Memphis Tourist Attractions
If Nashville is the capital of country music, Memphis is the home of Gospel, blues and rhythm and blues. The clubs in Beale Street were for decades the objective of all the singers, mainly black, who hoped for the big chance that would lead to their "discovery". One of them was Elvis Presley, whose grave on his Graceland estate is now the chief tourist attraction of Memphis.
The city, situated at the junction of the Wolf River with the Mississippi, ranks as the greatest market for cotton and hardwoods in the world. These and other products of the surrounding area (alfalfa, soya, rice) are shipped from the second largest inland port in the United States. Industry, with over 1100 firms, also plays an important part in the city's economy.History Andrew Jackson, later seventh President of the United States, along with two partners established a settlement here on a site suitable for a harbor, and is therefore regarded as the founder of Memphis. The town was named Memphis because of the similarity of its situation on the high river bank to that of the Egyptian city of Memphis on the Nile. Capital of the Confederation in the early days of the Civil War, the town was taken by Union troops in 1862. In the 1920s, thanks mainly to W.C. Handy ("father of the blues"); Memphis became the great centre of black music. It gained an unhappy place in history when Martin Luther King Jr was shot here on April 4th 1968.
Graceland, the former home of music legend, Elvis Presley, is a pilgrimage site for true fans of the musician. Guided tours of the mansion include the famous Jungle Room, and his grave site.
The Memphis Zoo features 3,500 animals representing 500 species. The Memphis Zoo is one of only four zoos in the country with giant pandas on exhibit. Northwest Passage features polar bears, sea lions, black bears, bald eagles and ravens in a naturalistic environment. Commercial Appeal Cat Country is home to predator and prey - lions, tigers, cheetahs, capybaras and antelopes. The African Veldt has giraffes, rhinos, and elephants. Butterflies: In Living Color (an additional fee) is open seasonally from Memorial Day through October 1. Concessions, rides, gift shops and a discovery center are also available.
Official site: www.memphiszoo.org
Address: 2000 Prentiss Place, Memphis, TN 38112-5033, United States
STAX Museum of American Soul
Located in Memphis, the STAX Museum of American Soul is where Stax Records was based. The museum features everything soul, the legends, the music, and the history. On display are a variety of artifacts, video clips of famous musicians and moments in music history, and other memorabilia.
Official site: www.soulsvilleusa.com
Address: 926 E. McLemore Avenue, Memphis, TN 38106, United States
Children's Museum of Memphis
The Children's Museum of Memphis features hands-on displays including a cityscape with a dental exhibit, grocery store, car mechanic and a bank.Experience hands-on excitement at the Children's Museum of Memphis! Children can sit in a flight simulator and a real airplane cockpit in Going Places, explore a Mississippi River model in WaterWORKS!, climb through the arteries of a giant heart and ride a bicycle on Mars in Growing Healthy. Other highlights include painting and sculpting in the art studio in Art Smart. In Cityscape, kids can board a real fire engine, shop for groceries, climb a skyscraper and more. Special events, workshops and programs are offered throughout the year.
Official site: www.cmom.com
Address: 2525 Central Avenue, Memphis, TN 38104-5962, United States
Memphis Brooks Museum of Art
The Kress Collection at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art includes Italian Renaissance and Baroque paintings, and sculpture from the late thirteenth century to the eighteenth century. The permanent collection of over 8,000 works also features 19th and 20th C sculpture by American sculptors, French bronzes as well as African works including masks and headdresses, reliquaries and carved figures. The decorative arts collection includes furniture, glass, ceramics, metalwork and textiles.
Official site: www.brooksmuseum.org
Address: 1934 Poplar Avenue, Memphis, TN 38104-2756, United States
To the east of downtown Memphis, between Poplar Avenue and East Parkway, are Overton Park and Overton Square, the center of midtown Memphis's night life. In addition to numerous restaurants and bars there is the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, the oldest and largest art museum in Tennessee, with a collection that ranges from pictures by way of printed graphic art to textiles. In the north-west corner of the park are the Memphis Zoo and Aquarium.
Pink Palace Museum
South-east of Overton Park, at 3050 Central Avenue, is the Pink Palace Museum (geology, flora and fauna and history of the Middle South). It is housed in a villa that belonged to Clarence Saunders, who in 1916 founded the Piggly Wiggly supermarket chain (still flourishing).This Memphis museum got its name came from the pink marble that was used to construct the building.
Official site: www.memphismuseums.org/museum-overview/
Address: 3050 Central Avenue, Memphis, TN 38111-3399, United States
C.H. Nash Museum at Chucalissa
The C.H. Nash Museum at Chucalissa is a prehistoric American Indian archaeological site dating back to the 15th century. The site features a Mississippian mound complex, nature trail and arboretum, hands-onarchaeology lab, and exhibits that explore the history and lifestyle of Native Americans from the historic and prehistoric southeastern United States.
Official site: www.memphis.edu/chucalissa/
Address: 1987 Indian Village Drive, Memphis, TN 38109-3098, United States
National Ornamental Metal Museum
The National Ornamental Metal Museum in Memphis features historic and contemporary metal objects along with regular metalworking demonstrations. The grounds of the museum feature an outdoor sculpture garden, picnic area and a river-bluff pavilion. The Riverbluff Pavilion is made from castings dating to the 1850s from buildings on Beale Street.
Official site: www.metalmuseum.org
Address: 374 Metal Museum Drive, Memphis, TN 38106, United States
The crossing of Union Avenue and Front Street was where the cotton dealers formerly had their offices. The Cotton Exchange still exists today, but the electronic revolution means that only a few traders are to be found in the old exchange building.
Some of the residents of the time-honored Peabody Hotel (149 Union Avenue) are ducks. Every day at 11 a.m. they are brought down in the lift from their apartment on the top floor, taken to their pond in the lobby, with musical accompaniment, and taken back at 5 p.m.
Official site: www.peabodymemphis.com
Address: 149 Union Avenue, Memphis, TN 38103-2638, United States
Dixon Gallery and Gardens
Margaret Oates Dixon and Hugo Norton Dixon bequeathed their Memphis home, their gardens and their collection of French Impressionist paintings to be enjoyed by future generations.
Official site: www.dixon.org
Address: 4339 Park Avenue, Memphis, TN 38117-4626, United States
Memphis Botanic Garden and Goldsmith Civic Garden Center
The Memphis Botanic Garden and Goldsmith Civic Garden Center features roses, irises, wildflowers and magnolias as well as a Japanese garden with a pavilion and lake.
Official site: www.memphisbotanicgarden.com
Address: 750 Cherry Road, Memphis, TN 38117-4699, United States
Gibson Guitar Factory Tour
The Gibson Guitar Factory in Memphis factory features a tour that shows the creation of Gibson guitars from a block of wood to the finished product.
Address: 145 Lt. George Lee Avenue, Memphis, TN 38103, United States
Lichterman Nature Center
The Lichterman Nature Center in Memphis is a 65-acre wildlife sanctuary with nature trails, a greenhouse, a lake and two teaching pavilions.
Official site: www.memphismuseums.org/lichterman-visitor_information/
Address: 5992 Quince Road, Memphis, TN 38119-7257, United States
The Sun Studio in Memphis is a small recording facility where Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, BB King and Roy Orbison began their careers.
Official site: www.sunstudio.com
Address: 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, TN 38103-3218, United States
University of Memphis Art Museum
The University of Memphis Art Museum specializes in West African and Egyptian art.
Official site: www.memphis.edu/amum/visitamum.php
Address: 142 CFA Building, University of Memphis, United States
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