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Top Rated Attractions in Memphis

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Levitt Shell

What could be better than nature combined with music and entertainment? Enjoy the outdoors and live music in Overton Park, a small shell theater where Elvis once played that hosts concerts in the summer. Listen to jazz, classical or blues music while you gaze at the stars. Occasionally, old films are shown and live performances are hosted here. This is a great place to take children, since there is lots of room for them to play and use their imaginations.

Dixon Gallery & Gardens

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.

National Ornamental Metal Museum

The National Ornamental Metal Museum is the only one in the country dedicated to ornamental metalwork. Exhibits often include such diverse objects as silver tea services, swords, jewelry and weathervanes. See a blacksmith at work forging works of art. An annual exhibit in May features the fantastic devices people use to barbecue, timed to coincide with the Memphis in May Barbecue Contest. The museum is set in a lovely spot on the banks of the Mississippi, and the lawns are sometimes used for weddings and other private parties.

Center for Southern Folklore

Center for Southern Folklore is worth the visit if you want to sit and hear some blues or have a beer and learn about Southern culture. This private, non-profit organization is dedicated to informing people about Southern history with an emphasis on music and art. The interior, decorated by local artists, is eclectic and includes a gift shop and coffee bar. The gift shop is a great place to get books or albums featuring Memphis and Memphis artists. They also have live music Friday and Saturday evenings.

Art Museum of the University of Memphis

In honor of the ancient Egyptian counterpart to the modern American city of Memphis, the local university maintains a museum featuring a good representation of the usual items from the City by the Nile, including a mummy, papyrus, and various implements and household goods. Another permanent exhibit is the Spirit of Africa, which has artifacts and sculptures from West Africa. In addition - and somewhat unexpectedly - the museum houses an interesting collection of miniatures of American furniture and a good smattering of American and European prints.

Billy Hardwick's All Star Lanes

Head down to Billy Hardwick's All Star Lanes for an enjoyable game of bowling with friends and family. This 40-lane bowling alley boasts a plethora of fascinating features, including fluorescent-lit lanes, late night cosmic bowling and little kids sized bowling balls. Bowl to your heart's content on these pristine lanes, and when you're tired head to one of the food and drink stalls to regain your energy. The scores are computerized, so you don't have to worry about keeping track of your progress.

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