In May I traveled alone to see Jay and attend one of our favorite Master Chief’s Retirement Ceremony. I thought it would be nice to create a Memphis Travel Guide – Where to stay & what to see.
Memphis- a city on the Mississippi River in southwest Tennessee, famous for its blues & rock ‘n’ roll and savory barbecue. But there is more! Memphis has rich history and old money. Since I was stationed there from 2007-2010 and now my husband is there, I thought it would be fun to compile a list of my favorites into a
Memphis Travel Guide – Where to Stay & What to See
If you love history like I do, click on This link which provides more historical information.
For now, I want to share my favorite places to see and my TOP 2 HOTELS to stay at.
Their website says it best: Style and tradition- Memphis’ grandest, most legendary hotels, The Peabody offers a magnificent bridge between the “Blues City’s” celebrated past and cosmopolitan present. The Peabody is surprisingly affordable considering its adorned walls, ceiling, and marble tile floor. Every square inch drips elegance.
The lobby is traditional + comfortable with a large bar and grand piano. Twice a day you can gather around the red rope to watch the FAMOUS DUCK PARADE, and the rooftop overlooks the Mississippi River and more of the city. The Peabody fulfills all your entertainment needs; accommodations, fitness, drinks and 5 star meals, as well as entertainment.
River Inn of Harbor Town
This is the most adorable, quaint hotel I’ve stayed in. The River Inn in Harbor town, a quiet community just over a small bridge from downtown Memphis. Its Southern Charm is parallel to the homes that fill the large tree lined streets and it’s real estate is nothing short of magnificent. There is a common area on each level with a library wall of books, oversized chairs, and a fireplace.
Our actual room felt like a bed and breakfast that overlooked the river. I was head over heels for this room! Walls of windows lined by sheer drapery , white fluffy spa-like robe, and cherry finished furniture. There is a lovely restaurant near the lobby where my husband I had brunch. I love this boutique hotel. It’s the perfect choice for a quiet, quaint experience.
National Civil Rights Museum
This National Civil Rights Museum museum is filled with black history, specifically the civil rights era. The most significant part is The Lorraine Motel, where Dr. Martin Luther King’s quest for peace and equality devastatingly ended when he was murdered in cold blood. As I get older, I appreciate and enjoy museums more and more and this one especially. Rather than a building with many artifacts, The National Civil Rights Museum is truly a historical site as well.
Need I say more? I’m not a roaring Elvis fan but I am obsessed with homes and architecture and I so enjoy wondering and learning about the people who occupied these spaces. It’s fascinating and interesting because Graceland (the home) isn’t overly spacious like you’d think but I suppose it was considered lavish for the times. You can also tour his airplane, “The LisaMarie” and that was a lot of fun too. Pictures courtesy of my girl Jessica Zettel.
The infamous street lined by barbecue spots and blues bars. The street is blocked off to traffic so people can walk right down the center with their drink in hand. I love BB Kings because they always have an amazing live band that rocks the house with old time blues and newer sounds too (oh and of course the barbecue is on point). If you want a special drink that sneaks up on you but is too good not to slurp down, go to Wet Willies. It’s a lively, brick-walled chain bar known for its rainbow of frozen drinks.
“The Firm” shoot locations
Remember watching The Firm, John Grisham’s book, a 1993 legal thriller? Did you know much of the movie was filmed in Memphis? Yes!! So after Jay and I grabbed the best beignets in memphis, we drove around and found the house Mitch (Tom Cruise) and Abbey lived in amongst other spots. In the Peabody Roof top images above- that’s where “The Firm” wined and dined Mitch and Abbey convincing them to move to Memphis.
This link provides more about the filming locations
JUST THINK BEIGNETS. I was craving a beignet, although we’re not in New Orleans I knew I could find a good one and I did. We traveled about 10 minutes east from downtown and ended up in Midtown. This place is so cool and where the locals hang out. Food, Drink, Shop, Yoga. Bayou did not disappoint in our Shrimp Po’boy and bomb-ass BEIGNETS.
The Majestic Grille
Built in 1913 as a private movie house, The Majestic Grille is a step back in time to Hollywood and glam. It has the largest private movie screen in the city showing silent films & classic movies and you’re center stage. The Majestic Grille has excellent food but I enjoy their brunch (with mimosas of course) the best. However, my real admiration is of the physical space.
I feel like I should be wearing a fitted pin-up dress, bright red lipstick with a long sexy cigarette gently resting between my gloved fingers. In reality, I wore my lulu lemons, Tory Burch flip flops, and a t-shirt.
Legendary Sun Studios
Sun Studios, where Blues and Rock & Roll legends such as Elvis Presley, B.B. King and Johnny Cash recorded albums and my VERY FAVORITE Blues Artist, Muddy Waters. Tours run all day 7 days a week and are very affordable. It’s so exciting to be where famous icons began.
A small peninsula just a small ramp away from downtown. Mud Island is fairly small but lots to do and see. You can rent bikes, ride on the monorail, visit the ampitheater and more. It’s where the River Inn is located. I also love to go for a run right along the river but you have to spend a little time down there, loving the river or watching the gorgeous Memphis Sky line.
If you’re ever in the dirty south, or just in Memphis, check out these places and let me know what you think!