposes. The exhibits in the museum cover a broad range of topics, including the economic, social, and cultural impacts of the cotton industry.
Built in the 19th century, the Mallory–Neely House can be aptly described as one of the jewels of the Victorian Village. It listed on the Pink Palace Family of Museums and is managed by the City of Memphis and Museums Inc. The Victorian looking museum is open for public visit and the decor and furnishings of the period in the interiors offer an insight into the life of the erstwhile owners, the Neely family.
Along a bend in the Mississippi River, the city of Memphis rests on the bygone remnants of its blues and rock 'n' roll past, one that birthed legends like Elvis Presley, B.B. King and Johnny Cash, and instantly immortalized it as the nation's eternal music mecca. Yet, it goes beyond the mere enchantment of Graceland, Elvis' old-time mansion that still draws fervent devotees to its humid doorstep. Having suffered a slew of ups and downs, and a downward spiral contributed by economic decline, Memphis seems to be redeeming its pallid neighborhoods and revitalizing its oldish glamor - a historic city on the brink of a renaissance. Memphis is still the capital of old-world cool, with a seething musical passion that never leaves landmarks like Beale Street, and arguably, home to nation's best barbecue. A crowd of nostalgic Victorian homes grace Memphis' curlicued streets, and its historic significance is felt in landmarks like the National Civil Rights Museum, the Cooper Young Historic District, and the C.H.Nash Museum.