A visit to my hometown-- Memphis, Tennessee!
This month I’d love for you to travel with me to my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. I couldn’t think of a better way to kick off Black History month, pay homage to my birthplace, and share some of my experience back home all in time for my upcoming art series on you guessed it, Memphis!
This is the place to be and see right now! Most recently, Memphis has been named:
2019’s Best Destination Overall by TrippSavvy and the "Hottest Southern Destination of 2019.' by the Travel Channel
Some of the main attractions in Memphis are:
Graceland - You can’t come to Memphis without visiting the iconic home of Elvis Presley! It is the 1st stop for most and a must see for any music lover or Elvis fan. If you happen to see Elvis please comment below and let me know! :-)
Barbecue - Although I personally think my dad makes the best BBQ, his recipe is strictly for family. However, there are hundreds of spots to get your Memphis style ribs; try Rendevous downtown or take some classes at Memphis Barbeque Supply. If you’re visiting in May, there is a World Champion Barbeque cooking contest each year during that time as well!
Peabody Hotel Ducks - One of my favorites! Add this to your itinerary; led by the Peabody Duckmaster you can see five beloved mallard ducks of the Peabody strut daily from the elevator to the fountain. Dating back as far as 1933, guests come from all over to witness this special event. This grand hotel celebrates 150 years this year in 2019.
National Civil Rights Museum - This is a place I feel everyone should visit. There is an abundant amount of history housed here and it is unique in that it is a part of history within itself. Home to the historic Lorraine Motel, (where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assasinated); it will enhance your experience, learning, and understanding of the city.
Main Street Trolley - You have to take a ride on the trolley! Experience the old time charm and feel of getting around downtown.
Pink Palace Museum - A museum that stands out with exhibits celebrating science, history, and nature; this 1920’s mansion is something to add into your visit as well.
Stax Museum and Sun Studios - This is where Soul music was born and introduced the world to such musicians as Otis Redding, Al Green, Aretha Franklin, and Isaac Hayes. Once a movie theater, then a recording studio, and now a soul music museum Stax Museum houses thousands of musical artifacts detailing the journey of soul music. Another must see in addition to Stax, is Sun Studios; where a then unknown Elvis Presley became a household name making Sun Studios one of the most famous recording studios in the world.
Dixon Gallery and Botanical Gardens - Discover the works of art and the beautiful flowers at the park to see what makes this area so unique.
Beale Street - Where’s the party? Right here on Beale. All the music, food, and nightlife that gives Memphis a style all its own.
The Riverfront downtown! - Enjoy the beautiful riverside view, take long walks, and explore the heart of the city!
Memphis is filled with lots of music, art, history, and culture! Some of my personal favorites are also the Withers Collection Museum and Gallery which highlights many works on civil rights and black history.
I also suggest taking a tour through the neighborhoods and seeing the architecture and culture around what is known as Soulsville, USA! Be sure to stop by some of the mom and pop shops for some southern cuisine, and or homemade pastries. I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you about Jack Pirtle’s Fried Chicken, a Memphis signature fast food classic so be sure to give it a try! ( You can get southern delicacies such as liver and even gizzards from here so you may be pleasantly surprised).
You can also catch a play at the legendary Orpheum theater if you want to see a live performance or musical. Another option, is to go to a Memphis Grizzlies game at the Fedex Forum and support our hometown NBA team.
Lastly, be sure to check out some of the gallery worthy Street Art that is around downtown as well. There is also an ‘I AM A MAN’ structure downtown that I think you would like as well. This is a tribute to the march led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that took place in Memphis for fair wages for sanitary workers and to advance civil rights during that time.
The infamous M shaped bridge (also known as the Hernando De Soto Bridge) is not to far away from this structure downtown so be sure to capture a photo of it on your visit. I have a deep connection to this bridge as it represents all my trips to my grandma’s every weekend growing up, the long talks of wisdom from my mother along the way, and my journey from Memphis to where I am now.
I hope you enjoyed the (virtual) tour of my lovely city!
I shared some photos highlighting some of my travels and experience while visiting back home. It was cold, so please ignore my coat! It was borrowed and way too big, but I was warm! :-)
Please leave a comment below and let me know if you live here, plan on visiting, or have visited in the past! Basically, let me know you are here.
“What do you find most exciting about Memphis?”
Show your love and comment below!