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Dry rub ribs and BBQ. Ducks who live in a luxury hotel? Memphis is one of the most unique cities in the USA. A weekend in Memphis is just enough to give you a taste of this incredible city — and leave you wanting to return for more!
To fully grasp it, you just have to visit. Psst: Planning a trip to the Tennesse? Check out some of our other favorite nearby destinations!
Print it out or load it up on your phone so you can easily navigate from place to place. below and we'll send you a our 1- printable Memphis Itinerary and our Memphis playlist! Check your for your itinerary. Add contact practicalwanderlust. I like to have some context before I visit places.
I knew Memphis was the home of Gracelandand I knew it was an important musical destination. But Memphis is so much more. Like, not the useful stuff, but the important stuff. The useful stuff will come later, I promise. I say this in the best way and with the utmost affection.
Louisville is weird, too. So is Austin. So is Portland.
Our other home, San Francisco? So that means that Memphis fits right up there with all of my favorite places in the USA. Locals will proudly tell you that Memphis is weird. How did it take me so long to visit this place?! Memphis, Egypt was a huge deal.
It was located on the Nile River near the Giza Plateau and was incredibly powerful in its day. History is unclear about how good the music and BBQ were during this period, but we can only assume the best. As a river girl myself — Ohio River, that is — I just feel that this is important. Plus, it makes for lovely, poetic song lyrics that double as instructions for driving to Memphis.
Because, Egypt. I know, weird, right? It will flash beckoningly at you like a giant, mirrored vision of Egyptianism. So what is a giant chrome Pyramid doing in Memphis, Tennessee? And there are live animals and a viewing tower at the top!
Memphis is home to some ducks that live in a luxurious, historic hotel called the Peabody Hotel. The Peabody Ducks live on a roof and spend their days flapping around the fountain splashing water at each other and making cute little quacking noises. It is, hands down, the cutest thing ever. In fact, Memphis ribs are my personal favorite kind of BBQ in the entire country. There, I said it! Texas brisket is my second favorite. As a huge plus, Memphis specializes in dry ribs, so you can get away with wearing a cute shirt and not end up looking like an accident victim!
Both genres are rooted in Memphis. Oh, and a talented young man you may have heard of, named Elvis. Their story will be woven into your weekend in Memphis. There are 1, songs and counting about Memphis. We did listen to a Memphis Soundtrack during our entire trip to Memphis, and it turns out that there is a Memphis song for everything.
Right, so. If you did … stay tuned. You came here to find out all about what to do on your weekend in Memphis! Well, here we are. Your weekend in Memphis begins on Friday. By the way, now is a good time to hit play on that Memphis playlist …. Yes, your very first stop in Memphis will be to catch the nightly parade of the adorable Peabody Ducks at the historic Peabody Hotel!
Every day, the ducks waddle into the elevator, bobble down to the lobby, and awkwardly flop their way into the fountain. Then they paddle around the fountain splashing water at each other and making cute little quacking noises and generally being the most adorable thing ever for a few hours, before flopping out of the fountain, waddling back into the elevator, and settling in for the night on the roof again.
And their morning and evening commutes are a major red carpet affair, complete with a Duckmster to chaperone them and crowds of adoring fans to cheer on their every waddle! Through some kind of glorious twist of magical fate and the Memphis Tourism BoardI was offered the opportunity to be the Honorary Duckmaster of the Peabody Ducks. This is the biggest of deals. I just wish we could all get together to have a dinner party.
And let me tell you: nothing that I do in life will ever be this legit again. There were crowds of people watching. Not like, a few people. Like, hundreds of people. The ducks had their own red carpet rolled out, and to help shepherd their journey, I was given what is now my most prized possession in life: a duck cane. Guess what?!
They sell these in the gift shop. Someone please go buy one so we can be Duck Cane twins!! It was my job to help herd the ducks down the red carpet through the cheering throngs of people and flashing camera bulbs into the elevator and up to their duck mansion. Just read that sentence again and try to tell me that this was not the highlight of my entire life. That was it. Not only did I get my 5 minutes of duck-filled fame and some yummy duck-shaped cookies, too! The Honorary Duckmaster!!! Oh, and guess what? Ahem: this is the top item on my Christmas list now, so. You know.
Hint hint. And after you watch the ducks hop into the elevator, follow them up to the roof to take in some amazing views of downtown Memphis! First up is just around the block: The Rendezvous is located just in a quiet alley in the shadow of the Peabody Hotel. Memphis is a BBQ town, and we could happily spend an entire weekend consuming dry-rub ribs — and this is one of the best spots in town to try them! Well, Justin Timberlake says so, too. We highly recommend the RG Poutine, which consists of duck fat fries sorry ducks!
There are endless opportunities to see live music in Memphis. Chances are, just walking in Memphis ehhhh? How many times can I make this joke before it gets old?! The music of Memphis is its heart and soul. Of course, you can find Live Music just walking down Beale Street. But there are many other places to catch live music in Memphis — this list of music venues outside of Beale Street has a ton of suggestions.
Your Saturday in Memphis is all about the stars and history of Memphis music. Logistical Note : All three of your Memphis destinations for today are on the FREE Sun Studio Shuttleso you can leave your car at any of the 3 and take the free shuttle in between each. Or, head to Muggin Coffee Housea locally-owned coffee shop just down the street from Graceland your next stop! There are a ton of amazing places to get weekend brunch or breakfast in Memphis like thesebut the downside is that many of them are at least a 15 minute drive away from the city center. So, head to the Whitehaven neighborhood to one of these local restaurants for a filling breakfast:.
Without giving away the many secrets of Graceland, I just want to say that I have mad respect for anyone with enough self-love to decorate using both self-portraits AND mirrors, so that everywhere you turn, you see your own gorgeous face.
Allow yourself a few hours to see all that Graceland has to offer. Curated by the Smithsonian Institute, the museum tells the complete story of both sides of the Memphis whole, which are intertwined musically, politically, and racially. Almost like we planned it that way.
Travel Tip: Pick up a ticket online to skip the line and save time! Hey, did that rhyme? Sun Studio is where rock greats like Elvis and Johnny Cash got their start. Also Jerry Lee Lewis, a dude who once married his year-old cousin while he was still married to someone elseis currently on his 7 th wife — 2 of them died mysteriously — and is nicknamed Killer because he tried to strangle one of his teachers in high school. From the smoky, succulent ribs to the flaky, crunchy fried catfish to the magical spice they provide at the table we covered our food with about half the container and then bought our own to take home… and have since purchased 3 more bottles everything here is so, so, so good.
We both got combo platters so we could try ribs and catfish, which was perfect. We also got a bowl of Memphis Soul Stew, mostly just so we could listen to the song. My one great regret in life is that we were too full to try an apple dumpling or slice of pecan pie for dessert.
Wells one of the most badass babes in history. It was also home to musicians, artists, brothels, and of course, the most fun bars and clubs in town. The first Black millionaire of the south was Robert Church, who purchased the land around Beale Street — a savvy investment after a yellow fever epidemic left the city scrambling for funds. Since its early days, Beale Street was a place where you could be freely Black.
You could open a business. You could publish a radical, anti-racist newspaper. You could sing and write about the challenges of being Black in a deeply racist country. The creativity flowing from this mecca of Black talent even attracted white folk, like Elvis Presley, whose style was deeply influenced some may say appropriated by the music created by Black artists on Beale Street. Today, Beale Street is still an amazing and vibrant place to visit, though we think knowing its history makes it even Couples in Memphis Tennessee impactful. We recommend booking a Beale Street Walking Tour to learn more about the history of this incredible place!
If you show up around sunset, Beale Street will just be coming alive with the sights and sounds of Memphis. Walking down Beale Street is like flipping through channels on a radio: each brightly lit, neon-ed door has a new sound coming from it, a different genre, a different era. Our favorite act by far was in Handy Park, where a band was playing soul to a small but enthusiastic audience, all dancing, singing along, and having a blast. The vibe of Beale Street is alive and well and can be found right here on the street and in the locals who still feel the soul of Memphis running through their veins!
The story of Memphis is also the story of Black America: from the thriving Black culture and wealth that surrounded Beale Street, to art, music, and food that was born in and created by the Black community, to the integral role Memphis played in the Civil Rights Movement, including becoming the city where Martin Luther King Jr. To speak about the music of Memphis without addressing its racial history head-on would be doing a disservice to many talented musicians who paved the way.Couples in Memphis Tennessee
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