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World Travel Guide > Guides > North America > United States of America > Tennessee > Memphis

Memphis Weather

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Local time Memphis

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Things to see in Memphis

Tourist Offices

Tennessee Welcome Centre

Address: , , ,
Telephone: +1 901 543 6757.
Opening times:

Daily 0700-2300.

Website: http://www.tnvacation.com

Tourist passes

Passes and discounts depend on vendor and attraction site. MATA (Memphis Area Transit Authority) offers discounts to seniors, students and the disabled. The Memphis CVB also has downloadable discount coupons on its website.

Attractions

Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum

This museum tells the story of Memphis music and how it influenced various genres. It explains how rock 'n' roll (and later soul) grew out of the blues, gospel and country music of poor rural sharecroppers from Mississippi. The collection includes early films of Elvis and memorabilia such as Ike Turner's piano and Carl Perkins' guitar. CD players are distributed to each visitor, so they can listen in on the songs related to each exhibit. These range from scratchy recordings of old blues numbers to famous songs from Memphis' Stax Records, including Dock of the Bay and the theme from Shaft . The museum no longer shares the same building as the Gibson Guitar Factory, the manufacturing base for the world-famous guitars, but has moved to the plaza of the FedExForum in the Beale Street Entertainment District.

Address: Suite 100, 191 Beale Street, Plaza of the FedExForum,
Telephone: (901) 205 2533.
Opening times:

Daily 1000-1900.

Website: http://www.memphisrocknsoul.org
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

Sun Studio

This small recording studio fully deserves its title as 'the birthplace of rock 'n' roll', for it was here that Elvis Presley made his very first recording, 'My Happiness'. Sun Studio looks much as it did in the 1950s and contains musical memorabilia, such as a microphone used by Elvis. The tour includes outtakes of recordings made there by the King and other Sun artists, such as Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins. It is still a working studio and artists like Billy Bob Thornton, the Judds, Maroon 5 and Vertical Horizon have recently made recordings here. The adjacent Sun Studio cafe has an old-fashioned fountain where sodas and milkshakes are served.

Address: , 706 Union Avenue, Memphis,
Telephone: (901) 521 0664 or 1 800 441 6249.
Opening times:

Daily 1000-1800.

Website: http://www.sunstudio.com
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

Beale Street

Historically the centre for black music and culture in the city, Beale Street is still the musical heart of Memphis and worth visiting just for its atmosphere. It is known as the birthplace of the blues, because it was here that W C Handy wrote Memphis Blues , so marking the very first time a blues tune had been put onto paper. His house is now a museum, the W C Handy House Museum , filled with photographs, memorabilia and some of the original sheet music written by the man who popularised blues. Beale Street is still the best place in the city for fans to hear live music, with bars such as B B King's Blues Club . It is also the location of A Schwab , the oldest shop in the city, which has been run by the Schwab family since 1876. The general store sells everything from size 74 men's trousers to various voodoo potions.

Address: , Beale Street, Memphis,
Telephone: (901) 526 0110.
Opening times: Website: http://www.bealestreet.com
Admission Fees: Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

Graceland

The home of Elvis Presley, Graceland is the most famous attraction in Memphis. Elvis purchased the mansion in 1957 and lived there until his death in 1977. His rags to riches story embodies the American Dream and Graceland has plenty to interest the casual visitor as well as the devoted fan. A tour of the mansion includes the gloriously tasteless 'jungle room', with its floor-to-ceiling carpets that Elvis designed himself. In the Meditation Garden , visitors can see Elvis' grave, which is always covered with bouquets and wreaths, sent by sobbing and adoring fans from all over the world. At Graceland Plaza, opposite the mansion, are a number of exhibitions dedicated to different areas of the singer's life and obsessions. These include an Automobile Museum , containing his famous pink Cadillac.

Address: , 3734 Elvis Presley Boulevard, Memphis,
Telephone: 1 800 238 2000 or (901) 332 3322.
Opening times:

Mon-Sat 0900-1700, Sun 1000-1600 (Mar-Oct); daily 1000-1600 (Nov-Feb); no mansion tours Tues (Dec-Feb).

Website: http://www.elvis.com
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

Pink Palace Museum

The Pink Palace Museum was built in the 1920s by entrepreneur and founder of the Piggly Wiggly grocery chain, Clarence Saunders. He lost his fortune and the pink stone and marble mansion on Central Avenue, nicknamed the 'Pink Palace', was given to the City of Memphis for use as a museum. Today it is a regional landmark with displays on local history, culture, medicine, music, natural history and science. It also contains a replica of Saunders' first Piggly Wiggly supermarket, as well as a state-of-the-art planetarium and 3D IMAX theatre. The museum offers many educational programmes for children.

Address: , 3050 Central Avenue, Memphis,
Telephone: (901) 320 6320.
Opening times: Website: http://www.memphismuseums.org
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

Mud Island River Park

Mud Island is just what its name says it is - an island made from the mud and silt from the Mississippi River. It first appeared in 1900, was washed away and then reappeared as a permanent feature in 1913. Attractions include a scale model of the Mississippi River, which is filled with flowing water. The main draw for visitors is the Mississippi River Museum, which covers 10,000 years of river history. Canoe, kayak, bike and pedal-boat hire is also available.

Address: , 125 North Front Street, Memphis,
Telephone: (901) 576 7241 or 1 800 507 6507.
Opening times:

Tues-Sun 1000-1700 (spring and autumn); Tues-Sun 1000-1800 (summer); closed (winter).

Website: http://www.mudisland.com
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

National Civil Rights Museum

This museum is housed in what was formerly the Lorraine Motel, the site of the assassination of Dr Martin Luther King, in 1968. The museum traces the history of the civil rights movement in America, from slavery to the present day. There are various tableaux, such as one demonstrating Rosa Parks' refusal to give up her seat on a bus to a white man - sparking a whole wave of protests. The most poignant sight of all is Dr King's motel room, which has been preserved as it was on the day of the shooting.

Address: , 450 Mulberry Street, Memphis,
Telephone: (901) 521 9699.
Opening times:

Mon, Wed-Sat 0900-1800, Sun 1300-1800 (Jun-Aug); Mon, Wed-Sat 0900-1700, Sun 1300-1700 (Sep-May).

Website: http://www.civilrightsmuseum.org
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

Full Gospel Tabernacle Church

The Full Gospel Tabernacle is the church where the Reverend Al Green preaches on most Sundays. The music is loud and the Reverend Green's sermons are energetic and uplifting. The congregation dance (and frequently faint) in the aisles. Although attracting tourists, these are genuine religious services and should be respected. Sunday services run 1100-1400.

Address: , 787 Hale Road , Memphis,
Telephone: (901) 396 9192.
Opening times: Website: http://www.algreenmusic.com
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Peabody Ducks

Possibly the city's most unusual attraction, the Peabody Ducks live on the roof of the elegant Peabody Hotel. Every morning at 1100, the birds leave their enclosure and are led into a lift (elevator) by the hotel's Duckmaster. With great fanfare, they emerge downstairs and waddle across a red carpet to the marble fountain in the lobby, where they spend the day. In the evening, at 1700 precisely, the performance is repeated when they return to the roof. Ducks parade at 1100 and 1700.

Address: 149 Union Avenue, The Peabody Hotel, Memphis,
Telephone: (901) 529 4000.
Opening times:

Ducks parade at 1100 and 1700.

Website: http://www.peabodymemphis.com
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

The Dixon Gallery and Gardens

The former home of cotton tycoon Hugo Dixon, set in a seven-hectare (17-acre) English country garden, houses an impressive collection of French and American impressionist and post-impressionist art works. Stroll through the gardens or learn the history of each exhibition on self-guided or volunteer-led tours.

Address: , 4339 Park Avenue, Memphis,
Telephone: (901) 761 5250.
Opening times:

Tues-Fri 1000-1600, Sat 1000-1700, Sun 1300-1700.

Website: http://www.dixon.org
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: No

Memphis Brooks Museum of Art

Established in 1912, the Brooks holds an astonishing world-class collection of art and often showcases exhibitions from major museums and private collections around the world. Highly regarded for its medieval and Renaissance works, the museum also offers tours and creative workshops to over 20,000 students a year.

Address: Overton Park, 1934 Poplar Avenue, Memphis,
Telephone: (901) 544 6200.
Opening times:

Tues, Wed, Fri 1000-1600, Thurs 1000-2000, Sat 1000-1700, Sun 1130-1700.

Website: http://www.brooksmuseum.org
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No