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The Fire Museum is located in the first firehouse in Memphis. Kids will love the video games and interactive videos that simulate firefighting, while parents will appreciate the exhibit of unusual firefighting equipment from the last two centuries. If you take the restored trolley from Union or Beale, you can disembark at the museum, then walk up the street to the National Civil Rights Museum, in the Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.
Court Square is a historic park that has existed at least since 1876, when the statue of Hebe was dedicated here. This small oasis in the middle of downtown office buildings also features a delightful gazebo and a bronze fountain. Court Square appeared in the movie The Firm as a backdrop for a meeting between Tom Cruise and Gene Hackman, and in real life serves as a relaxing spot for local office workers and visitors alike, who enjoy watching the restored antique cars of the Main Street Trolley go by.
This Marriott hotel is located in downtown Memphis, Tennessee and 15 minutes from Graceland. It also features a gym. The rooms have a kitchen and living area. Residence Inn Memphis Downtown guest rooms offer cable TV and a sofa. The kitchen is equipped with a stovetop, refrigerator, microwave and dishwasher. This Memphis Residence Inn provides laundry and dry cleaning service. Room service and valet parking are also available. Memphis International Airport is 20 minutes from Residence Inn Memphis Downtown. The National Civil Rights Museum is within a 5-minute walk of the hotel.
Catering to folks on their way to and from the nightclubs on Beale Street, the crowded, eclectic little shop, Strange Cargo, carries gifts and souvenirs with an adult slant. This is a good place to buy humorous cards to send to friends at home. You can also find gag gift items here, as well as T-shirts with messages that might make some people blush. If you bring the kids, you might have some explaining to do.
Having been slowly restored over the past several years, the Orpheum is now an astonishing architectural treasure from the 1920s, with its statues, carved woodwork, velvet curtains, and an opulent lobby. It hosts shows of touring Broadway companies and is a must visit for the culturally inclined. It is also the venue for traveling Broadway musicals. In the summer, the Orpheum shows classic movies like Casablanca and hosts trivia contests and sing-alongs - fun for the whole family.
Tom Lee was an African-American living in Memphis who became a hero when he saved 32 people from a sinking steamboat in 1925. Even though he could not swim, he rowed a small boat into the strong currents of the Mississippi River to rescue the victims. Tommy Lee Park, stretches for a mile and half along the banks of the river, is dedicated to this hero and contains a monument to him. This is the site of several events throughout the year, including the Barbecue Contest, the Sunset Symphony concert at the end of May, and a Jazz Festival.
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.
Overton Park is the home of the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, the Memphis College of Art, and the Overton Park Municipal Golf Course. The park by itself is a lovely place to visit. There are trails for hiking and biking, tennis courts, a playground, picnic area, and huge, shady trees to relax under.The rainbow-painted amphitheater, once the location of concerts by Elvis Presley and ZZ Top, is now seldom used, but still a good place to sit and ponder the glories of music gone by.
Not so much a museum as an educational indoor playground, this place is full of interactive activities for kids. Youngsters can climb a skyscraper, explore a fire engine or "ride" a police motorcycle. Children especially love the miniature grocery store, where they can push their own carts and "shop" for staples, and the playing bank, where they can write checks. Special exhibits and activities are also offered every month, including puppet shows and live music.
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.
Memphis Botanic Garden is a collection of gardens that covers over 96 acres (39 hectares) in East Memphis. The lovely Japanese garden, with its bridges, ponds and goldfish is a favorite with visitors, who come for the candlelight evening tours in the summer. In the spring, the Ketchum Iris Garden glows with a myriad of colors, while the Municipal Rose Garden is at its best in May, June, and September. There is even a Sensory Garden that is designed to appeal to all five senses.